4 Realities of Lustful Looking

Lustful looking is so tacky, isn’t it? You know when you see guys oogling some woman or  guy up and down how repulsive it is. And most of us know the feeling of being that guy too. But beyond that, there are a few reasons why lustful looking is so damaging. Nevermind that its hurtful to our spouses/significant others. Here are 4 realities we need to acknowledge to begin moving beyond it:

  1. You are the only guardian of your heart. The more toxic junk you take in through your eyes, the more polluted your heart will be, thus the more that pollution will manifest in the way you live. As if original sin isn’t enough toxicity, lets add to the garbage dump, right? Wrong. You are the guardian of your heart. You are the gatekeeper, deciding what goes in, thus what comes out. The key here is to recognize that until you decide you’ll no longer give the world permission to use your heart and mind as a septic tank, you’ll continue to live like …. you get the picture. I’ve told this story before, but I’ll repeat it because it’s so fitting. A few years ago, when I still had hair, I was about to take my son to a barber shop I frequented. It was edgy, with fairly wild folks working there, racy posters of bands and rock stars, and dance-club music blaring. I felt hesitation as I was getting ready to leave and Shelley asked what it was about. I told her I was a little hesitant to take our son into the place. She looked at me dead pan and said, “then why would you go there?” Boom. In other words, why wouldn’t I protect my own heart the way I was thinking about protecting his? You have to protect your heart, because no else will.
  2. Your discontent is directly tied to your lustful looking. By nature, it breeds comparison, contrasting and thereby leads to criticism and discontent. Want to find more contentedness and satisfaction with the person your with? Want to stop always finding something wrong with their body, hair, skin, walk, height, shape, nails or idiosyncrasies? Give yourself a chance to find the person you’re with satisfactory. Give them a chance to feel satisfactory. Every look you take and image you register is yet another point of note to somehow breed discontent.
  3. You’re a thief every time you do it. Every lustful look steals a little bit of that persons dignity. You rob the person of their basic humanity divorce them of their soul and objectify them into organized flesh created for your own consumption. And let’s not even talk about gawking at someone dressed inappropriately and obviously looking for attention. To objectify them is to take their woundedness, capitalize on it for our own gain, then leave them with less self worth than we found them.
  4. Your lustful looking is a direct expression of your awe of God. A lot of men get this one backwards. To look lustfully at a woman is to admire God’s handiwork; that’s what I hear too often. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. To look lustfully at someone is to belittle, demean and desecrate God’s creation. Isn’t it interesting that God is so holy the folks he interacted with weren’t even able to see him? His majesty was so powerful, so overwhelming, so awe inspiring and his presence so intense that to look on him could result in death. Such was true of many kings who thought themselves to be god-like. When called into the presence of a king, the expectation was to look at the ground rather than to look directly at him, and especially not to make eye contact unless summoned to do so. The penalty for violating the etiquette could even be death. My point is this: the person you are looking lustfully at is handcrafted, by God, to reflect His own image and splendor. When we casually and flippantly look lustfully, we’re actually giving expression to our own lack of awe for and our arrogance towards the creator of the universe.

The point of this post isn’t to accuse or shame, but simply to be honest about what lustful looking is and does. We just can’t afford to soft sell it, downplay the effect, or to recklessly overlook it. Next time I’ll share a few key tips that help me move from lustful looking to a more redemptive reality.

10 thoughts on “4 Realities of Lustful Looking

  1. Thanks Jason. I was doing some spiritual battle this week on my lustful looking. Through prayer I heard guidance to do something different instead of ignoring, rationalizing, minimizing and justifying my sinful behaviour. James 5:16 says to ‘confess your sins and pray for one another that you may be healed’. So my course of action is to confess my sin to the woman I was lusting after and objectifying, admit how I was wrong and pray for forgiveness. The opportunity did not happen today as I had hoped so I will have to make the extra effort to do this when it is convenient for her and not just when it fits my schedule.

    • I personally don’t believe it is necessary to confess that particular sin to the woman. It may cause some trouble. I would confess it to another man and ask him to help you with your problem. I too, believe what the scripture says because I have three accountability partners and they are all men. I believe they are the best thing the Lord has ever done for me in my life. I pray for them every day as they pray for me. I pray with them every week at a set time, and have each of them as a partner with a program on all my electronic devices. God bless you.

      • I agree with William, Eric. I don’t think you should have contact with this woman, but avoid her for now to help you with your lustful thoughts of her, and seek out men who can help strengthen you through these desires of the flesh. Speaking with her about it may only intensify your desires and backfire on you. Prayers for you in your battle.
        God Bless.
        Todd.

    • Eric, I have to agree with the other comments. There is danger for both her and you if you confess to her that you were lusting after her.
      1. You could freak her out and scare her to death
      2. If she is dressing to get noticed, you are reinforcing the reasons why she’s doing that.
      3. Worst case is she responds to your confession, appreciates it, and wants to reciprocate your acknowledgement of her beauty and sexiness, and maybe you go get a coffee together.
      Sure a little extreme, but possible.
      I personally believe that I can’t obsess over someone/something I’m not looking at. So the point is obvious

  2. Jason. What a beautiful article. Yes I believe the men who look at women lustfully need to realize they are
    someone’s daughter or wife or sister and not an object for your pleasure! Unfortunately my Husband is a sex addicted So I now first hand the damage it does to the whole family!

    • I just found out my husband looks at porn. He supposedly stopped, put Covenant eyes on all but one device and I caught him yesterday. Now I’m numb. I don’t know what to feel, do or say. He says he has a problem and will sign up for a weekend of help from this site. Meanwhile, after 40 years, I don’t know what this means about our marriage.

      • Joan- please don’t give up on him. Work with him. Pray with him. He most likely isn’t doing it because he feels that he isn’t happy about your relationship. His addiction has overtaken him. He needs help. Does he connect with his accountability partners on CE? I have that on my devices but feel like I need a better more accountable partner.
        One to pray with and talk to when an urge surfaces. I pray that you can find the courage in your marriage to work this out and I hope for the best.

  3. I read most and follow New Life. You guys sometimes get carried away. Ex. suggestion to contact the woman. That’s nuts. Also, thank God for the women (Jill, Sherri) on your show, now. When I listen on Friday’s and it’s mostly old shows w/just “the boys” it’s kind-of creepy. There’s little representation, also, of people w/disabilities. When we are included it’s never in an empowering manner. Final thought…you know, of course, that all the prosteletizing and reference to stories written by fallible men (Bible) is just one point of view, of many belief systems on the planet. My Jewish, LDS, Muslim, etc. friends make equally compelling arguments for the potential destiny of all:). I listen and enjoy your show, among many other points of view. The funny thing is…all faiths are pure speculation, of course. Your insight is no more “accurate” than any other…no one has passed over and directly communicated back…:)! I’m sure you’d LOVE to dispute this, and/but that’s what you best:)!

    In closing, the incessant focus on “giving” financially…really detracts from your bigger message(s). Although I’m sure you’ll find something to validate the marketing onslaught…why not ask lightly and pray hard for donations? Won’t Christ provide? Also, nice re: Ireland and the light put-downs of an entire country (few churches, reference to alcohol, etc.)…then, redirecting and giving zero back to them upon return.

    All that being said, I do listen and even have lived near Anderson, IN when teaching at Ball State:).

    Take it easy.

  4. I am a deeply spiritual lady of 67. I married the man of my dreams at 19. We just celebrated # 48 anniversary. Cheating was NEVER in my mind. During his 40s, he had his midlife crisis which he desires at work; before, after work, and lunch hour. It wasn’t pretty and went on at least a year, until HE stopped it. She, then, got mad at him and had somebody call and tell me about it and she wrote me letters, all the while HE said “nobody knows about it”. Everybody knew about it. She solicited other workers to try to talk him into coming back to her but no one would do that.
    Because of this, I had a nervous breakdown, and had to spend 3 weeks in the mental hosp. and get 7 shock treatments. He became IMPOTENT and has been for the last 16 years. He won’t go get help, so we live like sister and brother.
    After 5 counselors, he still blames me and always will………..That was HIS choice! I was NOT the one opening the doors and walking in her apartment.
    This is how affairs destroy marriages. I still live here because MY vows said “till death do us part”. Thank you.

  5. Help ! …Pornography is destroying my marriage. My husband looks at Porn , on the computer, or on the television in our bedroom when he thinks l am alseep. I have since moved out of our bed room.
    Meg

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