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Book Review – "Through a Man's Eyes" by Shaunti Feldhahn and Craig Gross

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Shaunti Feldhahn is a Christian author (one of my favorites!), speaker, and social researcher. Craig Gross is a pastor and founder of www.xxxchurch.org that has Christ-centered, biblical help for those ensnared by lust, pornography, and sex addictions.

They teamed up to help women better understand how their men think, what kinds of temptation they face, and how we as wives, girlfriends, and moms can best support the guys we love in this sexually saturated culture.

If you have not read my post from last week about preparing our hearts to read about the topic of how men think and the issues they have being “visual,” please read that before you read today’s book review. Thanks!

My prayer is that we might be in the right spiritual/emotional mindset – seeking to grow in Christ and to honor Him and to have empathy, compassion, and understanding toward our men – as we approach this potentially difficult topic.

Jesus taught that “he who has been forgiven much, loves much,” (Luke 7:41-43). I used to think that I couldn’t love God as much as some people who were “really bad sinners” – until God showed me all of my really bad sin. ALL of us have been forgiven MUCH by God. All of us owed Him a sin debt of billions of dollars that we could never repay.

  • If we have received God’s forgiveness, mercy, and grace – we are then free to love God much. But I also believe that we are then free to love other people much – and to extend the same forgiveness, mercy, and grace to others, including our husbands.

If you have major issues with a lot of insecurity, body image issues, or extreme fear about your husband ever noticing that there are other women on the planet – please don’t read today’s post but pray and wait until God has healed you and you are ready to read this review with a level mind and steady heart. Pray for God to give you His perspective, His peace, His sense of calm, His unconditional love for your man, and His wisdom. Pray for Him to help you hash through any ungodly motives, wrong fixed beliefs, or fears and determine to trust God completely and rest in His sovereignty and love.

THE PMS ANALOGY

A perspective that helps me – as a woman and a pharmacist – is to think about that men and women have different biologically driven vulnerabilities and weaknesses. As women, we tend to battle things like PMS/pregnancy hormones/peri-menopause/menopause. (I believe some of these things are part of the curse in Genesis 3.)

There is a continuum for women for PMS – some women are hardly affected, others are mildly inconvenienced, but some are completely relationally crippled for days or weeks every month.

Our men don’t experience PMS or the feminine issues that we do as women. They do have emotions, certainly. But they can’t personally relate to the struggles we may have with our periods, the cramps, the irritability, the crying, the emotional mess, the migraines, and all of the issues that may accompany our hormonal cycles. Don’t we long for our men to approach us with empathy, encouragement, unconditional love, understanding, and grace when we stumble and fall? Don’t we desire compassion from them in our weakness? This is not to say that we are justified in screaming at them, hating them, throwing things, saying hateful things, or sinning against them when we have PMS.

Sin is never excusable. God never allows us to justify sin.

But our biological makeup creates some particular vulnerabilities. If we are not careful and are not walking in the power of God’s Spirit, we could easily stumble in the weakness of our flesh. We may need extra spiritual support in those times of weakness.

I would like to encourage us all to offer the same kind of empathy, encouragement, unconditional love, understanding,  and grace when our men struggle with their vulnerabilities – even if we can’t completely relate to their struggles. Don’t our men need our compassion in their weakness? I don’t want any man to feel guilty just for being a man. Sin is wrong. We are not justifying sin. But – let’s allow our men freedom to be the men God created them to be. And let’s seek to understand their world. A man’s biological makeup creates some particular vulnerabilities that are terribly exploited by our culture like never before in the history of civilization. If they are not careful and are not walking in the power of God’s Spirit, they could easily stumble in the weakness of their flesh. They may need extra spiritual support in those times of weakness.

  • Until we are walking in victory over our own personal spiritual battles, we are not ready to walk beside someone else to assist him in his spiritual battles.

If you are spiritually and emotionally ready – let’s dive into this book review below, my precious sisters!

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This topic can get very emotional for us. We sometimes try to take the way we think and the way our brains work as women and make assumptions about how men think that are often not at all accurate. It is easy to think that if I don’t have a particular temptation struggle – then my husband is “bad” or “more sinful” than I am because he has different temptations.

As humans, we may be tempted to think that our sin is “better than” other people’s sin – or that our sin is more “justifiable.”

But in God’s eyes – no sin is justified. He hates it ALL. And yet He loves us dearly. That is why He was willing to pay such an astronomical price for all of our sins – for men and women – so that He could provide a way for us to be right with Him.

 “Through a Man’s Eyes” goes to great lengths to explain the differences in how men and women think and why God’s design is good – for men and for women. God designed men to be very visual so that they can drive well, design things well, hunt well, and enjoy the precious sight of a wife’s feminine body in marriage. That is the only place men are supposed to see an undressed woman or a barely dressed woman – in their own marriage.

Shaunti and Craig have large volumes of surveys of men and women, as well as brain science, not to mention their vast experiences in ministry helping thousands of men and women with the issue of men being visual. They delve into appropriate levels of detail to determine the difference between temptation, attraction, and lust/sin for a man. It is important for us as women to understand that:

A man facing temptation is not the same thing as him being guilty of sinful thoughts or actions.

Christ was tempted, but was without sin. That is what He calls us to do, as well, as believers – to respond without sin to every temptation by His power in us. We can’t prevent the temptations sometimes. Although we can try to avoid them whenever possible. But we are responsible to God for how we respond to the tempting sight or thought. We can’t always tell if someone else is having sinful thoughts. Only God knows the hearts and minds of other people accurately. It is our job to take our own sinful thoughts captive for Christ. We cannot try to be responsible for another person’s thoughts.

I appreciate that the authors take time to point out that not all men have the same degree of struggle visually, that there is a continuum. This book offers a place for women to start – but hopefully, they will be able to eventually have loving, honest, open conversations with their particular men later that might help them better understand their guys. The authors repeat over and over again, though, for women to read the whole book before trying to have a conversation with their men about these things. It is important that we be willing and able to have CALM discussions about this topic so that our men will know they are safe in sharing these things with us.

If we freak out, we will show our men that we are not safe and they will shut us out of this area of their lives. That is not going to ultimately benefit us, them, or our marriages.

Craig and Shaunti don’t gloss over sin – for men or for women.

They call it what it is and encourage women to get appropriate help if their husbands are addicted to porn. They don’t excuse sin or justify it in any way. But they do help us to better understand how God created our men’s minds and how we can be on their team instead of condemning them, hating them, or holding on to bitterness. They also explain how porn addiction really doesn’t usually have anything to do with a husband’s love or attraction to his wife. It is  an addiction just like a drug – it generally isn’t about his wife. It is about his addiction and the rush of “I feel good” – but it is a counterfeit. Many times men became addicted to porn as middle or high schoolers – and they would have this issue no matter what wife they married. God designed real affirmation and blessings for men when they experience sex in marriage. The counterfeit only causes pain in a man’s relationship with God, in his own life, in his wife’s life, and in their marriage.

I love that the book goes into detail about specific, practical things that wives, girlfriends, and moms can do to support their men and bless them. I am also thankful for the conversation about the importance that women dress modestly to bless our brothers and to not set a stumbling block in their way. Yes, men are responsible for their thoughts and their sin. But why would we ever intentionally try to make things harder on our brothers in Christ by dressing immodestly or provocatively?

I believe this book is a must read for wives, girlfriends, and moms. I long to see God use this book to begin to bridge the gap in understanding between men and women in the church and in our families that we might come together in unity, love, support, and help for one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.

SHARE:

Ladies,

If this topic is really difficult for you and you want to share your struggles, let’s talk about it together!

If God has empowered you to handle this topic with grace, understanding, peace, and poise – please share with our sisters who are hurting and struggling how God has helped you to approach your man with compassion, grace, and understanding on this issue.

FOR LADIES WHO FEEL TEMPTED TO TRY TO BE A TROPHY WIFE OR THINK THAT IS THE MESSAGE:

I came from a background of focusing on what my husband should change for me. So it can be helpful for me to focus on what I can change to bless my husband in a healthy way – not an obsessed or idolatrous way. But not all women are from that background.

We can seek to bless our husbands, but we are not responsible FOR them or their sin. I hope that makes sense! Ultimately this is all about us seeking to please God alone.

Here is what a dear sister in Christ shared – and has given me permission to share. She used to believe she had to be a “trophy wife” and when she approached some Christian books, she thought she was hearing that message reinforced. Sometimes, certain women are very sensitive to such triggers. I think this wife’s approach may be a great blessing to many who struggle with balancing messages in the area of dealing with husbands being visual and having temptations, etc… Check this out:

Some Christian studies on marriage can tempt us to feel responsible for our husbands sin, our marriage, to stay together, and a whole lot of performance on our part to make sure he is never tempted and we are always enough for him. The problem is we are never pretty enough, exciting enough or wonderful enough to hold our marriages together. Our husbands could still sin even if we were.

So we need the truth – We are not going to be enough to keep our husbands faithful or keep them from sin. We are not their savior. Their sin issues were there before we were in their lives. Only God can set them free from lust or anything else . And only God can set us free from fear and worry and performancing.

I am already beautiful in Christ and I need to be filled up with His love and truth about me. Only Christ is enough for my husband. If he is focused on Christ, Jesus is enough for him. So the answer for my husband to be free is Christ. I can pray for him. And the answer for me is Christ.

I don’t have to be a victim – worried about my husband’s sin or potential to sin. I can grow with Christ in any circumstance including one where my husband is sinning. My hope and joy and identity is in Christ, not my husband being perfect. I don’t have to pressure myself and feel constant guilt and fear to perform or he will leave me. I can rest in Christ’s love and grace for me and for my marriage and husband. I don’t have to worry about the future and what-ifs. I can enjoy my husband and think of intimacy and beauty as a good gift from God rather than a heavy, impossible duty I will never be good enough at (a lie from Satan).

Rather than be fearful and jealous, (Beth Moore said jealousy and fear has never won back a wandering husband) and looking at my lack, I can look at all the good already in my husband, all the love and blessings Christ has already given me, and the hope that God is fighting for me and my marriage. I am not the Holy Spirit and I can quit trying to police my husband and be free to give him respect and prayer and be listening to God and staying out of God’s way if my husband does need convicting.

Sometimes my husband isn’t even struggling and it is just me being paranoid that is the problem! I need to ask for God’s wisdom, and not try to figure out what is right in my own eyes.

RELATED:

The Issue of Modesty

www.menarevisual.com – Shaunti Feldhahn and Craig Gross

www.xxxchurch.org – help for lust/porn addictions and spouses of those who are addicted

Prayer for Those Hurt by Porn, Addicted to Porn, and Involved in the Porn Industry

“Through His Eyes” by Shaunti Feldhahn and Craig Gross

“For Women Only” by Shaunti Feldhahn

“For Men Only” by Jeff and Shaunti Feldhahn

Fear

Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin

Are Women Morally/Spiritually Superior to Men?

Righteous Jealousy and Anger

When Your Husband Battles Pornography

296 thoughts on “Book Review – "Through a Man's Eyes" by Shaunti Feldhahn and Craig Gross

  1. OK so why did God create men’s minds to enjoy or want that stuff?!?
    You say he didn’t intend us to suffer PMS, it was part of the curse in Genesis 3. Was it also part of the curse that men’s brains are wired like this, then? I feel as if we have no excuse for bad behaviour at that time of the month, but men seem to have all this mountain of excuse for theirs. Like we have to understand them, and not blame them? I don’t want to read this book because I think I would get angry.
    No sin is ok, but it does make it clear in 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 that sexual sin of any kind is particularly bad and damaging, and I’ve always taken it to mean that it is worse than other kinds of sin. (Not worse in God’s eyes, obviously all sin is sin, but worse as in more damaging and hurtful).
    Sorry if I am being negative about this, it IS a very sore subject for me – not because of my husband’s attitude or actions, thankfully, but just because I am very vulnerable and jealous about him seeing anything inappropriate, or even watching an explicit scene in a mainstream film. Thankfully my husband (not a Christian) knows this is a massive issue for me and is extremely sensitive and caring about not looking at other women etc. But I am aware of what’s out there and I cannot understand why we should try to see men’s points of view on this, or be understanding about their desire to look!!

    1. Sunshine,

      My sweet sister! I’m so sorry this topic is painful for you! I wonder if you had a chance to read my post about preparing our hearts for this book review before you read the review?

      God described that He would greatly increase our pain regarding childbearing in Genesis 3. That is why I believe that PMS was not part of God’s original design.

      But Adam WAS designed to enjoy seeing his wife – before the fall. For a man to enjoy seeing his wife in marriage is a beautiful thing! God designed sex in marriage to be bonding in many ways and to be enjoyable. That is a gift! He designed us to enjoy our men’s romantic gestures and words of love. (Of course, this is a vulnerability of ours – and we may choose to misuse this desire by reading romantic novels rather than focusing on our own husbands. We may even be tempted to covet a fictional male lead or to resent our husbands for not being as romantic as we think they should be. We have a similar weakness here that we must also be careful about and guard our hearts about.)

      None of us have excuses for sin. We have reasons why we are tempted to sin – but that is not an excuse. We all have our own vulnerabilities where we need to exercise much caution and we need to be sure we are Spirit-filled. And we all need much grace.

      I am not saying that we need to say that lust is fine. Not at all! I am saying, we can understand that they are wired to be visual – and that in this culture, that is a problem. Honorable men who do not want to see other women inappropriately dressed DO see women inappropriately dressed and must deal with that all day. Why would we not want to try to help our men as they battle this? Why would we just throw them out to deal with this on their own?

      I think you are mishearing me about what I believe God desires us to do. I am not saying that men should be given a free pass to lust after other women. Or that we should be understanding about them watching inappropriate things. But if a commercial comes up unexpectedly – that they aren’t looking for – and they try to bounce their eyes – we can be appreciative. And we don’t need to interrogate them or shame them or make awful assumptions about their thoughts about every woman they see unavoidably. Does that make sense? We could seek to become women who understand our men and who team up with them to help them battle this instead of stomping them down and making this even harder.

      The book goes into many practical things we can do to bless our men and support them in their struggles. You haven’t even heard what those things are yet. But it is NOT about condoning sin or enabling sin or glossing over sin.

      Sexual sin is a unique category of sin. But that is talking about actual sex with another person’s body. It is a sin against our own body – and we can end up with diseases, etc…

      I do agree that you are not ready to read this book at this point.

      I would love to see you find more healing for yourself first. If you cannot seek to extend any empathy or understanding toward men at all for the things that they cannot control (their vulnerabilities) – please don’t read about this issue! When you are willing to begin to understand what things they don’t control (which we haven’t even touched on in this post) and where they can control things and where the sin of lust actually starts, and you can read about that without resentment – then you are ready.

      I understand that this is a difficult issue for many, many women.

      It’s always interesting to me that so many women are SO upset about the idea that a sinful thought might flash through their husbands’ minds and they want to try to control every possible sinful thought in their minds. But then we can hold on to resentment, contempt, a spirit of judgment, bitterness, and all kinds of sinful thoughts in our hearts against our husbands or men in general – and that is okay. It just doesn’t make sense! Imagine if our husbands freaked out so much about these sinful thoughts we have toward them? Imagine if your husband tried to control your every sinful thought and all of your jealousy about his thoughts. What would it be like to live with someone who tried to be the mind control police? Would that approach help you to actually control your sinful thoughts? Or would it just teach you to hide your sinful thoughts?

      I would love to see us focus on asking God’s Spirit to help us control our own sinful thoughts (like the ones I just mentioned), and trust God to empower our husbands to control their sinful thoughts. I want to see men and women experience God’s victory over ALL sinful thoughts and motives! That is the ultimate goal. In Christ, there is VICTORY over ALL sin!!!!!

      Let’s love our men with the love of God!!!! I Corinthians 13:4-8:

      Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

      Much love to you!

        1. I do have a teenage son, who has just turned 17, and I have just been discussing this very topic with him. Basically he was very open and I believe him when he says (so far) he has steered well clear of this whole area, would rather play football anyway!, and he understands the need to keep well clear of pornography etc.
          But I see what you are getting at – if I can’t handle this area and have such strong feelings, how would I be able to help rather than judge my son if he got ensnared in anything like this? I was pondering it and I realise it is important to try and understand rather than be angry about how men deal with this area.

          Also, perhaps you are right and I need more healing myself, but that said, God has done an incredible healing work in me when I think back to how I used to be. He has also blessed me with the kind of husband who has never had a major problem in this area, and who understands and tries to avoid triggering any hurt for me!! I would never ‘stomp him down’ as you say, or try to control his thoughts, it’s just I would be devastated and tearful if I found he had looked at a dodgy website for example. I once found a lingerie website in the history browser and I cried for days! But once I talked to him, we sorted it, and I was able to understand he just wanted to buy me some lingerie etc etc. But I recognised my own weakness in it! I didn’t blame him or try to control him, or ‘stomp on him’!! I just felt awful – jealous and vulnerable and sick about it!! 🙁

          And I do understand that he might struggle at times with lustful thoughts, and see things ‘by accident’ that might trigger those thoughts. And I can handle the thought of this happening, which shows God is healing my jealousy.
          I might try that book you recommend, by Nancy Leigh De Moss. Thank you

          1. Sunshine,

            I’m so thankful that so far, your son seems to be handling temptation well. And I am so thankful that you see that he would need you to be able to approach him calmly if he were to have a struggle in this area. I praise God that He has shown you the importance of seeking to understand rather than to be angry. WOOHOO!!!!! Such an answer to my prayers for you this morning!

            Yes, God has done so much in your life already. I can see the beautiful work He is doing and how much you are growing. I know He will continue and finish that work in you. 🙂

            I am praying for continued healing in your soul, and for your husband’s salvation, my dear sister! 🙂

            Much love,
            April

      1. Peaceful Wife, but what do I do when a woman, in public, is trying to get my husband’s attention? He sees her, she sees him and then she starts the dance of seduction or look at me. I stand there feeling really rejected, hurt, etc. I start the destructive thinking in my head, thoughts that she must think she is prettier than I am because he is looking at her instead of me. Then I say something to him, his eyes dart back to me, and then back to her. What should I do, walk away from the both of them? I have told him that there are Jezebel women out there, set before him as traps from Satan, but he quickly forgets.

        1. Pamela,

          Does this happen often, my dear sister?

          How is your marriage in general?

          How does your husband respond? Does he just briefly look at her and then redirect his attention?

          Unless he is actively engaging her and encouraging the flirting she is doing, I don’t think you walking away would be necessary or helpful.

          How are you doing spiritually in your walk with Christ?

          Is he a believer in Christ?

          If you are interested, these posts may be a blessing:

          My Security Is in Christ
          Finding Victory over Feelings of Insecurity
          I Need to Change! I Can’t Go on Like This! (a wife who realizes she was engaging in sinful and destructive jealousy)

          Much love to you!

          1. Peaceful Wife, thank you for your reply and for the suggested articles, I have read them and yes! they did help, especially the one on making my husband my idol.

            In answering your questions, no, it doesn’t happen “often, ” but enough to have shaken my trust in him. My marriage is good otherwise.

            His response to these women is not ideal, he seems to enjoy the attention and no, he doesn’t see them and avert his eyes, he keeps visually going back for more, which only encourages the woman. If he would bounce his eyes as Steve Arterburn suggests in his book, “Every Man’s Battle,” I wouldn’t have an issue, but I feel by his visually going back for me, he is “actively engaging and encouraging” her.

            I should add, he did have a pornography addiction, I found it out about the first month of marriage. It does tend to make men objectify women. We have been married fourteen years and after speaking with our pastor and a counselor that specializes in pornography addiction, I believe he has overcome using the computer to actively engage in that part of the addiction.

            So, I think he does encourage it by not immediately looking away, which is why I asked if maybe I walked away, he might get the message and it would remove me from being his inadvertant victim.

            My walk with Christ is great, I am closer to Him now than I have ever been.

            My husband says he is a follower of Jesus, but I’m not sure about that.

            But, after reading the article about “How to make your husband an idol,” I see where I have been making my husband my idol. I see where God has been trying for years to show me my sin in all this. In trying to find my self-worth, my self-esteem in my husband, and how everytime he looked inappropriately at another woman, my self worth was shattered all over again. IT was a vicious cycle of getting it from my husband only to have him shatter it. What a horrible way to live!!! I think I’m finally getting my revelation now. My Pastor told me to ask God to show me why I was having to go through this over and over again for years and years, I think I finally have my revelation.

            Finding your website was an answer to prayer…thank you so very much. Praise God Yeshua/Jesus!

          2. Pamela,

            How do you generally respond when you see him struggling?

            How is your marriage overall? Do you both feel loved and respected? Do you feel that there is growing trust and that both of you are working on that? Do you both feel safe to share concerns and to share your needs with each other?

            Is one of you generally more passive and one more dominant?

            I would also invite you to search these posts that may be a blessing:

            – insecurity
            – security
            – how to stay filled with the Holy Spirit
            – godly femininity
            – my husband is not a good spiritual leader

            Much love to you! I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for you both!

    2. Why did God make most women want a tall man?

      I’m 5’6″ an I’ve had a lifetime of CHRISTIAN women who are 4-5″ shorter than me insist that I am not tall enough.

      So, despite all my other Godly qualities, I guess I am for some OTHER girl, but never them.

      Point is this: You can ask such questions about male nature, but I can find one about your nature for each one you find about ours.

      This, of course, leads us nowhere.

      Girl are “visual” too, it turns out.

    3. I agree with the author above. Sexual sins are not to be compered with other types. Yet we have our sins too. Don’t we enjoy glances from other men? They are wired to view while we are wired to be viewed. Just we don’t have as many temptations since we are not photomodels.

  2. A good place to start – for those who do find themselves feeling very scared, anxious, vulnerable, and upset about this topic might be “Lies Women Believe – and the Truth That Sets Them Free” by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. 🙂

    Another good place to start, is to understand the depths of our own sin and that we are not “better than” men. We are not morally or spiritually superior to men – just because we have different sin tendencies and vulnerabilities. On our own, there is no good in us.

    We are all completely desperate for the salvation and spiritual Life Christ offers to us.

    1. Ladies,

      Let’s also keep in mind – in thinking about why we should seek to understand our men and have empathy for them… Jesus, our Great High Priest, lived as a man on this earth for 33 years and lived the perfect life none of us could live. But He was tempted and tested in every way that people are and He understands us.

      For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:15-16

      It grieves my heart greatly to think that any of us might not want to sympathize with our men in their weakness. Brings me to tears, actually. I have seen this response many times when I have addressed this issue in the past. Lots of wives DO try to be the thought police and do try to tear their husbands down if they see (or think they see) their husband struggle visually. We can make ourselves and our husbands most miserable. I want to see this idea torn out of our souls – individually and corporately!

      Lord,
      Forgive us!!!! Forgive us for not wanting to understand our men. Forgive us for condemning them and not seeking to bless and help them. Forgive us for misunderstanding them and shoving them away. Forgive us for taking their vulnerabilities personally – as if it is all about us. They answer to You, not to us. Forgive us for seeking to be the thought police. Forgive us for trying to be the Holy Spirit. Forgive us for joining with the accuser of the brethren and joining the enemy to attack and accuse our men, rather than to pray for healing and deliverance for them. Forgive us for making their burden much more difficult to bear instead of supporting them in healthy, helpful ways. Forgive us for not extending to them the same understanding, grace, and compassion that we, ourselves, need.

      Open our eyes, Lord!!!! Let Your Spirit work mightily in our midst! Bring us to conviction if any of us need conviction. Forgive us for any self-righteousness, bitterness, resentment, or hatred toward men. Let us have Your hatred for sin. But let us have Your love for our men. Let us see them with Your eyes. Let us not look down on them with haughty eyes. But let us come along side them as our fellow travelers and let us be a blessing and an oasis of Your truth, love, grace, peace, and healing. Let us humble ourselves before You, Lord! Change our hearts to match your own. Change our desires to match Yours. Let us seek Your glory above all. Let us love You wholeheartedly and love and bless all others with Your love! Change us and empower us to be the women, wives, and moms You desire us to be!

      Amen!

      We ALL need someone to sympathize with our weaknesses. Who better to do that than believers – who have received the mercy, grace, forgiveness, and eternal Life that Christ died to give us on the cross??? We are the ones who have tasted the love of God!!! It is our job to share this love with others – including our husbands, our sons, and our brothers in Christ! Not that we approve of sin – but that we love the sinner and seek for all to be reconciled to Christ first and to be empowered by His Spirit to overcome temptation.

      1. April,

        This is a very confusing area in my mind. Jesus came to earth as a man and went through all the temptations we face here on earth. If men and women are so very different why did Jesus not come both as a man and as a woman? This has led me to believe men and women are not so different in their “inner man”.

        Could it be that worldly cultures have long since given men the green light to suppress and use women? That it is almost radical thinking in today’s world that a man doesn’t discuss the “office hottie” with the other guys at work. Could this be the reason women are in constant pain over this? Not that our Christian men struggle with this issue but that there is almost no repentance for the times our men have sinned in this fashion because it is just so prevalent!?

        I have also noted that our culture is okaying women to lust after men’s physical attributes (the 50 shades and Magic mike variety) I think more women struggle with lust and sexual temptation than is represented even in surveys and studies but due to social ramifications keep it buried deep where sin festers. I see christian teenage girls and women receiving the message lust is a boy’s or man’s problem. Is the painful struggle we women have with this issue because of our own unrepentant sin regarding lust?

        I have been a long time reader, I know that your heart is about setting women free from bondage to the enemy. I pray that none of my questions come across as argumentative or against you or your insights. The Holy Spirit has gently teased out many issues of wrongful thinking and if this is another area that needs teased out, sister, I am ready but still oh so confused.

        Back story:
        Husband and myself are christains. We are very much in love and have two children. Our son is 8. I have given over headship, embraced the joy of the Lord and all is really, really good. I do struggle mightily with desiring words of admiration and love from my husband and THIS issue of his possible admiration of a different woman.

        1. wifeinlove,

          I think it is important for wives to understand that if a husband finds a woman to be attractive, beautiful, or even a temptation – it doesn’t mean that he wants to leave his wife and have her. It doesn’t mean he loves her. An honorable man will turn his thoughts from another woman toward his wife and focus on his love for his wife – rather than dwell on a temptation and choose to indulge in lust.

          Jesus experienced all of the categories of temptation that we experience as an example for us to follow. (He is God, and cannot sin or be tempted to sin – but He faced temptations and overcame them.) The 3 temptations in the wilderness were for pride, providing for the flesh in ungodly ways, and meeting His needs through Satan’s plan rather than via obedience to God. He knows how to have victory over temptation. He can give us His victory! What GOOD news!

          Our world gives all kinds of green lights for sin – for men and for women.

          Believers are to hate sin. And when we see sin in our lives – we are to repent deeply, turn from sin, and turn toward Christ and holiness. Men and women. There is no excuse for any believer to continue on in habitual sin (check out 1 John 3 for more on that). Lust is just as sinful for women as it is for men. And there are women who absolutely struggle with lust and porn. http://www.xxxchurch.org has resources for women and men regarding this snare.

          I am not talking about lust for women in this post – because I am talking about this book and helping women understand the issues men face. But women do face lust in a number of ways – and it is something we can find forgiveness for and healing in Christ.

          I long for women and men to be free from the bondage of sin and the enemy. Yes! That is my heart and my goal.

          Your questions are welcome here. Let’s talk about anything that doesn’t make sense and pray for God’s wisdom and clarity. 🙂

          Much love!
          April

          1. Thank you so much for your reply! I didn’t see it before for some reason :/

            I know this is off topic but are there any everyday ways a wife can believe her husband’s heart is for her despite so many messages from the media and what we see going on in so many relationships? I desperately want to believe in him!

            The nonstop sexual saturation not only affects men trying to walk out a holy life, it also sends a message to women that men are unable to control themselves.

            Thank you for your patient responses to various women struggling with the same issues 🙂 (Maybe I should have heeded the trigger warning!!)

          2. Wifeinlove,

            When a man is submitted to Christ and filled with His Spirit, he can control himself. And, thankfully, three are many things wives can do to support their husbands in this battle that the book describes. 🙂 wives are not powerless when we have Christ, either. 🙂

          3. One problem here:

            Our Lord allowed Himself to be tempted by the devil for our edification and example as to how we must approach it — remember that He is God, the Second Person of the Trinity, so He Himself cannot actually be “tempted” in the same way we are. He ordained the events in the desert after forty days for the purpose of teaching us how to deal with temptation.

            I just had to be sure to mention that because it seemed like we could be heading down the path of heretical beliefs here that could border on denying the Divinity of Christ.

          4. Homeschool Catholic Mom,

            Jesus is not tempted in the same way we are – meaning – He cannot sin or be tempted to sin because He is God. Right. I didn’t intend to say that He was tempted to sin. I will look back over what I wrote. Thank you!

            But Satan did try to tempt Him and He overcame the temptations and set a holy example for us in how we are to respond to temptation.

            Thank you!

          5. If the tables are turned and the wife is being denied her marriage rights, this is an opportunity for her own spiritual growth. I do not want to involve TMI or make anybody think I’m being insensitive as I don’t write on this subject, but I will just offer the following — it is an opportunity for great growth in that it opens the door to the riches found in realizing that all things of this world pass away, nothing is permanent except God, and the graces which flow from being able to begin to understand what men go through by means of their sight. It is also beneficial if you have a budding adolescent son, in that you partake in a small way in the struggles he is going through. You can use this opportunity to be a better mother to him, in that you pray for him more earnestly and can provide more patient counsel to him, in the instance that he requests it of you. I have found that the major instruction in chastity and purity has fallen to me. I cannot understand the struggles of my son fully, but I can at least sympathize, exhort him and provide him with a modest example in myself and in his sisters. I can then steer him in the direction of appropriate resources when he is experiencing something that is male-specific to which I cannot fully relate.

            “Now is the acceptable time, now is the day of salvation” — you can turn a time of extreme pain and terrible temptation and even a fall into something that turns out to be a shower of grace.

          6. Homeschool Catholic Mom,

            God can absolutely use our trials, even that of being rejected sexually by our husbands, to refine and strengthen our faith and trust in Him.

            Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  3. I have a fantastic husband. I love him very much, and I am well assured that he loves me. That said, he has struggled in this area (once, that I know of) and though it was incredibly painful, God enabled me to give grace to him rather than condemn and criticize.

    I think one thing that really helped is that he told me. He didn’t leave it for me to find, he didn’t deny it… he came right out and told me he’d struggled in that area. He’d already allowed healing to come into our marriage (at the start, I’d been incredibly insecure and jealous, but he proved his love for me and I know felt secure and loved), so it wasn’t when I was at my most vulnerable, either.

    Even though it was hard to hear, I knew that he already knew what he’d done was wrong. That made it a lot easier to deal with. I started to question things (some of the old insecurities came up): “What did the girls in the pictures look like? Were they skinnier than I am? Did they have bigger breasts or more beautiful faces?” (Just keepin’ it real on here: those are the thoughts that really went through my head!) I thankfully knew not to ask those things, because it just would have hurt more all around (would’ve hurt him to know I was so deeply hurt, and would’ve hurt me to hear the answer to the question – or to know he didn’t WANT to answer the question). I responded by forgiving him, and then when he suggested that he really needed to see me and have some time with me, I did so, despite how difficult it was to do at the time.

    Later, though, I realized that God had given me amazing grace to extend to my husband in that time… I believe it was supernatural because it was something I can’t imagine I’d have been able to do otherwise. I generally tend NOT to extend grace in circumstances like that, though it’s definitely something I’m working on.

    Because I was able to respond with grace rather than condemnation (not because he was innocent, because the innocent don’t need grace, but because grace is what I’d want if I were in his situation, and also because I already could see he felt badly about it), I believe his struggle ended far quicker than it would have, had I insisted on making known every detail of how deeply he’d hurt me. I didn’t have to rehash it to him: he saw the hurt. But he also saw my willingness to do everything in my power, as his wife and as someone who’s been given the very exclusive right to satisfy him physically, to re-direct him to myself rather than alienate him from me.

    I’m not saying this would work in every single situation (which is why I explained my situation in detail before I explained what happened), but it did work in this situation.

    I definitely think it wouldn’t work for a husband who was unrepentant or unwilling to admit his sin… and who had pride as a serious foothold in his life. There is a married couple in my family right now that is going through this… and the circumstances are VERY different from those of my husband and I. I believe they both have a lot of growing to do, but I think a giant obstacle for the man is his pride, because it blinds him to his own sin and minimizes it. In turn, it tends to magnify every sin against him, or just other sin in general. I’m praying about how to talk to him (he needs to hear the truth in love, and though I’m not initiating conversations, I want to always be “prepared to give an answer” in case something does come up). I’ve noticed, in the past, when I try to bring something up gently, he sees only what he wants to see… so I think I’ll have to be a little more blunt and clear, while still speaking the truth in love. Please pray for me in this area, April! If you would like to know more about their situation, I could message you about it. 🙂

    Thanks again,

    blessedout

    1. blessedout,

      Thank you so very much for sharing! I pray that your story might bless many other wives, husbands, and marriages. 🙂

      I’m not sure if you are in a position to address another husband about this issue – but I do pray for God’s healing for this couple and for His Spirit to work in both of them and for them to triumph in the victory of Christ over this battle.

      Much love to you!

  4. April,

    I love this!!! I love the idea of seeking to understand our brothers.

    As I was reading this, a scenario popped into my head…. Sometimes we get upset thinking that our brothers struggle with being visual and look down on them.

    I thought of a friend of mine who is a recovered alcoholic. I am very sympathetic to her. When she first stopped drinking, I asked before she came over what I could do to help. I offered to put away all traces of alcohol, so she wouldn’t be tempted at my house. I don’t sit in front of her and pop open a bottle of wine and drink each glass and talk about how smooth and delicious it is. If we go out to dinner, I drink water. Am I ashamed that I drink wine? No. But, I love my friend and don’t want to do anything to hurt her. If we are going somewhere where I know there will alcohol being consumed, I always prepare her for this. She appreciates this. She knows I like a glass of wine, but she appreciates that I don’t ask her to drink and I don’t do it in front of her. She cannot have one sip of alcohol or she will quickly spin out of control. She battles this addiction and refuses to give in. I don’t look down on her for her addiction. I don’t resent her that I can’t drink in front of her. In all honesty, I could, but that would not make me a considerate friend. I don’t want to hurt her or tempt. I want to understand her struggle and try to help her overcome it. She has a safe place at my house, if she needs to get away from a situation that could cause her to fall. I joyfully drink water when I am with her.

    Why on earth shouldn’t my brothers have the same compassion and love? My friend isn’t wrong for being tempted by alcohol. She sins when she indulges and spins out of control.

    A man make not understand my hormonal nature, but I hope he doesn’t hold it against me. I would hate for a man to assume that I am an unstable, crying basket case, because a few days of every month I am super sensitive and cry at the drop of a hat. I would hope he understands that I cannot help it, and be sympathetic that I try to be self-aware and control it, but know that tears may fall over something silly and I truly cannot help it.

    Most of us know that we can also help, by being aware of our dress. Yes, we CAN wear anything we desire. But, let’s pray our desires match that of our heavenly father. A man CAN raise his voice and intimidate me with his strength, but I hope he is aware of how that will affect me and choose not to do so.

    I pray that healing begins in our culture. I pray that we can rally around our brothers and help them embrace their God-given nature.

    I am excited to read this book. I am so thankful that you approach these issues and that you work to bridge the gap that has been created. I pray these deep wounds are healed in our brothers and that they feel safe being masculine. I am proud to call you sister and friend!

    1. Lee Ann,

      I was actually thinking of that exact same example – of how we would respond to someone we love who is recovering from another kind of addiction – how would we seek to bless them and help them?

      Thank you for sharing how you seek to love your friend and bless and help her. I love how you don’t put any stumbling blocks in front of your sister. I love that you want to understand her struggle and offer the compassion, mercy, grace, and love of Christ to her. That is beautiful!

      I appreciate your sharing so much, my precious sister! I love what God is doing in your heart! 🙂

      Much love,
      April

    2. Great article April – as always!! Thank you! It is so helpful and such a reminder that sin is sin.

      Loved your example Lee Ann – that is so true! That’s good food for thought. You are right -we need healing in our culture. If these things were talked about there wouldn’t be such a need to hide it because of condemnation, shame and backlash.

      Love x

  5. Hi April,
    *TRIGGER/FREAK OUT ALERT* feel free to edit or remove this post, April, as you see fit.

    Thank you for openly addressing a difficult topic. What I like most about the idea of the book is that it sounds like one of the primary goals of Craig and Shaunti is to make it possible for a woman to get past condemnation of her mate who has pornography use, and move the woman and man into working together in unity to help release the man from bondage to this sin.

    Women, and particularly Christian women, are largely unaware of the tremendous struggles the majority of Christian men are having in this area…and when I say majority, I mean a significantly higher percentage than 50%….The actual percentage of course is impossible to determine…Some might say 78%, some may go as high as 90%. And yes, that is among Christian men, and “good” Christian men.

    Pornography sites get the biggest hits when there is a Promise Keepers conference in town. What this means is that it is statistically more likely than not, that no matter what your own husband may be telling you, that yes, your own husband is secretly struggling in that area. Herein lies the problem. If husbands hear women saying, Why would anyone want to look at that filthy stuff!, they will go underground with their sin and never, EVER dare to expose themselves and their failures to their wives.

    Women: are you only willing to accept the part of your man who takes the family to church on Sunday, dressed in a clean suit? Or are you able to understand what April keeps saying loud and clear, We are ALL dressed in filthy rags, – husbands with porn addiction
    – contentious striving women with control addictions
    – wives that Satan has separated from their own husbands because husbands KNOW they could never come clean to a morally superior wife who might have “little” sins but never a big, fat, dirty REAL sin like a sexual sin?

    When a woman is ready, through the Holy Spirit, to read the book and gain an understanding of men, especially Christian men, then I believe there will be a tremendous upheaval in spiritual warfare. Because once these Christian men get a glimmer that they might possibly be able to come clean on this sin, confess it to their wives, and try to turn from it, with her support and prayer and acceptance…well, the possibilities that a man might be released from the sin, and worse yet in Satan’s eyes, develop a true intimacy with his wife– you can only imagine that the Evil One will try to redouble his efforts.

    The real problem with pornography is not that a man hides it from his wife. The real problem is that a wife makes it clear to her husband that she will reject him if he becomes absolutely 100% transparent and reveals his deepest needs and sins. This book is trying to make that possible. When a wife can get to the place of understanding that she really has no superiority over her husband, or anyone else, then that individual couple has the opportunity to experience true intimacy, like Adam and Eve in the garden, when they were naked and not ashamed or afraid. When your husband can trust that he can become “naked,” and risk showing you all of himself, including his problem with pornography, and you can show him that there is no condemnation coming from you, only love and acceptance as an equal sinner coming to the foot of the cross, then together your marriage can become the deep communion of trust and love for one another as God designed it to be.

    1. Marked Wife,

      Thank you for the warning to wives who are feeling vulnerable.

      And thank you for what you are sharing. You are absolutely right about the spiritual warfare around this topic. That is why I had an entire post about preparing our hearts and praying for each reader before we even did the book review. And you are right that as couples seek to honor God and unite together in Christ to battle the enemy on these issues, there will be intensified spiritual warfare. Satan is quite pleased with his plan to ensnare so many men (and women) in porn addiction and to paralyze them in the kingdom of God. And he is even happier when the sin of one person in the marriage leads to more sin from the other spouse and leads to division, hatred, bitterness, resentment, and factions.

      But this is not God’s way! He has the way for healing for our husbands, and for us, and our marriages and our families. It is costly to do things God’s way. Yes. It involves us dying to self and living for Christ and His purposes rather than our own will. But He can heal us all and bring unity to our marriages and our churches!!!! That is my prayer!

      Grace Filled Marriage has a chapter about a husband using porn and a wife’s response. Tim Kimmel, the author, talks about that while porn addiction is very destructive to marriage – and it is clear sin and it is very hurtful – it is often the wife’s bitterness and unforgiveness that ultimately destroys the marriage. God can heal marriages from porn addiction, lust, adultery, and all kinds of sin! But we do have to be willing to forgive and get rid of all bitterness. Those things are sin, too. Jesus says in Matthew 6:14-15 that if we don’t forgive others their sins, God will not forgive us. This doesn’t mean we must trust our husbands if they have betrayed our trust and are not willing to repent and are still living in sin. But unforgiveness and bitterness are extremely destructive to any relationship and contribute greatly to divorce among believers.

      I long for every husband and wife to feel safe being spiritually vulnerable and “naked” before his/her spouse. I long for our marriages to be a safe harbor and haven of rest and peace. I long for us to have the Spirit, mind, and unity of Christ in our marriages and in the body of Christ. This will require us to embrace humility and to clothe ourselves with Christ.

      Thank you so much for sharing these powerful insights!

      Much love,
      April

    2. Marked Wife: In an adult Sunday School class I taught that touched on men’s temptations in this area, a man in the class made the comment that 90% of Christian men struggle with this — and the other 10% are lying when they say they don’t! Not a scientific number, obviously, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was right.

  6. I also think that it is important to understand that the “lust” of pornography is less about sex and more about power, just as the crime of rape is not about sex but is about violence and power, i. e. “I can force this woman to submit to me,” or in the case of pornography, the fantasy of ” I am powerful enough that this woman will expose herself to me upon my demand.” This is important to note because the more we grant our husbands “power” in their own homes, through respect, submission to decision-making, etc., the more that will inoculate them from trying to get the need for respect and power met outside the marriage relationship.

    1. Here is a quote from the book, this is my desire for each couple represented here:

      “Keeping secrets from the ones we love is almost always dangerous, and learning how to share well is essential. I think we would all live healthier, more productive lives if we learned to be open about who we really are. But communication also must be done to share, understand, support, and build one another up, rather than to confront or tear one another down. Yet all too often, when it comes to this issue, those conditions are not met and so fear, not closeness, is the result.” (pg. 71)

      “When your relationship gets to the point where there are no secrets and no need to hide things, and you feel your spouse understands something that had been very private, something special happens. You feel such a sweet sense of closeness and appreciation for each other. The type of closeness that all of us truly want.” (pg. 75)

      The way that Craig Gross describes the pull of a porn addiction is this:

      “Complete, nonjudgmental affirmation is powerful for a man. He may not feel like he is getting that from a real person, but he might get that from an image. And to the degree that he is vulnerable, that feeling – however counterfeit – can be very appealing. The good news, though, is that true sincere, non counterfeit affirmation is even more appealing!” (pg. 56)

      Another quote:

      “Porn is not about intimacy. It is about anti-intimacy… As a man, it is when I feel lonely or impotent or powerless or angry that I might be tempted to go to porn as a way of killing that pain and not being intimate, because I don’t want to be known and vulnerable in that moment. If I am, I will have to grieve and feel.” (pg. 55)

      Porn is often a coping mechanism that men turn to when they feel like failures or don’t feel affirmed as men.

      My prayer is that WE as wives might learn to give REAL affirmation to our men that is truly a blessing to them, and that we might encourage, bless, and build them up to help inspire them to want to become the men God desires them to be. Not that we are responsible for their sin or their obedience to God. But we can seek to bless our men and be on their team with God to become the women God desires us to be. Then we are empowered by God to work with Him as He draws our husbands to Himself.

    2. @ Marked Wife, April

      I also think that it is important to understand that the “lust” of pornography is less about sex and more about power, just as the crime of rape is not about sex but is about violence and power, i. e. “I can force this woman to submit to me,” or in the case of pornography, the fantasy of ” I am powerful enough that this woman will expose herself to me upon my demand.”,

      Mostly False. Both of your examples are feminist myths. It’s a feminist myth because it’s a projection. Women desire power (see: curse of Eve in Genesis 3), so they think that men desire power as well which motivates sex and rape.

      No man including me will hold it against you because you don’t know what the male sex drive feels like. The desire to have sex is a biological drive, and I would classify it as a need for most men.

      It’s like a gnawing hunger that you have **all** of the time. Sometimes it’s “low level” where you can feel the stomach acid in your stomach slowly eating away at your insides. Other times it’s “starvation level” where you feel like you’re going to die if you don’t have sex.

      The reason why I said mostly false is that there are some narcissistic and psychopathic men where “sex” or “rape” is equated with power and/or murder. However, this is a low percentage of the population and often only serial killers and serial rapists. Some women are like this too.

      This is important to note because the more we grant our husbands “power” in their own homes, through respect, submission to decision-making, etc., the more that will inoculate them from trying to get the need for respect and power met outside the marriage relationship.

      Power does not drive the need for sex. Biology drives the need for sex.

      Respect and submissiveness means that husbands will choose their wives over pornography or trying to suppress the drive.

      Thus, the behavior of wives influences decision making not the need.

      1. Deep Strength,

        Thank you for your masculine perspective. We are dependent on men to describe these things to us, very true. That is why I quoted only men from the book in response to Marked Wife. But – each man may have a unique perspective and I appreciate hearing from a variety of men.

      2. Deep Strength,

        I think that Marked Wife and I were talking about porn addiction – and it seems you are talking about sex drive in general for a man. Is there not a difference, in your mind?

        1. April,

          The comment was about the “lust” of pornography not about sex but power. Generally speaking, the lust (or biological drive for sex) is there already. Sex with a wife, pornography, masturbation, or suppression are all different outlets for it.

          If a man isn’t getting his need met in one area (say the wife), then he will likely turned to another area to get it.

          This is because of the sex drive of men. One of the major reasons — if not THE main reason — why men get married is to have sex. After all, the only reasoning given in the NT to have sex is in 1 Corinthians 7. It is better to be of the Lord’s things, but if they cannot control themselves it is better to marry than to burn. Thus, the desire/passion to have sex which most men have IS one of the main reasons to be married.

          That said a nagging and disrespectful wife is a turn off for men. That’s part of why men are driven to masturbation or porn rather than wanting to have sex with their wife. No man would willingly want to have masturbate or watch porn over a real life human. However, different factors such as disrespect may influence him to choose other decisions.

          ——————————-

          The reason I choose to comment is that it’s important to distinguish the biological need for sex between the reasons a man may choose a different outlet for them.

          Many wives become bitter at their men because they want sex all of the time not understanding that sex is a major reason for how men feel respected and loved, how it relieves them of the “all the time urge,” and how it makes them more loving toward their wives.

          If you just clump in the biological need for sex with “power” then you have women that are less empathetic and sympathetic toward their husband’s desire. This can lead them to more willingly turn down sex (despite 1 Cor 7 and the admonition not to) which may lead to marital dysfunction.

          1. Deep Strength,

            This is super helpful. I really appreciate your comments. Gives us a lot to think about. And I like the way you described a man’s drive – I think that word picture of gnawing hunger is something we as women can relate to.

          2. Deep Strength,

            Would you be able to describe the difference between a man’s sex drive and lust? Because – I think it is confusing to us as women. Lust is sin. But I don’t believe a biological drive is sin. Of course, we can take a biological drive and choose to fulfill it in ungodly ways. But there is a willing choice that comes into play. With me not being a man, I don’t know that I can pinpoint when the choice to lust comes in vs. biology. It seems a bit murky at times to me. It seems to me that the book does a pretty good job describing this. But, I am not a man.

            My understanding is that there is a point at which a biological reflexive reaction becomes a choice, and at that point, if the thoughts continue, they can be sin.

          3. @ April

            Would you be able to describe the difference between a man’s sex drive and lust? Because – I think it is confusing to us as women. Lust is sin. But I don’t believe a biological drive is sin. Of course, we can take a biological drive and choose to fulfill it in ungodly ways. But there is a willing choice that comes into play. With me not being a man, I don’t know that I can pinpoint when the choice to lust comes in vs. biology. It seems a bit murky at times to me.

            In general, sex drive = desire = lust. However, when the Scriptures refer to “lust” it does not always mean “sin.” This is best explained in Biblical terms.

            James 1:13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

            The Greek word for “lust” or “desire” is epithumia.

            G1939 — ἐπιθυμία — epithumia — ep-ee-thoo-mee’-ah
            From G1937; a longing (especially for what is forbidden): – concupiscence, desire, lust (after). Total KJV occurrences: 38

            It’s not always used in a negative context. For example, Jesus in Luke 22 uses the same word to say that “He has desired (or lusted) to eat the passover” with His disciples. Obviously, this is a good thing! It’s also used in Luke in the prodigal son who “desired” to eat the food that the pigs ate since he was so hungry, in Luke 16 when the poor made desired to eat the crumbs from the rich man’s table, and in Luke 17 when Jesus is saying a time will come when the disciples will “desire” to see the Son of Man but will not be able to find Him (probably referring to his post-death and pre-resurrection).

            A man’s sex drive is like “desire” or “lust” that is always there. It’s constant and gnawing sometimes just barely but sometimes like a man will feel like he is going to die. Only when this desire meets temptation *and* gives into it does it become sin.

            >> Desire + temptation to evil + dragging away –> conception (or succumbing to the temptation) = sin –> death. Desire + temptation to evil can be resisted and not sin.

            Likewise, when epithumia (or rather the verb epithumeo) is used by Jesus in Matthew 5 it is used in terms of coveting something which is not yours:

            Matthew 5:27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’[e] 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully (epithumeo) has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

            As you can see, a man’s desire or sex drive is not a sin. Nor is a man’s sex drive or desire and temptation a sin. It is only when those two combine and a man is dragged away and succumbs to the temptation that it births sin.

            Hence, “lust” or “desire” is not sin until it involved succumbing to temptation. Generally there is no distinction made between “lust” and “sin” because it is almost always used in the context of describe sin in the Scriptures, but it’s clear that this is not the case.

          4. I’m having a hard time finding anything to disagree with Deep Strength. He has clearly explained that it’s a biological need, not just a ‘desire.’ And I agree, it’s not about power, that’s a myth. If nothing else, men seek to be affirmed by the women in their life, to feel needed.

            A man might turn to sinful ways as sexual outlets like pornography or being impure with himself or other women for a number of reasons. Some men find it difficult to remain chaste when it is being withheld or they are being neglected at home. That is why a healthy man wants to have a healthy sexual life with his wife. It’s beneficial for the marriage, and it helps him remain chaste. It also helps him remain in union.

            If it’s being withheld (for revenge, emotional reasons, healthy reasons), etc, a man is still responsible for his actions, however it leads him to a “near occasion of sin.” It makes it more difficult than it has to be. It’s like asking an alcoholic to sit in a bar and not have a beer.

            In no way am I saying that all men’s sins are caused by women, they’re not. I’m saying that the lack of intimacy with a spouse makes it much more likely that a man will choose sin. Keeping those home fires burning not only draws you together, but it helps a husband curtail those biological needs.

          5. AnonyMan,

            Thank you also for your perspective. I think this is the kind of dialogue that might help bridge that gap in understanding between women and men. I appreciate how respectful the men are being as we discuss this sensitive issue. Thank you so much for sharing.

            I think something that can be confusing to women is that there are a lot of reasons why a man might use porn. Many wives think, “He doesn’t love me.” “He’s attracted to me.” “I’m not enough for him.”

            It is my understand isn’t that a number of situations can tempt a man to use porn:

            – an addiction that may have begun when he was s teenager, or even earlier that has nothing to do with his attraction to his wife now
            – feeling rejected by his wife sexually
            – feeling disrespected by his wife, especially over long periods of time
            – an addiction that develops in adulthood
            – not being attracted to his wife anymore
            – loneliness
            – frustration in life in general
            – not having a legitimate sexual outlet (a man is single, for instance)

            Ladies,

            I would love to see us as wives joyfully seek to understand our particular husband’s needs and pray that God might empower us to bless our husbands sexually.

            I also want to speak to the wives whose husbands have a naturally lower deaire – which is actually rather common, especially as men age. If your husband doesn’t desire sex every day, or every few days, that doesn’t mean he is not attracted to you. There is a continuum of what is “normal” in the sexual desire department that can be affected by many factors. If your husband do has a lower drive, that also does not mean he is necessarily not attracted to you, or “not a red blooded man.” Let’s give grace for our men who are not as highly charged with desire, too.

            Sometimes when we read about how strong a man’s sex drive is, it can be alarming if our husband doesn’t seem to fit that mold. But each man is unique. It is important for us to understand men in general, but especially our own husband.

            Remember, if you have a serious issue in your marriage – unrepentant adultery, severe porn addiction, other active addictions, or actual abuse – please seek appropriate help!

          6. All of those are real life reasons why a man might fall into an addiction like that. It’s accurately called an addiction, because it’s like a drug. It’s never quite fulfilling, and they keep going back for more to try to ‘one up’ the last high. Men never actually do find fulfillment, and it causes a lot of pain in men’s lives, both emotional and health issues. Wives are NOT the only reason men find themselves falling into this destructive addiction. Please do not take that away as the point I tried to make, I apologize if it came across that way.

            It’s hard to describe what a male sex drive feels like, but it truly is like hunger. That’s the most appropriate feeling I can conjure up that the ladies might understand.

            If a beautiful woman walks by on the street, biologically, at a brain chemistry level, right in the brain stem, we notice. It’s how God made us. In my opinion, you were correct in describing at what point it becomes a sin. It’s at the point where you start to spend time with the thought, and take it beyond the natural thought, “Wow, she’s beautiful, you do great work, God.”

            I hope I was clear and didn’t muddy the water.

          7. AnonyMan,

            Oh! I didn’t take that as your point. I was just expounding a bit for the other ladies.

            And yes, I agree – porn never brings fulfillment, only greater emptiness and brokenness and pain.

            I think you were clear!

            Shunt’s book actually describes a certain area of the brain on brain scans that lights up for men when they see a beautiful woman – I am working on a post about it, in fact – the nucleus accumbens. That initial reaction is in the pleasure/reward center that is involved with pleasant emotions, drugs, addictions, food, and sex. Women’s brains don’t apparently light up like that when they see an attractive man. We see he is attractive, obviously. But we don’t tend to have that same biological immediate response. For a woman to feel sexual desire for a man, she will usually have to really focus on an emotional connection with him and concentrate on building desire for him. Not sure if that makes sense. A woman’s sexual desire tends to need to do a lot of warming up – although it can be faster around the time of ovulation. But – most of the time, there is not an immediate biological reaction. The exception may be for women who use porn. But I don’t have brain scan info for them. Maybe one day we will.

            So it can be really difficult for a woman to fathom that a man could have an immediate brain-level reaction that she doesn’t have. Interestingly, women tend to light up in the nucleus accumbens when they see pictures of cute babies. Men don’t.

            I think this information is so important for us to understand – so that we don’t demonize our men. I think that if we can understand the way God designed men, and understand the differences between men and women – we can develop empathy and understanding and celebrate the differences and support one another.

            That is my desire!

          8. As a side note, the “emotional connection” can take many forms. When men read that, they might think that an emotional connection means gooey lovey-dovey stuff.

            But some women are turned on by fear (it’s an emotion), dread of losing an aloof man (see: taylor swift lyrics), excitement (he’s a bad boy), and so forth.

            The type of emotional connection depends on the girl, just like some guys like blonds, some guys like skinny girls, some like athletic builds, etc.

            So men are advised to carefully consider that being a syrupy sweet delicate sensitive man juuuuust might not be a the kind of emotion she is looking for.

            Heck, once I sternly lectured a girl during a date because her political views were so far off it was crazy. I figured I was ending things. She told me I was making her furious, but she was even madder that it made me attractive.

            THAT was before I really understood women.

          9. – an addiction that may have begun when he was s teenager, or even earlier that has nothing to do with his attraction to his wife now
            – an addiction that develops in adulthood

            This seems to me to miss the mark. Are you addicted to food? Are you addicted to the air you breathe? Satisfying something that is a biological imperative for most normal people should not be classified as an addiction. While there are rare cases where this it honestly IS an addiction, this is the exception not the rule.

          10. ravaught,

            I think I am a bit confused.

            So – am I hearing you correctly that sex for a man (maybe all men) is as necessary to life as breathing air or eating food?

            Am I hearing correctly that porn use is necessary for men, in your view, if a man is not having sex in marriage?

            I don’t want to misunderstand.

            But if that is what you are saying – I can’t agree with these concepts biblically. God provides a way out from temptation and sin – for men and for women. And He can give us victory over sin as we walk in the power of His Spirit and His strength alone.

            Or perhaps you don’t believe that sex outside of marriage is sin or that porn use is sin?

            Yikes. I really hope that is not what you are saying.

          11. No, you are misunderstanding. Yes, SEX is a biological imperative, designed and directed by God himself. I never said that PORN was a biological imperative.

            Don’t confuse the two. Just like a snickers bar is not ‘real food’, not good for you, or healthy, or even really satisfying, neither is porn. But if you are starving and someone hands you a snickers bar, what are you going to do? If you are co-owner of a restaurant, but your partner denies you food, would you eat a snickers, even knowing that it doesn’t taste as good, is not satisfying, and is not healthy?

            Porn, adultery, fornication, these are not healthy, good, wholesome things. They are the snickers bar to the hearty meal that God provides to us in our marital relationships.

            My point was not to condone the watching of porn, or the committing of fornication or adultery. My point was to say that if you starve your man, he will eat the snickers. He may hold out for days, weeks, even years, but if you keep starving him, that snickers will start to look like the most appetizing thing on the planet and his desire to survive will far outweigh any feelings of guilt. He may hate himself afterwards, but he will do it. And just like with food, once you start with a poor but readily available, cheap, and easy diet, the effort needed to get a good meal becomes the stumbling block that keeps you eating poorly.

          12. ravaught,

            Oh good! I am so thankful I misunderstood. Thank you for clarifying. Yes, we can lessen the temptation to our spouse by being willing and available to enjoy intimacy with him/her. I agree!

          13. Could the gentlemen please clarify: “a nagging and disrespectful wife is a turn off for men. That’s part of why men are driven to masturbation or porn rather than wanting to have sex with their wife. No man would willingly want to have masturbate or watch porn over a real life human.” Does the last sentence contradict the sentence before? I.e. A man will willingly choose masturbation/pornography over a real life human if he finds his wife to be a turn off due to disrespecting him? Thank you, brothers!

          14. @ Marked Wife

            Yep.

            That’s one of the reasons why a man will choose masturbation or porn over his wife. Nagging and disrespect are turnoffs and makes him not want to be around his wife. Hence, he can satisfy his sex drive by another source instead.

            April posted a bit down about more reasons why men turn to other options too.

          15. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that there are very, very broad definitions of the words “nagging” and “disrespect”. I learned that mentioning anything more than once is nagging; disagreeing with the person in question is disrespect (even if you have far more insight into the problem). Finally learned to stop sweating it and do what I have to do. Did things improve? Hardly. The rift got wider and wider until now we’re essentially only roommates and the common parents of our children.

            I finally gave up some months ago, after realizing that some folks can’t be pleased. I’m at peace more or less with the involuntary celibacy and regard it now as a cross from God. Being Catholic, I have the great blessing of four places where I can regularly go to Confession within very close proximity of my home. I sort of figured out my husband’s main priorities (at least I assume I have, he never tells me anything) a number of years ago, but I kept fighting and hoping I could implement all the great ideas to renew our marriage. What I did succeed in doing was getting myself into one major depression. Clawed my way out of that, then realized even my husband had no right to expect me to go through life zombied out in a depressed state trying to meet all his expectations.

            I checked out manosphere blogs hoping for the solution — nope, that’s sure not a place to find it. I just got more depressed realizing there was literally nothing I could do….absolutely nothing. Once a man has made up his mind, that’s it. You’re toast.

            You appeal his hasty decisions, you’re disrespectful. Mention something more than once that is extremely important to you, you’re a nag. Simple as that. If you want peace, you keep your mouth shut and smile….and pray.

            Nagging, disrespectful wife, I learned, is a hazy term used to describe anybody who doesn’t smile all day long, gets tired or irritated by anybody, and says, “Hey, I need something,” or “I’m sorry, but I can’t agree with that and here’s why”.

            So now I take care of myself properly, raise my kids, and think in terms of twenty-four hours.

          16. Anonymous,

            Your husband may have these definitions – but that does not mean that God has the same definitions of nagging or disrespect.
            I would really, really love for you to be able to have a trusted Christian counselor to help you walk through the extreme issues you are facing.

            Much love to you!

          17. Marked Wife: I’d say that for most men, especially most Christian men (though there are always exceptions), their wife is their most preferred source for sexual fulfillment, by a wide margin. So, if there is a healthy sexual relationship going on, where the wife is both available and affirming, then the porn option is very clearly perceived as one that pales in comparison to sex with their wife. I know this was definitely the case for me when I struggled with pornography during my marriage. But the flip side is that as the levels of affirmation and/or availability go down, the attractiveness of porn goes up and the temptation becomes more difficult to overcome. (Repeating what has been said before here: this does not excuse or justify the husband in pursuing pornography or giving in to temptation; that is his sin and his alone. But it’s also a fact of nature — a thirsty man is going to have a harder time turning down a less healthy drink and holding out for a healthy drink than is a man who has plenty of healthy drinks available.) Hope this helps.

      3. You could be right, DS…I will demur responsibility for my own projection or feminism as the information was shared with me by a male Christian counselor (Ph.D.). 😉

        1. @ Marked Wife

          Sadly, it seems that many counselors (Christian or not) that seem to peddle the most lies either from what they “learn” in school which is typically based in feminist dogma now. I’ve seen this with a lot of professional schools (doctor, nurse, physical therapy, etc.) where the people just take the word of the instructors or textbooks without questioning or reasoning out if it’s actually true or not.

          To confirm you can always ask more men if their sex drive is all the time but varies in intensity like hunger. It’s a pretty easy confirmation if the men you ask are straight forward and it’s just a “yes” or “no” answer. Generally, you’ll get a yes unless you’re dealing with a man who who chosen celibacy.

          1. FROM PEACEFULWIFE – Ladies and gentlemen – this comment could probably a TRIGGER ALERT for some men and some women. This is a difficult discussion. There will be differing opinions and understandings on the motives behind porn. We may not all agree. Different research sources have conflicting or different results. This comment is primarily about possible motives behind porn use for men – not about masculine sexual desire.

            I appreciate the discussion. Again, respectfully, I do not think we are discussing the same thing. You keep referring to the sex drive, yet men who engage in regular pornography use experience a marked decrease in desire for sexual relations with willing, available wives. On that basis, it seems that pornography use lies outside of relieving the hunger of sexual desire, since the hunger could be fulfilled by conjugal relations with the wife.

            I am not talking about the sex drive and I do not believe that pornography’s primary use is about the sex drive.

            The gentleman in the book reports: “As a man, it is when I feel lonely or impotent or powerless or angry that I might be tempted to go to porn as a way of killing that pain and not being intimate, because I don’t want to be known and vulnerable in that moment. If I am, I will have to grieve and feel.” Notice he does not say, “when I am feeling horny (pardon my French), I might be tempted to go to porn.” Pornography use serves a different purpose than satisifying the biological sex drive and it is important for wives to understand that pornography use is NOT about THEM or indicates they have FAILED as wives.

            Gary R. Brooks, Ph.D., talks about some of the uses of pornography:

            – “Validation: The need to validate masculinity through beautiful women. Women who meet centerfold standards only retain their power as long as they maintain “perfect” bodies and the lure of unavailability; it is very common for a man’s fantasy sexual encounter to include a feeling of manly validation; it is also common for men to feel invalidated by their wives if they have trained their minds and bodies to respond only to the fantasy advances of their dream girl.
            Trophyism: The idea that beautiful women are collectibles who show the world who a man is. Pornography reinforces the women’s-bodies-as-trophies mentality.
            Fear of True Intimacy: Inability to relate to women in an honest and intimate way despite deep loneliness. Pornography exalts a man’s sexual needs over his need for sensuality and intimacy; some men develop a preoccupation with sexuality, which powerfully handicaps their capacity for emotionally intimate relationships.”

            None of the above uses could be described as relieving the biological urge, would you agree? They all go far, far beyond that. You can read more about the research at Covenant Eyes 2014 edition of Pornography Statistics
            http://www.rescuefreedom.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/covenant_eyes_pornography_statistics_2014.pdf

          2. TRIGGER ALERT, LADIES!

            Marked Wife,

            I believe that there are a variety of motives involved when men (or women) use porn. Possibly even multiple motives may occur at the same time. Thank you for sharing this perspective.

            All,

            I do know that some husbands have turned to porn because their wives were withholding sex. And I know that some have turned to porn when they felt very disrespected by their wives. I am also aware of some men turning to porn when they were not attracted to their wives – I don’t think that is the most common issue, but it certainly plays into many wives’ deepest fears about body image issues, and is the most painful possible motive in most wives’ minds, in my view. These motives above may be primarily about satisfying a man’s sex drive at first, would be my guess. But then, an addiction can easily start. Motives may change, or more motives may be added. I believe a single man may also be tempted to turn to porn to satisfy his sex drive. I do think that there are issues that are related to a wife that could be involved. But there are also issues that aren’t about the sex drive or a man’s wife that can come into play.

            Affirmation, validation, and comfort are some motives that may be involved. But also, to get a “hit” of dopamine and to feel good – just the pure addiction part is also a motive once an addiction is formed. And, if a man developed an addiction to porn way before he got married, that addiction may truly have nothing to do with his wife. And if he is very addicted, he may have issues having sex in real life with his wife – because of the rewiring of the brain due to the porn addiction.

            The man who was extremely upset earlier – his primary concern is that men not be demonized and he wanted to comment about the Ph.D.’s statement that men use porn because they want “power” – this man desired “to point out the error of that man imputing such a horrible attribute to men as a group, especially Christian men who are supposedly saved by grace. Approaching the issue from the ‘men are a bunch of dominating, scary brutes in their hearts’ is not going to get us anywhere.”

            I can agree with that sentiment.

            I think that porn use and addiction is a complicated, multi-faceted issue many times, and that the motives may be different for different users. I also think that the definition of “power” would be critical in this discussion. Because there could be a wide variety of definitions for that word related to this subject – and I think the word could be a source of confusion.

            I want for us as women to be careful not to condemn all men or to judge them wrongly – or paint all men with one brush. My hope is that as we learn about the motives behind porn use – we might be better equipped to support, pray for, and look for proper help if our husbands, our brothers, or our sons are ensnared in pornography.

          3. @ Marked wife

            First, April already posted a list of other possible reasons for pornography usage in the comments of this post:

            – an addiction that may have begun when he was s teenager, or even earlier that has nothing to do with his attraction to his wife now
            – feeling rejected by his wife sexually
            – feeling disrespected by his wife, especially over long periods of time
            – an addiction that develops in adulthood
            – not being attracted to his wife anymore
            – loneliness
            – frustration in life in general
            – not having a legitimate sexual outlet (a man is single, for instance)

            These are a lot of different reasons that a man may turn to other options whether he is single or married.

            You keep referring to the sex drive, yet men who engage in regular pornography use experience a marked decrease in desire for sexual relations with willing, available wives. On that basis, it seems that pornography use lies outside of relieving the hunger of sexual desire, since the hunger could be fulfilled by conjugal relations with the wife.

            True and false. Pornography usage or even masturbation without pornography relieves the male sex drive.

            For example, if a husband were to masturbate that would make him less likely to use porn because his sexual desire is sated. Likewise, it would also make a husband less likely to want to have sex with his wife.

            I am not talking about the sex drive and I do not believe that pornography’s primary use is about the sex drive.

            You don’t have to believe me, but every single man in this thread has agreed with me so far.

            You’re obviously a woman so you don’t know what a male’s sex drive is like, but do you honestly think I’m trying to deceive when I describe the male experience?

            The gentleman in the book reports: “As a man, it is when I feel lonely or impotent or powerless or angry that I might be tempted to go to porn as a way of killing that pain and not being intimate, because I don’t want to be known and vulnerable in that moment. If I am, I will have to grieve and feel.” Notice he does not say, “when I am feeling horny (pardon my French), I might be tempted to go to porn.” Pornography use serves a different purpose than satisifying the biological sex drive and it is important for wives to understand that pornography use is NOT about THEM or indicates they have FAILED as wives.

            Note the bolded text as that is referring to the experience with his wife: “because I don’t want to be known in that moment.”

            Instead of satisfying his sexual desire with his wife, he allows loneliness, powerlessness, anger, or other emotions as reasons/justifications to choose porn instead of his wife. In other words, he doesn’t want to be known with his wife because of feelings of inadequacy.

            The reason for his sex drive and desire for intimacy is the biological sex drive. Then the husband has allowed his emotions to tempt him into pursuing porn instead of his wife.

            None of the above uses could be described as relieving the biological urge, would you agree?

            1. Validation = affirmation which April already discussed above.

            2. Trophyism is false. No man looks at porn with trophyism in mind. Having sex with many women perhaps.

            3. Intimacy April already talked about as well.

            Again, the biological urge drives a man to seek out sex and intimacy with a woman. We are simply talking about the reason a man may choose different avenues for sexual release. The underlying biological urge is implicit when men talk about.

            The reason you don’t understand the biological urge is because no one talks about the biological urge. You as a woman haven’t experienced it. Yet, it’s there.

            ———————————

            Let me give you an analogy. Say you’re hanging out with your husband. You’re at a shopping mall and you observe a woman who is flirting with another man. You tell your husband to look over at that man and woman and watch them.

            He looks over at them for a minute and is confused at what he is looking at. He asks you ‘why am I observing them’? You tell him ‘that woman is definitely flirting and in love with that man.’ He replies back to you ‘no, she isn’t! she’s just being friendly with her.’

            Think about why can you see this and why can’t your husband see this?

            You’re a woman. You know how women act when they are in love and flirting. You know the subtle behavior that she expresses with her body language, the look on her face, the demure glances when he’s not looking, and even the wording and communication style.

            Your husband doesn’t. All he sees is a woman being friendly with a man. There might be more, but he can’t pick out the particular signs that indicate that she’s definitely interested.

            Thus, let me spell out word for word what happens when a man turns to porn. Just as you may have to spell out word for word why that woman is definitely interested in that man.

            The process is not:

            1. A man is lonely or wants intimacy.
            2. A man goes to look at porn.

            The process is instead:

            1. A man has a biological urge to have sex.
            2. This biological urge to have sex comes to the forefront of his mind.
            3. The man also has feelings and thoughts. Perhaps of loneliness, inadequacy, or whatever else.
            4. The desire for sexual release and thoughts and feelings come together to form a temptation.
            5. A man will pursue an outlet for it.
            6a. If a man chooses to resist feelings of thought or inadequacy he will turn to his wife.
            6b. If the man chooses to give into feelings of loneliness or inadequacy like “my wife can’t meet my need in this moment” then he may masturbate or watch porn.

            Now, at a base level this is what happens in summary:

            The sexual drive or desire MUST meet temptation to conceive sexual sin.

            Thoughts and feelings of loneliness or inadequacy WITHOUT SEXUAL DESIRE lead solely to isolation, depression, and despair. Not pornography use or masturbation.

            This is why sexual desire of a man is implied when we discuss pornography use or masturbation, and why I have gone to painstaking lengths to make it clear that this is the case.

          4. DS, thanks for your patience in this discussion. I think we are getting closer to an understanding. When you describe the process as:

            1. A man has a biological urge to have sex.
            2. This biological urge to have sex comes to the forefront of his mind.
            3. The man also has feelings and thoughts. Perhaps of loneliness, inadequacy, or whatever else.
            4. The desire for sexual release and thoughts and feelings come together to form a temptation.
            5. A man will pursue an outlet for it.
            6a. If a man chooses to resist feelings of thought or inadequacy he will turn to his wife.
            6b. If the man chooses to give into feelings of loneliness or inadequacy like “my wife can’t meet my need in this moment” then he may masturbate or watch porn.

            Would it be fair to conclude, at least in the process described above, that the primary use of porn is not the biological urge/sexual release need (he has a willing wife for that), but rather to soothe the inadequacy? He chooses pornography because it makes him feel less inadequate, not for sexual release. Because a man feeling inadequate wants to find something that makes him feel adequate, i.e. more strong, more competent, more powerful?

            Again, thank you for your continued patience. It is much appreciated.
            .

          5. @ Marked Wife

            Would it be fair to conclude, at least in the process described above, that the primary use of porn is not the biological urge/sexual release need (he has a willing wife for that), but rather to soothe the inadequacy? He chooses pornography because it makes him feel less inadequate, not for sexual release. Because a man feeling inadequate wants to find something that makes him feel adequate, i.e. more strong, more competent, more powerful?

            You’re close.

            Men don’t do porn to feel positive feelings about themselves: “more strong, more competent, more powerful.” I’ve never heard of a man or talked to one who has viewed porn who does this, and that certainly was not the case when I was addicted.

            Rather, it’s usually negative feelings that come together with sex drive to tempt you to porn. This is why the vast majority of Christian men feel disgusted with themselves after they view porn. They know it’s wrong going in and they don’t want to do it. But they also don’t want to feel those negative feelings… and they know the negative feelings are blotted out by the pleasure for a while.

            Think about why other addicts such as alcoholics or drug users. They don’t use and abuse to feel more powerful or stronger or more competent. They use it blunt the negative feelings of loneliness, depression, despair, or bad situations their lives are in such as after the death of a loved one. It’s used as an escape.

            Porn, like any other addiction, is an outlet of escape for the sex drive that focuses on attempting to blot out negative feelings with temporary pleasure just like alcohol or drugs.

            The only other reason that I know of is basically hedonism. In my specific case when I was addicted to porn it was my very strong sex drive meeting opportunity and free time: I could do it with no one knowing. I didn’t have negative feelings or other inadequacies. Porn just made it feel better which was an addiction to feeling the most pleasure. This is the flip side of addiction especially with drugs that increase pleasure such as opiates like heroin. You want more and more pleasure not power, strength, or whatever else.

    3. Marked Wife,

      I have had a man respond to the idea that pornography is about “power” who was very upset about that statement. He feels it is extremely inaccurate and a “character smear” against men. And was also very upset about porn use being compared to rape. Although, I think your point was that there could be non-sexual motives for both of those things, not that porn use leads to rape or is equivalent at all to rape.

      If you have a source for this info, maybe we could share it? 🙂

      I know we all want to try to understand our bothers accurately here. I wonder if it is more about “feeling like a man” or “feeling affirmed” as a man or “feeling desirable”? There may be different men who have different motives with porn. I want to be fair to the men. And I want us as women to understand correctly. I know this is a very tough thing for us as women, because we are dependent upon the resources we read that explain how men think and feel about these issues.

      Perhaps we need a bit more discussion about this concept?

      Much love to you, my dear sister. 🙂

      1. Wow, we have really opened up a can of worms here, April. I do know that men can become extremely extremely defensive about pornography use. I am going to try to send you a private email with research on the effects of porn use that will cover the rape topic and you can decide what to do with that information. I do not want to stir up controversy with our brothers on your site, as that is not the purpose of Peaceful Wife.

        1. Marked Wife,

          I actually don’t think that this is a response to being defensive about porn use – but that the motive of porn use would be for “power.” That is my understanding. But yes – this is a TOUGH topic for women separately and for men separately – and when we try to talk about it together, it can get a bit dicey.

          I’m thankful for the grace, love, respect, and decorum with which everyone is sharing. I’d like to continue that tone, my dear brothers and sisters!

          You may send that info to me. Thanks so much! And – I know your heart is not to create dissension – but to attempt to foster understanding.

          Much love!
          April

        2. @ Marked Wife

          Again, I keep seeing that myth perpetuated that sex is about power (not just here but elsewhere as well), and that it somehow relates to rape. It’s extremely offensive for women to assume they know how husbands and men think and feel, especially when it’s a destructive lie like that.

          Every single one of the men who has commented, and even some who haven’t commented but e-mailed or privately posted, affirm that sex is not about power. It’s about biological sex drive meeting our thoughts and emotions and choosing a godly or ungodly outlet for them.

          Instead, psychology and sociological research has been tainted, as jack has said elsewhere, by the feminist agenda. The feminist agenda controls the narrative on sex. They tell women that it is empowering — note how power is the root word — for women to choose to go out and have sex with many men. To be promiscuous and embrace their sexuality in fornication, fantasy (50 shades, twilight, etc.), and even adultery because it makes them free and powerful women.

          Indeed, even this is a lie because it goes against God’s design for women. Yet, none of the women here would believe that fornication, promiscuity, and adultery empowers women. Likewise, you should not believe the similar lie about men. God created our sexual drive and to be aroused visually to be part of us as men, and it makes us want to be married to have sex. There’s no ulterior motive like power.

          You can choose to believe what this “research” says about porn or you can choose to believe your fellow Christian husbands and men. In the grand scheme of eternity I don’t think it matters either way, but choosing to embrace the truth that the husbands and men are telling you and praying about it will give you peace in your struggles. I know because embracing how God made my sexual drive and what I struggle with in Christ has given me peace and victory over sin.

  7. Thank you for writing this review and sharing what’s in this book. Just yesterday our pastor’s teen daughters dressed very provocatively (they usually do) for church. Doesn’t help that they also have a teen crush on my very handsome and fit husband. One can tell by their side comments and their talking loudly and sarcastically to get his attention. It’s very hard to see their young bodies flaunted around like that. I’ve had 2 kids and not that young anymore as I’m twice their age. Anyway they came over for to hang out after church. I didn’t expect the teens as I thought the 2 younger siblings would come only as my kids are young. The teens came in short short shorts. And although I did my best to trust The Lord (what they are doing is wrong and they are accountable for that), enjoy everyone and love them without worrying too much- it’s just not something anyone can tune out. Also their loud sarcastic (disrespectful joking) and self body comments and loud actions were obviously to seek male attention. Pastor is not their birth father.

    Anyway what a challenge! And so I’m super grateful to be seeing this post today. Also any advice on situations like this? Is it appropriate to say something to pastor or his wife about how his girls dress? It’s pretty bad (sexy, provocative) I actually dressed this way when I was a teenager and did the very same things.

    I’m certainly trusting The Lord and resting in Him. Not very easy 🙁 I find myself in slumps but He rescues me. Your posts in biblical submission have helped SO MUCH!!! It helped prepare me for yesterday and for reading this blog today. Thank you!

    Zephaniah 3:17 says He sings over me, etc etc. The world may “sing” over tight skin and cheeky shorts and skin tight dresses but The Lord who is good loves me and I know this because His Word says so. He doesn’t exploit me or have any hidden agenda. :)!

    Thanks for your time and for sharing our Lord’s wisdom.

    1. Amy,

      That is a tough situation. I think it would be wise to pray first about it. It may be that you can share your own testimony about how you used to dress, and perhaps share a bit about that it is a blessing to our brothers in Christ. Or, you may discuss it with your husband and see what he thinks. Perhaps he would feel that it would be better to discuss this with their mom or dad, humbly, respectfully, gently.

      I know that it is HARD to buy modest clothing for teen girls these days. In many retail stores, the only shorts and skirts there are in the whole store are the daisy duke short shorts. I am sure that their dad is aware that this could be a stumbling block for others. I don’t know the dynamics in the home about whether he has discussed it or what. But – it is important to handle this with love, grace, respect, and humility so that it does not create hurt feelings and so that the pastor and daughters don’t feel attacked.

      Does the youth ministry go over the issue of modesty? Perhaps you can volunteer to teach a class about that for them if they don’t – if you believe that might be God’s will.

      Much love to you!

  8. I have an issue with this part of your article

    “As women, we tend to battle things like PMS/pregnancy hormones/peri-menopause/menopause. (I believe some of these things are part of the curse in Genesis 3.)”

    Why is it a curse? Being able to have a baby should be a good, it is what our reproductive system is design for so why see something we as women can do naturaly as a curse? I never understood that. Many women can’t have children naturally so why is it seen as a curse, i have never seen men refer to something that their bodies do naturally as a curse. A curse is something one doesn’t want.

    1. ChildofRa,

      Great question!

      God DID plan for women to have babies. That is a good thing and a blessing! The curse is this part:

      To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:16

      It is the increase in pain involved in childbearing that is the curse. Just like God increased the pain and toil involved for men in their work, as well:

      To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’

      “Cursed is the ground because of you;
      through painful toil you will eat food from it
      all the days of your life.
      18It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
      and you will eat the plants of the field.
      19By the sweat of your brow
      you will eat your food
      until you return to the ground,
      since from it you were taken;
      for dust you are
      and to dust you will return.”

      So it is not that a man’s work is the curse- it is the extra pain and toil involved in a man’s work that is the curse. And it is not that women having children is the curse – it is the extra pain involved that is the curse. Men were cursed in the area of their work, women in the area of childbearing.

      And the earth was cursed – to begin to have natural disasters, disease, war, famine, etc… because of sin.

      For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Romans 8:20-22

      Death was also part of the curse resulting from Adam and Eve’s choice to sin. 🙁

      1. Both curses to Adam applied to Eve as well, though. “Dust to dust” is pretty obvious (men and women both die) and both men and women have to be busy to make a living.

        Working from the ground is obviously a metaphor since MANY men can go their entire lives without literally working the Earth, yet suffer the curse at a variety of types of work in order to eat.

        Likewise, the Proverbs 31 woman’s work (and the various forms of work women have always done) are metaphorically contributing to the struggle for food even if not directly involving working from the Earth. If the “curse to Adam” didn’t apply equally to Eve, she wouldn’t need to lift a finger to that end, period, just like Adam doesn’t experience childbirth pains under any circumstances. There is also, of course, the fact that many women will be forced to work just on account of being single and historically many, many women do literally work the Earth (again, while many working men don’t).

        The “curse to Adam” is treated like a symbol for a paycheck, which is completely arbitrary in the end. Money has nothing to do with the curse–the toiling does. Women are commanded to toil as well, equally affected by the curse as an inevitability.

  9. Wow! I cannot say “Thank you” enough for your insights and posts! I stumbled across your blog searching for hope and answers and have found encouragement and peace through what I have read.
    I am newly married and have had a very hard time dealing with things my husband recently shared with me about his past.
    I am so, so grateful for his openness, but it left me feeling vulnerable, insecure, and fearful. It was not until I read some of your posts that I recognized how much I have let my fears win as I tried to control and “monitor” him as a result. I was trying to find sufficiency in him rather than Christ.
    I have spent long hours in soul-searching and have begun to find a peace that only Christ can give.
    Thank you for showing me how to release the fears, insecurities, and “what ifs” to God and find true peace and contentment in Him!

    1. Grace,

      I’m so glad that this was a blessing! I praise God for what He is doing in your heart and the peace you are experiencing in Christ. That is AWESOME!!!!!! WOOHOO!

      Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂

  10. Ladies,

    Remember, our men are not the enemy. We DO have an enemy. Our real battle is not against flesh and blood!

    Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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. 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. Ephesians 6:10-13

  11. Hi April, I love your videos and blog, thank you for taking the time and energy. I would like to share my personal thoughts and experience. I think it is true that men can struggle with lust over women, however dressed they may be. I think it is also true that women may lust for men, however dressed they may be. I find it sad that the topic is rarely addressed. I think books like that may tend to strengthen the idea that men and women are so different and that women don’t have sexual lives. In 2015, women have more rights than ever (at least in some places), we are more informed on our bodies and are encouraged to explore our sexuality and enjoy it. Then, to hint that only men lust is setting us back in the 50’s. It is false. If Bieber and other male singers show their abs on tv, it is because women want to see them. What about all the women who watch Twilight and find the guy so hot. So books shouldn’t be about the eye of men, they should be about the mechanisms of lust and self advertisement, men and women. We have eyes too!! And we can lust as easily too!! Thanks again for all your hard work, looking for the next posts.

    1. Marianne,

      Women can lust, as well. Yes! That is not what this particular post is about. It is more about women understanding how men think and process and the issues they face that are tempting.

      But there are a number of women who are visual as well. And there are many women who are addicted to porn, now, too. Which I mentioned in the post – and http://www.xxxchurch.org has resources for men and women.

      Some women aren’t very visual, and I think that is why there is the “freak out” thing when they learn about their husbands being more visual. For women who tend to be tempted toward visual lust, I would imagine they would be more empathetic with their men, since they have similar struggles, perhaps.

      I believe that for most women, it is not the visual of a man without his shirt that triggers them – but romantic movies and books. That seems to be the greater temptation for a lot of women. But still, there are some who do struggle with visual lust, as well. I don’t know if the brain scans would be the same on women who are visual as they are for men.

      Lust is sin, whether it is a man or a woman committing it.

      This particular book is not talking about how women think or about women’s temptations – it is all about trying to help women understand men. But I have met a number of women who have told me their struggles with porn and lust – so I would encourage women to reach out for help to http://www.xxxchurch.com if this is the situation – and take advantage of all of the free resources there.

      Thanks for the important point!

      Much love!

      April

  12. I have always appreciated the “visual nature of men” and somewhat empathized with men’s sex drive as best I can, so the shame that men sometimes feel and the distress that many women express is a bit alien to me. Keep in mind however, that I’ve never had to deal with a pornography addiction or affairs, or struggled too much with insecurity or other wounds, all of which would probably change my whole perception.

    My husband has always been very good about speaking to me about attraction he may have felt towards someone or confessing some desire he may have had, not shamefully at all, (I’m laughing here, but he’s always been rather unapologetic about it.) The first time he told me I did not respond well, I did not see the kindness or the respect he was showing me or the honesty, I was just mad and offended. The second time I didn’t handle it well either, I was quite resentful.

    In prayer however, Christ really revealed to me that this is a blessing, that my husband was actually doing something right, something healthy in our marriage, and I couldn’t even see it, my pride was just getting in the way. Pride can be a real bugger, but one of the benefits I’ve found from submission is that I don’t take things personally anymore. It’s not all about me, which makes it a whole lot easier to empathize rather then to take offense.

    1. insanitybytes22,

      Thank you so much for sharing your perspective and your story. 🙂 I do think that women dealing with a husband’s porn use, flirting with other women, committing adultery, or women who have issues with insecurity will have a much greater struggle. So true. I’m grateful you haven’t had those issues!

      I’m glad your husband is being honest and that y’all are working as a team now!

  13. This is such a flammable topic for so many people. I wish people could understand that their sensitivity to this topic is partly due to its personal nature, but largely due to mass media and our culture.

    There is this underlying idea that sex is a dirty, filthy, shameful thing, and that any sexual thought is this grossly immoral thing. There is also this idea of ‘the one’, the ‘soul mate’, the ‘happily ever after’, that gives people the ridiculous idea that marriage switches off all of the biologically driven functions in a person, and gives them a full frontal lobotomy that instantly transforms them into the perfect mate that only has eyes for you.

    Well, that’s a load of garbage. Sex is not bad, dirty, filthy, or shameful, (from Peacefulwife – in marriage, of course) and there are no fairy-tale relationships. What’s more, putting a ring on your man’s finger does not shut down the visual receptors in his brain or his biological responses to things like pheromones. The purely biological processes, even ignoring the psychology for a moment, are incredibly intense. The biological pressure on a man to mate is second only to the biological pressure to survive. Think about that for a moment. It is what we, men and women, are designed to do. “Become fruitful and fill the earth..” (Gen 1:28)

    Internally, women’s biological drive pressures them to have children. Well, so does a man’s. We are not designed for a 1.87 children per/couple society. It literally goes against the way we are designed. We are not designed to breed from 20-35 and then stop. We have eternity in our hearts. (Ecc 3:11) (By the way, about that 1.87 number. Think about this, if each couple has 1.87 children, in just a few generations the world will be desolate and empty. You can not replace two people with 1.87 people.)

    Proverbs 31 also tells a bit about what goes on, and of course, this is something that many women choose to ignore because it puts responsibility on them. “Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land….Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” See, a woman that does not make her husband feel like a man will suffer by her own hand. Jehovah, our loving Father that created us and knows all of our strengths and weaknesses, knew this and gave her some strong guidance to tell her how to keep her husband’s attention firmly fixed on her.

    Let me put this more plainly for those that don’t get it. Men are visual creatures, that is true, but we are not stupid. A woman who actually follows the biblical guidelines will become even more beautiful, with a beauty that far surpasses anything physical. A woman that does not will become an ugly, terrible weight that drags us down – and our instinct to survive, which is stronger than out urge to mate, will kick in. You are not strong enough to override God’s design by thinking you know better.

    So, I always ask the question of women who complain about their husband’s desires: What are you doing to keep him focused on you? Do you dress for your husbands pleasure? Do you satisfy his desires and needs? Do you make him proud that it is YOU that is on his arm, that he can claim you as his wife? Do you build him up, in his own eyes and in the eyes of others, or do you tear him down?

    None of this is meant to excuse sin, but a failure to understand what is going on is only going to lead to failure in a marriage.

    1. ravaught,

      It is a very painful topic – for just about everyone – I would imagine.

      I hope you don’t mind my little edit – sex is not bad, dirty, filthy, or shameful – in marriage. In marriage, sex is beautiful, holy, and good.

      Thank you for sharing your masculine perspective. I think this is helpful. I especially appreciate the perspective about a man’s desire to survive being greater than his desire to mate – and how sometimes a man will revert to “survival mode” in marriage. That shines a lot of light on some issues for me. Thank you!

      It is really frustrating for many wives who don’t know their husbands need respect – because they truly have no idea that this is a masculine need. And many don’t know how to meet that need, even if they wanted to. So – wives in our culture tend to be rather handicapped in this area, and we don’t even realize that we may be sabotaging ourselves and our marriages. That is one reason why I do this blog! This is such important information that women need – so that we can follow God’s design and become the women He wants us to be and that our husbands need. Things go so much better for everyone when we are able to know and obey God’s Word.

      Proverbs 31 is a fantastic place to start for wives to begin to study godly femininity. Ladies, you can also search my home page for “godly femininity,” as well, for more info. 🙂

      Thank you for this paragraph especially:

      Let me put this more plainly for those that don’t get it. Men are visual creatures, that is true, but we are not stupid. A woman who actually follows the biblical guidelines will become even more beautiful, with a beauty that far surpasses anything physical. A woman that does not will become an ugly, terrible weight that drags us down – and our instinct to survive, which is stronger than out urge to mate, will kick in.

      I think that is very helpful!

      And ladies, I want us all to keep in mind – that no one is beyond the reach of Christ.

      Yes, some of these issues are TOUGH and PAINFUL. And yes, porn addiction is destructive, evil, and very hurtful. BUT – there is much hope in Christ! He can heal us. He can heal our husbands. He can heal our marriages. He is already doing that for so many of us.

      I am thankful for the opportunity to seek to understand our men and brothers in Christ more accurately. I still have TONS to learn myself! And I am thankful for the opportunity to extend the grace, mercy, compassion, and understanding that Christ Jesus gives to us – to our men, just as we seek to do for our sisters in Christ.

  14. I’m always surprised and saddened to see how much distress this issue has caused men. Part of that likely stems from the fact that there are a lot of things going on within the culture to shame them. I think the church has not always done a good job either.

    I really do wish men and women could come together and speak about sexual matters more openly, because we really are not adversaries, not enemies, and the misunderstandings and resentments serve no purpose except to drive us apart.

    I have gotten some of my best sexual/intimacy advice from men, which is always a somewhat awkward thing because of modesty, but the wisdom and the knowledge there has proven to be invaluable. Women do not know, or I already know these things through a woman’s eyes, so what women often need is to hear it from another perspective, from men.

    1. insanitybytes22,

      The last thing I want men to feel here (or women) – is for them to feel shamed or demonized. I want this to be an oasis of hope, the love of Christ, a springboard to greater faith in God, a refuge from the storm of our culture, a place of healing, a place of forgiveness, where everyone is treated with honor, dignity, and respect.

      Yes, while women can teach us so very much. There are some things that no woman can teach. We need the insights, perspectives, and wisdom of godly men, as well.

      Thanks so much for sharing! I love your heart for Christ and for men and women. 🙂

  15. Hi April,

    This is not a post. Just wondering why my comment yesterday was not allowed? If you would like you may email me.

  16. Feminism has done a very good job of convincing many women that relationships are zero-sum. That is, if you do something supportive for your man, it is costing you. Building him up is making yourself less. Giving sex even when you would rather not is not kindness, but slavery.

    They think that overlooking his faults equals losing an opportunity to “correct” him.

    Feminism turned women into a competitor instead of a companion. It sees all through this lens of constant measuring, and as a result sees all men as faulty. Men do not want to compete with women, but we get forced into a contest we never wanted.

    That is why the “men are visual” issue is such a problem. The competition mindset requires this male attribute to be disdained.

    It becomes all about the “win”. We are very weary of this. I doubt I will ever marry. Because I would be marrying an opponent not a partner.

    1. Jack,

      A minister at our church – the one who allowed me to share Spiritual Authority, 7 Basic Needs of a Husband and 7 Basic Needs of a Wife, and A Husband’s and a Wife’s Authority in Marriage – made a comment that has stuck with me. He said that this idea that marriage should be 50/50 and that each spouse tries to measure out everything to exactly 50% is one of the most destructive approaches to marriage he has seen in his 45 years of ministry experience. That is exactly what our culture tells us to do. It says that men and women are the same. Our needs are the same. Our roles in marriage are the same. And we should divide absolutely everything 50/50. The problem, he explained, is that husbands and wives measure things differently. We are not accurate judges of this. And besides that – the real formula is that we each give 100% and we do it out of love and reverence for Christ.

      Our marriages have turned into competitions in so many cases – and this destroys intimacy.

      My prayer is that we might abandon the popular ideas of our worldly culture – and embrace God’s design for us as believers, as men, as women, as spouses, and in our marriages. I want us to be a team in our marriages. And I want us to be a team as the Body of Christ. The prayer of Jesus for us the night before His death was that we might be one as He and the Father are one – so that all men would know we are His disciples.

      Unity does not require sameness. We can rejoice in our differences and work together for a common purpose – the Kingdom of God and the Gospel.

      Tonight – we went to the funeral home for a dear friend in our Sunday School class who died of cancer. She was 50. It puts things in perspective, my dear brothers and sisters. How I long for us to live without regrets and live in obedience to Christ – and for each of us to bless those around us, especially those in our family and our spouses.

      I’m so sorry for your pain, Jack, and that it seems that so many women are competitive. My prayer is that God might raise up many women who are a godly generation of women (and that He might raise up a godly generation of men) – that we might bring great glory to His Name!

      I will continue to pray for a massive movement of God’s Spirit among His people – and for a mighty revival like none of us have ever seen in our lifetimes. I want to see men and women – and children – released from the bondage of sin and the world – and free to live for Christ in the abundant Life He has provided for us so generously!

  17. Wow…. this is such a polarizing topic. And I can understand why . . . . such hurt and feelings of betrayal on both “sides of the aisle”.

    In our men’s group, we learned over the months that only 1 in 20 men have any sort of meaningful friendship where they regularly talk about heart issues, marriage, finances, family, fears, etc. When men come together in a forum like men’s groups at church, it usually takes a few weeks, but they eventually feel safe enough – to the point where they (we) share heart issues. . . . and ultimately, most men confess to have struggles in this area.

    Our society is so good at perverting things. Race, Religion, Creed, and Sex (Female/Male). Things get perverted to the point where men, as an example, don’t know which way is Up and which way is Down. Our society often teaches that men’s sex drive is bad, BUT, they constantly flaunt commercials that are so luring that the noblest of men instinctively start to turn away purposefully. Men in the group reported this, and said that they will instinctively turn and look at their wife until it’s over. Though several reported that their wives had issues with this because they begin to question “Would you really go for that?!” “Am I not good enough for you?” and others (much like things that other posters have mentioned). But as a man, I realized that I try to do that too, and I guess when hearing that testimony, I just thought “How beautiful of a picture is that?!” The majority of men long to be completely safe and fulfilled in their wives, and completely “rejoice in the woman of your youth” (Proverbs 5:18-19).

    ***There are always exceptions to any rule***, but just in the circles I’ve been in: Men tend to be a lot harder on themselves then women probably think Men suppress fear, and thus ultimately suppress feelings. In search of our masculine identity, life happens, and we lose our way. I would say that things like pornography, are definitely not “power” to men. I’m not trying to be defensive there at all. It starts with deep-rooted insecurities, rejections, embarrassments, shame . . . . and after each offense, that insecurity and shame just gets worse. There was a post on respectedhusband.com , in regards to the commercial about the Blue Pill. Men want to feel wanted by their wives ….. and we can tell when we aren’t…and we’re crushed to new lows. We retreat…… we feel unwanted. Checkmated.

    We really don’t know how our wives put up with us. We truly are just as insecure (or more) than her most of the time …. We are Type A at work, we take on the world throughout the day . . . . if we get home to that place that is supposed to be Safe, and we are piled upon in one way or another, reminded of our faults and weaknesses, etc . . . we become very upset (because we just got done conquering the world, but are helpless in our own home) . . and ultimately, after upset, . . . we become passive. And again . . . . Checkmated.

    A piece from John Sowers’ book “The Heroic Path” says this about men:

    “Many lose their will to fight. We live in resignation and accept a lesser destiny. This is our real tragedy. When we give up and beat ourselves. It happens when we get lonely, worn-out, or desperate. Or when we forget who we are. Or when we lose our sense of place.
    Life did not turn out how we imagined, so we lower our hopes. Once upon a time, our heart was wild and young. Now it feels old and tired. We don’t want to fail again, and this fear makes us live defensively. When our hope leaves and heads south for the winter, our life grows dull. We may embrace sadness and grow depressed. Life becomes less about celebrating, and more about tolerating.
    And the fire in the belly dies.” -John Sowers

    Our identities rest solely in Jesus! But we sure do feel 10 feet taller, when we get to be heroic to our wives… there’s truly no one –on earth– who has more power to help us restore that masculine heart, than our wives. Accepting in the Intimacy department . . but also, affectionate with us around other people . . . I think Dr. Laura Schlessinger says “I Am My Husband’s Girlfriend”. That probably sounds dumb and even trite in this forum, but husbands really do respond to that.

    In closing, like peacefulwife reiterates all the time: Both parties are fallen. Both parties are hopelessly wicked, the worst of sinners. But Jesus provides a rescue for each of us . . . a rescue from our sin. Husbands – Our wives are NOT the enemy!! Wives – your husbands are NOT the enemy! Nothing is so broken that Jesus’ perfect love can’t bring restoration. Oh, What a Savior!

    Seas Of Crimson (Bethel Music):
    For every curse, you’re the cure
    For every sickness, you’re the healer
    For every storm, you’re the calm
    For all that’s lost, oh, what a savior
    On that cross of calvary
    Every burden has been defeated
    Every wretched heart redeemed
    You drown our sins in seas of crimson

    Hallelujah death is beaten
    Christ has risen from the grave
    Hallelujah it is finished
    All to you the highest praise
    Hallelujah death is beaten
    Christ has risen from the grave
    Hallelujah now and forever
    All to you the highest praise

    1. hh,

      Oh, hooray for your contribution to this discussion, my dear brother!!!

      This paragraph is so powerful to me:

      just in the circles I’ve been in: Men tend to be a lot harder on themselves then women probably think Men suppress fear, and thus ultimately suppress feelings. In search of our masculine identity, life happens, and we lose our way. I would say that things like pornography, are definitely not “power” to men. I’m not trying to be defensive there at all. It starts with deep-rooted insecurities, rejections, embarrassments, shame . . . . and after each offense, that insecurity and shame just gets worse.

      Greg, my husband, has been researching a good bit lately about men and shame and the astronomical levels of shame many Christian men are carrying around that is just destroying them. But if they do not feel safe with their wives, many have no outlet and no opportunity to heal. How I long for all of us – all who are weary and heavy laden to come to the cross of Jesus and find real rest!

      Thank you and AMEN, my precious brother!!!

  18. With regard to the “Christian PhD” who made a comparison between porn use and power and drew analogies to rape and power, I have to say that man has probably spent too long in academia. Academia DEMANDS that people toe the politically correct line, and so they do.

    That man may be wanting to do good, but all he is doing is furthering male-shaming.

    The idea that women need to be submissive in order to make men feel powerful so that men’s ugly side does not come out is such a horrifying judgment that I could not risk being in a relationship with someone who saw men that way.

    That Christian PhD really needs correction, but it is not encouraging to hope for it, because when people invest their entire academic identity into an ideology, will they give up their notions easily?

  19. A passage that may be helpful on this topic:

    “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load.”

    Galatians 6:1-5

  20. Hi April,

    Things were going great and I felt like I was making progress – and then last night – poof! Back down the tubes…

    I even read your review and most of the comments and I was feeling more secure and understanding.

    I’ve been reading the “Lies…” Book and learning A LOT! Well, my husband and I have been reading a book about biblical intimacy, and we have been enjoying the past few days, reading together, hanging out together, and spending time together, and talking about a lot. We were growing closer and he seemed so genuinely happy that I was starting to believe he loved me.

    Well, not long into Chapter 2, the author discusses the “magic moment” when he met his wife. He saw a beautiful woman walking through his college and when she said hi to him, he was hooked. The author then says that every couple he counsels has their own magic moment, and when he asks them about it, no matter how many marriage problems they have, they light up as they look at each other and talk about their magic moment. Well this made me very sad. I told my husband, “I don’t like this book anymore. He is saying every couple has a “magic moment” but we don’t. Not anymore.” My husband said, “I have a magic moment. It’s when we were at ***** (the place of our second date) and I knew I was going to marry you.” Well that’s nice I guess, but my magic moment was stolen from me. When we met, I was a lifeguard at a beach. I had seen my husband a couple times and I thought he was HOT! 🙂 I was thrilled when he asked me out. I couldn’t believe someone as good looking as him would have even thought of asking me out. (Yes, for me a lot of it was physical attraction at first.) That moment of happiness, that he was interested in a plain, blonde, shore girl like me, was amazing. That was (for a brief time) my “magic moment.”

    Until, some time later when my brother-in-law told me that my husband had actually been headed down to the beach to ask out another girl. We’ll call her “T”. She was stunning. Long dark hair, and she strutted her perfect figure around in a tiny bikini. What guy wouldn’t want her? It’s not a big leap. I was working and modest, so I always wore a one piece. I was athletic, with long, messy blonde hair. I didn’t even come close to T in appearance, and that’s okay. What hurt was, learning that my husband was going to ask her out, and because she wasn’t there, he asked me instead. I was second place, a consolation prize. Something to do because the girl he wanted had gone home early. That revelation completely destroyed my “magic moment” forever.

    Now here’s the catch. My husband says none of this is true. But why would my brother-in-law lie? Any man on earth would have chosen T over me, it’s not a big leap. I don’t know why he gets so defensive about this.

    Now this was 20 years ago. I told him it’s okay. I’m not even mad, I mean, he didn’t “know” either one of us, so based on looks alone, of course he would have chosen T. It worked out that she wasn’t there. She turned out to be into drugs, and he and I went on to get married and build a life together. It all ended well. So why is he so mad that I know he didn’t really want me in the first place? So I was his second choice. It kinda hurts, but in the long run, it worked out. I can’t help it if my “magic moment” was taken from me because I was delusional in thinking he was interested in me and my brother-in-law revealed the truth. I thought I was making positive steps in seeing all of this as having a happy ending? Instead of focusing on being his consolation prize, I was trying to be happy that we ended up falling in love.

    But he’s mad about all this. So I slept on the couch. He’s upset about that, too. But I feel like all the progress we’ve made, all the time I’ve spent trying to believe he loves me, is all for naught. I don’t even want to read my book anymore.

    BUT, logically I know these are emotions and I need to learn to ignore my emotions. Or at least, not let them control me. I just wish he could be more understanding about my feelings instead of always getting mad.

    So I’ll have a cup of coffee, and spend some more time in prayer, and try again. Thanks for listening. It helps me just to get things out sometimes.

    1. Dear Becca,

      I feel compelled to offer you comfort and enlightenment, perhaps, by sharing the story of how my husband and I fell in love. First, know that I understand how disappointed a person can feel when a cherished memory or “moment” is altered somehow. But my story will show you that yours is still just as beautiful as you believe it is–even BETTER.

      Often, people don’t realize right away that they’re right for each other. Your husband (assuming his brother’s revelation was correct) may have been initially attracted to the brunette, but it was probably the best thing that ever happened to him that you were there instead–look what happened! You built a beautiful, great life together! I truly believe that God may have arranged that, as I believe that God directed events so that my husband and I met and fell in love.

      I’ll try to condense what is a great love story. Several years ago, I found myself house rich and cash poor when I wanted to open a B & B in my home. My long-time friend’s son (never married, whom I had met only in passing years before) came home from a distant state to attend his uncle’s funeral and decided to stay and look for work there, since he’d lost his job. When I learned he was about to search for both a job and an apartment, I offered him a private suite in exchange for carpenter work I could ill-afford. He accepted the offer and set about industriously working, but we talked about many things during our early morning breakfast and coffee together before work began. In this manner we became good friends and because we had such high mutual respect for each other, we discussed that we were each trying to find a godly mate. He said he had decided, after fifteen years of not dating, that he was finally ready to find a good Christian wife and start a family, and that his sister had agreed to help him create a profile on a Christian dating website. He said he wanted to have children, since he was the only male that could keep the family name going. I said I understood, but strongly cautioned him to be extremely careful, since I had also tried the same thing but met several dishonest men. Several more weeks went by (six altogether) until one afternoon when I asked his honest opinion about another man’s online profile that I was considering, albeit half-heartedly. He read it briefly, put the computer down, looked at me, and said, “Elizabeth, I am the man you are looking for.” That was MY moment. I looked at him incredulously, and then suddenly it hit me: He WAS the man I was looking for! He had realized sooner than me that we had been brought together for a reason. I had never allowed myself to even consciously consider him because I was older than he was and unable to have children.

      We married and have successfully overcome difficulties (my body image issues and insecurities, including finding it hard to believe he could really love an older woman), which has contributed to the deep satisfaction and great joy our relationship has brought us. It wasn’t easy to overcome my wrong thinking, because I’d felt less-than-beautiful from childhood, yet the truth is, I am attractive physically. I just kept worrying that I wasn’t good enough for my husband, and that he would eventually want a younger woman. My body is not perfect, but he loves me “as is,” and I finally have won the fight over those destructive thoughts–and how wonderful it is to be set free from that prison!!! Yes, occasionally I have to fight against those wrong feelings, but with God’s help, I have overcome!

      So you see, Becca, both of us thought we wanted somebody else, until we realized we were looking at the perfect mate in each other! Instead of feeling insecure about the fact that he didn’t fall in love with me at first sight–or me with him–we rejoice that the realization became clear at last, and we praise God that we met and married each other. He thought he wanted a younger woman who could bear him children (which he realized was unimportant) and I thought I wanted someone my own age or older, so I would always feel secure in my attractiveness to him. Instead, we have both grown exponentially both personally and spiritually, realizing that it isn’t physical beauty or passing on one’s blood that brings happiness primarily, but being of one mind and heart, loving and respecting each other as we both seek to serve our loving god. Instead of undermining our happiness by continually worrying about my physical attractiveness, I seek to focus on being the woman he fell in love with, and this builds my beauty in his eyes.

      Please go right now and throw your arms around your husband, and tell him that the scales have finally fallen from your eyes. How crazy and wrong it is to worry about whether or not your husband intended to ask you out first, or second, or third, for that matter. The important thing is that you DID fall in love, marry, and build a great life together. All your insecurities, if I may be blunt, are tearing down your own happiness and your marriage. I know this because I went through the same kind of feelings, including having two older beautiful sisters that made me feel ugly. Your destructive thoughts and actions are sapping the life and joy out of what could be phenomenally wonderful and incredibly joyful for you both. With all due respect, don’t give any excuses here, not even in your own head. Bottom line: No matter what kind of childhood or negative experiences you’ve had in the past, you now have to make a very simple choice. Yes, a very simple choice–either you want to be happy NOW and leave the past and the destructive, false thinking it spawned behind, or you can keep on your present course and destroy your marriage. You do NOT have to let the past control your present and future!

      Please choose LIFE and JOY and the TRUTH and experience the FREEDOM from this bondage that God’s spirit can help you experience! Stop making excuses and choose to let God’s spirit rule in your life and in your thinking!

      Much love, Elizabeth, another wife who has fought the same long, hard fight and won, with the help of God.

    2. Well Becca, it sounds even more magic now that you know the truth. One date with you and you made him for get all about “T”. And I have been married a very long time and I can tell you for sure there is no memory for me of a magic moment. I have a great husband too. I do identify with your struggles. I will pray for you.

        1. Becca,

          I didn’t have a magic moment, either. Greg did – when he met me. But I thought of Greg as a friend for months before slowly realizing that we were dating.

          I am fine without a magic moment. I have a wonderful, loving, kind, thoughtful, intelligent, amazing man. I am so thankful for him, and so thankful God has given me a chance to make things up to him for the years I didn’t treat him well or understand his needs as a man.

    3. So, just to make sure I am not misunderstanding here. You and your brother-in-law know more about what your husband was thinking than your husband does? And because you would rather believe your brother-in-law (because it plays to your own insecurities), you are willing to call your husband a liar, believe that he doesn’t love you, that you were second place, and that your whole marriage is based on a lie and your “magic moment” was ‘taken from you’?

      Rule of thumb: No matter what your husband says or does, he can never conquer your insecurities because they are yours, not his.

      Let’s be real here a moment. If your husband didn’t find you attractive, he wouldn’t have asked you out, he wouldn’t have dated you, and he certainly would not have married you and spent the last TWENTY YEARS with you. As a husband who has dealt with this type of thinking in the past, it is infuriating. The position you are putting your husband in is a horrible one, and you likely do not even realize it.

      1. ravaught,

        EXCELLENT points, my brother! So true that a husband cannot conquer his wife’s insecurities – because that is “heart work” that only she can do for herself. It is between her and God. And yes! This would be extremely infuriating for a husband. He can’t win. She will be upset no matter what.

        BUT – I am really proud of you, Becca, for beginning to read Lies Women Believe this week and all the work you are beginning to do with examining your thinking against God’s Word. THIS is the path to healing, my dear sister!

        Much love to you!

    4. Becca,

      Or… You could look at it like your husband was taken with you and thought you were so beautiful and asked you out because he really wanted to. He didn’t have to ask you out. If he was repulsed by you, he could have waited for T or some other girl. And he asked you to marry him because he wanted you and was attracted to you. I really would love for you to receive and absorb this!

      It is time to rewrite these things you are telling yourself. I don’t see why it matters if he was planning to ask T out. He met you and asked you out willingly and voluntarily. He would have found out about the drugs with T and not gone out with her anyway.

      He fell for you. He wanted you. He got you.

      And you are upset. I can see why he is upset because even though he was attracted to you, asked you out, and married you – you are mad at him. He never even asked T out, apparently, because he was satisfied with you. I don’t see where he did anything wrong. Perhaps you could enjoy the way you met and maybe it doesn’t really matter that he was going to ask T, because God orchestrated for you to be there and you have a beautiful story together – if you are willing to receive it and savor it.

      I pray you will THANK your husband for being himself and choosing you rather than punishing him for it.

      Much love!
      April

    5. Becca,

      Or… You could look at it like your husband was taken with you and thought you were so beautiful and asked you out because he really wanted to. He didn’t have to ask you out. If he was repulsed by you, he could have waited for T or some other girl. And he asked you to marry him because he wanted you and was attracted to you. I really would love for you to receive and absorb this!

      It is time to rewrite these things you are telling yourself. I don’t see why it matters if he was planning to ask T out. He met you and asked you out willingly and voluntarily. He would have found out about the drugs with T and not gone out with her anyway.

      He fell for you. He wanted you. He got you.

      And you are upset. I can see why he is upset because you are spinning this to look like he was the bad guy even though he was attracted to you, asked you out, and married you. He never even asked T out, apparently, because he was satisfied with you. I don’t see where he did anything wrong. Perhaps you could enjoy the way you met and maybe it doesn’t really matter that he was going to ask T, because God orchestrated for you to be there and you have a beautiful story together – if you are willing to receive it and savor it.

      I pray you will THANK your husband for being himself and choosing you rather than punishing him for it.

      And how about let’s try respecting your husband enough to let him decide how he feels and what he thinks, not your brother in law, or you, or anyone else. How about believing him instead of insisting he is a liar?

      Keep going in the book. you stumbled. Now get back up and back on track with God and your husband. Sending you a big hug!

      Much love!

      1. I feel like my dear wife is writing these posts. On one hand, they are maddening because it stirs up the physiological responses of a fight. On the other hand, they shed light on how the insecurities within herself are the true reasons that her man is being rejected.

        Becca, your husband loves you. I will stake every dollar and asset on my name to it. You might not feel a romantic love and emotional telepathy that you desire, but the man absolutely loves you. He would be LONG GONE if he didn’t.

        Everyone has exhaustively discussed how the Greeks had many words for different kinds of love. You may not be feeling the romantic love, you may not be feeling the companion love, but the man ‘agape’ loves you. That’s the unconditional type love that men feel. We always love you, even if we feel like we’re under ruthless attack, being called liars, being called inadequate.

        As a husband dealing with a woman who equally prefers “comfortable poisonous lies” to “loving truth,” it’s EXHAUSTING to argue with your wife, insisting that you love her, want what’s best for her, and she INSISTS that you don’t. He’s fighting for you, and for your marriage, and these insecurities are the wall you’ve built that keeps your relationship from building. Instead of building a wall, you need to build a door that you can both pass through. Don’t be surprised that you have poisonous plants growing all over when you plant these poisonous seeds.

        1 John 4: 18-19 There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.
        We love because he first loved us.

        God loved us first, that’s the only reason we love him. Learning to be loved, without fear, is crucial to being able to love and have a relationship. God loves you. That part is already done, and there is nothing you can do about it! The second part is that you have to learn how to receive that agape, unconditional love. It takes vulnerability and trust. When you do this, all the walls in your life will start to fall down. When you accept this love, your ability to love (and be loved) by/to other human beings will begin to flourish. Until then, there will be a constant state of conflict and fear, and you will never quite go “all in.”

        I hope I was helpful and not too harsh, but instead you can take this with you as loving words instead of destructive words.

  21. I’m going to write this one anonymous today.

    Background. Happy Marriage. Submissive & Joyful (and awesome…and amazing) wife.

    Was not always that way. By a long shot. But is now. Love that woman more than myself (and yes, she would agree with that).

    But yes, still struggle with lust and porn. Is it an addiction? 90% No, with a little bit of yes.

    Truth is she loves me but she just can’t keep up. She tries her best to tune of 3-4 times per week. But I’m above that, both in volume and enthusiasm. By enthusiasm I mean she’d probably be a once a week gal if she had her choice. So she’s “sacrificing” already for me by upping the volume. And she gets into it once, maybe sometimes twice a week. I could probably live with 3-4 if she was able “enthusistic” for a lack of a better word all the time. But she just isn’t. Hormones, biology, in her head…probably many factors. (Yes, gals despite a terribly long work schedule as a sole provider she is still loved, served around the house & with the kids, she is “romanced”, and I am the head of the house but loving, all the to do list)

    I know without a doubt this woman loves me beyond measure. She knows I love her beyond measure. I don’t know a happier couple. With that said there is still this struggle. She’s giving all she can and I’m giving all I can. We are happy. More importantly we both love Christ and our kids love Christ. But I’m afraid this will be a lifetime struggle simply because no matter how “submissive & respectful” she is and no matter how sacrificially loving I am- biologically we are just too far apart to give what the other one needs.

    If asked she would always say yes. I also say, “Babe, I can tell you aren’t up for this tonight” at least once per week.

    I’d take a bullet for her this very moment but there’s no further way to further suppress my drive.

    At the end of the day all a man wants is to come home and have a wife that loves and respects him enough that she can’t keep her hands off him. I have that wife in every way except sexually. I do everything I can to try to hold out. Constant struggle that’s painful- more painful than any blood and sweat I lose during my long physical work day- but it’s a battle I lose sometimes every few months, sometimes once a month, sometimes once a week simply because no matter how much two people love Christ, love each other and try to be obedient we are fallen human beings with weaknesses, insecurities and fall short and rely on the grace of God till one day we won’t have to fight this battle anymore.

    It is a battle I’m not giving up on. But it is a battle.

    And thank you to those ladies that are modest in public. It’s literally a war zone, just walking out the front door and trying to go about a day.

    1. God bless you sir.

      That’s great that you love your wife and are confident she loves you back! If lust is tempting, then, have you tried thinking, “if it doesn’t come with love, I don’t want it!”

      For a crude analogy, I think of food: “if it doesn’t come with nutrition, I don’t care what it tastes like!”

      Thinking in biblical terms, at this point it seems like esteeming yourself as far too respectable and sacred to join in body with anyone who doesn’t love you might serve as a productive meditation if that hasn’t been a method of focus already.

      I may not understand completely, but that’s just a suggestion in all respect! 😉

      1. JC,
        God bless you. I wish it was that simple. As always obedience is that simple- it simply comes down to a choice but everything that leads up to the choice is not that simple and many times that helps tip the scales to a choice that does not honor the Lord.

        My point to post was this. History does effect this. I have no doubt our history still greatly effects what I do. I was deeply hurt for many years and I know that still effects me no matter how much healing has taken place, how forgiveness has been granted and how great things are today.

        Secondly, that often we speak of this we speak strictly of quantity. But just as importantly is quality. Sex just takes the edge off but does not take away the deep desire to be deeply desired. Quality sex meets both needs. To put it another way- sex in itself only takes away the physical need. Quality sex takes care of the emotional need. And it can’t be faked. She may want to make it quality but if your heart, body or mind can’t get in line it just doesn’t work.

        Third, a man can deeply want to stop but even Paul wrote, “I do what I do not want to do” as he battled the flesh. Husbands and wives are to meet each other needs. Sometimes though no matter how badly they are both trying to do so it just does not happen. We are broken creatures in need of grace.

        Lastly, I think if I had lived in the 1800’s I could have fought the battle much easier. I could physically avoid the whore house. Today I can’t watch TV without it having temptations thrown at me left and right. Can’t visit the library. Walk down the street. Heck I have a 55 year old grandma who has a knock out figure (yeah, who knew at 55) and her three late teenage granddaughters who sit two pews ahead of me in church wearing tight jeans in g-ma’s case and yoga/workout pants in the teenager’s case. If I move to the back of the little church I’ve got similar problems back there. I can’t turn on the radio without suggestive lyrics unless I listen the christian station (and it’s so feminized I simply can’t take it in more than half hour bursts). Go to the grocery store with my family- Cosmo screams in bold letters “Sex so hot he’ll worship you for it” while the low cut supermodel shows her wares. I’m literally bombarded with it, as is every man every day.

        When my needs aren’t met I can only hold out so long. And to be clear again- when the quality is good (enthusiastic) I don’t struggle. She tries as hard as she can. I try as hard as I can. And to be perfectly honest we don’t have a single other problem in our lives or marriage. We are both mature christians and love the Lord deeply. We believe in obedience- we are old school christians to put it another way. We deeply love each other and are affectionate. We are happy. We are blessed beyond measure.

        I just want to make sure that folks understand the nuisances- it’s not a straightforward issue in many cases. It’s messy. It gets to simplified.

        1. Just Anonymous Today,

          It would be easier if you could avoid the “wrong side of town” or the magazine stand on the corner. But when there is temptation everywhere – that has to be very difficult.

          I think that when one partner has a lower drive and one has a higher drive – it is definitely frustrating for both. But for the lower drive partner – it is kind of like having to eat when they aren’t hungry yet. If they wait long enough so that they feel hungry – they probably will have more enthusiasm and passion. But the higher drive partner can never wait long enough for the other spouse to develop a hearty appetite. It’s hard to get excited about eating at a buffet, if you just ate at a buffet 2 hours ago. So there are definitely difficulties and challenges on both sides. Of course the higher drive spouse feels like he/she is starving and ravenous. And then the dynamics can definitely get very difficult and complicated. Add to that scars and wounds from the past – it does get messy.

          What I love about our amazing God is that He is able to take these fiery trials and use them to help us grow in holiness. That is my deepest desire for each of us. I long for our marriages to flourish and be strong and honoring to God in every way – that each of us might stand before Christ and hear Him say, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”

          I pray for wisdom for you and your wife with this issue.

          Ladies,
          Perhaps some resources at http://www.forgivenwife.com or http://www.oysterbed7.com may be helpful? I have not read every post – so please, my readers, understand that I am not saying I approve every word. What I have seen looks good so far. But these wives seek to minister to wives with low libido and for whom sex has become a painful issue. The Forgiven Wife is primarily for wives who tend to withhold sex. The Oyster Bed 7 is more for wives who have low libido and what they can do to help improve it.

          Of course, we can also pray to God about these struggles and seek to please and honor Him in our weakness and to depend fully on Him. None of us can have victory over sin in our own strength. I sure can’t!

          Just Anonymous Today,
          I also pray for the power of God for you, my brother, in this battle. I pray for you to live in His victory for His glory. I know that the Jesus who crucified our sinful nature and buried it with Him can give us His power to walk in holiness that we cannot ever attain in our own strength. There is every reason for hope in Him.

          1. Another post I believe could be very helpful was written by a 40 year old single man – who has since gotten married to a wonderful wife. “Submitting Sexual Desire to the Lord.”

            And ladies,

            Let me also add here that it has been my observation that the lower drive husbands don’t usually comment on these issues. It is entirely possible that some of your husbands may have different issues than the men who are sharing. I don’t believe every husband feels that if he doesn’t have sex every few days, he will die. Some do. And for those who do – I pray God might empower their wives to bless them and help them in that area. But some husbands feel disrespected because their wives wants sex so much and they don’t want it as often. Really. And they don’t like feeling so pressured.

            There is a danger here, my sisters, because there are many wives here who are higher drive – and when they read all the comments from higher drive husbands, they think something must be wrong with them if their husbands don’t have the same level of drive as the men who commented here. Remember that there is a continuum and a range of what is normal.

            If your husband is lower drive, here is a post for you if you are feeling sexually rejected. And here is a post for wives whose husbands battle impotence.
            And one more, “When Your Husband Rejects You.”

            It is my understanding that in about 40% of marriages, the wife is the higher drive spouse. Also, the dynamics can change over time. Men may be higher drive in their 20s, but once a couple gets into their 30s and 40s, the wife may become the higher drive spouse.

            Also, ladies, keep in mind that if a man is feeling very disrespected by his wife, he may lose some desire for her physically. Signs Your Husband May Be Feeling Disrespected. Husbands Share What Is Disrespectful to Them. What Is Respect in Marriage?

            There are MANY factors involved in libido for men and for women. Spiritual, emotional, and physical issues all come into the picture. So does a history of past abuse or porn addiction. May we seek the Great Physician for the healing we need.

            RESOURCES FOR MEN AND WOMEN TO OVERCOME LUST AND TEMPTATION AND TO LIVE IN THE POWER OF GOD’S SPIRIT:

            David Platt – the Danger of Worldly Desires – video
            John Piper – links to many of his posts/sermons on lust
            David Platt – brief, written summary of how to deal with lust
            David Platt – The Cross and Sexuality – video, part 1. I believe part 2 discusses lust

            Watchman Nee – The Normal Christian Life – a book about living out a holy, Spirit-filled lives and being consecrated to God, dying to self

            Dying to Self – by the Peacefulwife

            David Platt’s book – Radical

        2. That’s interesting and probably more good input for a lot of people.

          Yeah it’s not simple and there are a lot of answers. I was just wondering what sorts of meditations and mental exercises were at work. Marriage is a situation where its existence does depend on another person whom you simply cannot control!

          I’ll just pray for you, sir. 🙂 He who began a good work in us will carry it through to completion.

        3. Just Anon Today, I can relate. I am a woman with a lower drive partner. Affectionate, tender, committed Christian….but I step out of the shower in front of him and it’s like I am yesterday’s newspaper instead of a red-blooded American girl….tells me he is too tired at night, he is too distracted in the morning, and he is too busy getting important things done, like changing light bulbs, when he comes home from work. Meanwhile Cosmo and the rest of the world is telling me “if you’re hot enough, your man will WANT you!” Very painful. Had the full testosterone work up, no health issues, had medications changed to be sure it wasn’t that, marriage counseling…he just has no appetite. However, intermittently in the past 4 years, he has indulged in porn. Imagine finding out not only was your low desire wife refusing you, but finding out she was pleasuring herself with a ***** on occasion, instead of saving some for you…infuriating, and very painful. It is these instances that make a woman question if porn use is about sex drive, since even men with no sex drive use it.

          1. Anonymous Today as Well,

            Porn use, particularly porn addiction, can impact a man’s sex drive for intimacy with his wife. It’s hard to tell what is happening exactly – whether the porn reduced his drive, or he just had a lower drive… but I am so sorry for your pain!

            I am so very sorry to hear about this situation, my dear sister! My heart aches for you. I pray for God’s healing!

    2. I completely get it. I’ve been in this situation and it stinks. Truth is, the vast majority of marriages have this dynamic, where one person has a significantly higher sex drive than the other. There is no easy way of dealing with it, unfortunately. For the person with the lower sex drive, they will always be dealing with feelings of failure, fear, and inadequacy for not meeting their partners needs, the other partner will always be dealing with the temptation and pressure of not being complete satiated.

      I can’t tell anyone how to deal with that situation. It is too personal. What I can say is this. As has been mentioned in other comments, marriage is the primary protection against sexual sin and is specifically recommended for those that are ‘burning with passion’. My interpretation of that is that this is something that should be understood between marriage partners, and every possible effort given to make sure that they are protecting each other. While it is definitely something that is pleasurable, I think we have forgotten that it is also a duty, a responsibility, to protect our mates. Like any responsibility, sometimes it is a pleasure, sometimes it is a pain, but no matter what, it needs to be taken care of.

  22. My general concern with this angle is that it’s going to reinforce a feedback loop: men are practically being trained to think that they are powerless before an image.

    1. JC,

      I know you are already aware of this – but I am not teaching men. I am seeking to help women extend grace, compassion, and understanding to our men and our brothers in Christ. http://Www.xxxchurch.org has resources for men. There are plenty of things men can do to fight this battle in the owner of Christ. They are not powerless over temptation when they have the Holy Spirit.

      But I want to see wives on their husband’s team and moms on their sons’ teams and unity in our marriages, family, and the body of Christ as we battle this struggle together. I am seeking to ridge the chasm and misunderstanding between men and women. I am asking women to address their end of things. But that does not mean men have a free pass to sin.

      Much love in Christ, my brother,

      April

      1. I appreciate that a lot. I’ve visited xxxchurch a bit because you link to it so often and saw some good things. I’m not clear on the “success rate,” but if it’s working for people, great!

        I think you’ve been on to something when you talk about disrespect being a root cause of the problem (and not necessarily a wife’s fault, don’t get me wrong). I think the hormones involved probably have a verisimilitude that helps a man “feel like a man” almost whether he wants to or not.

        Just look at 50 Shades of Grey and similar weirdness for women. I think it’s the corresponding thing for women in the desperation for rediscovering femininity (not in the right way, of course).

        I just visited xxxchurch and watched a sermon on it where Craig Gross talked about how his 65-year-old mom, who married as a virgin, was in love with the books (BDSM stuff) and said she felt like she “missed out.” O_O The incredible thing to me, in his whole sermon, was that the guy–expressing his general words against impurity–didn’t seem even to try to answer why the book and film seems to appeal so specifically to women as it was written by one. I don’t think he really had an idea.

        I’ve heard some guys online (briefly) trying to crack the code in the interest of getting girls interested in them. The irony is, with what I read briefly, these guys probably understand the psyche behind it better than Gross did (not that I read the books or saw the movie myself).

        Of course I’m totally with you on the end goal. It’s another frustrating problem. I worry about blind spots, in eagerness to crack it.

        I appreciate what you’re doing a great, great deal, and I really think so many things you’ve written are super-constructive and excellent. I think the attitude you promote here is also excellent.

        “Hot-button” as it is I think some really good discussion is probably going on in general here, which is also good for bridging the gaps and misunderstandings, and of course, the answers aren’t all simple and aren’t all the same, going by what some men are saying (and the fact that some women outright say that they are “visual” as well).

        God bless your efforts and good work!

      2. PS–not to beat it to death, but I really am extremely sorry for not coming across (or truly giving) the mountain of credit you deserve for all the immense love you have for men, women–in marriage or otherwise–and marriages with the whole issue. You’re doing a lot of work and demonstrating a beautiful heart with this that I pray is a success! (and I know it is, thank God)

        Much love in Christ. 🙂 No need (as far as I’m concerned) to post this if you don’t want.

  23. Magic moments are, of course nice to have, but it is crucial to remember that those are carnal, not spiritual experiences. They are not ordained by God, but are just a result of our biological reactions.

    Hollywood has done us a great disservice by playing up these ideas, and convincing us all that we absolutely must feel swept away for love to be legitimate.

    “Romance” (code word for lust, haha) oriented movies, novels, and pop music have created a kind of premature sugar rush in the minds of many, and since women are more “story” oriented than pure looks, they are more susceptible. (the corollary for men is the overwhelming visual displays of sexuality everywhere).

    By pre-conditioning people to expect this visceral experience, it causes many people to pass up good potential marriage material, as they await the “magic moment where they “just knew”.

    1. It’s not just Hollywood. A lot of it is parents as well. How many parents actually TEACH their children about marriage, sex, and relationships, instead of absently forbidding it, glossing over all but the most trivial of details, or actively hiding the truth from their children?

      I was fortunate in that I was ‘raised by the village’ so to speak. Between my grandparents, members of my church, and other adults who became surrogates in my life, I received a wealth of instruction on dealing with the practical day-to-day issues of life, including marriage. I also witnessed some beautiful examples that fly in the face of modern thinking.

      For example, my great-grandmother was married at 13, had her first kid at 16, and stayed married for 65 years until her husband died.

      Another couple, not named here, the husband cheated on the wife, but they remained married and in love until her death some 50+ years later. They overcame their difficulties.

      Another couple, married, divorced, and remarried after they found out how their relationship was poisoned by others. They are alive, and have been making it work, even through the hard times.

      Even things like preparing their children for work, for the occasional round of monotony, how to strive for something, how to be persistent, hardworking, dedicated,

      All of this flies in the face of our mass media marriage advice, and no one bothers to teach their kids. In short, we fail our kids, and Hollywood takes our place and feeds them bad information.

      1. Yeah, enough pragmatic conditioning from clear-thinking adults can go a long way toward helping young people recognize the effects of infatuation. Might not be a cure, but at least it is something of an inoculation.

        But just like the anti-drug message, you can’t just tell it once and be done. Moral messages must be continuously driven home – I call them “parental public service announcements”. Fit one in at every opportunity.

  24. April,
    This post led to a really nice in-depth conversation between my husband and myself this evening. I understand him on a deeper level about some things and I wanted to say thanks! I know this topic has been bathed in much prayer and I thank God for what He is doing through your labor and also through those who participate in the comments. Thanks everyone!

    With love!

  25. I think of the angle addressed in this post, the demonization of masculinity.

    A man has to be dominant, socially autonomous, and aggressive–and, know that a woman is supposed to be supportive and not a force that challenges him. Those traits are made out to be “scary” and “destructive” and it’s negativity rather than positivity, that’s what is emasculating men (especially in churches). It turns men against themselves.

    I thought a bit more about the husbands praying with their wives issue. “Wild at Heart” by John Eldridge (though I have my criticisms of that book) has some solid imagery of masculinity.

    The real essence of masculinity is social autonomy. He goes out with his radar for God, submitting to Him, and brings back the meaning that he goes out and “hunts” for as it were. He gets it for himself from the social wilderness, and brings it back to his family. I believe women depend more on human leadership than men, and that’s why they’ll need the man NOT to feel so constrained.

    It’s a little bit like the “finding himself” cliche. As far as his family is concerned, he has to find himself, and then impart himself to them. A man needs room and (as much as possible) a blessing to do so. 🙂

    That’s why it’s such a great gift, I think, if a wife just listens to him talk and makes him comfortable with whatever thoughts come to mind. Of course you’ve written about this a lot.

    So the other emasculating thing that happens in church is defining masculinity strictly as husband and father–it doesn’t work. A man has to be able to point himself outside of people in order to gain something to impart. He loves himself, knows his value, and then loves his wife as he loves himself. “Man was not made for woman, but woman for man”–we have to guard that this doesn’t get reversed, even in subtle ways, as the end result will cause a man not to be able to “go out and get” what he needs to produce what his family needs.

    It’s sort of a scary thing to some, as (I believe) you write about so much: let a man go, remove all the strings of control. The more that can be blessed in the culture rather than feared, the more things can be restored to health.

    That’s just what I think of as far as blessing men (instead of punishing) for who they are.

    1. JC,
      That is very helpful, I think, for us as women to think about men going out hunting God on their own and bringing things back.

      Godly men do need time to themselves to pursue God, think, and hear His voice for themselves. And they need the freedom to be who Christ calls them to be and to seek to please Him above all else.

      1. I just got done with a long conversation with a woman about this–it can be a HUGE help to feel women’s blessing about it. Not a “how to” on masculinity, but a women who are eager for a man’s spontaneity.

        Just feeling that blessing from women is extremely powerful. Partly because a lot of men have hero complexes that encompass (of course) well-meaning toward men, women and children. When we see that everyone wins with masculinity–despite some portraying it as scary and dangerous–everyone really wins.

        Again, you write about this all the time–for wives to have the courage to relinquish control, allowing a man to flourish. Let him do something “dangerous” even, but be there to be a nurse and cheerleader however necessary. 😉

  26. One sort of gripe I hear is that men should see women as people.

    I actually kind of agree with that, in a way. Paul told Timothy to see other women as sisters and mothers “in all purity.” I think it’s a problem in the culture the way women can be both pedestalized and dehumanized in front of men at the same time (the reverse is also true of course, in different ways).

    I feel that a lot of healing in sexual purity could also probably happen from personable interactions between men and women, without either one pedestalized, but all down-to-Earth and unintimidating. IOW, yeah, let’s totally get to know each other as “people” in line with that rebuke. 😉

    Again, I think your message basically promotes that too. I was just drawing a connection.

    1. JC,

      Yes! Let’s ALL see one another as people – as humans made in the image of God. Let’s all treat one another with kindness, compassion, empathy, grace, mercy, the love of God, decency, and respect. 🙂 That would be beautiful!

  27. Thank you, everybody, for your thoughtful replies. There’s a lot of meat in there for me to digest.

    None of this really matters, but I’m afraid I gave the wrong impression. It’s funny, I am not a romantic. At all. I strongly dislike flowery words, I don’t trust flattery, and I really don’t like greeting cards. Weird, I know. I am not upset about not having a “magic moment” for the moments sake, it’s just that so often I feel like who I am as a woman, how things played out in our lives, it always seems “wrong” or at least contrary to the “all men do this” “all women feel this” “all couples remember that” stuff that I read so much of.

    I wasn’t even mad that perhaps he was going to ask out another girl. I mean, he didn’t even know me then, so why would I be mad? Kinda sad, maybe, but not mad. I wouldn’t expect that of him.

    What I didn’t understand was why he became so upset and defensive at the mere discussion of it? Are my feelings, that upsetting? What’s it matter how I feel about something that happened so long ago? @ravaught may have shed some light on that.

    Just to be clear though, I would never call my husband a liar. People have said that before and it makes me so mad. I have never called him “liar” and why does everyone want to tell me that I do? That is an incorrect assumption.

    April, I like the way you put it. I stumbled. Often I will stumble and just give up. But today I’m gonna pick myself back up and try again.

    Thank you everybody who commented. Elizabeth, you have a beautiful love story!

    1. Becca,

      You are not purposely calling your husband a liar. But when you trust your brother-in-law more than your husband, or you trust your feelings or assumptions more than your husband’s words, that is probably what he hears and that is probably why he was so upset. It is frustrating when someone tells you what you were thinking and how you were feeling, right? That is how he feels, too. He would love to be able to say how he feels and what he thinks without being questioned.

      It is the refusal to accept his story, his thoughts, and his perspective that is so disrespectful and offensive to him, from what I can see. I don’t think he is saying you can’t have feelings. But he would like your understanding of him to be accurate and for you not to assume evil motives of him. He might even really appreciate it if you would accept his love and attraction for you instead of trashing his gifts to you.

      I don’t think there will always be a statement of “all men do this” or “all couples do this” – that will fit everyone. It is okay if you or your husband don’t fit the mold of every post, article, or book. Generalizations are just that. And then individuals are unique. It would be great if we can allow our spouses freedom to be themselves and accept them.

      If you find out that you misunderstood your husband in the past, you can receive what he wants to share and allow yourself to rewrite your feelings about that event based on your correct understanding. I had to do that about our first summer together – work back through all of my thoughts and emotions because they were based on very wrong assumptions about what Greg thought and felt.

      I’m glad that you are planning to get back up and keep going. I pray you will savor your husband and the love and attraction he has for you, resting in the fact that he tells you the truth and is trustworthy, but resting even more in God’s love and truth.

      How is the book coming?

      Much love!
      April

      1. Hi April,

        The book is going well. I’m on the “lies about marriage” chapter.

        What I’m realizing from reading this book is, “boy am I screwed up!” I always thought I was pretty down to earth. A lot of the things I am reading, you have told me before, but the author goes into much more detail. (Which I totally understand, you can’t rewrite her book here on your blog) but the chapters are explaining things to me in more detail, and that’s helpful.

        One lie I was pleased to learn is the whole “housewives are losers” idea is a lie. She doesn’t word it that way, but you know what I mean. I’ve always loved being home with my kids, and my husband loves it that way, too. But we live in the northeast, in a very competitive area, where it seems like every woman has a career. Even other homeschooling moms! Most of them work part time or full time while their husbands or grandmothers supervise the schooling. I was a straight-A, multiple scholarship winning student. My mother and her mother have always been very disappointed in me for not having a career. I believe they see my lifestyle as wasteful. And my sister, of course, has her masters degree and an illustrious career and loves to point out how I’m screwing up my children by raising them myself. But we are learning not to listen to her anymore, right? 🙂 Anyhow, all of that to say, it was encouraging to learn that my choice of being an at-home mother does not make me worthless. That is a lie.

        Also, the “I can’t do it all” or “I should be able to do it all” lie. Wow! That’s one I need to revisit. I am a people pleaser who hates to tell anyone “no.” I’m also thorough and efficient, so people are ALWAYS asking me to do things and lead things, and I usually give in and say yes. I don’t want to let anyone down. My husband has helped me to see that I can’t say yes to everyone, and that’s okay, but I do need to study on that one some more, so I don’t keep going off track.

        I noticed their are a lot of lies in the book I would never believe, and a lot I believe that aren’t in there. But the author points that out in the beginning – that the book won’t be all things to all people. But for me, it is an excellent starting place. Thanks for the suggestion and I’ll keep you posted!

        1. Becca,

          WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          How I praise God for your willingness to read Lies Women Believe – and the Truth That Sets Them Free. And how I praise God that He is speaking and you are listening!!!!! 🙂 I couldn’t possibly rewrite the whole book in the comments section on my blog. I appreciate your willingness to be open to what DeMoss – and more importantly, God – have to say.

          THIS MAKES MY DAY!!!!!!!!

          WOOHOO!!!!!!!

          I think I might have to get up and dance. 🙂 I kind of feel like having a party. I just have to rejoice so much! I wish I could put pictures of balloons and confetti on this comment! I know there is much rejoicing by the angels and by God in heaven over the revelations you are having this week, too!

          I wish I could hug your neck! I know you have a lot of healing to do, and that you still have a ton of more heart work to do with the destructive thinking. But this is PROGRESS! THANK YOU for reading that book, my precious sister! I want you to experience freedom from your bondage and the abundant life Jesus died to give you. 🙂

          YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. Linda,

        It is my understanding that women have about 10 times the amount of oxytocin that men do gnerally. That is the bonding hormone. We have more of it when we have emotionally connected conversations. Men get to experience a big surge in oxytocin during sex. And I have heard a number of husbands say that sex is a very emotionally and spiritually bonding thing to share with their wives.

        If we as wives could understand how much sex bonds and connects us as a married couple, perhaps we would be more excited about it?

        1. My husband does not like to discuss sex but from what I have managed to find out from him, it is more of a physical thing. Getting an “urge” and needing relief. I don’t think it is emotional, definitely not spiritual for him and I don’t think he thinks it has much to do with love.

          1. Anonywoman,

            Thank you for sharing. I hope you are not getting the whole picture from him. But I do appreciate your willingness to share. 🙂

            This is very different from what I have heard from a lot of husbands here. But, I imagine there could be a wide range of answers depending on the man.

            HoW do you try to respond if this is your understanding of his motives?

          2. He is very affectionate and loves to cuddle. I know he loves me dearly but he doesn’t think sex is an indicator of love. It is just sex and he says there is much more to love than sex. It makes me feel strange when I read how important the men on here think it is. My husband has never been turned down by me.

    1. It’s simply the ultimate act of receiving your husband and being vulnerable to him. It’s the most welcoming and affirming part of the relationship for him. This is the most unique part of your relationship, he shares it with no one but his wife.

      Husbands seek to be wanted and to be affirmed. This does both in the most unique way possible, and God designed it to be physical as well. So it’s emotional, spiritual, and physical.

      1. AnonyMan,

        Very well stated. I hope the ladies will be able to embrace this idea. 🙂 I want to see wives viewing sex as a way they can greatly bless their husbands and as a very powerful way of bonding on every level. I think if we as women can look at intimacy this way – it will help us see it as the incredible gift that it is. I know the enemy wants to keep conflict in every area, especially this one – and that Satan would love for married couples not to have sex – because this will hurt their marriage. But I want to see husbands and wives uniting together to enjoy and bless each other and build up the marriage together.

        If wives have insecurities, fears, and unbiblical thoughts/lies – I pray they will determine to deal with those things so that they can receive all the good things that God and their husbands desire to share with them.

    2. Disclaimer: There are always cases where certain men are *not* going to fit into this mold, have a very “Self-Serving At All Times” disposition, are abusive, etc. I guess I’m taking about most well-meaning, Christian men… so this is just from a guy that has seen this issue of bonding be prevalent in my life, and in the lives of men I come in contact with to sharpen eachother:
      ********************************

      Hi April and Greg! You guys and your ministry here are such a blessing, by the way…. So re: sex as an emotional and even spiritual kind of bonding with their wives….. here’s my perspective:

      This is very true for myself and the men in small groups that I’ve been around….especially during Conflict. Not only is sex an emotional and spiritual kind of bonding for many men – but the lack of availability for sex creates this thing within many men, where we have this huge road block between us and our wives. We feel very *not* in control during the conflict, feel like failures for not being able to “fix” the situation (“fix” like we do for things 100x a day in the workplace), and we thus fail to be able to let our guard down so that we can really understand our wife’s heart. By “road block”, let’s take a scenario:

      Let’s say that man and wife are totally at odds about something. Though I’m a Type A personality, I kind of get “Type A’d Out” with the daily stresses of 10-12hr days at work and what-not . . . so when I get home, I often fall out of Type A Mode, and more into what Greg describes as a “Passive Husband”…. As a “Passive Husband” many times at home, we avoid conflict because we’re mentally exhausted from taking on the world outside the home. So when a conflict arises that is something of significance (not “what restaurant should we go to this Friday night”), we become frustrated, go into a tailspin (because we are so used to being able to “fix things” promptly during the other 10-12hrs/day of our lives), we then become quiet, and eventually, we disconnect/shut-down. This could go on for weeks or even months – and we even may quietly become resentful.

      Anyhow, during the conflict, women don’t feel that emotional connection, and therefore pull away from being available for Intimacy. Whereas with men, we seem to naturally seek Intimacy with our wives (during this time where the conflict is active), as a way to reconnect, bridge that gap, break down the barrier, and then pursue reconciliation of the particular conflict.

      (The same applies for prayer with our wives during conflict)

      When Intimacy is withheld “until the conflict is resolved”, many men get stuck in this crazy rut, where there might as well be the Grand Canyon between us and our wives… and that chasm grows and grows. It’s almost as though we need to connect with our wives in that way, in order to let our own guards down, and really be able to then understand her heart.

      (Maybe it’s the oxytocin? Geesh, I have no idea!)….

      I know how dumb and terrible that all sounds . . . definitely for many women reading this…. It sounds so self-serving. But we are each hopelessly sinful without a Savior, and therefore, we are even more susceptible to our culture’s “Meet my needs first” mentality during that Conflict. Men are going “I need Intimacy so that I can meet your need for resolution – because I can’t calm my soul in order to reach your heart right now” . . . and women are often going “I need you to meet my need for resolution of issues and calm my soul before I’ll let any Intimacy occur”. Such a terrible standoff.

      I would say this though: For myself, and the men that I’ve been around that have shared their hearts on the subject: There isn’t anything intentionally nefarious involved, and I don’t think that men are necessarily *intending* to be selfish/self-serving in this. It’s almost like this weird physical block that comes out of nowhere within the man . . . . . and then the big gap between he and his wife continues to grow and grow – because it really has become a big chasm between the two.

      It’s just interesting how opposite men and women seem to be on the subject. If there were some way that we could both just take a “timeout” from the Conflict/Disagreement, reconnect together Intimately, pray together, and then really feel out each-others hearts once you’ve both reconnected on that physical level, I think it could revolutionize Conflict Resolution in marriages.

      1. hh,

        Oh wow!

        This is SO good. Thank you, thank you for this explanation! It is a terrible cycle when each person is feeling upset and neither can or will reach out and meet the other person’s needs first. In marriage, we have many opportunities to learn to remember that we are dead to our old fleshly nature and alive in Christ. God can use this dynamic to teach us to become more selfless and holy, reaching out to meet our spouse’s need before our own. What a beautiful thing that would be!

        I am so grateful for the time and effort you have spent writing this. I know many other wives will be greatly blessed by these insights.

        1. “I know how dumb and terrible that all sounds . . . definitely for many women reading this…”

          Ahh, not at all, that is a very sweet and kind explanation. I too have observed that hubby needs that connection, intimacy, relationship with me even in times of conflict or stress. I too used to pull away during those times until I recognized it for what it is, a desire to have a connection with me. That idea just softens the heart, while the other perception, that he is just being selfish, tends to harden it. In truth there is nothing selfish at all in desiring a connection, but women don’t always perceive sex that way.

  28. It may make more sense if I add that I am the one with the higher drive. I think I make sex more important than it is and a “measuring” stick for how much he loves me and how our relationship is doing. We are both Christians, married a long time and are an “older” couple. I have always struggled with this.

    1. Anonywoman,

      I am really glad your loves to cuddle and is affectionate. That is great! Do you think he may feel a bit too pressured or criticized by you? I would love to see you choose not to use frequency of sex as a measuring stick for his love. You can choose to stop doing this. I know it can be tempting to use what you desire most in the relationship to measure his love. But – it may be better not to try to quantify your spouse’s love. Or, at least, use the way he shows love to measure, rather than what you want him to do for you to measure his love. Does that make sense?

      If he is older, it is possible he may have medical issues, impotency, or just a lower drive. It may not be about his love for you at all.

      The rest of the marriage is going well? He is feeling respected by you and like you are on his team?

      Much love to you!
      April

  29. Read this in my quiet time yesterday. This passage is so applicable for all of us as believers – it is the way we can walk in victory over sin and temptation through Christ:

    You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

    So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

    The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5:13-26

    1. Be too busy thinking and doing as the Spirit leads that there is no room left for sin in our lives.

      God help us develop discernment. I see sexual purity as more of a “do” than a “do not,” because it’s such a statement of self-respect, about how to recognize ourselves as dignified temples of God. The prostitute should not be intimidating, therefore, but repulsive to such sensibilities.

  30. Ladies,

    I am working on reading through a book for a book review in the coming month or two for wives with low libido. I am really excited about sharing this book with my readers – but I will give you a sneak peak.

    Bonny at http://www.oysterbed7.com has a ministry for low-libdo wives. Her book is called, “Unlock Your Libido.” It is a 52 week guide for Christian wives with a devotion once a week and Scripture passages and then a very short prayer to focus on every day for that week. I am up to week 7 – and I am thrilled to see the way she is addressing wrong thinking, spiritual bondage, submitting to God, embracing the Truth of His Word. Again, I haven’t read the whole thing yet, but I love her approach so far. I especially love her heart for Christ, for marriage, for men, and for women. And I love the positive, truthful way she approaches the issue of intimacy in marriage. She helps women see God’s truth clearly and then reinforce it to themselves over and over as they depend on God’s power to renew their minds and bring healing.

    It might be something interesting to check out, along with her website.

  31. “Porn is not about intimacy. It is about anti-intimacy… As a man, it is when I feel lonely or impotent or powerless or angry that I might be tempted to go to porn as a way of killing that pain and not being intimate,”

    Where can this be supported Biblically?

    Rather, is it not

    1. lust of flesh
    2. lust of eyes
    3. pride of life ? (1 John 2:15-16 )

    Men and women commit sexual immorality because of lust! This is Biblical and this is what we should be standing on.

    1. Christine,

      There are 3 primary categories of sin, as you have described. Absolutely! But there can be multiple motives for sin. The porn thing that the man is describing may be about lust – but it may also be about the pride of life. He doesn’t want to appear to be vulnerable in front of his wife.

      Or, a woman’s addiction to vanity may be about the pride of life. But she may also have issues with insecurity because she is not trusting God and finding all of her security in Him. She may be trying to get attention so she can feel more loved or feel more valued. There can be secondary and tertiary issues and motives involved, too.

      Another sin may be especially tempting to someone who is driven by fear or guilt – but the root might be the pride of life.

      Bitterness may be driven primarily by pride. But there can also be hatred, unforgiveness, resentment, malice, and other motives, too.

      The 3 things you are listing are kind of the roots of other sins. But there are many branches.

      Thanks for sharing!

      Much love,
      April

      1. Hi April,

        Thank you for your response. I can definitely see how pride of life can manifest. And, it is our prayer to strive in godliness, humility and love.

  32. Hi April,

    I just wanted to take a minute to encourage wives who may be in the minority – being the wife of a husband with low libido. You are not alone, and I can understand how it can feel that you are.

    I think your book reviews are great and very helpful. It’s nice to have a trustworthy, godly friend who is willing to review and recommend books that may be helpful to your sisters (like me!)

    I understand that low libido is a thing a lot of women deal with, and it can cause problems for their men. So I totally understand why you’re helping in this area.

    It’s just that whenever I read about low libido wives, a part of me still gets upset. And I have to pray and put things into perspective and reign in those old emotions.

    When I was going through the roughest time in my life, when my husband seemed to have no interest in me sexually, it was probably the lowest I have ever felt. I looked for help online (not the best idea! While there are great resources like your blog, there are countless other not-so-great resources) that can quickly steer a hurting person wrong. I still thank God He led me here!

    Anyhow, I remember reading so much about husbands who loved their wives so much, husbands who so intensely wanted their wives sexually, husbands who saw sex as a way of giving and receiving love. So many articles about how a man thinks, why men like sex so much, why you should let your husband enjoy sex with you…. and on and on. And here I was, with my husband who told me he loved me every single day, and yet he had almost no interest in me sexually. To make matters worse, I have a healthy sex drive for my husband. My man didn’t fit the “reasons” for low drive either. There was no porn problem, no other woman. I vividly remember feeling that the only answer must be that I was the ugliest, most unworthy, most repulsive wife on the face of the earth. It was a very, very painful time. I got wrapped up in negative pride and self-pity. I even tried praying for God to take away my desire for my husband (but it didn’t happen, and oh how I’m thankful God knows best.)

    By the grace of God we are coming out the other side of this. The reasons this happened to us are understandable, but personal. (Nothing scandalous, thank God, just a lot of personal feelings and stuff). My husband does not like to “discuss feelings” – and his silence made matters worse, as my mind was running away with itself! Once we finally started communicating, we finally started to heal. It’s a process though, and we’ve not “finished”, but at least we are working together.

    I’m sorry to have gone on so long. I just know there are ladies out there who may be in my situation, where their husband has a low libido, and they feel alone. You are not alone. Pray for God to help your marriage, pray for open lines of communication, pray for strength for your husband, pray for strength for yourself, pray for understanding, pray for God to open your eyes if you are contributing to the problem. Be careful, very careful, what you read. Pray for God to lead you to the right sources of help and counsel. Pray. And know that you are not alone, and I am praying for you, too.

    1. Becca,

      I’m glad you want to encourage the higher drive wives with lower drive husbands – I actually see this dynamic happen a lot with wives who are more Type A, in control and who have passive husbands. I haven’t done a survey – maybe I should. But I am thinking that with the dominant wife/passive husband dynamic, the incidence of the wife having the higher drive and husband rejecting the wife seems to be much higher than “normal.”

      Here is my theory:

      Men who are more passive tend to have lower testosterone levels. It would be so neat to do a large scale study of this. But whether a man chooses to be passive originally by his personality, or shuts down because he feels dominated and controlled by his wife – my guess is that when a man feels emasculated, it probably does not boost his testosterone levels or his sexual desire for his wife.

      Interestingly, as men feel more respected and honored, this does often bring a revival back to a husband’s libido.

      I have a post about this if anyone is interested, “The Devastation of Sexual Rejection in Marriage.” And also a post about how when a wife begins to respect her husband and allow him to lead, this sometimes brings healing sexually to a marriage where the husband has been very shut down sexually. “Respect, Biblical Submission, and Sexual Desire.” And “When Your Husband rejects You.”

      I try to always address both issues at the same time whenever I can – because the higher drive women can definitely feel upset when they read about wives whose husbands want sex “all the time” and their own husbands don’t.

      In our marriage, my disrespect and control was a BIG turn off to Greg – but I had no idea what the problem was for a long, long time. I do wish I had understood these things 21 years ago when we first got married!

      Thank you for sharing. I have been thinking that when I write that review – I need to write a post that same week for wives whose husbands have low drive. It is a very painful issue.

      Much love!

      1. The fact that we NEVER hear a word from a “low drive” man on here doesn’t help at all. I can’t think of anything in my life that is as painful of a lifetime of feeling undesirable. The hurt is almost unbearable at times. YES, I pray a LOT! I make sure that my man is respected and admired. There is no porn problem or any affairs. Our marriage is perfect in every other way. But I do fight resentment.

        Another thing, I do feel like there is a thing such as “to much Information”. For me this book is exactly that. I have been deeply sad since I read this post and took a peek at the book on “Amazon”. It makes me feel like giving up. It really hurts to know that my husband is either getting his eyes full OR white knuckling it every single day all day long.

        1. “is either getting his eyes full OR white knuckling it every single day all day long.”

          fwiw, from a single man, that isn’t the case. (certainly not for every man). I’ll just leave it at that. 😉

          I deeply regret the grief.

        2. Anonywoman,

          I promise that there are many men who don’t struggle to the degree that some of the men do in the book. I know quite a few of them, actually, in real life.

          Please don’t give up! And don’t assume that your husband is one of the men who is extremely bothered by the images he sees. Remember that there is a big spectrum of men and a wide range of “normal.” And there are some men for whom this is not a big struggle. The low-drive men are probably the ones who have the lesser struggle.

          Did you read the warnings before delving into the book? They are really important! Some women are not ready to read that information. But also – it is more important to understand our own individual husbands than to understand the specific men who were interviewed in the book.

          My husband did not relate to the degree of intensity of the visual struggle that many men described in the book, for instance.

          I agree that it would be very helpful to hear from men for whom visual temptation isn’t a big deal. And I assure you that there are men who walk in the power of God’s Spirit who do walk in victory over temptation. And there are also men who just aren’t bothered that much by visual temptations.

          So please don’t give up or make assumptions about your husband’s struggle. It is entirely possible that he may just have low levels of testosterone or a naturally low drive and be naturally not as visual. That is okay, too!

          How is your walk with Christ? What do you believe God might desire you to focus on to find some healing spiritually and some rest for your soul in Christ?

          What are you doing to seek to slow down your libido a bit? There are things you can do on that front that can help you dial down the level of desire you have to more closely match your husband’s drive.

          1. “I agree that it would be very helpful to hear from men for whom visual temptation isn’t a big deal.”

            Well, the thing is, it’s a decision not to let it be a big deal. A long time ago I read “Every Man’s Battle” in my late teens I think. He talks about “eye-bouncing,” or just looking away.

            I guess I shouldn’t begrudge that if it actually works for some men, but the thing to me is that I find that I have an ability to control visual associations.

            As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing mystical about a woman’s body that makes the sight any different from any other visual association.

            I’m at least an intermediate bodybuilder too. I can pretty much guarantee I don’t have low-testosterone levels for that and other reasons. 😉

            I agonized over a long piece of writing where I explain this in detail–why I think the visual association gets beaten into men so much and how to remove it–but suffice it to say, a woman’s body is nothing, just like a man’s. Her body is reminiscent of femininity, which is great, but only one’s spouse is going to have it really mean what your eyes might be tempted to WANT it to be to him.

            A body is an object, on its own having NO power. If it has power, it’s in your head, and you can make up your mind to de-glorify it rather than project a meaning on it. And you can have the self-respect to realize that regardless of how beautiful a woman looks, it’s a violation on a man’s body to become joined in body with one who does not care for him deeply. That’s why I tend to oppose the notions of “eye-bouncing” in the sense that we’re teaching men “oh no! I’m powerless before an image!” And it doesn’t promote notions of self-respect and dignity in a man as far as I can detect. My approach is quite the opposite.

            I apologize April if this is a broken record for what I say (so don’t post it if you find that obnoxious, please.) 🙂 I just thought I’d bite in the interest of being helpful.

  33. “What are you doing to seek to slow down your libido a bit? ”
    I guess It is not that I have a “high drive” for “sex” I have a “high drive” to be wanted in that way, to be “desired” .
    I sure have been more clear.
    I am sure God would love to help me, after all I probably only ask Him too 100 times a day. I do have periods of rest, then I run across this type of stuff that sets it off again. I probably really need to stay away from all of these blogs. I do love your blog, it has helped me so much in lots of ways.

    JC, Thanks for the encouragement. It helps so much to hear that from a man.

    1. Anonywoman,

      I wonder if it might be more productive to find your worth totally 100% in Christ and all that He has done for you – rather than in what your husband does or does not do for you?

      Have you seen this post about our security being in Christ alone?

      When we decide to judge our husbands’ love based on how often they are willing to have sex with us (which I have done myself, by the way) – we set ourselves up for failure, my dear sister. We tend to pressure our men – which is a turn off. And we tend to react with anger and resentment and bitterness when they don’t deliver like we think they should. That is also a turn off – not to mention – it is sin. We can sabotage ourselves when we base our happiness and contentment on something we can’t control.

      Instead, there is so much healing and power when we take control of our own contentment and emotions by laying everything before Christ, acknowledging He is LORD. We lay all that we have, all that we desire, all that we are on the altar before Jesus and we die to ourselves and our will. We can die to the way we measure our husbands’ love. We can die to the idea that we must have what we want when we want it. We can choose to live for Christ and to find the sufficiency of Christ – that He is indeed enough. Even if we don’t have the other things we desire, if we have Jesus – we have more than we need.

      I always try to put warnings on posts that may be triggers for certain women. I did put warnings on this post. And an entire post before this post that was a warning.

      But – I think that this conversation may be productive and a blessing in your life if you are willing to consider my words prayerfully and see if there is anything you believe God might desire you to change in your thinking on this difficult, sensitive issue.

      What if you laid down your expectations of your husband to have sex with you? What if you decided to be content in Christ no matter what your husband did or did not do? What would that do for your spiritual walk and for your marriage? If your husband wants sex, awesome. Enjoy him. Be a blessing to him. But the only motives that really honor God are these:

      1. Seek to please, love, obey, and honor God wholeheartedly.
      2. Seek to love and bless others with no expectations.

      If I notice disappointment or resentment in my heart because someone isn’t doing what I want him/her to do, it is time to examine my motives again in the light of God’s Word.

      Much love to you!

  34. Thank you! I will try to apply your suggestions. I already feel better.
    For those times when my libido is kicked into high gear, what are your suggestions to bring it under control?

    1. Anonywoman,

      Well… for a woman, at least, we can really rev up our libido by using our imagination to focus on intimacy with our husbands and we can increase our desire by thinking about it and imagining how amazing it would be. That is awesome when our husbands are excited about intimacy, too. But if we are in overdrive and our husbands are on a less frequent schedule – we can choose to lower the gas to our imaginations. We can choose to focus on Christ and on His sufficiency and on all the blessings we have in Him. We can choose to think about the things we are thankful about in our lives. We can choose to turn the channel when we begin to think about sex – and turn our attention to other things. As we do this, we are taking the gas pedal off of sexual desire and we can learn to be content with what we have.

      The awesome thing about living in the power of God is that we can die to our own will and live for God’s will – even if we don’t get the things we want. We can also learn to be content in all circumstances because of Christ living in us – Philippians 4:12-13. We can choose to allow this scarcity of sex to be an opportunity for God to teach us to become more selfless and even more holy as we learn to wait on Him and to depend on the power of His Spirit to teach and empower us to become more and more the wives God desires us to be.

      You can learn not to be “on” all the time by redirecting your thoughts and watching motives – capturing every thought for Christ and His glory and honor. Not that thinking about sex with your husband is wrong. But if your motive is to judge your value and worth based on your husband’s frequency of sex, that is a problem. Let’s focus on finding our worth in Christ. And instead of judging our husbands and condemning them if they don’t desire us every day or on a specific schedule, we can learn to extend grace, understanding, compassion, agape love, honor, and respect. We can learn to focus on becoming the wive God desires us to be instead of focusing on our desires for our husbands to change.

      I hope that might be a blessing.

      Much love!

      1. I am in a similar position. But in my case it is punitive. I couldn’t meet all the expectations, and started desperately searching for the magic pill — and it led to some of the worst possible places, but also to several books that are highly recommended on many of these blogs, but soon realized those books were very dangerous for someone like me.

        I struggled HORRIBLY with temptations and still do to this very day. Sometimes it’s hour by hour. But I know the situation and that there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. My fifth and sixth children are “flukes” — I finally took it to God with the knowledge that the purpose of marriage is procreation, and that if I was meant to have another child, God would put it in my husband’s head. He experienced two “moments of weakness” as he probably would call them, and we were blessed with our fifth and sixth children.

        After a lot of agony, I learned that when I longed to be wanted “in that way”, the best thing to do was go on a very long walk or do some very strenuous housework. Basically what anybody would recommend — keep busy. You can also continually ask God to take it away — your fleshly carnal desires. It’s not always prudent to try to approach your husband. Sometimes it’s dangerous. If he adamantly refuses to go with you to get any help, don’t push the issue. Mention it once, and only once, and then drop it completely. Mention it more than once, and guess what, you’ll be accused of nagging. It’s simply not worth it. The only thing you can do is hope someday it might change, but in the meantime you have to work it out alone on your own.

        If it’s any consolation, at least you’ll be able to pray more for those men who suffer from this problem. You’ll gain understanding and sympathy and hopefully you might grow closer to your own children in being able to understand them and help them navigate the waters of adolescence.

        1. zbexrel,

          Sexual desire in marriage is a good thing. But I realize that you have some really serious issues to face in your marriage – and that it may not be safe for you to approach your husband. That breaks my heart!

          I believe that women with extremely difficult issues and severe problems in their marriage may be more harmed than helped by reading posts and books written for marriages that do not have these severe issues.

          I’m thankful that you are seeking Christ with all your heart – and I pray you will receive the help and resources you need to continue to heal. I pray for healing for your husband spiritually and for your marriage, as well. 🙂

  35. Hi April,

    This is really helpful. I wish I’d asked these great questions and heard this before. Maybe you did say these things to me, but just now I am ready to listen.

    These are great, PRACTICAL, suggestions that will help. I’m not good at doing “emotional” stuff, but the idea of “turning the channel” and focusing on other things, like Christ and His sufficiency, that is something I can work on.

    Although my husband and I are healing, we are still mismatched. Work is such a huge part of him, and a love of his, that it can at times consume him. But I am starting to see that instead of focusing on how I wish he’d change, I can focus on becoming the wife God desires me to be. Goodness knows I have a LOOOOONG way to go.

    I can always work on extending grace, understanding, compassion, AGAPE LOVE, honor and respect.

    Anonywoman, I will pray for you. I think being a wife and having a higher desire is indeed very painful, and very hard for the “normal” women to understand. I agree most blogs are a good place to stay away from – I dug myself I to a pit reading about what was “normal” and how “all men” and “all women” should be (a lot of folks write in absolutes, possibly without realizing how it sounds to a reader.)

    Anyhow, April’s blog is the one place I have found that I feel is safe, and God honoring, and honest, and real.

    You are not alone. I know for a fact there is at least one woman who shares your struggle (me!) 🙂 And I know that healing is possible. And I know that it’s not all him, and it’s not all me. It’s so much. So I’m going to pray for you, sister, and I’d love it if you’d pray for me as well.

    April, thank you. For the love, the constant encouragement, the practical suggestions, and the spiritual guidance. You are a blessing!

    With love ~ Becca

    1. Becca,

      I am so thankful that this was a blessing to you.:) Thank you so much for reaching out to our dear sister who is hurting. This is a topic that is just not discussed much for some reason. But I believe that God can empower wives who are the higher drive spouses to walk in contentment in Christ and I want other women to know there is every reason for hope in Jesus! 🙂 We don’t have to be slaves to our hormones, desires, libidos, or emotions any more!!! There is great freedom in Christ!

      You are most welcome, to God be all the glory, my sweet sister!

    1. Very, very interesting! My husband and I took this test, and we are EXACT opposites! He is INTJ and I am ESFP. That explains a lot. 🙂

      Especially interesting was the INTJ explanation which said a lot about how they are strong in everything, but personal relationships are their Achilles heel. They say this is due to them being misread and misunderstood. We both laughed when reading this. It also explains a lot about why I have so much trouble believing he loves me, and why I think he has so much trouble showing he loves me (although he says it constantly). Very weird.

      I don’t know how true these personality tests are, but we found it interesting.

      1. Becca,

        That’s definitely important and relevant information as you learn to appreciate and honor your husband and accept him for who he is – and as you learn to relate to him and communicate with him. 🙂 Thanks for sharing, ravaught!

      2. I’ve found the personality tests to be very close to the mark. They won’t necessarily fit you 100%, because every individual has had different experiences, training, trauma, etc. The DO get you in the right ball park, though, and for the most part, they are eerily accurate.

    2. Ha! I was totally just thinking of the MBTI.

      I’m not one to jump at every personality category test out there, but that test is very, very useful in my opinion.

      I recommend checking it out. 😉

  36. From Micah:

    I have a hard time understanding how lust could be a huge issue still for the man who is married. Coming from myself… a single man who is 43 as I type this, never married never found that love of my life I can’t imagine what would it be like to actually have that one woman to stand by me in marriage in all ways including being intimate.

    Being visual is a part of every man, yet to me the challenge is walking alone as a man and still being visual/sexual being and having to do my best to always battle to shut that side of me off. Yes ladies, being a real man is part of us that can’t be changed and it’s what God made us. Imagine your intimate/visual feelings…. then turn that up 150 percent, now walk through life and imagine having to contain that daily. That is what it’s like being a man and even though it can be controlled and it’s why God said it’s not good for man to be alone, it will always be a battle to some extent but much less if the thirst is quenched by the love and intimacy of a wife by his side.

    As for porn, I’ve watched it in my past and it always left me feeling empty and depressed. Porn is not good and will destroy a marriage as well as chip away at the single person who is trying to stay true in total faith to Christ. We are visual and personally I was drawn to porn out of complete loneliness in my past. Yet I can say first hand that it left me more depressed than it ever did any good. I could give all the visual excuses I wanted but the Holy Spirit always was right there letting me know this was not the path to go.

    Now I’m at a point where that is in my past, I still struggle with being alone yet now I guess you could say I have put everything in Gods hands and said Lord, if I’m meant to live alone then so be it, if not then so be it but I’m tired of the struggle and your will, shall be done.

    Sorry for a very long post, maybe this will reach someone who has been alone for many years.

  37. Hi April!
    I have this book on my kindle and have read it a little. But not much. I am thankful for a husband who is happy to help me understand how men work. And I find myself growing increasingly frustrated with women around us. They have no idea about this area. I’m so glad you are bringing the submission topic to light! It is much needed!
    I heard a woman say recently that part of submission is ALWAYS letting the husband initiate. I disagree. My husband wants me to initiate more than I do. But I always though it was because he tired of always being the one to initiate. And that the actual marital act was what communicated love. So not true! At least for him. He said he feels really loved and cared for when I initiate. If he does it, he said he feels like he is forcing himself on me. Or, to put it more bluntly (while trying to be sensitive to another ladies feelings or experience) like one day I will accuse him of rape. And he detests that idea. Because that is NOT his motivation or intention. This book, from what I have read has also been a real help in understanding his struggles and it makes it easier to give myself more freely to him. Although I’m still learning. I wished other women knew how their men worked. A great resource to direct others to who may be struggling in this area!

    1. Anon M,

      Oh my! I would hate to think that any husband would beleive that for him to initiate intimacy would be viewed by his wife as rape. That breaks my heart!

      I believe husbands and wives have freedom in Christ to intiate intimacy in loving, thoughtful, respectful, honoring ways. I hope you will both feel free to enjoy each other in your marriage.

      There is much misunderstanding over God’s design for marriage, but so much joy, freedom, peace, and healing when we seek to apply and obey His Word and live by His Spirit and His wisdom.

      1. April,
        Without treading on anyone’s toes here. I do not believe that rape exsists within marriage. As when you married your spouse, provided you were saved and had a knowledge of the scriptures. you would of understood that the wife’s body is not her own, and the husband’s body is not his own. my body belongs to my husband and ,my husbands body belongs to me.And we are to give to one another freely unless we mutually decide to part and abstain for reasons of fasting and praying. With the intention of uniting again.

        I would never accuse my husband of raping me. Although my mother believed and taught me that it exsisted in marriage. But my husband just had the idea that he was doing something wrong everytime he initiated. Im more of a go with the flow type. I am happy if he is happy. I often dont initiate because i dont want to pressure him if he isn’t interested. (For those that may get offended at what I am saying, I am talking within the context of a normal, healthy, non abusive loving relationship centered on Christ. I am not in an abusive marriage and so I cannot speak from that perspective. Please seek professional help if this is a sensative area for you).

        I was surprised when my husband shared his thoughts and feelings with me about who initiates. kind of saddened me that he felt that way and I had been communicating that to him unknowingly. He is a Godly man and treats me well. And i am seeking to become a more Godly wife. But as i have explained in my comments, i obviously fall short. but by the grace of God I can do it!
        Blessings,
        Anon M

        1. Anon M,

          I do wish that there was never any kind of violence – sexual or otherwise – in any marriage. I am aware of husbands who have violently forced their wives into sex against their wives’ will. That, to me, is rape. (Do I Condone Marital Rape or Abuse?)

          But – that issue aside – in a loving marriage where abuse is not going on, I would love to see husbands and wives feel free to initiate intimacy and to enjoy each other. A man just desiring his wife and wanting to pursue her sexually (in constructive, loving, healthy ways – not harmful ways) is not wrong or should not be ashamed. That breaks my heart for your husband!

          I pray for continued healing for you both and for your marriage, my precious sister!

  38. One of the key elements of several leading feminist leaders was that all sex is rape of one sort or another.

    This is not the opinion of most people of course, but there is a tendency for the extreme thoughts of some people to lead to gray-area thinking in others.

    Put more simply, there is a tendency in wider culture to view the male sex drive as “generally kind of a rape instinct”.

    Male nature is so demonized in modern society that it is very easy to categorize most male impulses as “just a hair away from sin or evil”.

    Women just don’t get men. Just like our sex drive, our capacity for physical action, up to violence should be understood in the broader context.

    Women think of the word “violence” as an inherently evil thing. But what if one man was trying to attack you, but your husband fought him off? BOTH MEN are committing violence.

    But one man is trying to do evil violence, and the other is doing righteous violence. Even Jesus drove out the money changers – PHYSICALLY. Would any of us care to lecture Him?

    Women need to develop discernment about men and our attributes. It would be better for women to understand the difference between righteous violence and evil violence. In the same way, women need to understand the difference between the healthy version of male sexual desire and the evil version.

    Modernist anti-male thinking stubbornly refuses to see any distinction between these at all, and therefore desires that men essentially function in the same way as a woman, because women are sweeter, kinder, etc.

    1. Jack,
      This is a very important point! That male attributes can be used for good or evil, just like female attributes can. Masculinity – like many things – is inherently neutral. It is how a man chooses to use his masculinity that is either good or bad. We can appreciate and respect our brothers and husbands when they use their masculinity righteously.

  39. I want to preface my questions with the caveat that they are for discussion purposes only. I have great respect for men, and appreciate their strength, leadership, and the unique gifts of masculinity… I’m wondering if it is possible that the “tendency. . . to view the male sex drive as ‘generally kind of a rape instinct,’ ” might stem from men and women being told that the biological sex drive is ultimately uncontrollable, I.e. “you starve your man, he will eat the snickers (Porn, adultery, fornication). He may hold out for days, weeks, even years, but if you keep starving him, that snickers (Porn, adultery, fornication) will start to look like the most appetizing thing on the planet and his desire to survive will far outweigh any feelings of guilt…he will do it.” I could see that persons reading our discussion might conclude that a man is helpless in the face of an unmet sex drive, that man’s only hope lies in acquiring a permanently willing wife, that a man prefers a willing wife, but hey–if that is lacking, basically a man has no choice but to employ other unsavory measures. Some men might disagree? If so, I wonder if they might share how a man properly manages his sex drive without a participatory wife, or if it is even possible? Hence, the flavor of a “rape instinct?”

    1. Marked Wife,

      I am thankful that in Christ, men are not slaves to their sex drive or biology – neither are women! WOOHOO!!!

      But these are good things for us to try to understand properly. I don’t want us to view men as having a “rape instinct.” That just breaks my heart!

      One 40 year old single man shared how God empowered him to overcome sexual temptation in this post.

  40. Thank you very much April. I read that post and the follow up one as well (40 – year old virgin). Imagine! A grown man man who is alive and breathing with a healthy sex drive…and celibate without it killing him! It seems to always circle back around to what you say, also for the men. Feeling hurt because your husband ignores you? Find your worth in Christ. Feeling frustrated because your wife won’t want or have sex with you? Give it to Christ and focus on growing more grass where the weeds of pornography lie…I suppose men can have idols too. If only she would have sex with me, I would be happy. If only he would pay attention to me, I would be happy. If only, if only, if only…The Idol named If Only…
    Thank you again for the link. I would love to see the same comments made here posted on Justin’s site with his replies…To our male “guest” commenters: if anyone ever does that, kindly let us know as the ensuing conversation would really help us learn and understand a great deal about men.
    I’m so encouraged by that link… God has a plan, and our brothers don’t have to white knuckle it alone.

    1. Marked Wife,

      I’m very happy to report that the guy who wrote that post is now a happily married man. But yes, Justin did learn to live for God and submit his sexual desire to God after many painful and lonely years as a single man. 🙂 And YES, men can absolutely have idols, too – sex, marriage, a wife, love, respect, money, power… “the human heart is an idol factory” (John Calvin).

      With God’s Spirit, none of us have to white knuckle it. This is GOOD NEWS!

      Much love.
      April

  41. Well, I am in a season of marriage where I am grieving the hurts that I have experienced over the years in regard to this issue. I’ve been married 23 years. For years, I have experienced my husband becoming caught up and mesmerized by an attractive woman – sometimes, for days or weeks at a time.

    I have been an insecure, jealous woman for a long time. It’s very strange. I feel like God is taking me to a place of legitimately grieving for the hurts that I’ve experienced (before, I experienced the event, and it had an effect on me, for sure, but I never have really experienced the sadness like I am now). Add to these events that my husband has different views about what is acceptable (he is not a believer) and that he has denied and lied about things in the past. Grieving is just where I am right now. I have come to a place where I am being very, very honest to my husband about what these things have done to me and I believe that God is leading me to get some counseling for myself.

    At this time, I am incredibly saddened by the idea that I will not have the open, vulnerable, emotional connection in my marriage that I long for. I am facing the reality that I may be married to him as an unbeliever for the rest of our married lives. At times, I can handle this possible reality much better. This is not one of those seasons for me. My trust lies in God, but hope seems far away from me right now. I believe He is leading me to get counseling so I can heal. No doubt in my mind that I have my own issues and they are not all due to my husband’s sin. I have no idea how this plays out in our marriage. I am committed to my husband. I believe that God has shown me a lot about respect and love and forgiveness and that by God’s grace, I have been able to walk in those things the last couple of years.

    I just don’t know how to be the vulnerable and fun-loving woman my husband loves without feeling like I can trust him or am safe with him. I am not a good pretender and to me, being vulnerable means that I will share the sad and hard stuff with him respectfully, too. I have shared hard things with my husband – times when I have failed and my own struggles with attraction, etc. So, I do not expect that my husband won’t have those times. It’s the lack of honesty and vulnerability about it (and about other events in the past) that have eroded my trust and left me wondering what kind of marriage we really have.

    1. AnonTodayAlso,

      That sounds like a very painful place to be, my sister! I wish I could just give you a big hug!!!!!

      But you know what really encourages me about what you shared? I can see that God is working in your heart. And I see that you are taking steps in a healthy, healing, positive, Christlike direction now. Even beginning to grieve is a step in the right direction. But then, moving past that to understand that your husband is not a believer and that his salvation is the most important thing right now – is going to be a big step. If God can heal you and help you become the woman He desires you to be – you will be greatly blessed spiritually and you will get to hear God say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant, AND God may use you as you are walking in His power to draw your husband to Himself in ways He couldn’t use you when you were so jealous and insecure. I hope that makes sense. 🙂 That will be an amazing day!

      But right now, I understand that you are grieving and upset. It may be hard to see past the pain of today to the joy that God may have in store down the road. But I think that as you process the grief, you will be able to stand on tiptoe a bit more to see the joy that awaits you as God draws you closer to Himself and deepens your faith and trust and walk with Him and as you realize what a role God desires you to play in drawing your husband to Christ – I think it will be exciting to begin to discover the partnership God desires to have with you on this mission. 🙂

      I am VERY glad to hear that you are seeking counseling – and pray that God will help you find a biblical, godly, trustworthy counselor who will point you to Christ. There are a lot of posts here that may be helpful with that, as well. You can try searching my home page for topics like:

      – fear
      – bitterness
      – forgiveness
      – righteous jealousy and anger
      – confronting your husband
      – when my spouse is wrong
      – my secret idol (my husband’s salvation)
      – insecurity
      – security
      – idol
      – needy
      – idolatry

      Those may be good places to start. 🙂

      And, keep in mind that if your husband is not alive in Christ, he is spiritually dead at this time and he is not going to be able to walk in holiness because he doesn’t have the Holy Spirit. But you are a believer, and you can have the Holy Spirit controlling your life, filling your soul with overflowing peace, joy, contentment, and spiritual abundance even if your husband is far from God. God may desire to use you as a tangible example of what living for Christ means – a walking, living billboard. If he sees insecurity and jealousy – that will probably not draw him to you or to God. And he may feel that it is not safe to be vulnerable and open yet. But if he sees God begin to change you first – he may begin to be really curious about God and about what is happening in your life – and God may draw him to Himself. That is how it often works. 🙂 I have seen it happen many, many times.

      This may be a season where you get to learn “the sufficiency of Christ” – a painful lesson starting out, but one that is full of joy and sweetness as the journey and waiting progresses.

      As he sees that you don’t freak out and are a safe place to share and that you have understanding and a desire to understand his perspective – he may begin to feel like he can share more openly. Not that sin is okay. But he may have walls up because he doesn’t have the ability to walk in holiness and he doesn’t want to disappoint and upset you. Perhaps you can begin to work together more as a team, rather than enemies. And if he sees you are understanding and safe and calm – he may, in time, begin to feel a lot more trusting that you are not going to attack him, but that you want to support him, bless him, and help him.

      Praying for God’s wisdom and healing and for your husband’s salvation, my precious sister!

      Much love!
      April

    2. Hi, anon!

      I am in a marriage with a believer and we’ve only been married four years and I hate him. Well I hate his lust issue and the porn that he let wreak havoc on our marriage. I don’t think I’ll ever forgive him. But once I listened to this sermon and it was a pastor and he was reminding me of Leah, Isaac’s wife. I think we have to remember that God is still working in all things and he needs all of to accomplish certain things. He used Leah to be the mother of the line of Jesus. She was right where she was supposed to be even though she was not beautiful and she was unwanted and unloved. He eventually killed Rachel and Leah was all he had. I think about though.

      I wasn’t what my husband wanted in maturity or in physical appearances (I myself don’t care about physical appearances), I had a higher sex drive (though now I have no desire for him though sometimes I feel a sexual urge) so I felt unwanted all the time especially when he’s telling how he thinks of other women yet neglects to tell me how he feels about me physically (Songs of Solomon hello??). All in all, I am here and we are together and I know I am exactly where God has me. He put me in a very tough position to do all that he requires of me but I am not less required to do it.

      You married an unbeliever, I don’t know if that’s by choice or that you became one after you married him. I think now you should probably using your position to teach other young women about the harm and hurt that is involved when you marry an unbelieving man (though believing men aren’t an already packed picnic either) and try your best to be obedient to the word and pray for your husband and for yourself. Seek other Christian women who will spend time with you and who will pray for you as well. Your call is more of selfless one because of the responsibility that you have because he is an unbeliever and he doesn’t have the Bible as his ultimate authority. I think we as Believers have to face the truth, a truth God already knows.

      Saying I hate my husband, this was the first time that I have ever said that. I have been trying to convince myself that I still loved him which I do in a way. But I also hated my parents and I had the same love for them. When someone hurts you it is naturally going to make you angry and it is natural going to stir up bitterness, that’s why we have to have commands not to do these things. It is unnatural for you to not be hurt by something that is hurtful and to not think that your husband’s lust, something that he cannot control, is not a threat to your relationship. If he cannot control what he thinks how can he control his actions? Why should he when the time gets tough?

      I think we have to accept all these things and instead of using them as an excuse to not to trust and love, we have to look to God as the ultimate thing we can trust and love. You will never be assured of your husband’s faithfulness until he dies that way, he is only a man. But God had proven his faithfulness and out of fear and reverence for him we have to pray and pray for our hearts to have a heart that delights in him. Of course your husband should make you feel desired (songs of Solomon) and of course he should make you feel loved, he has a command to do so. He should not be lusting because God is as disgusted by it as you are and much more so because he is perfectly holy that’s why he tells them not to.

      It is easy for someone like April to say certain things because clearly she never felt any particularly hurtful ways about this, but for the women who do feel this way and are being ashamed and unaffirmed it is just insult to injury. If you are supposed to be your husbands desire, if the bible tells us not to lust, why shouldn’t every Christian take these things “personally?” Why should a wife not care that even for a moment a husband let another woman into his mind and took pleasure in her whether for her body or her facial beauty? I think much of the advice given is cruel and unfair and unbiblical to the women who are truly suffering from these sins against their marriage.

      1. April Smith,

        Thank you for reaching out to our sister.

        I am really sorry – TERRIBLY sorry – that you are experiencing so much pain in your marriage. I do not for one second want to minimize the pain that comes to a wife when her husband chooses to lust or use porn or engage in any kind of sin. All sin is heinous! All sin grieves God’s heart. Any sin – even the ones we think of as “small sins” in our human wisdom – lead to death and hell. The only One who can give us victory and forgiveness over any single sin is Jesus.

        Sin is NEVER okay! A husband’s lust is never okay. He will stand accountable to God for it and face eternal condemnation unless he repents and turns to Christ and allows Jesus’ blood to cover it. But we are each in that same boat. My point is that we are ALL equally wretched sinners. My sin may not be lust. But if I have hatred, unforgiveness, pride, self-righteousness, gossip, idolatry (I put something above Christ in my heart) unbelief in God, resentment, any kind of addiction, or any sin at all in my motives, my thoughts, my words, or deeds – I am causing just as much grief to God’s heart and just as much death and destruction to my relationships and myself. All sin has to go. If we are in Christ, He can cleanse us from every sin and purify our lives, our hearts, and our minds. He can give us the power to walk without sin as we abide in Him and look to Him. He can give us the strength to repay evil with good (as God commands us to do in Romans 12). He can give us the power to see that our husbands are not the real enemy. Satan and sin are the real enemy. And He has overcome them! He can give us the power to pray for our husbands sincerely and humbly for God to deliver them from the power of sin and to make them into godly men who bring glory to His Name.

        There are some times when a husband may notice a beautiful woman and see that she is beautiful but he may not lust after her. What I don’t want to do is call something sin that is not sin. I don’t want us to judge our husbands wrongly or sit in the place of God and attempt to condemn our husbands unfairly or to attempt to apply our personal convictions to our husbands as if our personal convictions are the Word of God when they are not. I can personally see if a woman is beautiful. I don’t lust after her. But I think it is dangerous for us as wives to demand that husbands not see other women in the world or not be aware that beautiful women exist. I don’t see where God gave such a command, “You may not see or recognize that any woman exists on the planet except for your wife.” He did, however, command us all not to lust.

        I don’t want any wife to feel the pain of her husband lusting after another woman. This is an extremely painful feeling of betrayal. It is very hurtful. All sin is very hurtful. All sin is progressive if left unchecked. And any sin, if it continues to fester and not be ripped out and dealt with in the power of Jesus’ blood, can destroy a marriage.

        I have been sinned against. I will not be discussing my husband’s sin. But I have been sinned against – we all have. I’m not sure why you would presume to know what my experiences have been. We all have reasons to be bitter and to hate. I lived in bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness for over 14 years in our marriage. And yet, God calls us not to live like that. PRAISE GOD, He can set us free from those things!

        Of course, if a husband is involved in unrepentant sin, a wife may need to respectfully, humbly confront him. If the sin is serious enough, she may need to follow through with Matthew 18:15-17. She may even need to separate depending on the severity of the situation.

        My personal convictions are that it is wise not to have close friendships with men. I, also, try to avoid being alone with another man and try to avoid even the appearance of evil. I think that is wise. But different people have different convictions about this at various times. Billy Graham had a really good policy, in my view, to avoid even the appearance of any scandal and was very careful to guard himself from the appearance of being alone with a woman. I think we can learn from examples like that. But we only control ourselves. Our husbands must make their own decisions. Thankfully, though, we can pray for them and influence them. We can respectfully approach them and ask for what we need and desire.

        If you are interested, you are welcome to search my home page for:

        – bitterness
        – forgiveness
        – how to stay filled with the Spirit
        prayer for those hurt by porn use

        Much love to you! May God richly bless your walk with Christ and may you find the peace and joy He has for you.

        April

      2. Hey April Smith,

        I hope you don’t mind me commenting, I just wanted to reach out and say I totally understand what you’re going through. I responded to your message to me where you rightly pointed out some home truths about by husband lol. As I mentioned there, my husband has betrayed me terribly. I also sometimes feel that I hate him even though I love him. I think it’s hard when you’re right in the eye of the storm and you feel so alone and like noone can understand your pain. To a degree, no one can. Every situation is different.

        I can also tell by the general tone of your message that you are really trying to hold on to God in this. That’s freaking awesome. I pray that you find His heart for you and that you really truly feel His love for you in this pain.

        Some people are unaware of this, but in the times of the Old Covenant, there were two categories of sin. Category one was ‘low handed’, or ‘unintentional’ sin. These sins could be atoned for under the grace of God through sacrifice. However, ‘high handed’ or ‘intentional’ sin, was punishable by death. Sexual sin such as adultery was one of these sins. These high handed sins were acknowledged as incredibly harmful sins, that had far reaching effects. When Jesus gave the sermon on the mount, he said that now when someone lusts in his heart, he is committing adultery. Now that Jesus has died for our sins, no sin is punishable by death, but I believe that Jesus was acknowledging the devastation that lust brings. God knows how it kills a person’s heart when their spouse is unfaithful in any way.

        I say all that to say, I know that all sin is equal in its ability to hurt God, to hurt our relationship with Him, to affect our standing before Him. But not all sin is equal. Certain sins just cause more devastation and come with worse consequences. Don’t feel that God doesn’t care about your hurt. God hates lust and hates divorce. God cares about marriage, He created it and wants it to work His way to His glory. Song of Solomon is a good example, He wanted us to know how deeply it’s possible to love another person. But because of sin, some people may never know that depth of love in marriage.

        My husband has been forced to see his sin and to face it head on. I have been pushed aside for our whole marriage and still am being pushed aside now as he struggles to defeat his addictions. Through this time, I have been dealing with my pain at his betrayal. I have been angry, depressed, vented my wrath, done all of that. I am now at a place where I am emotionally drained and can no longer fight. God gave me a dream about my husband’s sin, and in it his sin was personified as a beautiful woman that was his friend. In the dream I attacked her verbally and physically, hating their closeness, and whenever I did he protected her and held her closer. I woke up knowing that I can never drag him from his lust. He would have to give it up on his own.

        Since I stopped fighting, and started to hold on to God and God alone, something has changed. I don’t know if it’s in me or in my husband, but I feel lighter. I can now face the times when my husband falls, and am no longer decimated by his defeat. I can enjoy his presence no matter how he’s doing. I can move on from his betrayal, and I feel at peace. I feel so much more free than I ever have, in fact. Also, my husband has been winning the fight a lot more, and intimacy is beginning to grow between us again.

        Progress is slow. Not every story has the kind of happy ending that you sometimes see on this blog (“I did x, y or z, and now my husband is in love with me again!!”). I hope this message doesn’t depress you, I’m trying to give you hope lol. Slow, realistic hope. I think that Peacefulwife makes it very clear in every post that her advice is for women who are not dealing with husbands suffering from addiction or other behavioural issues, so that she won’t end up hurting or disappointing women like us. Also, her husband is not anonymous, and if she was to detail the ‘dirty laundry’ of her marriage like we can, it would have worse implications for the both of them. So that’s another reason why we can reach out to each other at these times.

        Just focus on you and God. He never leaves us, and He promises that if we delight ourselves in Him, He will give us the desires of our heart. And our husbands can be renewed and made new creations. I pray that we will be able to one day look back on how our husbands used to hurt us and that it will be a distant memory. Until then, we are learning how to love like Christ, and in heaven we are earning an eternal reward that no Song of Solomon worthy treatment in this life can compare to.

        Keep on keeping on you beautiful woman of God.

  42. Thank you, April, for this sweet reply (I did read the other day, but am reading from a better emotional state today!) 🙂

    I feel much different than I did that day I posted. I have peace again.

    You said this: “This may be a season where you get to learn “the sufficiency of Christ” – a painful lesson starting out, but one that is full of joy and sweetness as the journey and waiting progresses.”

    And I say, Amen. I believe God is going to keep taking me to these places until I have learned to solely depend on Him….for everything. I want to be like Paul and say that I have learned to be content no matter my circumstances…..the secret is Jesus. He is enough and I know that – and have experienced it many times in the past. Sometimes, I take my eyes off of Him and as Andrew Peterson sings in his song “The Catching Song”….”Sometimes, I take my eyes off Jesus and you know that’s all it takes”….

    Pretty soon, life feels overwhelming and confusing and a million other negative things.

    Thankful for you, April, and this blog. Thankful for our God who is so committed to us and our sanctification that He lets us experience painful things at times.

  43. Oh, and I am really considering buying this book. I feel like God has given me some insight into this issue the last few days and I’ve been able to speak to a Christian brother about some of it where he confirmed many of the same things my husband says to me (which I was having a hard time believing!). I’m a little nervous I’m going to read things in the book that just reiterate what I’m already believing about men and this issue. ??!! My husband has always insisted that he does not fit the mold of men who are “constantly thinking about sex” if they see an attractive woman. I do have a hard time believing that with the way men are portrayed on media and even on Christian radio, etc. Are you going to be doing another post on the book or was this just a one-time post to present the book and ask women to prepare their hearts before reading?

    1. Jennifer,

      There are some men for whom visual temptation is not as great. If this is the case for your husband, and you are potentially feeling freaked out at the thought of reading about some men who do struggle. I would recommend not reading the book. I suggest believing your husband and resting in what he has shared with you. 🙂

      I did a post before this one for women to prepare their hearts. This is the only review I plan on presenting. If women believe they would benefit from reading the book, that is up to them to prayerfully consider. 🙂

  44. You said, ” I suggest believing your husband and resting in what he has shared with you. :)”

    I’ve gotta say….I would love to do that, but it is hard to trust him after some lying in the past. I think he would rather not hurt me with the full truth (and that helps me deal with the lies)…and I’m sure it’s hard to face the truth about your shortcomings/sins – I think that is part of it, admitting that he’s not perfect. But ultimately, I do believe I have a husband who loves me, cares for me and doesn’t want to hurt me, so I appreciate your advice.

    Part of me thinks that if I read the book, it will just finally answer questions for me and I can move on and just *know* and understand men (not just my husband) better.

    I think I can sympathize with men because I think some of my tendencies in this area of my life lean stronger toward the male side than the female side (if that makes any sense).

    Anyway, just processing. 🙂

    However, there is an element to

  45. Oops – I think the last comment I made had a part that I forgot to delete out. (looks like the comment went to your spam first, though, as it’s not showing up here yet!)

      1. You must have approved it – it’s there now (I should have deleted the “However, there is an element to” part. But, nothing personal that needs to be deleted or matters. Thanks for asking.

        Love you, sister – praying for wisdom for you as you share with so many in such painful circumstances. I know you are thankful that it all rests on His shoulders! 🙂

  46. Hi,
    I have read the book recently and read For Women Only previously. None of this information was really new to me, I thought that was how men were judging on experiences with men generally and my own husband’s honesty around such issues.

    The thing I found hard with the book was the patronising tone regarding women’s responses to FWO. For example, the way the author described one wife’s crying and withdrawal from sex because she feared her husband was picturing other women while they were intimate as a ‘destructive overreaction’, the wife was ‘missing the point’, was ‘drastically misunderstanding what they were saying’, was ‘unwilling to listen’ and was ‘burying herself in her pain and using her pain as a weapon against her spouse’…..wow!!! No, it sounded like grieving and fear to me. The wife had fully understood Shaunt’s message and accepted it unquestioned. She accepted that her husband is drawn to certain types of women’s bodies as magnets, that he is designed to not be able to not ‘notice’ them and respond biologically to their presence, that his sex dive is like hunger and these magnet women are like dessert to a person on a diet, that he will have snap shots of them stored away in his ‘visual rolodex’ that appear anytime especially when other sexual images are presented (ie. naked wife?), that he needs self control around these magnets and she needs to deal with her emotions around this so as not to negatively impact him by them, and be a willing and generous lover to prevent his temptation to lust. This poor woman was shamed for her response when the author was uncomfortable with one of the many negative responses to the book. Very sad and hurtful.

    I think the book misses an understanding of female sexuality and why this issue hits a raw nerve so deeply. They focus on women’s fear of not being ‘loved’. This is not about being ‘loved’ it’s about the fear of not being desired. Men love their mothers, children and sisters so this is not about being ‘loved’ or cared for. Women need to feel sexually desirable to be a lover. That is why a man can seduce a woman with his words, if he makes her feel he desires her. When he desires others her connection to him plummets quickly.

    If a wife’s husband is ‘wired’ to be hungry for magnets (which they describe as ‘girl in a bikini’, ‘hot twenty something year old in a shirt skirt’, ‘good body’ etc. ) she looks at herself and knows she is very different to what her husband’s body and deep brain chemistry desires and she will never compare.

    I liken it to a cartoon image of a wife walking down the street with her husband who is a cartoon wolf character. Around them are many people doing their own thing but young, attractive women are represented as steaming drumsticks enticing his appetite. When he has eaten he just notes them as there (subconsciously to note in case of later hunger, I don’t know) and if he is hungry his body responds to them and he may well start looking for them in crowds, distracted.

    The trouble for wives is essentially they are stuck! Not everyone is a hot twenty something and even if they were they cannot remain so for long, it is a very brief time. Men describe their response is to ‘if a beautiful woman walks past’ and have no idea how this cuts to a wife’s core. She cannot be what his body and sex drive craves yet she is called to be enthusiastically willing for sex to prevent his distraction by his preference. What a horrible predicament! Also, she can’t just casually dismiss it or compartmentalise because her brain is so integrated as well as she bonds emotionally through the sexual act via oxytocin release thereby making the bond of great importance to her causing greater pain with the magnet issue.

    In Genesis it says that the curse was regarding pain in childbirth and that the woman’s desire would be for her husband and he would rule over her. This is interesting…if there was no curse she would not cling to the opinion of her husband so he would not rule over her. Essentially what he thought about another woman would have no impact on her sense of worth.

    There is no easy answer here, women’s responses will differ depending on what type of marriage they have, whether they are more friends, companions or passionate lovers. As lovers there will be more pain and grief in accepting one is not actually sexually desirable as fits the book’s description of what men are ‘wired’ to crave while as companions there will be more acceptance.

    Just some rumblings, but I know my own marriage of 20 years has been profoundly affected by this issue as has how I see myself as a sexual woman, in that I now know I am not really desirable according to magnet standards but more a convenient outlet so my husband doesn’t get tempted. He would passionately disagree but when I see his eyes flick to the ‘hot twenty something etc’ I see all I need to know.

    So yes, women can be gracious and still meet her husband’s needs but her needs will be left unfulfilled unless she can magically become the visual ‘magnet’ or overcome the curse and stop desiring her husband thereby loosening his rule over her psyche. Until then I’m afraid it will be an uncomfortable journey, focused on trying to be kind and gracious while hiding the pain of loss and disappointment.

    I just pray that my girls don’t learn too early on that they are not magnets for their husbands, let them believe it for a little while…

    1. Lady,

      Thank you for sharing your perspective. 🙂

      I don’t want to see any women in despair over this issue or see any woman feel so afraid and upset that she completely withdraws from her husband sexually. That breaks my heart! I think it is important for us to remember that not all men struggle with these issues to the same degree. I think it is a good thing for us to learn to understand our own husband’s issues and not assume that the men in the book represent all men precisely.

      I didn’t take away the same message at all from this book that you did, interestingly. I didn’t hear that we are stuck. I heard, “Here is something husbands may struggle with to some degree. Here are some ways you can support them as a wife. And here is all the hope there is in Christ.”

      I don’t believe that just because a man feels a tug of attraction for a few seconds that he is not attracted anymore to his wife or that he doesn’t want to be with her. I don’t think most of us are “stuck.” We can seek to bless our husbands sexually and be a safe place for them to share their struggles. We can also be a wonderful source of sexual fulfillment in most cases. I don’t believe most husbands view their wives as “a convenient outlet.” Many husbands have shared here how they love intimacy with their wives, even though their wives don’t look the same as they did 20-30 years ago, and that sex in marriage is the greatest thing to them just because their wives love and respect them and because their wives are enthusiastic. I know that is not how all husbands feel. But it is how a lot of husbands feel. I don’t think most husbands expect their wives not to age or to look like a super model. There are some who may seriously not feel physically attracted to their wives. That is a tough place for a wife to be. I have a post about that topic here.

      I hear so much pain in your words. My heart aches for you, my sister! Would you want to talk about this a bit? I don’t know your marriage or your husband or your situation. But I would be glad to listen and seek to encourage you. I long for you to find healing and hope!

      Much love to you!

      1. Thank you April for your thoughtful and encouraging response. I was just so disappointed in For Women Only and Through A Man’s Eyes to see very little support for women around this issue. I know they were writing to support men but they seriously left out supporting/eqipping the women they were asking to support men! FWO said that men’s greatest needs include an attractive wife, an active sex life (with a responsive wife) and that they are very visually stimulated. In Through A Man’s Eyes it says that his experience is one full of constant sexual stimulation and it is a relief for him to be able to have release with his wife rather than deal with it by himself. I found this somewhat offensive, that sex with his wife relieves the sexual tension he built from the stimulation he received through his day!
        Anyway, what I was originally getting at was that if a man is visually stimulated he is going to wish for a visually sexually stimulating wife to meet his need for fulfilling sex. This is problematic now that Through a Man’s Eyes describes a visually sexually stimulating woman as young, good body, pretty etc. This is a lot of pressure for women to receive given that it was presented as a need (and most wives want to meet their husband’s needs) and my concern is that there was little offered in the form of support around body acceptance and self-worth for women especially those that may struggle with body image issues. What wife needs to hear that her husband has a built in radar to locate ‘hot twenty somethings’ – this kind of information encourages competition which leads to fear and insecurity. The description in FWO of the husbands at the restaurant with their 40+ year old wives and the husband describing how every one of the husbands (and as he said their wives would have no awareness of this) would be acutely aware at all times through the dinner that the waitress with the ‘hot’ body was around ‘somewhere’ in the restaurant. Why include this type of information? Was it edifying? Do wives need to know this? How’s the next dinner date going to feel? They could have just said that males are wired to notice the sexual parts of a woman so if he glances it’s a biological instinct, not focusing on what’s ‘hot’ and irresistible without great effort on the husband’s part.
        I believe the books seriously lacked in the area of offering ways to cope with this information for women and in general sensitivity. I have been married for 20 years, we have been together since I was 17 and I have never felt this insecure since reading these books, seriously. I am not an unstable person, I just now know that my husband is not attracted to women generally or to variety but specific types. This is so unhelpful and I now lack confidence in this area, even though by these standards I’m not too far off but now has me worried about the future and current ‘competition’ for his attention/desire. This is so sad but understandable given the descriptions of the hot women magnets and the programmed male brain to see them as their preference.
        The information really could have been delivered very differently and this is what is disappointing. I feel that the focus of the book was to defend/justify the first book, defend men who have been harmed in their marriages by the fallout from the first book while protecting future husbands and shame women for having ‘negative’ responses to the information. Maybe the information could have been handled with care given that today’s culture (although it is a minefield for men for lust) is actually a destructive minefield for women being torn down physically for who they naturally are. I mean many women are currently being sliced and diced and injected to be appealing to men. While women are trying to believe they may be desirable in their natural form these books challenge those efforts. Women are repeatedly shown there is a physically acceptable woman, she is the only one who exists in media (unlike the variety of men in age, weight, appearance etc) and now we are told in these books that she is the only one who can truly access the pleasure zone of our husband’s visual/sexual brain/body response. Sure we are loved and our connection gives us some cred in reaching his heart and affections but the books were pretty clear that his body / brain has a definite preference.
        So how are women to handle this really? How can wives really disrobe and believe her husband’s compliments/acceptance knowing what really hits the spot and what has stimulated him throughout the day? How do wives rebuild confidence with all that, to not feel like the booby prize? Why would older wives want to go on dates with their husband while he struggles to pay attention to his date in the vicinity of these ‘magnet’ females? I think a chapter to build women up would not have gone astray, especially when asking them to be a support that her husband can turn to when he is tempted by other women. How many men would appreciate being a support to their wife saying ‘darling, I just need to share that I was extremely attracted to and admire the man at that appointment and I fantasize about being with him but I want to reassure you that your efforts at being a little like him are appreciated by me and I will do everything in my power to distract myself from those thoughts and try to refocus on us again. This should prove I care about you.’ I don’t know, it’s not very conductive to romance.
        I really don’t intend to be negative but so many women have had such painful responses to these books that I just can’t believe they are all crazy. I think it has something to do with the delivery of the information and the lack of supportive information that should have been included.

        1. Lady,

          I think that these books can be extremely helpful for wives in a particular spiritual/emotional mindset. For those who are feeling very hurt or vulnerable over this issue, I agree with Shaunti’s advice in the beginning of Through His Eyes that there are some women who need to wait to read these books until they are emotionally/spiritually ready and stronger. Some women may just need to avoid them completely. That is why I had an entire post to try to help women prepare for this book review. And it is why I still put a lot of disclaimers at the beginning of the book review. These books are not for every wife. Some would be much better off not to read them at all.

          I’m so sorry that some of the information was hurtful to you. That makes me very sad. I hope you will maybe be able to seek to understand your own husband more than these books and you may find that things are really not as bad as you may be imagining.

          There are great needs for women to have help in handling these issues. This can be very painful for many women. I don’t want to see any women trying to make having a “perfect body” into the ultimate goal because of these books. That could easily become a destructive idol. And it was not at all the point of Shaunti’s book.

          I didn’t hear the same messages that you felt you took away from either of these books. I actually felt a lot more confident in helping to meet my husband’s needs and in seeking to understand him – and we had some very productive and healthy discussions about whether he had the same perspective as some of the men in the book. His perspective was a good bit different in some cases.

          A man’s brain may be wired a certain way – but he is not a slave or robot to the wiring. He can choose to look away from temptation and he can choose to delight in his wife. One husband shared the most amazing thing with me about that he really doesn’t care that his wife’s body is not perfect, that she has stretch marks, that she has cellulite. He just loves her and loves being with her and is so thankful for the physical intimacy they share. He may encounter temptation in the world, his wife’s body may not look “as perfect” as some of the women in the world, but he loves physical intimacy with her more than anything in their marriage and it makes him feel so bonded to her.

          I hope that what you may take away from this entire experience is that it is possible you may be mishearing the heart and message of what Shaunti was trying to share – and that it may be wise to set aside what you believe you heard (and count most of it as likely a misunderstanding), and just pursue Christ and maybe try to start with a clean slate to seek to understand your particular husband. I pray for God’s healing for any areas where there may be a misperception of God’s good design and for His healing for your soul and your marriage.

          It may be wise for some ladies to avoid reading material on this topic. There are a number of women for whom anything about this issue is a trigger. I would rather see them focus on other things that might be more productive.

          Much love and the biggest hug to you, my precious sister!

          1. Lady,

            I came from a background of focusing on what my husband should change for me. So it can be helpful for me to focus on what I can change to bless my husband in a healthy way – not an obsessed or idolatrous way. But not all women are from that background.

            Here is what a dear sister in Christ shared – and has given me permission to share. She used to believe she had to be a “trophy wife” and when she approached some Christian books, she thought she was hearing that message reinforced. Sometimes, certain women are very sensitive to such triggers. I think this woman’s approach may be a blessing to those who struggle with finding the right balance in this area. Check this out:

            Some Christian studies on marriage can tempt us to feel responsible for our husbands sin, our marriage, to stay together, and a whole lot of performance on our part to make sure he is never tempted and we are always enough for him. The problem is we are never pretty enough, exciting enough or wonderful enough to hold our marriages together. Our husbands could still sin even if we were.

            So we need the truth – We are not going to be enough to keep our husbands faithful or keep them from sin. We are not their savior. Their sin issues were there before we were in their lives. Only God can set them free from lust or anything else . And only God can set us free from fear and worry and performancing.

            I am already beautiful in Christ and I need to be filled up with His love and truth about me. Only Christ is enough for my husband. If he is focused on Christ, Jesus is enough for him. So the answer for my husband to be free is Christ. I can pray for him. And the answer for me is Christ.

            I don’t have to be a victim – worried about my husband’s sin or potential to sin. I can grow with Christ in any circumstance including one where my husband is sinning. My hope and joy and identity is in Christ, not my husband being perfect. I don’t have to pressure myself and feel constant guilt and fear to perform or he will leave me. I can rest in Christ’s love and grace for me and for my marriage and husband. I don’t have to worry about the future and what-ifs. I can enjoy my husband and think of intimacy and beauty as a good gift from God rather than a heavy, impossible duty I will never be good enough at (a lie from Satan).

            Rather than be fearful and jealous,(Beth Moore said jealousy and fear has never won back a wandering husband) and looking at my lack, I can look at all the good already in my husband, all the love and blessings Christ has already given me, and the hope that God is fighting for me and my marriage. I am not the Holy Spirit and I can quit trying to police my husband and be free to give him respect and prayer and be listening to God and staying out of God’s way if my husband does need convicting.

            Sometimes my husband isn’t even struggling and it is just me being paranoid that is the problem! I need to ask for God’s wisdom, and not try to figure out what is right in my own eyes.

        2. @Lady

          I must say, I know exactly what you’re talking about and I have some issues with how the authors phrase certain things (bearing in mind I haven’t read these books, but have read articles by both authors before and have some knowledge of the research they discuss). I also have some difficulty accepting the information they present as psychological fact seeing as this is a HIGHLY complex issue and has not been studied enough on either genders’ side to warrant the kind of statements you seem to be saying they make.

          If it helps, I’d like to give some of my opinion on the issue and see what you think of it. I hope this doesn’t come off as rude, I just totally get your frustration and insecurity if this is really how the authors are talking in these books.

          Firstly, when the authors refer to ‘magnet’ women, it seems the word ‘magnet’ is clumsily used. I say that because the word ‘magnet’ obviously conjures up the image of an unstoppable pulling force, one that is inevitable and can’t be helped. I don’t believe that this is an accurate picture of what is happening in a man’s brain. There is an initial mental reaction when a visual stimulus is taken in, but the attraction is on more of a subconscious level than a conscious, and therefore doesn’t last that long as long as it isn’t entertained. It is important to stress the fact that the kind of thought level they are talking about is not THE MAN himself thinking, it is the man’s BRAIN thinking. So the thought could be easily discarded by a man who has the desire and/or experience and/or motivation to discard it. It would be no different than the sort of tug of attraction that you yourself might feel if you noticed an attractive man. You would be attracted to the sight for a split second and then it would pass. It isn’t the sort of reaction that an average man feels instantly literally turned on by the sight of said stimulus.

          Secondly, there are studies that show that for men, though they may be attracted by the sight of the ‘hot’ women, it is not even necessarily an overtly sexual response. It has been suggested by these studies that the reaction is more of a ‘using’ response, as in they respond to the stimulus in the same part of the brain that they would respond if they looked at a hammer or some other tool. Now I’m sure every man doesn’t struggle to pick up a hammer and start doing some diy every time they see their tools, they simply register that item’s use when they see it.

          So my theory on this is: there is a ‘cookie cutter’ image of what is a hot woman that is presented to the world through advertising, media, porn etc. That image is stashed in the man’s brain, yes, because he sees it everywhere. But it is not stashed on a conscious level, therefore it isn’t likely that a man (especially one who has been married for as long as your husband and therefore already has a constant, conscious and unconscious image of what a beautiful woman looks like) would be literally seeing you juxtaposed next to that image and secretly preferring the image. Every man is different, with different experiences that make up his idea of a beautiful woman. Not every man is so easily swayed that they are all only attracted to a certain type or age of woman. That’s ludicrous. Why would God make men that way??

          The brain and its responses to pleasure are a complex situation. In marriage, it works in this way: man sees wife, has pleasurable experience with her. Depending on type of experience, a hormone is released (ie oxytocin after orgasm etc although it can include pleasure hormones that are released through pleasurable experiences such as a fun date, good conversation, good meals, trust in wife etc etc). This creates an association of pleasure with wife. The next pleasurable experience releases hormones again, creates another association. In time, this creates a very strong bond and strong attraction in man to his wife. FAR STRONGER than a simple ‘tug’ of attraction that a man experiences from a simply pretty woman. NOT enough to be a threat as long as the man doesn’t let himself dwell and lust. This, however, is why porn is so hard for men to let go. They experience the same hormone release and ‘bonding’ experience with the porn stimulus. Also, this is why it is important for us as wives to do our best to make our relations with our husbands a pleasant experience (not just sexual relations, I mean our entire relationship including sexually).

          I haven’t read the book so won’t go on on the topic of the authors and what they say (though I do intend to read it soon).

          I will say though, I think that porn and the media has so much to do with this issue. I also think it greatly differs from man to man (and woman to woman!). I would even personally like to see more research being done on the topic that includes women, and takes into account the individuals’ past exposure to porn etc. After all, porn’s effects on the brain are significant and very damaging, although thankfully can be reversed.

          I think that in their zeal to let men know that their temptation is not a sin and in fact is born from a legitimate need and a legitimate reaction, therefore erasing the shame that a lot of men feel when struggling with the issue, they maybe overstate and overexplain some things. If you have never had reason to think your husband was struggling in this area, please don’t let anyone into your head or relationship no matter how legit they may be. The Bible says there is no sin that isn’t common to man (meaning mankind), and I believe that to oversell this idea that men are ‘visual’ is actually quite damaging and makes them out to be animals with no control. I doubt this is what they are saying and I also doubt that they are suggesting that it is impossible for a man to be faithful in his heart and mind. HOWEVER there are some women who may not be visually stimulated at all and have no idea what their husbands deal with, and therefore have no grace for them, which is bad.

          Lastly, I don’t mean to come off rude but the female author is a FEMALE, and is unable to truly let us know what our husbands are thinking as they are MALE. She is probably simply explaining what she has found through research in an attempt to help women understand men a little better. Don’t take her word as final, God’s is final. Jesus said that adultery starts when a man looks at a women to lust after her. I think that confirms that a man can look at a woman WITHOUT lusting after her, and it’s only if a man has been faced with hundreds of lusts throughout the day that he’d need to be using his wife as an outlet for these frustrations. Men can be visually faithful.

          I read a really good book that somewhat deals with this subject called ‘Not Even a Hint’ by Joshua Harris.

          Sorry this was so long!! I hope something in it is encouraging to you!!

          1. Anonwife: I found your comment/clarification very helpful. As a friend of Jeff Feldhahn, I can assure you and everyone else here that there is no truth whatsoever to the thought that he and Shaunti are giving men a pass, endorsing or excusing sin, believe that men are animals with no self-control, etc., as some seem to fear.

            Also, perhaps it would help wives to know about the concept of “wife goggles,” a concept that is familiar in at least (some) men’s blogs and discussion forums (Christian and non-Christian). Simply, the normal phenomenon (i.e., not necessarily universal, but true of the overwhelming majority of husbands of good faith) is that a wife does not have to be perfect or to compete with the looks, shape, etc. of a younger or prettier woman to have the advantage over that other woman. You touched on this in your discussion of oxytocin and the bonding effects of the multitude of good experiences a man has with his wife (if she genuinely loves and respects him). That husband will see his wife through “wife goggles” that render her more attractive to him than anyone else. Whether or not beauty is objective rather than subjective, attraction is subjective — that’s why there’s the expression “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” So a woman may think that someone else is objectively more beautiful than her and her husband may or may not agree objectively, but the wife is subjectively miles ahead as far as attraction — unless she throws that advantage away.

          2. David J,

            Thank you for this!

            I agree that I do not believe that Shaunti is giving men a free pass to sin – but rather seeking to help women better understand the struggles some men experience – but there is a range of experiences, not all men are the same.

            Shaunti labels sin as sin. All sin is heinous in God’s eyes. Lust, greed, pride, bitterness, unforgiveness, idolatry, self-righteousness, unbelief in God, lack of love, stealing, adultery, murder, hatred, gossip… it is all sin. And God hates it with loathing.

            I think as we see our own sin and the heinousness of our own sin – and we stop believing the lie that our sin “is not as bad as” our husband’s sin or someone else’s sin – it helps us to see our incredibly massive need for grace ourselves and when we have experienced God’s grace and unfathomable forgiveness knowing what wretched sinners we are ourselves, we then have the power to extend the same kind of undeserved grace to others. We can all hate all sin – but we can extend grace to sinners. Praise God for that!

            Sometimes trust must be rebuilt. But God can give us victory in our battles against sin as we fully submit ourselves to Him. And He can empower our husbands to overcome their sin battles by His Spirit’s power, as well. WOOHOO!

            I also love the “wife goggles” thing. Thank you so much for sharing that. 🙂

          3. lol @David J I love the wife goggles concept. Thank you for responding re: Shaunti Feldhahn, I again haven’t read the book so hope I wasn’t coming off as totally condemning what she says or does, just wanted to clarify some points that the sister above was worried about. Thank you again though as it is good to know!

          4. anonwife,

            In my view – you actually explained things in a very similar way as Shaunti did in her new book. But that is from my perspective. 🙂 I liked your explanation. 🙂

            And thanks for reaching out to our sister who was hurting.

            I want to see God bring healing to all of my sisters on this topic! I want to see the enemy’s plans to create confusion and misunderstanding thwarted and God to bring unity in our marriages and in the Body of Christ!

          5. The Bible says there is no sin that isn’t common to man (meaning mankind), and I believe that to oversell this idea that men are ‘visual’ is actually quite damaging and makes them out to be animals with no control.

            Many years ago a Christian woman “met” me online and (in her words) got infatuated with me and wanted to fly out to me, which was a bit overwhelming. O_O That calmed down for a long time. I barely talked to her but it was basically okay. She got married, and a few weeks ago divorced, I found out, wrote to me about coming to live with her.

            She actually has a very “voluptuous” figure but I couldn’t care less. I wasn’t “tempted” for a second to entertain the thought of something like that, and the Bible is clear that marrying a divorced woman is committing adultery! I got kind of upset . . . wondering what I should say to her if I ever speak to her again, but it will have to be some kind of rebuke I’m afraid. :

            I agree with your concern, though I would put it more like the feedback loop of suggestion that a man is just powerless at the sight of the female body–he’s not.

            That same weekend a woman who looked in her mid-to-late forties got up from her seat after getting on the bus, came and sat next to me, and a few minutes later comments “you look awesome today!” 😛 I guess I could just as easily tell a woman that she’s looking lovely, but I think many women are attracted to appearances too.

    2. Lady, just a quick reply and point. My husband has engaged in ongoing ogling for years ….and I had the thought the other day out of the blue…..that even when I was very young and met the world’s standards of beauty, he still looked other places. Hopefully, this doesn’t sound conceited, but I still in many ways meet those standards as a 40 something year old, but he will still look at other 40 year old women (or older) dressing and looking certain ways. In some weird way, this has helped me. For starters, it helps me to just be myself and realize that I can’t prevent him from what he’s going to do. So, I guess, in essence, it takes some burden off of me to be some perfect, beautiful wife.

      This has been a big issue in our marriage. A few months ago, for the first time ever, my husband was able to communicate some actual understanding and sorrow for what his behavior has done to me.

      It also helps me to have grace for him when I realize that I have my own sins that I struggle with that would be just as hurtful to him if he was able to see my “eyes” like I can see his in these situations. The fact is that I struggle with thinking about what it would be like to be married to a believer, or someone I could emotionally connect with. I don’t struggle so much with thinking in physical terms, but I do believe that this sin is just as wrong as what he does. And, I might be wrong, but I have a feeling that many women might struggle with this but excuse it under the guise that 1). we’re not fantasizing about sex and 2). if our husbands would meet our needs, we wouldn’t be thinking in this way.

      Anyway, just wanted to share that. I know in some ways maybe what I’ve shared has not been very comforting at all, but hopefully, you will see my point that it is not up to you to be some perfect, gorgeous-by-the-world’s-standards person for your husband.

      I encourage you to pray about God giving you a time to talk to your husband and share your heart with him on this matter. If you can focus on your hurt (and not blame him)….don’t hold anything back with your vulnerability about how it makes you feel, I think that would be very good. Maybe just an awareness of how it is making you feel will be enough for him to start noticing when and how often he does it and will start the process of change.

  47. Possibly a trigger alert
    Hi everyone I know I’m late to the party but I really had to chime in because I’m so confused about this. I really understand Lady’s comment (above mine). I know that woman is created for man and that we are to submit to men, but does that mean that man’s sexual desire can stomp all over a woman’s whenever and however it chooses to? Because a lot of women love sex just as much as men, we just take a lil more getting going and a bit of sensitivity, is that not to be taken into consideration?

    I totally 100% accept that sexual desire to a man is always there and that they are visual. The only thing is, I am a woman and I experience the same thing. I have always felt this way, and was always a bit ashamed whenever I would hear sermons on this subject because I wondered if there was something wrong with me! I struggled with porn addiction from childhood (no exaggeration) and eventually struggled with sex addiction as an adult. Now that God has set me free (a lot of prayer, tears, pleading, and hard work but ultimately God’s precious grace and forgiveness), I really do struggle when I read stuff like this. I have had to learn to avert my eyes and basically look at the ground when walking, not watch certain tv shows and not watch ads etc. Shouldn’t men be taught to learn to protect their eyes just as much as we are taught to be modest and to submit etc?

    PLEASE correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t men supposed to fight this temptation, even if it means ‘cutting off their right hand’? Because all this seems like one big project to justify this struggle in men’s lives. Again please please correct me if I’m wrong because it may be bitterness talking here!! I have been married for 1 and a half years to a man I’m desperately in love with. He is great but my heart is so broken because I have conquered porn and he hasn’t. It breaks my heart because I know the lengths that I had to go to in the struggle, and I don’t see him doing the same things. I don’t see him fighting for freedom, and it makes me wonder why. Like, does he prefer porn to me, on a real level? Because he never had to fight too hard to get me (I was a lonely single parent when I met him so our ‘courting’ season was not the usual and has caused many scars in my heart), and he wont fight for his freedom, even though he knows it breaks my heart. I have told him that since I have shared his battle, I will always do my best to extend grace when he falls. But the problem is, I always know when he’s fallen. My spirit always tells me, I don’t know how I know but I just do. And when I confront him, he does confess and says he’s sorry, but he keeps doing it.

    I recently discovered this blog and am starting down the road of being less controlling because I think I am in a lot of ways. So I’ve stopped asking if he’s doing it, as I don’t want him to get caught in that shame and have to hide from me. But there are lots of ways that I absolutely kill myself to serve this man, like in every way I know how. I recently had a baby, and have been dieting and working out because he likes me slim. I look after the kids and the house pretty much by myself, and don’t complain about it. I try to be helpful to him any way I can. And I am available and willing sexually all the time, our libidos pretty much match so I don’t understand why so much of the time he’ll choose to use…well, not me. I supposed we are both tired a lot of the time due to the new baby and it’s hard because of that but is that any excuse? I have accepted that he IS an idol to me, and that I should be serving him as an act of service to God, not because I need anything back.

    I don’t know what exactly I’m trying to say here. I guess I’m just trying to sort out how I’m feeling as I don’t want to tell my husband and make him feel worse or like use it as a manipulation. Any advice would be helpful really!

    1. anonwife,

      Oh goodness! No! Of course a husband’s sexual desire is not supposed to stomp all over a woman’s. This book and my blog are only for women. But there are plenty of things husbands can do and should do to reach out to meet their wives’ needs and to be selfless, loving, kind, thoughtful, generous, sensitive, giving, etc…

      Many women experience being visual, as well. And with the advent of porn – more and more women are getting addicted to it, and then have very similar struggles – sometimes even having problems looking at other women. How I praise God for setting you free from that addiction. WOOHOO!!!!

      YES! Men should be taught to guard their eyes and hearts. And, in fact, if you look at Craig Gross’ ministry http://www.xxxchurch.com, he has tons of resources for men (and women) about how to heal from sexual addiction, porn addiction, lust, etc… And he gives plenty of instructions to men there. That is not the focus of this post or this particular book. But just because we are only talking about helping women understand men a bit better, that does not mean that lust or porn addiction is fine and that men should do whatever they want. Not at all! They are just as accountable to God for their sin and their thoughts as we are for ours.

      You are mishearing the purpose of this post and this book, I believe. Perhaps because it is a very sensitive subject for you? The purpose of this book and this post is not at all to justify men’s sin – but to help women have empathy for the struggles men face – particularly women who may not personally have these same struggles. It would be similar to an Al-Anon meeting for a spouse of an alcoholic. They may learn there about alcoholism and the temptations that alcoholics face and how they think. Does that mean that alcoholism is a good thing and the alcoholics are justified in drinking? No! Not at all! But those who are not facing the same temptations sometimes benefit from trying to better understand the mindset and struggles that others face. Then we can seek to support them in a healthy way rather than judging and condemning them as “more sinful than we are” when we simply have other struggles. We all have struggles! So none of us really has the ability to look down our noses at anyone else. We are all sinners in desperate need of the blood and mercy of Christ on the cross for us.

      Perhaps you can be a support to your husband. You can’t make him quit his addiction. But you may be able to be a cheerleader for him to encourage him – not to control him – but to encourage him that he can find freedom from this. You would understand his struggle more than many wives would. That is awesome!

      How is your walk with Christ going?

      I’m so glad that you shared your struggles. You are welcome to do that here.

      You can’t make your husband stop. You can’t fix him or control him. But you can pray for him. You can seek to be a support and help to him. You can encourage him when he is doing well. You can tell him how great it makes you feel when he focuses on putting his energy into the marriage rather than into porn. You can examine things to try to determine – is he extremely stressed? Is he trying to not be a burden on you somehow? How long has he had this addiction?

      Is he a believer?

      Is he willing to look at resources like http://www.xxxchurch.com?

      What do you do when he fails? How do you talk to him?

      What do you believe God desires to do in your heart and life to make you more the woman He wants you to be?

      How serious do you think idolatry is to God compared to porn addiction? Is one “not as bad” as the other? Are you familiar with the Old Testament at all?

      Keep in mind, you had this addiction for some period of time. You had to be the one to decide to stop your addiction. We each make our own choices and our own decisions. We are each responsible for our own free will, our obedience to God and our sin. You can influence him but you can’t dictate things to him or force him not to use porn. You can share that it hurts you when he does.

      Check out these posts:

      Prayer for Those Addicted to Porn

      Control and Boundaries

      Could Your Husband Be Trapped in Shame?

      How to Make Your Husband an Idol

      Much love to you! And a HUGE hug!

      1. anonwife,

        The alcoholism illustration was best for a porn addiction. For just the regular temptations men face, I think a comparable example would be the way we want men to try to understand and empathize with us if we have issues with PMS and hormones. Not to say that we are justified in screaming at people or acting in hateful ways because of our hormones, but it can be helpful for husbands to try to research and understand what women go through who do struggle with this issue and what temptations they face.

        🙂

      2. Thank you so much for your gracious reply. I know I was acting out of bitterness in my comment now and I actually felt really bad about it after. You’ve been such a help to me through this blog and I wouldn’t want you to feel attacked! I think also because I do understand my husband’s struggle on a personal level I know how deep it can go in your heart and, with the way I know I have him as an idol in my life, I can’t bear for him to feel that strongly about anything except me. I hate that I could be just a side note in his life that makes him feel guilty just because my very presence convicts him of his sin. I’ve been there too so I get that it could be happening. I just really crave to be the number one thing in his life. I know that’s really bad but that’s just the truth *awkward face*.

        I would love to be a support to him in this but I think he doesn’t feel safe in talking about it with me. He’s not the sort of dude that opens up easily, especially when it comes to his sins (he is a believer btw, he’s been saved for a long time like 10+ years, and this has been an issue the entire time, so before I came around). It’s not that he’s shifty or anything just gentle and a bit shy and very much on show because he’s in ministry and is also suddenly having to take the responsibility as leader in pretty much every area of his life. I love all this about him it’s just it makes him very reticent about his failings. And the fact that I already know and instead of waiting for him to say and just coming out and accusing him is probably REALLY not helping. Like, I don’t shout at him or anything but I’ll just say I know he’s doing it, then when he admits it I can’t help but say stuff like ok well I know you’re trying but you know how much this hurts me, right? I know he knows it hurts me, it feels better to point it out but it’s just a controlling thing on my part, as I’m now seeing.

        My walk is getting better now, really in large part due to this issue and with the help of your blog. I didn’t realise HOW MUCH of an idol my husband is to me!! Like, I’m a very passionate person so I thought I was just being passionate, but no I’m actually pretty obsessed with him lol. It’s funny because I’m only just getting back into the Old Testament recently, and the idolatry issue is MASSIVE there as is talk about not fearing and not worrying and I suffer from anxiety a lot too and worry a lot. So more sin there that I didn’t recognise before.

        I guess I say all this to say, it’s easy to be the guy with the plank in his own eye telling his friend to take out the speck. Much easier than I had ever thought, in fact!! And I really thank you for this blog cuz it’s helping me uncover all the planks I have going on. I truly do desire to be a good wife for God’s glory and pleasure, and I’m struggling down that road but it’s a good struggle. I’m learning :))) Thank you for the links, I will read and re read them!!!!

        1. anonwife,

          Aw! I wish I could hug your neck! 🙂

          This is a TOUGH issue. Very painful for wives. I understand that.

          You know what I would love? What if you consider reframing things. Instead of your husband being the most important thing to you in the world and you wanting to be the most important thing to him – what if you desire him to have God as the most important thing in his life and if you focus on making sure God is the most important thing in your life.

          When we idolize our husbands and attempt to confront them about their sin – we are often confronting them from sinful motives ourselves and that just doesn’t fly. If I try to make my husband responsible for my happiness, my spiritual well being, my emotions, my growth, my security, and my stability – and he is sinning against me – I am probably going to be more interested in trying to get him to meet my needs than seeing him be right with God.

          One reason Jesus commands us to take care of the plank in our own eye before we attempt to take the speck of sawdust out of our brother’s eye – is that our own sin may just whack the other person upside the head while we are trying to remove the speck from their eye.

          First, my precious sister, take care of the idolatry in your life. You have a lot on your own plate to deal with. And then, seek to be supportive of him. “Honey, I read about some ways wives can support their husbands in this battle with porn. Do any of these ideas sound like something you’d like me to try? Let’s beat this thing together as a team!”

          You remind me so much of myself. I harped on Greg’s sins – or things I thought were sins because he wasn’t fawning over me all the time – for over 14 years. When God showed me all of my mountain of pride, self-righteousness, worry, unbelief, idolatry, control, disrespect, resentment, unforgiveness, bitterness, etc.. I was MORTIFIED!

          But what a merciful God that He didn’t leave us in our filth but made a way for Him to help transform us to be more like Jesus on this journey. 🙂

          Ha! I am just now reading your last paragraph. 🙂 I think we are on the same wavelength here.

          I’m always glad to hear from you. I am praying for you to walk in God’s victory, my precious sister! 🙂

          1. Hi again, I hope I’m not getting annoying but I really need some advice and I don’t have anyone in my life I can ask about this. My husband and I had a really deep talk yesterday, probably the first time he’s been able to be really upfront with me for a while, which was great. What’s not so great is that it was because he was confessing that since we’ve been married he’s been using porn habitually, way more often than I thought, and in addition to that he’s been flirting with lots of women, and has emotionally and almost physically been unfaithful.

            I let him talk and kept very quiet and gave him encouragement about his standing before God and that I wouldn’t leave him, as he was so guilty about it he was contemplating leaving me. He asked if I wanted to break up with him which I obviously don’t. I did let him know I was hurt but I said that I’d need to have time to deal with the pain on my own so I could sort through it. Anyway he left this morning for a business trip with his ministry and will be back in a week, so I have that long to figure out what to do.

            I’m not going to leave him, I’m going to forgive him and am forgiving him every time the situation pops into my head. It just hurts so so much and I don’t know what to do. I’m just a bit depressed at the moment and since I’m alone with the kids it’s hard already.

            If you could pray for me that would be great. Any advice would be so helpful too. Thank youx

          2. anonwife,

            Oh, yuck! 🙁

            Well… I am thankful he was honest with you. But what a difficult and painful load of information for any wife to bear. 🙁 I am sure, being a minister, that your husband is a target of the enemy. How can he possibly minister in God’s Name with all of this going on? Is he willing to go to another pastor/mentor for accountability? Because – it seems to me – that would probably be an important step to bringing about healing.

            I’m glad you have some time to just take this pain before God and to pray and pour out your heart to God and be still before Him. I’m glad you let him know that you need some time to deal with the pain.

            I can understand that you would feel depressed. Sin hurts people. All sin hurts God. And sin hurts the sinner and the ones sinned against. It leads to death and destruction. SO thankful there is hope, grace, mercy, and forgiveness in Christ – and that He has made a way for us to live in victory over sin!

            There are many resources available for wives and for husbands at http://www.xxxchurch.com about all of the issues you are dealing with in your marriage.

            I’m glad you want to make the marriage work and want to bring healing and restoration. That is awesome! Did he say that he understands what he did was wrong and that he wants to stop or has stopped? What is his plan to keep himself accountable?

            You can search “porn” on my home page for posts. You can also check out Grace Filled Marriage by Tim Kimmel. There is a lot of hurt to work through with God so that you don’t begin to cling to resentment or bitterness – which could destroy your marriage.

            Ladies,

            Let’s surround this precious wife and husband with prayer for God’s intervention, healing, regeneration, and restoration – that His will and His glory alone might be accomplished in this marriage and ministry!

            Sending you the biggest hug!!!!!

          3. He did say he has stopped everything and that he’s sorry, but he doesn’t intend to reach out to anyone for help and doesn’t want me to talk about it with anyone. He wants us to work it out together and he is adamant that it would destroy us if we go to counselling or if he feels forced to talk it out with anyone else involved. I told him that this worries me and hurts me as it seems he doesn’t see the depth of the situation, but that I would submit and do my best to work it out with him in this way. I am praying that he changes his mind. I don’t know what else to do. His ministry is such that it isn’t always ‘ministry’ per se, for instance they do work in schools which is what he’s doing now and it is purely to work with the students not necessarily in a ministry capacity. He hasn’t mentioned what he thinks this means for his ministry and I’m leaving that to God to deal with.

          4. anonwife,

            I wonder if he might be willing to go online for help to http://www.xxxchurch.com?

            No, you cannot decide about his ministry for him. That is between himself and God.

            I’m glad that he repented. I pray for wisdom for you both – that the enemy might not have this marriage, this ministry, or any victory in your lives.

            Much love to you!

          5. Anonwife,

            Another great resource I just found this week is the book Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray. I believe every Christian should read it. He explains how to have the Spirit fill us and how to live in victory over sin through the power of Christ in us, not our effort. It is awesome!

            Free download here.

          6. You know what April, this was one of the best things I’ve read about his this. Thank you.
            Beth Moore has a good book ‘Insecurity’ (?) which addresses this issue, maybe helpful to someone. I might even re read it….!

          7. @Peacefulwife

            just wanted to say thank you for your advice and counsel! I have to say my spirit is very joyful right now and I am learning so much about God which is helping me navigate the situation with my husband. So thank you again! And thank you for the link I will definitely check it out!!

          8. anonwife,

            WOOHOO! Thank you for the update! I pray you might continue to allow God to work radically in your heart and soul to transform you to be more and more like Jesus. I can’t wait to see all that He has in store for you, your husband, and your marriage. 🙂

          9. I think you have to keep in mind that there is a reason why adultery is a just cause for divorce. Your husband does not sound repentant he sounds like he is still hiding from his sin. I say you go to your church leaders and tell them what is happening to possibly save his soul. If he is serving at schools or possibly did such things with his “ministry” it wouldn’t be fair to not let the church know and he may not be strong enough to stop it on his own and just “try” not to fall again. He seems to care more about what man thinks than God, I say tell someone because he is asking you to do something sinful.

          10. You know it’s kind of ironic you posted this, because it’s been about half a year since I posted that last comment and much has changed. He was in fact unrepentant, not totally unrepentant but he hadn’t told me the full story and was holding back. Basically he had had two affairs, and didn’t want the second one coming out which is why he didn’t want to talk about it. It ended up catching up with him, as the woman contacted the manager of his ministry and he had to take a couple months out.

            The positive of this situation though is that he was really forced to see his sin for what it was, and was forced to deal with it. He has caused me so much hurt, and still is to be honest. But I have learned so much out of this pain, I can’t even describe. The trust is gone right now, but the love isn’t. I am learning to love like Jesus loves, and it is the best and the worst thing that has happened to me. Mainly the worst. lol.

          11. Anonwife,
            Thank you so much for responding!

            Sometimes our lives don’t have “the happy ending” we want. I have a number of posts about that, too, because we can truly be content in Christ alone living on our own if necessary, if a husband won’t repent of serious sin.

            For some examples, y’all are welcome to search my home page for:
            – when your husband says I’m done
            – peaceful separated wife
            – peaceful divorced wife
            – not a successful marriage story

            Of course, sometimes, it takes years for healing to take place. Sometimes there is eventually healing and a “happy ending” even though there is a long time where things are not going well. But I am so thankful that no one, not even our husbands, can rob us of the gifts and treasures there are in Christ. No one can steal our joy or peace that is in Him. And even when we are wronged, God uses even the most awful things ultimately for our good and His glory because we love Him and belong to Him.

            Thank you so much for sharing about the pain and the blessings you have experienced. I am really glad that your husband’s sin came to light and he was held accountable for it. How I pray this will lead him to true, godly repentance and that he might fully yield to Christ as Lord of all in his life.

            Much love to you! I pray for God’s continued wisdom and healing for you, my precious sister!

  48. This a difficult topic to digest. For many women, including myself, it has become so personal. Because there are so many different scenarios (personal experiences) it seems hard to “know” how to respond to the situation one is currently in. In my case, I have a wonderful husband, whom I truly believes loves me with all of his heart. He is a godly Christian man….My spiritual leader. However, several years ago (about 4) he began viewing things on his computer that were inappropriate. Not porn, but caused the same outcome. Lust. He also had an issue with looking at immodest women in stores and on the streets. When I initially talked to him about it he denied it, got angry, and it soon became a contention between us. I became very nervous anytime we would go someplace that would afford him the opportunity to “LOOK”. My heart would break and I would pray, my heart would break and I would pray and cry. That continued for years, until the beginning of this year. The Holy Spirit did a work in my husband’s heart and he talked more open with me. He admitted that he had lied to me, apologized for the pain he had caused me. He was truly repentant. Our relationship seemed to blossom into something I thought was gone forever. We went through what I would call a honeymoon period. But I continued to struggle with trust. How could everything seem to go so well, and I still struggled with trusting him. Later I would see him notice an immodest woman on the street or in a store and look away, only to take a second quick peek. He treats me like a queen and I know he tries for my sake and I hope his, to battle the visual temptations. But the little peeks keep me from trusting. I WANT to trust my husband and get rid of this constant ache. If you have any suggestions I would welcome them!

    1. I feel your pain, sis. Lord please help us as women to believe what you have said about us no matter how anyone else treats us, and to understand how deep your love is for us!

      If you don’t mind me sharing something that has been so helpful for me on this, I would like to. As you can read above, I haven’t been married long and this sort of thing has been a problem for my entire marriage. My husband revealed that he had actually cheated on me close to the beginning of our marriage, and has struggled with porn and flirting etc throughout as well. This has hit me very hard, especially because he has been lying about it and my trust is absolutely broken.

      However, I know my husband. I know he loves me and he deeply regrets his actions and is truly repentant also. I know he wants to change. But change takes time. It will require a lot of work and prayer etc on my husband’s part, and though I can help by praying for him and by encouraging him, I can’t do the work for him. Years of this kind of habit will take time to undo. God does that work in a man, and only God is capable of doing it. The good thing is, God desires our husbands to be holy and the Holy Spirit will continue to work in them, and change will come. We can thank God that his grace has justified our men and that He will continue to sanctify them.

      As for us, we will hurt. This is a horribly painful experience. We will be angry and sad and everything in between. But this is the best time to seek the Lord. His grace is sufficient, and He is able to bind up our broken hearts. Let God minister to you in this time. Ask Him to reveal the depths of His love for you, and spend time in His love. He is our eternal husband, and His love never fails on us. His eye never wanders, we are always precious to Him, He rejoices over us with shouting. God’s love will heal you, and it will also enable you to be a blessing and a help to your husband in this time, and to have grace on him when he fails and falters.

      Try not to focus on his faults. What I did is I literally set aside an hour or two a day after my prayer time to think about my pain. I would write down what hurt and what I wanted to see from my husband in order that he could regain my trust. But then I would stop thinking about it. ANytime a thought against my husband would pop into my head outside of that time, i would take it captive and think about something good about him instead. And if I couldn’t think something good of him in my hurt and anger, I would pray and think about God’s love for me instead.

      I hope this helps a little. Obviously it’s a massive issue. I have been reflecting on psalms 37 and 40, and colossians 3. Maybe ask God to reveal some parts of the Bible He wants to use to speak to you in. You are lovedxxxx

      1. Thank you so much for this, anon wife!

        You know, something that I think might be helpful would be for us to imagine if our husbands did something similar to us about an area where we struggle in our thought lives. What if our husbands freaked out about the thought that we might even think about having bitterness toward them? Bitterness is a very destructive sin. It destroys more marriages than porn or adultery. As I have read “there is no relationship bitterness cannot kill.”

        What if our husbands were constantly watching our faces for any little flicker of bitterness all the time when they were with us. And what if they lectured us every single time we had a sinful thought in our minds? Or what if they withdrew trust every time they assumed they caught us thinking a bitter thought toward them?

        Would that be helpful? Would we feel empowered in our battle against bitterness?

        Or what if they were constantly examining our words and countenance for self-righteousness and they flipped out any time they felt we were looking down on them? Could they always judge our hearts and thoughts accurately? Is it their responsibility to monitor our thoughts and be the thought police?

        Sometimes it is difficult when our husbands face a temptation that we do not experience. It is easy to label them as “bigger sinners” than we are and to look down on them. It’s also easy to cherish and nourish bitterness and focus on our hurt.

        If we will allow God to reveal to us the depths of our own sin – and we truly experience God’s grace for the billions of dollars we owe Him. I think we may find it easier to extend grace (not license) but grace – to our husbands. We don’t know that they are necessarily lusting when they see a particular woman. Even if they take a second peek – do we really know what is in their hearts? Is it my job to try to judge my husband’s thoughts or monitor them?

        Perhaps God will give us the grace to see our own sin the way He sees it and to focus on allowing Him to cleanse our hearts of all sin and to seek not to have any sinful or ungodly thoughts in our own lives and to take every thought captive. For me, that means watching for pride, self-righteousness, bitterness, worry, fear, resentment, unforgiveness, a critical spirit, judgmentalness, gossip, impatience, disrespect, selfishness, self-effort, people pleasing, unbelief in God, idolatry of self (or romance, my husband, having control, my feelings, happiness, etc…)… It turns out that God showed me I have quite a bit to manage on my own plate.

        I spent years looking down on my husband, thinking I was so much more spiritual than he was. Then God showed me my mountain of sin. God showed me that I needed to deal with the sin in my life before I tried to help my husband take the speck out of his eye. The funny thing was, as I focused on my sin and my obedience to God and allowing God to radically change me – God took care of Greg. There was nothing I ultimately needed to address in his life once God had been working so much in my heart. He worked in both of us, in our situation.

        There may be some wives who have much more serious issues going on where the husband does still have major sin going on even after she has dealt with her sin – but even then – when she is living in the power of God’s Spirit – God can prompt her and empower her to respond to that sin rightly and in a way that pleases and honors Him and is productive.

        I don’t know if this perspective might be helpful to anyone else- but it was a blessing to me.

        Much love!

        1. Wow…that is incredibly helpful, April! It does help to flip the script there.

          I think because being seen as beautiful and precious is so important to most wives, the thought of a husband looking at another woman makes us feel that we are not beautiful and precious to them. So it can feel like that sin is more hurtful to us than ours could be to them. BUT if men feel love through respect, our bitterness is just as crushing to them as it attacks the loudest way they feel love. I never thought of it like that! Helps a lot!

          1. anonwife,

            Thank you for explaining how this was helpful and how it brought a bit of a lightbulb moment. That helps me as I seek to better convey this message to wives.

            Absolutely, wives want to feel beautiful, loved, cherished, and precious to their husbands! And absolutely, husbands want to feel respected, honored, and looked up to.

            You are right – their sin is very hurtful to us. And you are right – our sins of bitterness, self-righteousness, resentment, or judgment are very hurtful and crushing to them.

            It’s easy to feel the pain of their sin against us. But sometimes it is easy to gloss over how painful our sin can be to them. It’s easy for us to think, “Well, my sin is justifiable” or “my sin is so much smaller than his sin.” But – the truth is – no sin is justifiable in God’s eyes. And all sin causes pain and death to relationships.

            When I used to look down on my husband in pride – I was convinced he was a “much worse sinner” than I was. That was an incredibly sinful, arrogant, and hurtful stance for me to take. Yes – it was absolutely soul crushing to him.

            I think if we can see ourselves as on equal ground at the foot of the cross – just as desperately in need of Christ as our men are – it puts things into a much more healthy perspective.

            I want to understand how to best explain this. I don’t want my precious sisters to mis-hear Shaunti’s message or to be hurt by it. I want us all to hear the message clearly and to be able to respond in the power, love, strength, grace, and mercy of God for us. 🙂

            Much love!

      2. Thank you for your heartfelt response. I truly appreciate it. I have been married for over 20 years. And this has been an issue only a few times in our marriage, but it never lasted. It seemed the more I discovered my roll as a wife (and actually wanting to fullfull that roll), and gaining knowledge of how my husband is affected by the sight of other women, has made it harder for me to just get over “it”. Whoever said that ignorance is bliss, sure knew what they were talking about. LOL I struggle so much with this. Sometimes I think that I’m doing so well, then I get blindsided by a “reaction” my husband has to either an attractive (modestly dressed) woman in our church, or an immodest jogger on the street, or even those nasty magazines at the checkout stands in the store. I can know that God created my husband to be visual, I can know that it has nothing to do with his love for me, but somehow it doesn’t make the sting of it any less. I know my Saviour is in control, that He loves me more than I can ever imagine. That He will never leave me nor forsake me, yet, that doesn’t take the hurt away either. It seems like the more I pray “Lord, create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit in me.” I ask Him (the LORD) to help me not be so upset (inside) when he looks at other women. And it seems the more I pray about that the more unnerved I get. Will this ache and anxiety ever go away?

        1. 2have2hold,

          This is a VERY, VERY tough topic for many women. You are certainly not alone in your feelings about this. I know that my husband has said, “Most men would turn this part of them off if they could when they are not around their wives.”

          I do believe there is healing for you in Christ, and for other women who are hurting over this topic. I think it is possible to realize that we live in a fallen world and that we all face temptation. Our temptation is different from our husbands’. But I think as we see our own sin and our own inability to live sinless lives apart from Christ, and as we see what Jesus has paid for us, we can look at our husbands with empathy and compassion and a desire to help them in any way we can – and we may develop a passion for teaching other women about modesty or about how we can honor our brothers in Christ and not set stumbling blocks before them. I think we can be a safe place for our husbands – not that we excuse sin – but that we can seek to understand our own particular husband and how to most bless him. I also believe as we abide in Christ and are filled with His Spirit, His perfect love melts away our fears and we cannot carry anxiety when we are filled to overflowing with Him.

          If anyone has seen resources specifically for women who need healing in this area, I would love to hear about them and pass them along because I really want to see my sisters not experience pain over this, but find healing in Jesus and great strength and hope in Him.

          Much love to you!

        2. Honestly, I don’t know wether the ache and anxiety will ever go away as I am not yet even in my second year of marriage, but I would like to encourage you that I believe there is freedom from all fear and anxiety in Christ.

          Before when people used to say stuff like that to me, I’d think “right…well I have no idea if that’s true since it’s never been true for me before” and I’d dismiss it and continue on my not so merry way. I have pretty severe anxiety in general and struggle with fear all the time, and fear being cheated on or that my husband is finding someone else attractive. Sometimes I’ll look at an old man looking at a younger woman, and I’ll be terrified that one day I’ll be old and grey and my husband will be lusting after young women and I won’t be able to satisfy him. That is crazy but it’s my fear!

          But recently (and especially since my worst fears came to pass) I’ve been learning that my husband’s love and attraction to me isn’t what makes me beautiful and special and wonderful. My husband will never be able to love me like God does. My husband will fail me, and God won’t. And in the end, I will be spending eternity being satisfied by a perfect relationship with my Heavenly Beloved, and my husband will no longer be my husband. That thought used to make me sad lol. But the thing is, we have access to that love right now. We are able to be filled with that love every day until we finally see Him face to face. It is like the ultimate drawn out courtship period lol.

          Romans 8v 15: “For you did not receive a spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father’.”

          This fear we experience is definitely from the devil, who wants us to focus on what we cannot control (and don’t need to control) and forget everything we have in Christ.

          Romans 8v6″ For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”

          This fear that we live in is definitely carnally minded. Although it is a good and normal thing to desire your husband’s love and attention, I think we ( me especially!!! I’m so bad in this) are letting it be a bigger and bigger issue than it should be. After all, you don’t really know what’s going on in his head. A moment of attraction can be literally that, a small moment where they see something attractive, and then move on. This doesn’t mean that the thing they see is MORE attractive to them than their wife.

          Don’t let fear consume your mind. Your good desire to be the only woman in your husband’s mind and heart is taking over and becoming something that is killing your joy. Don’t let it. You can kill that thing that’s trying to hurt you by making you take your focus off of the One who created you before time began, who specially crafted you to look and be exactly as you are, and He looks on you and loves you and shouts about you in joy. No man can love you like you were CREATED to be loved. Walk in life and peace.

          My prayer, for you and me, is that we will wake up every day and choose to look at God FIRST, and seek His approval first and find out how much He loves us first, and then be able to enjoy a loving, fear and condemnation free relationship with our husbands. I’ll pray for you every time I pray for myself about this!!

    2. 2have2hold,

      I am so excited about all the healing God has been doing in your marriage lately! That is awesome! 🙂

      Have you read any books/blogs/websites/resources to help you with any of this, my dear sister?

      How is your walk with Christ going recently?

      It seems to me that ultimately, a wife’s trust will be in Christ. I hope that makes sense. Our husbands could fail us in small or big ways – I do want to see us seek to trust them whenever possible (unless trust has been broken and needs to be rebuilt). But ultimately, my trust is not that my husband will be sinless and perfect (because he won’t be sinless and perfect until heaven), my trust is in Jesus to give me the power to walk in victory over sin in my life and to walk in holiness and obedience to Him no matter what happens.

      Have you had a chance to read Grace Filled Marriage by Tim Kimmel?

      Much love and the biggest hug to you! 🙂

      1. I have not yet read the book, I am concerned that it will make me feel worse (more apprehensive) Do you think that reading the book will be something that will help the hurt and anxiety to ease? I do understand that this IS a struggle for men, and maybe more for some than others. I just feel like my trust for my husband is hindered every time he fails in this area. Even if I don’t say anything to him (which I don’t 99% of the time) I still have a concern that things will go back to the way they were before. I know that I can trust my Saviour, He will never fail me. I run to him when my heart is broken, I just want to get past this stumbling block, that I feel inside, is a wedge between my husband and myself. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Please be patient with me.

        1. 2have2hold,

          It could make you feel worse if this topic freaks you out and you tend to feel offended or upset if you learn about things like this. If that is the case, please don’t read it.

          I am happy to be patient with you, my dear sister!

          Tell me this, it will help me better understand how ready you are to read this book.

          Has God ever revealed to you just how wretched of a sinner you are personally? Not just, that you are a sinner. But the extent of your sin – so that you mourned over it and realized how hopeless you were without Christ and that you owed God billions and billions of debt in “sin dollars” that you could never repay? And then, have you received the grace and forgiveness of Christ and do you carry around a profound knowledge and joy in your heart of all for which you have been forgiven? Do you approach God very humbly and see others from a position of great humility?

          Much love!

          1. Yes, I have received the kind of forgiveness that can never be matched! I received Christ as my Saviour shortly after I had gotten married. I grew up in a bible believing church, but did not truly understand until then. I do believe and understand that I have sinned, and do sin, and until I get a new glorified body, will continue to sin. I need God’s love and forgiveness continually. I know I am no better than my husband, I know that. I don’t believe that my husband is this horrible sinner and I am righteous in all of this. I have done so much research in the past few years because of my frustration and pain, I already know much about how men are visual……I guess I have not learned yet, even though I have prayed and prayed for God to grant me the knowledge……How to not care that my husband is checking out other women, on the street at our work, in our church and even on the computer. How could that not be hurtful to a wife? How do you not get hurt? This is what I need help for.

          2. 2have2hold,

            I’m so glad that you have experienced the grace and mercy of Christ! WOOHOO!!!!

            To me, there is a big difference between a man noticing an immodestly dressed woman and a man succumbing to temptation and lusting. I’m really sad that there are so many sources of temptation in our society today. It breaks my heart! Generations ago, man would have to go to “the wrong side of town” and pay money just to see above a woman’s ankles. So – in my mind – this is very much a societal problem, not just an individual man’s problem. I grieve for all of our brothers – and sons – that they have to live in this filthy mess. We are seeing the results of increasing sin, licentiousness, and immorality everywhere.

            It is hurtful to a wife if a husband does give in to temptation. Some wives also get super upset if a husband experiences temptation at all, even if he is victorious over it. To me, that goes way too far – for a wife to expect that her husband won’t face temptation in our society. I don’t think that is realistic or fair. Temptation is not sin, after all. I mean, it is one thing if he goes looking for temptation online. But if he is just walking through the store or watching a football game and sees temptation – that is not his fault. If he is walking in victory over temptation – PRAISE GOD for that!

            If he struggles with lust, my perspective would be – we are a team. If he has a weak area, how can I build him up in that area? What can I do to make the struggle less intense? How can I bless and support him in this area because I love him and would greatly appreciate his love, grace, understanding, and support in my weak areas (that are probably quite hurtful to him)?

            I don’t think that it is a matter of “not caring” that your husband faces temptation. I think it is a matter of trusting him to God and to the Holy Spirit and allowing God to sanctify him as you seek to be the wife and teammate God calls you to be.

            Loving God’s way isn’t about avoiding getting hurt. Does that make sense? Look at what Jesus’ love for us and for God cost Him. Loving God’s way is about being strong in Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit to face any hurt and to move forward together in a way that honors God and builds up our spouse so that we all continue on in sanctification, moving toward greater spiritual maturity.

            Have you ever experienced a guy who was very attractive coming into your office or at church or the neighborhood who flirted with you a bit – and you noticed some chemistry? What do you do with that? Was it the end of your marriage? Should your husband curl up in the fetal position because you experienced a temptation? Would it mean you didn’t love you husband if a man flirted with you and you realized he was attractive? Or do you just realize, “Oh, I need to flee from this! It is a temptation from the enemy. I need to run back to my husband”? You turn from the temptation and refocus on your marriage – and the crisis is over.

            Do you feel safe enough to share what happened with your husband? How would he respond? Would he freak out that you had butterflies in your tummy over the other guy for 10 minutes or would he be thankful for your willingness to share and thankful that you ran from that guy back to your marriage? Isn’t it possible to confess the temptation and then work on strengthening your own marriage bond – knowing that you don’t want to be with the other guy, even if there was a spark of attraction?

            Isn’t it the same for our husbands? If they notice other women or experience temptation – that is not sin. To me, it would be really sad if a wife gets upset because a man faced temptation. Jesus faced temptation but did not sin. The temptation is not sin. If they do delve into lust – that is sin. But perhaps they immediately repent and turn back to their wife and back to God.

            Is this the unforgivable sin? Is it more unforgivable than a wife succumbing to gossip, worry, self-righteousness, pride, disrespect, control, or idolatry of self? Is it beyond the reach of grace? Grace doesn’t mean that the sin wasn’t hurtful. And it doesn’t mean the sin was “not a big deal.” All sin is hurtful. Sin hurts people who sin, it hurts those they sin against – and most of all, it grieves God’s heart and separates us from Him. But we have Christ!

            Jesus came to deliver us from the penalty of sin through His death for us. And He came to deliver us from the power of sin as He continues to sanctify us so that we don’t have to be slaves to sin anymore – we can choose righteousness now! And in heaven, we will be completely delivered from the presence of sin and we will never sin again. But even in this life, God can empower us to walk in holiness as we trust Him and allow His Spirit to have control.

            For me, I am sure to confess any attraction or chemistry I might experience toward another man to my husband right away (and to my accountability partners) – and I know that he may face temptation and I invite him to share that with me. We listen to each other. We are vulnerable and honest. Then we move toward each other and toward God – away from the temptation – and refocus on each other. Temptation is overcome. We will both face temptation at various times. But we know that neither of us wants to be with anyone else. We know we love each other and are in this for the long haul. If we realize there is temptation and we turn away from it in God’s power – that is victory in Christ! If someone stumbles, the other is there to help them get up and we can point each other to Christ.

            I don’t personally freak out about my husband facing temptation. I guess, I am not really looking for him to stumble. If he does stumble, I know God will empower us both to handle it. I don’t assume that he is lusting if he sees other women. I know God will work with him if he has a problem – or that he will come to me and we will deal with it together. I seek to keep my eyes on Christ.

            I don’t constantly try to examine my husband’s eyes to figure out if he is looking twice at someone. I think a wife could make herself crazy trying to be her husband’s thought police. It would be easy to assume a man is guilty of lust when he may not even be lusting. How can we know for sure what is happening in his heart? I just don’t see much value in monitoring our husband’s every glance or trying to guess what every thought might be as he sees various women through the day. I have my own issues and weaknesses to deal with and I can’t try to be in charge of my husband’s thoughts. That’s his job. Now, if he is ogling or leering at other women – that would be more of a clear issue. But seeing a woman and then a quick second glance – I’m not willing to assume that is automatically sin. If he did cross the line – he needs to repent to God. I trust him and God to work that out. He trusts God to deal with me about my sin.

            If one of us is clearly ensnared by sin – the other may need to address it. Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin.

            Not sure if this is helpful or if I explained well enough. I hope something here might be a blessing. 🙂

            Any other wives/husbands who may have something helpful to share with our sisters for whom this is a very painful topic, y’all are welcome to chime in, as well. 🙂

          3. 2have2hold,

            Another thing that I think might be helpful is to realize that the only One who will never sin and never fail us is Jesus. He alone is good.

            If I expect total sinless perfection from my husband, I am expecting him to be Jesus. I can’t even expect total sinless perfection in my own thoughts. So how can I try to hold my husband to an impossible standard that I can’t meet?

            A post that may be helpful is “How to Make Your Husband an Idol.” You are welcome to search for it on my home page. We so easily put our husbands or ourselves where only Jesus should be in our hearts. If I find that the thought of my husband having one sinful thought is devastating to me – it could be wise for me to look at my understanding of who God is vs. who humans are and to evaluate my expectations of my husband in light of Scripture. Not that sin is okay. It is not. But sinless perfection will not be a reality for any believer until heaven. The goal is to increasingly be more holy and more Spirit filled. We can choose to walk in victory over sin. But we can also understand that our husbands are fellow travelers on this road with us. They are not Jesus.

          4. I know that if I am going to get victory over this, it will have to be the LORD working on my heart….I can not change my husband and I do understand that. I am not even looking for answers on how to change him, but rather how to better handle my own reaction, within my own heart during those particular times of testing. I have been praying about this for so long. I continue to ask my LORD what lesson he wants me to learn from this….hoping that if the lesson is learned, I can get past this. My husband and I spend an immense amount of time together because we work together. We both LOVE being together, we get along exceptionally well. Except those times that I can not hide my hurt feelings. When he notices it makes him a little irritated and things become a little tense. That doesn’t usually happen, and it doesn’t stay that way for very long, but I want to get past this so it doesn’t happen at all. We are best friends, please pray that Satan will not continue to get the victory here. Any suggestions on responses on my part both externally and within my mind and heart when we are faced with that situation would be appreciated. Also, if there is anything else that I could do to help him overcome these temptations.

          5. 2have2hold,

            Would you say that you have a lot of fear?

            I wonder if any of these posts might be helpful if that is the case –

            http://peacefulwife.com/?s=fear&submit.x=0&submit.y=0

            If he is truly sinning against you – that will hurt. For instance, if he is looking at porn. That hurts. There isn’t a way around the pain that sin brings. It must be processed, forgiven by God’s power working in us, and then trust must be rebuilt.

            If it is just that he is exposed to temptation and that is a problem, or that you are assuming that he is sinning, but you really don’t know for sure – I think there may be ways to work on that. I don’t think that him being tempted needs to be a cause for pain on your part if he is not succumbing to the temptation.

            Does that make sense? Where do you believe the issue lies? 🙂

            Much love, my precious sister!

          6. “There isn’t a way around the pain that sin brings. It must be processed, forgiven by God’s power working in us, and then trust must be rebuilt.”

            Very, very wise. 🙂 I like the word “processed.”

            Somewhat off-topic I guess, I remember a book I read many years ago called “don’t forgive too soon.” It refers to “stages of forgiveness” as those being similar to a model in psychology of stages of accepting death:

            1) Denial: it didn’t really happen
            2) Anger: it did happen, and I’m angry about the pain
            3) Bargaining: what can I get that will compensate for the wrong?
            4) Depression: a realization that the pain was inevitable and that nothing can undo the past.
            5) Acceptance: accepting that you’ll never get back what you’re owed, becoming at peace with it and moving on.

          7. That makes sense. I do understand all that you have said, As far as was he looking at porn….I don’t know if you would classify what he was looking at (on purpose) porn. It was at first I think succumbing to temptation. He was looking at a sports site and came across a link to photos of cheerleaders………then it was as if he was searching for things to look at. There was an article that had women in string bikinis….then he searched for more about that article. And only continued from there. What he seemed to look at outside of his computer was also not controlled.

            What I mean by that is…if there was a skimpy dressed jogger jogging down the street while we were driving, not only did he see her all the way down the street, but his head turned to watch her as we passed by. Not once, but many many times. It wasn’t until I had said something that there were any change in his behavior. During this time when he was freely looking at whatever pleased him, his treatment of me was not very good. I did not feel like he cherished the woman he was supposed to love or if he truly loved me. If I tried to share my feelings with him, his irritation level was too high. He would tell me that I was crazy and that I was ruining our marriage.

            This went on for months and months….over a year. Until the Holy Spirit started working on his heart. After that I apologized to me, admitted his wrongs to me, he truly felt repentant about how he had hurt me. That is when our honeymoon period started that I had told you about. His actions told me that he meant business about protecting his eyes….he made me feel his love for me. I accepted his apology, and readily forgave him. But I struggled inside for trusting him. When immodestly dressed women would come around, I would look to see if his eyes were dropping to their butt, like had been the practice for so long. After a month or two, my watching subsided a little, but not all the way…..I wanted to just trust that he was not lusting after other women (and especially while with me).

            But recently, his irritation level with me fluctuates and I noticing him clearing the screen of his tablet when I walk in the room…I had asked him about it once and he got really irritated with me and said that I am paranoid. Maybe I am, but just seems like its a little to similar to what had happened in the past. So If I were to answer your question about fear….. I guess I am afraid that we might slip back to that horrible place in our marriage that we once were. I hope this gives you a little better picture about why I struggle with my trust.

            Love to hear any suggestions. Thanks for your patience with me.

          8. 2have2hold,

            I’m glad that you addressed the issue of him lusting. That was necessary with what was going on from your description, in my view. I can absolutely understand why you didn’t feel loved or cherished during that time.

            How I praise God for working in his heart and bringing him to conviction and repentance!!!!! THAT IS AWESOME!

            I don’t know of a way for a wife not to feel hurt if her husband is truly lusting after other women. And I can understand why you feel paranoid. The only problem is – your paranoia can repel him and push him toward the same sin you hate and fear so much. And, of course, his irritability on this issue fuels your paranoia. So – you are in the beginning of a potentially sinful spiral that you obviously don’t want to continue.

            I don’t know that you constantly checking on him is going to make him want to honor Christ and honor you if he doesn’t already want to do so. How often would you say you have mentioned your fears and concerns in the past year?

            Much love to you!

          9. I would say I have mentioned them in conversation probably just a couple of times. I don’t feel like he is open to talk about it like he was at the beginning of our “honeymoon” He is either feeling browbeaten about it, or is acting irritated because he is convicted. I am afraid it is a bit of both. We have been married for over 20 years and can READ each other very well. He can tell when I am tense in those situations….I know he notices me glancing at him on occasion to see if he is checking these women out. So tension has come more than just 2 or 3 times in the past year because of this. The other thing is that after he confessed to me…..he felt like I hadn’t forgiven him if I was still struggling with trusting him. I had forgiven him, but I didn’t trust that he was not going to lust after other women. That became a sore spot between us until I told him that maybe I needed counsel to help me get over this. He didn’t want for me to get counsel from any of our “pastor” friends or their wives. Because it would be embarrassing to him….and I totally understand that. So we continued in our stress until I finally told him I needed counsel or for him to give me some scriptures to help me. I needed some direction. So he studied more and more about rebuilding trust and came to the conclusion that he was pressing me to trust too soon. For the most part things are way better than they were at the end of last year….much better. But because of his “questionable” behavior, like moving to a different screen on his tablet when I come into the room, or his irritation level with me….or…..or….or the list goes on, I don’t trust that he is not lusting after other women. This is what I was talking about with the daily hurt that I am dealing with. I don’t trust that he isn’t lusting, so when we come across an attractive, immodestly dressed woman and his eye linger or they continually dart back and forth in “her” direction….I automatically assume that he is lusting after this woman. This is why I wanted to know how to simply not care what he is looking at…..kind of a self defense….=) But really, I need to know how to respond to this…..how to help him if he is succumbing to the temptation that is all around him. Our intimate times together are wonderful and very frequent. I believe that if a husband has a need that the wife should meet his needs as oft as they come…daily even. There is not problem in that area. What else could I do? I compliment him, praise him regularly…..what else do you recommend?

          10. 2have2hold,

            So, here is an idea. The book Shaunti and Craig wrote has several chapters with ideas of ways wives can support their husbands and mothers can support their sons who battle and struggle with lust. Those chapters are toward the back of the book. What if you only read the chapters that are about the ways you can bless, help, support, and pray for your husband?

            And, here is a post with a prayer for those impacted by porn. You may want to pray parts of it – or a similar prayer – over your husband and yourself.

          11. 2HAVE2HOLD…

            I hope I’m not overstepping my bounds here, as I’m not as experienced a wife at all as most women here are and definitely not as experienced a Christian. However, I have suffered defeat at the hands of this particular sin too many times to count. My fear for you is that you trusted him again too early. Now hear my reasoning on this before anyone gets upset:

            If your husband was in open sin for a while in this area, he was probably in secret (heart) sin in it for longer (James 1:15 “then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”) So it’s usually not just as simple as him deciding not to indulge this sin, and then stopping completely. Most of the time there is a lot of work involved as he needs to mortify this sin on a day by day, second by second basis. And men struggle a lot with shame at their failings (April’s husband has a really good post on this), and failing in this way can sometimes cause people to feel so terrible at the failing that they can fall back into and the struggle back out of the sin again and again before any ground is gained.

            The ‘honeymoon’ period that you experienced, while so beautiful and great, does not necessarily reflect your husband’s status on this sin in his heart. He MAY have started off with loads of self will and discipline and been able to be strong, but then now MAY be struggling again. I DON’T SAY THIS TO FREAK YOU OUT OR TO SUGGEST THAT THIS IS INDEED WHAT IS HAPPENING. But I think it would be helpful for you to bear this in mind in order to best be a help to your husband right now.

            The fact is, he may still struggle in this area. And that’s normal, and IS NOT YOUR FAULT. If he is, it’s not because you’re not intimate with him enough, it’s not because you’re feeling paranoid about it or get upset if you believe he is sinning in that way. It is simply a sin that he is fighting, and in my experience this sin in particular often acts like a weed. It can look like it’s gone, but there may be roots left deep down that need to continuously be uprooted, and it can come back even when you least expect it. Take heart though: it CAN and WILL BE defeated, but only in the strength that comes from the Holy Spirit.

            In my opinion, it’s not surprising you’re so paranoid. He hasn’t earned your trust back yet. Trust takes time to build. The fact of the matter is, only the Lord will never fail you. Run to Him with your pain, and let Him heal you. Let His love fill your heart, and give you strength to be strong but still vulnerable with your husband. IF he’s still struggling, he’s still in the thick of a battle that neither of you can really see, but is very real. Sister, please hear me when I say, the devil is after both of you and your marriage. But he WILL BE DEFEATED. You must must must hold on to Jesus during this time.

            If I was you, I would not bring up the issue with him, and don’t talk about it, but make sure you are praying about it. Cover him and yourself in prayer. Even if your husband isn’t still in active sin here, not enough time has passed nor work has been done in either of you yet, hence the paranoia and tension and annoyance. Only Jesus can heal your husband in this and only Jesus is strong enough to support you through it. You and your husband are a team, so team up against this sin. Again, I wouldn’t go to your husband and mention it all the time, I just don’t think that would be helpful for either of you.

            It could be that when your husband confessed and you guys were reconciled, it maybe felt so wonderful to be loved by your husband again that you didn’t actually take time to seek God’s healing and to really seek His help in learning to trust your husband. You just went back to getting love from your husband, which isn’t a bad thing but it possibly would have acted like a band aid over a broken leg. The broken leg is still there, and now the band aid is wearing off a bit and you’re having to deal with the fracture. SO:

            You don’t need to really DO anything except possibly pray your butt off!! Pray and seek God, more so that you will place God back in His rightful place than for your husband really. Ephesians 3:14-21:

            14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,[a] 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

            20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

            Love your husband, serve him, respect him, all because that’s what is God’s will. God will work in your husband and in your heart to love you as He created you to be loved. Your husband isn’t capable of that love, but God SO IS. And He is capable of doing miracles in any heart. I pray that you are renewed in the joy of your salvation, that you can stop striving and simply rest in God’s love and provision, and that you will be able to calmly and peacefully love your husband through this storm, and that you will witness reconciliation and true change in your husband’s heart. I pray that you are able to serve him with a true heart, not in one of fear or condescension or distrust, I pray that your trust is in God and that your husband is able to earn it back. I pray for full healing and that your marriage is a witness to anyone and everyone who sees it, and that your husband is built up by your patient love and friendship. Lord I thank you that you are able to work this miracle and that you are able to weather this storm with this couple. I pray that the devil’s schemes are defeated in this family and that you are glorified, that your Will is done in this marriage as it is done in Heaven. Amen!!

          12. Anonwife,

            WOW!

            I have chills reading this. It is so powerful! Would you consider allowing me to share this anonymously as a post sometime? No pressure!

            But… WOW.

            Thank you for sharing the treasure God has given to you. Thank you for reaching out to 2have2hold. This is so amazing. 🙂 What a blessing your words will be to so many of our hurting sisters.

          13. I know the LORD is doing a work in my husband’s heart. I do see him looking away often, even when he doesn’t know that I can see him. This is like a yoyo struggle….for both of us, I think. So how do we team up in this battle if we dont even discuss it. I can pray, I know….but what do you mean team up.

            Also, how can I tell if he is lusting or only noticing as peaceful wife has pointed out before. How does he earn this trust back? How do I know when I can trust him. To be honest, I feel a heavier heart since your post. I know that my Jesus is my mainstay! Without him as my anchor, I would not have made it this far….at all. I still cling to him. I don’t think that I have stopped, even during the “honeymoon” period because my trust was not restored even then.

            That has been my issue from the beginning. He needs my trust….doesn’t he? That is what I have gathered from other posts from peaceful wife and male readers as well. Or am I misunderstanding? My husband has voiced to me with a very earnest and sincere heart that my trust of him is vital to him. I hope I have not painted my husband as this horrible person, he truly is a wonderful caring husband…… even if i don’t FEEL like it all the time. Thank you for you continued support and obvious care.

            Any insights from men who have walked in my husband’s shoes would be appreciated.

          14. @ peacefulwife of course you can use it if you feel it would be useful, I pray that it is.

            @2have2hold you haven’t made your husband sound horrible at all, it sounds like you have a great relationship actually. We all have our struggles though and our issues. I was trying to stress throughout my message that I wasn’t assuming myself to be correct, I was just hoping to explain from a perspective of someone who has struggled with this issue on the chance that it may resonate with what you see your husband struggle with. It could be that my experience doesn’t apply to yours at all.

            Some clarifications that you requested:

            in regards to the issue of trust. Your husband confessed to his sin and asked forgiveness, and has committed to keep himself from that sin. So you can trust that he is working to rebuild his own integrity in that area. However, by your own admission of feelings of paranoia and hurt and anxiety, you haven’t worked through the issue to the point of forgiveness and restoration of trust. That is not your fault as he has not yet earned your trust. Forgiveness is an every day choice, not a feeling. You can control your forgiveness, for instance by taking every thought against your husband captive and CHOOSING to forget past hurt. So that would mean, when you see a beautiful woman or someone you perceive as a threat, not looking at your husband to measure his reaction, and not remembering all the times he has failed in that area before and letting the prior hurt flood your heart, stuff like that. It’s hard, but it is a choice.

            Trust, however, is earned. Your husband will earn that back by rebuilding his own integrity in the area in which he has lost it. It will take time to rebuild that, and it’s not possible to put a time limit on it. You will know you have regained trust when you no longer feel anxious or feel you have to constantly be looking over your shoulder to see what your husband is doing.

            Biblically, we are called to forgive and forbear (colossians 3:13), but not necessarily to trust. The act of daily forgiving your husband will hopefully enable you to see his improvements and his successes, which will lead to trust being rebuilt.

            Secondly, when I said ‘team up’ if you can’t discuss the issue, is:
            a) that you purposely see your husband as on your side, on your team, even when he hurts you. So that would mean choosing to see the hurtful acts as something separate from your husband’s personality altogether. I think of it as in my husband is part of me (because we are now one flesh), and I think of my own sin as something separate from me, so therefore something I can fight. So then I choose to think of my husband’s sin as the same, just something separate from us that is trying to hurt us and God, something to fight the way I fight my own sin, with prayer and hope. Does that make sense? if not I can clarify further.

            b) that you should assume your husband IS fighting, whether you see it or not (ie assume that he is upholding his end of the fight). And then you should pray and deal with your heart and fight alongside him in prayer, remembering that it’s not flesh and blood we fight, but the rulers, authorities and powers of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (ephesians 6:12). You don’t need to check up on him to do this, just persevere in prayer.

            Again, I’m NOT saying you’re not doing this or anything, just clarifying what I meant. If it still isn’t clear I would be happy to give further explanation.

          15. @peacefulwife yes of course you can use them. They’re just some insights that have helped my husband and I recover our marriage from my husband’s infidelity, I would love if they could bless others.

          16. Ok…I do have some questions. You said that by my own admission of anxiety, hurt feelings etc, that I “have not worked through to the point of forgiveness and restoration of trust” My question then is, if I still am still anxious and mistrusting of my husband, I have not forgiven him??? My anxiety and fear comes from my lack of trust that my husband will be lusting after these other women. As far as the past issues that have been dealt with. I feel I have forgiven him for that. If I hadn’t forgiven him for those things in the past, I could not be where I am now…..with a very good relationship with my husband. The only thing that hinders our relationship from being one that most women would dream of is this issue. His struggle and my struggle. Does this make sense? Why can’t I just get to the point of it not bothering me when he looks at other women? I don’t know that he is lusting, but because of the history…which I do forgive him for….but just don’t trust, it makes it hard for me. I’m sure that I am so confusing with how I have this worded. The bottom line is that I CAN NOT “fix” my husband, God can. But I need to know how to “fix” me. Does that make sense?

          17. @ 2have2hold,
            I just want to emphasise that all this advice I give is from my own experience. I know that I don’t know your husband or you so I don’t want to come off as a know it all lol. I just hope to bless you with my experience if I can. I feel that I have come to a point with my husband that I fully trust him again after his infidelity, and I definitely experienced what you are saying you are currently experiencing.

            I found that there was a season for me where I had forgiven his past sin, but I still had that anxiety that you speak of whenever I sensed a threat or when he would be in situations where he’d failed in the past. I had to realize that this anxiety was a byproduct of unforgiveness. I felt as though I had forgiven him for his past sins, but why would I get so upset if I saw him looking at another woman? Because it reminded me of his past sin and how that sin had hurt.

            So I had to decide that I would just stop looking at him in those situations. Every time he would be in ‘danger’s way’ (ie places I felt he would or could fall again), I had to look the other way and pray, focus on God, pray for his heart, anything else that would let me not fear. I had to let go of that anxiety PURPOSEFULLY, every second of every day if necessary. Some situations were easier than others. Sometimes I failed, but I did dedicate myself to it as much as I could, because it was the action of ‘looking the other way’ and trusting God to sort out his heart that helped me eventually be able to trust him. Now I don’t suffer from that anxiety any more and I feel that I fully trust him again.

            Is that clear? Please let me know if not

          18. The question was in response to anonwife, but I would appreciate any input. I believe in my heart that I have forgiven my husband. I struggled with this for quite a while and did get some counseling in a vague way about forgiveness. It was my understanding that the anxiety that comes over me is due to the mistrust and not because I have not forgiven. I already understand that we are commanded to forgive. I also understand that the forgiveness is for me as much as it is for my husband. I don’t want a hard heart due to bitterness.

            I serve in a number of ministries at our church that would be hindered if I let bitterness settle in my heart. I know first hand, because bitterness almost stole my joy in the beginning of all of this. I, though tried, still have joy in my sweet Saviour, I still have joy in my best friend (my husband) I just want to get past this anxiety that comes every time I am faced with these circumstances. In my heart I know that will not happen until trust is restored.

            There in lies my confusion, How to #1. Get to that point, and #2 How to KNOW when it is safe to trust again. I WANT to trust again…..with all of my heart I want that. I know one thing…..through all of this, it has helped me look at counseling other ladies with a much more sympathetic heart! It is so much easier to SAY what needs to be done, and a whole different thing to know just how to do it. Thank you both, peacefulwife and anonwife, for your thoughts and support while I am trying to sort so much out in my mind and heart.

          19. 2have2hold,

            I am SUPER glad you have forgiven your husband. That is awesome. Yes, bitterness is SO toxic!

            Okay, I want to be sure I am understanding correctly. You want to feel safe enough to trust again. When you say, “safe” – what is your definition of when you think it is safe to trust a person?

            Are you talking about being “safe” in the sense that your husband won’t fail you again and you won’t be hurt?

            And – YES! It is a totally different thing to tell someone the right thing to do vs. to be someone in a very painful situation and to have to live it out.

          20. Peacefulwife,
            Definition of trust = Firm belief in the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing; confidence or reliance….

            I know that no one is perfect, that everybody, especially me, is capable of failing. What I want to trust, is that my husband will not just make lust a way of living, like I felt it used to be before. I know that men are wired differently than we ladies are. I have spent so much time trying to figure this out when I was first faced with it years ago. So, I know that temptation will come his way daily…..hourly in some cases.

            What I want is to not “think” in my mind that he is yielding to the temptation, I want to trust him enough, that that is not the first thought on my mind when we are faced with that situation. Like I said, we are together so much because we work together. We enjoy each other so much, I don’t want my struggle with trust to ruin that, nor his struggle with the lust of the eye.

            I want to not be hurt when he fails. I want to trust that my husband, like Job, made a covenant with his eyes. I know it must be harder for men in today’s society, than it was for Job, but I don’t believe the bible changes for the day. If it was wrong then, it is wrong now and I believe that God will grant more grace unto the man who struggles with this….in today’s society. I don’t expect to have a perfect husband, truly. I do believe that the past, even though forgiven, steps on the heels of the present. ie, the lack of trust. I feel I have come full circle and hope that I have not confused you.

            Again, thank you for your thoughtfulness of others.

          21. April,
            Okay, I have gone back and looked at your last post to me…you were not talking of trust….you were talking about “safe” and what my definition of “safe” was to me. I have spent more time thinking on that. I guess you were right when you said, “Are you talking about being “safe” in the sense that your husband won’t fail you again and you won’t be hurt?”……yes, that is what I believe I meant by safe. But because I know that my husband is a healthy man, I don’t think that is entirely fair of me. Do I think that my husband will not fail ever again in this? Yes, I believe he will. That is why I have had the anxiety. I know that is what needs to be changed for me. I had spent soooooo much of my time “KNOWING” that he was going to gawk at this woman or that woman, and then when it did happen, I proved myself right. But after my husband apologized to me and tried to make things right…..I never stopped that practice of “KNOWING” what he was going to do, or what he was thinking. So in a nutshell, this is what I NEED help in changing. ME! My way of thinking. What I need prayer for and suggestions would be how to guard my spirit and my thoughts, as well as how to be an encouragement to my husband.

          22. 2have2hold,

            Okay – so you have anxiety that your husband is not going to be able to guarantee to be totally sinless in his thought life – that is what I am hearing.

            Sin is wrong. God hates sin. God doesn’t want your husband to sin in his thoughts even more than you don’t want him to. And God has provided a way through Christ and the Holy Spirit for him to have victory over sin in real life. WOOHOO for that!

            God also hates our sinful thoughts of bitterness, worry, anxiety, fear, unbelief, lack of trust in Him, control, etc… He provided a way through Christ and the Holy Spirit for us to have victory over sin in real life, too! WOOHOO!

            This requires us to take our thoughts captive for Christ. I am personally not expecting myself to be 100% sinless in my thoughts for the rest of my life. I know that is impossible. I am in Christ. And He is changing me and transforming me. He can and does give me victory over sinful thoughts. But I will not be totally sinless until I am in heaven. Sometimes, I will stumble and begin to think a sinful thought. The thing I want to do is to monitor my thoughts with God’s help and to recognize when there are temptations. And I want to recognize sinful thoughts ASAP and shoot them down, replacing them with godly thoughts by the power of the Holy Spirit. I have a post on taking our thoughts captive.

            There are several chapters of very practical suggestions toward the end of Shaunti and Craig’s book about ways wives can bless and encourage their husbands. 🙂

            Much love to you!

  49. The first and most important message I see PW emphasizing is just a generally constructive attitude towards others even when we don’t understand their struggles. 🙂 It’s tempting to look down on someone and/or condemn when we don’t know where they are coming from. That’s such an important message in general. Even when we’re sinned against.

    Personally I feel ashamed in ways I can think of having failed to do this at times. 🙁

  50. I’m just throwing this out there, fwiw–maybe you wrote about this and I forgot:

    Romans 15:1
    We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.

    There will certainly be many cases of wives being generally “stronger” than their husbands in this sense, or even more righteous. This general idea might also be helpful to keep in mind . . . for all of us, of course.

    1. Thanks for this, JC!

      And husbands have plenty of opportunities to bear with their wives in areas where we are weaker, as well. This is a very good thing for all of us to keep in mind.

  51. 2have2hold,
    Perhaps you can consider an analogy. Do you like chocolate cake? Yes, of course. Your brain is designed to *ping* in the reward circuit when you taste chocolate cake. Chocolate cake may even be “bad” for you but your brain will not stop giving you a *ping.* the male brain is wired to receive a *ping* in the reward circuit when looking at the female body, even on paper. A man can no more turn off the *ping* of the view of a female body any more than you can turn off the *ping* when you put a spoonful of chocolate cake in your mouth, no matter how hard you try.

  52. Hi April, you have and continue to be a blessing to my life. I have a straightforward question that I hope is clear. In one of your previous comments you stated “But seeing a woman and then a quick second glance – I’m not willing to assume that is automatically sin. If he did cross the line – he needs to repent to God..” May I ask, if you saw a woman who was very attractive walk past you and your husband, you know he noticed her but you and he keep walking and stop at a store. You see him turn his head quickly to capture a second look while he thinks you are busy looking at items when you saw him clearly in a far away mirror. Your husband then turns his focus back to you and starts talking happily like he didn’t just do that. You know in your gut, and because it was very obvious, that he took a second glance at her. It was probably less than 2 seconds but the intent was to have another look. When you say you aren’t willing to assume it’s automatically sin, what is the ‘it’ you are referring to. The actual timing of it in which case it was 2 seconds which could still be considered leering but enough time to lust, or the intent itself to look again. Which one is ‘crossing the line’? Or, are you saying which is what I initially thought, that your husband may have been curious and took a quick second look at her to see her again and you’re not going to assume his ‘curiosity’ was automatically sin. (In which case I thought ‘wow, she’s is the epitome of who I want to be even more).

    Your other analogy dealt with a wife who was flattered by some handsome stranger’s attention and the husband shouldn’t cuddle into the fetal position over that. I breathed a sigh of relief there, it’s true at least in my case that my husband isn’t torn that I might find some random stranger attractive. So after reading this and then re-reading what you wrote about about the second glance I wanted to know how the woman who is such a blessing would handle it (knowing for sure he did it to see her quickly again). Would you confront him calmly? Was the second glance with intent to look (he doesn’t do it in front of you often or at all but in this case it was obvious and there is no denying we’re going to assume) considered crossing the line and would you mention it to him?

    Thank you April, I know you answer will be inspired by God and that is what I need to hear.

    1. Moon,

      By “it” I mean – a quick second glance. I don’t know a man’s heart or even if he intentionally looked briefly a second time or it was a reflex or something or just curiosity. I am not going to judge a quick second take. I’ll leave that up to God to judge. Now, if a man continues to leer, ogle, stare, and drool over a woman – well, that starts to get into more obvious issues, in my view. But I want to be careful not to make myself the judge and jury for my husband or for a man – especially my husband – when I am not privy to what he is thinking. I don’t want to make hasty assumptions of evil intentions or motives – especially for a split second glance.

      Honestly, I don’t study my husband’s every reaction to every woman that passes by. I really don’t think about it. I notice that there are beautiful women when they pass by or if they appear on the screen on the TV or something. I don’t mention it. I don’t think about it. I don’t freak out about what my husband is or is not thinking. But I don’t obsess over “How many nanoseconds is he looking at this woman and what will that mean for our marriage?” It just doesn’t occur to me to think like that. I feel very secure in our marriage and his love. I know he thinks I am beautiful. I know he is committed to me.

      It seems self-sabotaging to me to freak out about a woman walking past my husband. I know my husband works hard to guard his heart. I know that if he does decide to lust – me freaking out won’t help – it will only make things worse.

      I just enjoy being with my husband and enjoy his company and continue on talking and it is pretty much a non-issue for me. Now, I do have to say, my husband doesn’t leer. Or, I haven’t seen him ogling, leering, or drooling. So – that makes it easier, I am sure. We have had very pleasant, friendly conversations about what is tempting for each of us and how we deal with it and how we can help each other. I don’t think of myself as his “thought police” or his “thought monitor.” I trust the Holy Spirit to take care of that job.

      I don’t see a reason to mention a quick second glance or to confront a man about that. If there is obvious prolonged staring and his jaw is hanging open for 20 seconds or something – then there might be a situation that could require some attention.

      What I have noticed over the past 4 years of writing about this topic every so often is that a lot of women REALLY freak out about the quick second glance. And it seems to me like when they do this – they end up repelling their husbands over something that may not even actually be sin. That breaks my heart! If there is clear sin – it might be something we need to address. But I don’t see value in making a lot of assumptions. I used to do that about a lot of other things – and I was wrong. My wrong assumptions of my husband’s motives created a lot of destruction and division in our marriage on those other issues.

      I am not saying sin is okay. I am not saying lust is something not to be upset about. Lust is hurtful. It hurts the person who is lusting. It hurts his/her spouse. It grieves God’s heart. Sin is wrong. I don’t condone sin. But I fear that sometimes we may assume sin in our husband’s hearts and minds when that may not be even happening. It would be awful – to me – to shame a man for something if he didn’t even sin against God or against us.

      Check out this post on shame to get a better feel of what a man’s world is like today – even in the church.

      1. Thank you, your response was healing. I can understand why women freak out when they instinctually know a second glance was to satisfy their husbands visual appetite but not to mention it and not to dwell or equate it with lack of love in a marriage is necessary for our spiritual health. To leave him accountable to God alone, especially within an otherwise healthy marriage. On a separate note, with all the evils we hear happening in the news today and how temporary and fragile our lives are, I sometimes feel bad even praying for healing for me when I feel so many other people need it more. In other words, sometimes in the middle of prayer to heal myself (and always with a heart of thankfulness for all of my blessings) thoughts go to something horrible happening to an innocent and I feel guilty for praying for healing for myself when someone else is suffering that very moment. But someone told me that God has enough grace and love for everyone. Still, i feel not bad enough off to pray for myself when the evils going around the world to innocent people are paramount to my personal issues. I also wonder, some of those people are God fearing too and their children are ripped away from them for example or a mass shooting takes place and kills a loved one, that grief is an abyss and here I am praying over my insecurity. It just hurts and confuses me a bit. Thank you again and God bless you

        1. Moon,

          If a second glance is to satisfy lust – I can understand a wife freaking out – not that freaking out will be helpful. But I could understand it. But if it is a reflex or unconscious thing to look once more for a split second or something – I would love for us to be careful before chomping our husbands’ heads off. I think that there is a lot we don’t know about exactly what is going on in our husbands’ minds and hearts as women. So I would love for us to err on the side of assuming the best rather than assuming the worst when possible.

          My dear sister! God is completely sovereign over every atom and subatomic particle in the universe. God is not a small little wimp! He controls the galaxies. He controls the weather and our heartbeats. He gives us air to breathe and food to eat. He gives us 3D color vision and allows us to hear music and to taste delicious food. There is no limit to how much attention God can give to each of us. You are standing beside the ocean. No need to be afraid to dip your teacup into the water and think you will use it all up and there won’t be anything left for anyone else.

          Pray for yourself for spiritual and emotional healing. And pray for others who are hurting. There is room for all kinds of prayers. And don’t forget to praise God, thank Him, and confess any sin. Then your walk with Christ will be well-rounded and vibrant.

          Much love to you!

          Please search my home page for:

          – insecurity
          – needy
          – security
          – peace

  53. I’d be happy to hear any womans or mans response to the dilemma i have with the world and prayer in my above post. Thank you!

  54. Dear April! I’m struggling. When will this pain leave me? I have wonderfull christian marriage. Glory to God! My husband is the best person I know. Yet he lied to me. All these wonderfull years there was a secret addiction to porn. And I don’t know for sure whre we are now because I don’t want to spy and he dosn’t want to discuss this topic cause shame and guilt is overwhalming. But my pain feels more or less but doesn’t go away at all. It’s 6 month since discovery. When will I be ably not to suffer?….

    1. Kate,

      Oh goodness! That is SOOOO PAINFUL!

      How is your walk with Christ going? How severe was the addiction? You haven’t spoken about it at all since then, not even to establish transparency and accountability? Does your husband have a godly guy mentor to help him?

      I hope you will search my home page for a few topics that I believe may possibly shed some light and healing on your heart, my precious sister:

      The Root of All Marriage Problems
      – Porn
      – Bitterness
      – Forgiveness
      – Idol/idols/idolatry
      – Fear
      – Shame
      – Filled with the Holy Spirit
      Trusting God with My Husband

      Also, the site http://www.xxxchurch.org has resources for those addicted to porn and for spouses of those addicted.

      How is your walk with Christ going at this time? That is going to be very key. It is not that you will get to the point that sin doesn’t hurt you – sin hurts us and it deeply grieves God’s heart. But you can find healing and victory and you can learn to forgive and extend grace. The book Grace Filled Marriage has a chapter on this issue about a husband’s porn use and a wife’s bitterness that may be helpful.

      Until I truly saw my own mountain of sin (for me, it was pride, self-righteousness, control, disrespect, unbelief in God, gossip, bitterness, unforgiveness, idolatry of self/happiness/romance/my husband/children/luxury) I wasn’t able to forgive my husband for sin in his life. But after I saw the depth of my own wretched sinfulness and realized I was not better than my husband or anyone else on the planet and was desperately in need of the grace and mercy of Christ, and I truly received it… then I began to have God’s power to extend grace, forgiveness, and mercy to my husband and to others. it is a journey and a process.

      If the sin is continuing, that is a problem. I would love to see y’all have the support you need and the resources you need to fight this thing as a team. Your husband is not the enemy. Satan and sin are the enemy. Team up with God and your husband against the real enemy, my sister!

      Much love!

      1. O, thank you so much , April! I’m in such a turmoil. Actually I start to realise I neither love God nor my husband though I pretend to do this. I didn’t know I could be sooooo jealous. I desperatly want to catch him. If I realise he has not been watching for long time I can’t say I’m happy. I just think that I’ve not noticed, but I need to notice. What for? What am I doing? I’m crazy. Looks like his addiction is realitively smalll Glory to God! Whereas mine is so huge and painfull. I may be triggered by something and then I start concentrating on this problem way to much and can’t stop that. Looks like a confession. It is….

      2. Dear April. Thank you for the support! I’m in peace now glory to God, I’ve received so much help from Him!!!
        Actually I have made some conclusions which are really helpfull now. And I feel less jealousy then even before the discovery. I just realised that his heart is to be monitored only be God I’m not able to handle all it’s issues and I actually have no idea what is in there. Previously I thought I should struggle for his love and for his drive and passion. Now I understand that brings so much worries and no result. It’s better to put it in God’s hands.

        1. Kate,
          Wow! That is AWESOME!!!! How I praise God for what He is doing in your heart!!!

          Thank you very much for the update. I pray God will continue His healing work and power in your life and in your husband’s life and your marriage for His glory!

  55. Each time I hear, that men are visual I start to think does that mean they are designed more sinful sexually? Does that mean they will sin more than women in that area? That’s actually come to mind since women share their pain more often. Men do not share their problems in relationships so easily. Yet I read a story of a man concerned by his wife’s online affairs. The point was he was not able to satisfy her, he could say 100 compliments but that would not compete with a one dirty comment from an online stranger. She just receieved her dopamine strike that way. Isn’t his pain the same as ours? The temptation was not visiual, does it sound any better?

    1. Kate,

      Some men are more visual than some women. But there are some women who are visual, too. I believe God designed men to be visually sexually stimulated. But I don’t agree that God purposely designed anyone to have sinful tendencies. We are sinners now because of the fall. But God doesn’t tempt us (James 1). We are each tempted by our own evil desires.

      Of course his pain is the same as a wife’s pain would be regarding a husband’s visual temptation. Also, men can hurt very much when their wives disrespect them, or share their deepest secrets or vulnerabilities with others in gossip, or when their wives flirt with other men, or are bitter and resentful.

      All sin is destructive. It can feel like our husband’s sins are “worse” if we don’t have the same temptations – but all sin can ultimately destroy marriages and relationships. Pride is the root of every sin, and it is extremely damaging to our marriages.

      Thanks for the great point!

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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