Who said that it’s OK to “look, but don’t touch” when it comes to checking out women who aren’t your wife (or men who aren’t your husband)? Though most would call it an upgrade from “look then touch”, it is in no way a biblical concept. Let’s see what Jesus has to say about it:
Matthew 5: 27-30: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.”
Jesus says we need to deal with this very seriously. Looking and lusting is adultery of our heart, and starts us down the path to adultery of our body.
It’s especially hard when others dress in such a way to draw our eyes to places our eyes shouldn’t go. But we have to hold strong no matter what our culture throws at us.
Here are some practical tips I thought of to control our eyes (from a man’s perspective):
1. When you talk with a woman, look only at her face.
2. If you are more than a few feet away (i.e. they are walking toward you or vice-versa), obviously you will see all initially. Quickly look away. Also avoid the second look.
3. Beware of women running on the sidewalk. It’s tempting to catch a quick peek. (I see guys in cars ahead of me all the time do this.)
4. Think twice when wearing sunglasses. Yes, sunglasses. We are more likely to have wandering eyes if we think we can’t get caught even with our wife right beside us.
5. Consider an accountability partner and report to them how many inappropriate looks you do each week. Our guys group did this several years ago, and our number of “bad looks” dropped dramatically when we had to report in each week.
In our society where half of marriages end in divorce, we need to do everything in our power, even if counter-cultural, to preserve our marriages.