Tonight, I plan to sit my teenage boys down on the couch and ask them a pretty awkward question. It’s a question I never thought I’d ask and I’m a little angry that I even need to ask it. What is the question?
Have you seen Kim Kardashian naked?
Why would I ask this?
Because my teenage boys use the Internet. And they’re teenagers. Did I mention that? True, I monitor their history, but it’s getting hard to keep track of all the iPods, iPhones and iPads floating around our house. I’m also smart enough to know that Kim Kardashian’s nude photo shoot is all over the Internet—especially Facebook—and it’s likely they’ve seen all or some of Kim at this point. I’m hoping for the latter, of course.
When I sit down with my boys, these are the five things I hope to share with them after asking the Kim K. question—whether they’ve seen the images or not.
1. You can’t always control what you see, but you can control the second look.
Protect your eyes at all cost. I know you come across a million images every day and you can’t always control what flashes before them, but you can control your gaze. Be discerning and listen to the Holy Spirit. Remember, you have a choice. What you choose to dwell on is in your power. You can choose to go down a path of lust, broken relationships and cheapened intimacy or you can reserve your eyes and your hearts for something much better, for something God designed you for—Purity. Here’s the truth though… You won’t win the battle every day. There’s a good chance you will blow it sometimes. When that happens—pack your bags. Just kidding, I want you to come and talk to me. Seriously, talk to me.
2. It’s OK to appreciate beauty, but never confuse beauty with porn.
Porn is taking something that never belonged to you with your eyes. It cheapens women and it cheapens intimacy. Porn freely gives away something that was only meant to be experienced between a husband and a wife. I don’t mind if you appreciate beauty—God wired you that way, but don’t take that step from appreciation to objectification. For the record, any nudity counts. Except for statues. Well, some statues. Let’s table the statue thing for now.
3. Treat women as sisters and mothers.
The Apostle Paul sat down with a young church leader once and gave him this advice—treat older women as mothers and younger women as sisters. That advice still stands. There’s only one woman’s body you should look at naked—and enjoy—and that’s your wife’s. Kim K. is old enough to be your mother. If you saw your mother in pictures like this, what would you do? Please say, “Look away.” That’s the right answer. That’s always the right answer.
4. Your heart is at stake.
The images and thoughts you put into your mind will have a direct impact on your heart. We’re called to protect our hearts–not just as an afterthought, but above all else. Why? Because it’s the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23). What you see matters because it changes who you are and who you’ll become. God wants you to grow in purity so that when the time comes you’ll be capable of intimacy, love and passion the way God intended. When you look at porn it has consequences. God’s grace covers our sins, for sure, but we still live with the consequences of our actions. Don’t forget that. Also, masturbation will make you blind. OK, that was a joke. Or was it?
5. In our house, we love and respect women. Period.
The world wants to use women and throw them away like objects. As disciples, we’re called to be a part of God’s great plan of redemption. When we love, protect and empower women to be who God wants them to be we’re partnering with God in his great act of re-creating the world in heaven’s ways. When we demean women and treat them as objects, we’re working for the wrong team. Don’t work for the wrong team, please.
Also, one more thing: God made our bodies and God made sex. Both are pretty awesome. Don’t for a second think they’re not, but God designed sex for marriage—not for the Internet.