I’d like to share a small story with you that took place back in 2013.
After a long day in med school filled with a messy dissection and two tests, I was stoked to head to the movies after work with a few of my classmates. Like many people, I am a huge fan of Leonardo DiCaprio. He chooses interesting roles with great directors, his acting is top-notch, and everything he touches turns to gold.
I’d been waiting excitedly for The Wolf of Wall Street to come out for months. You fellow fans out there reading this know that he doesn’t come out with a film very often; that probably added to the excitement. So, fast forward to the afternoon. Here we are, each of us finished with our last class. We get to the theater, find our seats, and soon the movie starts.
Those of you who’ve either seen the movie or read the reviews that year know that the movie is infamous for what I discovered on that opening day: It’s filled to the brim with the flesh. It’s known for its profanity, explicit sex scenes, and depictions of debauchery.
About 5 or 10 minutes into the film, I left and went home. I didn’t try and make up an excuse to them. I didn’t try and explain what my personal convictions were. I didn’t try to explain at all. I just said, “I shouldn’t be here, I’m out,” and got out of there.
In the eyes of the World, what I did was radical.
It didn’t make a lot of sense. It was extreme. And from their eye-rolling perspective, I was being uncool. But as Christians, we are called to guard ourselves against impurity and all temptation to sin.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23 NIV)
What a Christian allows into their lives – into their hearts, their minds, their eyes, their habits – is a direct reflection of what’s their heart, their values, and their character. It’s also a reflection of where their walk with God lands in their list of priorities.
I want to remind my sisters in Christ of something important:
You get to choose who you allow to pursue your heart.
You may not be the pursuers, but you get to choose whether or not you say “yes” to that date. You get to choose whether that guy gets to talk on the phone with you, or tell him that you aren’t interested in exploring a relationship with him. That’s why it’s necessary for you, as a woman who desires to honor God in her relationships, to examine what the guy allows into his heart and mind. What habits have become acceptable behavior in his life?
A guy who goes online to watch videos of strangers having sex, should not be pursuing one of God’s daughters. Period.
To have respect for God requires having respect for what belongs to God. Men of God respect the things of God — His daughters, His people, and His laws and commandments.
We are called to honor our sisters. To honor them as fearfully and wonderfully made by a holy and all-powerful God. To clothe them in dignity.
“For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.” (Ephesians 5:23)
God’s plan is for men to lead in relationships. As your brothers, it is His plan for us to lead our sisters to the cross. He’s given us the responsibility to make sure that the romantic relationship is Christ-centered. How is a man who lets sin into his heart and mind so casually deserving or capable of this immense privilege and responsibility?
A man won’t lead you to the cross if he’s not even concerned enough to walk in that direction. Don’t choose a leader who can’t even lead himself. If a guy can’t be trusted with his own walk, I sure wouldn’t trust him with yours.
Choose a man who guards his walk.
A man who views it as worth protecting, not something to toss in the backseat when inconvenient. Make it a priority to examine what he allows into his life, and whether he refuses to take in ungodly content and images.
If you’re on a date walking around the mall and you pass the giant Victoria’s Secret banners in front of their store, what does he do? How does he respond? Does he make an effort to avert his eyes or does he take it all in? Those five seconds tell you a lot about his heart and whether he’s made a promise to himself and to his future wife to guard his eyes, heart, and mind.
How about in the girls he passes throughout his day who are dressed more revealingly? How about in the content he chooses to habitually consume? The TV shows he loyally watches, the movies he goes to see, and the Instagram accounts he follows can all be a reflection of where his walk with the Lord falls on his list of priorities.
This is not to say that a guy has to turn down ALL secular activities to be Godly.
Not every piece of secular content is inherently sinful or vulgar. There are secular TV shows, movies, and Instagram accounts that dial down on the profanity and sexual content. Some of these can even be edifying! An example would be the Instagram accounts for travel and culture magazines.
But if a man willingly fills his mind with sin and spiritual garbage on a regular basis, that raises the following questions like (a) where does God fall on his list of priorities and (b) if God does or DID fall high on the list of priorities, what is all of this doing to his heart and mind?
I will never regret that time I walked out of the movie theater. Even though it made me look “uncool” to my secular friends; I don’t live for the opinion of man, I live for the Lord. I know that I made the decision that aligns with the faith I proclaim, and that I took steps to protect my walk that night. And that is something a child of God should NEVER have to apologize for.