Signs husband has a big problem

In case you weren’t yet aware, pornography is a gigantic cancer that is rapidly destroying marriages and entire families.  Hundreds of millions of men regularly view pornography (and many women too), and even among Christian men, the problem is rampant.  Goodness, even a majority of pastors admit to struggling with temptations to view porn.  Back in 2001, a survey found that 54% of pastors had viewed pornography in the past year.  I’m sure the numbers are much higher these days.

Why is pornography such a big deal?  Well, marriage counselors will tell you, and I will tell you from counseling many women in crisis in their marriages, that pornography usage almost always escalates into something truly horrific.  When a man starts viewing pornography, he almost always progresses to more and more perverse pornography as he chases that “buzz” from viewing something sexually arousing.  Unfortunately, in many cases, the man can no longer get his “fix” from pornography and ends up committing sexual acts outside of marriage.  In either case, the marriage is often destroyed and families are torn apart.

What are some signs of a possible porn problem for your husband?   Some common signs include no longer being interested in sex with you, coming to bed after you or exiting the bedroom in the middle of the night, and requesting increasingly perverse or odd sex acts from you.  If you notice some of these signs, it may be time to have a serious talk with your husband.  However, don’t approach him as an enemy.  Approach him in love, as his helper. Remember, in Genesis 2:18, God says “It is not good for man to be alone; I will make a helper suitable for him.”  Approach your husband kindly, but firmly, and let him know you want to help him tackle this problem that could harm both him and your family.  Insist that he seek serious, long-term help and accountability.

How porn affects your marriage

I am filled with righteous indignation today, and frankly, I’m on the war path!  I keep on discovering more and more marriages that are slowly being destroyed due to pornography. The stories women tell me often reveal very similar downward spirals. Their husband’s use of porn has evolved into online sex chat rooms, actual encounters with other women, or even sex crimes.  Then there’s a whole other group of women who feel unloved because their husbands rarely, if ever, want to make love to them anymore.  The reason?  Their husbands are busy satisfying their sexual needs with pornography and masturbation.

I say ENOUGH!  It’s time that women everywhere step up with courage and dignity and declare war on pornography!  Ephesians 5, verse 3 says “among you there must not even be hint of sexual immorality” and in verse 11, God instructs us “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”   It’s time that all women adopt a zero tolerance standard for pornography use by their men (and themselves as well). I’m NOT saying to declare war on your husband. He is not the enemy.  However, we can no longer wring our hands in defeat and stand by helplessly as our marriages and families crumble. 

What should you do if your husband is viewing pornography?  Respectfully, but firmly, tell him you will not tolerate that anymore.  Ask him if he’s willing to do whatever it takes to stop.  If he says yes, then work with him to find help.  There are some great programs out there.  For instance, in the Bellingham, WA area, men are being helped at Band of Brothers For Christ and another group called Prodigals.  If your husband refuses to sincerely seek help or continues looking at porn, then you may have to establish a firm boundary in the relationship.  You may even have to separate for a time.  Take a stand, ladies!  If you don’t, you and your marriage will likely end up being destroyed.

Dating tips for Christian women

I never thought I would be dating again late in life, but when my beloved husband Raul passed away in November of 2021, I sensed that God was saying he would provide another husband as my life partner for the rest of my years.  So I began that crazy, sometimes frustrating, journey of dating!

I began applying some of the dating insights I had gleaned over my many years here on this earth along with guiding Bible principles.  So, I want to pass on some of that to you in this short little devotional.

First, God makes it clear that a Christian should not be linked in close partnership with an unbeliever.  2 Corinthians 6:14  Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness?  This is critical!  If you end up marrying an unbeliever, Satan has total entry to wreak havoc in your marriage!  You two will not be pulling the same direction.  Also, without the Bible as a moral compass, your husband will have no constraints on immoral or disrespectful behavior, and that can definitely lead to heartbreak for you.

Next, keep in mind that a lot of guys might SAY they are a Christian, and they might even attend church, but that does NOT mean they are a true follower of Jesus.  You need to look for evidence of Christ’s presence in their life.  Do they show any fruit of the spirit?  Galatians 5:22-23  the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control.

And here’s one other huge tip.  Stay sexually pure while dating. Save sex until your marriage.  This is clearly God’s will, and when we obey God, he blesses us.  I don’t know about you but I want to have God’s blessing!!  Here are 4 quick little tips to avoid falling into sexual sin while dating:

  1. Don’t get horizontal!
  2. Don’t stay overnight at each other’s homes even if you have good intentions to sleep on the couch.
  3. Don’t stay together after midnight because that’s usually when temptation creeps in.
  4. Resist the urge to French kiss before marriage. I know it’s tempting, but it’s also super arousing and may lead to where you vowed not to go until marriage!

** or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO BELOW

A wife has a powerful role!

God has given me a vision for Christian wives.  I see him raising up an army of strong but gentle wives who do specific things in such a focused and powerful way that their husbands are propelled to become mighty men of God!  Don’t we all want that?!

The qualities of these strong Christian wives are all Biblical, and if we press into them, I’m confident we will have a tremendous, positive impact on our men!  As we encourage and pray for our men, our men will be much more likely to step up and become mighty men of God.  Hallelujah!

The most important thing we can do is to respect, honor and love the Lord.  But beyond that, catch this vision of the wife He is calling you to become.  He is calling wives to be…

  • encouraging (1 Thessalonians 5:11…encourage one another and build each other up)
  • respectful   (Ephesians 5:33….the wife must respect her husband)
  • gentle  (1 Peter 3:4 …the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight )
  • compassionate  (Colossians 3:12 …clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience)
  • courageous (Joshua 1:9… Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.)
  • loving but firm confronters of sin (Luke 17:3 If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him)
  • prayer warriors  (Colossians 4:2… Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful)

Help for the burdened heart

Are you having one of those weeks or months?  Has your husband broken your heart?  Are you an emotional wreck over a situation with one of your children?  Don’t try to carry that burden alone!  It’s too heavy.

Even though it would be so helpful to reach out to some godly female friends, many of us tend to isolate during really hard times instead.  Unfortunately, that only makes it easier for Satan to beat you down.  With no other voices speaking hope into your life, he has free realm to whisper one lie right after another. 

Jesus describes Satan this way in John 8:44: “He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”  The lies may sound like this:  No one really loves you.  Your life sucks and there’s no hope.  You should have never married your husband.  God doesn’t really care about you. You’re a failure as a mom compared to all the other moms. There is no way in the world to recover from your financial mess.  God could never change your husband’s heart.  Blah, blah, blah.

One of the keys to drowning out the voice of the enemy is to listen to other voices!  Spend time reading God’s Word.  Also, spend time with godly women who can speak truth, wisdom, and hope into your life.  If you don’t know any women like that, then it’s time to start building new friendships.  I know you might be scared to tell another woman what’s really going on in your marriage and family.  However, you might be surprised to find that other women will start opening up to you and sharing their own challenges as you begin sharing yours. Just keep in mind that the point is to encourage each other and pray for each other…not to trash talk your husbands!

Drawing out the best in husband

Our words are SO powerful!  If you frequently tell your husband how he’s falling short, he will likely close down emotionally and search for an escape door.  He may turn to alcohol, porn, excessive recreational pursuits, or even other women.

However, if you choose to tell him about the good things you see in him, he will begin to grow in confidence.  I believe this is why God instructs wives in Ephesians 5:33, “the wife must respect her husband“.  Your respect and admiration mean everything to your man.  If you intentionally take note of his talents as well as the effort he puts forth, and then tell him you are proud of him, his feelings of inadequacy will fall away.  He will start believing he can be successful in what he tries.  He will gain courage to try tackling even bigger things.

If you notice his positive character qualities (and every man has at least one!), and tell him how much you respect him for those qualities, he will be built up on the inside.  He will likely begin believing that he can become a man who makes a difference in his family and for God.  A wife’s words of respect and encouragement can propel her husband forward to be an even greater man than he would ever have been without her!

God sees your distress and cares

We all go through challenging days…whether in your marriage, with your kids, with finances, at your job, etc.  It’s at those times; we tend to feel so alone.  We desperately need to know that God notices our distress.  We need to know that He is with us and that He cares.

Well, despite what Satan is whispering in your ear…that nobody cares…that you’re all alone…that your broken heart will never get better…the Bible tells a different story!  I find so much comfort in these verses:

  • The Lord is close to the broken-hearted (Psalm 34:18)
  • Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)
  • You are the God who sees me (Genesis 16:13)
  • He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3)
  • Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all His benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.  Psalm 103:2-4

Leave room for the Holy Spirit

The other day, a relative said some things about a person I love that I really found hurtful.  My first instinct was to emotionally withdraw from that person…but that’s a dysfunctional behavior I’m trying to end.  So, I started to tell that person what I really thought about their comments!  Thank God, the Holy Spirit gently stopped me.

You see, sometimes God wants us to confront someone who is sinning against us or doing something wrong.  But other times, God wants us to step back and allow His Holy Spirit to do the convicting in that other person’s heart, especially if that person is a believer.  In John 16:7-8, Jesus tells his disciples, “I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment”   Jesus was talking about the Holy Spirit, and he explained that one of the Spirit’s jobs is to convict people of sin.

What I’m learning is that I need to pause and consult God when someone is doing something that wounds me or bothers me.  I need to ask God for direction.  Does God want me to respectfully and lovingly confront that person, or does God want me to step back and allow His Holy Spirit to do the confronting. 

Back to my story. When God stopped me from laying into my relative the other day and I decided to leave the “confrontation” up to the Holy Spirit…that relative actually came to me and apologized within a few hours. Today’s question for you:  Do you pause long enough to get guidance from God before reacting?

Finding hope when life is hard

We’re all a bit anxious right now…some are even downright fearful.  How will we make it through skyrocketing inflation that’s draining our bank account?  Will I be one of the people who gets seriously ill from covid-19?  Are we on the verge of World War 3?  And, if you’re not worried about that, then there are a myriad of other things that might be stealing your joy and your hope.  Perhaps your marriage is falling apart or your kids are making poor decisions. 

The truth is that, until we get to heaven, we will all experience tough times here on earth.  And of course, Satan loves to pile on by whispering negative, hopeless thoughts into our minds when he sees that we’re struggling.  We tend to start reciting a list of complaints and fears…about people in our life, health problems, finances, the way we look, and on and on.  Instead of reflecting the love of Jesus to those around us, our facial expression portrays “woe is me”.

For a believer, that’s ridiculous!  If you’ve made Jesus your Lord, you have his protection and power at your disposal.  Your prayers are powerful!  James 5:16  “The prayers of a righteous person are powerful and effective”.  And even if your prayers aren’t answered EXACTLY how you think God should, you can trust Him to redeem every hardship in your life.  I love what He tells me in Psalm 103:4 “He redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion”.  When life gets discouraging…when anxiety starts eroding your hope…bring your concerns to Jesus and relax into his strong arms.  

I grasp hope and peace when I choose to trust in Jesus.  He is at work!  His ways are perfect.  Seek His perspective on all that’s happening. Ask him to help you understand what he’s doing in this challenging moment.  Ask him to redeem your seemingly hopeless situation.  He’s so creative!  He’s working behind the scenes right now. 

Resist the urge to rescue him

True confession:  Often in the past, I found myself wanting to jump in and “fix things” for my husband.  Sometimes, I did this because I feared his mood would grow ugly if I didn’t take steps to improve his circumstances.  Sometimes, I did this because I feared that his ministry could stumble if he didn’t do things the “correct” way.  Sometimes, I did this because I thought his relationship with our kids would suffer if I didn’t intervene.  Sometimes, I did this because I feared…..

Hmmm.  When it comes right down to it, fear is the common feeling behind all of the times I jumped in to act as my husband’s savior.  Unfortunately, fear usually causes us to act unwisely.  Proverbs 29:25 says “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.

Here’s something to ponder.  Every time you jump in to “fix” things for your husband, you actually prevent your man from turning to God for help.  Every time you try to prevent your husband from feeling any discomfort or pain, you might be preventing him from changing unhealthy behavior and finally turning to God!   Resist the urge to be your husband’s savior.  There is only one perfect savior anyway.  His name is Jesus Christ.