“And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, ‘Lie with me.’”
Genesis 39:7 (KJV)
Real life isn’t like what we see on TV or read about in romance novels. In fact, these images can be dangerous to both single and married people alike. When our ideas about life leave us dissatisfied, we can easily be tempted to look at other options. Soap operas, pornography and romance novels encourage risky behavior that can lead to sin.
Often married people convince themselves that just looking or dreaming about being with someone other than their spouse is okay as long as they don’t actually do anything about it. Likewise, some single people feel that they can lust after another as long as they remain “physically pure.” Jesus said, “’But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart’” (Matthew 5:28 NIV). That goes for us gals, too.
I imagine that Potiphar’s wife could be described as the “first desperate housewife.” She didn’t have TV or a romance novel to read. She had something better, Joseph. He was the head workman in charge who conveniently lived in her home and was pleasing to her sight. Unknown to Joseph, he was about to become the prey of a desperate housewife.
This Egyptian woman didn’t happen to notice Joseph one day and then on the spur of the moment, ask Joseph to lie down with her. No. Our key verse tells us she “cast her eyes upon Joseph” and spoke with him day after day. In other words, she watched him, she flirted with him, and she dreamed about him until her sinful thoughts led to action.
How do we keep from falling into such sin? We should follow Job’s example. “’I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl [or boy]’” (Job 31:1). We each have a great need and responsibility to make a covenant with our eyes. Remember that children’s song often sang in Sunday school … “Be careful little eyes what you see? Oh, be careful little eyes what you see. For the Father up above is looking down in love. Oh, be careful little eyes what you see.”
We can protect our eyes by choosing not to watch movies, pornography or TV shows that glamorize sexuality and can lead us into temptation. Our own husbands should be the covering of our eyes that protect us from looking at others.
I also realize that we are human and we make mistakes. No one is perfect this side of heaven. That’s why it’s so important to be on guard. Another way to safe guard ourselves is to commit to taking hold of any lustful thoughts and quickly put them out of our minds. Temptation is not a sin. It’s when we dwell on the temptation that we are led to sinful actions. Don’t be like Potiphar’s wife. Ask God to give you “eyes” for the spouse you already have.
Question: Are you addicted to soap operas or romance novels? If so, what steps will you take today to move away from this stronghold in your life?
Author & Speaker
Helping Others Fear Less. Live More