Maybe I’m the only one who thinks this is funny, but every time I read Jesus’ words about lust in the Sermon on the Mount, I think about pirates.
After all, the only people I know with one eye and one hand are pirates. I’m guessing Jesus isn’t being overly literal here because to my knowledge, pirates were not known for their chastity.
Instead, I wonder if he’s saying it’s far better to go to extreme measures, including physical pain if it meant protecting yourself from fleeting pleasures and counterfeit love. Over and over again in Proverbs, Solomon, who when it came to women made pirates look like they all wore purity rings, warned his son, “Do not desire her beauty in your heart, and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes” (6:25). While he was specifically talking about an adulterous woman, from Jesus’ interpretation, we could apply this to any image or person outside a spouse.
Solomon continued, “Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned? Or can one walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched? He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself.” (6:27-28; 32)
Jesus calls us to purity not because he’s the fun police, but because he’s fighting for our joy. He created sex. He knows best how it’s to be enjoyed. When we train our bodies and brains to be satisfied by pixels rather than people, we miss out on the intimacy he longs for us to experience. Sex, porn, and flames burning outside of a covenant marriage may be fun for a season, but eventually, it will torch lasting joy.
In a word, pornography has the propensity to transform men and women into pirates – pillagers of others to fulfill my sexual needs, wants, and fantasies. Such piracy only leads to a life of never-ending craving rather than lifelong satisfaction
God designed us as human beings for intimacy, and not just the biological act of sex. Intimacy requires me to think about another’s needs, wants, and desires. When I die to self, I find life, happiness, and long-lasting satisfaction.
Do you need to take some extreme measures to protect God’s gift of intimacy? Maybe you need to confess a secret addiction, purge a browser off your devices, or get into a regular group where there’s strict accountability. It’s worth it. When it comes to true sexual satisfaction, the pirate’s life is not for you. You were made for more.
Written by UNCOMMEN coach, Brian Goins, Sr. Creative Director of FamilyLife and author of Playing Hurt: A Guy’s Strategy for a Winning Marriage (http://catapultconcepts.org/) and Executive Producer on the documentary, “Brain, Heart, World: The Harmful Side-Effects of Pornography.”
Scripture: Matthew 5:27-30, Proverbs 6:25-32
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