If you want a strong marriage, pay attention to Beyonce. As the 2013 Super Bowl half-time entertainer, she had a captive audience while more than 108 million people saw the 3rd most watched show in United States TV history.
Behind Thanksgiving, the Super Bowl is the second biggest food consumption day of the year; it generates over 90 million dollars in bets in the US. Maybe the most exciting part of the entertainment event isn’t the pigskin or the players. More people tune in to half-time show than the game itself. This year, mixed with lights and smoke, lingerie and pelvic thrusts, the mainly male audience also heard a philosophy of marriage from the singer-dancer herself.
“If you liked it then you should’ve put a ring on it.”
And here’s where irony takes over like a 34 minute power outage at the Super Bowl. No one denies the erotic nature of Beyonce’s talked about performance. But that’s where husbands and wives arrive at a point of decision. Does watching someone we aren’t married to behave in a sensual way stir up lust?
God says it does. “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death” (James 1:14-15). We’re born with desires, but when we feed them through the eye gate, desire grows into sin that leads to destruction.
- destruction of trust and faithfulness
- destruction of purity of thought
- destruction of one man, one woman relationships
- destruction of freedom in intimacy within vows
- destruction of families based on strong marriages
This “family event” enjoyed by fathers and sons and families … inspires the very responses we censure and point to as sources of much pain and destruction. How can we expect to feed on pulsing sounds and enticing images and not end up with twisted desires? For starters, men want women like those on the half-time show, and women wish they were more like the women on the half-time show.
Fox Sports admits that during Beyonce’s display, she “made us all forget about football.” Everyone wishes for the kind of excitement her performance promised if we were … like her or with her.
A visual feast of erotic dancing accompanied by lewd lyrics leads many to the nearest accessible outlet: pornography. But it’s an empty promise; the next step is to act on those images, pursuing immoral relationships or seeking out purchased sex. Pornography depends on the commodity of human lives. Lust creates demand for a steady supply of people, usually women, for use in commercial sexual exploitation. The average age of entry into prostitution is 13 yrs old. The week before the Super Bowl, authorities arrested 85 people involved in Human Trafficking in New Orleans, saying it was “the tip of the iceberg.” One rescued girl was just 17 years old. Two children, ages 10 and 11, were picked up from a car, where they waited while their mother was prostituting herself.
The Super Bowl gave a show for our “over-sexed culture,” and they did it so well.
The Baton Rouge Criminal Defense Blog reported “authorities in Louisiana also complain that with the Super Bowl comes human trafficking of teenage girls and others.” This year Mardi Gras follows the Bowl 9 days later … a collision course for Human Trafficking. The Super Bowl sold a half-time show to over 100 million viewers and gave them a thirst only satisfied by things illegal, immoral, or destructive. One week post half-time, I wonder if there are men and woman and teenagers struggling with lust, guilt, discontentment or comparison.
So where were you during half-time? Did your sons watch? Your husband? Your single male friends? How frustrating for them. No healthy and honest man would say he didn’t “like” what he saw, but HE CAN’T HAVE IT. Even Beyonce says that if you like it you should put a ring on it, but the 108 million viewers can’t have Beyonce. She put out an “invitation” for something she never planned to deliver. I’d call that “false advertising.”
A man who wants to be a faithful, God fearing man can’t have sex or sexual satisfaction outside of marriage and not end up with the death of good things. Even great men fight the lust battle, and that’s why we don’t make a plate of nachos and invite our son to come sit with us and watch it and call it “fun.” A great man named David once penned a promise from God’s heart that, “I will set nothing wicked before my eyes” (Psalm 101:3a).
And if you found yourself held captive by the show and need to hit “delete,” God in His great grace has a solution for that too.
Beyonce is right. If you like what you see, you should put a ring on it … and then it’s yours and you are theirs and you are one. So since we can’t do that, we should save the beautiful expression of human sensuality and pleasure for the bedroom …. our own bedroom.