I Plan on Objectifying my Wife. You Can’t Stop Me!
I recently wrote a Covenant Eyes article “What Christian Culture Has Gotten Wrong About Sexual Purity.” In it, I wrote:
Satan’s definition of sex is that it’s all about body parts and it’s all about consuming another person to satisfy myself. It breaks my heart how the Christian subculture has blindly accepted this definition when God has something so much deeper and truer for us.
In the comment section, some of what I wrote was met with confusion, which I hope to help clear up here. One commenter wrote:
As far as I am concerned, I plan on objectifying my wife until death do us part. And nobody on this blog or any other is going to make me feel one speck of guilt about it.
While not very helpful for interactive dialogue, it shows the anger and confusion some husbands feel about this subject. A more helpful question was posed by another commenter:
What is the difference between lusting after my wife and desiring her sexually or being turned on by her? Are all three the same? If I wasn’t turned on by her body, why would we have sex? What would cause me to become aroused and pursue sex with her?
These comments show the need to differentiate between objectification and attraction. Before I jump into that, I thought a comment from a wife on the same thread was incredibly helpful:
No woman, including your wife, is here on this earth to be an object to you. Many women tell me that their husbands use them for sex, and they know it. Their husbands aren’t emotionally invested in the relationship, don’t really care if their wife is interested in sex or not, apply pressure for sex, etc. This is using a woman for lust or objectification, rather than desiring her as a person.
The Difference Between Lust and Attraction
There are really three terms at play here: lust, objectification, and attraction. The Greek word used for “lust” in Matthew 5:28–”But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart”–means to desire. It’s translated elsewhere in the New Testament as longing, desire, covet, and want in any number of contexts including desiring food, death, and the Kingdom of God itself. Jesus is saying that lust is when a man looks at a woman who is not his wife with the desire to be with her sexually.
Lust and attraction are two different things. Attraction is when you think someone is pretty. It does not mean you are picturing them sexually or seeing yourself being in a sexual situation with them. A lot of Christians beat themselves up because they think a man or woman is attractive, even though they are not desiring to have sex with them or thinking about them in a sexually explicit way.
Related: How to Explain Lust to Your Children
You can be sexually attracted to someone without lusting over them. You lust when you take your natural sexual attraction to the next level of consciously entertaining and holding onto that thought. Savoring it or playing it over and over again in your mind. Picturing yourself with that person sexually. This is different than noticing someone as being attractive.
Where Does Objectification Fit In
Now, objectification. Objectification is when we take a human being and treat them like they are an object. This can happen in a workplace when a boss or owner doesn’t treat his or her employees with respect as dignified human beings. If the employees are a means to an end and are treated as such, they are no longer being treated as humans.
Slavery is the utmost example of objectification, but anyone with a boss who only cared about what they produced has also been objectified.
Objectification can happen in sports when we only care about the score or statistics and shout demeaning insults at players when they mess up. Coaches can objectify their players, just as military officers can objectify the privates at the bottom of the chain of command.
The point is: nobody likes to be treated as subhuman and we all know it is wrong when it is happening to us.
Related: License to Lust–How Porn Trains Objectification
How Objectification and Lust Relate
Lust and objectification are related but aren’t identical. Objectification is a mindset that is always present when lust is present, but objectification can also be present within a marriage, while lust cannot be.
Objectification is when we turn a person into a collection of body parts, which are objects. Forgive me for the gross example, but if you removed your hand and set it next to you on your desk, that hand would be an object. It is not you.
People are not collections of body parts, they are people.
Think of it like a six-string guitar. For a guitar to create the music it was made for, it must have all six strings attached and working. If you took off five of the strings and only had one remaining, you can strum that one string over and over again, but you wouldn’t be playing the guitar. You’d be creating noise, but not music. This is what our culture has done with sex.
Imagine each string of the guitar represents one of the essential ingredients of a God-designed marriage. There are several categories we could use here, but let’s name our strings Trust, Commitment, Loyalty, Sex, Respect, and Humility. When you play all six strings, you get the sound of love, God-designed love, which is only found in marriage.
What our culture has done is removed the five strings of Trust, Commitment, Loyalty, Respect, and Humility and claims that love can be “made” with the playing of only one string, Sex.
Can a Husband Objectify His Wife?
So while a husband can’t technically lust over his wife, he certainly can objectify her. He objectifies her when he sees his marriage as a one-string marriage. When he thinks his wife’s purpose for existing is to have sex with him. He has made her subhuman and an object for him to consume, use, and then discard until the next use is needed.
This guitar metaphor is also quick to show that the Sex string is just as important in a marriage as anything else is. This is not a divisive either/or fight. You can’t make God-designed music on the guitar with only five strings either. Song of Solomon or Proverbs 5:18-19 all testify to this. It’s good and God-honoring for a man to be sexually attracted to his wife, and for a wife to be sexually attracted to her husband. But that desire is in the context of a six-stringed, one flesh marriage. When two have become one in every area, not just in one (sex).
So husbands, yes, you can enjoy your wife, including her body parts, so long as you remember you married your wife, not her body parts. Can you imagine the vows in that marriage ceremony!? I trust that no husband made marriage vows only to his wife’s body parts, therefore no wife should be seen as just body parts.
Do you love your wife because she’s the one you get to have sex with, or do you love having sex with her because you love your wife? A simpler and blunter way to ask this is: Which do you love more, sex or your wife?
God designed you to be attracted to a woman, a her, not to body parts, a that.
Regarding Mt 5.27-30. I have a slightly different interpretation on what Jesus was speaking about.
Three words in this passage need to be explained in order to make good sense of what Jesus is saying here. These words are: ‘Woman’, ‘Adultery’ and ‘Lust’.
‘Woman’. The Greek word is γυνή gunē; a prim. word; a woman:—bride(1), wife(71), wife’s(1), wives(11), woman(96), woman’s(1), women(33). As you can see the same word is used for both ‘woman’ and ‘wife’.
‘Adultery’. Adultery is an offense committed against one marriage-covenant partner, generally the husband. It happens when another man has sex with the husbands wife. Thereby making use of her in a way in which only the woman’s covenant partner (her husband) has the conjugal right to exercise.
For this reason I’m inclined to think Jesus does not have looking with desire / lustful intent at any and every woman in mind. Rather, only the wives of other men. Thats why he calls it adultery. I think the the translators of the Greek γυνή (gunē) have wrongly used the English ‘woman’ over ‘wife’ in the passage, despite the immediate context referring repeatedly to adultery (associated with married people).
‘Lust’. The Greek word is ἐπιθυμέω epithumeō; desire, lust after:—covet(2), coveted(1), craved(1), desire(1), desired(2), desires(1), gladly(1), long(3), longing(1), lust(2), sets its desire(1). I think the idea expressed here goes beyond simple appreciation of beauty and attraction. Rather a strong desire to have that person for oneself. i.e. Coveting another person’s property.
I suppose Jesus is not saying its wrong to appreciate a woman’s beauty. If that were the case men wouldn’t be allowed to find their own wives attractive and desire them. Likewise I’d argue this is also part of the process in pursuing women in dating and courtship while seeking to be married.
But if the woman belongs to another man it’s quite different and sinfully dangerous. Strongly desiring and coveting another man’s wife is adultery. Jesus’ command goes beyond the very act of taking another man’s wife for oneself. Taking for yourself what the woman’s husband alone has rights to. He extends it to our thoughts as well. If we desire or even fantasize about having another man’s wife for ourselves, that is sin.
I agree with what you are saying in this. But I think you are implying when you say Jesus meant lust as looking at another man’s wife with a desire to be with her sexually means that it is almost okay to look at another woman who is single in the same manner.
Reading your comment that is the message that I am getting from it. Coming from a single young man, I know it is a sin to watch porn, have sex with a woman besides my wife, or look at a woman and imagine myself with her sexually. I know this is a sin because it is out of the context of marriage. Even if I am single and look at another single woman lustfully, she is not my wife nor am I her husband. I have committed adultery against my future wife by looking at another woman lustfully.
You don’t have to be married to commit adultery in your heart. Jesus may have been speaking to married men in this context of Matthew, however, should we not apply it to men who are not married?
I must say, respectfully, that while your analysis seems sound for the most part it does LOUDLY SHOUT (in my perception anyway) that a man, married or not, only sins if he lusts after a married woman but not an unmarried woman- whether he himself is married or not. If you did mean single women are “fair game” nmw, I find it impossible to accept that God was a hypocrite doling out permission to disrespect 2 women at the same instant just because you want to. That is pretty much the foundation of the excuse for glorifying porn: thinking the actors must be ok with it or they wouldn’t do it & thinking your wife won’t be dishonored because you aren’t physically participating.
So you think that only the man has rights? Desiring a single woman doesn’t violate your own wife’s right? And isn’t appreciating a woman’s body included in those conjugal rights you are talking about? I mean, you are her husband and you are giving what belongs to her, to someone else (your desire and “appreciation”)
I think you are dead wrong. As a married person Lusting or objectifying is wrong whether or not you are looking at married people or single ones.
And as a single man too lusting and objectifying is harmful to ANYONE. Research the facts.
And what about your future wife?
This post is very applicable to me. I have had a long history of porn use, starting around age six. Now, I tend to see all women in a hyper-sexualized way… so, I struggle constantly with lust & objectification of women.
This has adversely affected my marriage and relationships with other women. I can easily find myself lusting after female associates (it takes prayerful effort not to). And, I find myself almost having to objectify my wife in order to become aroused enough to have sex with her (one adverse effect of my porn use is a tendency to find other women more attractive than my own wife).
I’m on Day 4 of the Porn Free 40-Day Challenge (my second time; I completed it once before, a couple years ago). I’m praying that I can begin to really cultivate different patterns of thinking during this 40 days. I definitely want to be a better man in regards to how I view women (especially my wife). I’m more prayerful during this challenge, and I’m focused on creating new habits for my life.
Anyway, your article was perfect timing for me, and it was a real boost to my motivation… thanks!
In this day and age, men’s rights are in the toilet. Women can drain him for every last drop and never satisfy him. If he doesn’t like it, she’ll divorce him and take everything. I see it a thousand times. Women need affection and attention and a man’s time is important. It’s not fair to ask men to pay all the attention to his wife and not give him what he desires… Sex! All men want sex. I’m not talking about strapping her down to the bed and pouring hot wax all over her. I’m talking sex where she’s into it. If I can give my wife my time and attention to satisfy her needs, she should do her best to satisfy my needs.
Your response here is pure objectification, unfortunately. You see your wife as some sort of object to satisfy you.
Relationships are not transactions. You don’t pay for sex with attention.
You attend to one another so that you can have a relationship, not so that you can have sex.
In a marriage, sex should be an expression of the emotional intimacy of the relationship, not something that a man can demand because he’s paid a certain amount of attention so now he deserves sex.
@Wes: wow; hint to you: with that attitude you can tell yourself all you want that you are satisfying your wife, but I guarantee you that is not even close to being accurate. You sound like a “she deserved it for (dressing that way/being in the wrong plac/leading him on) type and you need help….. also I’m your case, she earned every penny if she “bled you dry”.
Micheal something I found helpful for me and fighting off porn. I read a post stating that half or the majority of women in porn could be involved in sex trafficking and being forced to participate and pretend to like it or else in all reality the whole scene is a humiliating cry for help. This is a truth I never wanted to see I always assumed they were willingly doing it even the famous stars are probably forced as well no matter who you are there can always be someone else pulling the strings behind the scene. I know when I think of porn their is still a struggle but this opened my eyes that I could be pleasing myself to a human being being raped and humiliated. I know your post is from last year but hope you are staying strong brother you got this!!!
I have a few comments on attraction and objectification.
Attraction: it can happen on so many levels beyond sexual. Here’s a post that helped me identify and name several levels of attraction in myself: https://www.meditationsofatravelingnun.com/learning-about-non-sexual-attraction-from-an-asexual-expert/
Objectification: One phrase I keep coming back to is: “It is impossible to simultaneously objectify and respect a woman.” This is equally true when applied to racism, class-ism, or nationalism instead of women. Actually, you may have summed it up when you spoke of the dehumanizing aspect of objectification.
(now if only we could be notified of new comments)
Wouldn’t that apply in reverse? In other words, if I respect a woman enough to stay a virgin before marriage, marry her, provide for her, give her a good home, help raise our children, attend to her needs, and love her in the ways a wife needs her husband to love her, then it is simply not possible for me to objectify her. I have demonstrated that I am seeing her as a whole person. Then when it comes time to have sex with her and I am observing and appreciating all of her body parts, I cannot be accused of objectifying her. I have proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that I see her as a whole person.
Or is objectification something that is possible to accidentally commit in the deepest recesses of my psyche even while checking all the boxes of treating my wife like a whole person?
I love your analogy of the guitar strings and playing the sound of God-designed love. That’s a beautiful picture using trust, loyalty etc. I am enjoying your resources. Thank you.
This is great insight in a true marriage.
My husband and I rarely have sex. So I know he isnt objectifying me that way. But he sure is by making me feel like his maid and slave! I get zero respect and am expected to do everything while working a full time job. Fun times over here…
Julie, an experienced marriage counselor may be able to help you, but I’ll try to help a little here. Understand that marriage is a dance and as long as both partners keep doing the same things, the dance doesn’t change. But if one partner changes their steps, the other has to respond. You can’t make him change his steps, so maybe changing yours will help.
You say that you rarely have sex. You don’t say why, but he may be feeling just as disrespected and ignored as you do. Instead of complaining that you have so much to do, sit him down and say something like, “Honey, I feel like we’ve been neglecting an important part of our marriage together and I’d like to try to fix it. How about we make time for sex every night for the next week?” If some chores go undone because that’s the only way to make time, then maybe he’ll see that. If you wait until after you’ve done what needs to be done, he may sense that you are tired and be motivated to help. But maybe not. Marriage is work, and sometimes it is hard work. Starting by making him feel important and noticed may lead to him noticing you and caring about you more. Without sitting the two of you down individually and as a couple, it is hard to say.
That said, have you thought about what part you may have played in his not helping out with the housework? A lot of women want someone to help, but then they are critical or do the job over because it wasn’t done “the right way.” If he helps, gladly accept it and provided there aren’t serious safety concerns, let his efforts be enough.
A book that may help you is, “How We Love” by Milan and Kay Yerkovich. It’s one of the best books out there on how we dance in marriage and how to change it up.
I want to be clear that I am not putting all the blame for this issue on you. But changing someone else is impossible, so we have to start with what we can change. I pray God blesses your marriage and puts back together what the pressures of life are pulling apart.
As a couple waging war on lust in our marriage my wife and myself would like to point out for the sake of suffering wives and frustrated husband’s. You stated that attraction is when you find someone pretty but then went on to say that lust is taking your ‘natural’ sexual attraction to the next level. Sexual attraction and attraction are two very different things and it’s dangerous to blur the lines between them. If you use the word ‘natural’ in relation to attraction towards ANYONE other than your spouse you have moved into the realm of ENTITLEMENT. (If your entitled lust is sure to follow). Your ‘natural sexual attraction’ is meant for no one other than your spouse. It is NOT ok to find anyone else other than your spouse
SEXUALLY attractive. If you say they’re nice looking as reflection of God’s image but it doesn’t stir up anything in you that’s sexual then that’s fine but if you feel sexual towards anyone other than your spouse please DENY your flesh. Refer to God’s word on these things, let Him speak to your heart as no person is right in what they say 100% of the time, ourselves included but God is! We are not called to live in the flesh or the natural but to be set apart as children as the most high God. The free ebook by Luke Gilkerson has been a fantastic resource for our marriage. We urge anyone married or not to read and re-read – Your Brain On Porn.
2 Cor 6:17, Gal 5:16 – 23, 1 Peter 2:11,
Romans 8:5 – 14.
I am heartbroken
Im not married in the conventional form
Its more like a common law union
But over the last five years, many things about him have come to the surface.
It was difficult but I managed to keep moving.
But the one thing that hursts is his lustful attitude towards sex.
He wants me to dress in certain things that I am not comfortable with.
He isn’t emotionally invested but gets really upset if I hold out on intimate aspect of the relationship.
I do it because I don’t feel loved.
His arguments with me sound like tantrums at times and my patience is wearing thin.
I feel trapped and un loved but trying to hold on because of my faith.
I don’t want to stay though and I’m finding myself daydreaming about leaving.
Please help me
Say something that I can hold on to
Your faith does not require you to be mistreated in any way, ever. Here, here, and here are some articles on boundaries that might help you consider what is healthy for you, including leaving the relationship if your partner cannot treat you with respect. Your relationships should always reflect the reality that you bear the divine image of God and are precious to God.
Hey Kay, does my faith require me to be mistreated?
Oh, that’s right. It does, because I am the husband and I am called to sacrificially love my wife and if she mistreats me then I have to just suffer and store up treasure in heaven. God will judge her in the after life, but in this life I just have to grin and bear it.
But if I choose to do the ungodly thing and leave my wife because of how mistreated I am, then I will deserve the wrath of the family courts that will take away my children and more than half my income. And the church will blame me as being selfish and no one will come to my defense with three different links on articles that will help me set healthy boundaries.
Faith does not require anyone to be mistreated. Divorce certainly has its own difficulties. You can find a therapist to help resolve marital issues, of course.
Your view here that “Faith never requires being mistreated” is quite simply unbiblical and has lead to the destruction of a great many marriages over the years. I would encourage you to read the NT and show me one verse that backs up the above quoted statement.
On the contrary, if you read passages like 2Co 12:15 “And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.” Paul’s premise is that he gives his life for people and is constantly mistreated and yet he will continue to do so because that is what his faith has called him to do.
In 11 Cor 11:16-32, Paul talks of the immense suffering he has gone through and how he will continue to walk the path.
Or there is Jesus Himself, Mat 5:39 “But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.“
Or Peter, 1Pe 2:20 “For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and ‘suffer’ for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.”
1Pe 3:14 “But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;”
1Pe 3:17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for doing well.”
1Pe 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh.”
In this last passage Peter reminds us that Jesus voluntarily suffered, even to the giving of His own life for those who tortured Him.
Even the very definition of Love from I Cor 13 is antithetical to your statement that “Faith never requires you to be mistreated.”
Love “suffers all things… bears all things… endures all things.”
This is a basic tenant of the Christian faith. Unfortunately, the humanistic thoughts that you espouse have crept into Christianity and told us that we should never have to suffer or be mistreated and if we ever are then we should just leave. No wonder the divorce rate in the church is so high.
Do I believe that men should objectify women? Of course not! Do I believe that a woman should separate from men that physically abuse them? Absolutely! Do I believe that women should withhold sex to control their husbands? No…
But when it comes down to it, our faith calls all of us to suffer at times at the hands of others in order to show the Love of Christ. Faith is not about “me” but about “Christ.” Rom 8, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God… if so be that we ‘suffer’ with him, that we may be also glorified together.”
Please do not confuse secular humanistic counsel with Biblical counsel. Some of the things you said were good but statements such as the one I referred to above are not even remotely Biblical let alone Christian, and will continue to lead to many more unnecessary divorces because people are taught “I should not ever have to suffer.” When in fact love itself calls us to suffer through issues not just leave when things get tough.
Believe me, as a counselor myself, I deal with this all the time and I have to spend an inordinate amount of time working with Christians to remove the humanistic, “God never, ever wants me to suffer” teachings out of there heads.
So, if that’s how you counsel people, then so be it, but please don’t call it Biblical or Christian and tack the word “faith” on it, as statements like the aforementioned come from none of the above mentioned places but only modern secular humanism.
I guess I’m just not seeing this sin of objectification in the Bible. Please point me to the relevant verses that make a distinction between a husband who sexually desires his wife in a way that is moral and a husband who sexually desires his wife in a way that is immoral. I know there is the Catholic doctrine of concupiscence which is a sort of pre-lust mental state that is not itself immoral but can lead to immorality. But in this case, you are talking about a husband’s psychological disposition for his wife, which if it is driven by sexual passion is supposed to be a good thing, or so I thought.
Augustine was a big influence in the church’s confusion about the moral dimensions of marital sex. Augustine was deeply conflicted about it and tended to see sinfulness in marital sex if the man approached his wife with too much passion. St. Jerome even counseled that married people should have sex only for procreation and not for pleasure.
I know you haven’t gone to that extreme anti-sex position. But I still feel like you are doing the opposite of what the Catholics have done with concupiscence. They are trying to carve out a tiny space of morality within a larger context of immoral sexual expression. You are trying to carve out a tiny space of immorality within the larger context of moral sexual expression.
If I approach my wife for sex and am turned on by the lingerie she is wearing because it is very low cut and shows off her breasts, is that objectification. I am certainly focusing on her body. And my sexual response is triggered by her appearance.
Some men have fetishes as well. I’ve heard of shoe fetishes, panty hose fetishes, role playing fantasies, and whole host of unusual things that are sexualizes and some married couples indulge these fetishes as part of their regular sexual diet. Are you suggested such things are a form of objectification and, therefore, Satanic in origin?
I think you opened a can of worms here and you are not prepared to fully explain the implications of what you are saying. That’s the problem with using the word “objectification.” It is a word that describes the inner mental state of a man (or woman) with respect to their spouse. Often this term is used as a cudgel to attack masculine sexuality in a macro sense (“toxic masculinity”). Ways that wives objectify are more subtle and often in areas that are not sexual. But the common thread is that there is a lack of love.
My sexual passion for my wife is connect to love and it is also connected to my appreciation of what she looks like. If you want to explore this topic more, I would suggest you discuss in terms of loving and unloving actions, not trying to create brand new sins heretofore not mentioned in the Bible. That’s the definition of legalism.
I am noticing that women get far more latitude on this blog to complain about their husbands even to the point of Kay recommending that Maria possibly leave her husband, which is irresponsible and reckless given that we know nothing about the circumstances. Another broken home in the works. Thanks, Kay.
I have made many comments that directly address the topic up for discussion and had them moderated out of existence. I think the moderation rules need to be clarified so I can better ascertain why some people get to complain about their spouses even when it has nothing to do with the topic while others who simply disagree with what the author is saying are censored. If this were a site devoted to women’s issue alone I could understand. But it’s not.
You’re very welcome! Every person gets to choose the healthy boundaries that are right for them. Women in particular need to understand that they are not required to be the victims of their husband’s ongoing and unrepentant sin. If homes are broken because of porn use, I’m sorry for it, but the remedy for that is not for women to be the ongoing victims of that choice. The remedy is for the men using the porn to take responsibility for themselves and get into recovery.
Everyone DOES NOT get to choose what boundaries are for them. The Bible is what decides the terms and conditions of marital sexuality and the covenant of marriage is an establishment of God in heaven, not something that is at the mercy of the emotional whims of the spouses. Your advice sounds like secular feminist psychology, with all of the anti-male bitterness that it entails.
Pornography is seen as adultery by almost every conservative Christian I know of.
Adultery violates the terms of the covenant of marriage, and is the standard upon which Jesus said marriages could be dissolved.
Therefore, every woman who endures this violation in her marriage is, by conservative Christian biblical principles, free to go.
Is it possible not to objectify your asexual wife if you are sexual? I see that abstenance is required to avoid marital rape, but I still fantisize about her.
The bible speaks of being a eunuch in Matthew 19:12. Some are born while others become physically or spiritually. My wife is my best friend. She didn’t realize she was asexual the first year. Honestly, I read books upon books realizing that I didn’t know what I was doing. We grew up christians and chose abstinence before marriage. Alas, she expressed that I cannot please her. She finds me beautiful as a person but is seriously turned off by my private area.
She identifies as asexual and today I realize after 22 years my objectification of her. She doesn’t feel she can change in front of me because I see things that I want. She can tell whats in my head/heart. While she has her own room, she keeps her clothes in the master bedroom, so on weekends it can be an issue. Weekdays I go to work early.
If objectifying my wife is wrong, I might need to forego sleeping in on the weekends. Please, more actual scripture references.
The bible says absolutely nothing about objectification in marriage. You might as well accuse wives who appreciate their husbands as providers of objectifying them as nothing more than human bank accounts. Objectification is a bogus made up term used by radical feminists who believe all sex is rape and the “male gaze” is a form of patriarchal oppression. These are the angry women who gripe about “manspreading” and “mansplaining”.
I think Noah Filipiak is borrowing feminist terminology to try to de-legitimize the way some Christian men act about sex towards their wives. He needs to read Chris Taylor’s story on the Forgiven Wife blog. She also believed her husband didn’t really love her and only wanted to use her body because he was objectifying her. But it was just her own paranoia and the devil whispering it into her ears. It wasn’t real. But the result of this paranoia about her husband’s motives drove her to refuse sex to him for years.
Noah is pandering to women like this trying to convince them that the devil’s voice is really speaking truth and that their terrible husbands are up to no good when they just want some time together in the bedroom. By attacking the legitimate desire that men have towards their wives and making such poorly conceived and poorly explained distinctions between “attraction” and “lust” and “objectification”, Noah is adding to a climate of distrust between husbands and wives.
It was in this spirit of disgust that I sarcastically wrote my original response that Noah is reacting to in this blog posting. I am a loving and supportive husband and father who has said and done many things requiring forgiveness from my wife. But I am also a husband who has had to forgive just as many if not more offenses given by my wife.
Criminalizing masculine sexuality is what the culture is currently trying to do. If Noah wants me to believe he genuinely supports the legitimate and God-given sex drive that a man expresses towards his wife then he can spend more time promoting the wonders of Godly manhood and the amazing gift of masculine sexuality. And after establishing his credentials in that area, maybe his discussion of “objectification” might not sound so much like pandering to angry or paranoid wives. Sadly, his work so far suggests he is going in the opposite direction.
Paul, you got an incredibly raw deal. I’m sorry, but hang in there.
Covenant Eyes own Luke Gilkerson does not say porn is adultery but allows for divorce under very specific circumstances rather than the broad terms you specify.
Each site is very cautious about giving wives a get-out-of-marriage-free card when their husbands look at porn. You, on the other hand, actually encourage wives to divorce for almost any level of porn use, which is unconscionable.
But I guess if revenge is the motive, then divorce is a necessary threatpoint to keep the sinning husband in line. The problem is, when this weapon is deployed, the children are the biggest casualties.
Here’s a wonderful article called A High View of Marriage Includes Divorce.
The women I work with who finally seek divorce are not doing it out of revenge, but out of broken hearts and broken lives where sexual and emotional abuse has run rampant.
Bible verses should never be used as weapon to trap women in abusive situations. And the use of porn very quickly becomes abusive.
Let’s be honest, while there are wives here genuinely hurting, there are other wives who extort total compliance from their husbands in return for “letting” them have sex with them.
As a wife of a recovering porn addict I can say that I knew when I was being objectified vs. loved as a whole person. Also, as a result of the betrayal I felt, it has been difficult to see sex as an ‘us’ thing, it really feels like a ‘him’ thing. I often feel like the actual human extension of the virtual fantasies and it’s hard to feel like a partner instead of an object. This is not based on how my husband currently treats me, but on his past and my emotions regarding his dishonesty and moral struggle.
Women have been taught to desire to be objectified through advertising, movies and out culture of pornography. Our society is so confused it calls objectification empowerment. ‘If I can get a man to want me, I’ll have power over him.’ No, if you can get a man to respect you, you will have influence and relationship. That should be the goal. Lust is more likely to lead to abuse, but respect to relationship.
Beautifully said, Ally.
I struggle as being seen as an object by my husband. He was raised around porn and Playboy magazines as a teen, and it has infiltrated our marriage. He demands anal sex and I hate it. It is his fetish. I feel like I will never be able to live up to his standards in the bedroom. Everything else feels like “going through the motions” according to him and he can’t get off without anal. It’s an addiction and it has been a part of our 19 yr marriage. I don’t know how much longer I can go on bc it’s broken me down over the years. As a Christian, I’ve prayed about this for years. I don’t want to leave a legacy of divorce to our children. I would love for my husband’s eyes to be opened.
Leigh, if you are pressured into performing sex acts that are degrading to you, that is marital rape. God never, never requires you to be degraded in any way.
A legacy of objectification and sexual abuse is not somehow superior to a legacy of divorce.
Here’s an article called A High View of Marriage Includes Divorce. I hope it might be helpful to you.
I would also recommend a personal therapist, just for you, someone who can help you cope with the trauma and set healthy boundaries. The online resources at Bloom for Women might also be helpful to you.
It would be great if your husband would change, but the only person you can help is yourself. I hope with all my heart that you will help yourself. You deserve a life without abuse.
This is true, just as men are people, not vending machines to be loved only when dispensing product, but kicked or left if they no longer do, even momentarily.
So, question, what do you do when your wife realizes she’s frigid and refuses to have sex at all? You can’t “cheat” but you also can’t have sex with her. You’re kind of stuck. Isn’t that a sin? And is is a one-time sin or is it a sin for every day the marriage stays cold and lonely?
“a one-time sin or is it a sin for every day the marriage stays cold and lonely?”
Just like porn addiction, it is a single stronghold of sin that encompasses many individual sinful acts.
I’ve read over this and agree that woman are more objectified in this world we live in. Magazines, pictures, half-dressed and non-modest women do not help those of us women who are of the weaker sex as the Bible says. Our culture today makes women look so “sexy” that it seems to violate us. I can’t put into words exactly what I mean, but I am a christian woman who dresses very modestly and plainly and I do not wear heavy make-up or short dresses. I do not want to attract attention to myself and I would never want another man to look upon me with any kind of desire. It is such a tough world to live in anymore. My heart goes out especially to the little children who look to us as examples.
It feels awful to be objectified sexually (or any other way) in a relationship. I struggle as an objectified wife every day. I’m not opposed to sex at all but when 99% of what comes out of my husband’s mouth or through text, has a sexual innuendo regardless of the situation, it makes me feel less valued as a person. Society’s objectification of women DOES NOT help, but to see your spouse like that is a choice, and I don’t understand it myself.
Years ago, I fell in love with a man who I thought loved me as a person. Now, I feel as only a sexual object to him. I do not deny him sex and do try to accommodate his requests but IT IS NEVER ENOUGH. Is it normal to need constant sexy pictures/videos of your spouse daily? Is it normal to want to “talk dirty” daily? Is it normal for daily sex to not be enough? These were things that weren’t part of the relationship when it started and I’m not into it now. And how, knowing that your partner “isn’t enjoying it”, can you even fathom continuing it…day after day?
We have children together and I stay to keep the family together. I keep asking myself how this even happened, were there red flags and I didn’t see them? I need an emotional connection, I want to be loved as a person and not just used to fulfill sexual need. I want sex to be a connection, not just an act.
I think you’re expressing exactly what happens in many relationships: the wife becomes a sexual object and nothing more. Sex becomes something you’re required to participate in even if you don’t enjoy it, you’re supposed to be “on” for sex at all times, just like women in porn.
Sex like this is not consensual. You are not consenting to it, you are being pressured into it. It is a form of rape.
You are not responsible because you didn’t “see the red flags”–this is just a very common pattern that men begin to enact what they are absorbing from the porn that they watch.
Obviously, this is not okay with you. It is good, healthy, and right to say no to things that are not okay with us.
I would encourage you to consider your boundaries: here, here, and here are some articles. Find a therapist who can help you sort through this and support you in healthy boundaries. Check out the online resources at Bloom for Women.
Is he willing to take any responsibility for himself in this? If he is, he needs to see a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist.
Of course you need an emotional connection. Of course you do.
I havebt read all comments and I like the article. Whether it’s absolutely correct or not, I think it evokes thoughts of change. To be a better man, husband, father, etc. A good article of introspection.
However, I do agree with some comments. Mens rights are in the toilet in today’s time. A woman can “clean them out” for the smallest wrong the man does.
So many men will say after this article… “Damned if u do. Damned if u don’t”.
I love good sex with my wife. No matter what u say, the body parts and how u use those parts will determine if a man is connected to her sexually or not. My wife for one knows just how to keep me enticed and visa versa.
U talk of objectification, but how am I supposed to have mind blowing sex if I don’t objectifynyer parts. Alot of the time it’s what makes us both want one another.
There are just too many problems with men in the eyes of many.
I’m happy with my marriage and with my wife.
My wife has a mouth and a brain and the confidence. If she isn’t happy or feels that the marriage is this that or the other. Then she should communicate that to me. Otherwise, it can’t be my fault as a man when things isn’t the way the marriage or relationship or the sex is supposed to be.
But still a good article. It was nice to read and then reply and chat about it