Thursday, February 13, 2020

"The Annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue"

Mark 6.1 NKJV

“Then He [Jesus] went out from there and came to His own country, and His disciples followed Him.”

I follow Jesus. I am a disciple of Christ, but not always a very good one. Sometimes I want to lay down my cross and veer from the course, just a little. That’s why God gave me 22 years with a great woman. He knows I mean well and, with a little help from my wife, I just might stay (nearer to the center of) the path.

Adonica was a sports fanatic. She once subscribed to Sports Illustrated magazine and enjoyed the weekly updates on favorite teams and the mostly well written articles about athletes personal and team achievements. I occasionally glanced at the magazine.

Like most guys, I was aware of the annual swimsuit edition in which beautiful women model tiny bits of fabric. I’m not sure what this has to do with sports but I am fairly certain it boosts magazines sales and revenues. Maybe I would take one of my “occasional glances” when the swimsuit issue arrived in the mail. I would be nonchalant.

Adonica informed me the annual swimsuit issue had arrived.

“Oh yeah, where is it?,” feigning only casual interest.

“In the recycling. I didn’t even bring it into the house,” she replied.

“So you mean its in the red recycling box in the garage?”

“No. I mean it was picked up today and taken to the dump. It’s gone for good.”

“Good,” I said. “Darn,” I thought.

My dear wife saw this as a teaching opportunity. She explained that the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated is really soft pornography and had no business in our home. She also discovered that subscribers can ‘opt out’ of receiving the swimsuit issue and get an extra magazine at the end of their subscription. I learned that’s what we would do if we re-subscribed.

The incident described above happened about twelve years ago. Given the opportunity, I doubt I would have opened the magazine. God faithfully provides a way of escape with every temptation I face (1st Corinthians 10.13). By His amazing grace, I have not viewed pornography (or an SI swimsuit issue) for nearly twenty years. Nor have I started up my old sexually addictive behavior patterns since my dear Adonica died nearly four and a half years ago. I am acutely aware of the enormous weight that sin once carried in my life and I don’t want to go there again. However, I most certainly would have been tempted and I am glad I had a marriage partner who understood that. I am deeply saddened as I write these words, for she is no longer here to remind what a good man is and does. Now I must figure that out on my own.

And yet, she is here. In August 2015, Adonica joined that “great cloud of witnesses” who surrounds and reminds me to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” me, (Hebrews 12.1). Together we “followed Him” on earth and stayed on the path. Alone, I might have taken a detour. I certainly was not watching where I was going. 

The woman I married lovingly removed stumbling blocks and helped me remain true to my convictions. To me, she was the most beautiful woman on planet earth. Now she’s in heaven and she’s still beautiful. I still love her and, in a sense, I still have her. By Gods grace, I will not dishonor Adonicas memory. I will keep following Jesus and be the man she always wanted and deserved and expected and helped me to be.   


The beautiful image of the ring on the Bible casting a heart-shaped shadow is by Canadian photographer Travis Parsons of Vinland Photography, Newfoundland. You can view his exceptional wedding photography at


Kurt Willems said...

Wow dave. this was a great post. I understand the struggle and also have been tempted many times in my life. But, like you, i have a wife who understands the struggle and does what she can to help me follow jesus in this area. Thanks for the raw honesty of this post... you are not alone...

davescriven said...

Thanks Kurt.