“Harlots?” Are You Serious?

I wonder what was happening when the words, “harlot” and “zealot” were created.

As I read Proverbs 7 this morning, I struggled. I wondered, “What on earth am I to do with this, Lord?” And then it hit me… it’s every man’s struggle.

And their wives struggle as well.

And try as these men might, with the greatest of intentions, many make promises they can’t possibly keep.

And it’s nothing women can ever really understand.

 

And as I watch this addiction destroy families (and if you consider all the physiology behind it, this is very similar to a drug addiction – see this page on the physiology of sex addiction) and individuals, I also think about what a captivating snare this is for our men.

And my heart is broken for them.

But my heart also breaks for the wives.

My husband and I had a discussion recently about this. I asked him, point blank, “What would you want my response to be, if you were struggling in this area?”

What he told me was very insightful.

He said, candidly, “I would want you to hold me accountable. But respectfully, not treating me like I’m some bad child of yours. I mean, if we are truly One Flesh, and part of Us is broken, do you stomp on the broken part? Or do you nurture it back to health, helping it heal, gently?”

In working with several who are dealing with this issue, I have found that what they want most from their wives is not condemnation (which they unfortunately receive freely) but rather understanding, gentleness, prayer support, and encouragement. Yes, it wounds women (and deeply – oh, please understand it is ever so deeply that we are wounded by this behavior in husbands) but I often wonder if what God is allowing, He is using to teach us all the compassion of the Christ.

Seriously. If God allows something in our lives, His intention is for us to learn from it, right? He wastes nothing.

So for wives, know this bar is set painfully high. But I do pray we can see the struggle through Proverbs 7. The language is tough to take. But what a trap it portrays. And here’s help: Every Heart Restored, a book which helps wives dealing with this painful topic address the issue the way God would have her.

And yes, I encourage the 30% of you dealing with this to check your responses. Are you pointing out his sin at every opportunity? Is there judgment? Please be careful – that’s the opposite direction from positive change, and no, it’s not your fault, but you can be his helper here, too.

Sometimes a simple, “Is there something I’m not giving you that you are receiving from the porn? Help me understand,” is all it takes. Sometimes a deeper, “How can I pray for you right now?” and “I know this isn’t about me, but it feels the same as though you were being intimate with another woman and it wounds me deeply. I would like to be the only woman in your life.” Sometimes even more is necessary. But there’s a book of discussion on that, so I’ll refer you there. But watch that you don’t issue judgment, that you are free from sin, and that you aren’t with-holding.

Yes, I said that. But God said it first, so check the Scriptures, then take it up with Him.

And for husbands, I encourage you to take action. Protect your marriage and flee from temptation. Confess if you’ve fallen. Repent. Get help via Celebrate Recovery. And remember, pornography is adultery, whether it happens with another physical human, or not. It is a sin against God, one He equates with idolatry, which totally ticks Him off. So repent and sin no more.

Sorry this one is so heavy. Dare you to subscribe above, and trust God to do His thing in your life. Double-dog-dare you to share on Twitter below, or Facebook, and/or leave a comment about your experiences.

Know that I weep and pray with you, and am still thankful to be on the journey.

~Nina

 

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Comments

  1. Christine says

    Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive…
    Speaking as a wife who has lived through her husband having a “harlot” in his life and watching him walk down that path that leads to death, it is the most painful thing I have ever experienced. Not only for myself, but to see the man I love and adore be so deceived – so entangled and oppressed by this spirit of harlotry that he couldn’t even see he was on this path. Nor could he see the destruction it was causing in every area of his life and his family’s life.
    And now, he is on that path again. Not only still in contact with the 1st “harlot” but now involved with another woman – calls, sexting, and meeting with her. I am devestated – but not so much for me this time, but for my husband. My heart breaks daily that he has allowed the “other guy” to lie to him and lure him back into this lifestyle that leads to death… My heart breaks because I know that he loves the Lord and is being a double-minded man in his thoughts and actions… my heart breaks mostly because I know that it grieves the Holy Spirit to see him walking in this sin – because I know that the Lord love my husband so much more than I ever could and how it must break the Lord’s heart…

    Praying that the Lord does whatever it takes to set him free – to deliver him so that he will no longer be enslaved to this yoke of bondage. That he will surrender to the Lord our God and allow Him to be the Lord over every area of his life.

    • Nina Roesner says

      Praying with you, Christine. Such difficult times for both of you. I am amazed at your mature response – it’s not angry, but mournful for a brother dearest to you. May God’s will be seen and freedom reign in your marriage and your lives.
      Love to you,
      ~Nina

  2. Lisa Kesler says

    When I read Proverbs 7..it’s easy to over look some details here..Obviously the young man is simple, young and lacks judgement. Simple is better than foolish because simple can be trained. It makes me think of our young sons as they are just perhaps fresh out of mom and dad’s nest. Bold but unsuspecting, naive still but very curious, not mature in discernment and not knowing when to run from bad women (run Joseph run, poor Samson)! Let that be a lesson to us as parents in training.
    The woman is indeed the predator here. She preys on his innocence like a shiny fishing lure with hooks that snare. She lacks modesty (first clue)-she needs attention, she is loud (2nd clue), boisterous/defiant(3rd clue), she is roaming/cruising the streets (4th)-not a homebody although is capable of domesticity. Verse 14 indicates she’s externally religious and had been to worship. The greatest purpose of the Peace offering (PO)or the fellowship offering was to commemorate a deep sense of fellowship between a worshipper and her God that was intensified by a great banquet celebration. There were 3 kinds of peace offerings: PO of Thanks to God (Leviticus 22:29), the PO of a vow(Lev. 22:21), and the PO of free-will (Lev. 22:23). She claims to have fulfilled her vows and any left overs(meat) from the celebration could be eaten the second day (Lev. 19:7). 3rd day it was considered defiled. It sounds like she vowed to hunt this spring-chicken down. She is the cougar -wayward wife who has religious trappings, all the luxuries a woman could want in yet in bondage to adultery and ingratitude. And smooth as ice in speech and cold hearted to match.
    As women we need to look ourselves in light of Proverbs 7. Are we religious with all the right activities outside for others to see but wayward in our thoughts/private actions..vain worshippers in fact? Lips are near but hearts far from God?How do we handle the loneliness when our husbands get all caught up in work and leave us for extended periods of time? Is the stewardship of our loneliness commendable before God? Are we training our daughters properly..not to look, sound and behave like playboy bunnies and penthouse pin ups? As women proclaiming godliness we really need to look at the inner thought life and actions we do in private. It is in prayer/fasting/self control/confession and intimacy with the Lord we bring all our thoughts into subjection to Christ. I appreciate Solomon training his sons. As women let us be instructed as well. Lets not turn to her ways or stray in her direction ourselves. Temptation is not a sin. Our response to it can lead to abundant life or the highway to hell. Confession and repentance needs to be real for wayward wives. Let’s all be sobered by the real consequences of sin. Sweet Jesus have mercy on us.

  3. says

    Great article – Quick response from the men’s side:

    Basic sexual arousal for men is a simple, involuntary chemical experience. Men tend to be very visual, so when we see something sexual and we are aroused. It really is that simple. It’s not a choice we are making.

    Some junk mail arrived advertising swim suits. This may sound silly, but I tried to throw it away without looking at it, but I saw the attractive women on the cover and I started to get aroused. This happened between the front door and the recycling bin (5 or 6 steps).

    This can be very frustrating. I want to avoid porn, but it is everywhere. Men are constantly being tempted.

    Imagine being on a strict diet, but everywhere you turn you are offered your favourite dessert, for free, and the person offering the food keeps whispering that it is OK to have just a little. Eventually you may give in.

    The Bible tells us that in this life we will have struggles. So somewhere in this struggle there is value, perhaps it is a reminder that we need to continuously turn back to, and be in constant communion with God. Paul tells us (it is not a suggestion) to pray continuously, perhaps there is freedom within that discipline?

    Note: I appreciate that you do not pull any punches and speak plainly what the gospels says, so many “seeker friendly” people today and watering down the gospel, which is very offensive. Thanks!

  4. m says

    “Yes, it wounds women (and deeply – oh, please understand it is ever so deeply that we are wounded by this behavior in husbands)” is an understatement. There are no words! However, I always think if I had known more about this topic before I got married it would have been easier to deal with. The shock of finding out multiplies the pain.

    • ninaroesner says

      So very sorry, M, that you are having to deal with this issue in your marriage. I pray wisdom, grace, comfort, and peace your direction. This is such a painful thing to deal with because it cuts to the core of the most private and intimate parts of a woman’s soul. Love to you, praying strength in His Name for you.

  5. says

    This is a TOUGH one, Nina. I don’t like it. I want to feel right and better than and wounded. This one hits home for me. My first husband had a pornography addiction that completely engulfed our life. There was no help for two kids (early 20’s) so early in a marriage.

    There is such truth here, that the unfaithfulness of a man can lead to his demise. I am reminded to guard my son, to encourage my husband in guarding our son, to be aware of my husband’s needs, and to approach any addiction with mercy, compassion, truth and inner strength….

    God, help me to be loving because that’s what you commanded me to be…

    23 Until an arrow pierces through his liver;
    As a bird hastens to the snare,
    So he does not know that it will cost him his life.

    26 For many are the [q]victims she has cast down,
    And numerous are all her slain.

    27 Her house is the way to Sheol,
    Descending to the chambers of death.

    • ninaroesner says

      The absolute worst part of this heavy passage is the last verse…”descending to the chambers of death.” When I think about the men I know who are caught in this snare, it breaks my heart. Jesus is “the way, the Truth, and the life” and the trap of adultery (and Christ said what’s done in our heads is literally done in this department) leads to death.
      Dear God, may the men trapped here find freedom in Your Son. And soon. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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