Yesterday a big announcement came out that should make us sick!…Not just because of what was being done, but because of why it was being done. The CEO of Playboy Enterprises that publishes the magazine Playboy announced that this spring the magazine will no longer include pictures of “fully” nude women. Initially one might think, “This is a good thing. They are no longer printing sexually explicit content that objectifies women and preys on men.” Beside that not being accurate, let’s consider the true motivation behind this. This decision by Playboy is strictly about them being in the business of printing more magazines for more young boys and men to buy. With the advent of the Internet age, pornography (and all of its forms) have become more readily available and often completely free. The young male adolescent can more easily google, stream, and download sexually explicit content than go through buying and often hiding a printed copy of Playboy. Why buy a magazine when your laptop, tablet, or even phone can pull up all of the sexually immoral content that the sinful heart desires.
Now follow me…Playboy has not had a change of character, and neither have they given up trying to peddle sexually explicit material. They are simply trying to be more acceptable and get to an even younger audience. The problem for Playboy is not that people don’t want to see pornographic content…the problem is that sex and nudity is so pervasive that they have to go after a larger, younger audience. That’s right folks…the announcement that Playboy is getting rid of “fully” nude content only means that we have got to be more vigilant and guard the hearts of our young boys and men (and young girls as well). I believe that they see the continued success of things like Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue (which is full of sexually immoral content…why can’t sports be about sports) and how acceptable it is received and they want to join in.
The truth is, we live in a more sexually promiscuous society than ever before. It is more acceptable to view scantily clad and even nude men and women. Movies and TV shows push the envelope continually. So, how do we respond? If you are like me, you see this announcement by Playboy and wonder what to do. Here are a couple things that the Christian needs to do in this world we live in:
- Remember the Word – Christian, we have got to be in our Bibles. We have to remind ourselves of what God says regarding sexual sin, lust, and immoral thought. It will be more and more difficult to show our neighbors and our children the truth when the world is telling them more continually and more loudly that nudity and sexual promiscuity are acceptable and even liberating. The truth is that sex is good!…but only within the design of God, between a married man and his wife. In that Biblical context, sex is fantastic and another illustration of God’s love for us.
1 Corinthians 6:18 – Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.
Matthew 5:28 – But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Hebrews 13:4 – Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.
1 Thess 4:3; 1 Peter 2:11; Philippians 4:8
- Live It – Christian, it is time that we put away sin! We cannot continue to live like the world and then be shocked and surprised that we have found ourselves far from the Lord. We need to stop dressing with the motivation of being sexual. We need to stop letting sexual immorality into our homes, whether that be the shows and movies, music, or printed material. It grieves my heart when I go to the local swimming pool during the summer and I see the women and even young girls wearing some of the most revealing things because society has told them that is desirable. God has placed me as father over my children with the express task of shepherding them and caring for them. That might mean that I don’t let me little girls wear certain articles of clothing that objectifies them and teaches them wrong things about how we should view our bodies and sex. Just because some of my children’s friends might watch a particular show, or listen to a certain music artist, or go to a popular place doesn’t mean that I must let them do the same. I am responsible for their upbringing, and I must point them to Christ and not the world.
- Pray over our Children and Families – We must not neglect the power of praying over those most precious to us. Commit to pray for yourself and your own walk, but also for those around you. There is a reason that part of the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6 includes prayer from temptation and deliverance from evil (v. 13).
Satan and the world are after our families and our children. I think that Playboy’s announcement is just one more way that Satan is going to try and get into our families and try to poison our children’s minds and hearts. The Playboy Problem is sin. Our heart is born in sin and it leans toward sin. We must guard it. Jesus must save it.
“Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!…” Romans 7:24-25