Monday, July 20, 2009

Be Careful Little Eyes What You See

“Be careful little eyes what you see. Be careful little eyes what you see. For the Father up above is looking down in love, so be careful little eyes what you see.”

Many of us remember singing this song in Sunday school growing up. It has a catchy beat, catchy words and enough truth in it to make a little kid understand that God cares about what he or she sees. But has this understanding carried us into adulthood? We hear a lot about men guarding their eyes from impurity, but should women exercise the same vigilance with what images they see?

In talking about movies they watched, I have heard women say “we probably couldn’t watch it if guys were around. But it’s fine if it’s just girls.” Usually this is in reference to less than appropriately dressed women. But does the Bible make distinctions regarding the images that we, as women, allow into our minds?

Ephesians 5:3 says: “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people.”

Guarding the eyes is not only a male problem relegated to accountability groups. It applies to women as well. What we fill our minds with matters, even if it is “just women.” God wants our minds to be free from immorality because what the culture is telling us about modesty and sexuality is never what he designed it to be. When we fill our minds with images that are contrary to God’s design we are opening the door to the sin that is already in our hearts. There are three temptations that I see rise up in my heart, and in the hearts of women I have been around, when inundated with worldly images.

  1. The temptation toward comparison. When we consciously or subconsciously allow images of immodesty into our minds we slowly begin to see that as the model. But it isn’t. And this can lead us to compare ourselves to the images we are seeing. Slowly we become discontent with how God made us and begin to wish that we looked differently.
  2. The temptation toward a false understanding of beauty. With this desire to compare comes a wrong understanding of beauty. When we compare we are saying that what we desire is the standard. God sets the standard for beauty, and the world’s understanding of beauty is very far from his. Immodesty and fakeness are not true beauty. Rather, godliness, modesty, and a quiet spirit is what God deems beautiful (1 Peter 3:3-4).
  3. The temptation toward lust. Like guarding our eyes, we often see lust as a male problem. That is far from the truth. While often in different ways, women struggle with lust just as much as men do. We see women getting attention from ungodly men when they look a certain way and we lust for that attention. We see an inappropriate scene in a commercial or movie and we lust for sexual fulfillment outside of a marriage covenant.

Images and scenes draw us in and promise the world. We lust for those promises, but will slowly find out that they are lies. Media is a good thing. But we must be discerning with what we watch. We cannot blindly watch the popular television shows and movies and expect nothing to happen to our consciences. While it may seem like we are fine, slowly our souls are being hardened until all that is left are calluses that numb us to the pain of sin. Images matter for women. Paul did not have gender distinctions when he said that we are to have “not even a hint” of sexual immorality among us. Temptations are strong. Sin is powerful. But Jesus is greater. That old children’s song is good, but not good enough. Yes, we are careful what we see because God is looking down on us. But we are also careful what see because Jesus bought us. Our eyes have been awakened to the truth that Jesus is better than those things that seem so harmless.

So be careful little eyes what you see. Be careful little eyes what you see. For the Savior up above has bought your soul in love, so be careful little eyes what you see.


Chelsea Bass said...

Powerful, challenging stuff, Courtney. I really appreciate your wisdom and insight!

cdt said...

Thank you so much, Chelsea! It is great to hear from you! Hope you are well. Thank you again for the encouragement.

debt said...

Good word, Bean!! Love you!

Laura said...

Excellent post!! Out of curiosity, did you write this before or after our conversation on Monday night?

cdt said...


Thank you!


I wrote it before we talked on Monday. I posted it right before you came over and almost told you when we started talking about it. We must think alike! That is why we are friends!

Chelsea Bass said...

You know you have a good post when... two weeks later your readers are still mulling it over!

Something I've been thinking about is who we follow on Twitter, Facebook, etc. I have a lot of non-Christian friends and family members who constantly post drunken pictures, use vulgar language, fill out "adult" surveys, and so forth. Many of them are people I don't want to "un-friend," but I don't really need to be reading about their favorite sexual position, either.

I noticed that FB now has an option to hide a person from your news feed while still keeping them as a friend. Do you think this is a good option? Would it be better to just un-friend them? Or would it be better to just deal with it and let it be?

cdt said...

Thank you for your comment, Chelsea. The Lord always uses you to bring encouragement to me and we haven't even met!

I think your question is good and insightful. I have wrestled through the same thing. I went through a period when I "purged" my friend list because of that same thing. But then I ended up refriending some people. :)

I have a few friends that I have learned not to ever go to their page, for that reason. It is just not helpful. But I think the "hide" option is probably better. I think if we can protect our eyes without making the person feel like we are not interested in their life, then it would be best to do it that way. The tension with being friends with unbelievers is that they act like unbelievers, which means they will often do and say things that are not helpful to us.

It is so good that you care about what you put in your mind. I think any time we can guard our eyes and minds from things we should take advantage of it. So, I don't think it is bad if you hide them. If it ever becomes a struggle, then I would say maybe just unfriend them--but that would be a last resort.

Does that help?