One of the greatest stands a man can make against sexual sin is to appropriate the Grace of God for the purpose of self control of his eyes. We live in a highly visually sensual society where women are encouraged to be looked at and men are encouraged to look. Even in the Christian community, when appearance and modesty are brought up in conversation it solicits a reaction from both men and women. Women respond against being told that modesty should be considered because they interpret that as being told what they should wear by someone; and men respond against this conversation by saying it is no big deal how women dress because they can handle it.
Job 31:1 says, “I have made a covenant with my eyes; why then should I look upon a young woman?” A covenant with my eyes? What does that mean, how is that done? A covenant is a binding agreement and pledge; it has depth, somberness and integrity. It is more that just waking up in the morning and thinking about being on guard about what you look at during the day. A covenant promotes a solid change of life and lifestyle, not just a cautionary warning that says, “you shouldn’t be looking at this.” A covenant changes the way you live and function in life. Consider the covenant of marriage; “forsaking all others and keeping only unto your spouse as long as you shall live.” Now that mandates a few things; no more dating, no more flirting, no more independence, no more availability for intimate friendships with a woman. It also mandates exclusiveness to one woman who is the focus of your desires, thoughts and attentions.
So when Job says he made a covenant with his eyes, he understood that the eyes feed his soul, whether for the good and benefit or the evil and destruction of his soul. Job understood that this meant a resolve to eliminate all unnecessary associations with environments which would promote any kind of temptation. Let’s face it, when a man is in sexual sin, the eyes play a significant part in that sin. Primarily the sinful heart is the issue, but the eyes are feeding the heart. And I have found that most men I counsel struggle at eliminating visual things from their life; television, movies, locations, internet… men will fight tooth and nail at keeping some access to these things justifying the reasonableness of doing so. They say that it is just, “unreasonable, not practical and too rigid to take such a strong stance concerning their entertainment and relaxation habits. Even wives resist at the thought of not watching their favorite programs or going to their favorite places for the sake of their husband who is in sexual sin. To me, that is just pure delusion. If you think you can overcome sexual sin while feeding the lustful heart you are deceived. This is a must, a necessity and a scriptural mandate to make a “covenant with your eyes.” And that means an absolute forsaking of all things which titillate the lusting soul. If you are serious about conquering sexual sin, then you must become serious about forsaking all other stimulus.
Psalms 101:2-3 says, “I will behave wisely in a perfect way. Oh when will you come to me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will not know wickedness.”
In this Psalms we see some important points for a strategy to live out on a daily basis, let me highlight them for you.
- To be wise in our behavior; to be blameless in our motives and intents of our heart.
- Foolish reasoning will keep you in bondage. It is not foolish to know that you cannot handle something because of sinful propensities, that is wisdom! Foolishness and pride go together and lie to you saying you can handle it, and then ensnare you into sin.
If you are serious about becoming free from sexual sin and enslavement you will begin to challenge the things which you look with intent at.