Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Swimsuit Edition

Now, I have your attention. I sipped my Earl Grey tea while sitting at a Barnes and Noble table across from my wife. While reading, I occasionally looked up as Sandy spoke to me or I initiated conversation with her. Every time I looked at her, a magazine, displayed on a rack behind her, vied for my attention. Filling the cover was a woman in a very small bikini; it was the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. This magazine has no right to my attention. My beautiful wife has my attention. This magazine is invading my life. It is Satan's way of trying to interfere with my relationship with my wife.

As I talked with my wife and looked at her, I became annoyed that the woman from this magazine is trying to distract me. Even though just a picture, the words of Proverbs apply to this woman, "Do not desire her beauty in your heart, and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes [or other body parts]" (6:25). The remedy is "keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house" (Prov. 5:8).

It may seem like just a small thing. It is just a picture on a magazine across the room. It is not like I was looking through the magazine. It was not a real woman there. But, it is more than just a smalkil thing. First, it is still an invasion in my life and my relationship with my wife. Second, it is the first step of an attack by Satan. In his book Wierd, Craig Groeschel says, "No one sets out a plan with the express goal to have an affair." Most affairs happen with one small step. We need to understand, "We have an enemy whose only mission is to steal, kill, and destroy everything that matters to God" and he "has us take baby steps". I decided to do something. I am going to stop this attack.

I get up from the table, walk over to the magazine and turn it around. Now, the back of the magazine is showing. And, the back of the magazine is beautiful. There is an M & M advertisement on the back. Now, that is worth looking at.

This incident gets me thinking bigger picture, which is the purpose of this blog. Our Christian values are constantly under attack. My 11 year old son is exposed to this same cover when he walks into the bookstore. While this issue of Sports Illustrated only comes out once year, various other magazines have similar covers every month. These pictures are calling out to him, and all other males, every day.

These covers are also attacking women. Are girls supposed to look like this? Do they need to look like this to be considered beautiful? Do they have to dress like this for a boy to like them? Is this normal? My daughters are under attack.

This has to stop. While I am not naive enough to think that I can stop these magazine covers, I think people can take a small practical step to limit the exposure of these magazines. Turn the magazines over. When you are in a store, any store, not just a bookstore, and you see an offensive magazine, whether a men's magazine or a women's magazine, turn it over. Yeah, the store will turn them back, but it is still a step, a statement. Before they get a chance to turn the magazine back over, you may be keeping a boy or girl from seeing the cover. You may be keeping an adult from flipping through the pages. If I do it, it is a small step. If you do it, it is a small step. But, if everyone who is offended by these covers turned them over, it would big step, so big that stores may have trouble keeping the covers visible. And, more M & M's might be sold.

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