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Is It Possible to Find a Pure Man?

Last Updated: February 21, 2014

Guest Author

Want to write for the Covenant Eyes blog? Share the story of your journey to freedom from pornography. Let us know how you overcame porn or how Covenant Eyes has made a difference in your life or the lives of those you love.

By Katie Wheeler

Is finding a pure man hopeless in this generation? Does a woman have to compromise her ideals and desires because of today’s culture? These and other questions plague many women who are seeking a long-term commitment, one that might lead to marriage.

The use of pornography has become so commonplace, that many women wonder, “Can a woman find a pure man?”

Setting Standards

A woman should begin the process of searching for a pure man by setting a standard for herself. This lays the foundation to attract purity, says Heidi Monuteaux, founder of Moshia Ministries, which helps families recover from sexual addiction.

Monuteaux describes foundational behaviors and practices that can lead to a pure relationship.

  • Prepare by being a woman that attracts purity (modest clothing, behaviors, attitudes, etc.). A woman cannot expect to attract a pure man if she is not pursuing purity herself.
  • Build self-esteem and confidence in Christ and in God’s purpose for one’s life. A woman who doesn’t know who she is will attempt to fill her emptiness with the wrong kind of attention.
  • Know what you want in a man. A young woman ought to make a clear and detailed list of what she is looking for (personality, standards, morals, qualities, family of origin issues, etc.). Lay it before the Lord and ask Him to provide.
  • Make firm decisions (‘pre-decisions’) about what is and is not acceptable in a spouse. Before dating begins set personal guidelines, then be very forthright and ask any potential suitor the hard questions as early in the relationship as possible. Women must be prepared to act on those pre-decisions regardless of the feelings involved. Feelings will fade and change.
  • Ask tough questions, such as “Am I willing to allow pornography, and all that it encompasses, into my relationship?” If not, what is she willing to do to avoid it?
  • Look for a man in the right places.
  • Be realistic. No man (or woman) is extensively self-examined, whole, polished, healthy and pure (especially if you marry relatively young). A good husband will not be perfect, but he will passionately pursue purity.
  • After marriage, do not forget that the woman is supposed to be the husband’s helper. The woman is God’s provision for his needs. Even in sin, God can use both partners’ weaknesses to shape and make them more like Him.

These practices, Monuteaux says, will help a woman set standards for herself just as she is hoping her future husband will set standards for himself.

The Porn Problem

Women must take into account what they do and do not want to deal with in a relationship with their future husbands.

“It is important to understand that pornography feeds lust, and lust serves self,” Monuteaux explained.

Lust has a whirlpool effect that is difficult to escape, she said. It pulls and pulls until the viewer gets sucked in and cannot get out. Women must be aware of this luring temptation. If this is a stronghold in a man’s life, she said, it will continue to grow and feed his selfish nature through his lifetime.

“What aspects [of a relationship] aren’t strained [by porn]?” Monuteaux added. “The aspects that are most strained are intimacy, trust, finances, communication, time, attention, presence, boundaries, and a healthy view of what sex should be like.”

If a woman found out that her partner was using pornography, what should she do? Should she abandon the relationship completely, just hit the highway and allow him to figure out his own problems? Monuteaux said she would counsel a woman to use grace and mercy in a relationship with these circumstances. She would not abandon the relationship right away but would look at the actions of her partner and see if he had a repentant heart and a willingness to seek godly help and counseling.

“If she is willing to stick around for at least six months, she could be a part of some profoundly wonderful redemption in the life of the man,” Monuteaux said.

Women need to be honest with themselves and decide what they are willing to do if something like this arises in their relationships, she said. If her partner has a willingness to seek help, a woman should make her decision based on what she believes she can handle, and what she believes God is leading her to do.

Monuteaux offers warning signs that a husband might be viewing porn.

  • Up late at night on the computer or other web-based gadgets by himself.
  • Mysterious phone or credit card charges.
  • Isn’t accountable to anyone regarding his Internet use.
  • He regularly cannot account for his time.
  • Unreachable when working late or traveling.
  • Acting distant and mentally pre-occupied.
  • Either makes or receives mysterious phone calls, but refuses to explain.
  • Is rebellious when responding to authority.
  • Controlling behavior.
  • Secretive about his personal life.
  • Gets defensive when topics of lust and pornography are brought up.
  • Flirts with people of the opposite sex.
  • Does not respect the sexual boundaries of others with actions or eyes.

If a woman is looking for a man who is pursuing purity, she can search for the opposite of this list. Look for a man who desires to be open about his behaviors. One of the first steps women should take to protect themselves, and potentially their families, is to call out a problem, and to get counseling to heal from the hurt. If there is no problem with pornography, then take the time to sit down and determine what measures will be taken to protect both parties, as well as the potential family in the future. “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5, NIV). Humans have a sinful nature, and no sin is greater than another, but sin must be dealt with.

Pure is defined as unmixed with any other matter; free from dust, dirt, or taint. Humans are born impure. Therefore the hunt for a “pure” man is impossible.

“Rather than asking if a man is pure or impure, I think the question is: “Who (or what) is the focus of his heart’s affections?”  Monuteaux said.

Photo credit: DMahendra on Flickr

  • Comments on: Is It Possible to Find a Pure Man?
    1. Anonymous on

      I am a young guy who is striving for purity as much as possible because I have struggled with porn for years. I loved the advice and information given in the “Setting Standards” section, but I think a few things should be stated in regards to this topic overall:

      – I believe that we are all oriented towards certain sins more than others. For example, I really do not struggle with lying or homosexuality, but I do believe that I struggle with lust more than most men. After digging around on the internet for a while, I have found that a major problem within marriages is one spouse wanting sex more frequently than the other. I do think a wise question people could ask themselves before dating/marrying then is how similarly oriented towards sex the other person is compared to you. If you for instance despise the thought of pornography like no other and are not interested in sex much at all, I would advise not seeking to marry someone who is the opposite. Just something to consider.

      – I have heard an expression similar to this before: asking a man not to care about looks or sex is like asking a woman not to care about money. I’m not sure about the amount of truth in this statement, but I do think it shows a good understanding of men and how they view sex – something that a woman (wife) should not be without! For most men, sex is tied into their intimate feelings of being loved. That is why we struggle with lust so much. God made a woman’s body very attractive, so it makes sense that he also made man be attracted to it. The problem is we as men take that out of context. God does not want us to lust after someone’s body unless we are married to them, and even then, “lust” is not a good word to describe it as lust does not give much regard to the other person if at all. I do believe God can use my strong desire for sex to unite me all the more with my future wife, but it nonetheless remains an obligation for me to strive for purity both now and then and I ought to accept the possibility that God may not have even planned marriage for me.

      – The truth is that I’ve been wanting to stop looking at pornography for years, and while I have gotten better at it, the desire has also become all that much stronger! I do my best to love God as much as I possibly can with all that I am, I read His word daily, pray regularly for purity, and do my best to be a godly Christian man with the help of the Spirit, but I nonetheless continue to look at pornography every couple of days on average. I do see God working in me to restore me back to the person I ought to be, but that does not happen overnight and I still have a ways to go. If I am seeking God so intently and still failing at it every so often, I think it critically important that women show grace, mercy, and an understanding to men who struggle with purity! Do your best to encourage men in the right direction, but also strive to be like God who forgives us of all of our sins and loves us despite our sin because we are sorry for it and have faith in Him.

      I hope this helps some people!

      Reply
      • Danielle on

        We are called by God to forgive but that does not mean that we should not set healthy boundaries. If you are a man still struggling with porn, as you admitted that you do, then you have no business pursuing a woman until you get this out of your life. Why should any woman settle for a man who isn’t going to be faithful to her. I’m tired of hearing all this bull crap from guys who say they are trying to stop but can’t. If you were truly sorry for your sin you would get the help you need. You look at porn every couple of days and then say you are striving for purity? I don’t think so. A truly repentant heart sees how sickening and destructive that garbage is. Furthermore, healthy people don’t need to be addicted. You are a sex addict and you need help. A godly woman wouldn’t think twice about walking away from you. I’m so tired of all the women being so hurt over this. Grow and get yourself some help.

      • Kay Bruner on

        Hey Danielle. Thanks for writing in. I agree with you that forgiveness and healthy boundaries absolutely must go together.

        However, I would challenge some of the ideas here. I do think that addicts can be sincerely wanting recovery, yet continue to struggle over many months and years, until they are finally free. 5 years is a benchmark I’ve seen, and I think that’s pretty accurate.

        In my experience, the shame feelings around how “sickening and destructive that garbage is” can actually drive more acting out behavior. Shame is never a thing that sets people free. It just makes people feel helpless and hopeless.

        Yes, we need to understand the reality of pornography and fight against it. But we also need to keep in mind the inherent worth and value of those who are trying to get free from it. And even those who aren’t trying to get free. They are still people God loves.

        Like you, I too get tired of women being hurt by this. And the thing I tell women all the time is, process your own emotions in a safe place. Have good boundaries. Work on your own health and healing, regardless of what the other person chooses. Find a group, find a therapist, get the help you need just for you. We cannot control the choices of others, but we can be making good choices for ourselves.

        Blessings, Kay

      • Anonymous on

        I literally feel exactly the same way you did. Everything you said was solo true and it is encouraging that someone is (was) just like me. I am constantly depressed and I have strong anxiety, and I look at pornography a lot as well. As much as I try to stop and as much as I go to confession, the problem remains. If you or anyone else reads this, please pray for me, I honestly don’t know how much longer I can deal with this. And now that it’s been almost three years, I hope you’ve been able to overcome your sin as well. Once again, thank you for taking the time to comment this.

    2. Danielle on

      Furthermore. Your desire for porn will not increase your sex life with your future wife and unite her with you all the more. You are clearly sucked in to porn on a deep level. Porn destroys your ability to have a true intimate sexual relationship with a woman. If you think your desire for porn has anything to do with how strong your sex life will be with your further wife you are sadly mistaken and in for a very rude awakening. Porn kills a mans desire for something real. It robs of true intimacy.

      Reply
    3. Pikake on

      Reading the list in the article, I think the guy I just broke up with may have had a pornography problem. He had a wandering eye. He’s a writer, and all of his female characters were only described by their sexual physical appearance–except for his main female characters, who were psychologically men, still hyper sexual–he got defensive whenever lust or pornography was brought up and didn’t think church should teach against pornography, and he got a screen protector for his phone that didn’t allow others to see what was on it. He also was very private and emotionally distant and seemed to want to spend almost all his time alone. He tried to be sexual without being affectionate–wouldn’t hold my hand or kiss me or touch me while trying to get too close sexually. Yet he insisted he didn’t have a problem with pronography. I felt so messed up trying to make things work, and feel so relieved now that I’ve asked him to stop contacting me. He stopped going to church and was super anti-authority. He is a good man in many ways, but he wasn’t being open or trying to connect with pure men at church who would be a good influence. The problem is all the men in his life–his friends and family members–are not religious and seem to think pornography is okay.

      Also, I appreciate the guy’s comment and honest admission of his struggle. There is one thing I disagree with–he says if one partner thinks porn is disgusting and wants to have nothing to do with it and has no interest in sex, and the other one does, the relationship will not work. That is true, but he inaccurately links interest in having sex with a partner with interest in porn. I have a super super high sex drive. I will want to have sex with my husband every day. I am disgusted by porn. I don’t want any porn in my life or in our home.
      My sister had a stronger sex drive than her husband, and wanted sex more than he did. It hurt her. Then she later found out he had a pornography problem. Usually people with pornography issues are less interested in a real sexual relationship to communicate love to a real live partner with whom they have a real emotional connection. They are more interested in selfish indulgence instead of connecting. They’d often rather fantasize and masturbate than spend time with a real woman and connect by making love instead of just having intercourse. Interest level in porn is NOT the same as degree of sex drive and interest in connecting sexually with a spouse. They are actually the opposite.
      Also, I am a woman who does not care about how much money a man makes. I have dates men poorer than me, or who make less money than me; I’ve also dared men who make more than me. I don’t care at ALL about what kind of car my man drives (or if he even has a car), or how much money he makes. I do care about his purity, his sincerity, his commitment, desire, and ability to be fiercely loyal on thoughts, words, and actions–to me and to God. I can understand impure thoughts coming into his mind. But it’s which thoughts you choose to entertain and keep thinking about, and feed.

      I want to be modest and attract someone who loves me for me. However, if all men are visual and are going to have difficulty not fantasizing about women they see dressed immodestly, and their wife is dressed modestly, how do you as a wife compete with these other images to remain his primary sexual interest and the star of his fantasies, if he’s seeing other women’s flesh more than his wife’s? It feels like a catch-22. It seems that dressing modestly only helps strengthen other people’s marriages, but it doesn’t work to help your own marriage unless every other woman around is dressing modestly, too. It’s like going on strike–it only works if everyone does it. Everyone who doesn’t join the cause makes your efforts futile, and you’re the one sacrificing your paycheck while they still get paid. I’ve tried to dress modestly almost my whole life. My sisters have dressed very immodestly. And instead the guys I date end up getting attracted to my sisters with their immodest clothes and breast implants. I try to take care of how I look and be classy about it, but even the guys who mock women who dress immodestly still stare at their cleavage and get lustful smiles (my ex checking out his friend’s girlfriend; he told me he found her repulsive and unattractive, and his family joked about how she hardly wore clothes, yet I saw him stare down her shirt when she was wearing a super revealing lowcut top and leaned over to pour water. And then he got this weird smile afterwards).

      Two of my sisters have had stronger sex drives than their husbands, and one of their husbands has admitted to having a pornography addiction, but he is a good man trying to curb it. He has been working with a church leader, and has not looked at pornography or masturbated in a long time. M
      It really hurt my sister when she would want to have sex and connect with him, and he wasn’t interested in sex. She had always heard–we all do–that men are typically supposed to have a stronger sex drive than women. It made her feel unwanted, unloved, undesirable, and unattractive. But she didn’t know at first that it was because he was getting off by himself with porn. Pornography and masturabtion will RUIN your REAL LIFE sexual relationships.

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        Hey there. I think you’ve got some good ideas here, most notably this one: real relationships are about so much more than sex. Sex is a component, but it’s not the whole deal. Recovery is about so much more than “not looking at porn.” It’s about being able to connect emotionally, to build caring and support and friendship. Men, too, can become just as emotionally committed to the relationship as women! And when that happens, then the issue of defining modesty properly, and competing with other women, diminishes. Here’s an article I wrote a while back about emotional trust and how that gets built into relationships. I’d also recommend The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, by John Gottman. This is the premier research on successful relationships in the world today; Dr. Gottman is so experienced that he can tell within 5 minutes, with something like 85% accuracy, if a couple will divorce or not. In other words, he knows what he’s talking about! And you know what, NOT ONE of the seven principles is about sex! Not one! I find that fascinating. Happy reading! Kay

    4. Laura on

      this really doesn’t make me feel any better. You write all these things and then say it is impossible to find a pure man. Sure, we are all impure but are you saying that a woman WILL NEVER FIND a man who does not/has not looked at porn or had sex. I don’t want a perfect, amazing man I just want a man who is a virgin like me and was raised like me where I was monitored on the internet and am do note want to have a mobile phone because of the temptation they present. Is that really asking to much? I am almost 23 years old and I have never watched pornography and I don’t even really know what a man’s naked anatomy looks like and I am a virgin. Am I really being sick and unreasonable in wanting a man who is also a virgin and has not looked at pornography or was raised with the same standards as I was? If so I really wonder why God made women and asked them to get married if all God is going to give women is pervs after waiting and waiting and remaining abstinent and dressing modestly and my reward is to be alone all my life. Maybe I don’t even want a God like that. I’m glad to see there are not restraints on men. They can do whatever they like. There is nothing worse in this world than being a woman. I wish I were a man instead. Modest girls get nothing. They end up sad and alone unless they throw away their dreams of meeting a virginal guy and throw away all their standards. Thanks God. you make a whole lost of sense. not.

      Reply
      • Chris McKenna on

        Hi, Laura – I can sense the honest anguish in your post. Be a virgin. Hold your standards high. But above all, be obedient. Are you saying that you’d only marry a virgin? Ok, that’s your standard. Or only a man who has never seen an image of a woman naked? Ok, that’s your standard. But, understand that you’re essentially saying that someone wonderful now, who might have experienced one or both of these things, is not capable of being forgiven, redeemed, and is incapable of being a wonderful, Godly, obedient, husband. Is that your belief?

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