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Rebuild Your Marriage 3 minute read

When Wives Unknowingly Tempt Their Husbands Toward Lust

Last Updated: February 15, 2024

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?

  1. K. Reed

    I’ve heard many Christian people say that you should send your husband “spicy” photos. Aka pornographic photos of your self. Is this not helpful to a husband who struggles with sexual lust and has cheated before? I’ve never thought about it as a purity issue and a way to keep your marriage pure since I’ve heard from many different Christian people that doing that would “help” your husband.

    • Keith Rose

      Hello, thanks for your question! Many Christian couples do share sexy photos with each other. I would not say it is categorically a purity issue. However, I would say that it can be unwise in some cases, especially for couples where one has struggled with pornography. Here’s an article that has some words of caution for couples: https://www.covenanteyes.com/blog/sending-nudes-to-your-spouse-for-your-eyes-only/

      Blessings,

      Keith

  2. Carolyn

    The stories above are very good. But I don’t believe woman are that naive as to unknowingly doing this. We are also lustful.
    I’m wondering (or I missed it) why there is no comment about helping the situation by constantly making yourself as a wife available to your husband. Calling him during the day – sending a note when he travels. We’ve been married 39 years. I’ve gone through an ugly menopause and many times I’ve not had any desire. He had a short time on porn sites but let me know right away. We are still working through it.
    Though it is tough wives must make it safe for their husbands to come to them with the guilt and shame or it will eat them alive. They can be afraid to let you know lest you totally lose it and make things worse. Things will need to be worked through. Was it loneliness, lack of attention? The “too tired” thing has been overplayed, but it’s not even necessary to have an orgasm each time. It’s the closeness and the connection that’s so important. When I keep myself looking attractive and make myself available to him, he is less likely to look elsewhere. He “worships” my body and tells me I’m beautiful. I see myself as average but he tells me I’ve become more beautiful as we age. It’s our souls uniting in a very spiritual way. I’m not a model. We don’t need to be! It doesn’t take much for men to still look at us in lust, but it is possible to take our husbands eyes off other women. Porn is truly gaggingly ugly if people stop and think of it! The air brushing – these “plastic dolls” don’t even have pores!! But if we as wives selfishly turn them away – we are inviting them to go there or worse, sending them to another women’s arms.

    We were watching Marilyn Monroe’s sad sad story recently. The nudes came up. It would be considered soft porn, but I noticed that my husband was turning his head away – sometimes closing his eyes. Finally I asked if we should turn it off. He said, “Please!” Even though I was curious and wanted to hear the rest of the story, I turned it off. I am not willing to share my husband for 2 seconds or 30 minutes with a “prostitute” and I believe I can make things easier for him, so he can focus on the work he’s been called to do. He likes it when I sing Carley Simon’s song: “No body does it better !….. No body does it half as good as you – baby You’re the BEST!!” :)

  3. Tammi Tatum

    Excellent article. Has your husband considered writing one, in leau with yours? Men as you may have seen will become objective to the womans perspective, and will disagree, intimidate, belittle, etc, all with ignorance. Just an idea.

    Unfortunately i learned this as a child. I watched the actions of the one who molested me. I grew up studying the ways of this mans sick lust. And i knew when i was older, things i planned to do, preventives. I believed when i grew up, i would not tolerate such a perverted man. Or so I thought. I was with a 22 year old man when i was 16. He lived in a big country home with his parents and many older siblings. I was a runaway, he took me in. (From the frying pan into the fire) It didn’t take long to see his families porn addiction. Magazines could be found anywhere, at any given time. I would throw them away but it didn’t matter, his father, a retired pastor, had quite a collection. Everyone was welcome to them. No one seen it as wrong. Children were subjected to molestaation and the mothers knew, as if was normal. Sicker than you could imagine. The demonic spirit of lust lived there. It was a a horrific satanic nightmare. I cannot even begin to tell you all of the perverse actions that went on there.

    Even moving out of that place, he still had his fix. Once, i begged him not to watch a movie his brother brought him, and told me how i was jealous of real woman, how he needed a real woman..He needed pleasure i didnt give… etc. (yes he was abusive in every way) He actually put me into the closet holding the door closed while watching a porn movie, blasting the volume. And then let me out for his fix… Being with him was as if i was being molested all over again… I was just the “feel.” There was no difference. I was nothing. To this day i have not met one man who has been different. This seems to be a “normalcy” for many. (There are even sick perverted woman)
    I got with a man who claimed he was a Christian, acted like it, talked it. I was going to have a beautiful marriage, God based! (No tv,cable) We get married and i find out he is not much different from any other man at all. It doesnt have to be just mag covers, ads, it can be anything, anywhere. We have a couple of teenagers around our neighborhood who dress very provocate and act the same. They want the attention and they get it. From every guy around. My husband included. He sees every women, anywhere, moreso with her breasts half exposed, or in shorts, mini skirts, tight jeans. He sees magazines in stores, movies, tshirts, tattoos, another mans cell phone, anything perverted! His eyes magnetize to them, just like most every man i ever met. And i’ll say why are you checking her/them/that out? Instead of saying “I wasn’t,” he will flip out and say the meanest things to me. Telling me how i mean nothing to him, while showing me i am not good enough. And i get hurt, he gets mad and blames me for angering him. It has been a no win situation for me. He would sometimes be all turned on as he would get home. I didn’t do anything, and it was again like being just the “feel.”

    No matter the preventives, (which are righteous acts, i might add) lust is being amplified in every way, just as the devil wants it. And it is all okay to the ones who lust, the ones naive to the fact, and the ones ignorant of the enemy. It is the ones who know and see what is truly happening, that it effects. The righteous men/women of Yahweh.

    I see those who do not agree, use some type of self justification. It is only showing they are likely, guilty of those lustful sins. Those against righteousness, are against God. period. Only Gods people have “eyes to see and ears to hear.” No matter how much we try to make them understand. They have ears but do not hear, eyes but they do not see. They refuse to see Gods Way.

  4. William House

    #6. Have sex with your husband regularly and never get in the habit of refusing him. (should be #1)

  5. Ken

    Interesting perspective. As a non-Christian who is deeply committed to his wife, I find provocative imagery irrelevant. If a woman is standing in front of me, I know she’s a woman whether she’s wearing a burka or she’s stark naked. Either way she’s off limits! Even if the sight of another woman produces lustful feelings in me, my commitment to my wife is so deep that she automatically becomes the focus of those feelings.
    I suspect that being so wrapped up in the concept of purity and so concerned about protecting men from lustful thoughts is evidence of a lack of commitment to the marital relationship and a lack of acceptance of how God’s design of men and women with respect to how they relate to each other.

    • Kay Bruner

      Hey Ken,
      Yeah, purity culture is a real corker. Even though purity culture is cloaked in bible verses and sanctioned by many conservative religious systems, purity culture is really just the flip side of porn culture, because in both purity culture and porn culture, women are blamed for tempting men and men are incapable of being reponsible for their responses. The real problem is that women are objectified in both systems while men are helpless… not a set of concepts that helps anyone deal with any kind of problem, ever! Thanks for pointing out the need for men to be responsible for themselves, and their ability to do so. Until purity culture figures this out, it will continue to incapacitate men.
      Kay

  6. Sophia

    Seriously?
    As if us Wives/mothers don’t have enough to worry about? Now we have to take responsibility for our husbands feelings/temptations/sins cause they aren’t strong/mature/respectable enough to make good ones themselves? I swear this is one way Satan is destroying woman by making us feel like the weight of EVERYTHING is on OUR shoulders. No. My husbands stuff is between him and God. Mine is between me and God. I will love him and trust him and pray for him not try to control him and treat him like a sexual cripple. This is his battle, not mine. Heaven knows I have my own! He’s man enough to handle this.

    • Kay Bruner

      Thanks Sophia! I agree with you 100% that we are each responsible for ourselves and our own choices, regardless of what others choose.

  7. Kelli Palmyra

    All men aren’t like that. I think this applies to the ones who personally struggle with this. I agree with not adding to a temptation, but not all men notice other women. My husband thinks breasts are unattractive on women and he doesn’t find them to be pretty either. He said he’s always been that way and he doesn’t like makeup either…..although I wear it because I’m a makeup artist. He really doesn’t care.

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