Ted Bundy, the infamous serial killer who murdered over 30 women and girls, on the night before his execution, asked to meet with founder of Focus on the Family, Dr. James Dobson for a final interview. Bundy specifically asked for Dobson because he felt that Dobson would not twist what he was going to share and just give it straight. Ted began to describe how the thing that led to his violent acts and murders started for him as a 12 year old boy, stumbling upon hard-core porn. He starts out by saying that he doesn’t blame pornography for what he did, he takes full responsibly for his actions, however, that it played the crucial role in molding him into the violent murderer he became. It’s important to keep that last statement in mind, because the intent here is not to say that everyone who is addicted to porn will turn out in this manner. Of course, this is an extreme case, but Bundy was adamant about pointing out the dangers of and the effect a porn addiction has on the human psyche. This was so important that this was the last thing he wanted to talk about in his last moments on earth.
I heard it said once that “we become that which we constantly behold.” It’s true of men who hate their fathers only to grow up becoming the very image of their dads. Deep down there’s always a comparison that says, “I’ll never do what he did” or “I’ll never be like him”, not knowing that constantly doing this is the very act that slowly conforms them into the very thing they hate the most. Constant mental imagery does this but so does physical imagery. It can work for the good or for the bad. Athletes will have posters of their favorite champions on their walls or a young musician of their favorite rock star. There is drive to become something better and part of that journey is having the image in our minds.
Sex, was never meant to be exploited as imagery to be viewed outside of the safety and covenant of marriage. When this happens, it is a perversion of its original intent. Pornography hijacks the covenant-love that keeps sex safe, and pulls down all of its boundaries leaving its viewer ravaged by the images and searching to quench a now unquenchable thirst for more. It cheapens one of the most beautiful acts a husband and a wife can engage in and exploits it for cheap, meaningless thrills. I’m coming strong out the gate with the issue about porn-addiction because it is not a small issue. A large percentage of today’s males are addicted, I know because I was one. But it starts with just a curios look as a young boy, that’s really all it takes.
I started this article with an extreme case only to work down to the single act that initiates it all: a look. A simple look. “There’s no harm in looking” you say. Tell that to Ted. At first, it may not even be porn but simply a glance at the backside of a woman. Most men will say to me, “I can’t help it if she walks in front me and it’s there to look at!” And I’ll say, “Yes, but you can help the second look.” I call it bouncing the eyes and this single act has changed my life and readied me for marriage like not many things have. You’re not responsible for a scantily-dressed female walking in your line of sight. What you’re responsible for is the second look, and the thoughts you allow to run through your mind, that is all you. If you can bounce your eyes after the first look and not take a second, you’re already way ahead of the game. This takes a lot of work, self-control, and proper respect and honor for women. Respect and honor are codes men live by and it goes without saying, but we rarely show that towards females and especially in the place where it matters the most, our minds. The mind is where the real battle begins and ends.
Bouncing the eyes shows us how and what to do, now we need a ‘why’. Well, if the conversation is “How do we become gentlemen?” or “What defines a real man?”, I say our ‘why’ is simply that we want to redefine what a man looks like, starting with, as MJ put it, the man in mirror. What if we encouraged each other to respect and treat women with dignity instead of as objects? And what if we set the example by not joining in on jokes that made sex and women the punch line, but instead, we challenged each other to live, look, and think with respect and honor. Well then I think we’d have a different man on the cover of GQ. Being a man is not based on the number of notches on your belt. No, it means that you’re loyal, faithful, true, honest, respectful, loving, pure, a protector, honorable, the list goes on. Nowhere on the list is disrespect toward women. That is exactly what we’re doing when we look at them with lust-filled eyes. How do we expect to change the world if we can’t change our minds? Well in this case, we change our minds by bouncing our eyes.
Kat, 37, resides in Mar Vista, CA with his wife and best friend, Daniella Teu. Kat and Daniella have a passion for strong marriages and desire to see a world that values covenant and family. He has spent many years in public speaking, music, and missions work but is currently focusing on simply building an even stronger marriage. Above of all else, Kat is a husband, friend, brother, and son.