Porn and Sports Illustrated

It began at the County Market grocery store. I can’t tell you how old I was. I went into the store with one of my cousins. 

The magazine section was always a fun part of the store. 

They had the marital arts magazines! Yes!

They had the car magazines! Yes! 

And they had…the Sports Illustrated magazines! Yes! Yes! Yes!

 I loved those magazines. I was never good at sports, but at least I tried. We didn’t have cable, but I could keep up with these magazines. 

Then one day my cousin and I went to the grocery store and there it was…the Sports Illustrated swim suit edition. Whoa! 

Those women were so beautiful. We decided to buy one of these magazines one day. We went to the check out line…and…well…the woman at the check out line looked at us, then the swim suit edition, then back at us and said, “You are not buying this magazine!” Ha! We couldn’t believe it. 

In hindsight I wish we were wise enough to grasp why she told us no. What did she know that we didn’t know? It was just a magazine, right? Big deal. Maybe she knew about inception before inception was ever an idea. 

Maybe she knew that two young boys looking at this magazine could open the door of wanting to look at more. 

She knew…we didn’t! 

That wouldn’t stop me. Flash forward to one day at the Market Place Mall. I’m in a book store staring at the top shelf. That’s where the X-rated magazines were in plastic. But there was one magazine not in plastic.  I took it down…opened it…but no sooner I looked at it the woman at the store was walking up behind me! No!!!

Shame, Guilt, Embarrassment! I ran maybe the fastest 40 yard dash ever! 

It was like Balaam and the donkey. I kept getting warnings, but I ignored them or just missed them. 

I was now curious with these magazines. Back then though they weren’t easily accessible, like they are now. 

I remember a friend bringing a Playboy to school. I remember when I went cleaning houses with my mom there was one house where the boy had a stash of Playboy magazines in his closet. I always volunteered to vacuum his room. 

Why am I saying any of this? Last night, I began a study. It’s called Hide or Seek: when men get real about sex. It’s a good book. Obviously, the Bible is our final authority. I like the idea behind the book. 

So many times as men we hide our strugggles when it comes to things like porn. No need to give you stats because we all know how many people look at porn. Sadly, too many. Even though no one wants to talk about it. Isn’t that weird? 

Our study is not about merely talking about the problem of all of the sexual temptation out there, but overcoming. It’s going to be about helping one another becoming stronger in Christ. There’s sexual temptation everywhere. For some, they may not have struggled looking at porn, but can still struggle with sexual purity.  It’s going to be about finding solutions. 

Porn is a multi billion dollar industry, and yet seemingly no one is looking at it. Someone is!!! 

I had it easy growing up. I had people at grocery stores and bookstores trying to stop me. Magazines had plastic covering them so you couldn’t see the naked woman on the cover. If you wanted to look at porn, it would take a lot. 

You would have to pull up to the adult bookstore and walk in. Now, the adult bookstore is in our phones. You don’t have to drive anywhere and get out of the car. You can enter that bookstore anytime, 24-7. You can check out a book with no return due date without anyone knowing. Although God knows! We forget about Him…don’t! 

I’m saying all this because I’m thinking about our children. Will we try to protect them as much as we can from being introduced to porn? We can’t stop what other kids may bring to school, but we can teach our children and Gods design of sex. We can talk to them. We can teach them the beauty of the sexual relationship in marriage. 

We can give them warnings about being careful with what they allow their eyes to see. 

My mom taught me well. She wasn’t the problem…I was. 

We can Learn and Live or Live and Learn. 

We need to heed the warning of Matthew 5:28. Gods laws aren’t meant to hurt us but rather help us. Sadly, we can learn that the hard way. 

I wish I never looked at the Sports Illustrated swim suit edition. I wonder how many other boys had a seed planted in their mind with a subtle innocent look at a Sports Illustrated swim suit edition, not knowing what may grow into something more fierce and dangerous. 

The SI edition is kind of old news. Now ESPN has the athlete magazine edition where they are completely naked, or maybe covered with some paint. Or maybe that’s both SI and ESPN. The line has to keep going further to keep an audience. 

Let’s guard our eyes.

Let’s guard our hearts, Psalm 111:9.

Let’s guard our families, Ephesians 6:1-4. One day I will have “The talk” with my son. Actually, it will be multiple talks. Birds and bees won’t be discussed. It will be straight talk Biblically based. 

Let’s stop hiding and seeking the will of God. No more games. Let’s get real.

Something in the book last night that was discussed was having some kind of filter or accountability software on your phone. Guys, I believe we need this. 

We don’t have to go to County Market or Market Place Mall anymore. Now, we can go to www….

Protect yourself from yourself! 

I use Covenant Eyes. Use something. 

Read Genesis 4:7! Be wise. 

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