You are invited to lust

February 9, 2013

in Sexuality

Earlier this week when my bride and I were in town, we went to a movie. When we purchased out tickets we were told we had “earned” a free drink and popcorn on our rewards card. The movie was about to start, so we agreed I would buy the goodies and Lori would secure seats in the theatre. 

An invitation to lust © Rivertracks | Dreamstime.com

It was afternoon, and there was no one in line at the concession stand. I had two people ready to help me; a well-endowed gal in a low-cut top, and a fellow who looked bored. I went to the fellow.

Could I have gone to the young lady showing huge amounts of cleavage and not sinned? Yes, I could have. Had there been a line at the other register I would have. So why did I choose to avoid her? First, I prefer not being exposed to cleavage other than that of my lovely bride. Second, I was a bit annoyed this young lady was a walking invitation to lust. I doubt she knew or intend it; even those women who “get it” tend to under-estimate the effect they can have. However, she had chosen to dress so as to show a great deal of her breasts (other female employees were much more covered, so this was not a matter of a uniform; it was her choice). She made a choice, and I made a choice.

The main point here is LUST IS A CHOICE. I’m not talking about the initial reaction we have when we see too much skin – we cannot control that because the reaction happens before our conscious mind has the chance to recognise the situation and make a choice. When I say lust is a choice, I mean what happens after we are aware of what we are seeing and able to make choices.

Where is the line? If you can’t go to the cleavage-showing cashier without looking at her cleavage, you are probably over the line. If you’re going to think about what she would look like wearing even less, or what it would be like to be with her in any way, you are definitely over the line. If you have a choice of cashiers and choose the one showing the most cleavage, you are at the very least willing to flirt with the line.

You will receive a number of invitations to lust next week. Some will be minor, some will be blatant. Each invitation gives you a choice – what do you want your choice to be?

A word to the ladies: You will see here I am putting the choice to lust on the men. However, an invitation to lust is a choice women make. At best such an invitation is unloving, at worst it is being a source of temptation, and Jesus said it is better to have a millstone hung around your neck and be thrown into the sea than to be that person. We all have choices, and the bad choice of one person does not excuse, justify, or negate the bad choice of another.

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17 comments
HugovanderKooij
HugovanderKooij

How do you learn children to dress themselves well in this regard? I struggle in getting the message understood that inviting someone in this way is a choice which should have a very select audience. Both of us, my bride and me, try to show the need for modesty in public but joy in abundance in private in regard to her body.

hcthompson2
hcthompson2

Thank you for this article.  It is straightforward and to the point.

hcthompson2
hcthompson2

Thank you for this article.  It is straightforward and to the point.  

peterdjames
peterdjames

This is a constant battle that I don't always do well with, but one tactic I have found helpful especially when relocating isn't an option is to immediately pray FOR the woman I am tempted to lust at. I say something to the effect of "God, please show her your true and better beauty, identity and love. And show me too." That way it keeps me from lusting and being bitter and hateful toward her. --- Peterdanieljames.com A blog showing Christian men and women how God's promises are better than lust's, while offering gospel-powered strategies for holistic change.

peterdjames
peterdjames

This is a constant battle that I don't always do well with, but one tactic I have found helpful especially when relocating isn't an option is to immediately pray FOR the woman I am tempted to lust at. I say something to the effect of "God, please show her your true and better beauty, identity and love. And show me too." That way it keeps me from lusting and being bitter and hateful toward her. --- Peterdanieljames.com A blog showing Christian men and women how God's promises are better than lust's, while offering gospel-powered strategies for holistic change.

Brian
Brian

Wise words, and well said. Thanks for the reminder

Joel
Joel

Yeah, I got a blatant invite at the park when I went with my little girls. I had a split second to choose, lust, or my bride. I praise God that I chose my bride and to help myself out further to flee temptation I shared with my wife about the underdressed lady and thanked my bride for her modesty in public. Once I shared the info with her, the invitation was revealed as what it was-an opportunity to steal from my bride. I have found that when I share it with my bride in that manner, first, she is aware that I am on guard and not accepting invitations, and second, to share in this manner takes the luster off of the invitation to lust/sin. If I had been alone, I know that the best choice would have been to quickly relocate. It is a choice, my choice. We as men can never accept invitations to lust, even for a second. It is hard work, but the reward is so worth it. Preach on brother!

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@HugovanderKooij This is a difficult issue for sure. Our kids care more about what culture says than what their parent say.

I think we need to set boundaries, and also explain those boundaries. I helped our daughter understand how boys look at girls, and the meaning the attach to showing a lot. I suspect we embarrassed her on occasion, but she did get the message.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband

@peterdjames Very true - it's difficult to lust after someone you are praying for!

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

Joel - I agree that sharing these invitations with our wives is both wise and helpful. I decide to share EVERY significant invitation to lust that I receive, it is easier to decline those invitations because if I don't I have to confess that to my bride.

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