Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt once said, “To me, a sex scene in a movie generally means a gratuitous scene that doesn’t serve the story but gives a kind of excuse – we’ve got these two actors, we want to see them naked, so let’s bring in the music and the soft light.”

So often, it seems we are looking for an excuse or some sort of justification to allow ourselves to take in sexual content that may not be the most helpful in our purity walks.  I was recently talking with some parents about a movie they had seen.  It was rated R and included, from what I gathered of it, some nudity and a few sex scenes.  When they asked me if my husband and I were planning on seeing it, I explained that we just have a “no R movie” policy.  Every time we’ve decided to watch an R movie in the past, we’ve regretted it.  Whereas, I can’t think of a time I’ve really regretted not watching a rated R movie. 

The same goes for many popular TV shows—it’s clear in many promotions that part of the sell is sex.  Just watch the promotions for Scandal, Nashville, Revenge, Smash and the like, and it doesn’t take long to get some serious flashes of skin and sex.  I’m not trying to be legalistic, but are you justifying watching a show because the writing is good, or because there is some tiny threat of a redeeming plot line?  I’ve never seen a movie or a show that included a sex scene and thought: “That scene was so important to the show and character’s development”.  Rather, the writers/directors/producers could have easily alluded to sex and shown a heck-of-a-lot less skin, and I would have gotten the picture.  And, sadly, if many of us are honest with ourselves, while the plot line may interest us, and while the actors may be talented, we are probably waiting around for the sexual tension to build and the sex scene to happen.

What kind of example is this setting for our kids?  We discipline our children when they make up excuses or blame others for their actions, but isn’t that what we’re doing when we choose to justify watching media that doesn’t honor God or honor our spouses?  What we do, and what we watch, will impact our marriage and our kids.  What we choose to take in through our eyes and ears changes us.  Are those things that you are watching changing you for the better?  Are they demonstrating to your kids the distinction between what is permissible and that which is beneficial?