Avert your eyes, Son.
His dad started saying it to him from the youngest age - when he was only a little boy. Might have been an alluring commercial while watching the ballgame. Or a billboard while driving down the highway. A pop-up on the computer screen.
As parents, we had purposed to teach him purity from the beginning.
And you wouldn't think that would be too tough to do where we live. We're out in the country, somewhere on the outskirts of a small western town. But that hardly matters anymore.
Temptation can be found anywhere.
Even in Target.
Target? Yeah, I know. That's what I thought too. Until one day we popped in to pick up some flip-flops for the summer and I remarked how he kept bumping into things.
What is your problem, Son??
"I'm just looking down, Mom," And with a nod, he indicated the ads placed strategically above us. Billboards for the lingerie department. Yikes. I'd not seen them.
But then again...I'm not a vulnerable young man either.
I'm sorry the Enemy tries to pull you down everywhere you turn. I feel badly we live in a world that's so ready to compromise a man's commitment to clean living. It's never been easy - only it's far worse now.
Is there nowhere a young man can safely go?
Maybe a Christian family camp. You'd think.
It was a hot July day and we all packed up and headed out for fun and fellowship with a bunch of other believers. Picnic blankets, cold watermelon, and squirt guns. It was promising to be a great day.
So I was surprised to see our oldest son hanging back from the festivities. He's an outgoing guy and usually one of the first out there mixing it up. Except not this time. He stayed close to our small spot and played with his little brothers instead.
What is your problem, Son??
He hesitated for a moment. Then answered, "Mom, I don't know what to do. Dad's taught me to 'avert my eyes', but there doesn't seem anywhere I can turn here."
I glanced around and then saw what he meant.
Most of the ladies there were dressed for a hot summer day. Many with bare skin exposed. Lots of bareness. Yikes, again. Who would have thought he'd have to wrestle with it here?
I noticed a pretty girl nearby and wondered if she realized how difficult she was making it for a guy. Surely, she would have made another choice if she had. She might have thrown a light blouse on over her tank top. Slipped on a longer, breezy skirt. Picked out some walking shorts or a shirt with a higher neckline. She might have covered herself up.
If she only understood how hard he's trying to do the right thing. She might have dressed differently. For his sake. For the sake of all the men out there who want to walk in purity.
If she only knew that the way she dressed up meant a good man needed to look down. He had to turn away from her beauty. That he was missing out on her loveliness because she was showing him more than he was meant to see.
Because we can teach our sons to avert their eyes. To lower their gaze. But what can we do as Christian women? We can't leave our guys stuck in a place where there's nowhere left to turn.
Let's choose modesty - modesty that allows a woman's true beauty to shine through.
In like matter also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation (I Tim. 2:9a).
In His grace,