Last week I asked you to do some research and discussion with your friends and spouse regarding biblical ideals on sex. I completed the assignment by making a point to try to engage not only my husband but several different circles of females on this topic.
Here are my findings thus far:
Married couples, especially Christian married couples, are not having enough* quantity AND quality sex.
(Enough is a term I use loosely. Enough for one couple is entirely different from enough for another couple. Enough simply means that the needs of both parties are being satisfied based on the specific needs of each person in that relationship.)
So girls, WHY are we not having quality and quantity sex?????
PORNOGRAPHY. One blog post is certainly not enough to write about this issue that affects almost every single marriage. And I almost feel bad having to take up a Sexy Sunday post writing about it. I was hoping to write about something a little more fun. But it’s a big fat elephant in the room that needs to be addressed before we can move on in discussions about intimacy and sex.
1. Don’t kid yourself.
There are 2 types of men in this world– those who struggle with the sin of pornography and those who lie about it. If your husband has never discussed it with you, then I suggest you kindly and humbly approach the subject with him. There are exceptions to every rule; I am sure there are a handful of perfect men out there who have never looked at it, bought it, or consumed it. But our culture as a whole is completely saturated with sex and selling it. I don’t have to preach this to you. You know it by turning on the television or even reading tabloid covers at Target. Magazines, movies, strip clubs, phone sex, and of course, the internet, contribute to a $12 billion industry in the US alone. With our iPhones and ipads and separate logins for all of our shared devices, it’s just way too easy for our husband’s to get their hands on it. Any other ladies out there get like four Victoria’s Secret catalogs every week?
Men are visual. What looks like a semi-annual sale catalog for us is a ‘safe’ porn magazine for them. Any intimacy whether physical, emotional, visual, or spiritual outside of the confines of two married human beings is wrong and against the heart of why God created marriage. So if you say “Oh my husband would never…”, I challenge you to have that conversation with him. Below I will give you some guidelines for that.
Many wives choose to look the other way. They maybe have a hunch that their husband’s have dabbled in it, but are afraid to approach the subject because they fear the confrontation. In their eyes, it’s much easier to just go on acting like you don’t know and him acting like he doesn’t know you know. Ladies, by doing this all you are doing is enabling his sin and helping push his heart farther away from Jesus.
2. It affects women too.
Okay, hear me out. You may be saying– “I would never go to any of those site and I’ve never been to one of those clubs.” So okay, have you ever read any of those trashy novels that describe every detail and leave you desiring something more once you’ve finished reading them? Have you talked or dreamed about man-candy like McConnaughey and Clooney? Did you go see Magic Mike with your girlfriends or read Fifty Shades of Gray? Just being honest here, but even Edward Cullen got me a little hot & bothered in the Twilight books. When we are let in on someone else’s intimate experience and it starts to stir our heart or our loins, (isn’t that a word they use in those novels?) we are partaking in pornography. When our hearts longs for something other than our husband and God, our standards become warped. We start making up desires that our husband is not able to fulfill.
Women are more emotional than men. While we may grossed out by a quickie on a website or adult film, we are drawn into a novel or even a movie that may be considered more ‘soft core’. Those impure thoughts come in via our brains and then pollute our hearts and expectations.
3. [For Men] It’s worse than heroin.
Simple fact. Pornography is a drug. If you have never known anyone who struggled with it to the point that it crippled them (think Tiger Woods), then you can see the dangerous path one can be lead on. There is SO much information on this subject out there and the addictive nature of it, I don’t think I could ever do it justice. Long story short- pornography leads to ejaculation. Ejaculation leads to dopamine release. Dopamine makes you feel good and makes you want that stimulus and pursue it again. Drugs and substances affect our brain in the exact same way. If you’ve ever been around addicts you know that the time span in between when they need a ‘fix’, shortens over time. They need more to get the high and they need it quicker and more frequent. Pornography is the same way. While many men never make it down the Tiger Woods path, there is always that potential. We will more than likely never hear of a porn addict who looses their job or runs their car up a light post because they are strung out; porn is more of a cancer. It’s a slow killer; drawing the user further and further away from all real relationships, especially one with Jesus. It’s the gateway drug to infidelity and affairs. It hijacks the brain. For a really great breakdown of lots of scientific facts on this, read Wired For Intimacy by William Struthers. It will blow you away. It’s a must read for all men and women, especially if you or someone you know is dealing with this.
I hope I have conveyed what a serious issue this is in marriage. When a man is involved in a struggle with pornography, he is not giving his full heart to his wife. Keeping something from her distances him emotionally from her because, like an addict, he has a constant need to seek it out yet lie to keep is secret. Most often, the wife discovers the issue. Then she feels betrayed, unattractive, and inadequate. So she then shuts down emotionally and closes off the playground for him. She doesn’t trust him or show him love and affection. This pushes the husband further away and he retreats to the only place he feels safe and where he can get his dopamine fix. Do you see the cycle? When the couple is not emotionally stable then they are certainly not going to be having good or frequent sex.
So what to do what to do?
1. It’s not your fault.
Take yourself out of the equation ladies. If your man is currently dealing with pornography and lust, it is nothing you did or didn’t do. For one, men are sinners. Two, almost all of them deal with this issue. Three, they are easily impressed; It doesn’t take much to strike their attention. We are so self-centered we think that they are looking at other women because we are not _____________ (pretty, sexy, kinky, confident, etc) enough. It has nothing to do with that. Men look at porn because it’s quick and emotionally safe. There is no rejection that takes place between and HotSkankyMoms.com ( I don’t know if that’s real, but it sounds good! ) Men want what is easy for them, and it’s not your fault you are not. You ARE beautiful. He DOES love you. He picked you to be his bride. Remember that.
This is not to say that you as the wife hold no responsibility in your husband’s struggle. There are many factors (kids, job, activities, etc) that emotionally drain you and make it difficult for you to connect to your husband intimately, but regardless, there is no excuse. His sin is your sin and likewise. You signed up as a team for marriage. You fight sin together, not alone.
2. Love him, even at his ugliest.
This is so hard to do. I know. When we feel betrayed we shut down and want out. Your five-year old accidentally smashed his baby brother’s hand in the door. Tears of distraught are coming from both of them- the baby because he is physically hurt and the five year old because he feels terrible for hurting the baby. Is it best to respond to that five-year old in love & grace while extending forgiveness or do we scold him and yell at him for not being careful? How would Jesus do it? All of us are ugly all the time and Jesus love us regardless. Men realize this is wrong and that is why they are keeping it from you. They fear your reaction if you find out. They fear you will reject them and not extend love and grace. I’m not saying you have to jump right into bed with him, but we all just want to be loved when we mess up. We want to feel like we have a safe place to turn to. When you become his safe place, the need for a quick fix deteriorates.
3. Struggle with him.
If your husband has come clean about it (whether voluntary or involuntary), rather than babysitting him and checking his phone and computer history constantly– check in on his heart. Lovingly support him and ask him how his struggle is going. Don’t be his mommy, rather be his friend. Help him, pray with him, talk with him, encourage him and suggest counseling. Be a part of the solution rather than perpetuating the cycle.
I feel like I could go on for days about this topic and I have barely even just broken the seal. If you or your spouse is dealing with this, realize that is it serious and get some biblical information and biblical counseling.
Lord I pray for all marriages. I pray for men who struggle with the sin of pornography and I pray for their wives. I pray that you would reveal sin in their lives God and that you would turn their hearts towards repentance. I pray that the wives would be loving and gracious just as you are Father. I pray for generational curses of sexual sins and addictions to be broken. I pray for protection over marriages- that husband and wives would be honest with each other and struggle together. I pray for the wives who have been hurt and betrayed by their husbands. Help them to heal and forgive. Give them wisdom to say the right words and not push their husbands further away into this sinful cycle. Thank you for marriage Father. Help us all to love and serve and glorify you with our hearts, souls, and bodies.
More great resources:
Free eBook– Porn Again Christian