In the last few weeks a movie has swept the box offices. It is not the latest vampire trilogy or the most recent installment of a game centered on a bodily reflex (Hunger Games), but a movie that has called into question the very notion of lust. The movie is Magic Mike.
When the topic of lust is brought up, the majority of the focus is placed on males. Research has shown that men do in fact has a higher propensity for lusting due to the high focus placed on the visual attraction that men experience as opposed to women. Men are naturally more attracted by sight. An attractive woman walking down the street can cause a man to lust. While a woman may struggle with visual lust, it is more common for a woman to feel lust when she is emotionally involved - sharing, communicating, non-sexual physical touch.
Magic Mike challenges our notion of what it means to lust. Lust is not something that comes up in the midst of Sunday school conversations and in fact, few if any churches are wiling to approach the subject of lust. When the church goes silent, it leaves room for society and culture to dictate what is acceptable on the subject of lust and sex. As Christians we should be working to encourage conversations about what is happening in society and how it is affecting us as Christians. We should strive to create places where these conversations are welcomed and not shunned. The attitude should be one of mercy and grace in the place of embarrassment and humiliation.
Many women find it repulsive what they hear about men going to strip clubs. The business of pornography is one of the most saturated markets currently in existence. Society is replete with visual images of suggestive content and explicitly sexual messages. Regardless the gender, target audience, or message in a film sexual promiscuity should not be something seen as a good bonding opportunity - women included. Magic Mike is attempting to challenging the notion that sex should be just as much a woman's domain as it is a man's. While the issue of gender domain is not the subject of this post, pure desire is. We should be striving to uphold cultural values that esteem who we are as created images of Christ. We should not be supporting the hidden message of acceptance to lust and sexual promiscuity no matter how it is disguised - male or female.
Lust is an internal feeling. What we see on the outside is internalized and then turned into a thought that can then be recalled and used over and over again at will. Movies like Magic Mike and Striptease tell us that since society approves, then it must be acceptable for us to think about the same things. The life of a Christian should not be one that simply goes along with what society says is acceptable, but should be a life that challenges society and fights to uphold what the Bible tells use is pure and holy. As the popularity of this movie will probably continue to rise, fight to take a stand against lust of all kinds.
The enemy is working to find a place into the hearts of all - no one is immune. Do not be tricked by the notion that somehow it is acceptable for a movie to represent an issue of gender, but hold fast to the truth that the Lord created us equally and we are to act as children of God working to protect ourselves from the evils of this world.