Pyromaniacs love fire. They dream about it and spend their days indulging their hunger for the flame.
As a kid, I passed through a fire obsession, burning loose paper, soda cans and anything interesting. At a youth camp, for instance, my cousins and I were severely reprimanded after exploding a can of silly string. Thankfully I’m no pyromaniac, but during that younger season, it was nearly impossible to squash my inferno interest. Once my innocent curiosity drew me in, there was little chance of stopping.
Men can be similarly drawn by lust. She is, after all, mightily demure and altogether deceiving. But she over-promises and never-delivers. Once you step inside her door, she locks it and engulfs you in a deadly blaze.
Although at first it seems innocent, browsing beauties on social media will wear away your soul. Exchanging flirtatious glances with any girl who reciprocates is not only spiritually harmful—it’s misleading. Being the “wandering eye” guy wherever you go is pretty sleazy, disrespectful to women and offensive to God. Finally, porn is not okay, even if you’re “privately” browsing on your smart phone.
Jesus taught that lusting after someone in your heart is just as bad as cheating. And cheating is bad. It’s ruinous to marriages and families and cultures. An adulterer is spitting in the faces of God and their wife. Like a forest fire, adultery will completely destroy not only you but your bride and mistress as well.
It’s downright heinous. And so is lust.
Too often, we think lust is innocuous; it’s the little candle flame that sits on your birthday cake, not the forest fire that kills. Jesus went so far, however, as to categorize mental lust with gross physical adultery, and we should too. Lust is demeaning to our sisters and has only tears down our manhood. From harmless inception, it will worsen. Somehow, someway it will grow.
This is not only a problem for married men; unmarried men, caught up in lust, are still cheating, just on their future wives. In pursuing lust rather than love, the single guy sets his future wife against impossible comparisons that only exist on his screen or in his mind. Furthermore, promoting cultures of lust can also lead to gross atrocities like child porn and modern-day sex slavery.
As Christian men, we need to stop. How? Through God’s love. Though God hates sin, he loves you and wants to change you. We can repent, recognizing that we have failed God. And by no merit of our own, we can receive Jesus’ perfect, sinless standard of manhood, given to us freely because God loves us.
Through Jesus, only then we can move forward fully forgiven and clean, admitting when we fail and being confident that God will cleanse us of all unrighteousness when we confess. Through Jesus alone, we can become genuine and upright men of God, treating our women and wives with the dignity and honor they deserve.