Sir, Can I Share a Scripture With You?
This morning I went to some garage sales like I do most every Saturday. At the first one that I went to there were some things I was interested in but there was also some stuff that made me uncomfortable. Namely, there was a box of playboy magazines left sitting right out. Pointing to the box I said, “Excuse me you guys, I’m not sure if you realize this but a lot of kids come to garage sales so you might want to put those away.” A lady quickly replied, “It’s not ours, it’s his,” motioning to a guy who was standing nearby. The guy, looking somewhat embarrassed then said, “And that’s why I have them in a box and not all spread out.” I tried to reason with him politely, “But sir, the box is open and if I saw them then the kids will see them too.” I then walked around to take a look at all the other stuff while I thought about how to approach this one. After about 5 minutes I went up and asked him a question, “Sir, I don’t mean to pass judgment on you, because the Lord knows...I am not the judge, but can I just share one small scripture with you?” He said, “Sure.” I said to him, “This is what the Lord says in His word, the Bible, “Woe to those who cause my young ones to stumble, for it would be better to be thrown in the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to sin.” (Luke 17:2) Then I continued, “Sir, do you know what this means? It means that if a child sees these magazines and you plant something bad in their heads, and you will, then it would be better for you to have a heavy millstone tied around your neck and to be thrown in the depths of the ocean then to face the wrath that you will have to endure from God. That’s pretty serious and if I were you, I’d put them away.” Now I didn’t actually see him put them away but from the look he had on his face while I was sharing with him, I bet as soon as a child came by he probably scooped that box up quickly before they could see anything.
If any men are reading this that have an addiction to this type of stuff, please let me share something very personal about myself. When I was a child I was exposed to pornography and it wasn’t something that was my choice, it was forced upon me. The images that I saw as a child raped my mind. It distorted my view of what love was and ruined the first years of my adult life. After I became a Christian it took a few years of praying to get the images cleared out. I had to choose to believe the truth that says, “Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world,” and I received victory in this area. Guys, it doesn’t just affect you! Whatever you have hidden in the darkness will eventually be exposed to the Light; you better just pray that it won’t be exposed to the children that are in your home. God loves you! So just take what I have said as a warning from Him...and get rid of it!
Now I want to share a story with you about a married couple that I know. When the man was a child his dad exposed him to this junk telling him that it was something that all guys do. When he became an adult things got worse, because the things he saw in those magazines his dad had given him, no longer satisfied. He started looking into massage parlors and then went so far as to hire prostitutes. It all started because his dad decided to share with him “the things that guys do.” After the man got married he still continued doing those things, even as a Christian. Then the Holy Spirit began to convict him about what he was doing and he started to feel sick to his stomach. He was not only going to lose his wife but also his children if these things were discovered. He cried out to God for help and our heavenly Father had mercy on him. He confessed it all to his wife, and even though she was upset, she forgave him. She was able to forgive him because he confessed it and wasn’t caught. She told me, “It took a lot of prayer and I had to keep reminding myself that we all sin and fall short and that is why we all need Jesus. And because my husband confessed and wasn’t caught doing those things, I suppose that it made it a little easier to forgive him.” She then went on to share with me exactly how she handled it with him. “When he first told me I cried...a lot! Then when he went to sleep I got up and went and stayed at a friend’s house. When he woke up in the morning he called me crying, “Where are you?” I said that I was at a friend’s house. He begged me to come home but I said, “No, not right now. I want you to imagine the kids getting up and telling them that we are getting a divorce as you are fixing their breakfast. Then imagine that you are going to have to hold down a job, clean the house, and on the days that you have custody imagine all the time you will have to take off from work to take care of them when I’m not around. Then imagine how understanding your boss is going to be....not. So I am not coming home today because I want you to get a sense of what it will be like.” She said that she returned home later that evening, forgave him, and 5 years later her marriage is better than it had ever been before.
Listen guys, there is freedom in Christ. In Christ, we can overcome any obstacle. 1 John 5:4 says, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world, our faith.” If you are a woman whose husband has done anything similar to this, know that it is possible to forgive if you keep reminding yourself that we are forgiven of so much. If you suspect your husband is doing some of these things, don’t just pray that he would get caught but pray that he would confess it all and seek God’s help. Getting caught produces only sorrow for the moment, but true conviction brings confession and repentance.
In closing brothers and sisters let me remind you of the scripture that tells us what we have been called to do. In Luke 4:18 it says; “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.” In God and in Him alone there is freedom; freedom from pornography, freedom from our past, freedom from rape, freedom from a broken heart and so on. May we never take that freedom for granted! May we use it to proclaim the truth of how good our God is! Open your mouths my brothers and sisters...He wants to set the captives free!
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion like the Gentiles who don’t know God; and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3 -8)