Sex outside God’s design leads to destruction, reaching far beyond the two people in bed together. The fallout extends to spouses, children, parents, families, friends, enemies, and any future relationships. While a foolish sexual choice might offer immediate gratification, it can alter one’s life forever. Solomon pleaded: “My son, give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways, for an adulterous woman is a deep pit, and a wayward wife is a narrow well. Like a bandit she lies in wait and multiplies the unfaithful among men” (Proverbs 23:26-28).
Any sexual choice begins in our hearts and in our eyes before we commit our entire bodies. With seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines, Solomon experienced the most sexual escapades of any person to walk the planet (see 1 Kings 11:3). In his polygamous pursuits, he noticed how a woman attempted to captivate another man with her eyes, while a man lusted with his, sinking into the very fabric of his inner being (see Proverbs 6:25). That meant the person locked in his sights would consume his every thought, feeling, and choice. Israel’s king observed that one look, or even one illicit encounter, would never be enough because the eyes are never satisfied (see Proverbs 27:20).
Jesus taught that the eyes and the heart are inextricably linked (see Matthew 5:28). We see the temptation, we desire it in our hearts, and then we act on it with our bodies. Temptation is not a sin; however, our desire to pursue life apart from God is (see James 1:13-15). Still, we do not have to fall prey to the lust of our eyes. Although each one of us will be tempted, God will always provide a doorway to freedom (see 1 Corinthians 10:13).
We were designed to be satisfied through an intimate relationship with God in Christ, who is the satisfying focal point of our desires. As with a magnifying glass, the focal point of our eyes is magnified, and all that surrounds it is fuzzy. When the devil tempts our eyes to look lustfully with our hearts at someone who is not our spouse, we stand at a 180-degree pivot-point to either focus on Christ or the temptation. If we focus our eyes on Christ, the temptation becomes fuzzy. If we focus on the tempting image, Christ becomes fuzzy.
Commit to focusing on Christ and your spouse. Memorize Proverbs 23:26-28, placing the words of these verses where you can see and recite them daily. Recruit a friend to whom you can transparently confess any temptation of your heart and eyes. They can help free you from acting out a sin by keeping you accountable to God’s design for your life. God’s gift of a faithful and intimate sexual relationship with only your spouse is worth the investment.