Why I Threw Out My Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

It’s really my fault I received it in the first place.  Sports Illustrated offered for months ahead of time for subscribers to call customer service if they wished to not receive the swimsuit issue.  Thanks to my negligence, I didn’t think about doing so until last week, at which time I was informed it may be too late to stop, as the issue was already in transit.

I’ve been a subscriber to SI off and on for roughly 15 years.  I’ve always appreciated the first rate journalism the magazine offers, along with in depth coverage and historical articles written on events I would never know about without SI.

However, this time of year I also know what comes along with the weekly magazine: the annual swimsuit issue, boasting dozens of pictures of scantily clad (or completely naked) women, surrounded by some tropical paradise.  An issue nearly bereft of sports content; in it’s place, tanned skin and silicone assets.

As a sports magazine company, it’s obvious why this annual issue exists: men love women, or at least ones that have generous curves, golden skin, and are essentially naked.  It was reported that the swimsuit issue of SI alone now generates more profit than all the other issues throughout the year combined.  Yep.  Sex sells. 

So you might wonder why a 30 year old man like myself with a normal sex drive would toss aside a magazine that was designed specifically for guys like me?  Here’s a few reasons…

1) I love my wife.  And let me be clear about the word love here.  It’s not a “I love my wife when she’s naked and we’re about to make love” love.  It’s a “I love her because she’s my soul mate, and even when we’re both at our worst she still loves me and cares for me” love.  We made a vow to always love each other.  So because I made that vow, my perfect standard of beauty is my wife.  God gave her to me as a gift.  To look with lust at another woman, even one presenting herself nude in a magazine, is a complete dishonoring of that gift. 

2) I love my daughters.  I can’t imagine how a man who is caught looking at porn by his wife must feel, but even more so by his daughters.  See, not only is it disrespecting to a man’s wife, but by trying to justify my own gawking at half naked supermodels, I then justify some teenage boys 15 years from now that want to look at my girls with a lustful eye.  Frankly, the thought of that turns my stomach.  My daughters are a gift from God, and will be respected as such.  Not only by myself, but their future husbands. 

And dads, if you have sons, how would you want them to treat little girls?  Ask yourself that before thumbing through a hundred glossy pages of bikinis.

3) I love God.  I love God, and I fear God.  I want to respect his commands, and He’s really clear about the issue of lust in the Bible.  In Matthew, Jesus says"You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’  But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matthew 5:27,28)  Yikes.  So just looking at another woman with lust is cheating.  Scary to think about, but Jesus is serious in his commands.   Lust has created more marital issues than anyone can ever imagine.  So yes, even something that may seem innocent like a SI swimsuit issue can provoke things that are better left unprovoked. 

Don’t think I’m here to judge.  As a 30 year old man, I completely know the temptations of lust are unavoidable.  But before we pick up the latest swimsuit issue, we’ve got to ask ourselves a few questions: Is this beneficial?  Am I simply doing this to satisfy my own lustful desires?   How would my wife and/or children feel if they knew I was flipping through this magazine?

Sometimes we have to cut off those things that tempt us.  For you, maybe it’s smoking.  Or maybe leaving the bar to avoid falling off the wagon.  For me, avoiding situations where I’m tempted to lust is best.  I pray God reveals to you what things maybe you need to get rid of to avoid falling into temptation.  Believe me, your wife and kids will thank you.