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"I Want to Be Desired by Other Men, Too"

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A reader and I are tag-teaming together to write about this – in conversation style.  I greatly appreciate her contribution and willingness to share so vulnerably. My prayer is that God might use this post to help many other women break free from these kinds of destructive, toxic thoughts:

Do any of these thoughts sound familiar or tempting?

  • I want other men to notice me and be attracted to me.
  • I want other men to be jealous that they don’t have me.
  • I want other men to lust for me.
  • I want to know that other men find me irresistible or tempting.
  • I want other men to think I am really interesting, beautiful, sexy, and fun to be around.
  • I like for other men to flirt with me to prove that I am a good catch.
  • I like to know that I am still attractive to other men, too.
  • I want to know that other men want to fall in love with me.

FROM A READER:

Yes, you’re one the right track with those, and it goes deeper (for me) as well…

… like a woman’s sense of self-worth or validation comes from her ability to attract a man and have him love her.

I thought as a girl that the “proof” that I was lovable or valuable was having a guy fall in love with me. My operating in this belief not only left several broken hearts behind me as I selfishly looked for the next “project” to build my confidence up, but even now that I’m saved and married, I still feel the desire to know that I still have enough attraction/interest to attract a mate creep up (especially when I feel unappreciated by my husband).

My Dad left us when I was in elementary school, and I took it very personally.

I began to long for the love of a man for personal validation, and developed the idea that perfect happiness would be a marriage where I’m 100% satisfying to my man, and he’s 100% satisfying to me, a sort of mutual worship.

I got saved after being married, and though I see the idolatry of this, I still struggle hugely with wrapping my self-worth and happiness in how I’m loved my by husband. When my husband has an outburst of anger (never violent, but he has a temper), I take it very personally, as though he’s saying I’m unlovable or he hates me (even though he’s never said these words, but that’s how it feels to me).

If I can get “looks” or hints of interest from another man, especially one that seems reasonable and in good-standing, it reassures me that my husband is wrong – I am still lovable, and a man out there might be happy to have me as his wife even if my husband isn’t.

There’s a lot of pain and confusion in trying to write that out, but what stands out to me is the issue of trying to find my satisfaction outside of Christ and my self-worth outside of Christ, as well idolizing romantic love and adultery of the heart.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

Whose approval do you really need? What gives you your worth and value? These are critical questions to prayerfully consider.

Check out these posts and see if they might be a blessing, my dear sister:

 

FROM THE SAME READER:

There were definitely some things that stood out like a sore thumb in some of those blog posts, mostly the idea that I will never be enough to make my husband love me perfectly.

This is a huge blow to my pride!

But instead of humbling myself and agreeing that I’m not enough to satisfy my husband perfectly or have him be able to love me perfectly, that I am unworthy to be worshipped or idolized, and then looking to Christ who IS worthy of worship, my heart has secretly sought to find it’s longed-for worship in whatever way it can – if not by my husband, then the easiest/fastest being the cheap idolatry of looks from men or the ability to rouse interest in them.

  • But it is NOT my husband’s job to idolize me or worship me. And when he doesn’t idolize me, I’m not justified in seeking to secure these things in other men, though that’s how my pride feels in the moment.

To be faced with the truth that I’m not enough to make my husband love me perfectly is a humiliating blow to my pride. But rather than trying to cover this humiliation by letting my idol of self loose to get fed any way it can (thus strengthening the idol of my pride), I can let the humiliation have it’s intended work on my heart – to humble myself before Christ, my all-sufficient Saviour, who ALONE is worthy of worship and praise, and who saw the ugly truth of my sin and suffered and died because of it.

It’s not about me. Christ calls me to DENY myself.

That overfed idol of my pride needs to be starved out. So when my idol is hungry for a meal (the adoration of my husband), or a snack (a look from another man), I have a choice.

  • Who will be fed today, my flesh or my spirit?
  • Will I scrounge for worship of self, or worship Him who alone is worthy of worship?

I pray God does in me what only He can do. I pray He teach me to worship and praise Him from a sincere heart.

I feel like we’re getting to the core of the sin, pride and desiring to be idolized by my husband or others. I think the deeper part is that I’m really putting myself before God in my heart. It can be confusing, because sometimes I think my motives for seeking God or trying to become a godly wife are tinged by pride as well, trying to impress others or God by my “godliness.” Sometimes I feel I can’t even discern to true motives of my heart, and feel stuck in the deceptiveness of my own pride.

I’ve been feeling God drawing me to His word daily. I need to renewing of my mind and to trust that He will do it. I can’t get unstuck in the tangles of my pride and sin on my own. I need to truly come to God for this work and stop trying to do it on my own.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

I am so glad that you are getting to the core of the issue! That is wonderful!  Pride is the source of all other sins. From it flow all of our arrogance that we know better than God, that we can use God as a means-to-an-end, that we can get people to think highly of us, that we are good in and of ourselves, that we can justify our sin, etc…

Pride is blinding and very deceptive, yes!

I got to read a book last month by Andrew Murray called “Humility.” It was POWERFUL. I would encourage you to check it out for free at this link!

You are right that we do have to watch our motives about seeking God or trying to become a godly wife. We do have to watch for pride and guard against it. All of us. Myself included. We can’t do this on our own. We are in total and desperate need of Jesus and His work on our behalf every moment of every day.

Sinning against Our Husbands, Our Brothers in Christ, and other Men:

Let’s also think about how much of a betrayal it is to our husbands and our marriage covenant if we purposely try to grab the attention of another man. We would never want our husbands to do that to us! I want us to be trustworthy and loyal – always honoring our marriage covenant in our hearts – whether things seem to be going well at the moment or not.

Let’s dress with modesty and act and think with modesty around other men – out of reverence for God and respect for ourselves, our husbands, our marriages, and other men. How wrong it is to purposely put a stumbling block in a brother’s path to try to get him to sin by lusting after us. God will hold us accountable for such motives. We should be encouraging others to live holy, godly lives, not encouraging anyone to stumble into sin because of us.

Godly Beauty:

Thankfully, ALL of us have the ability to have feminine, godly beauty that is of great worth in God’s sight. As we yield fully to Him as LORD of all in our lives and we allow Him to transform us and regenerate our souls and minds – He empowers us to have His overflowing peace, joy, and gentleness. He enables us to receive all that He has for us in Christ and to receive our husbands’ love. He gives us the ability to not freak out, become doormats, or control-freaks –  but to do what is right without giving way to fear. That is the essence of Godly femininity. 🙂

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:3-4

SHARE:

Have you experienced tempting thoughts like this? You are welcome to share your struggles and to share how God has helped you have victory over them, as well, if you feel so led.

Much love to each of you! I am praying for y’all daily!

RELATED:

Godly Femininity

Taking Our Thoughts Captive – Peacefulwife video

Tearing Out the Idols in Our Hearts  – Peacefulwife video

Dying to Self

25 Ways to Respect Myself

60 thoughts on “"I Want to Be Desired by Other Men, Too"

  1. Hi April, I just want to thank you so much for this post! I can so much relate to this, and what an eye opener that we have pride and idolatry in our hearts if this is our “symptoms”.
    I have found your blog about 2 weeks ago, and I am learning so much! I am currently in a situation where my husband said he is done, but does not want to leave, because of our 2 little boys. I have found God like never before, and your blog is a HUGE help! I would love to email you my story in the near future, hopefully with an awesome God-glorifying testimony!

    xxx

    1. Elsabe,

      It is wonderful to meet you! I’m glad this post was a blessing. It can be difficult for us sometimes to even realize what our motives are and to see our sin clearly. Sometimes a post like this helps to shine the light of God’s Word on our hearts to help us examine sinful motives and to be willing to tear them all out and throw them away so that we can build our lives on God and on holiness.

      If you need to talk more about what is going on, I’m here. 🙂

      Praying for God’s healing for you both individually in Christ and then together for your marriage and family.

      Much love to you!

      1. Thank you so much for your quick and heartfelt response, April. I would definitely love to email you and ask for a bit of advice, if you are willing, for it would take me a long time to work through all your posts! (which I will do in anyway) 🙂

        God bless you and your ministry!

        xxx

        1. elsabe,

          I wish I could email everyone who wants to email. I used to do that earlier on with the blog and it was my favorite thing! But 2 years ago, I realized I was spending 4-5 hours per day on emails. Now, I would be spending probably 12 hours per day or more on emails if I were to try to do that again. Since I can’t possibly do that – I am trying to be as available as possible here, on my Youtube channel, and on my FB pages. If you need private counseling, you may want to check out http://www.focusonthefamily.org‘s free counseling service.

          I am glad to talk here about anything you feel that you may share.

          Much love to you! 🙂

          1. Elsabe,

            If there is anything you feel free to discuss here, or you want to just search posts on topics on my home page – you are most welcome to. But I do understand the need for privacy and discretion. I completely respect that.

            Much love to you!

  2. Dear Sisters,

    This post really cuts to the heart, and for a former hopeless romantic like me, I can relate to this feeling of wanting to be desired by others besides my husband.

    I think contentment in this regard needs to start when someone is single. We need to be content in being loved and desired by God, and not seeking such adoration from a man (or men). When the right man comes along, he isn’t feeding a need to be loved, desired and appreciated, but having learnt to love and receive love from God, you are able to love this man, and receive his love, without any neediness.

    When we enter marriages out of neediness, it is likely that we will continue to battle neediness in our marriages too. I wrote something related to this topic on my blog ages ago – Great Expectations.

    I appreciate you, April. Your ministry is such an inspiration. Keep it up, and may God keep your crown for you xoxo

    1. Ufuomaee,

      I totally agree that this kind of contentment in Christ should start when we are single. Then we would be in a position of great wisdom and strength in Christ, empowered by His Spirit, as we choose a spouse. I would love for women to enter relationships and marriage without neediness and without idolizing their husbands, romance, marriage, and worldly things.

      Would you please allow me to share your comment on my post on this topic today for single women at http://www.peacefulsinglegirl.com? Or you are welcome to share there in case the ladies there want to talk with you. 🙂

      Much love to you!

  3. “Let’s also think about how much of a betrayal it is to our husbands and our marriage covenant if we purposely try to grab the attention of another man. We would never want our husbands to do that to us! I want us to be trustworthy and loyal – always honoring our marriage covenant in our hearts.”

    This is what I think is so important for a healthy marriage relationship. It’s the lack of loyalty to a husband that is potentially destroying to the entire marriage (and what is most scary to me when reading something like this)! I’m so glad the writer has gotten to the deeper part of loyalty in a marriage! They are on a good path!

    I have had men ask me out sometimes when out without my husband – and mostly? It’s embarrassing and awful! But that will happen even if we’re dressed down and frumpy (wrote about that here: https://girlwithadragonflytattoo.com/2016/01/21/married-women-flirting-loyalty/ ). I used to be more quiet and shy, so it took me a long time to be ok with being beautiful (and being noticed by other men) even when I was single, until about college when I accepted it. I think sometimes we can be so insecure in ourselves, that we actually want men to NOT notice us, and to disappear. Figuring out how to handle male attention (that you’re not trying to attract or advertise) in a godly, appropriate way was redeeming for me, and a chance to bless those men or build them up in confidence.

    Hopefully she won’t get like I did and be actually afraid of male attention or men being attracted to her and have anxiety. So glad that she’s come to this understanding!

    1. Dragonfly,

      Thank you for sharing your story – and for talking about that you can go too far to the other extreme, too. And thank you for emphasizing the importance of our loyalty to our husbands. That is a huge key! We need to be trustworthy women.

      I believe we can respond to men with godliness, respect for God/self/our husbands/our marriages/the other men, dignity, poise, grace, and often with gentleness. They may not realize we are married. I don’t think it is necessary to be hateful. Of course, if a man continues to persist after we share that we are married, we will have to be more firm and may need to try to cut contact in some cases.

      I have had this happen many times – my usual response if a guy asks me out is to smile and say something like, “I’m happily married. But, thank you.” End of discussion. If a guy continues to persist, I have had to be much more firm. (And there have been times I was being stalked – once at Walmart, sometimes in parking lots – where I had to get help from security.) But usually, a polite, respectful, brief answer works just fine. No need to freak out!

  4. I love the quote from Kay Arthur when she shares about a time she was tempted to flirt with a man and realized how destructive it could be to her walk with Christ, her ministry, her marriage, and her witness:

    “Flirting and the Gospel do NOT go together!”

    So true!!!!! We have no business flirting with other men or looking for their attention in sexual/sensual/romantic ways as married Christian women. I don’t want us to grieve God’s Spirit or our husbands. Let’s keep our eyes on Christ, ladies! 🙂

  5. Wow. This post affected me in an interesting way. My first thought was “WHO thinks like this? This is NUTS!”

    I don’t have this problem, but I can relate to a couple things the poster said. (Other men have never noticed me, so this isn’t an issue for me. My husband says this isn’t true, that men check me out way more than I realize. But I have never seen it. Regardless of which one of us is right, it doesn’t affect me because even if it has happened, I’ve never noticed.) My point is, it actually blew my mind that there are women who think that way.

    Don’t get me wrong, I suffer from a pride problem, too, it just manifests itself in a different way. I’m working on it.

    What jumped out at me first is when the poster wrote about how her husband’s temper makes her feel unloved or hated. I so understand that!!! My husband grew up in a house full of screaming people. He screams a LOT when he is frustrated. Sometimes I just shut down, but more often I’ll say, “why do you hate me so much? Why did you marry me if you hate me?” Then he acts all confused and says, “I love you, stop saying I hate you.” Then stop screaming!! Oh that is a tough one for us. He sometimes doesn’t even realize he’s doing it. It’s incredibly frustrating!

    The second part, where we are a lot alike, is the pride thing. Again, mine manifests itself differently (self hatred, false humility, etc.) but it Is STILL BAD and it still needs to be dealt with. I also need to learn to find my self worth in Jesus Christ and not in man (including my husband). I handle the struggle way differently than you might, but the cause is the same (PRIDE) and the cure is the same (JESUS).

    But last, and hardest to admit, but the best thing I’ve gotten out of this, is you have given me a bit of understanding about other women who do the things you describe. Women I get jealous of. Women I think are purposely trying to hurt me. Women I assume are far better than me, far more confident, and far more loveable. I get so upset when we go out and there is a woman, usually dressed inappropriately, who is flirty, often loud, and often strutting around to make sure everyone sees her. Men cannot help but notice her. Women notice her, too.

    Some women wonder “is that what beauty is? Is that what my husband wants? He’s certainly noticing. Do I need to be more like her? Am I not good enough? Does he even love me?” Yes, my thoughts have gone there. And I have felt bitter, and angry towards the woman. I’ve wondered (about these women) – why are you doing this?? Isn’t your beauty enough for you? Isn’t your husband enough for you? Why do you have to entice everyone else’s man, too? I have always felt these women were just plain cruel. I’m so sorry! But you have given me a new perspective. I have never thought about this from the point of view of the woman doing it (although my husband has told me a bunch of times “she just wants attention – from anybody”).

    So from now on, I am going to try to replace jealousy with compassion. I’m going to try to not get mad at my husband for noticing what’s being flaunted in front of him. I will pray for him, for our marriage, and I will try to pray for the woman doing the flaunting. I will pray for my heart, and for her heart to get right. I’ll pray for God to show her her pride issue, and for me not to get prideful in my own way. I’ll pray she learns to see herself the way God sees her, and I’ll try to do the same thing. So thank you for sharing the struggles of these women. I never saw this issue this way.

    Just one more thing, if I may humbly ask women who struggle with this, as the original poster did. If you feel the need to entice other men to bolster your own self worth, please consider what you are doing to his family. Think about the wife he loves, who’s feelings you may be crushing. Think about the troubles you could be adding to in their marriage. And please understand it’s not just married men who are noticing you. You may also be tempting teen sons who are trying very hard to stay pure.

    Thank you for sharing. I never realized there were women who struggled with this, and I have been doing a lot of misjudging. I’m praying for you!

    1. Becca,

      WOW!

      The insights, compassion, humility, and wisdom God is pouring out over you through this post and His working in your life in the past two weeks BLOW MY MIND! 🙂 I never get tired of watching God transform and heal people like this. I know you still have a long path ahead. That is totally fine. But the progress He is already making in you is breath-taking!!!!

      THANK YOU for sharing all of these thoughts you have had. Thank you for sharing from the opposite perspective and for sharing the similarities and for being willing to look on others with the perspective and compassion of Christ, realizing they need Jesus and that He alone can fill up the empty void that we try to fill with so many other things that will never satisfy.

      My heart is overflowing with joy to see God work His beauty in you, my sister! 🙂

      1. Thank you April. It feels so much more peaceful to try to think this way. I was in a great deal of angst before, far more than I realized. It’s like when you finally start to eat healthier, and then you didn’t realize how crummy you were feeling until you started feeling better. It’s kinda like that. I didn’t realize how miserable I was until I started to feel some measure of peace. But yes, I have a long way to go. I’m just so thankful to be finally heading in the right direction. I’m so glad you have been willing to steer me back onto the right path – oh, I don’t know, 426 times over the past three years or so. 🙂

        It’s hard. I slipped up late last week. My husband invited me to go to a home improvement store with him, and I did. While we were there, there was a woman with a very nice figure in very revealing workout clothes and I felt that old jealousy come rushing back. I stopped and let my husband walk ahead of me. When he realized this, he stopped and said, “what are you doing?” And I said, “just staying out of your way.” This really upset him. He kinda snapped at me. But I caught myself and I was very quiet and did a lot of speed praying as we were checking out at the register. When we got in the car I apologized and he apologized for snapping. It did put a damper on the next couple days, but I’m pleased to say neither one of us overreacted after that. He shared how he hates it when I do things like that. I shared that I sometimes feel like I’m in the way. He wants me to stop feeling like that, he says he wanted to be there with me, and no one else, and to please stop doing things like walking behind him. I need to believe him. I need to do better.

        Yesterday was pretty good, but we still have a lot of communication issues, and some of it is him. It’s not all me. 🙂 But again, we were able to talk and every time I was tempted to go on a put-me-down tirade it was like someone was holding my mouth shut. That’s a good thing! I only said constructive things, and he listens to my side much more when I’m not ranting. I could have easily slipped into self-pity mode, but I decided not to. I just got back from running. I’ve been kind of lazy lately, and I feel a real need to run again. And this time it’s for me. If I drop a few extra pounds, great, but it’s more for the healing, if that makes sense. The fresh air, the sunshine, the endorphins, the tightening up of different muscles – and I sing praise songs in my head as I run – so the worship time, it’s all very therapeutic. It’s a LOT better than pouting.

        Oh! I almost forgot. I’m also not mad at my husband for getting upset, even though some times this weekend he has taken me the wrong way and sometimes it seems like he doesn’t realize I’m trying. But can I fault him for responding to the way I behaved for three years, instead of the way I’ve behaved for the past three days? No. I understand why it’s going to take time for both of us. So many women have shared on here how it takes their husbands a while to believe in the changes. That’s helpful for me to know going into this. So I understand. Understanding feels good. Better than frustration.

        But yes, I’m optimistic, but not overly so this time. I realize this is not a quick fix. I am really going slowly, but I think I need to. In a way, it’s like running. When I rush in and act like, “I’m going to change everything overnight!” I burn out fast. Slow and steady. Lots of prayer. God is so good.

        1. Becca,

          When you finally get to really feel a bit of God’s peace – it is SO AMAZING! Then you truly do realize how much anxiety and fear and angst you were living in before. Makes you never want to go back to the old way. Or – it sure did for me!

          I can totally understand how your husband would hate you assuming such awful things about him when you see a beautiful woman nearby. Stay beside him. He has chosen you and has been one of the most patient men on the planet! 🙂 Stay beside him and be thankful he loves you so much and wants to be with you.

          I love the changes you are making and that you are going slowly and that you are being patient with your husband because this is all new and it will take time for him to know that this is for real.

          God IS so good! WOOHOO!!!!!!

          This just makes my day!

  6. I really love your blog. It deals with issues that I think a lot of Christian women blogs would not like to deal with. I think this issue is a lot more disturbing for a lady that is closer to the cultural notion of beauty. When a woman in this culture is considered ugly then she doesn’t have that option. A woman that is considered in the American culture as ugly doesn’t look at other men she gets focused on God and praying that her husband will stay with her and that she can please him.

    But you know don’t be so hard on our Christian ladies living in America. Look at everything around us. The TV, movies, books, stores, everything tells a woman in our culture that if men aren’t finding her sexy and wanting her that there is something wrong with her. When I lost my son’s father I went to these places to find a date. The lady at “It’s Just Lunch” told me I was too old, ugly and poor for any man even if he were 100 years old to love me or want me. What Kind of talk is that? See no one says,” We have men of good Christian character and we see that you to are of good Christian character so we know we can match you up because of your character. So you know the poor women in this country. The culture has made it that a woman’s worth is based on how beautiful and sexy she is.

    1. Modest Christian,

      Unfortunately, we are ALL bombarded with this awful lie that our worth is in our “sexiness” continuously in the media, at work, sometimes at church and from our own family members. It is certainly not something most of us had to make up out of thin air. Yes, this message is everywhere. 🙁 And the men hear a similar message – but for them, it is that they have to make lots of money and be “hot” and drive a cool car or no woman would ever want them. SO heartbreaking!

      And yet – it is up to us to ask God to help us see and get rid of any ungodly ideas – even if our culture is saturated with these lies. We must choose to reject them and to build our lives on God’s truth and Christ alone.

      I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your husband. 🙁 Please accept my sympathy, my precious sister.

      What that lady said to you was so cruel. I think most of us have experienced similar insults in one way or another. I know I have. I was told many times that no man would love me because I did’t have a big enough chest. What a horrible message for a 12 year old and then later a high school girl to receive. I still receive insults about this at times – but thankfully – I know that my worth is not in my chest size. It is in Jesus! PRAISE GOD FOR THAT!

      Thank you for sharing. I pray you will not absorb that woman’s words or take them into your heart – but keep your identity and worth in Christ.

      Much love!

      1. That is so sad. But that not having a big enough chest is a lie. And, I’ve known sisters that wanted to cut theirs smaller. No I don’t absorb that woman’s words. I know they are just parroting what they see in the media. We need to love ourselves as God loves us just the way we are.

        1. Modest Christian,

          Exactly! We can appreciate our bodies and rejoice in God’s overwhelming love for us – allowing Him to pour it out through us to many others – no matter what we look like, how much money we make, how nice our house is, or any other worldly measure of status.

  7. I’m very glad that you had the guts to admit to this and spell it out like it is, a pride issue. I lived it for many years.

    I can honestly say that my having this exact issue led to the divorce of my first husband.

    I recognize it all around me with other women and want to warn them of the consequenses of such behavior. Most don’t want to hear it, but sharing this article is a way to reach them, hopefully.

    I wish there had been a Titus 2 woman in my life that if she recognized this pattern in me would have tried to reach me. Whether or not I would have listened, I will never know. Thank God in this age of technologhy, which I have mixed feelings about, I’ve been led to people such as Lori Alexander Always Learning blog, I have learned what a true biblical wife/marriage are.

    I strive to live what I’ve learned from those such as yourself, and have been blessed beyond measure in my marriage to my second husband. Not to paint it as being easy because it was not. Some of the same patterns were coming out in me, and my second marrriage, like so many others – it could have ended also. It took some real tough soul searching, prayer, scripture study and change in me to have the marriage I have now.

    Do I wish I had done things differently in my first marriage? ABSOLUTELY! Those will be years of regret the rest of my life.

    That is why I have such a desire to try and reach other women before they have regrets such as mine to live with. I ask God to send me women to disciple. I heard something on my Christian radio this morning that I liked. We teach what we know but we reproduce who we are. My hope and prayer is to be living in such a way from now on that by my example it will reproduce other wives who do what is necessary to have a biblical marriage. Through that we will all bring greater honor and glory to God.

    Thank you for giving me the space to share this and for your time to read it.

    1. Lover of the Maker of My Soul,

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am very grateful to the wives who are willing to speak up about how dangerous thoughts like this ended up with really awful consequences. How I pray that other wives will hear and take heed – that they may learn from you and the others who are sharing and not have to travel that road of heartbreak themselves.

      Thank you for your willingness to reach out to other women to try to share God’s wisdom with them before they make choices they regret that cause pain in every relationship they have. I praise God for the way He has opened your eyes and how He has changed your heart and is using you for the kingdom now!

      Much love!

  8. All 4 years until my husband ran off, I was very mindful and intentional about not seeking this attention and guarding my eyes against even looking at other men. I would even look away when someone was attractive.

    Now that he left and I know he is in dating and singles’ groups, even before we were legally separated not less our covenant sacrament, I was tempted to take off my ring, to flirt with someone. I prayed and decided I am staying faithful now despite his possible infidelity and disregard for our covenant, bond and friendship and very adamant intention to divorce.

    I cannot express the pain but I have read much more powerful testimonies and worse cases. Please pray I can endure and for his heart of stone and freedom from the lies and deception it seems (I don’t really know, very little communication and it is very cold).

    1. JR,

      Thank you for sharing – but OH MY – what a painful situation. 🙁 My heart breaks for you, my sister!

      Thank you for sharing the temptation you felt. I can certainly understand why you felt tempted – but how I praise God that you decided to be faithful to your covenant in spite of your husband’s failure to honor your marriage covenant. I believe God blesses spouses in such situations and sees their faithfulness and obedience. You are a living example of the way God loves us.

      Praying for God’s healing for you both and for God to make something beautiful from the ashes, my precious sister!

  9. I can definitely, honestly say that I’m not remotely interested in other men’s attention to bolster my pride/make me feel worthy, and the only man who I want to admire me is my husband, but I’ve always been that way. I am not good at flirting or trying to get attention from men. I had a guy on a bus recently start chatting to me and asking me if I was married or single (I wear a ring, I’m not sure why he even thought to ask) and I got off the bus two stops early (on my way to a doc appointment) because it made me so weirded out. Not flattering at all, just weird.
    However, I do have pride and self worth issues that I need to work on those and not use earthly things to bolster them so I can learn from this post!

    1. motherofmadcatsandbabies,

      We don’t all have the exact same sinful tendencies. But when we dig down to the root – pride – we do all have issues with that. I love that we can learn from each other – even when sometimes our struggles might be a bit different. Thank you so much for sharing your perspective and the issues you notice in your life.

      Much love!

  10. Hi April,

    I just wanted to take a minute to tell you that I am so proud of you and your willingness to step out and tell these truths. In my early years of marriage, we learned legalism and lots of “supposed to” ideas that were easy to pass on to our husbands as the way it should be. No telling the numbers of men that then got entangled in pornography and other addictions to comfort their sensitive, wounded hearts and feel accepted.

    All I know is that the percentage of men, including Christian men, that struggle with purity is huge. I am thankful to have had an older woman mentor me and other girls in my group for many years. She forced us to be transparent with each other. You are so right that we have to individually work on our marriages daily and be committed to it. I had a wonderfully godly mother, but women are no longer taught the things you are willing to explore.

    I love reading your posts. The blog is easy to navigate and I am weekly sending your posts to women I am encouraging and who have no idea what their behavior is doing to their husbands. I know we are not ultimately responsible for their choices, but what an impact we can have if we will turn our eyes away from “me, me, me”. I have a new daughter-in-law and one on the way. What a joy it is to share this information with them as they ask and be able to arm them to love my boys. As they learn, it empowers my boys to fully be who God intended in their marriages.

    We have choices – but, if we as women and sisters aren’t talking in a real way we’re just left with yearning hearts.  Thank you for your obedience and willingness to talk about these issues; to take a chance to encourage women and guide them by the prompting of the Holy Spirit to whole marriages. 

    In Him,

    Debbie

    1. Debbie,

      My philosophy is that we need to just lay everything – every single issue – out on the table and hash through it together in the light of God’s Word. I want all of my sisters (and brothers) to be completely freed from the lies of the enemy and from our sinful nature, that we might walk in the power of God’s Spirit and victory over every sin!

      Yes, the percentage of men who struggle with visual purity is very big – and there are also women who struggle with it – and with same-sex attraction, too. We sometimes forget that we may be tempting other women, as well. And then, we also may be tempting women with poor self-worth to spiral into greater depression and self-loathing, as well. Sin hurts so many people – including ourselves. When we cherish sinful motives in our hearts, we forfeit the power of God in our lives and we are controlled by our old sinful nature. That is an oppressive prison – a horrible place to be!

      Thank you for sharing posts with other women. I am so grateful and pray that God might use these posts to richly bless many of our sisters in Christ, their relationship with Jesus, and their marriages and families.

      Please pray that God might empower me to be faithful and to handle His Word rightly and to share about every topic He desires me to for His glory. And please pray against the enemy’s attacks. God is working so mightily! How I praise and thank Him! 🙂

      Much love!

  11. My initial reaction to this post was “This is dangerous and stupid to feel this way.” But then, I realized that it wasn’t that long ago I did to some extent. But for me, it was more that I wanted “the world,” or at least my little part of it to accept me even though I was unemployed and growing old.

    Even so, these feelings led to a relationship with another man who at first was promising me help in becoming the professional, confident woman I sought to be. The relationship later became an affair. If I had not broken it off, or if my husband had not been forgiving when I confessed to him, I would now be alone, as my other man passed away a few months later. I had to put my focus on Jesus. I wish I could say I still am doing that two years later, but that would not be true. I have yet to shed my aversion to having another man notice me in that way, and I quite frankly hope I remain having that aversion for the rest of my life. But I can understand why a woman’s insecurities would, at least subconciously, if not overtly, lead her to feel this way about men.

    1. Ellen,

      Thank you for sharing how similar feelings and temptations ensnared you. How I praise God that you turned to Christ and to your husband in repentance!!!!!!

      I pray other women will learn from your example and choose to avoid that painful road.

      Much love to you!

  12. The only attention I desire is that of my husband. When he sees me I want all other women to pale by comparison. He can be very jealous at times and I wouldn’t ever want him to think I desire another man’s attention. I also would not wish to be the sin of another man thru lust.

  13. What if it’s your blood sister ?

    I am 33 years old with kids, my sister is 17, we were raised different by the same mother. I was raised to dress very conservative, have good morals, no make up till 15 or too much jewelry, don’t speak about certain subjects in front of people and things like that.

    My sister, total opposite. She loves wearing very short shorts, inside and outside the house, blouses that show half her stomach, she is very open about everything and does not know when to wait to talk about certain things. She makes me feel super uncomfortable with my family, meaning my husband and my 12 year old. She’s the type that if she needs to change her shirt she will do it in front of my son, very open about anything.

    Anyways, she loves me and love her. She is very sweet to me, but I still don’t like to be around her because she is opposite of me. I understand it’s age difference and living at different times but there is something about her that I don’t like. I hate it when she is wearing short shorts and bends down with her behind in my husband’s or son’s face. But she’s my sister and we visit mom frequently so I can not avoid her. But if I could I would.

    Am I being silly for this? I am not jealous because even though I am double her age, I take better care of myself, so when we are together people ask us if we are twins, or if they think I am like 24 and she is like 22. We are both pretty looking. I just think she does realize what she is doing, making me feel uneasy because of her personality so difference from mine. She loves to hang around with me if husband is working but i hate it and want to avoid it because my son will be with me and she will want to talk about her being in her period and blah blah girl talk in front of my pre teenage. She says we have to accept her because that’s her personality, being open like that.

    1. HappyMom,

      Yikes!

      I cannot fathom a young woman acting like that in front of my 14 year old son or my husband. I can certainly understand why you have a problem.

      Well, Matthew 18:15-17 provides a framework for us when someone is sinning against us (or our family).

      1. Confront the person privately.
      2. Bring 2-3 believers along to confront the person.
      3. We are supposed to take it to the church.

      Is she a believer?

      Does your mom not address these things with her?

      What does your husband think? Have you talked with him?

      It seems to me that it is reasonable for you to expect her not to change her shirt in front of a guy. And that it is reasonable that she not bend down right in front of a guy wearing short shorts. Honestly, I have a 9 year old daughter, and we don’t allow her to wear short shorts. I just don’t see where it is appropriate. I know that is almost all you can find in the stores – but we do have a responsibility to dress modestly to not cause others to stumble into temptation.

      You can love her AND set limits on her. Godly love does that. It does not ignore blatant sin.

      You can say, “When you are around my husband and my son, please show respect for them by not doing X, Y, or Z.”

      If she continues, you can pray about saying something like, “I love you and want very much to be around you – but if you will not stop doing X, Y, and Z, then we are not going to be able to hang out.”

      You may also want to get her the book For Young Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn – may be eye opening about how men think and the importance of modesty. A lot of girls just don’t have any clue what they are doing to guys. They think it is normal to wear skimpy clothes and that it is “cute” but they don’t realize they are encouraging men to lust.

      Praying for God’s wisdom for you!

      1. Many times I have felt like saying something, but I am afraid they are gonna think I am being jealous. But trust me, I am more worried about my pre teenage son and my youngest one, she likes to tease him to make him mad. My mom does not say anything, at times she does send her to change when we arrive at her house and she is wearing her super short shorts, and my sister starts giving mom an attitude after that! Like she doesn’t understand why mom told her to go change! I have never spoken to hubby about this, nor has he said anything, like it’s awkward for me or him to say ” Did you see how XYZ was bending down in front of our son??”

        So what I do is avoid them, this means I have to avoid mom, and I like my mom. Since she is still 17 she hangs around with mom lots so we get to see her often. Last night my sister over did it. We went to have dinner and she was wearing her shorts and a normal t-shirts, she was sitting across my husband from dining table, so she gets up and says ” I am so full” and pulls hee shirt up to her chest sticking out her butt as she stretched!!!! Her shirt pulled almost up to her bra!! For what??? I gave her this look like telling her my husband is sitting right across from you and she’s like ” oh sorry” and sits back down. Ughhh, I wanted to get up grab my kids and leave.

        We are all Christians, mom is Christian, dad my brothers and her, but a true Christian does not behave like this nor a true Christian mother allows certain things from her growing daughter.

        I will find ways to share this material, or maybe talk to her, I just don’t want them to think I am over reacting but I know this ia wrong.

        1. HappyMom,

          It is appropriate, in my view, for you to say something to your sister, or to your mom, or to discuss this with your husband if talking with your sister and mom doesn’t help. I don’t believe you are overreacting. If the issue was that she wore knee-length skirts and you thought she should wear ankle length skirts – well, that is probably not worth bringing up. But changing her shirt in front of your sons, especially at the age of 12, bending over with very short shorts on in front of him, pulling her shirt up to her chest at the dinner table in front of men – I think those things are worth gently, respectfully, humbly mentioning.

          You may not even have to specify the situations that have been a problem, you may just share a video with her and say, “Hmmm… this could be an interesting perspective.”

          The book for young women would be a blessing, in my view, to Christian young women to help them begin to understand how differently guys think and would probably help her in future relationships. It is not a gift to allow her to continue to do these kinds of things – whether it is in ignorance or whether it is purposeful – in my view.

          Praying for wisdom for you, my dear sister!

          1. Hi HappyMom,

            That sounds like a frustrating situation to deal with. 🙁

            I used to dress somewhat like your sister (although I never changed clothes in front of anyone or pulled my shirt up, etc.). I too, would give my mom attitude if she asked me to change. Most of the girls at my school dressed like that, so I didn’t understand why it would be a problem. I had worked hard to get a good figure and I wanted to show it off. This was when I was 16-18. I was a Christian then, too. I am 21 now and I am NOT proud to say that I used to be like this in how I dressed and how I thought. Now, I dress modestly. The main things that contributed to this change (which happened when I was around 19) were:

            1. Becoming friends with Christian women my age who really LIVED out the gospel in their lives (including their clothing choices).

            2. Deepening my own relationship with God and understanding that my prior clothing choices did not honor Him.

            3. Reading April’s blog and understanding that the way I had dressed was actually TEMPTING men, not just making them think I was pretty. I didn’t want to tempt anyone.

            4. My boyfriend, who I started dating shortly before college, and who I will be marrying when I graduate. I realized that I wanted to honor him with my clothing choices. I also realized that he was the only man who I actually wanted to notice me.

            It sounds like your sister is sweet but immature. It sounds like she admires you a lot. I also think that she (like I used to be) genuinely does not understand how her actions affect men, or how God views how she dresses. It also sounds like she has some idea of what specific actions bother you. Given she seems to really love you and wants to spend a lot of time with you, I’m guessing that if you nicely tell her that something is really important to you, she will listen. I’m saying this as someone who used to be somewhat like your sister – I know that if an older woman had approached me with a “you are wrong” attitude (even though I was wrong), I wouldn’t have listened. I do think I would have listened to a woman who said, “dressing and acting modestly is really important to me for x, y, and z reasons. I would really appreciate it if you would please not do/wear a, b, and c when you are around my husband and son. I realize that your opinion on this may be different than mine, but I would really appreciate it if you would be willing to do these things for me.” I think then I would have done those things and I also think I would have started to think about her reasons and why she would have asked that of me.

            I hope that you find God leading you to handle this difficult situation the way He desires you to. I just wanted to share some of my thoughts from the perspective of someone who used to be more like your sister and now is more like you.

            Much love,
            Flower <3

          2. Love this, Flower!!! Thank you so much for sharing. I agree that most young women have no idea what modesty is about or why it is important or that the stylish and fashionable clothes right now would be a problem for anyone. They just seem “normal” to them, and “cute.”

            I love what God is doing in your life! 🙂

          3. Flower,

            Your insights are very helpful – I think for many women, and moms, too. I’m really glad we can all talk about this together and that we can learn to better understand each other and also other people in our lives with different perspectives. Such a blessing!

          4. Hi Flower, wow, I read your reply and felt so much like if my sister had written this. That maybe if she had read my reply, she would have responded just like you did. She does love me, because she wants to hang around me alot, but I am always hesitant because if the way she behaves/dresses. But word by word you are so right. She probably has no idea how she makes me feel because I have never said a word to her about it, I just avoid her alot. And I feel bad because it’s me and her and I wish we could be closer but not until she respects my family. It’s so sad because I have prayed that God keep her away from my kids and husband, that’s how uncomfortable i feel. Or I pray that she wearing descent clothes on my way to visit them. And I always tell them I am on my way like a heads up to change if she is wearing her revealing clothes.

            Thank you Flower so much, Gid bless your life for your post and I will pray that God helps her draw her closer to Him who is the only one that can change hearts/lives. She is very young and beautiful and I am always afraid some guy will take advantage of her and get her pregnant and leave her just because the way she looks.

          5. Thank you so much, HappyMom! 🙂 <3 I'm so glad this post was a blessing to you. It does sound like a frustrating situation. 🙁 May I respectfully add a few things for you to consider?

            The way she dresses may not necessarily reflect the choices she will make with men – I had a friend when I was her age who was also a Christian and dressed somewhat similar to me. She was on the track team and would go running in just a sports bra and shorts! But both of us had promised God that we would save sex for marriage alone. You might not have been able to always tell that from our clothing choices, but it was true.

            The way your sister chooses to dress in the privacy of her own home with only female family members around (if it's just you visiting without your husband or kids) may not be a problem. Of course, if your husband and kids are coming later, I believe you could say something like, "hey sis, it would mean so much to me if you'd be willing to put something a bit more modest on for when the guys get here."

            You seem sweet and caring and maybe a bit reserved (?). If I were your sister, I probably wouldn't notice that you were avoiding me. If I did notice, I wouldn't think it was because of my clothing choices. I would think (and worry) that I had said or done something to offend you personally. I don't think you're doing your relationship with your sister any favors by not nicely explaining to her what's on your mind. If I were her, I would rather have a chance to fix the problem than not know there was a problem.

            Also one other thing about when I was younger – sometimes my mom would say something like, "you know, people might assume bad things about you from the clothes you choose to wear." And I would say, "anyone who knows me knows I'm not that kind of girl, and anyone who makes those judgements without knowing me isn't worth my time." I still believe that; however, what's changed is that I realized that my clothing choices don't just reflect on me. They reflect on God and they reflect on my boyfriend. And I don't want my clothes or behavior to be the reason that others judge God or my boyfriend negatively.

            Much love to you! 🙂
            Flower

    2. Hi Happy Mom
      I am about to discuss a rather unpleasant topic, but your sister’s behaviour has me hearing alarm bells. This is more info than anyone probably wants to hear, but I am sharing it very carefully and with the best of intentions, in case your sister has something in her life that she actually needs help with. So here goes:

      I knew a young girl like this though a bit more extreme. My female room mate and I once had the youth group over for a sleep over when I was in my early twenties . There was a young woman who kept “accidentially” positioning herself on the floor legs akimbo with her skirt hiked up positioned towards the guys so they had a clear line of sight. The first time she did it, we quietly let her know that her modesty was compromised. We thought it was an acccident. But then soon after, she again positioned herself in a revealing and provocative pose. This happened several times and when she was spoken to, she demonstrated sulky annoyance. She was clearly seeking this kind of attention and interaction. She wasn’t ready to accept that she had a problem behaviour going on or that her bubble of denial wasn’t shielding her from being seen. I was angry and disgusted and wanted her out of my house, as I was “righteously indignant” with her clearly inappropriate and rather deliberate behaviour though my friend talked me out of actually putting her out.

      I do think that we were ignorant of wider considerations, namely that we had other people’s children in our home and had a duty to shield them as well from anything impure that could lead them into sin or harm. But we were both quite young and lacking in knowledge; it could have been handled with much more wisdom and maturity than it was. We thought our options were either the pharisaical ‘stone such women” response or the wimpy grace response, that she had a problem and so we should say nothing and just be merciful and not make an issue of it.

      However, if I knew then what i now now, i would have taken her aside, expressed merciful awareness and understanding of sexual issues and asked her if she had had something happen to her that made her feel unclean and brought her shame. I would also have brought the matter to a trustworthy leader and her parents, assuming they weren’t part of the problem. Not always but often, such behaviour where there are no boundaries and some grossly inappropriate behaviour, is a clear demonstration that the person in question has had their boundaries overwhelmed in some unclean way.

      We christians are heavily conditioned to react with disapproval and disgusted judgement towards anything sexually sinful esp if its a woman doing the sin. Not that we shouldn’t take sin seriously esp sexual sin because it is especially destructive and brings bondage easily. But our reactions to it are often don’t help. Not saying at all that you are reacting this way; clearly you care about your sister and are concerned about what this very wrong behaviour may indicate, and how to address it without destroying your relationship with her.

      Just suggesting that you may want to pursue the possiblity that she has had something unclean introduced into her life, something that is affecting her in ways she may not realize. I don’t think your reactions of wanting to get away from her are cruel or abnormal but rather you may be sensing something of a spiritual nature and aren’t sure why you are having your spiritual barometer go off when she is near. i would spend some serious time in prayer and intercession before attempting to approach her though so God can prepare her heart and lead her to be willing to confess anything she is having a problem with or is involved in. A person trapped in a sexual issue can be very defensive.

      I have known of several people who have suffered sexual abuse, or other forms of intrusion or exposure to unclean things. It seemed to affect them spiritually in the sense that if there was a creep around, they were a creep magnet and would suffer repeated bouts of unwanted lacisvious attention, act out sexually, or wrongly interpret that attention as affirmation. Such persons often believe they did something to cause it and so believe they share the guilt of the perpetrator which leads to major sexual confusion and identity confusion.

      Young girls who are flattered and seduced by an older married man are often led to believe they were having a consensual affair when in fact the older person was a creep and was totally abusing and taking advantage of the young person’s lack of knowledge and vulnerability. The young woman in question believes herself to be guilty of being an adulteress who is stealing someone else’s husband, and so may act that identity out in shameful/shameless ways. The guilt isn’t really hers though, it is his. In fact the man in question is stealing a young person’s innnocence and choice as well as cheating on his wife. He is the adulterer and defrauder.

      When the spiritual boundary issues are dealt with and the matter ministered to with someone knowledgable with such things, often the unwholesome attentions and behaviours cease because these doors are now closed spritually and emotionally. Hope this is of some help. I hope your sister has not had anything like this happen to her but if it has, I hope you are armed with some wisdom to deal with it. Blessings.

      1. Just Me,

        Thank you for bringing up this topic. Goodness, I really hope this is not the situation for HappyMom’s sister. But – I do appreciate you bringing up this topic as a reminder that this is something for us to prayerfully consider when we see someone acting inappropriately -especially children or teens.

  14. This couldn’t have come to me at
    a better time! I’ve been praying for help on how to deal with this as it has recently become a temptation for me. I just stumbled across your YouTube channel and then found your blog about two weeks ago, April. Thank you for being a blessing to me at this point in my life!

    1. Char,

      I’m so glad this was a blessing to you. I always pray that God will bring whomever He will and that His Spirit, love, and truth will just pour into their hearts through me. It is wonderful to meet you. I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for you!

  15. Hi April,

    Do you happen to know of any sites that sell modest, long-sleeve dresses? I’ve been able to find sites that sell short-sleeve ones, but I’m having trouble finding long-sleeve ones for the colder months.

    Much love! 🙂
    Flower

    1. Flower,

      Soft Surroundings does – but you may need a tank top underneath because some seem rather low cut to me. And they are a bit pricey, for my budget, at least. Or you can do long sleeve blouses and long skirts if that is easier to find. You can also google, “modest long sleeve dresses.” There will be a number of different sites that come up. Or you can use a sweater with a short sleeve dress, of course. 🙂

      Much love to you! 🙂

      1. Thanks so much, April! 🙂 I will check out that site. 🙂

        Funnily enough, my “modest long sleeve dresses” Google searches have resulted in modest short sleeve dresses… haha. I’m also running searches for dresses that 50’s housewives would have worn, or that women in former East Germany would have worn, or swing dance dresses from the 40’s and 50’s, because all of those dresses seem to be very pretty. 🙂 I do like your suggestion about long skirts; I think they will be easier to find and they’ll be more versatile too, which is a good thing because I don’t know where I’ll be living when I graduate… the climate could be very different from where I am now! 🙂

        Much love! 🙂
        Flower

  16. What a blessing it’s been to read these comments! It drives home the truth that there is real value to sharing those things about ourselves that we’d rather hide away. Bringing secret sin to light gives a chance for others to shine truth onto it, and you never know how your story might be useful for another to consider their own hearts and intentions. I thank God for your ministry, April, and that He works all things for good in a million ways.

    1. Jenny,

      I’m so glad that this was a blessing. 🙂 Yes, how important it is for us to share these kinds of things so that we can bring them before God and each other and find the healing and cleansing available to us all in Christ. And when we do share these things, the light comes into the darkness and brings hope to us and to others – if we are willing to lay down our old lies and old ways of thinking and embrace God’s truth. 🙂

      Much love!

  17. Previously I liked other men attention. I didn’t want to attract it purposely but if there was any it was just like a compliment. And now struggling with spouses porno addiction which I hope is far better than at the beggining I feell pain, feell that there is no man on earth who may be trusted. Deep wound in my heart is still here.
    I wonder, if I want my husband not to look at nude pic or boudouir photos on purpose or to avoid them by all means am I too strict? We totaly agree about porn but not about erotic images since they are widely present in art and media. Women are beautiful and it’s natural to admire them. If so why don’t I post a couple of not modest pic on web- that would be a catastrophy….double standarts.

    1. Kate,

      My heart breaks for your pain! 🙁
      I’m glad you are realizing that receiving other men’s attention (in sexual ways) can come with a price to other women, or to the men, themselves.

      Yes, women are beautiful and it is natural to admire their beauty. You can certainly respectfully share that you would appreciate him respecting your marriage, you, and God by not indulging in purposely looking at sensual pictures. But then you can’t be his “thought police.” That is the Holy Spirit’s job. Ideally, he will realize that any kind of lust is sin and that any sin is filthy and nasty to God and he will begin to avoid anything that could be a trigger. We women have sinful temptations, too. Sometimes it is easy to think our sins aren’t as bad as men’s sins. But they are. Pride, disrespect, control, gossip, erotic romance novel addictions, idolizing romance/self/our husbands/marriage/happiness/beauty/or anything else, self-righteousness, hatred, bitterness, contempt, apathy, unbelief toward God, lack of love toward others… all sin grieves God’s heart. We want to learn to avoid our triggers for sinful thoughts when possible, as well. And it is critical for all of us to learn to take every thought captive for Christ.

      Praying for God’s continued healing for you both, my precious sister.

      There are resources here, if you search “porn” and also at http://www.xxxchurch.org for porn addicts and for their spouses.

      Much love to you!

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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