Understanding Men, Testosterone and Temptation – Part 1

half man's face

We have looked at PMS  (Part 1 and Part 2) and peri-menopause and menopause (Part 1 and Part 2) and how EASY it is for us as women to become hateful, easily angered, depressed, overwhelmed, irritable, vengeful, unforgiving, resentful, disrespectful, mean, icy and totally ungodly when we have these crazy hormonal changes.  (Pregnancy can do the same thing, sometimes even worse than PMS!!!)  Sometimes we feel completely out of control – we do the things we don’t want to do – and what we want to do, we don’t do!  As women, we totally get that PMS is not in our heads.  We realize that we practically feel possessed during those hormonal times and that it is SO MUCH HARDER than normal to avoid certain sins.  This is when the spirit may be willing, but the flesh is very weak. How desperately we need understanding, grace, forgiveness and mercy from our husbands during these times!

Our crazy hormones are often a REASON that we fall into the temptation to sin at times (anger, rage, contentiousness, disrespect, control, worry, fear, idolatry, gossip, unforgiveness, impatience, losing our temper, bitterness, keeping record of wrongs, divisiveness, dredging up the past that we have already supposedly forgiven…).

But our hormones do not excuse us from sin.

We are still accountable to God for our obedience to Him.

AND PRAISE GOD!!!!  Jesus Christ can give us victory over sin by His power and His Spirit living in us!

I am about to introduce you to a radical topic.  I hope you are sitting down!

OUR MEN ARE POWERFULLY IMPACTED BY THEIR HORMONES, TOO – on a physical, biochemical, neurological, emotional, mental and spiritual level.  Just like we are powerfully impacted by our hormones!

This topic is complicated – I am barely scratching the surface in this post series!

TESTOSTERONE (link to webmd.com’s directory for testosterone issues)

If you look up testosterone as a drug or as a hormone – you will find a long list of “side effects” and effects.  As a pharmacist, I think studying about hormones is fascinating!   All men and women have some testosterone (unless there is a major medical issue going on).  Men have MUCH MORE testosterone than women (about 8-10 times more), thankfully!  But even women have small amounts of testosterone – it gives us a sex drive, that is a good thing!

Some of the primary functions of testosterone in a man’s body are to

  • create bigger and stronger muscles
  • increase energy
  • enhance concentration
  • increase the height and stature
  • deepen the voice
  • create a greater sense of aggression/competition in men (so they are prepared to fight if necessary and to work hard and do their best in battle and in securing their livelihood)
  • create body/facial hair
  • increase libido
  • empower sexual performance for men

Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone.  It is the main hormone that makes men, men!  That is God’s good design.

  • For more info on testosterone and how it affects men and women biologically and psychologically, here is the Wikipedia’s article on testosterone.
  • For more on the differences between male and female brains and how God designed us to be different for His good purposes, check out His Brain, Her Brain by Dr. Walt Larimore MD.

Men have cycles of testosterone levels – but they tend to be more of a daily cycle. Most men reach their peak levels of testosterone in the morning.  That is why men are often more prepared for physical intimacy in the morning than at night.

Men who have very high testosterone levels have been associated with tendencies towards increased aggression/fighting/competition and, of course, with increased sex drive.  But testosterone levels are a bit tricky.  Two men can have the same levels and have very different results.  MANY things affect testosterone levels – whether a man is in a relationship with a woman or not, if he is in a competition, if he has been exercising, if he has been watching sexually explicit movies/tv programs…  lots of things.

Of course, a man does not have to do what his hormones tell him to do, just like women don’t have to do what our hormones tell us to do.  God gives us a will so that we can choose to sin or choose to obey Him.

God’s design is good:

How wonderful that God made men to be able to capture visual images in their minds of their wives to carry with them into battle or on long journeys.    A man is meant to only have images of his wife to cherish in his mind.  And how good that God made men to be so big and strong, and ready and able to fight when necessary – to protect those they love.  Unfortunately, in our fallen world –  our culture and society today provides a constant stream of visual temptation and other temptations that can be extremely difficult to navigate for men – even for godly men who desire to only have pure thoughts.

If there are serious issues in your marriage – infidelity or violence – please get godly, experienced helped ASAP!

Resources for helping us to understand the spiritual battle men face today

WOMEN AND TESTOSTERONE

Women who have naturally higher levels of testosterone tend to  have issues with facial hair and acne, and have an increased libido.  Some birth control pills actually contain small amounts of “androgenic” hormones (testosterone-like substances) that can often increase sex drive in women.

Women have an intricate hormonal cycle that also includes estrogen, progesterone, FSH and prolactin.  Women tend to have a peak of sexual desire/drive around the time of ovulation each month.  Many women have a much higher sex drive those few days around ovulation each month.

Here is Wikipedia’s  article about how hormones, especially testosterone, impact libido in men and women.

I think we as women can understand that a man’s libido is also greatly impacted by hormonal levels, just like ours is.

There is a continuum of differing levels of testosterone and the issues it causes in men – just like there are variations in hormone levels and in PMS symptoms in women.  And there are spiritual, social, psychological and other health issues involved in all of these things as well.  Some men have huge struggles with visual temptation and/or aggression issues constantly all day every day.  Some men don’t struggle that much.  As men age, their testosterone levels decrease and the visual temptations, sex drive and aggressive tendencies generally decrease.  Many times, this happens as their wives hit menopause and have more testosterone in their systems and actually have an increased sex drive.  Yes – this can be a recipe for frustration.  I think it is also a source of frustration for many marriages that men tend to reach their sexual peak in their teens and women usually peak in their 30s.

So,  just like women are GREATLY affected by our hormones and sometimes it can become SO DIFFICULT for us not to fall into certain sins when our hormones are raging,  men are also GREATLY affected by their hormones and sometimes it can be SO DIFFICULT for them not to fall into certain sins when they have raging hormones.

The hormones we deal with are a bit different.

The sins we are most prone to may be different.

But we are all affected to some degree by our hormones (the flesh – the Bible would call it) and we all face temptations.

Women are not spiritually superior to men because our temptations and struggles are different.  Men and women are equally sinful and equally in need of the power of Jesus Christ to give us victory over our sin.

WORKING AS A TEAM

I pray that we as women might develop empathy, understanding, grace and forgiveness for our men as they struggle with their hormones and their biggest temptations (ie: visual temptations, lust, temper, aggression…) just like we need empathy, understanding, grace and forgiveness as we struggle with our hormones and our own set of biggest temptations.

Just like with women:

Men’s strong hormones are often a REASON for temptation for certain sins.

But their hormones do not excuse sin.

Men are still accountable to God for their obedience to Him.  PRAISE GOD, Jesus Christ can give men victory over sin by His power and by being filled with His Spirit!

If we can support, pray for, encourage and extend grace and mercy to each other as spouses – we can be much stronger as a team than we could ever be individually.  How I pray that we might seek to understand our men and to be squarely on their team, in their corner – as we face the struggles and issues of the flesh together.  May we see that our husbands are not the enemy – sin is the enemy.  Satan is also the enemy.

All of this is part of our process of sanctification – God making us more and more like Christ.  This is part of us dying to self and submitting totally to Jesus every day as a living sacrifice.  God can renew our hearts and minds and can set us free from the power of our sinful nature as we crucify it, dying to our sin and our old self – and we live for Christ alone.

EPHESIANS 6 - God gives us His armor and weapons!

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

I CORINTHIANS 6

12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”[b] 17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.[c]

18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

TOMORROW:

We will talk about ways we can offer emotional, spiritual, physical and mental support to our husbands as they face their greatest temptations.

RELATED POSTS:

What Christian Men Think about Modesty

Fourteen Reasons Lust Scares Me – written by a Christian husband and father

“I’m Thinking about Having an Affair”

 

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10 Comments on “Understanding Men, Testosterone and Temptation – Part 1”

  1. Nyakisa Peace
    June 26, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    I thank God for my sister inlaw who introduced me to this blog. its helping me alot.

    • peacefulwife
      June 26, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

      Nyakisa,

      It is wonderful to meet you! :) I look forward to getting to know you better. What an answer to prayer that you are finding encouragement and help here.

  2. Tokophobic
    June 30, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    Would be great to see something about fighting tokophobia on here sometime.

    • peacefulwife
      June 30, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

      Tokophobic,

      Is that something you struggle with? What is it that causes you to be afraid of having children? We can definitely talk about that. :)

  3. MARIE
    July 18, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    This is a good topic to bring up in that it reminds me of a question I had in my mind: “What exactly is the difference between ‘Christian’ husbands and husbands who don’t go to church or have any real dealings with God or don’t even know whether there be such a thing as a bible?”

    I had this question a few times in my mind because I’ve noticed that a good enough number of men in ‘Christian’ marriages seem to have the same priorities and passionate inclinations as men with no particular God affiliation or concern have–just regular guys whose wives are the ones with the real interest in and knowledge of scripture and God. I once read about four years ago in some book by a guy talking about the adverse relationship between men and church attendance and he said that men already have a religion, it’s called masculinity; I found myself agreeing with that. On the basis of their behavior, I seen down through the years where many men don’t seem to have as keen an awareness and prioritization of God’s will and glory as their own–especially when it comes to what they perceive themselves as entitled to from women or their wives.

    So. I just wonder what you think about the statement, “Men are not really into religion or church because they already have a religion, it’s called masculinity”. I think that phrase has a lot more implications for several things from what husbands lable as disrespectful to what is a source of weakness in temptation for them. There is so much talk about what wives can and need to do to “make your husband feel ___” or “encourage your husband to ____” or “[do whatever] so that hour husband can know (or believe) he is ____” that I’ve wondered, “Where is God in all of this? There is so much put on the wives so that the husband can become, feel, and know this or that; wasn’t Adam in the garden alone with God first? If Christian husbands need to be ‘VERY Spirit filled to fulfill some of the most basic scriptural expectations, what accounts for men like Donald Thornton (the ditchdigger who raised the five daughters to be doctors and adopted a sixth in the 1940′s) who had no interest in church, was never seen reading let alone teaching any Bible, but nevertheless was a ‘good man’?”

    I’ve met a dew men of late that are more than I’d even hoped for on my “list”, one is wealthy; I think it’s a fair question to wonder if so-called Christian men who, if the repoerts I’ve seen and read (even here on your blog) are any indication, are just as or more likely to behave heartlessly or cluelessly toward their women and wives, why not just marry ‘a good man’?

    • peacefulwife
      July 18, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

      Marie,

      According to Jesus there is no such thing as a “good man.” Only God is good.

      As believers in Christ – and those who live for Him as LORD – we are commanded by God only to marry men who are “in the Lord.”

      Marrying someone who is far from God – no matter what he calls himself – is a recipe for great heartache.

      As a disciple of Christ – our primary goal in life is to honor and please our Lord – Jesus. So it is important for us to honor and obey Him in choosing whom to marry. He has our best interests at heart. :)

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. When Your Husband Flirts with Other Women | Peacefulwife's Blog - June 25, 2013

    […] Understanding Men, Testosterone and Temptation […]

  2. Men, Testosterone and Temptation – Part 2 | Peacefulwife's Blog - June 26, 2013

    […] If you have not read the first part of this series, I promise that you will want to read it before reading this part!  For Part 1, please click here. […]

  3. The Issue of Modesty | Peacefulwife's Blog - July 27, 2013

    […] Men, Testosterone and Temptation, Part 1 […]

  4. Modesty and Respect | Peacefulwife's Blog - July 30, 2013

    […] Men, Testosterone and Temptation, Part 1 […]

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