Billy Graham

Billy Graham: Resist lustful temptations with help from Jesus

Q: I’m not into hard-core pornography, but I don’t see anything wrong with enjoying some of the sexy magazines you can get on almost any newsstand. My wife doesn’t know I do this, so don’t use my name. — S.S.

A: If you’re really convinced there isn’t anything wrong with this, then why don’t you want your wife to find out? The reason is obvious: You know she’d be offended and deeply hurt if she knew about it.

After all, when you were married you made a solemn vow — not just to each other or the people at your wedding, but to God. In that vow you promised to be faithful to each other and to love each other exclusively, as long as you both are alive. Why break that vow by allowing lust to overtake you, even if it’s only for an airbrushed image in a tawdry magazine? The Bible could not be clearer: “Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity” (Ephesians 5:3).

I urge you to be honest about this, and to turn from it — decisively and forcefully. Don’t dabble with it; don’t go near places where you'll be tempted to obtain it; avoid anything on the Internet that even hints of it. Paul’s advice to his young friend Timothy applies to you as well: “Flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness” (1 Timothy 6:11).

The most important thing you need to do, however, is to turn to Jesus Christ, confessing your sins to him and asking him to come into your heart and life. You need his forgiveness, and you also need his strength to resist temptation. Then — with God’s help — recommit yourself to your marriage and put into practice the vows you once made.

Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.

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