Jesus saw people differently than we do. When the disciples saw children as a nuisance; Jesus saw them as citizens of heaven. When the religious leaders saw the tax-collectors as despicable; Jesus saw them as reachable. And when men saw prostitutes as disposable; Jesus saw them as redeemable—women in need of healing and forgiveness.
Learning to see others as Jesus saw them is an effective means to stand against sexual temptation, both in thought and action. Jesus didn’t see people as sex objects to be desired. He saw them as human beings, made in the image of God, broken and in need of healing.
On occasion I have counseled parents whose daughters were dancers in gentleman’s clubs. The image the parents gave was not one the paying clientele saw. Their daughters were broken women, struggling with bouts of fear and anxiety. They loathed their career, but lacked the confidence to believe they could do anything else with their lives. They depended on drugs to dull the pain they felt when they took the stage. Their stories were full of sadness. My heart broke as I listened to their parents tell the real story behind the stage personality.
Learning to see others the way that Jesus saw them takes into account the brokenness of those who have been sexually abused. Studies have shown that before the age of 18, one out of every six men and one out of every four women will have experienced sexual abuse. Those numbers are staggering. When I speak on this subject at conferences, I will typically have the men who were born the first two months of the year stand. Then I’ll have the women join them who were born the first three months of the year. Then I tell the audience, those standing represent statistically the number of men and women in a crowd of this size that were sexually abused. I’m always amazed at how many people are standing. Those in the audience grow quiet as they come to grips with the pain that has been caused by uncontrolled sexual desire. This is what it means to look at others through the eyes of Jesus.
A friend of mine learned to look through Jesus’ eyes on a global scale. In many parts of the world, sex-trafficking runs rampant. Women and children are taken from their homes in rural villages with the promise that there are good paying jobs in the cities. Once they arrive in the city, they are locked in brothels and forced to work the sex trade. My friend understood that unless they were given an additional work opportunity and taught a different trade, they would be caught in an endless cycle. He and his wife discovered a brothel in Asia that covered two city blocks and housed 20,000 women and children who were available to the highest bidder. He grew so burdened that he and his wife packed up their belongings and started a business down the street from the brothel. Slowly, but surely they did what others before them have attempted: rescuing these women by teaching them a respectable trade and providing a safe place for them to survive.
This is what it means to look through the eyes of Jesus. We don’t see sex objects to be desired. We see broken people in need of healing and forgiveness.
Taken from Strength for the Struggle: biblical strategies for standing against sexual temptation