Olympic Figure Skating – 2014 – Some of the most gifted athletes in the world are figure skaters. It is hard for me to wrap my brain around what they have to do in order to succeed in their field. The amount of dedication and discipline probably surpasses any other sport. If it does not surpass them all, it is definitely in the upper echelon of the most difficult disciplines to master.
After you throw in the amount of pressure that a worldwide audience brings, the high definition scrutiny of cameras from every possible angle, and the mental requirements to pull off a one-and-done event, it is beyond my comprehension as to how they do it. I love discipline and dedication from any person and when I see it, my soul is motivated to persevere too.
Ice skating is what they do.
Now let me tell you what I do. I’m a Christian who has spent thousands of hours, over many years, living in the underside of Christianity. The underside of Christianity is where we keep all our dirty laundry–the unmentionables. The things most Christians don’t want to talk about or don’t know how to engage.
One of the most common issues I deal with is the devastation of sinful sex. It could be porn. Maybe it’s sexual abuse. It certainly includes adultery. It’s most definitely lust. Our secular culture and Christian community alike have a problem with sex. There is no need to make a case for this. We know it’s true. We are a highly and overly sexualized culture.
Wrongful sexual activity does not begin in a person’s behaviors. It begins in the twisted desires of the heart (James 1:14-15). There is always a long and secret trail that leads to sinful, sexual activity. This should not discourage us, but call us to greater discernment to be more wise when it comes to guarding our minds from the things that can seduce us.
I’m not expecting or even asking for figure skating to go away. That’s not my concern or my campaign. I think it would be futile and foolish to spend my waking hours thinking about such a thing.
What I am asking is for us to enter into a more mature dialogue about some of the things we watch. I suspect many wives would not perceive a problem with figure skating because they do not see it as another woman showing her crotch in a provocative way to her husband. I’m sure they would not frame it this way. There is a good chance they have not considered how husbands can be tempted to look and lust.
Whether a young woman wearing something comparable to a thong does this on TV, in your living room, at a Sunday morning church meeting, or at the local mall, it would not matter. The temptation for most men would be to look at what she is revealing and think unholy thoughts.
My wife loves figure skating. I’m glad she does. I want her to watch it. I also enjoy the art and discipline of the sport too, but it does not do my soul good to watch attractive women in poses that arouse my sinful heart. This is why we talk about it. I want Lucia to know I am tempted to lust after scantily dressed women.
This is my appeal to the Christian community: can we talk about this? Will you–husband and wife–take the time to talk about this temptation, as well as any other temptation that may trip you up and motivate you to fall into sin? Why wait until it is time to go to counseling? Be mature. Be honest. Be transparent. And, by all means, be preventative.
This might not be your problem, but I assure you, it’s a problem among most men. Don’t look down on men or uncharitably judge them. You have your problems too. My prayer is that thousands of couples will be able to talk about their temptations to lust, regardless of how they are tempted, and that the LORD will bless their humble conversations by giving them a deeper understanding of and a more profound love for each other.
Weekend Shorts are shorter articles about random topics from Rick Thomas.