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by Mark Waltenbaugh


    I love the fall season in the Northwest. During the months of October and November, the landscape comes alive with color. I especially enjoy the maple trees. The yellows almost seem fluorescent on those crisp mornings as the sun reflects off the morning dew... and the deep red of the Japanese maples is without compare!

    God has colored our world with beauty. Everywhere we look there are portraits of a majestic and creative God. In the trees, on the hills, and yes, even on the city streets. Although I’ve lived many of my years in the Northwest, I’ve spent some time in the city too near Dallas and Houston. Even on streets littered with paper and plastic there is beauty beyond compare. And this beauty, for me and others, can be the source of a powerful temptation. What beauty you ask. It comes in the form of a human being. More specifically, in the gender of a female.

    God granted every woman a sense of beauty. Some are attractive by way of their physical appearance. Some due to their ability to make us laugh. Others because they carry such a deep sense of compassion and understanding. Many things attract men to women and yet those very same things can cause us to sin if our eyes go unchecked.

    I’ve been married to the most beautiful woman in the world for almost 22 years. She is everything I could want in a help-mate. She cares for me like no other could. She shares with me like she does with no other. Her physical appearance still makes me stop and stare. She is the most precious gift I’ve every been given by God. And yet unchecked, I’ve found myself looking in ungodly ways at other women. I’ve allowed my temptation to become sin. And recently, I’ve made a covenant with my eyes that I’ll never look lustfully at another woman.

I know what you’re thinking...
    I know what you’re thinking. How can you stop looking at other women, they’re everywhere! Are you locking yourself up in the house? Do you wear blinders when you have to go out in public? Not at all. My covenant is that I’ll never look LUSTFULLY at another woman. I’ll not watch another movie that contains even brief nudity. I will never seek to “thrill myself” again by staring at a woman and undressing her in my mind. And when in public and my eyes catch the sight of a woman who I find physically attractive, I will immediately turn my attention elsewhere.

    My covenant is just a few months old, but I’m committed to it for the rest of my life. I’ll no longer rob my wife of what is hers. She, and she alone will be the focus of my attention and desire. And as every day goes by, I find God blessing our relationship in ways I can’t begin to describe! I know now that giving into my visual temptations has been driving a stake into the heart of my marriage relationship. It will no more.

    So what is it that tempts you by sight? Maybe your visual temptations are the same and have a strangle hold on your sexual purity. Possibly you lust after other visual stimuli that others have no problem with. If you are tempted by things your eyes take in, it’s time to make a covenant and set up boundaries that will keep it intact and get the help of a couple of other spiritual men to hold you to those boundaries. If they come when you’re in a store, don’t go there. If they come while you’re at work, make an unchangeable commitment to bounce your eyes away and turn them in another direction. If you can’t, find new work. Don’t sacrifice your soul or your wife or your family for a job, a cheap thrill, or lack of discipline.

    Radical? Yes, but you need to be in order to break the habits that have you falling into sin over and over again!

Lord, you know my heart and you know about the covenant I made with my eyes. I know that you have honored that covenant and have blessed me beyond my wildest dreams. I see now that walking in your will is so much more gratifying than all the sin I wallowed in before. My prayer for those who read this is that they too will be convicted by their visual sins and that no barrier — person, place or thing — will stand in their way of making a life-changing covenant with their eyes. Show them their sin as you’ve shown me mine and give them strength as they turn back to you! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
      From The Online Devotional mailing list. To join, send an email to thedsmith@aol.com with the subject "SUBSCRIBE TO DEVO."

      Title: ""
      Author: Mark Waltenbaugh
      Publication Date: April 19, 2001


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