I believe one of Satan’s most successful schemes to destroy marriages and families is….pornography. Glancing once or twice at porn might seem relatively harmless, but it can rapidly become an addiction. Once a person becomes addicted, they find they need to move to progressively more perverse types of porn in order to achieve the same arousal. Then, even perverse porn no longer gives the same satisfaction and they often end up acting out in real life situations, sometimes ending up with prostitutes or same-sex encounters. Marriages are torn apart in the process. Plus, of course, your husband looking at another woman’s naked body is not okay with God! Jesus says in Matthew 5:28, “If anyone looks at a woman lustfully, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
We can’t be ignorant to this pornography epidemic in America. Even among Christians, HUGE numbers of both men and women are ensnared by habitual porn use. In fact, a survey of pastors done back in 2001 revealed that almost 40% say pornography is a struggle for them! As wives, we need to be alert to the signs that our husbands could be addicted to pornography. Here are some common signs of habitual porn use:
Your husband no longer seems interested in having sex with you
Your man is becoming rough during sex or wants you to engage in perverse sexual acts
Your husband seems to be on the internet a lot, especially when you are out of the room
Your husband is very secretive and seems to be avoiding straight answers about activities
If your husband shows some or most of these signs, you may need to lovingly address the possibility of a pornography problem with him. Keep in mind your husband is not the enemy, and if you make him feel like he is your enemy, he won’t feel safe to discuss this problem with you. Be gentle, loving, and respectful, but DO address this issue. Take action to fight for your marriage!
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.
The perfect gift for your husband…whether it’s Christmas, father’s day, his birthday or your anniversary….is super inexpensive. Give him the gift of respect! The Bible makes it clear that a wife is to respect her husband. This instruction is found in Ephesians 5:33 which simply says “the wife must respect her husband”, and most wives know that a man craves his wife’s respect. However, sometimes it’s hard to figure out how to communicate that respect. It’s especially difficult if your husband isn’t perfect! We naturally gravitate to focusing on what’s wrong with our men as opposed to what’s right.
I’m not saying we should ignore a husband’s blatant sin or destructive patterns. We definitely need to pray about confronting disrespectful, destructive, or immoral patterns of behavior. However, we can’t ONLY focus on his areas of weakness. Our men need to know that we believe in them. They need to know that we notice their strengths too!
A simple way to communicate respect is to voice appreciation for the big and small things your husband does for you and your family. Does he go to work each day? Tell him how much you appreciate his hard work. Does he set aside some time each day to play with the kids? Let him know how much you appreciate that. Does he refrain from stopping at the bar on the way home from work? Tell him how much you appreciate that he comes straight home to his family. A great gift you can give to your husband is your daily appreciation for all he does, and to affirm things that he actually does right! It’s a sign of respect.
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:
Don’t get horizontal!
Don’t stay overnight at each other’s homes even if you have good intentions to sleep on the couch.
Don’t stay together after midnight because that’s usually when temptation creeps in.
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!
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!
If there’s one thing I’ve learned after observing many Christian marriages over several decades, it’s that ANY two people can build a fantastic marriage IF they both are seeking to honor the Lord and seek his guidance on all things.
Think of it this way. Whoever you date is going to be imperfect, just like you also are imperfect. However, if both of you are regularly seeking God’s guidance in His Word and seeking to obey his guidance, God can then start smoothing out the rough edges! When a husband and wife are both striving to follow the Lord and his promptings, God can refine them day by day. He can heal their broken places. He can teach them new healthier ways to communicate and handle conflict.
It’s all about seeking God above all else! This reminds me of the verse that finishes the famous section of Scripture about worrying in Matthew 6. Jesus says stop worrying about everything and seek to follow him and he will take care of everything. Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Another verse also comes to mind. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make you path straight.
So what is the number one question to ask a person you’re starting to date? Here it is: What has God been teaching you lately? Then be quiet and listen. If the person has that “deer in the headlights” look, that’s probably a good indication that they really aren’t seriously seeking God and his guidance!