God made men for glory.
This is why there is an Achilles in the heart of every man. Given the option, most men will choose a short life with endless glory over a long life in obscurity. This is because God made men for glory.
This means that when a man decides to sell his soul, to lose his honor, to give up his life, he does it because he’s convinced of more glory, better glory.
One of the chief rivals to the glory that God gives is the faux-glory on offer from various forms of sexual sin. Proverbs says that the seductress is strong and powerful. She bears a two-edged sword (Prov. 5:4); she has cast down many wounded, and all who were slain by her were strong men (Prov. 7:26).
How does the seductress slay strong men?
With her mouth.
“For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil” (Prov. 5:3).
“With her enticing speech she caused him to yield, with her flattering lips she seduced him” (Prov. 7:21).
The short skirt, the low cut blouse, the sultry look, the unbuttoned shirt — the power is not primarily in the skin. The power is not merely a naked body. The power is in what is being said: the meaning of the pose, the meaning of the picture, the offer.
Men (and women) need to understand that the offer is glory. The words being spoken are words of flattery. It’s a false offer of respect, of honor, of importance.
For men, sex is inextricably connected to respect. This is why a wife is commanded to respect her husband, and she honors the marriage bed by honoring her husband sexually. God designed the pleasure of sexual intimacy to correspond to the real honor and respect of one real woman. But the allure of easy sex, of illicit sex, of self-service sex is the feeling of respect without any of the hard work or sacrifice.
God designed the world to be a place where men could achieve real glory. Men are made in God’s image, and God filled the world with His glory, glory that could be dug up, discovered, pieced together, colored, invented, built, and collected. But this glory, true glory takes hard work, and after the Fall of man into sin, it comes with more sweat and tears and ultimately death.
Sexual sin is confusion, deep, agonizing confusion, and it is confusion because it is the mistaken belief that glory can be procured by disobedience to the One who made the world. It’s like the lure of alchemy, the attempt to turn lead into gold. But you cannot arrive at the city of clarity using the highway of confusion. It never comes out there, no matter what all the signs say.
But God speaks clearly. He does not lisp; He does not stutter. He promises glory, true glory, but He promises it through hard work, through pain, suffering, patience, and obedience. And all the cheap and easy offers should be recognized as false promises of a faux glory, the kind of glory that will break on the way home from the store. But God offers permanent glory, lasting glory, endless glory.
She may gave you the feeling of glory, five minutes of pretend glory, but it will fade and you will find yourself feeling more empty, more aimless, more confused in a little while.
Men were made for respect. They were made for greatness. You were made for glory and honor, and this is why Jesus came. He came as the revelation of God’s glory, the Light for the Nations. He comes to take away our darkness and shame, and He did when He died the death of a cursed and forgotten criminal. We can’t achieve God’s glory ourselves. Our best efforts are embarrassing.
And so the only true glory must be received from the God of all glory. He has endless glory at His disposal and pours it out on all who seek it in humble faith. His glory reveals our sin and shame, and then in an instant, it clothes us, it covers us, it crowns us. Our glory is the cross. Our glory is our God’s grace and love. Our glory is His honor displayed for undeserving men.
Nothing makes men stand taller than the glory of God. Nothing makes men stronger than the glory of God. This is because the glory of God deals with the failures and weakness of men, and the glory of God restores men to the glory they were made for.
If you struggle with sexual temptation, if you find yourself vulnerable to the lures of the seductress, ask yourself: Am I satisfied with the glory of God? Do I believe what God says about me in Christ?
If your son or your brother or your husband struggles with these things, ask yourself: How can I respect him more? How can I thank him for his hard work more? How can I honor him more? True, honest respect is what men are hungry for, and when you give it, you minister the power of God to their souls.
When Christian communities are places of true honor and mutual respect founded on the glory of the cross of Jesus, they are communities that are armed for this battle. This is because the Word of God, the truth of God is sharper than any two edged sword. It is sharper and stronger than the two edged sword of the seductress. And the Word of God is more glorious. The Word of God equips every man of God for every good work.
In so far as the modern Christian Church is a band of weaklings and cowards, we are completely vulnerable to the flattery of the world, and this is because we do not know or we do not believe God’s Word. Our swords are dull or forgotten, and the glory has departed.
But the glory is not far off. Jesus has come. He was born, lived, died, rose again, and ascended to the right hand of the Father. We have our man in glory. He is there for us, seated there for us, interceding for us. And if we ask our Father for His glory, He will shine His face on us. He will fill us with His glory again. And then all the fake offers will seem like dollar store trinkets. And we will gladly lose our lives for Him.