Let us not be deceived.

On Sunday in our peer group at church, Michael and I led a discussion about the husband’s need to be attracted to his wife and then only hours later, a couple women in skimpy outfits danced in front of America.

I typically cry about once every few months, but the week leading up to Sunday morning’s discussion about this tender topic, I think I cried all of my tears for 2020. As I worked through so many insecurities and past wounds, it was with agony that I struggled to summon the courage to talk about it in front of our community.

Sexual sin nearly destroyed my marriage and my family. Maybe that’s why my heart is so burdened about this whole topic.

If we think that we can view sexual images and not eventually fall prey to lust + immorality, we deceive ourselves.

Men, if you think you are just appreciating beauty when the image looks like a nearly naked female body dancing provocatively on a stripper pole and moving her tongue about in a sexual way, you deceive yourself. If you think that you can view sexual images of other women who are the prime of our cultures definition of beauty and remain fully satisfied with the wife you have, you deceive yourself.

Women, if we think we can love our bodies in such a way that we show them off and invite admirers of them and not eventually fall prey to vanity and an obsession with the power of our sexuality over any other person than our spouse, we deceive ourselves. If we think that we are above lust and temptation to view sexual images, we deceive ourselves. If we think that empowerment looks like displaying our sexuality without shame to anyone and everyone, we deceive ourselves sisters!

If we think that sexual integrity comes any other way than an all-out war for our attentions and affections, WE DECEIVE OURSELVES.

Who is susceptible to deception? Me. You. Every human being. How do we protect ourselves from the dangers of it? Saturate ourselves with truth. Surround ourselves in community and make sure that we are asking others to ask us hard questions. Ask the Lord to reveal our blind spots and make us sensitive to compromise. Examine ourselves against the light of the Word of God. The more we study the genuine article, the easier we will be able to identify the counterfeits.

Our fight is not against flesh and blood and how hard it is to not want to beat each other up. Our enemy is the devil, prowling around like a roaring lion and parading around disguised as an angel of light. As Jesus followers, our question shouldn’t be ‘whats too far?’ or ’what can I get away with?’ but rather, ‘Lord, how can my heart be more fully Yours?’ He’s the God of all the earth, our Redeemer, will He not delight to answer our prayer to make us more satisfied in Him, a people who are characterized by sexual integrity? Faithful is He who calls us and He will do it.

“A highway will be there, a roadway, and it will be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean will not travel on it, but it will be for him who walks that way, and fools will not wander on it. No lion will be there, nor will any vicious beast go up on it; these will not be found there. But the redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of the Lord will return and come with joyful shouting to Zion, with everlasting joy upon their heads. They will find gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.” Isaiah 35:8-10

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