No woman dreams of marrying a man that struggles with lust, but the sad truth is most of us do. It’s a truth that many “church-grown” women neglect to understand or acknowledge until a serious relationship arises. Sometimes it even takes years into a marriage before it comes to the surface.
But for the large majority of us, we eventually have to confront the reality of our husband’s very real temptation to lust after another woman.
That temptation translates differently from one man to the next. For some, it evolves into something as tangible as an affair or a pornography addiction. For others it’s as simple and discreet as entertaining a lustful thought while a woman in tight jeans walks by. Whether a man is tempted to lust on an hourly basis or rarely ever, the temptation is there and it’s very real.
When the moment of revelation comes for a wife, it’s often devastating - and with good reason. Marriage is supposed to be a commitment before God to only have eyes for one another. When a husband’s eyes wander away to the woman on the screen or the woman passing by them in the hallway, it infringes on the very foundation of marriage.
It feels like a knife to our soul.
The blame for the emotional, physical and spiritual separation between husband and wife that often follows usually falls on the shoulders of the husband. After all, he is the one that has the lust issue, right?
But many times our husbands are engaging in the fight against lust and they experience victory, yet a barrier between us remains. We are unable to fully trust again. Our minds are burdened with insecurity. It seems like the chains that used to be on our husband in his time of sin are removed and placed on our hands and feet.
Now we can’t move. And a cloud envelops our thoughts.
But we aren’t sinning, right? Again, it is our husband’s lust that got us here. We are the victims.
I used to think that way.
I am a woman fortunate enough to be married to a Godly man that doesn’t deny his temptation to lust, but engages in the fight. He works hard to take thoughts captive, surrender them to the Lord, and even has a variety of people praying for him and holding him accountable, as he does for others.
That’s something that I should be thrilled about, don’t you think?
But in the beginning of marriage, the more the reality of a man’s temptation to lust was revealed to me, the more weighed down I became as new chains enveloped me. Rather than being thankful for his love for the Lord that gives him the will to fight, I became angry that there was a fight at all.
Then new thoughts began entering my mind. Thoughts of comparison, jealousy and fear began ruling me with every woman I encountered. Before long, I realized I was held more captive by lust than my husband. No, I don’t mean I was having sexual thoughts, but lustful nonetheless.
Every woman that passed by when I was with my husband stole my attention.
“She’s prettier than me.”
“Why can’t my hips be like hers?”
“If only I could have her body.”
Does this sound like a familiar thought pattern?
Lust is not just a desire to be tangled up naked with someone else; it’s any desire that is self-absorbed.
Desiring another woman’s figure because we think it will make our husbands find us more attractive is a self-absorbed desire. It’s lust.
The more I have grown in my love for the Lord and for my husband, the more I’ve acknowledged and began fighting my own lust. Just as lust whispers lies to men about another body’s ability to fulfill them, lust whispers lies to us about another body’s ability to fulfill us… if only it could be OUR body.
We can’t just expect our husbands to engage in the fight and be content in our chains.
Is your husband fighting his lust? Are you fighting your lust?
Friend, if our husbands are fighting and we aren’t, then any blame for the unspoken barrier separating our relationship does not fall on our husbands. It falls on us.
Even if our husband is not engaging in the fight, he is not responsible for our chains. Our husband’s purity doesn’t lead to our freedom. He will never be pure enough. It is Christ’s purity that leads us to our freedom. We have the power to break every chain and stronghold through Jesus Christ, not through our husbands.
It is okay to hurt over our husband’s lust. It isn’t okay for that to lead a life of insecurity, fear, jealousy and comparison. God’s truth trumps the lies of lust.
Lust whispers that you aren’t enough.
Jesus’ sacrifice screams that you are.
Sister, engage in the fight.
Surrender your lust.
Jordan Sok is a 20-something writer, Christian and newlywed. Her personal blog encourages her readers to “embrace the awkward,” because the way she sees it, a lot of “awkwardness” is simply feeling uncomfortable because something is out of the norm. And maybe that is a good thing. Her blog focuses on a mixture of topics surrounding the 20-something Christian life- the good, the bad, and the funny. Oh, and the awkward.
Publication date: October 28, 2015