Men and Temptation

What happens to make a man go wrong? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Over Christmas, Allie and I went out with my Dad to a Mexican restaurant. My mother hasn’t been feeling well and I appreciate your prayers for her. Because of that, she was unable to go. On the way home, we started talking about moral issues and that included pastors who have gone astray, but especially in the area of sexuality.

I have written before about what the life of temptation is like for a man. For my part, I take it as a point to not be alone in a car with a woman who is not my wife unless they are a close relative like my mother, sister, or mother-in-law. It’s not worth any risk. I also try to avoid sharing personal details with other women and definitely never think I am above temptation. That’s one of the surest signs you will fall for it.

It’s not a struggle for me, but if pornography is one for you, I can’t recommend enough that you get some sort of protection for your computer to make sure you don’t go to sites you shouldn’t go to. It would be ideal if you just reached a moral resolution and didn’t want to go and that was sufficient, but if this is what it takes, it is what it takes. Your reputation is worth it and if you are married, your marriage is worth it.

Why do men fall though? We fall because this is a strong and powerful drive in our lives for one thing. If a wife really wants to motivate her husband, there’s no secret that sex is one of the best motivators for something. The sad thing is that it can also be a motivator for bad behavior, especially if another woman seems really interested.

By the way, this is something women often miss. Their husbands don’t just want the deed itself. They want a woman who is interested in it and is interested in being with them. It gives a man feelings of respect and being desired and that is incredibly motivating to a man. I think this could be one of the reasons Paul tells married couples in 1 Cor. 7 to not withhold except by mutual consent and even then, don’t let it be for long.

But another bigger problem is the lack of the church. The church is not teaching on this issue. Turn on your average sitcom and you get the world’s view of sex. Turn on the radio and listen to a lot of the music and you get the world’s view of sex. Turn on the evening news and you get the world’s view of sex. Go to the movies and you get the world’s view of sex. Check the magazine rack at the grocery store. Overhear water cooler talk or locker room talk and you get it.

We are bombarded with this material, but somehow, we think that one Sunday a year if even that much on the topic will be enough to overcome that. I even know of someone who said he went to a Christian marriage seminar and the whole time, not a thing was said about sex. It’s not like this is an add-on to marriage that is no big deal.

If we are going to win the battle of temptation, men need to keep themselves accountable. They definitely need to know that the church is a safe place to talk about their temptations. Keep in mind also I am not denying that women are tempted. Of course, they are. I am still writing for men since it’s easier to speak from my own perspective.

We also need a whole worldview of sex. Men and women both do. We need to understand the role and purpose it plays in life and in marriage. The world actually has a very reductionistic view of sex turning it into just a favorite hobby that men and women do together. It’s nothing about having and building up a commitment. You can do it with pretty much anyone.

Christians are to be better and that also means we are to have better marriages. If someone has no plans of marriage, then they need to be willing to accept lifelong celibacy as the trade. If they do marry, then it is a lifetime commitment of faithfulness to that one person for life.

The world wants to show that they are the ones getting the best out of everything. We know better. The sad thing is we’re not demonstrating it, and maybe that’s because we really don’t believe it. This is not our idea. This is God’s idea. He created the whole system and everything connected with it. Let’s live our lives and marriages before the world in a way to honor His way and the gift that He gave.

In Christ,
Nick Peters