In a recent column for the Kansas City Star, Graham, 97, argued that even dabbling in seemingly innocent lustful acts- such as looking at sexy magazines – can lead to stronger, more damaging addiction.
To make his point, the evangelist cited Ephesians 5:3, which states: “Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity.”
Addressing married people, Graham said that giving into lustful temptation goes against the vow you made on your wedding day, to your spouse, your friends and family, and most importantly God.
“In that vow you promised to be faithful to each other and to love each other exclusively, as long as you both are alive. Why break that vow by allowing lust to overtake you, even if it’s only for an airbrushed image in a tawdry magazine?” he asked.
He encouraged those struggling with such temptation to refrain from ignoring their sin and to turn from such desires “decisively and forcefully.”
“Don’t dabble with it; don’t go near places where you’ll be tempted to obtain it; avoid anything on the Internet that even hints of it,” the evangelist wrote, referencing Paul’s advice in 1 Timothy 6:11 that calls on Timothy to “Flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.”
“The most important thing you need to do, however, is to turn to Jesus Christ, confessing your sins to him and asking him to come into your heart and life. You need his forgiveness, and you also need his strength to resist temptation. Then – with God’s help – recommit yourself to your marriage and put into practice the vows you once made,” Graham concluded.