Are Yoga Pants Really the Problem? A Guy’s Perspective on Modesty and Lust

On any given day, men are bombarded with sex. Almost anywhere, our eyes are tantalized by steamy, Basic Instict-esque images. We could be going to CVS to get a Toblerone and a can of Brut and—WHAM!—some scantily-clad, heavily-airbrushed fireball is staring at us from the cover of a magazine. We could be flipping through the channels and—BOOM!—Hardee’s commercial with model lustfully chomping a Thickburger. Playing golf and—GREAT SCOTT!—Bo Derek is slithering out of the pool in her sling bikini.

Sex is oozing out of our technology, where we have an all-access pass to the Land of Filth. But accessibility does not cause us to stumble. It merely opens the door. We choose whether or not to walk through. (Mom, you might want to earmuff it now.)

This has been the great struggle in my life. I’ve often said that if you put some gambling chips on the table or a Playboy, I know which one I’m going to choose.

The sin of lust is every man’s battle, and any man who tells you he doesn’t struggle in this area, to some degree, is not being truthful. Pornography is rampant, wedging its steel-toed boot into our houses, our families. The porn industry is a $97 billion industry (ten times more than the NFL) and Christianity Today once reported that 40% of pastors struggle with pornography. 40 percent! Pastors!

This clandestine sin has been glossed over and swept under the rug because it is a shameful thing to talk about. Men are not being liberated from this addiction because they are afraid to confess or seek help. It is the “unspoken sin.” Many women don’t understand it and many more are affected by it. Some marriages are crumbling because wives can’t go toe-to-toe with the fantasies of the digital world.

It’s time for us to have the conversation, both nationally and in our homes.

The vicious cycle often starts with boys discovering boxes of Penthouses heaped away in Dad’s basement. Those same boys become college students ogling at videos, who become married men who cannot seem to break strongholds no matter how hard they try. Perhaps single men have it the worst, and it would be dishonest to say that I do not struggle with lust.

So the Christian male is faced with a very difficult scenario: pursue purity or feed the beast. We justify the latter by saying it is “natural” or “just the way we were made.” Besides, sexual self-control is “out,” “dorky,” “cheesy,” “not cool.” But often the kinds of things we view online are far from natural.

There are men reading this right now who know they are in the middle of spiritual warfare. Their Google searches may include the Book of Romans and the kinds of images that would make Rome blush. We know what we are doing is wrong, yet we continue to be tortured by the perpetual thorn of lust. Our relationship with God suffers. We question our salvation. We live in fear of getting caught, that our private lives will be exposed. We have a few good days and then go back to square one. Believe me, I know, because I live it every day. Men, you are not alone.

Lust has plagued us since the beginning of time. David stumbled with Bathsheba (who, coincidentally, didn’t own a pair of yoga pants), not at initial sight, but when he pursued his thoughts and his thoughts turned to action.

Men may think that there is no way out, because we will never cut off access to all temptation. The availability will always be there. If it’s not yoga pants crossing our line of sight, it’s going to be something else. We cannot simply recluse ourselves from the world, but we can close a few doors, lock them, and throw away the key.

So in summary, the real problem is not yoga pants. The problem is our mind. The problem is our heart.

The problem is me.

This article originally appeared in 78 Magazine. Used by permission. 

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