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.
How many times have you muttered to yourself “He should just KNOW!”. Most wives have muttered this time and time again. I know I have, and just the other day, my husband and I were counseling a couple where this communication pitfall rose to the surface so clearly. She needed her husband to romance her a little before physical intimacy and he had no clue! She started getting resentful. He most definitely felt her cold shoulder, but was oblivious to the problem!!
Expecting your husband to know what you want and need without clearly telling him…is a common communication pitfall. Unfortunately, your husband doesn’t just “know” because he doesn’t think like a woman and most men have no idea what a woman wants or needs from her husband. We can’t assume our husbands know what we want!
Avoiding this communication pitfall is so easy. As a wife, clearly, concisely, and directly tell your husband what you want. Clearly tell him what you need. Let him know the specifics as well! Let me give a simple example. Let’s say you have company coming over and the house is a mess. Plus, you’re trying to make a dessert to serve. So, you’re feeling stressed. Meanwhile, your husband is oblivious to your inner turmoil. He’s contentedly watching ESPN. In most cases, the wife would finally say “Hey, can you vacuum the house please?”. To which the husband says, “sure” and continues watching ESPN. At this point, the wife blows a gasket in frustration. Here’s the thing. She didn’t give him the details of what she was asking for. Instead of simply asking, “Can you vacuum?”, she needed to say “Can you vacuum right now?” She needed to clearly spell out what she was asking for and when.
Clear, honest communication is a gift to your husband! It reminds me of Proverbs 24:26 An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.
In an ideal world, a wife would never have to confront her husband about some kind of disrespectful, destructive, or just plain immoral behavior. However, we live in a fallen world, and both men and women can easily stray into sinful choices that hurt the people they love.
If you are a wife who is ready to confront your husband over some kind of wrong behavior, here’s what not to do! Don’t treat him like he’s the enemy. Don’t give him that look says “you disgust me”. Don’t scold him like he’s a 3 year-old child. Don’t roll your eyes.
Instead, as you’re bringing up the issue that is causing you distress, let your husband know that you are for him and your marriage. A man will shut down if he feels his wife is against him. A man will tune his wife out if she is disrespectful. The Bible says “the wife must respect her husband” in Ephesians 5:33, and this is critical when a wife addresses issues of concern with her husband. Let your man know that you love him and want to work with him as his partner to overcome the challenge. Speak gently and encourage him by reminding him of his good qualities. If he knows you are truly for him, he will be much more apt to listen to what you’re saying instead of shutting you out or flying into a rage.
Here are two more tips. 1) To help make sure he doesn’t get super defensive, start out by asking this gentle question: “Help me understand why….” When you ask him that instead of starting out with strong accusations, he will be much more likely to talk calmly with you! 2) Start out the conversation by affirming the good in him. You might begin this way: “I know you love me and I know you would never intentionally hurt me, but….”
So many couples, especially young couples, argue over money. They disagree over how much to spend, how much to save, the financial priorities, whether to help loved ones in need, whether to give to the church, and on and on.
You might not be aware, but the Bible actually gives a ton of guidance on how to handle money and possessions! I have found 3 particular Bible principles to be especially helpful for couples who have been suffering from financial tension and strain in their marriages. Allow me to summarize those principles for you. (You can look up the verses for yourself and ask the Lord to counsel you directly).
Bible Principle 1: Live intentionally below your means! (Hebrews 13:5) So many couples are under heavy financial strain because there is no real cushion in their budget. They’ve bought the biggest house they could possibly afford or the most expensive car they could afford, and then when something unexpected comes up, they become super stressed-out and start ugly arguments!
Bible Principle 2: Don’t wear yourself out or stress yourself out by working too much to accumulate possessions and wealth because those things will mean nothing at the end of your life. The only thing that will matter is your love for the Lord and the people he placed in your life. (Proverbs 23:4)
Bible Principle 3: Take a step of faith and cheerfully give some of your money back to the work of the Lord because He promises to reward those who trust Him by doing so! (Malachi 3:10). I’ve done this faithfully for several decades whether I felt like I had the money to give or not. The Lord has always provided for me, sometimes in strange and unusual ways!