If you’re selling something to me, I won’t buy it unless (1) I sense my need, and (2) I believe that what you’re selling will meet that need—or help with my need. I’m a sucker for Girl Scout cookies because I have a perennial sense of my need for dessert, and I know I can trust that what’s inside that box will meet that need.
When it comes to battling sexual immorality, however, my need is far greater and far more urgent than any so-called need for cookies. It’s more like the need for oxygen when you’re underwater, or the need for food when you haven’t eaten in days. It’s life and death, hell or heaven, blessings and curses.
Whole Families Need to Fight for Purity
I feel that need as a man. Unless those older than me are lying, battling sexual temptation will be necessary until I see Jesus face to face. And when I read the Bible, I see that the consequences of falling in this area can be catastrophic. See King David in 2 Samuel 11-12.
As a husband I feel the need as Jesus’ words continue to haunt me: “Everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). To be a faithful husband I must battle well in this area.
As a parent I increasingly see the need as I see my children grow to face their own temptations. Their adolescence and early adulthood will contain an access to pornography that makes my own childhood seem like Leave it to Beaver or The Andy Griffith Show. Growing up in the era of Madonna, MTV, and cable TV, I had plenty of access, but theirs makes my own look Edenic.
As a pastor I see the need as marriages and lives reap the horrific consequences of sexual sin—whether it is personal failures with pornography or the inevitable liaisons that all pornography is leading us to. At times this world can seem like a diabolical cesspool all programmed to bring down the righteous. Where is the hope for the next generation of faithful husbands and wives?
No one needs to convince me that the need is real. Where I need convincing is that a tool will help in this fight to the death.
A Tool to Help Families Fight
Covenant Eyes Internet Accountability is one of the tools that I consistently recommend to others. I see it as part of the common sense set of tools that every Christian should use. It isn’t quite as high as (desperate) prayer, (daily) Bible-reading, and (consistent) church attendance, but it’s also not far behind these. It’s up there with the obvious tactic of canceling catalogs or magazines delivered to your house that prove to be a temptation. Duh.
I can tell you as a man, husband, father, and pastor, that having a tool that informs someone else of my Internet habits is invaluable. It has stopped me and others countless times by the simple recognition that my brothers will know if I go to this or that site. I appreciate that it doesn’t interfere with safe browsing by cumbersome filtering—unless I ask for that. I value that it doesn’t bankrupt those who subscribe for their services—a modest price for an outstanding product. I wish my cell phone company would adopt the same approach.
I know that Covenant Eyes is simply a tool, and that nothing can replace an actual desire for holiness. Yet, sometimes we need help until we get to that point. I know for me, the evidence is that I’ll likely never grow beyond the need for such tools in this lifetime. My hope for true and complete change is in the finished work of Jesus Christ that will one day bring my own process of sanctification to completion (Philippians 1:6). Until that moment, I will fight with the tools that God gives me, and one of these is Covenant Eyes.
Thank you SO very much for this post!! It is so true and it’s about time a guy boldly speaks out about the need for purity and seeks to be an example of someone who takes the Biblical warnings (instructions) seriously of living a life where we seek to please God instead of gratifying our own sinful flesh.
Fighting against temptation and fighting for purity will certainly be a struggle, yet what do we have to lose? (Except for guilt, shame, regret, hiding, secrecy, self-loathing, addiction, feeling like God is a million miles away, wanting to avoid others because we can’t take the thoughts and bondage that overwhelms us to the degree that everyone becomes a sex object to us, etc.)
Thank you again!!
Well said, Emma! (I’m still chuckling)