In talking to alumni over the past few weeks, the thing that seems to keep cropping up is, ‘It’s summertime, and the women are wearing less clothing. How do I deal with that?’ This summer is the perfect opportunity to practice ‘bouncing the eyes’ as Steve Arterburn and Fred Stoeker wrote about in the ‘Every Man\’s Battle‘ book.
First of all, what exactly is meant by ‘bouncing the eyes?’ Well, as those of you who have read the book will know, it’s not complicated, but it is extremely effective. Steve writes: ‘The problem is that your eyes have always bounced toward the sexual, and you’ve made no attempt to end this habit. To combat it, you need to build a reflex action by training your eyes to immediately bounce away from the sexual, like the jerk of your hand away from a hot stove. Let’s repeat that for emphasis: When your eyes bounce toward a woman, they must bounce away immediately”’..If you bounce your eyes for six weeks, you can win this war.’ As I write this, it is the middle of July, which means there are six weeks left of summer. Coincidence? I think not!
First Step: Make a List of Your Enemies!
The first way to start, Fred tells us, is by making a list of your ‘greatest enemies.’ These could be lingerie ads, either in a seemingly harmless department store catalog, or that Victoria’s Secret magazine that your wife left laying around. It could include billboards, it could be TV shows or ads, it may be female joggers, or maybe it’s that female co-worker who tends to dress a little suggestively. And then there’s always the beach.
Second Step: Set up a Battle Plan!
In any event, the second step is to set up a ‘battle plan,’ a way you are going to get victory. Let’s look at each of our examples.
If you are looking at a department store catalog, make a covenant with your eyes and with yourself that you will only look at men’s clothes, and then you will close it. And if Victoria’s Secret is an issue, simply ask your wife to be discreet with where she leaves it. She will respect you for being honest with her. If billboards are a problem on your drive into work, and an alternate route is out of the question, make a mental note of which streets or exits on the freeway the billboards falls between, and then as you approach that area, focus on something else; prayer, some verses you’ve memorized, or even something else near the road that is neutral. As far as the TV goes, use your TV guide, turn on one show that you know is safe, and don’t flip around during commercials. Or if you’re watching a ball game and the advertisements are the problem, have the remote handy, and when the commercials come on, go to a program that you have already designated as being safe. Joggers. Practice bouncing your eyes to the other side of the road, or straight ahead. It will be tough at first but if you continue to do it, it will get easier as time goes on. And at work, again, practice bouncing the eyes onto something else when that female comes into your line of sight. Have a picture of your family at your work place. Pretend that your wife, or if you’re single, maybe Jesus, is sitting next to you at your desk or wherever you’re working. And if you have a problem at the beach, don’t go, at least until you feel this part of your life is under control. There are other ways to have fun during the summer.
The above suggestions are admittedly not rocket science, but too many of us neglect them. Let’s use this summer as a way to get victory, not an excuse to act out. Make it a goal to be regularly bouncing your eyes by Labor Day. God will honor you for it.
For more help see Every Man\’s Battle.