I was standing in line at my local grocery store when an obnoxious magazine caught my eye. I’m used to seeing half-naked women on the cover of tabloids, but this image seemed even too edgy for a tabloid.
A small wave of anger rushed over me as I thought of the innocent children and husbands who were being exposed to this, as I call it, “tabloid porn.” As I tried to refocus my thinking on something more positive, a middle aged couple got in line behind me.
I watched in curiosity as the wife reached over and selected that magazine off the rack. I watched even more curiously to see what she would do with it. To my shock, the wife held that magazine cover up to her husband’s face and said, “Wow, wish I had a body like that!”
Her husband chuckled as he happily perused the cover until she removed it.
I quickly glanced forward, realizing I had been staring. I tried to wrap my head around what I just saw. “Why would a wife want to intentionally show her husband a partially naked woman?” “Why would a wife want to help her husband peruse another woman?”
As I thought about that puzzling scene over the next few days, I began to wonder…maybe that wife didn’t understand the value of sexual purity in her marriage. Or maybe that wife was clueless about lust and temptation. Or maybe she wanted to prove her “security” by appearing non-jealous. I don’t know.
I’ll never know what that wife was thinking, but I do know this—she didn’t seem one bit concerned with placing a direct sexual temptation in her husband’s face.
That, right there, is a big problem.
Sexual temptations bombard our husbands on a daily basis and they don’t need us adding to the struggle.
Unfortunately, I don’t think we, as Christian women, fully understand that. I’ve been guilty of this, and I’ve seen many other Christian women who have been too.
For example, I was over at a Christian family’s house several years ago when I noticed a provocative CD cover on their living room shelf. The CD featured a totally nude image of the backside of a female. I learned later that the CD was the wife’s. I’m guessing that wife was unaware of how sexually tempting and unhelpful that image would be for her husband.
Another time I was staying overnight in the home of a Christian family. The wife was involved in ministry and the husband was the associate pastor of their large church. While using their bathroom, I noticed a pile of tabloids next to the toilet. Half-naked women filled these magazines as I quickly glanced through one. I’m positive they were the wife’s, and I’m also positive she had no idea how tempting they could be for her husband.
Another time I was over at a friend’s house for a casual lunch get-together. She had the TV running in the background with one of those reality supermodel shows on. Her husband was walking back and forth doing house projects. When the commercials weren’t playing, the TV was filled with half-naked bodies of models doing sensual photo shoots. This wife seemed unfazed by the amount of nudity and skin blaring on her TV. I’m guessing she had no idea how tempting they could be for her husband.
All of these Christian wives were unknowingly tempting their husbands towards lust. They weren’t doing it on purpose; they were simply naive. They were bringing immodest, sexualized, and sensual women into their homes and family without even thinking about it. As I’ve learned from my husband over the years, this does not aid him (or any man) in fighting against lust.
To all of my fellow wives out there: Whether you realize it or not, your man has to fight against lust every time he walks out the front door or turns on his Internet browser. Sexulized billboards, raunchy magazines, immodest women walking by, and pornographic pop-up ads attack him on a regular basis. The amount of sexual temptations your husband faces on a daily basis is unreal.
Let’s not make it any harder on him than it already is. Whether he asks you for it or not, there are a lot of things you can do to help him fight the battle.
Here are some things I’ve done over the years that my husband really appreciates:
- I sort the mail and throw away the immodest/sensual ads so he doesn’t have to see them.
- I don’t ask my husband to watch movies with me that have immodest women in them (i.e. most chick flicks).
- I intentionally leave all magazines, books, etc. out of my home that have immodest/sensual images or ads in them.
- If I know a certain restaurant has immodest waitresses, I don’t suggest eating there.
- I don’t ever take my husband into a lingerie store. I’ve seen many wives do this, and from what I hear, it’s not helpful for the men.
I know these things may sound extreme to some of you and I understand why. It’s not normal. However, the way my husband and I see it, it takes extreme measures to fight for purity in our modern sexualized culture. We’re both committed to helping each other out and doing whatever we can to fight for purity.
Purity is extremely important for maintaining a strong foundation in any marriage. As Christian women, I pray we will all see the value of fighting for our men by making the necessary sacrifices to help him succeed.
I’d love to hear from you on this topic. How do you (whether a husband or a wife) help your spouse fight for purity?