But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:28 The culture today is obsessed with sex. Everywhere you look you see it. Sex sells, or so “they” say; it is used to sell everything from cars to perfume. Virtue and modesty is considered old-fashioned and ridiculed as “extreme.” It is pervasive on TV and in movies, and things that used to be considered R-rated are now showing up in PG and PG-13 movies, and the X-rated is showing up in the R-rated. The culture is sliding down a slippery slope, taking everyone it can with it. But, as Solomon said in Ecclesiastes, there is nothing new under the sun. The Bible is filled with warnings about all kinds of sexual sins. Sexual immorality has been around since the Garden. Anything God calls good, Satan tries to pervert. With this obsession with sex running rampant, how do Christians avoid temptation? No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 The battle always begins in the mind. Therefore, we must control our minds, to control our flesh. If I allow my eyes to take in a man I find attractive and begin a conversation, or worse a flirtation, my flesh will lead me to a place I do not want to be, and it can happen faster than you can imagine. So how do I guard my heart from straying – not with a cure, but with prevention. We have control of our own minds and bodies, but we must exercise control. If you are tempted to sexual sin (and even if you are not), you must “escape” from any situation you find yourself in that can lead you astray immediately. You may find my way of coping to be extreme in your opinion, but if I employ it properly, I will escape temptation every time. I do not allow myself to form any type of relationship, even a casual one, with anyone I find attractive. I do not engage such a person in casual conversation at any time. If the situation dictates, I will converse about things as needed only. For example, in a work setting I may have to ask or answer questions, or assist in some manner, a man I find attractive. I confine my contact to only what is necessary; any part of the conversation that is not work related, I will ignore. It’s my protection. Sexual immorality can happen to anyone at any time. As Jesus said, if we even look with lust at another man/woman, we have committed adultery in our hearts. He said this, not to be harsh or extreme, but as a warning that looking too long at a forbidden thing can lead quickly from the mind to the body. If we do not allow ourselves to consider that which is forbidden, it will go a long way towards escaping temptation.