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.
We’ve all heard of self-talk, but allow me to introduce a different kind of internal narrative that can be just as negative as your self-talk. It is the internal talk about your spouse!
The things you say, whether out loud or in your head, greatly influence the way you feel and act. In fact, Proverbs 18:21 says “the tongue has the power of life and death”. In other words, when your inner spouse-talk is constantly pointing out your husband’s flaws or rehearsing the past ways he’s let you down…your words reinforce a negative attitude and behavior toward your husband. If not corrected, this negative attitude and behavior on your part can eventually lead to prolonged bitterness, depression, and even the death of your marriage.
Ladies, we must do what the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 10:5…”take every thought captive”. Start noticing the things you are saying in your head about your husband. If a negative thought enters your mind, don’t give it room! Instead, look for something positive to say about your husband. He DOES have some positive qualities. Make sure you spend time engaging in positive inner spouse-talk more than the negative kind!
You may be a wife like me…a wife who is stunned when her husband does or says something that isn’t exactly kind and loving. To be honest, at some subconscious level, I guess I expected my husband to always make me happy and do the right thing. In short, I rather expected him to be like Jesus. I mean, after all, he is a Christian, for heaven’s sake!
Hmmm. On the other hand, the Bible makes it clear that no human being is perfect. Psalm 14:3 says, “there is no one who does good, not even one”. So, perhaps it’s time for both you and me to take our husbands off the hook. I’m not saying that we should give them a free pass on blatant, destructive sin. Jesus makes it clear we should confront someone who is truly sinning against us. You can read his instructions about that in Matthew 18:15-17.
However, I do believe it’s time we started being gracious to our husbands in terms of looking beyond their minor faults and annoying quirks. Does he sometimes drive more aggressively than you would like? Maybe we can be gracious about that (while praying for safety!). Does he often have a hard time sharing his deep thoughts and feelings? We can be gracious about that too. Let’s remember he is a flawed person, just like us! We’re all a work in progress…in the master’s hands.
— or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO HERE
I wish I had known about the blessings of a fire pit a long time ago! I had no idea that a fire pit could pave the way to more intimate, deep conversations than we routinely have in our marriage. But I’ve discovered it’s true! There’s something bonding and safe about sharing your deepest thoughts, feelings and dreams in the flickering light coming from your backyard fire pit. Maybe it’s because it’s quiet and peaceful at night and, when sitting in front of the fire, we tend to talk in soft voices. Proverbs 15:1 says “A soft answer turns away wrath…” Well, maybe it’s that soft conversation in front of a fire that breaks down our defenses and helps us to open up.
Just recently, we built a fire pit in our backyard. It cost less than $100. We thought it would be fun for the grandchildren to toast marshmallows and roast hot dogs. But it turns out that my husband and I are enjoying it ourselves…immensely! As the sun goes down, we light the fire, and then my husband asks what the topic of the night should be. Sometimes, we talk about our dreams for ministry. Some nights, we talk about our concerns for our children and we pray for them. Other nights, we talk about our dream vacation ideas. Try building a fire pit. You may be pleasantly surprised by the emotional intimacy you gain as a result!
You’ve probably heard of the “Five Love Languages”. It’s something Christian author and psychologist Gary Chapman figured out about how people are wired in terms of receiving love. The love languages are: words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, quality time, and gifts. Well, here’s something I’ve learned after talking with many wives whose husbands have completed the love language assessment. Almost all men have “physical touch” as one of their top 2 love languages.
Ladies, this means your husband craves not just sex, but little signs of physical affection throughout the day. When you do these small things, he feels loved by you. So, why wouldn’t you give him the physical affection that you know would bless him? By withholding what he needs to feel loved, we’re actually sinning! James 4:17 says, “If anyone knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”
Here are several ideas on how you can communicate love through physical touch. Reach out to hold his hand as you walk through the store. Give him a 20 second neck and shoulder rub as you’re walking by. Pinch his tush as he walks through the kitchen. Lean over his shoulder while he’s on the computer and give him a kiss. Rest your hand on his leg while you’re sitting together on the couch watching TV. These small acts of physical touch are totally easy and yet they mean so much to most husbands. Try it!
At the risk of you thinking I’m totally looney, may I suggest that you talk with your husband about clear boundaries regarding your female friends? In other words, he should not be a “friend” of any of your own girlfriends! I know this might seem old-fashioned or even ridiculous, but many affairs start out with a husband “just talking” with another woman. We need to be careful and alert to the schemes of the enemy!
1 Peter 5:8 says “Be alert and of sober-mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” So, be alert to the enemy’s scheme to get your husband emotionally entangled with one of your friends. He should not spend time with her without you. He should not even be spending time on the phone with her giving advice or listening to her woes. Without him intending to do so, he will slowly find himself developing an emotional bond with your friend, and she will start bonding with him. Danger lies ahead!
Do you have a continuing issue with your husband? Does he lack a certain desirable character quality? Prayer can make all the difference!
I have seen persistent prayer accomplish what I cannot do on my own. I don’t have any ability to change my husband’s heart. I can set boundaries on certain behavior, but I can’t change his heart. Only God can do that, and praise the Lord, he DOES do that! In Ezekiel 36, God says “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you…” Awesome!
If you’re wondering where to start in terms of praying for a change in your husband’s heart, I would suggest inserting your husband’s name in 2 specific Bible verses as you pray. I’ve been praying these 2 verses for quite some time now, and I’ve seen God slowly molding and shaping my husband’s heart. Here are the verses, with your husband’s name inserted. Psalm 51:10 “Create in _____________ a clean heart and renew a right spirit within _____________.” Psalm 103:8 Mold ____________ to be like you “compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love”.