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.