In the “How holy can I be?” mode, guys don’t care about what they’re missing or whether others think they’re taking things a bit too far. They’re focused primarily on the gains and upon how much closer they might get to God. It doesn’t matter what it’ll cost – they’re on a mission.
There is male pride surrounding this area, and you may demand, “Back off! How do you know what is happening inside me?”
Nobody does. That’s why it’s unrealistic to issue commandments like “Thou shalt not watch Stars on Ice” or “Thou shalt not watch beach volleyball.” Each man is different, and it gets a bit fuzzy defining the boundaries on this middle ground.
On the other hand, men who say there are no costs to living in that middle area are simply making an arbitrary declaration with no facts or experience to back it up. How could they really know? First, their detectors may not be sensitive enough to pick up on these costs if they were there, and second, they’ve never lived without the chemical hits of that middle ground, so they haven’t experienced the difference it can make in a marital relationship or in a relationship with God.