January 22, 2008 by Stacy McDonald

Part 3 – Intimacy in Marriage – Confronting a Sinning Husband

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How and When a Wife Should Confront Sin in Her Husband

Because of the sensitive nature of this topic, we have temporarily allowed anonymous comments. However, if you are writing anonymously, please use some sort of “name” so as to avoid confusion as we address the many different questions and comments here. For the sake of clarity, I will name the following anonymous writer, “Wondering.” This is what she asked:

“It has been suggested in your comments page that a woman should “talk a man up” – i.e. lavish praise on him. Should a woman do this dishonestly? Should I (for example) say “you are such a great guy, you spend so much time with us as a family” – when that is plain rubbish, he doesn’t?
Should I tell him I love his advances in the night (after ignoring me all day) even when I am desperate to sleep because I have work to do in the morning and many things to do, children to deal with and character issues to try to work out with my children – alone; [since] he refuses to take part in any child training or deal with deeper issues in our older [children]?
Do you think lying is the right thing to do?”

Dear Wondering,

While there are many ways we can honor and build up our husbands, lying and flattery isn’t the way to do it. Scripture tells us:

A man who flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet.” (Proverbs 29:5)

We may feel like we’re doing the right thing by “flattering” our husbands, but if we are not being honest we could actually be a stumbling block to him and a hindrance in our own marriage.

There may be times when I should be silent over a particular weakness or struggle that my husband is experiencing, exemplifying grace and patience; but I should never encourage his sin by telling him he’s doing a great job in an area where he is in fact failing.

He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward than he who flatters with the tongue.” (Proverbs 28:23, NKJV)

Yet, while Proverbs 28:23 is a wonderful truth, it doesn’t mean that a wife should walk around rebuking her husband for every area of weakness she sees in his life. A husband doesn’t need a contentious shadow snapping at his heels; he needs a loving, honest, Scripture-minded, grace-filled, merciful, forthright helper!

If we are overly critical and demanding, then we are guilty of being the contentious wife described in Scripture and we defeat our purpose and call to be a helpmeet to our husband:

Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than in a house shared with a contentious woman.” (Proverbs 21:9, NKJV)

Better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and angry woman.” (Proverbs 21:19, NKJV)

A continual dripping on a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike…” (Proverbs 27:15, NKJV)

Still, we should not be silent in communicating honestly with our husbands in areas where we have been hurt or offended. It is very important to be truthful and forthright in making these things known to him. Men and women think differently on various issues, which make miscommunication likely if there is a lack of open and frequent dialogue. However, we should be careful of the spirit and tone of our communications.

“Wondering” also said:

“I have been told often by various “experts” on this issue, that I need to be more submissive, more understanding, more caring, more encouraging, more “enthusiastic for marital relations” etc etc etc; and that this would change my husband from being work obsessed and neglectful of his family.”

The whole focus here is problematic. Our primary purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. We are to glorify God by our actions and by our very existence, and this causes us to enjoy God. Often this also results in our enjoying the people and gifts He gives us, but this isn’t our purpose. Therefore changing others to please ourselves can’t be our primary purpose (focus) either – our focus must be on glorifying God

A formulaic approach to marriage is dangerous. It sets us up for failure and disillusionment. While we can certainly see that godly actions many times result in godly responses from others (Proverbs is full of this), it isn’t a guaranteed formula and it can’t be our “reason” for doing the right thing.

So please avoid teaching that focuses on “If you do xyz in your marriage, then you’ll have your husband wrapped around your little finger.” Recognize this for what it is: manipulation. Focus on doing what you’re supposed to do out of obedience to God. If we treat God’s concepts as vending machine answers to our problems, we’ll find ourselves constantly feeling “ripped off” and discontent. Always remember, God is in control – not us.

We are commanded to submit to our husbands out of obedience to God, not so that he will love us more or pay more attention to us (though it will certainly be more likely than if we are contentious). He is commanded to love us sacrificially, not so that we will better submit to his requests or treat him with more respect (though it is certainly more likely than if he is acting like a tyrant). We are to obey God regardless of what we “get out of it.”

And again, while there are times to overlook offenses, there are also times when we are called to confront a husband who is clearly in sin. So let’s discuss how to know when it is truly a matter for biblical confrontation of sin, and when we are simply being critical, self-focused, and demanding. In addition, how do we biblically confront a sinning husband in a godly and gracious way?



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49 Responses to “Part 3 – Intimacy in Marriage – Confronting a Sinning Husband”

  1. Shannon says:

    A wonderful answer!! :) In past years I have experienced a very troubled marriage. I almost lost my mind, completely. It was when I came to realize that I had to do the right thing because God wanted me to that change began. I was at my lowest point ever and through reading much scripture over a few years (the only thing that sustained me) I realized that I had to surrender my life, bad as it was, to God. I had to live for Him right where I was because that’s where God had placed me. I really did come to the point where I told Him that even if my situation never changed I was willing to be there. It was after I completely surrendered that God started working, and the work was done in me first then my husband. Now, years later, God has done AMAZING things in our lives and I am so grateful! And it was through my hard times that I really started to get to know my Lord and learn to love His Word.
    That was a long comment, sorry. :)

  2. Anonymous says:

    I think in the case of sin, a wife should confront her husband. We are first called to be Christians and stand before God. Our husband is our dearest brother in Christ, who will truly care for him if we do not?
    I would first go to him with the sin issue, if he refused to listen, then I would take a brother with me, and if not then, go before the church like Matt. 18 says. I think the reason wives do not do this more often is because it is extremally humiliating to be open about your issues with another and sometimes you can weigh the humiliation and the hurt you are experiencing from his sin and think it is better to keep suffering. But where is our love for a brother who is perishing? Can we be willing to lay ourselves down to save another?

    As far as talking your husband up, I remember hearing a program on the radio once where the lady said think of one positive thing to say about your husband, even if he is a horrible person, just one thing and think of different ways to say that to him in a variety of ways for a week. It does not change him, but it changed my mind towards him and I started thinking of more positive things than I realized. I never said that he was something he was not, that would be lying. Also, I refrained from focusing on the negative even though there was alot of it, the few positives really helped.

    I was told for years that any issues my husband had were my fault…for years I struggled to be better than I possibly thought, wondering what I was doing wrong, when I found out that many of behaviors were caused from a severe physical condition that went for years untreated because I never spoke up and let people know what was going on. I suffered so much and he did. – Been There

  3. Stacy McDonald says:

    Jennifer, I am afraid you may be misunderstanding me. You said, “I too have the heard the major submission song for far too long and it’s about time it was refuted.” I am in no way minimizing the biblical command for wives to submit to their husbands:

    ” Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.” (Ephesians 5:22-24, NKJV)

    Many times, a more submissive spirit is exactly what the wife needs. However, “as unto the Lord” is the key. We are not to submit to the point of sinning against God (Acts 5:29). If a husband were to tell his wife to have an abortion, murder, commit adultery, etc. she would have to refuse. His authority is limited by God’s Word and she must obey God rather than man.

    In addition to that, if she were to sin at his requets, not only would she be held responsible for sinning against God, he too would be held responsible for requiring such a thing of her. He is reponsible to help her in the sanctification process. Leading her into sin is a grievous thing.

    “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:25-27, NKJV)

    I think the more common problem comes from teachers who say there are no differences between men and women, that marriage is an “equal partnership” with no type of headship. I have even heard women go so far as to say that parents should submit to their children!

    A proper and biblical understanding of male headship is crucial in marriage as well as in the church.

  4. Anonymous says:

    My husband is not into horrible sins like pornography, drugs, drinking, beating me, etc. He is a good man and a good provider. But, like all husbands, he has areas of sin. I’m not talking about things that are not sins but that just simply bug me like not putting shoes away, not putting clothes in the laundry hamper, etc. I think women tend to get angry and confrontational to their husbands over silly things like that. But then over real sins, like has been talked about here, such as failing to lead the family spiritually (I’m talking about a husband that professes to be a Christian), failing to spend enough time with the family, etc., they don’t want to say anything. For me, that is because of the scripture passage about not pointing out the speck in my brother’s eye while there remains a plank in my eye. I know with absolutely certainly that I sin daily. I fall short in so many area of being the wife that I ought to be. So, because I don’t want to accuse my husband of a sin, when I have my own sins to overcome, I fail to confront him with things that I really feel ought to be spoken about.

    It is definitely hard to confront someone when you know that you full of sinful areas as well.

    A Hesitant wife

  5. Jennifer says:

    I didn’t misunderstand you, Stacy. I know the Bible exhorts submission in a marriage and I’m too familiar with your beliefs to think that you’d speak against this. Forgive me if I was not clear, but I was talking about heavy submission, the sort which either almost idolizes the husband or renders the wife utterly quiet and obedient even if the husband wants her to sin. This submission is twisted and evil. Not only does it give wives a false and idol-like view of their husbands, but it puts a very heavy load on the husband, to the point where he believes that he’s utterly responsible for everything his wife does. This, in turn, is why some foolish wives feel free to do whatever their husbands say, even in sin: because they believe their husbands will answer for their sin instead of them. Thus, this false marriage model simultaneously uplifts the husband to an unGodly level and weighs him down with responsibilities that are not his.

    I have seen this ultra-heavy submission over and over again, and it infects the marriage with a spiritual virus even before the husband crosses the line and asks his wife to sin. Marriages like these are not a partnership as God intended, but more of a chain-gang, with the husband standing between the wife and God. Wives in such marriages believe their husbands will be held responsible by God for all their (the wives’) deeds, thus relieving them of any personal responsibility and preventing them from turning to God if their husbands ask them to sin. Not so. Husbands and wives stand equally before God; the husband does not, in anyway, stand between God and his wife.

    I personally think a marriage that idolizes the husband is far more spiritually harmful and offensive than one that exhorts equality. I have yet to see any broken and miserable wives coming forward from a marriage of equality. The marriages which exhort the husband as some sort of intermediary or priest between God and his wife, on the other hand, seems to produce fresh victims every day.

    Just briefly, on another note, I don’t believe promoters of equality marriages believe parents should obey their children; that indeed would be a sickening image! These people are not speaking of obedience at all, but of sacrifice; this is what they meant, that parents sacrifice many things to their children. I don’t necessarily agree with their choice of words, but I did wish to clarify their meaning.

    Thank you for, again, clarifying the true meaning of headship in a marriage. It is indeed crucial

  6. Janet says:

    Stacy wrote, “And again, while there are times to overlook offenses, there are also times when we are called to confront a husband who is clearly in sin. So let’s discuss how to know when it is truly a matter for biblical confrontation of sin, and when we are simply being critical, self-focused, and demanding. In addition, how do we biblically confront a sinning husband in a godly and gracious way?”

    We have to remain “coram deo”…with our heart before God. If I examine my own heart – my motives, desires, goals; and what I am doing to get what I want/need – through the lens of God’s word, I can often discern if I am being self-focused and demanding rather than other-centered and Biblical. How do I know? Because my driving desire is self-centered rather than being focused on God.

    Sometimes I can be so wrapped up in my own “stuff” that I fail to see my sin. But God is gracious, and usually causes someone else to point it out if I can’t see it myself.

    Once I have examined my own heart and determined that I, indeed, have an issue that must be taken up with my husband, I must pray that I will approach him with a godly attitude. But I must approach him. I am his sister in Christ as well as His wife. I am his closest friend – faithful are the wounds of a friend. If I don’t tell him the truth, who will?

    I agree with Stacy that we cannot proceed by manipulation, flattery, and falsehood and be blessed by God. This is the same God Who says, “the truth shall set you free”. There is a huge difference between genuinely appreciating your husband’s strengths and just batting your eyes and gushing over him in order to make him feel like a king, in spite of his acting like a heel.

    The Bible is full of instruction about how to interact with fellow believers who are sinning. We are told to rebuke one another, to exhort one another, to love one another. We are told that love covers a multitude of sins. All of those verses apply to our relationships with our husbands, too.

    Blessings,
    Janet

  7. Anonymous says:

    I am curious to see how other wives would confront a husband who’s clearly “in sin”. What do you do when your husband views pornography on the computer? Or talks to other women online (strangers or former girlfriends)? How do you confront him without sounding like a religious “nag”? How do you control your feelings of anger and hurt, when it becomes clear that your husband does not see the problem with what he’s doing?

    This is something I’ve struggled with for my entire marriage (over 10 years). I want to love and honor my husband at all times, but when I find that he’s again been “cheating” in this way, I feel extremely hurt and pull away–both physically and emotionally.

    What should a wife do then, in addition to being honest with her husband and praying?

  8. Anonymous says:

    I, too am curious as to what to say to a husband who is viewing porn and joining in on online chats and such.
    My dh struggles in this area often.He usually repents but it always seems to creep back in.How can I help him to overcome this sin?? He has his own laptop and takes it everywhere he goes.
    He is a good husband and father (when he’s not online), I just cant seem to trust him.

    ~Hurting Inside

  9. Anonymous says:

    The older I get the more I realize that there is no one, clear, true formula for a good marriage. The way a wife submits and the husband serves/loves is individual and different in each and every marriage. We are, after all, made by a Creator who love individuality and difference!

    I too am worried about the popular equation of submission with silence. We are our husband’s help-meets and wisdom in the Bible is often equated with womanhood, sometimes for the good of our relationships and the good of our husband we must speak out, that is to say submission is only *part* of our job as wife, and if we look at Biblical role models as a whole you can see that there are many more facets to womanhood…wisdom, gentleness, creativity, moral bravery, motherhood, hard work, submission and above all a love of God.

    So for example, you are not being contentious if you kindly and gently ask your husband to drive more slowly near a school zone, nor are you being contentious when you let him know that he has hurt you, either by deliberate sin or neglect. If these things are done with a good and kind attitude of the heart and God can see that your intentions are loving and just then you are being a good wife, holistically, rather than being hung up on just one part of being a good wife, being submissive.

    So many of us have suffered in our marriages, sometimes through our own sin and sometimes because of the sins of our husbands and I truly feel and empathize with the women who are hurting whilst they read this. Please know that I will pray for you tonight and wish you all “the peace of God which passes all understanding”.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I, too, would like to hear about the pornography issue. I also would like to know how to address issues in a loving and biblical manner with a husband who claims to be a Christian, but who is from the “me-and-Jesus-feelings-personal relationship” school of Christianity who gets angry when discussions turn to the Bible or the things of Christ. Especially when what God has said goes so clearly against what his “heart” or “feelings” say, and isn’t willing to consider that God has said that the heart and feelings are not to be trusted.

  11. praying4more says:

    My heart goes out to the 2 anonymous ladies whose husbands use pornography and chat online with other women. Oh, precious sisters, I grieve for you. I cannot even imagine the pain you face.

    As far as confronting husbands who sin this way, first I wonder if these are Christian hubands? If they are believers, I would hope that their hearts are open to the Lord’s teaching on this. Could you gently share how much it hurts you, what God’s Word has to say on the subject, and how it will affect your children? All in a gentle, loving, and humble way, of course.

    On the other hand, if the husbands are not believers, I think it would be much harder to confront them. They would have no basis for believing that what they do is wrong. I would think that they still need to be told that their behavior breaks your heart and that it is affecting their children. I just don’t know that an unregenerate heart will listen. (A regenerate heart may not listen either)

    I will pray for you dear ladies as you struggle with this painful situation.

    Blessings,
    Patti

  12. Jayne says:

    I think that one problem with confronting a husband over pornography is that it is hard to act from the right motives. If we are feeling hurt or jealous we are likely to be acting from those feelings instead of out of concern for the husband’s relationship with God. In most cases, I suspect that a wife is not going to be the best person to confront her husband with this sin. She can pray for him and encourage him to find a man (perhaps a friend or church leader)to hold him accountable.

    This is probably true of most sins where the wife feels hurt by her husband’s actions. It is too easy to be led by our desire to protect ourselves from being hurt rather than a desire to foster the husband’s walk with God.

  13. Jayne says:

    Another aspect of confronting another with sin, whether or not it is one’s husband, is the importance of being sensitive to God’s leading. I have noticed in my own life that I often need to focus on one area of sin in my life while others are “on hold”. I constantly need to pray for God to show me which sins I should be working on now.

    This also applies to the sins of others. I may recognize an area of sin that someone else struggles with, but this is different from knowing that this the sin God wants to deal with now. It takes much prayer and discernment to know when it is time to speak.
    When in doubt it is best to be silent. It is easy enough to speak later if it becomes clear this is the right thing to do. It is impossible to take words back after they have been spoken.

    I think that Jennifer’s latest advice about giving one’s husband an ultimatum and nagging him is very bad. I hope that nobody takes it. I think that any wife who behaved the way that Jennifer recommends would be sinning more than her pornography-viewing husband.

    Even if this were not sinful, nagging does not work. It creates resentment and hostility and destroys relationships. I have never heard of anyone who helped a husband with a drinking, pornography or any other problem by nagging and threatening him.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Is it threatening to say to a husband that if he doesn’t stop viewing pornography (comitting adultery) that you will leave him?

    I don’t know that it is. Maybe it is just speaking the truth, in love.

    I agreed with most of what Jennifer says.

  15. Jennifer says:

    I strongly disagree with the statement that the wife may not be the best person to confront her husband. For one thing, the first person that is affected by a man’s addiction to porn is the woman he’s intimate with. This affects their intimate life and her spiritual life as well, not just his. Secondly, it’s perfectly all right for a wife to react strongly and let him know she’s upset! This is a serious issue that requires direct action, not flinching or subtlety. There is a time and a place to refrain from holding our tongues. Ladies, you must know that it’s okay to let your feelings out on this issue. It’s okay to yell if you need to, or cry, or whatever gets the point across to your husband; subtlety will not work here. Besides, it’s unhealthy to keep those feelings inside. I’m not saying that you should call him evil or pathetic, but there is too much at stake here to place politeness above everything else. You do NOT owe it to your husband to bite your tongue and bear it. Tell him you’re hurt and you don’t like it; tell him he has to change, no compromises.

    If your husband resists changing at your request, then it may indeed be a good idea to have another man speak to him. However, I definitely don’t recommend this as a first action. This is a private matter, after all; if your husband doesn’t even know that you know about his addiction, how do you think he’d feel if someone outside of the marriage approached him right out of the blue about it? Ashamed and angry, would be my guess. You need to be the first person to approach him about it, and while I wouldn’t go in swinging both fists to begin with, don’t feel bad about letting him know how upset you are, once you both get into the matter.

  16. Jennifer says:

    (Note to Stacy: I know I submitted an almost identical version of this comment already, but I made some spelling corrections to it and I think this second submission is better, so if you would please post this version instead of the first one, I’d appreciate it. Thanks! :)

    “I think that any wife who behaved the way that Jennifer recommends would be sinning more than her pornography-viewing husband.”

    If the woman who made this comment is serious, then I really don’t think she understands the dangerous nature of porn. It tears people apart, destroys women, and inflicts men with the desire to destroy them. Do you realize that Ted Bundy’s sadistic problems began with porn? Do you realize that men and boys often start inflicting rough sex on their partners because of what they see in the depraved images of porn? This is exactly what happened to a woman who shared her story with the world; she never strongly or precisely confronted her husband but put up with it patiently, waiting for it to go away on its own, and her husband eventually brutalized her. This is what unchecked addiction to porn can do to a man. You have to speak up; I did not say you should nag, but I did say that porn is a far worse sin than nagging and frankly, this kind of belief is exactly the kind of deception that has ruined so many lives because it terrifies women of speaking up. The belief that God considers nagging a worse sin than the sadistic and inhuman practice of porn is a dangerous deception and I pray that no one here buys into it. If it’s a question of pressing your husband too hard to destroy a satanic addiction (even if it’s nagging) or letting the problem persist and possibly exposing your children to it, which do you really think is more spiritually dangerous and morally wrong?

    “I have never heard of anyone who helped a husband with a drinking, pornography or any other problem by nagging and threatening him.”

    If giving him an ultimatom and confronting him are what you’d call nagging and threatening, then I do know someone who’s saved her relationship this way. A woman’s mate told her he had a problem with porn and he was trying to overcome it. And she cried, I can tell you; she cried until she could hardly breathe, no holding back on her feelings. Then, after she’d calmed down enough, she gave him an ultimatom: he had to choose either her or the porn. He had to start changing right away and if she didn’t see some improvement after a few months, it would be over. And you know what? It worked. That man took what she said very seriously and made a complete recovery. They’ve been happily married and porn-free for some time, and he is now a very strong Christian, a college professor, and a writer who helps men recover from porn.

    Sometimes, direct action is the only kind to take. If your man knows that you’re absolutely serious and will not tolerate porn, he’ll know once and for all he has to change in order to keep you. Then, it’s up to him; the next move that determines the marriage will be for him to make. And no, at this point, I do NOT recommend you nag :)

  17. Anonymous says:

    I am the first “anonymous” regarding the porn issue.

    I have confronted my husband–every time I find it. And each time I hear, “It’s nothing”, or I’m “being too sensitive” or “all men look” or “it has nothing to do with me”.

    My husband is not a Believer, unfortunately. Yes, he goes to church with the family, will correct the children using Scripture (ie. “God says we are not to lie.”). He finds it all very interesting and has come a significant distance over the years, but has yet to give himself to the Lord completely.

    Confronting him with Scripture is very difficult, as he doesn’t believe that adultery can be “mental”; just physical.

    We had a huge blow-up almost a year ago, where I told him I was “done” and wanted a divorce.

    I have never uttered those words before.

    And after he was done being angry by my outburst, he promised to never, ever do it again, and begged for another chance. I agreed. But still, I have no trust in him. And that hurts me, and makes him angry.

    For me, it’s hard to just instantly trust when you’ve been told “I’ll stop” numerous times.

    Is there a Scriptural basis for complete trust after such a thing?

    I know I am to forgive, but how do you trust?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Sorry to remain anonymous I just don’t want to be direspectful to my Hubby.Anyways I have a question….Just to clarify my Dh is not a believer. OVerall he is a great guy…Hard worker, loves and plays with the children.etc..etc.
    There is one problem MAJOR problem though. He is a lyer…I know that sounds so harsh but it is true. The lies are usually just about small things. Exaggerating a story or completely making one up. One of the biggest problems I have with this Is the example for the children. They themselves have “caught” him in lies. I have heard hime talking to the children upstairs, then he comes down and says the children said “such and such” I KNOW the kids did not say this as I hear the whole conversation. Then the kids will come down and he will say they said such things and the poor children are SO upset because they did not say these things. And they come to me crying later and asking me “why papa lies and makes up stories?” What should I tell my children? I don’t want to be cause them to be direspectful to there father or have a bad attitude towards him. And yes I have confronted him about lying in a calm and humble matter..but it doesn’t work. Even when I have cuaght him “red-handed” he will not admit to the truth. It is really horrible and it makes me feel awful. I just don’t know what to do. I catch in him in so many lies and I am just so disheartened as to what kind of example this will make for the children.

    So sad.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Jayne, I can’t believe the words you wrote:

    “I think that Jennifer’s latest advice about giving one’s husband an ultimatum and nagging him is very bad. I hope that nobody takes it. I think that any wife who behaved the way that Jennifer recommends would be sinning more than her pornography-viewing husband.”

    First of all, as Christian women we are NOT to get into the habit of “rating” sins…it is not Godly for us to say who is sinning more or sinning less; sinning worse or sinning better. We’re ALL sinners, we all sin constantly.

    Secondly, Jennifer’s approach to this problem (issue?) is a much more direct one than perhaps you’re used to, but I can see her point – pornography is insidious and by it’s very nature, intended to trap the unwitting. It is not just a problem that one can be lovingly silent about. Surely there is a middle ground between prayerful silence and constant nagging?

    It all goes back to communication, as others have pointed out. I do believe a Christian woman should and has the right to confront her husband (in a loving manner, of course) about his use of pornography.

    -Elisa Miller

  20. Jennifer says:

    Anon, you asked, “I know I am to forgive, but how do you trust?”

    That’s a very good question. I can’t say what’s going on inside your husband’s heart, of course, but I do know this: many men who earnestly want to stop are still drawn to the addiction. So, while you can trust your husband’s desire to stop, you may not be able to fully trust his ability to, at least not yet. He needs help, both psychological and spiritual. I’d recommend that he speak with a therapist and a minister, or perhaps a Christian counselor. The thing about porn is that it’s not just a form of cheating, it’s something that actually creates an insatiable desire inside a man. Christian author Michael Pearl once said that if a porn addict married a porn queen, he’d soon tire of her body and retreat once again into his dark corner and self-gratification. That’s the core of porn: it creates a desire that can’t be satisfied, that is not concerned with real women. When a man starts resisting porn, he needs to recover from both the horrid way it degrades women and the hellish, bottomless desire it creates for nothing real, susbstantial or lasting. Bless you for both supporting and confronting your husband. You’ll be in my prayers and please do encourage your husband to seek psychological help. He desperately needs you right now, but he also needs help from someone who understands the mental snags that porn plants in the mind.

  21. Stacy McDonald says:

    “…that is to say submission is only *part* of our job as wife, and if we look at Biblical role models as a whole you can see that there are many more facets to womanhood…wisdom, gentleness, creativity, moral bravery, motherhood, hard work, submission and above all a love of God.”

    Amen! Submission is required, but it’s not a simplistic answer to all of our problems. In fact, it sounds a bit lazy, doesn’t it? This type of thinking would actually leave our husbands without any help to be sure! A godly man needs a godly, thinking, forthright, and industrious wife. I believe that is why so many Christian women (who do believe that wives are called to submit to their husbands) get labeled as robots and slaves. This is not a biblical picture of womanhood at all! (And by the way, I don’t think most Christian women think this way!)

    Wifely submission is a Scriptural understanding of godly order according to Ephesians 5:22-24. But that doesn’t mean we’re to turn our brains off and remain silent when it comes to areas where our husbands are weak, need counsel, or are sinning. They need us to be honest helpers – not fearful yes-men. (no pun intended)

    At first I was concerned that this was getting a little off-topic, but I’m thinking that a proper understanding of biblical submission is exactly what we need to help us understand how to biblically (and respectfully) confront a husband with unrepentant sin.

    I’d like to read through a few more of the comments here before continuing, so I’ll finish my thoughts in a few moments.

    Thank you for all of your input and thoughts.

  22. Jayne says:

    The job of convicting people of sin belongs to the Holy Spirit. It is not a wife’s job. Nor is it a wife’s job to make her husband change his behaviour. I am not saying that prayerful silence is the only option. A wife can and ought to honestly communicate with her husband. There is nothing wrong with telling him when she feels hurt or concerned. If it is something serious enough, there may even be times to tell him that she cannot live with him and to leave.

    On the other hand, my personal experience is that prayerful silence does work. My husband used to view pornography and he stopped without any words on the subject from me. I would be interested if any of the people advocating “being a harpy” has had any experience of their approach working.

    I made my comment comparing pornography with nagging, not because I wanted to rate sins, but as a way to emphasize the seriousness of nagging. Since women are less likely to be tempted by pornography than men, it is easy for us to see that it is a sin. It is more useful for us to recognize sins that we are tempted to commit, like nagging.

  23. Stacy McDonald says:

    “It [pornography] robs a man of the natural desire to be with a real woman…”

    I agree with you here, Jennifer. Pornography creates a desire for something outside of reality – something that cannot be satisfied in a godly way. In my opinion it’s a form of adultery and is a consuming sort of sin. It needs to be addressed – but it needs to be addressed biblically and with much prayer.

    Though I agree with your above statement, I’m cautious of your meaning here when you say, “Be direct, be loud, be a harpy if you have to, whatever it takes to get this filth out of your lives.”

    Being direct may be necessary; but when I think of being a loud “harpy” I think of a nagging woman who throws empty threats around – and doing this could be detrimental to the marriage indeed. Nagging creates disdain and irritation toward the wife in the heart of a husband – it makes her seem like a contentious woman who lacks self control, which is exactly what she must not be – especially during this time.

    Jennifer, you also said, “It’s okay to yell if you need to, or cry, or whatever gets the point across to your husband; subtlety will not work here.”

    But this is not biblical advice. Scripture tells us how to contend with a husband who is not obeying the Word:

    “Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.” (1 Peter 3:1-2, NKJV)

    Scripture tells us that he may be “won without a word” by our conduct – when the sinning husband observes our chaste conduct accompanied by fear. What does this mean?

    It certainly doesn’t mean that we should give up speaking. I think we’ve already made it clear that honest communication and gentle, respectful confrontations are not only permissible, but are sometimes needed. So while it is important to speak truth, a sinning husband is more likely to be won by our chaste conduct accompanied by fear than he is by our tears and begging. Godly actions and attitude, accompanied by respectful behavior is VERY convicting. Tears and begging, while understandable in some of the cases we’ve discussed, will likely cause him to be defensive, angry, and shamed (in a way that causes him to emotionally withdraw).

    Scripture shows other examples where we’re told that a sinner may be convicted of his sin simply by observing the godly conduct of a Christian:

    “Having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.” (1 Peter 2:12, NKJV)

    And here in 1 Peter 3:3-6, we’re told that (godly adornment) trusting God and being submissive to our own husband is part of the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. This is the “beauty” that will attract a husband as God works in his heart, convicting him of his sin, and drawing his heart home:

    “Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.”

  24. Heath Clan says:

    We need a correct, biblical view of submission. We also need to confront our husband’s sin in a respectful way. I have had experience with this. I did not come from a home that raised me to be submissive. It has been a fight with my flesh to become so:) I read and then did the Bible study for Marha Peace’s The Excellent Wife book with a like minded sister. It really helped me to write out what I would say to my husband. To make plans to speak with him. Then when necessary to follow the biblical path to deal with a brother in Christ that is in habitual sin. We need to be very cautious if we are to confront our husband that it is clearly sin. Pornography is clearly sin. God has provided the church pastors and elders to protect a woman in these situations. He has also provided governmental authorities in cases of abuse. We need to avail ourselves of what God has provided. My husband and I have been through some rough times. We had to involve church members. I always made sure that I ONLY spoke to those that we were accountable to so as not to be gossipy. If I couldn’t speak sweetly to my husband I would go pray and get quiet in my spirit first.

    Today if you asked my husband what kind of wife I was he would tell you that I am an excellent andsubmissive one that he doesn’t deserve. I know because he tells me all the time. I know that there are others that disagree, but my Master, Jesus, and my husband do so that is all that matters.

    My big advice to those hurting is GET MARTHA PEACE’S BOOK! God used it to transform my life and my marriage. It is applicaple even if you are married to a non-believer.

  25. Stacy McDonald says:

    “This is a private matter, after all; if your husband doesn’t even know that you know about his addiction, how do you think he’d feel if someone outside of the marriage approached him right out of the blue about it? Ashamed and angry, would be my guess. You need to be the first person to approach him about it…”

    I agree with this point. Matthew 18:15 says, “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.” The problem is, if you go tell others first, you are risking publicly shaming him without giving him a chance to privately repent and be restored – this would be acting in love.

    If after going to him privately he refuses to repent, then you must go to someone (perhaps a godly brother, mother or father, or close friend of his) and ask them to come with you to jointly confront him of his sin. If he still won’t hear you, it is time to go to the elders of the church. They are there for your protection as well as to bring an erring brother to repentance and restoration.

    “But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church…” (Matthew 18:16-17)

    One thing to remember – don’t tell others of your husband’s sin. Gossip could destroy your family. When you go for counsel, make sure it’s to someone who is part of the godly solution, not simply someone who will sympathize with your plight. Calling your pastor’s or elder’s wife is a good place to start.

    I agree with Mrs. Heath; Martha Peace’s book, The Excellent Wife is a WONDERFUL resource and her chapter on confronting husbands biblically is priceless.

  26. Jennifer says:

    Stacy, you said, “Being direct may be necessary; but when I think of being a loud “harpy” I think of a nagging woman who throws empty threats around – and doing this could be detrimental to the marriage indeed.”

    I see what you mean, and I realize that harpy was probably not the best word to use. However, there are two points I’d like to clarify: for one thing, I was not thinking of merely saving the husband or the marriage when I said this. I was thinking, more than anything else, of getting porn out of the house, and THIS requires directness and possibly even aggression. A man addicted to porn can become aggressive, even dangerous, and the wife’s actions may need to be more direct than they would in any other situation. If the husband is not a Christian or engaging in unChristian behavior that affects only him, then the wife would definitely be required to lead with a quiet example. Porn, however, is a another thing entirely; many don’t realize this, but porn affects far more than just the man viewing it. It affects his marriage, more than a usual sin would; it affects his children. It could turn him into a monster or a rapist, both of which would cause him to be a danger to those around him and if he was such a danger, his wife’s primary concern would have to become the safety of her children, even before her marriage. In order to protect her children and even herself from bodily harm, a wife must do far more than gentle appealing or silence. What I’m saying, in a nutshell, is that a woman married to a porn addict may have to take the same kind of action that a woman married to a wife-beater would: direct action, even aggressive action if necessary. When it comes to helping my husband recover from sin, I will cover myself in prayer and ask for a quiet and patient spirit. But when it comes to protecting my children from a monster, I will do whatever it takes, including physical aggression if necessary.

    The second point I’d like to clarify is that I was not at all speaking of empty threats. I was describing, firstly, warning your husband outright and honestly that you will not put up with porn. If you call that a threat, I suppose it could be considered so, but it should never be an empty one: mean what you say. Get out of the house if he will not get the porn out.

    Also, Stacy, you said that yelling and crying are not Biblical reactions. Please understand, I was not advising wives to yell and cry deliberately in order to faze their husbands; not at all! I terribly mispoke here; what I meant to assure wives of was that it’s okay to cry and yell if this is what alleviates your heartbreak at your husband’s actions. I actually didn’t even mean to relate the crying with how you “get the point across to your husband”, but simply with how you personally deal with your feelings of hurt and pain. I can’t believe how badly I phrased this, and I apologize; I in effect said exactly the opposite of what I meant to say! The gist of my meaning is this: don’t feel bad about crying, even loudly. Your husband shouldn’t be surprised at your reaction, anymore than he should be if you cried after finding out that he had an affair. Once you stop crying and are finished letting your feelings out, then try to speak rationally and patiently. And yes, once your initial breakdown is over, I don’t recommend you start yelling at him as a general thing.

    Stacy, I apologize for my poor choice of words and thank you for directly bringing it to my attention. I guess you could say that I respond best to directness too.

  27. Stacy McDonald says:

    “When in doubt it is best to be silent. It is easy enough to speak later if it becomes clear this is the right thing to do. It is impossible to take words back after they have been spoken.”

    Jayne,

    Your words here are so true. This would have to be my greatest weakness. I am much better with writing – because I can delete words before sending! LOL But with speaking, I too often speak too soon – and once they’re out, they’re out! I have often excused myself to the bathroom to go pray before I say something I’ll regret.

  28. Along For The Ride says:

    Regarding husbands who are confronted with pornography (or any addictive sin actually), I would suggest that wives suggest specific ways to help them. Just asking them to stop is sometimes impossible for men. Ask them if they are willing to put a filter on the computer. Ask them if they are willing to have you review their history each day (and you would be willing to have yours examined as well). Ask them to have an internet accountability partner who can review their history weekly. Ask them to make you the administrator for the computer so that you can control what he can and cannot view. This is NOT leading your husband; this is helping your husband. Your husband needs help stopping. It is almost impossible to stop on his own. If necessary, learn how to be an administrator. It’s better than losing your marriage.

    Other ideas that could be used in conjunction with those are to have the computer face the door of the room; have the computer in the living/family room where it can be seen by others at all times; have him agree to only using it at certain times (if that is an issue); or perhaps he will agree to using it only when you are present.

    You cannot trust a man who desires to repent. Forgiveness does not include trust. It is up to him to rebuild the trust, and that will take a LONG time, depending on how long the addiction has been in effect. You may never trust him again, but you can put safeguards in your marriage to help him, if he is truly willing to give up porn for the sake of his marriage.

    If your husband travels a lot, it may be necessary for him to change jobs.

    One thing I have learned is that you cannot just simply take away a sin. It must be replaced with something else. It should be replaced with God, and time spent with God. That is ideal, but if that won’t happen, be creative in finding other ways he might enjoy spending his time — maybe with his family.

    When you go to him in step one of Matthew 18, I would encourage you to be prepared with some practical ideas ahead of time. You don’t need to present them unless he is willing to change. But always be ready for any answer he might give you.

    Also, prepare the atmosphere for a Matthew 18 confrontation. Timing is everything. Be sure he is in a good mood, that you have fed him a nice meal already, that the children won’t disrupt, that he is not busy watching TV, whatever you need to do to make it as pleasant as possible to talk about something that will already be unpleasant.

    And pray, pray, pray before you go in.

    Another thought on this whole issue of confrontation. I know of one couple who met once a week and each spouse told the other one thing — only one — that was bothering them or that they would like their spouse to change. Because it was scheduled and each spouse had a turn to speak each week, they were both more likely to be teachable because they wanted the other one to listen to them as well. They began this when they first married, so the problems were never allowed to grow to huge proportions. At most, they could only communicate one per week, but in reality, they would often have nothing to tell each other because they were so focused on meeting each other’s needs because of this. I haven’t done this, but I always thought it sounded like a great idea.

  29. Jayne says:

    Pornograghy is always a sin but it is not always an addiction. There are very few cases where it leads to rape or abusive behaviour. Only under unusual circumstances would it be a danger to the children. If anyone is considering confronting a husband about pornography I strongly recommend learning about it from an authoritative source first. (Actually, check several different sources, since there is a lot of disagreement by experts in this area.) In most cases, Jennifer’s suggestions would be an over-reaction and would do more harm than good.

    Women, since we tend to be less visually stimulated, are not as likely to be tempted to pornography. It is difficult for us to understand this temptation or to know how to respond to it. There is a difference between a man who occasionally gives into temptation and one who is addicted and the situations require different responses. The suggestions concerning addiction from “along for the ride” were very good. These practical ways to offer help are far better than merely insisting that he stop. I was impressed with the way that her entire comment was filled with balanced and knowledgeable advice.

  30. Jayne says:

    Jennifer, many of your comments have left me with the impression that we approach marriage with different assumptions. Since you say that you appreciate directness, I would like to ask you about this straight out. Do you believe that your husband is your head and that God wants you to submit to him? Do you think that feminism is bad?

    I answer these questions with yes and these are underlying assumptions to most of what I write about marriage. I am wondering if a disagreement at this basic level is what causes me to disagree with so much of what you write.

  31. Ashley S. says:

    First of all, I am a young wife in a wonderful marriage (3.5yrs) so I do not have personal expierence in many of these areas. However, I did want to offer some encouragement and yes, presume to humbly give some advice.

    In the area of porn, I do believe we have to remember the root of the problem, and that GOD has to be the answer. I do believe a man can sometimes stop sinning, but for the unsaved sinner the issue is really salvation. For the saved husband, much prayer should be made for the Holy Spirit to prick this man’s heart and lead him to repentance. It might even involve fasting.

    The reason men become violent and dangerous in the grip of sin is because of sin’s working in their lives. I think a lier backed into a corner or a theif or any kind of sin-addict can become dangerous given enough time.

    My younger brother is a compulsive lier. Meaning he lies about anything and everything just like the poster who commented, pointless things nobody would usually think to lie about. It is one of the saddest things my mom has dealt with and a great burden to the family.

    I’m wondering if you could exlain to children that their father lies because ‘he isn’t walking with Jesus’ or something like that. Perhaps you could explain that while he thinks the Bible is a book of good ideas, he really doesn’t apply them to his own life. I don’t know – it depends on how old the children in question are. You might just have to say that daddy doesn’t understand that it’s wrong to lie but we love him anyway. Everyone sins, the difference is a Christian realizes (some times!) they are sinning against God and an unsaved person just rationalizes it away.

    I try not to be too suprised when sinners sin.

    I am uncertain of how Scriptural Michael Pearl views porn. I have read that someone who has *ever* viewed porn will not be permitted to marry his granddaughter. He also considers Disney cartoons to be pornographic. Now, my children will not be allowed to watch Disney, but to say that someone who has and has repented is better than someone who hasn’t is not grace to me. To me Pearl judges by a harsher standard than God, who places our sins as far as the east is from the west, in saying that a repentant sinner is not good enough for his granddaughter.

    I think that often an unsaved person wants to change their behavior but they have tried and failed and don’t know how by the time they are confronted by a spouse. It takes God to change a person who is deep in the grip of sin. I don’t think an ultimatium of “I’m leaving” will motivate a change for more than a month or two on the individual’s own strength. They fail and sometimes that’s okay because it’s only when they realize they *can’t* be a good enough person on their own that they will reach out to God.

    These are simply patterns I’ve watched my brother in. He wants to change, but he’s trapped by his own weaknesses. It’s going to take God, and if he were married, it might take the form of his wife leaving to bring him to his knees. BUT I think such a step should be very, very prayerfully considered and should only be entered into when that is felt to be the Lord’s leading. The Lord can also lead a wife to silence. Only God knows what is going to help to bring that person to turn to Him.

    These are just my thoughts. I really hurt for you ladies that deal with such things. My husband and I have decided the temptations are too great and to (Lord willing) never have a computer that can be used behind a closed door and isn’t way out in the open.

  32. Jennifer says:

    Hello, Jayne. You are quite right, I do respond best to directness. I appreciate it when people ask me about my beliefs directly, rather than making a reference to them that doesn’t address me. Thank you for your questions, I am happy to answer them.

    The Bible calls the husband the head, so naturally I believe that he is. However, I don’t believe that head means “boss of”; headship is more complex than that, and Paul himself called it a mystery. I think the reference to man as the head and woman as the body has to do with comparing marriage to a system that works together, nourishes, and functions while joined as one, just as the human head and body. Stacy and some of the other ladies explained headship here a lot better than I could, but that’s one of the ways I often picture the “body” of marriage.

    As for submission, again, the Bible clearly says it is required in marriage; the husband guards and loves his wife, and the wife respects and honors her husband. Submission is a great part of marriage, and I utterly agree with one of the ladies here who said that each marriage is unique. Submission has been much abused in the past, but with a learning spirit and good Biblical understanding, it can be practiced in a correct and Godly manner. I don’t think we should allow the abuse of submission in the past to cloud our marriages today.

    As for feminism, I think it’s done some good and bad things. It came out in a time when women were oppressed and helped them break free of this. It helped women get jobs, stand up for themselves, and even promoted the use of female doctors (thank heavens, I could never go to a male gynecologist!) Also, there are different kinds of feminism; the radical feminist screams irrationally at all men, while the social feminist is much calmer and just wants equal regard and respect.

    However, I don’t think feminism is required or needed in marriage. Feminism represents the uniting of women against injustices in society as a whole, while marriage is between two people. If a wife has a problem with her husband, I hardly recommend she go on strike or march in front of her house with a Women’s Lib sign! lol Rather, she should discuss it with him in patience and love. He is not the enemy, nor a corrupt society, but her mate and he should be treated as such. There are some kinds of marriage in which a woman may need to stand up for herself more aggressively than usual, but if a husband is a good man who respects and loves his wife, I don’t think a one-woman march is the answer.

    Also, Jayne, in the topic of porn, there are two things I’d like you to understand: for one thing, I do NOT recommend that a woman married to a porn-viewing husband automatically leaves him or acts aggressively, nor do I think porn turns every man into a rapist. As I said in a different post (which hasn’t been posted yet), porn usually does one of two things to an addict: either makes him sink into himself and reclusion with his lust, or it builds to a peak and incenses him to lash out at others. How he reacts may have to do with which kind of porn he views. There’s a difference between kinky porn and sadistic porn, the latter of which promotes images of women being hurt by sex and often raped. IF a woman’s husband has sadistic porn in the house and shows a sign of becoming more aggressive, she should take action. (One clear sign of this is if he suddenly becomes more aggressive in sex and seems to enjoy inflicting pain on her or acting forceful and dominant)

    Secondly, porn is often an addiction. Maybe not for all, but it’s designed to lure men in a way that snares their very core. When I said a porn addict may become dangerous to his children, I didn’t just mean physically; porn is emotionally, spiritually dangerous and could not only render a man completely incapable as a father, but damage the souls of children who stumble across their father’s dirty stash.

    I am no expert, Jayne, but I highly recommend you read the book “A new Man” by Luke Reynolds, a man who used to be a porn addict and has seen firsthand what the porn industry does, both to women and men. It also has a couple of testimonies from women.

    I hope this answers your questions and thank you again for asking. Please feel free to address me anytime.

  33. Anonymous says:

    All we need is Jesus ladies.
    Do what He said to do, love thy neighbor and thy enemy.
    Even though it makes your neighbor or enemy mad. Enjoy the Joy of the Lord,
    while you conform to the character of Christ.
    You will be hated for His name sake. That just comes with the territory. Don’t be soon shaken when Satan attacks you, utilizing an Angry and Sinfully human.
    Focus on Jesus. God Loves YOU!
    Find lasting Joy and acceptance in God, not in Man, Don’t be an easy target. Be Honest, Respectfully verbalize, grow in your biblical vocabulary, Hold yourself accountable to God.
    Be confidant in the Lord.

  34. Stacy McDonald says:

    Dear “Along for the Ride,”

    Thank you for the great suggestions. I wanted to add that http://www.covenanteyes.com is a wonderful accountability system for computers. It does have a filter system (which you don’t have to use), but the best thing about Covenant Eyes is that it sends a report to whoever the man chooses as his “accountability partner.” It could be his wife or a co-worker etc. We use it in our home and it’s wonderful.

    The report includes ALL website the person has visited. It gives a score and gives links. It is very helpful.

  35. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think that it is all that rare than porn leads to other sins.
    I know that many men look at this and we do not look at all of them like vile men, but I think that many times that it is an accepted sin like gossip that shouldn’t happen, but it does.
    My ex-BIL is a porn addict. He was a very nice young man who grew up isolated on a farm and found things in garbage cans etc. He experimented his findings on his little sisters, but as he grew up, left home sort of kept this all hidden. It continued on until my sister who he married was violated by a abnormal marriage bed.
    My sister did not tell anyone for a long time, she did keep it to herself. When she told a church leader, she was told it was her own fault as she must not please him the right way in bed. Time passed and the struggles continued. All this time he “wanted to change” but the sin continued because most people looked at it as “Well, it is a temptation most people have and struggle with it. Fight it” When it progressed to the point where he began new experiments beyond my sister and to their 4 year old daughter and my other sisters, she had a choice to make and decided she had to call the police. unknown to her, he had told an online pastor what he had done and the man had also called the police. My sister found out later she would have been in trouble had she not called the police and would have also lost her children.
    I know this story is not isolated as we have met many people who have had similar things happen.
    I think there is a right way to approach sin in a marriage and when we as wives just say nothing, do nothing, it is as Stacy says above, slightly lazy way out. It is the toughest thing on earth to confront a leader of wrongdoing, but when we were given as helpmeets we are to help them, even overcome sin. A book I read when my sister was going through this called An Affair of the mind, is one of the best books I have read with a balance of tough love and submission in it.
    There are things like the online study for men with accountability for this reason, Setting Captives Free as well.

    I have seen how tragically porn can spread it’s evil through families. It is not a sin that needs to be kept quiet, but i think one that violates men and women. It has caused a family to lose their father, their brother and uncle, and I know that if in the beginning it could have been stopped by one caring person who pursued it. A family friend who saw with horror what happened and struggled with this himself made himself accountable to his wife and has really changed through this. He did wahat was suggested above and he does not use the computer without his wife.
    -Family sufferer

  36. Jennifer says:

    My God, Sufferer-I can’t believe what your family has been through. Thank you for having the courage to share it. My heart aches for you and yours, but it also rejoices that your sister found the strength that she needed. God bless that pastor as well, for having the guts to do what was right and call the police; Lord knows that poor woman needed a church head who was responsible and knew who truly sinned. Those who blamed her for her husband’s sin committed truly wicked wrongs against her and I hope they repent.

  37. Anonymous says:

    I have to say that what I teach my children about porn may help some of you to understand how very damaging pornography is.
    This is what I teach my teen boys

    Pornography is a perversion. A racy, sexy, seductively evil perversion. The Lord did not intend for men (or women) to view such things. The Bible clearly states that to look on another with lust in your heart is commiting adultery. Sexual pleasure is for a man and his wife only. Not outside of marriage and not outside of God’s plan for what is natural (which is one man and one woman).
    When you begin to view pornography, you become turned-on by the erotic images…but after a while, those images are no longer giving you quite the pleasure that they once did. What happens then? You look to other types of pornograpy…you go from pictures of “soft porn” to other types…same sex porn, multiple partner porn, etc. when this no longer quenches your desire you move on to other perversions which I will not describe here because I do not wish to be too blunt or offensive…..but my biggest point is that perversion leads to more perversion and after a while each perversion becomes “normal” and therefore becomes “dull”…this is why it destroys marriages. Also, this is why men become violent in their sexual acts….the bible, in proverbs, loosely says that what goes into the mind comes out in our lives….do you not think that these perversions will come out?
    You must guard your eyes, your heart, and your soul from such things or they will destroy you. And you must guard your children from such things.

  38. Older Woman says:

    I find it difficult to believe my husband when he says he finds me attractive because he has lied to me about other things (minor things). He tends to lie when he knows something will make me angry or sad, so I’m thinking in my head that he must be lying about this too. I think to myself, “He knows if he tells me the truth about what he thinks of my body that it will hurt my feelings.” So I tend to “hide” myself, which makes him frustrated and hurt.

    Kind of a cycle I guess. Because when he gets mad, then I get mad because he’s not understanding what I’m going through emotionally. And if I told him that it was because he’s lied in the past, he would probably blow up – thinking I haven’t forgiven him (which I have) for those times.

    One other thing I wanted to mention. I am hoping to get input on my situation from “older” women who are perhaps married (or at least experienced in years) and can give Titus 2 style advice. I wouldn’t call my daughter’s single friends for advice on intimacy – as godly as her friends may be. They are young and single and haven’t a clue about husbands and post-children issues and aging bodies etc.

    I notice that a girl named Jennifer has been posting on this intimacy thread an awful lot, which seems strange to me. She is only 23 years old and not married. I mean no offense, but many of us probably have children her age or older. It seems inappropriate for her to be giving advice to women here – especially on intimacy (as a single) and especially since she claims to be a feminist.

    Here are some of the “authority” toned statements she’s made in part 3 alone:

    “I have seen this ultra-heavy submission over and over again”

    “…who I’ve seen practice unhealthy, almost idolatrous obedience to their husbands are also being disrespectful of their spouses.”

    “I don’t know how many times I’ve heard “obedient” wives say, “I’m now treated like a queen because I do this…”

    “I have yet to see any broken and miserable wives coming forward from a marriage of equality.”

    “Honey, in situations like these, who cares? Sounding like a religious nag is the least of your problems, believe me…”

    Jennifer, please don’t be offended by my words. This is meant to be a gentle rebuke/reminder that you are in a place where you should be open to listening to rather than giving advice to other women. A day will hopefully come when you are in the position to teach, but based on your age and some of what you have said, I don’t think now is the time. That being said, some of the things you have said are very right – I’m not discounting all your words. I also think you are very well spoken and have great potential to teach one day.

    However, I suggest that you take care of your feminist leanings first. ;-)

  39. Jennifer says:

    Older woman, thank you for your compliments. However, I would kindly recommend/remind you to take careful heed of someone’s words before you rebuke them. The Bible says that if you are well-versed in its instructions, it doesn’t matter whether you are young and you should not let other people look down on you because of your age. Also, begging your pardon, but I am a young woman, not a girl. I may not be an older woman, but I have been an adult for some years now.

    I have listened very openly to all the women here. I have also heard direct counsel from many people who deal with porn and frankly, I don’t think I need to be married in order to advise a woman who is married to get porn out of her house; do you? If you look at the advice of the other women here, they have all advised more or less the same thing: don’t tolerate porn and be forthright but respectful of your husband. This is common sense; furthermore, if a woman has any hesitation about getting porn out of her house, someone needs to exhort her to do so right away, married or not. I don’t need to be married to know what a dangerously unhealthy marriage looks like.

    Nor have I tried to assume any position of authority; I’m rather surprised at your use of words, since I was under the impression that this was a blog for women to express themselves and simply offer their opinions without taking an “authority” approach; I would not presume to have “authority” over anyone in any form, whether they are younger than me or not and I would ask the same in return.

    Indeed, I am extremely baffled as to your idea that I have attempted to take authority here. I have told women with porn in their homes to get it out; this is, again, common sense. I have advised women talk to their husbands because I know personally that a relationship is non-existent without communication and that silence is not a part of a wife’s role. You also quoted me giving my opinion on marital submission, what it is and isn’t. I absolutely fail to see your ideas of “authority” in my comments about this matter; it is a fact that I have observed unhealthy marriages and it is a fact that I have an understanding of submission, which is what I was sharing. These were just my opinions, my personal take on submission and my observations of unhealthy submission; I did not ask anyone else here to agree with me, nor was I giving advice in any manner whatsoever. I was merely voicing my own understanding and sharing what I believed submission to be. I’m sorry you misunderstood my intentions, though I’m rather surprised you did.

    Lastly, I never said I was a feminist. I’m afraid you’ve picked this idea yourself out of my words, though I have never laid claim to it. So your comment “I suggest that you take care of your feminist leanings first” doesn’t really apply. I’m really at a loss as to why you think my words to be of a feministic nature: is it feminist to think a wife should speak to her husband, even confront him if he’s acting in a dangerous manner? Is it feminist to confront sin that may endanger your children or to get porn out of your house? Is it feminist to speak openly with your husband about how you’re feeling and what you need? I don’t think it is. Thank you sincerely for your concern, but I can assure you that I have been studying Biblical womanhood for years and I know my place in God’s kingdom. My knowledge does of course have a lot of growing to do, but you can be sure that I will never renounce or change my convictions that a wife has the right to speak openly with her husband and to throw any filth out of her house. My leanings in this matter have firm Biblical standing.

    Again, I had no intention of holding authority here and I apologize if I somehow gave you the impression that I did. I share my views here just like anyone else and no one has to agree with me, nor I with them. My wish is to share with other women; I wouldn’t dream of practicing authority over them and I would ask the same favor in return, from you and others. Thank you for your comments; that is the beauty of a blog with open and Christian women, isn’t it? You are free to disagree with me, as I am with you.

  40. Older Woman says:

    Dear Jennifer,

    I may not be communicating this well. “Authority” probably wasn’t the best word to describe what I meant. I realize you weren’t trying to “take authority.” Maybe “domineering” is better? I don’t know exactly how to explain it better.

    I only wanted to point out that some women may be hesitant to share their situations if a young lady (not even married) is acting as a counselor. Jennifer, I realize that at 23 you may “feel” like you’ve been an adult for many years and “seen things time and time again,” but this is an illusion of youth. There is so much still for you to learn.

    Yes, we’re all learning and growing, but when someone so young and inexperienced gives counsel to older, married women in such a commanding tone, it can be viewed as a little presumptuous.

    I know you mean well, and I am certain there are things you can add to the conversation. Like I said, I agreed with many of the things you said. I just think it has more to do with the “way” you are presenting your opinions.

    Maybe it’s just me – and I am sorry if I insulted you. That wasn’t what I meant to do at all. I think you are very bright and that you write well – I would just like to see your talents used in a way that would better glorify God.

    As far as your being a feminst – I thought you had claimed feminism at some point in one of these threads. I’d have to go back and read where I got that from. Am I wrong? Are you or are you not a feminist?

  41. Jayne says:

    I have been fairly active in this discussion so I would like to reassure those who are concerned about the age of those giving advice that I turn 50 later this year and will be celebrating my 28th anniversary.

  42. Jayne says:

    Older woman, it sounds like your husband loves you and really wants to avoid hurting your feelings. Since he loves you, it seems likely that he does find you attractive as he says. If you are having trouble trusting his words when he says that he finds you attractive, maybe you will feel better about his actions. Can you think of some ways that he acts like he finds you attractive?

  43. Jennifer says:

    Dear Older woman, please do not presume me to be blind to my own youth. I am very much aware of my age and I have not presumed to know more or as much as anyone else here. I know I am barely an adult, but an adult I still am and I have tried to do nothing more or less than share my thoughts along with others here.

    “Maybe “domineering” is better?”

    I should hope not. Most people I know consider domineering and commanding to be far worse than authority.

    As far as domineering goes, I don’t believe I have been this way. I have been very vehement, yes, and I apologize if this sounded dominant to you. However, the only times I have been truly vehement on this blog have been on the subject of porn. Pornography is a deadly thing and if anyone has any hesitation about ridding their house of it, they should be reassured immediately that it has to go. More than one person here has testified that women and children have been brutalized because of porn and I don’t believe in mincing words in this matter. If a woman twice my age personally told me she found porn in her home and wasn’t sure what to do about it, I’d tell her in no uncertain terms to get it out of her house. Whether or not she considered me an impertinent young whipper-snapper for my directness would be the last thing on my mind; far more would be at stake than her opinion of me.

    Other than the matter of porn, I don’t believe I’ve been “commanding”, nor have I wished or tried to play the part of counselor. I have tried to let women know they can talk to their husbands because anyone who has had a relationship knows that communication is vital, and I have shared my views of submission because I have studied the Bible. In neither case did I intend to offer authorative counsel; my words to women who were afraid to speak were meant as encouragement, not lecture, and I even specifically said that I hoped I did not sound presumptious and that only they really knew their marriages. As for the submission issue, I was sharing my definition of it, not telling others how they should view it.

    “I am sorry if I insulted you.”

    No indeed. “Insulted” is not the right word. Perhaps “lightly scolded” would be better? No worries, I know you meant well :)

    “Some women may be hesitant to share their situations if a young lady (not even married) is acting as a counselor”

    I have no wish to act as counselor. As for the other women, none have shown any hesitancy so far. And considering what they’ve been through and the strength that they’ve shown to far larger obstacles, I highly doubt they’d be threatened by a young lady such as me. If they believe my opinions to be invalid and of no consequence because of my single status, that’s all the more reason to think that they wouldn’t find me threatening or overwhelming.

    I am young and inexperienced with a great many things, older woman, while in other things I am not inexperienced at all. The fact that you remind me of my age and that you said it has more to do with the “way” I am presenting my opinion makes me wonder if perhaps I have spoken in a way that you’re not used to from women my age. You mentioned friends of your daughter; are most of the women you know (especially of that age) soft-spoken and home-schooled? If so, no wonder my words were a rude jolt to you, lol. I have been public-schooled my whole life (I’m in college now) and I am quite used to speaking openly with men and women of many different ages and belief systems. I often forget, however, how some are used to more conservative mindsets and homes. Indeed, I remember my surprise when, while visiting the LAF site, a certain book on the online store was not recommended for unmarried women under 25. I was greatly surprised by this before I remembered that a lot of the ladies on that site were used to speaking to young women of conservative upbringing. The fact is, most young women today are far more learned in adult matters than they were twenty years ago. Still learning, of course.

    As for the matter of feminism, I have already addressed it on this blog; another lady asked me what I thought about feminism, and I was happy to answer (this was one of the reasons I asked you to read all of my statements; just scroll up a bit). If I was a feminist, I wouldn’t be likely to carry that label here, since there’s an obvious wariness and bias towards feminists on this forum by certain people. Any feminist who wandered in here and admitted to being such would be signing the death warrant of her credibility.

    Thank you for your concern, older woman. If you would like to talk to me further, please email me through my profile (I have just now made my address available). I welcome your comments in a private setting, but I would prefer not to discuss it further on this forum; I think enough time has been spent on my beliefs. And rest assured, I am listening very carefully and taking to heart what I hear from the married ladies around here.

    God Bless

  44. Jennifer says:

    Just a brief note: I deleted a couple of my earlier posts, mainly to avoid repetition and save space (I tended to speak of the same subject more than once). Until Stacy reminded me that some of the other posts here were in response to my own, it didn’t occur to me that there might be confusion! So, just wanted to mention this for clarity. Sorry for any confusion, ladies :)

  45. teecha says:

    I need some help with this one please! I was working with an “older” woman to renew my mind and change some of the negative thinking patterns I had allowed to creep into my mind and affect my daily life. She advised me to tell a few close friends and family members about a sin I had committed before I was a Christian. She said I am living a lie and need to be reconciled to them. My husband said no way. You have repented and received Christ’s forgiveness. The passage in Corinthians about comforting one another-he believes this is the comfort of Christ that you need not share the details of specific sins. I want to obey my husband so I have stopped corresponding with this lady. My problem is I am now feeling more anxiety becasue she told me I am in sin and anyone who stops me from reconciling with these people is also. I don’t think there is anything to reconcile. I think my relationships with them are fine. This sin was over 13 years ago and only recently have I even started thinking of it again. Please share your thoughts on this with me. I want to honor my husband as he is my spiritual head but how do I put this behind me? Thank you.

  46. teecha says:

    Stacey, what would you advise in my situation (as posted in the previous post?)
    Thanks,
    Theresa

  47. Jennifer says:

    Teecha, I trust that Stacy will give you good advice. Since this issue seems to have more to do with the nature of God’s forgiveness than marriage, I’d like to offer you a few words of comfort as well, if I can.

    Your husband is right: once God forgives you of sin, it’s erased in His eyes. Now, the only reason you’d even need to consult your family and friends about this would be if your sin was directly against THEM. Since you did not say that your sin had anything to do with them, however, I’ll assume that your sin did not involve them. If that’s the case, then there’s no reason whatsoever for you to bring it up with them. This is between you and God, not anyone else. Only God can absolve you of sin, and only He needs to know about private sins that only affect you. This lady’s advice is both incorrect and absolutely inappropriate; you do not owe it to anyone else to mention your sin and it sounds to me like you ALREADY put it behind you and only the words of this woman brought it back up again! Don’t let it torment you; God says it’s been resolved, forgotten, and forgiven, and no one has the authority to contradict Him. Only Satan wishes us to torment ourselves with sins that have already been given up to God and forgiven. Please don’t be drawn into Satan’s torture tactics. As for that lady, I will pray for her, since it appears she has taken the position of teacher and given you some very harmful advice. You are very blessed, on the other hand, to have a husband who is so wise and learned in the Word of God!

  48. teecha says:

    Thanks for the encouragement Jennifer. Just to mention she said I need to tell my parents because I was not honest with them.
    Well I was a college graduate with a full time job paying rent living at home with my Mom and older sister. My Dad did not live with us at this time. So my Mom treated me as an adult who was living home rather than live on my own in an apartment and waste all that money. I recently shared more about my talks with this woman with my husband and he was so grieved. He feels she has laid a burden on me that should not be there. He wants to work through this with me it is just so hard to find the time right now. In her defense, she spent a lot of time with me and is going by things I told her. I guess it’s hard to counsel when you just met the person. I don’t think she really believes I was fine with all this for all these years, but I really was. Now I need to get back on track on serving God and not focusing on myself and letting my sinful, selfish thoughts get the best of me. So I would appreciate prayer in this area. Thanks!

  49. Stacy McDonald says:

    Hi Teecha,

    Sorry it has taken me so long to answer you. We’re still recovering from a flu epidemic in our family. I’m just now regaining my strength and the last child in the family came down with the “plague” yesterday!

    Your question is a bit off topic and it’s a little difficult to answer without knowing all the facts. There are times when restitution may be part of repenting from a particular sin. For instance, if you had stolen a piece of jewelry from a friend you would need to confess to the friend, return the item, and ask forgiveness.

    Before salvation, I committed more sins than I can even remember and I certainly didn’t go back to everyone I knew, family members etc., and confess them all. If that’s what your friend is asking you to do, that sounds a little odd. Christ died for your sins, completely and fully. When you became a Christian, His blood covered your sinfulness. It’s not up to you to do anything extra to complete the job.

    Again, if you know that you’ve offended someone by sinning against them, it is up to you to go to them and repent, and ask their forgiveness. But it doesn’t sound like that is the issue.

    I would say you should listen to your husband and allow him to work through this issue with you.

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