I am a magazine flipper. I am that person that will turn the magazines backwards when with my brothers or brothers in Christ. I have been disgusted by guys walking through the store and stopping with a gawking look at the cover of a magazine with a scantily clad woman. What the model found perhaps artistic in posing with more skin that fabric showing has in turn made her the object of lust in the minds and hearts of men.
There was a truth I did not begin to understand about myself until a few years ago. I, too, am effected by what I see on the covers of magazines, in movies, on TV, and anywhere the media infiltrates my life. When I see what our world considers perfection in a woman, I begin to lust as well. I am not lusting in the same way a man does when he sees the same image. But I am allowing my view of beauty to be shaped by the world’s standards.
Even if I am looking at what is deemed handsome by the world, I am allowing myself to be drawn towards that definition of attractiveness. I can assure you that a photo on the cover of a magazine cannot begin to capture true godly masculinity. The strength of the heart cannot be captured in a photograph.
We do need to fight temptation at its source. We need to avoid situations that will cause us to stumble. We need to flip magazines at times and help guard the eyes of our brothers, but we also need to guard our own eyes and hearts. The Lord’s standard of beauty is far different from the world’s standard. We can look around and see the Creator of all life- who declared His creation good- and know that He sees beauty in various colors, shapes, and sizes. His idea of beauty is not limited to what makes the cover of a magazine.