My family and I recently took a trip to our favorite vacation spot in Myrtle Beach, SC. We had a blast together and enjoyed some of the best seafood ever (i.e. The Chesapeake House off of Kings’ Highway). Like most families in our culture, we try to go to the beach together at least once a year. As our kids get older, we are finding that they enjoy the beach more and more (and Christina and I are getting more and more exercise trying to keep up with them).
There is just something special about the beach and its reflection of God’s glory. When I hear the roar of the waves, I am reminded of the passages which compare the Lord’s voice to the roar of many waters (e.g. Ez 43:2; Rev 1:15, 14:2). When I look out and see nothing but endless ocean, I am reminded of the greatness and might of our God, who simply spoke such vastness into existence. When I stand on the beautiful white sand (especially in Florida; no offense to you Carolinians), I can’t help but think of the purity and holiness of my God, in whose presence no one is worthy to stand.
Yet, at the same time, the beach can also present some pretty tempting situations for Christians (unless of course your family has a private beach). The greatest of these temptations for most Christian men is the truckloads of bikini-clad women roaming the beaches. Almost every honest man I know will readily admit how difficult it is to go to the beach and bridle his roaming eyes. As Christian men, a relaxing day on the beach can quickly turn into a battle against the temptation to lust. I speak so confidently about men because: 1) I am a man and 2) I have talked to other men about this. However, I don’t think the temptation to lust at the beach is limited to Christian men, but also extends to Christian women who may struggle with lust as well.
For Christian women, I believe it is safe to say that the number one issue at the beach is modesty. I would expect the ladies of the world (the ladies of folly) to dress in such a way so as to try and grab the attention of every man within thirty feet of their body, but when Christian ladies show no distinction in their choice of garments, it is very disappointing. As with lust, I believe the discussion of modesty should not be limited to only one gender; some men may struggle with modesty as well…or at least some of the same sinful motives that ladies deal with when it comes to this topic.
Over the next few weeks, I want to take some time and address both of these beach temptations and how as believers we can not only overcome these common temptations, but also be bold witnesses for Christ when we are at the beach. Obviously, everything that I say about Christians at the beach would also apply to public swimming pools. Therefore, I have entitled this series of blogs: “Living the Gospel at the Beach and Pool.” I pray that you will be encouraged and challenged in your walk with Christ as I have been as I have worked through these issues over the years.