Removing yourself from temptation is the best defense. One misstep, like glimpsing a magazine page, quickly reviewing a website or watching a racy DVD, is all it would take to cause someone to fall down a pretty slippery slope.
Sometimes you get mail that doesn’t belong to you. It’s addressed to your neighbor, but you don’t realize it until you’ve opened it either a little bit or all the way.
This happened recently to someone I know who thought she received a statement from her financial advisor. The packaging looked identical. She had only opened it slightly when she happen to catch some graphics and photos that were a clear indication this was a statement of a different kind. It was a statement about the degradation of women, in my opinion; it was a Playboy magazine.
She quickly turned the package over to see who the addressee was and discovered it belonged to a neighbor on the next street over who shared the same number address. She explained to her husband what happened and they agreed to simply return it to their mailbox with a note saying wrong address.
Her husband shared with her that he was glad he hadn’t retrieved the mail. He confessed how the allure is so great for a man that he might have torn the package open and glanced through the pages, and then claimed ignorance about knowing what he was opening. Her husband told her he didn’t even like the thought of the magazine sitting in his mailbox overnight. So his wife took it back to the post office that day.
Some people may read that and think they took extreme action, but I think he was wise to avoid the temptation. I know it might be hard for women to understand how a magazine in a mailbox could pose such a threat, but I admire this man for admitting to the attraction and sharing it with his wife. It’s also critical that his wife didn’t overreact or take it personally that her husband would desire photographs of other women. It’s a very sensitive area that is difficult to expose.
It’s not because men are just perverted, but rather they carry a boatload of testosterone, and it rages through their body, causing them to drown in sexual thoughts at a moment’s notice. A photograph. A suggestive commercial. A racy joke. It doesn’t take much to get their motor running.
I admit I keep a lot of checks on myself in this area. Let me offer a few helpful suggestions if it’s a struggle in your life.
First, talk with your spouse about it. This can be a very intimidating conversation, but if you can be honest, you will make great strides in the type of openness you can have with each other.
Second, with all the flood of material at your fingertips, be sure to put up barriers and walls to protect yourself from getting to it. There are many software programs available to help in that area.
Attraction to pornography is not just a male issue. Some statistics I came across indicate that 1 in 3 visitors to pornographic websites is a woman, and 17 percent of women struggle with a pornography addiction. Statistically, men still rank higher as viewers of pornographic sites, with 72 percent men compared with 28 percent women, but women do wrestle with the enticement.
Removing yourself from temptation is the best defense. One misstep, like glimpsing a magazine page, quickly reviewing a website or watching a racy DVD, is all it would take to cause someone to fall down a pretty slippery slope. Take the path of least resistance, return unwanted materials to sender, and, hopefully, you can stay on solid ground.
Dan Seaborn is a non-denominational Christian evangelist and a published author of such books as "The Necessary Nine: How to Stay Happily Married for Life!" He is the founder of Winning at Home Inc., a ministry that focuses its attention on the relationships between a husband and wife and between parents and their children.