Bounce Your Eyes

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.
  • 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.
  • 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. You can also call 800-NEW-LIFE (639-5433)

28 thoughts on “Bounce Your Eyes

  1. Thank you for this information. I have read the “Every Man’s Battle” book and have to say that it has taken me a long time to achieve success. I have finally made “bouncing” an automatic action. This really works. Thank you.

  2. I had always been taught that men look, so I just needed to deal with it. Those words were from my sex-addict step father. But I’ve learned it in church too, that it’s just the way God made men, so women have a responsibility not to “cause” them to lust.

    Reading EMB brought tears to my eyes as I realized my gut was right all along – men have a choice in what they look at. I understand the strong urge to look. But a real man will make the choice to look away. That kind of man would be my hero.

  3. My 18 year old son brought this to me saying, “this is the most ridiculous, insulting thing I’ve ever seen. How about they mature past age 12 and stop thinking ‘boobies’ every time a woman walks by? I know – what if when they come upon a woman they stop thinking they might want to boink her and say to themselves ‘oh look – a HUMAN BEING’.”

    You deal with scantily clad women by becoming comfortable enough with the female form that it doesn’t phase you. As I taught my boys, “I don’t care is a woman walks up to you wearing nothing but the skin she came in, you dang well better look her in the eye and talk to her like any other human.” I would be ashamed of my son’s if they behaved as you suggest here. (And for the record, my boys are virgins, don’t plan to date until they are ready to think about marriage and who both vocally oppose porn and have left sleep overs early rather than watch it. It’s entirely possible to raise moral men with out teaching them to treat women like Medusa.)

    • Rebecca Trotter,
      Well said. As I read the article, I was thinking, ‘how incredibly sophomoric’… ; your son showed maturity beyond his years with a similar sentiment.
      Men will always be fighting this an impossible battle if they continue to consider women first of all a lustful temptation to be avoided until ‘they get this area of their life under control’.
      Your son called it when he suggested that considering a fellow human being, a fellow image bearer would be a more appropriate response when meeting a woman. Kudos for you for raising sons of this caliber with such character!

    • I believe by dwelling on such stuff like “making a list of your enemies” etc. men set themselves up to fail. Amen to you Rebecca. A healthy does of respect and equality is needed as well as refusing to dwell on those “Thou shalt not” verses. Inevitably, those who dwell on such things will let those things be their downfall.

      • Well said! It was a bit hard not to read “women are the enemy” into that. Perhaps he meant the sexualization of them, but when he is referring to girls just out for a jog? I mean, no wonder men like this get upset when the numbers of women rise in the workforce if this is the kind of thing they have to do to just avoid sinning. I’d lose my mind, too.

    • Someone raised her boys right! Yes! The biggest problem here is not that men lust (btw, women do too, sorry guys) but that men forget women are human beings. Every attractive or unattractive woman was someone’s baby girl and she does not exist to either tempt nor help men. I hope you are proud of the amazing boys you have. I know too many adult Christian men who drive themselves close to insanity trying to control their thoughts at every instance. They do it out of a belief that they are doing right by women, so I can’t be angry at them, but I do pity them for just how harsh they are on their own natures because they can’t just see a woman – process their attraction to her normally – and go about their day. That obsession with sex causes them to either fear women or hate them or themselves. That’s not right, that’s sad.

      Sometimes I wonder why the church is so confused by homosexuality when their determination to eliminate the natural thoughts and curiosities of heterosexual attraction is so so strong. Or why they think this weird distaste with all things sex will just happily dissolve after marriage vows are taken.

    • God bless you. You are a fine example of a righteous person and a good mother. I wish more sons were raised the way you raised yours.

    • I always love when a woman shows up to criticize men’s issues. That’s like me showing up to a site that tries to help women and tell them to quit being so dramatic and then compare how much better someone else than you.
      Grow up, men and women both have issues – and I hate to tell you this. If your son is able to look a woman in the eyes who walks up to him in “nothing but skin” – he’s gay.

  4. Both methods work. Being a youth pastor I have met parents who have taught their sons to respect women, stay pure before The Lord, etc. they tell their mom and lead parents to believe everything is all good but struggle with their lusting(Staring), or worse watch porn. The focus is on Christ and staying pure before The Lord. Men have to be able to stand firm in his faith amidst half dressed women. At the same time, bouncing the eyes so that lust does not win the moment works! Women are not objects but at the same time, when a women is jogging with skin tight yoga pants that you can see nearly everything, to bounce the eyes and refocus on The Lord is not a bad battle plan.

    • I can tell when men “bounce” their eyes. It’s a signal that the man is a creep. Not that he is a upstanding person, or has God in mind at all when he sees women. It’s a dead giveaway that your initial thought about me as a woman is that I am something to avoid, that I possess things for you to avoid even though my existence has nothing to do with you, your wants, your needs, your desires.

      When you are still bouncing, you still haven’t developed the respect for me or any woman that we deserve. And I don’t think that lack of respect for women makes Jesus particularly pleased, either.

      • As I read all the above comments it became clear to me the familiar saying ‘people mock what they don’t understand’. It is easy to judge another person. To place ones scorn on another I think in of itself is an addiction. Denial is the lie that binds us to addictive behavior. In todays society, judging others is an honored past time. Coworkers judge each other, teens judge their peers, people judge who they pass on the street. I wonder if those whose comments I’ve read look upon a homeless person with such scorn, or an obese person that defies your fashion sense. There is always a story to person’s addiction or addictive behavior. Rather than identify that person as a human being, you look down your nose at them, announce your judgement upon them, and proclaim your moral superiority over them. Feel better about yourself?
        Jesus said, “those without sin cast the first stone.” He didn’t judge anyone. While he was suffering for you and me on the cross he said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
        A man who is bouncing his eyes has identified he has an issue and is trying to correct it. He is attempting to not make a provision for his weakness. He is not in denial. He is denying the occasion to sin.
        If you are free of all known weaknesses, and are perfect enough to judge, then try praying for that person and ask God to heal him or her from whatever they are struggling to over come.

      • you are clueless.. stop commenting.. You do NOT understand what men struggle with so do NOT comment on something you know NOTHING about.

  5. I hear what Rebecca is saying, but I must say, that I do not find this article for immature men at all. Any man who is endevouring to stop lusting is a good man who is showing maturity. Bouncing the eyes, in situations where a woman is Dressed in a suggestive manner, is what every man should do. And yes, if you speak with her, look her in the eyes. Nothing about this article suggested otherwise I don’t believe.
    Let me say this. I am considered an attractive woman. Almost everywhere I go men stare at me. They stare with their wives/girlfriends present. They stare with their friends. They stare when they are by themselves. Where are all these men who don’t stare? What I am saying is, Most men stare. It seems to me advice like this article gives is certainly in order. It has become Knee Jerk for most men to stare when they see pretty/sexy. It’s not okay, especially if that man has a wife or is in a relationship. I can understand to some degree that single men may be looking for “Miss Right” and you can’t find her if your blindfolded. 😉 but be careful what/who you are looking at and why you are looking. Check your thoughts and feelings. And I applaud any man who is doing what he can to honor God and his wife by being careful where he looks and what he thinks. Hats off to you men. You are heros in a world without restraint.

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  8. I’m a tomboy. I wear nothing but jeans and tshirts. I run in athletic shorts to my knee and tshirts. So why would any man need to “bounce his eyes” from me? Here is the thing, they do. And what does this tell me about my worth? It tells me that there is something wrong with me. I’m not the problem. I didn’t tell anyone to look at me as a sex object. It’s not about bouncing eyes and thinking of the Lord. It’s about RES

    • RESPECT! Respect for me as a human being. My gender has nothing to do with it. If a man cannot look at a woman – attractive or other wise – and can’t appreciate her beauty respectfully, he is VERY immature. He is exactly like the men in rap videos. He turns me into an object just like the rap songs do. You’re so worried about men here, yet have given NO thought to the negative effects this has on women. But as long as the men are happy, I guess we don’t matter that much.

      • Thank you for teaching young men it’s all about them. It’s this mindset that leaves them entirely clueless as to what consent is and makes universities have to define it for them.

  9. The Lord Jesus said “you have heard it said thou shall not commit adultery, but I say to you whenever you look at a woman lustfully you have commited adultery, it is better to enter heaven without your lustful eye than enter hell with both eyes
    and I want my mind to be clean, no impure sexual thoughts and/or images
    Lord I want to be Your Godly man, Holy Spirit help me please

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