Intentional Attraction

Exactly like every one of you who have children, I believe my sons are the most intelligent, best looking, and most awesome kids around. We’re their parents – it’s our job to be biased! But with all jokes aside, there are times when I am especially proud of something one of my boys does. Responsibility without being prompted. Maturity without being coached or provoked. One such practice of our four-year-old son is turning his back on “bad commercials.” Like many of you, my wife and I had cut cable. This worked great until two little impressionable eyes and ears starting paying attention to what was on the screen. Without the ability to pause or fast forward through commercials, we made the decision to go back to the cheap cable package so we can better control what’s on the screen. My son would always ask why (of course) am I pausing the TV?! I would tell him because this commercial is “bad.” Now he is at a point where he can recognize bad commercials simply by the sounds or sights of the content. These are commercials like violent video games, dark movie previews, or scary TV show advertisements. He will even turn his back to the TV if I can’t find the remote quick enough. He’s a sweet little dude.

But I realized something the other day. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Cooper and I were watching our favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys, play their bitter rivals. A set of commercials came on. First commercial, not “bad.” Second commercial, another one clean and clear. But then a commercial for women’s perfume came on the screen. An actress is seen staring straight into the screen, making “bedroom eyes” while walking her way out of a small pool of water. It becomes clear quickly – due to the lack of clothes everyone was wearing – the content of this commercial is extremely sexual…and ironically, I could not smell the perfume so I don’t know why they expect me to buy it. It was my first time to see the commercial. I was stunned. I snapped out of it realizing, I gotta find the remote!

Satan does not play fair. Since the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3 he has had only one trick – distort the truth. God created physical beauty to be enjoyed in the sanctity of marriage: one man, one woman, in covenant relationship for life. So whenever a commercial comes on TV that exploits the beauty of a woman who is not my wife, nor is she the future wife of my four-year-old son, I need to recognize, Hey this is a “bad” commercial too. This may seem like a no-brainer to many of you, but let me expound on my point.

What God has taught me recently is our society needs godly fathers who will teach their sons physical attraction is a God-given experience. However, that physical attraction should be intentional and specific. In other words, our society gives license to be physically and sexually attracted to anyone for any reason. We should teach our sons sexual, physical attraction must only be experienced and expressed intentionally toward your wife. Therefore, we as all men – aged 4 to 94 – must guard our eyes and hearts in a way to preserve this intentionality. We as all men must uphold James 3 and guard our tongues. We must treat all women with respect and philos (φιλία) love. Then, if and when God blesses our sons with a wife, we must teach a God-honoring expression of sexual attraction in the form of agape (ἀγάπη) love built on fidelity.

The #MeToo Movement and other progressive social agendas can cause us to dissolve our guard against licentiousness in the name of female empowerment. This is not as the gospel teaches. We should not apologize for the difference between male and female. We should not truncate our sons’ attraction to the opposite gender. Instead, we must teach them – model for them – healthy physical and sexual attraction which is intentional. It must be intentionally set on the woman God has given you as a wife. It should not be expressed wildly, spontaneously, and out of control. This both degrades the God-given beauty and God-given purpose of a woman. The immorality of sexual sin must be a cause we fight against.

Let us be men of God. Fathers who raise sons to fear God. May we be found as examples who do not cast shame on natural experiences and desires; but teach to express intentional physical attraction to only the woman God has blessed them with.