A few days ago we got into a discussion at our house about the movie Deadpool. Maybe you’ve heard of it. I, in my happy state of ignorance, had not. I was under the impression that it was just a quirky little Spiderman spin-off, and I figured at some point I’d watch it because Spiderman is my favorite comic book hero.
As our discussion continued, it became clear that Deadpool is in a class all by itself. And I don’t mean that in a good way. My first clue was the R rating. All the other Marvel movies are PG-13. Why the need to do something different with this one? I pulled up a parent’s guide to ratings and was instantly disturbed at the content listed in this movie. I’ll give you the cliff notes version: Graphic nudity and sex, language, violence, gore, and profanity. My stomach began a steady ache the more I read. It was past midnight by the time I went to bed, my thoughts churning.
You must think me pretty naive to be so shaken by one raunchy movie. But it’s more than that. It’s a culmination of so many things: My son coming home from camp with questions about dirty jokes or obscene gestures, The constant struggle in our home over dressing modestly, My discouragement and frustration over easy access to pornography, The wisdom it takes (that I feel so lacking in) to raise the four teenagers who live with me, My struggle to be stronger and more influential with my children than the peer pressure they are around each day, My need to be vigilant in my own marriage and to protect the relationship God has blessed me with. More and more I have felt weary from the constant, daily battle we face against sexually immoral sins.
I’ve begun to think sexual sin may well be the greatest challenge facing Christianity today. Satan, ever the subtle predator, knows just how enticing this particular temptation is. We don’t even have to go looking for it, it often finds us. And not only that, we are also buying into the lie that it’s harmless. We’ve become so desensitized to what is appropriate entertainment that we’re no longer filtering what enters our minds and hearts.
So more and more lately I’ve been wondering: What can we, the body of Christ, do to fight this battle? While we can, and should, do everything possible to avoid sinful forms of entertainment, it goes much deeper than that. I believe it starts with Christian Men.
We need you to take the lead on this one. We need you to protect what comes into our homes, to protect our children from being sucked in through mobile devices and home computers. We need you to turn off that rated R movie that’s rife with sex and nudity. We need you to understand what it’s like to try to be a modest woman in a world that exploits the female body, a world with effortless access to pornography – because sometimes we wonder if that’s what we’re supposed to look like or act like in order to make you happy. We need you to look past what your eyes can see and love who we really are, underneath the surface. We need you to find value in the “incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” (I Peter 3:4) We need you to turn away from any form of media that degrades women, that turns us into sexual objects. We need you to be an example for our sons on how to live in a world that despises and undermines His plan for sex. We need you to value our daughters and show them that there is a good and healthy kind of attention and it shouldn’t come from the way their clothes fit and their bodies look. We need the reminder that sex, as God designed it, is a beautiful and wonderful thing, meant to be shared between husband and wife alone. We need you to lead us daily in the Word of God and prayer, for we have learned from our Savior that Scripture is the only sure defense against the Devil.
We need a lot, don’t we? But we aren’t the only ones asking you. God has created you for this purpose. To love your families and lead your families in the same way Christ leads His Church. With His help, you, Christian Men can do this, and we will stand by your side for the fight.
And finally, “…be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:10-13)