Can a Christian woman be too helpful? Can she be too nice? I believe the answer is yes. When we are so “nice” that we enable our husband or adult children to act irresponsibly or to stay immature, we are being too nice. And many of us fit this description. We are too helpful. We are codependent. We train our loved ones to be dependent on us, instead of God. We train them to rely on us to do things for them that they should really do themselves as responsible adults. Often, we also train them to expect us to bail them out of the natural consequences of their foolish or sinful decisions.
Why are many women codependent? We become codependent when we subconsciously depend on others to meet a deep emotional need of our own, such as feeling loved, secure, or important. Instead of looking to the Lord for love, security and significance, we exhaust ourselves trying to get people to meet those needs. Then, because we pin all our hopes on these people, we MUST cater to them in order to keep them in the relationship with us. We fear that our “source” of love and security will leave us or withdraw their love if we don’t cater to them. We start walking on eggshells. We bend over backwards to keep them happy because we fear losing them. However, the Bible says in Proverbs 29:25 “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.”
Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be loving and kind. Of course, we should. However, we go too far when our “kindness” enables immature and irresponsible and even sinful behavior in others. We go too far when we try to spare our loved ones from consequences and when we carry their responsibilities. We go too far when we become neurotic people-pleasers in the relationship just so the other person is more likely to make us feel better about ourselves!
Here are 2 questions you can ask yourself today:
1) Are my actions preventing my husband or children from becoming mature and responsible?
2) Am I expecting my husband or child to meet my deepest emotional needs or am I seeking a deeper relationship with the Lord to meet those needs?
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.