"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;"
Eph 5:25

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Temptation, Take 2

A reader wrote a comment to my post Temptation By The Sea that made me see the need for a follow up post on the subject.  In the original post I outlined some steps for a husband that will help when faced with sexual temptation, especially visual temptation (particularly girls in bikinis).  

An anonymous read wrote the following:

What if I channel all these thoughts and feelings toward my wife and she rejects me? What if she doesn't understand the whole help meet idea and thinks that I should just put up with it?




St. Peter wrote in his first letter,  
Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. (1  Peter 3:7) 

When a husband is up against a wife who will not understand the overwhelming sexual needs of her husband, he must grow in patience and understanding.  In other words, he has to put up with it ... to a point. 

To truly respect you wife means to be not only patient, but honest with her as well.  To brush your feelings under the rug in the name of being patient is dishonest and not very considerate.  In the same way husbands often must be told (often it seems) to be more loving and understanding toward their wives, sometimes wives need to know when they are not meeting their husbands' sexual needs. 

What if he tells her and nothing changes?

That is where the patience and understanding come into play.  A husband in this situation will have to respect her decision to do nothing.  It is a decision.  She will have to decide whether or not to meet  her husbands needs.  Her decision will have natural consequences, either positive or negative.  Either the couple will grow in marital intimacy or they will grow apart.


I'm reminded of a science article I read quite a while ago.  A group of scientists experimented with the behavior of predator fish in a divided fish tank.  They placed the predator fish on one side of the glass divider and the prey on the other.  The predators would try to reach their prey by banging into the glass divider.  After  few days the predators stopped trying to catch any fish, preferring to get their food from another source (probably pellet food).  Finally the scientists removed the glass barrier to see what would happen. With the divider removed, the predator fish continued to ignore their prey and kept eating from another source. 

When husbands aren't being fulfilled, many will find a way to have their needs met by an alternate source such as pornography or something more destructive, like an affair.   

Am I saying husbands are justified in viewing pornography or having affairs?  Absolutely not.  What I'm saying is that sexual needs that are unfulfilled become an open door to temptation, and the more unfulfilled a husband is, the more likely he is to be drawn in by the promise of fulfillment in whatever form it (she) takes.

*Remember - being satisfied and being fulfilled are not the same thing. 


Husbands:

  • Pray.  Ask God to help you find fulfillment somewhere healthy.  Pray for your wife.  Ask for her eyes to be opened to the possibilities of greater intimacy with you.  Pray for your marriage.  Ask God to place a shield around your union so sexual temptation will not be greater than your will power. 
  • Seek accountability.  A while back I wrote a piece about finding mentors (see Waiting for Barnabas).  This is the time when you need to talk to someone who understands - really understands.  This is the guy you need to call when you are feeling tempted and want to give in.  
  • Love your wife unconditionally, even when she doesn't submit, even when she withholds sex, even when she rebels against your authority in the house.  
  • Communicate with your wife.  Make sure she knows that you need this sort of sexual fulfillment.  Make sure she knows the problems it causes when she withholds from you.  Make sure you let her know that you are making the best of it, but do not be falsely pleasant - say what you mean and mean what you say.  You aren't doing anyone a favor by pretending to be okay with the way things are.


Wives:  

  • Pray for your husband.  Pray that he will be patient as you work out  some issues.  Ask for a wall of strength around your husband so he can resist sexual temptation. Pray that your marriage will remain strong enough to withstand this test. 
  • Understand that sexual temptation will present itself to you husband.  He will be bombarded with it daily.  Understand that when he comes to you it's because he prefers you over the other stuff he has seen throughout the day. 
  • Educate yourself about your husband and his sexual needs.  Many websites and blogs encourage wives to just have sex a lot and their husbands will be fulfilled and happy.  Wives are supposed to be a helper for their own, particular husbands, and having a lot of sex just doesn't cut it for most husbands.  It's about intimacy, not sex.  Find out what his particular need are, and help him stay out of trouble.   
  • Find a mentor, a Titus 2 woman with whom you can talk about anything without embarrassment or shame - ANYTHING.  If you have any hesitation about talking to her, find someone else.  This is your marriage - not something to trifle with.

Final Word:


Temptation is everywhere. Husbands and wives make choices every day.  Choose wisely.



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