He Said/She Said (2): Lust and Your Marriage

Well. Brace yourself, because we’re not holding back today. [Please be conscious of children in the room when you read this post/listen to my husband's vlog].
As most of you know, I shared that Forgiveness is a Part of My Story over at (in)Courage a few weeks ago. I was blown away by the mass volume of private emails and public comments from women that day and steadily since. Women sharing similar circumstances, asking for prayer, believing for a miracle, reaching out for help.
My hubby and I prayed about it; He Said/She Said was born. (post #1, in case you missed it).
She Said:
I grew up naively and married naively. I was a virgin (or SUPER-virgin, as we now jokingly say) and I wouldn’t change that in any way. I pray my children can offer their future spouses the same gift one day.
I didn’t know much about lust. I remember my Dad carefully guarding and protecting my sister and I from boys. He would always say “I know how boys think.” I knew what he was referring too, but I thought it was just some boys. I didn’t know that all boys struggled with lust.
I certainly didn’t know that men (98% of them according to studies of Christian and non), including the one I’d marry, battled the same enemy.
It was years into our marriage, before I made this discovery. I’d always heard men are “visual.” I knew provocatively dressed women enticed men. But that is just scratching the surface of a man’s world.
In my hubby’s video below, he shares when he was first exposed to an image of a nude woman and how that began a battle he wouldn’t have the tools to win until just four years ago. He was just a boy, weaponless, struggling with an omnipresent opponent.
I want to share with you what I’ve learned about men and lust. My education came from my own experience and from a book that I cannot recommend highly enough. I discovered it in the throes of my crumbling marriage. It was a lifesaver:For Women Only: What You Need to Know about the Inner Lives of Men by Shaunti Feldhahn, opened my eyes to my husband’s mind, his battlefield.
[The rest of this post will contain information directly from this book]
In the chapter, Keeper of the Visual Rolodex, Shaunti explains (after years of research and interviewing 1,000 Christian men) even happily married men struggle with being pulled toward live and recollected images of other women. Ninety-eight percent of the men responded that when an attractive woman enters the room, they can’t NOT want to look. (She goes on to explain that they have a choice right here. Remember, it’s not a sin to be tempted or when involuntary images pop into the mind. But if we devour that image, fantasize, so on and so on, then that’s giving into the temptation).
What “Men are Visual Means”: 1. An “eye magnet” or woman who is dressed to show off her beautiful body is extremely hard to avoid and even when he forces himself not to look, he is acutely aware of her presence. 2. Even when an eye magnet isn’t present, men have a “mental Rolodex” of stored images that can intrude into his thoughts without warning. (These can be snapshots of women they’ve seen before or sensual images from movies (bad), magazines (bad), even of you, his wife (good).
This was a lot for me to take in the first time I read it. Since then, I’ve discussed it with my hubby and he’s confirmed it. Our world is a dangerous minefield for our husbands.
Next week, I’ll share some more on this subject (I’ll offer some reassurances and things we can do to help them in the battle), meanwhile, please pray for your mate. His battle is real. The enemy is fierce. Stumbling blocks pepper his path. Pray he will be strong. Pray for him to resist temptation. Pray God will use you to minister to your spouse.
He Said:

Is any of this information new to you? Have you talked to your husband about it? Perhaps, the table is turned and as a woman, you struggle with lust. If you’re a visual person, this might not be news to you (25% of women are “visual”).
Or you may be in the percentage of men/women who aren’t affected by these issues.
Either way, we are praying for you and your marriage.

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    Thanks so much to you and your husband. I have a husband and a seventeen year old son. I do pray for them to resist those temptations, as I know they are tempted. God bless you both and thank you again for your obedience to Him and the obvious calling on your lives.

  2. 2

    says

    I don't think I am concerned about my husband because we do talk openly about this subject and I do feel as if I am the only women he lusts after. But this does make me concerned for my 9 year old boy and how I'm going to help guide him through those difficult teenage years. Thank you for your open honesty.

  3. 3

    says

    Thank you for being open and honest about such a difficult topic. It's one that affects so many marriages and often times gets pushed to the side. Particularly from the wife's point of view. We've heard so many sermons about protecting our husbands and the men in our lives. But for the wife dealing with the effects on her marriage, it's an often untouched subject. Even in the Christian community.
    Thanks!

  4. 4

    says

    You are both brave and obedient to be heeding the call to speak openly about these kinds of difficult issues. I just know it will be a blessing to so many families and couples.

  5. 5

    says

    Thank you, thank you. This is a subject I think more of us need to know the truth behind. And for those with daughters, help to teach modesty and sons, how to "bounce" their eyes (as my hubby says).
    Praying for you as the weeks go on. Thank you for being so open.

  6. 6

    Anonymous says

    I loved hearing from your husband on this subject. We dealt with this very issue early on in our marriage, so I know how devastating it can be. This is something we all have to continually guard against, and in today's world, it is becoming increasingly more difficult. Thank you for your ministry in this area!

  7. 7

    says

    Thank you for sharing so openly. Satan's power is real, whether he attacks through lust or other idols. YOur transparency will be a blessing to others. We read both of Shaunti's books and were both helped to understand one another.

  8. 8

    says

    I love that you and your husband are doing this together! Lust is huge for women as well. My husband and I are very close and do talk about it. He agrees that men are very visual! I'll be following along!

  9. 9

    says

    This is so great. How awesome is it that your husband is partnering with you regarding the subject. I am loving all the open and bare posts lately because WE in REAL LIFE, are like this. Glossing it over and making everyone else feel like they are the only ones struggling only makes them feel worse, and turns them away from the grace and goodness of God. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Steph

  10. 10

    says

    You have a very brave husband there. I have a feeling you are helping more people than you know.

    I wish there were more ways to protect our young ones…images are EVERYWHERE! My son asked me a few months ago when leaving the grocery store, "so…what's the deal with Cosmopolitan magazine?" And here I thought I has scanned…and flipped over…all of the inappropriate publications in his line of vision.

  11. 12

    says

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I know all the stats so I wasn't suprised about those…but when your husband said he was 9…9 when it was triggered I was shocked. My oldest son is 9. I know it's a struggle for my husband but I thought I had some time before my son began to struggle with it. Prayer is so important. I feel like I cannot pray enough. Thank you for your honesty and may the Lord bless you for your obedience in speaking out. I look forward to hearing/reading more in the weeks to come.

  12. 13

    Kari says

    Thank you so much for doing this! I am raising three boys and want so much for them to stay pure. So good to know WHAT I'm fighting against! Please hold us and all Christian families in prayer! What a battle we fight! Looking forward to reading/hearing more! THANK YOU!

  13. 14

    says

    Wow! A huge thank you to you and your husband for dealing with this subject so honestly and bravely. It's so easy to gloss over these unpleasant topics and pretend like they're not problems.

    I loved reading your side of the story and hearing from your husband is so powerful.

    You are blessing people's lives with this.

  14. 15

    says

    Thanks for your honesty. I worry about my 15yo son. I know it is a struggle for men and young men alike. I wish there were more I could do to help.

  15. 16

    says

    Thank you both for your honesty and willingness to put yourselves "out there", so that all of us, may learn something from your life experiences. I have a 10yr old boy who will start junior high next yr…and I am already feeling anxious about it.
    Also your %'s and comments about how men think….very eye-opening. looking forward to more he said/she said!! Carol

  16. 17

    Anonymous says

    I'm going to have to share these posts with my husband. He struggled in his younger days with this and was honest from the beginning about it, but I was not aware of how much of it sticks, like the rolodex.

  17. 18

    says

    Wow. I can't begin to imagine what it took for you both to begin this series and what it must have been like for you both to realize this was something that God wanted you to share. My husband and I have only been married 3 years and we talk about this often. We've watched couples in our church struggle with issues such as this and I pray we can stay ahead of the curve. I'm so thankful that you're opening up your hearts and your lives and I pray that it doesn't fall on deaf ears or hard hearts. You both are a huge encouragement to us "newlyweds" that marriages can survive these days. I'm so thankful for you.

    Melissa in California.

  18. 19

    says

    I'm a substance abuse counselor and a few months ago I went to a conference where I listened to a speaker who is an expert in sexual addiction. She said something that I found interesting. She said that all marriages/partnerships have a contract. So, for instance, the Christian readers of this blog might have a marital contract that says that neither party (women look at these things, too) will not look at porn. While other marriages might have a contract that says that porn is ok, but talking to members of the opposite sex in a sexual way online isn't. Or that all of that is ok, but actual sex with someone else isn't. Or even that all of it is ok, including sex. And that the problem comes when one (or both) people in the relationship break that contract. Anyway, that statement stuck with me. It seems like it's all about respect.

  19. 20

    says

    Thank you both for sharing such a deep part of your souls with us. I feel a though you both are truly followig God's plan for your lives by reaching out and ministering to all of your readers through this blog. What a wonderful example y'all are to all of us!

  20. 22

    says

    Thanks to you and your husband Kristin for doing this! You are both very brave!!

    I think this is something MANY marriages deal with, yet very few talk about!

    ~TidyMom

  21. 23

    says

    Honesty is the only way to get this out and get people the help they need-I agree in many ways about how you presented such a "Let's not talk about THAT" topic. A Christian man who is willing to talk about it is certainly going to help other Christian men! I am now a stay-at-home mom but was a counselor in a church before my kids. Talking to women day in day out this topic was covered an average of 4 times a day. I normally met with 5 clients a day. Thanks for putting it out there!

  22. 24

    says

    I have followed your blog for about a year or so now. I've never posted before. I just wanted to say that my marriage has also gone through ups and downs and I want to thank you for your honesty. You are really giving your readers the courage to be honest with our loved ones. Thank you so much. Your family is an inspiration!

  23. 25

    Terri says

    I can't thank you enough for doing this series and really bringing this issue out into the open. As he said, there is *so much* shame involved in this struggle, that men are so often unwilling to discuss it, even with each other. It takes a tremendous amount of courage for both of you to step and and talk about this. As someone whose marriage has been greatly affected by pornography and lust, and has seen God work in that, I am hanging on every word. I also have a three year old son and I'm already considering his future as a young man and how this issue with affect his life. Thanks again!

  24. 26

    says

    Praise God for this leap of faith that you are both taking. The Lord WILL bless you, your marriage and family for this service to Him. May you be protected from the enemy who will see this good thing and try to fight it.

    Love your blog. We are so, THAT family, too.

  25. 27

    says

    I am truly thankful for both of you for speaking out about this subject. It muxt be so difficult, and humbling. I also grew up naieve (oh, those were the days) and still struggle to grasp this reality about men. Either my husband is in the 2% who don't struggle with this, or he's very good about hiding it. Odds are the answer is the latter. Looks like we have some talkin' to do! Also, I have a 6 year old son (and 3 daughters) and I didn't realize how much harder it was going to be for him to deal with this issue. (There I go being naieve again). Looks like I need to open my eyes and get real…thanks so much for helping me do that so I'm prepared when it does rear it's ugly head. You are both very brave and inspiring to so many people!

  26. 28

    says

    I think your husband did a great job on his video. I'm sure this can be very hard, not many men would be so open in sharing to help others. I think what you guys are doing is so important. I am raising three boys and am very interested in this series. I know many husbands who have struggled with this, thanks so much for putting yourselves out there.

  27. 29

    says

    God bless you both for being so vulnerable. I know you will help a lot of people through this.

    I don't have sons, but I do have three daughters (two teens, one pre-teen). I am already praying that God would keep their husbands pure because I know what a tempting world we live in. It's so hard for boys today to live a pure life. May God help them.

  28. 31

    says

    I was watching the first installment of your series when The Hubby overheard the video and came and sat down beside me to watch. He said, "This is very interesting. Make sure to let me know when they post again so we can watch."

    We have 3 young boys (1,4,6) so I'm excited to be able to learn the male mind and have a better understanding of it before they become teenagers.

  29. 32

    says

    Second time in a week that I have commented and linked to this blog post that I found:

    http://www.cleverdude.com/content/men-having-trouble-with-the-eyes-bounce-them/

    Begin training your young sons NOW to avert their eyes from the tempting visuals of our world. A simple "bounce" spoken by mom or dad can forewarn pre-teens & teens that there is something they shouldn't see, so they should find an appropriate scene on which to place their eyes.

    I despise that Victoria's Secret is next door to the Apple store in my mall!

  30. 33

    says

    What a brave, thoughtful post and vlog. We're reading Proverbs this month and through that, have had some discussions about lust and the struggles men, especially, can face. I have two young sons and wish for them to lead Godly lives. I know it will be a struggle for them – our world is becoming increasingly more visual and more available. God bless you both for sharing so freely.

  31. 34

    says

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I cannot wait for my husband to get home and watch this. I can't express to you how my heart is leaping for joy! I will be among those praying for you both as I do know the vulnerable place you are in. God is going to use this in a mighty, mighty way. "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." Romans 8:28

  32. 35

    Anonymous says

    i'm going against the grain here…but are you serious? Stepping aside from all the god talk because although I have faith and am guided by it, it doesn't overtake my being. I can't seriously believe that you can really say "Our world is a dangerous minefield for our husbands." without being amazingly naive. And maybe that is the case. But it goes beyond MEN. Woman have that same struggle. Lust is a feeling we all have and if you haven't experienced it, I feel for you. I think you are confusing Lust with attraction. It’s normal and healthy to be attracted to and appreciative of another person. Spontaneous involuntary sexual thoughts, like the ones that occur during adolescence, aren’t sinful because they aren’t an act of conscious free will. These thoughts can be rejected and dismissed without sin occurring.

    I'm going to pray for you.

  33. 36

    says

    Dear Anonymous,
    I appreciate your opinion. I didn't say that women don't lust. I know that they do, I'm just sharing my story.

    I did state that it's not a sin to be tempted or to have involuntary sexual thoughts, but to take it further and fantasize, to me, is a sin.

    And thanks for the prayers. I appreciate it.

  34. 37

    says

    Thank you so much for being willing to share so honestly about the struggles men and women both face in this area. As someone who has lived through it as well, I could relate to everything that was said. My husband hid his lust problems for years and would openly deny it when I tried to talk about it. Then the Lord put such a burden on my heart to pray about something that was wrong…and I didn't even know what! A few months later it came out that he had started looking at things on the internet and I learned that he'd struggled with lust in different ways for years. It was very hard and hurtful to learn the truth but God has been helping us both since then so I KNOW that you can get victory in this area. He had been triggered from things starting VERY young as well and now is determined to not only keep himself pure, but already incouraging our 6 yo son to protect his eyes too.
    I look forward to hearing more from you both on this subject. And I pray that it will help to open the eyes of many to the seriousness of it all.

    Thanks again,
    Tyra

  35. 38

    says

    Terryl (sp?) and Kristin, THANK YOU! My husband and I are praying for you!! The courage that this takes is unbelievable… and the obedience to God's will – you are amazing, and I know you will be helping soo many couples through this he said she said line!
    We have read Shaunti's books, and they were mind blowing to me, as a woman!! LOL!! I kept arguing with my husband – but that can't be right, can it??? I learned SO MUCH about my husband that I didn't know because of that book!
    And I think the hardest thing is that God has wired us sooo differently!! Us women just can't get our mind around how they think, and when we DO it really opens our eyes! I think the biggest thing for women, is that if/when they find out that their husband is struggling with lust, their immediate reaction is "I must not be good enough (sexy enough, pretty enough, etc). What's wrong with ME that I can't hold his interest???!!" Which crumbles the relationship from both sides. The enemy loves it. And boy… i think it's THE hardest thing in a marriage to overcome! God Bless you both for stepping out to share about this!!
    We will be lifting you up regularly!!!!

  36. 39

    says

    Thank you so much for your honesty about a subject that is so difficult. We have watched as several friends have struggled with lust….and by the grace of God their marriages were restored. Blessings to you and your husband as you continue this series!

  37. 40

    Anonymous says

    WOW – Courageous, Brave, Humbled and Inspired – thanks T for being a mouth piece for the Lord on such a shameful and delicate topic – you will save many a marriage by opening your heart and your mind to help others out there – You go T!
    Erin McMilon

  38. 41

    Amy Lynn says

    Interesting post. I definitely don't agree with it, though. There are plenty, plenty of men who do not struggle with lusting after women they are not married to.

  39. 42

    says

    Wow. I wanted to thank you and your husband so much for being open and honest in telling your personal stories. I learned just a couple of years ago how powerful images are to men and my husband and I spent alot of time dscussing it. I had NO IDEA how strong of a pull lust is and how hard it was to not think about impure thoughts and pull up inappropriate images in his mind. It was a real eye opener to me. You and your husband are certainly not alone. My husband has this same struggle. I worry about how to raise my son so he doesnt fall in this same trap. Would it be possible for your husband to spend some time during this series to talk about what he thinks his parents should have done dfferenly? or what they could have talked to him about before this cycle started for him that he thinks would have helped him have a better foothold on what he was going to face as a young man? That would be so beneficial to me…like I said, we have a son and I am terrified of the world he is going to grow up in.

    You guys are an inspiration to me. Thank you again for being so transpararent and so willing to help a hurting world. God bless.

  40. 43

    says

    i was also raised similarly (virgin- naive and quite clueless )and didn't really understand lust until the last few years- having been married for 7.5 yrs!

    i love this he said/she said!! great job!!!

  41. 44

    Anonymous says

    Thank you for the open and honest vlog. We have read the For Women Only book and my husband has shared similar things with me from his past. I also have two boys that this will affect soon. Thanks for helping me to keep my eyes open.

  42. 45

    says

    I commend you both for talking about this so openly and honestly. It's definitely given me stuff to think about and talk to my hubby about. Thanks!

  43. 46

    says

    I can't say I fully agree either. I think there is some danger in stating how common it is too. I know you aren't in ANY WAY excusing men for sinful behavior, but I think there are problems with saying "that's just how they are" when it comes to lust/porn/adultry and the like. We are ALL sinful beings. We ALL have temptations and saying "that's how we are" in no way excuses sin. (and again, I know that isn't what you are saying, but I do think *some* men/women EXCUSE sinful behavior by men b/c "that's just how they are") I've even heard it from preachers… while they may not think they are saying it… they are in essence putting the blame on the women/culture for the behavior of men.
    And that is just plain wrong. We ALL have temptations and hiding from them won't make them go away. You have to deal with them. I fully believe the power of the Holy Spirit is strong enough to deal with these types of temptations. If a man has a problem with lust, then he should pray about it and ask the Lord to remove it from him. I believe He can and will. I know I have had my own share of issues that I have prayed about and asked the Lord to deliver me from… and He did. He didn't do it by removing the temptation, He did it by giving me the strength to endure. I DO believe that God can remove the rolodex. Clinging to it, IMO, is an excuse.
    God may have created man with his nature, but He did not create that nature for evil, He created it for good. Man has to seek God so that his nature seeks what is good and not evil. I fully believe that can be done with the power of the Holy Spirit.
    And praise the Lord we have the righteousness ONLY found by faith in Jesus Christ whether we succeed or not.

  44. 47

    says

    Kristen — Great post!

    I think there is a lot of naïveté and maybe just plain denial in people thinking their man doesn't lust. They do. It's really only a matter of if you are willing to admit it or not.

    My husband and I were talking after church last night about an article he had read earlier in the week that made his blood boil because of this very issue. It was about the "proper way" to experience "Christian" pornography. He was REALLY angry that someone would try and put something so unholy under Gods name. Unfortunately, that is what people try to do all the time and we have to have that spirit of discernment to know what is and isn't from God.

    I look forward to more of your He said/She said posts.

    In Christ,
    Sallie

  45. 48

    says

    Dear Amy,
    thank you for sharing your honest opinion. Actually, I agree with you. There are many, many men who don't lust after women other than their wives. I'm proud to sat my hubby is one of them. I'm really talking about the temptation that is there for men and even women. We just want to share tools in helping more be added to that number.

  46. 51

    says

    Thank you so much for tackling this subject. I thank God that this has not been a huge problem for my husband, but it has affected our family because of the struggles our now almost 16 year old son has had. He was exposed to some images when he was in 5th grade on the internet and has struggled since then. It began with an innocent google seach for something else. Parents – PLEASE filter, monitor, watch, know what your boys are doing on the internet. Don't think it can't happen to your little boy. It can.

  47. 52

    says

    What a great post! Thank you. Of course it now has me worried about my boys (15,8,3) but now I have an idea of what they are up against and, hopefully, I can guard against it.

  48. 53

    says

    Thank you so much for having the strength and boldness to tackle this issue. The fact that you and your husband are doing this TOGETHER is such a testimony of the healing and grace of God. I will be praying for you as you continue this series. This is a truth that needs to be spoken!

  49. 54

    Kara says

    Thanks so much for tackling this subject. I think so many of us women want to say, "but not MY husband" and we need to realize how real the temptations are for all men. And it is really scary to be raising boys today – we need to protect them and guard their minds and hearts. Thanks for your honesty and encouragement.

  50. 55

    says

    I have 4 sons and it breaks my heart thinking about the life-long struggle they will have to remain pure. Thanks for sharing. Maybe I can learn something that will help them.

  51. 57

    says

    I have struggled my entire life… Like you, I can call upon those images instantly. I was in the 8th grade when a teacher took me and some other boys out of town to see a college basketball game… The night ended with us ordering pizza, drinking alcohol, and watching pornography. I remember what the room we were in looked like, I remember the smells, I remember the images that are branded in my brain permanantly. For some reason, I let this take hold of my life. I was, and am a pornography addict. I have lied, cheated, stolen, and worse to get my fix of that drug. I let pornorgaphy ruin a marriage that produced 2 beautiful children. That addiction carried over to actions. My perception of women and relationships was also permantly scarred. I am a Christian, I am a follower of Christ, but I am as fallen as anyone on this earth could ever be. During my first marriage, it got to where pornography wasnt enough. I NEEDED a new rush, a new high if you will, and that came in the form of swinging. My wife and I joined swingers clubs from one city to the next. Again, I can still see the images that were embedded along the way. We started our own adult web sites, and we started making money in that industry. LOTS OF MONEY… Just like the snow melts away, so did my marriage. I am taged for life with the reminants of lust and the unhealthy side of sex.

    Now I am remmarried, and somehow, I thought that would fix my disorder. I belived that my love for my wife would trump those thoughts and those images, but it is a powerful enemy that we face. Every day is a battle, every day is a struggle. I love my wife and family, more than I have ever loved anything in this world, so if I want to keep them I have to keep fighting. Keep looking to the Heavens for help, keep asking the Father for forgiveness, for guidance, for wisdom. His Mercy and His Grace is what gives me hope.

    My wife and I say that pornography is more addictive than crystal meth… but it doesnt rot out your teeth, it rots your soul. That is so true. Chances are that there are other people reading what I am responding to you with that either have this problem or knows someone that is struggling. Lift them up in your prayers. Lift me up in your prayers, and Terrell, I will do the same for you!

  52. 58

    says

    Thanks so much for your vulnerability in sharing your testimony. God has already used this to change my marriage. I'm looking forward to watching your vlog tonight with my hubby.

  53. 60

    says

    I too have a 10 yo son, and need to make sure to talk to him from time to time about this. I know he is sensitive about it, and very willing to get rid of magazines, ads, etc that make him feel uncomfortable. But I do not know how he will handle middle school next year.

    My husband has been laughed at, because he won't even watch another couple kiss in a movie – not even a cartoon. He covers his eyes with his hands. But that attitude has saved him, I think. A dear friend of mine has had 2 marriages destroyed by this addiction. She longs to find a man does not give in to those desires.

    And while men might be visual, women can struggle with lust also. Romance novels are pornography in words.

  54. 62

    Amy Lynn says

    I think it also depends on how you are raised. I was raised in a liberal household (and will be raising my kids the same), where the human body was nothing to be ashamed of, and sexual relations was introduced as an important part of choosing a life partner.

  55. 64

    Janeen says

    Thank you SO much for both of you sharing this so openly. I have 3 boys and one girl and I know it is a real problem in this world of ours. I feel for the men and the constant attack of sensual images our society throws at them. Thank you again for sharing so openly to help all of us. God bless you both.

  56. 65

    says

    I agree with many of the other comments that this is not just a problem with men and I love that you and your husband are doing these posts to raise awareness on this issue. I also think as a society we sometimes say "oh it's just a guy thing" or vice versa, but you are right. It's a choice of what we choose to look at or search for and need to be extremely careful. My husband and I have had many discussions about this and we will help all of our children to understand the importance of modesty and protecting our minds as well…

  57. 66

    says

    Oh, how I commend you for your courage in laying this hushed topic out in the open. I believe it does need to be addressed, because lust is even more prevalent than most women realize or most men admit. You are so right–it starts young, so young, from what my husband and every man he and I have talked to about this issue has said. I also find it true that Christian young men have a unique battle in that they are trying to keep from having sex and might be more prone to find another outlet in pornography.

    Thank you for your honesty. You are doing a good thing.

  58. 67

    says

    After reading the comments I wanted to tell you both that I will be praying for you. The enemy HATES it when lies are exposed and will fight like crazy to keep us all in denial. Your story has inspired me to be more proactive in praying for my husband and son! Thank you for your ministry :)

  59. 69

    Anonymous says

    Thank you so much for your realness and being so frank!! It is refreshing to see other Christians with marriage issues!

  60. 70

    says

    Thank you so much for putting yourself out there like this. pornography is such and epidemic in our society. As a Women who has dealt with similar issues in my marriage and has 3 boys this is very helpful to me. You guys are truly doing Gods work and I know great things will come from it.

  61. 71

    says

    My son is three and at Disney he checked out a girl (4 ys old?) in a Jasmine costume. He literally looked her up and down and smiled. He would have touched her if my husband and I didn't distract him with a toy. We were shocked at his behavior because we have never shown him that. Where did he learn it? My husband said that is just being a boy. Well I have quiet a battle to fight with this lust business. I'll be sure to talk to my husband about his battle (if any). We are pretty open about these things but it doesn't hurt to bring it up again. When you think things are going well that's when Satan attacks. Gotta keep these lines of communication open. Thanks to you both for blogging about this.

  62. 72

    says

    Your obediance and honestly in dealing with this topic is something that is truly needed. As a wife who daily walks the same path with a husband also seeking purity I will pray for you and hope that you see & feel support and prayers from all sides. Thank you and God bless.

  63. 73

    says

    i think most women are oblivious to this–and the more "secure" many of them feel, the less "in-touch" with their husband's reality they may be. thank you for sharing–whether they know it or not, this is a battle that EVERY married person should be in constant prayer about.

  64. 74

    says

    Thank you so much for being so willing to put yourself out there and talk about this things, which I know will help so many others. I was actually the one with the problem in my marriage, and my husband was a real help to me to overcome that. Thanks you again, for being open and honest and telling your story.

  65. 75

    Anonymous says

    Thank you for sharing from your heart. God used you to remind me how important it is to protect my teenagers. Your words were well spoken.
    Ramie, KS

  66. 76

    says

    Thanks for putting yourselves out there like this. I will be praying for you both. I commend and respect you greatly. Definitely a topic that needs to be talked about, not skimmed over. And a hard topic.

    Also, I so enjoyed meeting you the other night!

  67. 77

    says

    Thank you for opening up your lives this way. More marriages have to deal with this, than those that do not. The first step is to be honest about it, let each other know you are aware of their battles then be there for each other. I pray for my husband constantly and found the book The Praying Wife to be a wonderful resource for me. Temptation is always there, but through prayer and our love for our spouses is can be defeated:)
    Bless you for sharing this!

  68. 78

    says

    Thanks so much for sharing your heart and your relationship. My husband has struggled with this mightily in his life and I have been aware of it since the beginning of our relationship. A professor of mine recently wrote a book about this whole struggle from a scientific/neurological perspective that is fascinating and very helpful. I think it provides a fresh perspective on the whole issue.

    http://www.amazon.com/Wired-Intimacy-Pornography-Hijacks-Brain/dp/0830837000/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1

  69. 79

    says

    Thank you so much for sharing openly the struggles and triumphs of marriage. My husband and I have battled, together, his tendency towards lustful thoughts and actions. I am thankful that God has given me a spirit of forgiveness and grace as we navigate through the years.

    His first experience with this temptation came as a young boy and the lingerie section of the Penney's catalog. I was surprised to hear that you were both around the same age. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on how to deal sensitively with your son as he reaches puberty.

    I have seen the faithfullness of God as he enables my DH to overcome and for us to move past the hurts this sin has caused. I love a happy ending and am thankful that you two are walking in the sufficient grace of God!

  70. 80

    Anonymous says

    Thank you very much for sharing this post. I can only imagine how difficult this must be to share and truly appreciate your openness and honesty. I have to admit this is something I have not given much thought about but I have a young son and this really opens my eyes to what struggles may lay ahead for him. Thank you. I look forward to the next post in this series.

  71. 81

    Andrea V. says

    Just wanted to say I think this new segment is a great idea. And I appreciate your openness – this is, I think, a bigger issue and struggle than most want to admit to.

    Please don't take this in any way offensively, because I mean this to be informational, and you can do what you will. Also, I don't think you have control over the ads that appear in readers, but I did want to let you know that (rather ironically) the ad that appeared in Google Reader for this post was a link for "Sexy Arab Girls". I know if I were you, that is something I would want brought to my attention, because I wouldn't want it to take away from the message I was trying to share.

    God bless you and your family!

  72. 82

    says

    I have never read your blog before. But I came here off a link on twitter. After reading and listening to your post I have tears rolling down my cheeks. My husband struggled with this as a teenager and into when we started dating. He was open about it from very early in our relationship because he knew how much it would hurt me later to find out and he knew that he would need help to overcome this.

    I love that you guys are putting it all out there. My husband doesn't currently struggling with lust however, as he says its a daily battle. We have a 2 almost 3 year old little boy.. and I want to make sure he is prepared for the things that he is going to face in this life. We have been praying for him to not have struggle with these thoughts since the day we found out the sex. I am rambling.. but my point is.. thank you.. people need to be more aware of whats going on in this world.. what Christian guys have to deal with all day every day. These images are everywhere.

  73. 83

    Anonymous says

    I just want to say THANK YOU! My husband and I have had many "discussions" about this very thing. He feels powerless against the looking and I am so very hurt to "not be enough". I know he loves me and lusts after me, but there is just something else there. I'm going to share this with him, and pray, pray,pray! What a relief to know others have struggled with the same things. THANK YOU BOTH for having the courage to come out speak what's real and true. God bless you both.
    Jennifer

  74. 84

    says

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for opening the doors to dialog about this. So many men and women are crushed under the weight of this. Thank you for your bravery. Continuing in prayer for you both as your willingness to be real and transparent helps and minsters to others.

  75. 85

    says

    FANTASTIC!!! Thank you so much for sharing! It isn't always easy to tell the "Beauty for Ashes" stories! I really appreciate it.
    The "For Women Only" book BLEW me away!!! I had no idea!

    I think you need a "He Said/She Said" Button. :)
    Also, my husband is a youth pastor and it would be amazing if you could make a clip on modesty and guys that is geared more for teen girls. ???? Something to think about.
    Again, thanks so much!

  76. 86

    says

    I think it is awesome that you are bringing this in to the light. I respect your husbands courage to openly talk about this issue. I know that it is really hard for men to avoid the temptation especially I find at work and unfortunately in the church. My husband has been given a hard time by co-workers and even "friends" because he takes a stand and says no when they try to show him things or talk about them.

  77. 87

    Anna says

    A big THANK YOU! You guys have jumped into what I believe is a huge area ripe for ministry in our culture. From a fellow naive wife to another: Thanks to Kristen! You have inspired a lot of prayer on my part. I had no idea…
    Thanks to Terrell for your courage…my gigantic existing respect for you just tripled! Love you guys so much!

  78. 88

    says

    I am sooooo incredibly encouraged every time I come to your blog. One of the things that I LOVE about blogging is how people share their stories…because I think it takes some AWESOME courage to be that honest and share your story…and it helps others more than you know. I'm trying to be that person too…someone who can tell my own story. I struggle with that sometimes. I struggle A LOT with faith and religion in general…I wish it came easy for me, but the truth is, it doesn't…at all. But I just want to say, I admire your faith…I admire your openess and honesty…and I THANK YOU for sharing your story.

  79. 89

    Anonymous says

    Thank you (and your husband!) so much for being so open and honest about such a difficult subject. We are in the midst of overcoming a similar trial; it truly strengthens me to read of success stories like yours! God bless you both!

  80. 90

    says

    Awesome post, Kristen AND hubby!!
    I'm doing the For Women Only bible study and it has opened my eyes to many things.

    Thank you SO much for doing these :)

  81. 91

    Anonymous says

    Thank you for doing a series on this subject! We are dealing with this just this week. We have a lot to work through, thank you so much for your prayers and your honesty. I look forward to the coming weeks. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  82. 92

    Anonymous says

    Thanks for the post, I will be showing it to my hubby when he gets home. This is an area he struggles in and I have as well at times in my life. This may have been mentioned before, but a book that helped both of us (him, and me in understanding him) is "Every Man's Battle." My only other comment, is I hope you have some practical advice coming our way because after about 5 years of recognizing he has a problem and actively praying/battling against it he still has a "slip" and watches pornography on the internet maybe once a month/every two months. Which makes him fall back into that shame your husband was speaking of. He prays for forgiveness but still the cycle continues. We both wonder at times, will he ever be completely free of this?

  83. 93

    says

    Thank you so much to both you and your husband for being honest and open. God has provided you this forum to be able to touch so many lives and I truly look forward to what you have to share, not as marriage experts but as others along the journey of marriage and the journey of life. Our pastor preached about marriage this past Sunday and brought up these books and then on Monday I saw your mention on your blog. Hubby and I both were already very interested in reading them but I think God speaks to us in lots of different ways and there is a reason this topic keeps coming up for us. I got the book from the library last night and I am already 75 pages into it. Hubby's copy should be here from the other library branch any day now. I don't want to be naive. I know my husband deals with lust but so far into the book I have learned a lot about my husband's immense need for respect and encouragement and about the deep emotional level his sexual needs are. I have a lot to learn. I am focused on being a better wife to my husband and I know it will make a huge difference in our marriage even if my husband doesn't do anything different.

  84. 94

    says

    That book is such an important tool for women. I read it from the library and really wanted to buy it. One summer, I found it at a garage sale for fifty cents. Woo! I refer to it when I have serious issues understanding my husband, and it has always put my mind at east–and not everything is as serious as others. Some are just silly.

    I admit, I was naive, too, never thinking my husband was susceptible to it.
    But then I got into an unhealthy imbalance of ever being afraid to leave the house. It is definitely a long road to healing…on both ends.

    My husband never intended to hurt me and is just like Paul (of the Bible) when it comes to sin…he hates it.

    It was only the grace of God and His wisdom that helped me understand my husbands struggle and have compassion enough to help him. Easy? Of course not! Worth it? ABSOLUTELY!

    There is so much more that could be said…later I will watch your husband's video (right now I'm in the living room with the kids as they watch Jonah!)
    Thanks again for this series you two! :) You are helping many, many people!

  85. 95

    says

    Wow, Powerful post… and amazing comments – you really have taken the first step that so many others want to. Well done you guys are very brave and where would we be without Shaunti Feldhahn.

  86. 96

    says

    I believe that God directed me to your blog today. I randomly clicked on it, from a craft blog of all places. I have two little preschool boys, and I've had this very issue on my heart. To be able to protect them from it as much as I can, but also give them the tools they need to resist the temptations that WILL lie ahead for them because of our society. Thank you and your husband for this series. I will now be following y'all.

    God Bless you!
    -Sarah

  87. 97

    says

    Thank you so much for your openness and honesty. My husband and I have four boys so I know we will be dealing with this issue at least four times. Thanks again for the encouragement!!!

  88. 98

    says

    I'm having trouble commenting because I'm struggling with a lot of the lingo, but I want to add a comment that I believe you are both very courageous for attempting to explain why what happened happened. Good luck to you, and I really respect how you are honoring each other's right toward the exploration of this topic.

  89. 99

    says

    Thank you both so much for sharing your stories. I think this topic is CRUCIAL for married couples, and for raising our children.
    Up to the point you shared, my husband's story is very similar to yours, except that he was not raised in a Christian home and the magazines he discovered were actually porn. For years now we have discussed his struggle and we actively fight against it. Yes, I said "we" because I have helped and continue to help him in a number of ways: I let him be honest and didn't give him the church lady response the first time he shared his struggle. Though I didn't understand it, I trusted him and believe him, and frankly I was impressed with his honesty and obvious desire to turn from his sin rather than hide it and let it fester into an even greater secret sin. I continue to give him a listening ear whenever he's had an eye-popping moment (which unfortunately occurs more often than it should because of the way women dress!), and on occasion, have even given myself to him after such times just so that I know he'll go into the next day with my body on his mind and not another woman's. I have cancelled all catalogs from stores such as Victoria's Secret, which are down-right pornographic, and we have an internet filter on our computer and I am the only keeper of the password.
    Though it is much less harmful a sin, I struggle with eating whatever sweet food will make me feel good at the moment (I really have to fight emotional eating!), and the biggest way that I fight it is to not let it in the house. If it comes in, I will not be able to resist. Likewise, my husband knows the temptation is great and is grateful that I am helping him by keeping it out of the house. His desire to avoid temptation rather than have to resist it does not make him a weaker man; it indicates his humility as he fights his flesh and his fervent desire to remain pure before God.
    We need to help our husbands with this struggle instead of keeping our heads in the sand. It is such a shameful topic that men often don't feel comfortable sharing it with anyone (especially in church!), which only makes it worse. We need to be a safe place to which they can turn for help.
    {Sorry for the length of this comment, but as you can probably tell, I am passionate about this topic.} Thanks again to you both!

  90. 100

    says

    Finally got over here to watch this. Kuddos. My hubby and I are very passionate about this topic and actually teach it as part of marriage preparation at our church.

    It is sad to me how many Christians want to deny and shove this under the rug. I once had a discussion with one of my married friends about men's struggles and how many Christian women really harm men by dressing in very provocative ways. She scoffed at me and said men need to get it under control and women bear no responibility. A few years later her marriage broke up after her hubsand's addiction to internet porn led him down an awful path that ended in multiple affairs and seeking out prostitutes.

    I am not suggesting remotely that anything was her fault, but just that denying something exists doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I have the greatest, most loving and attentive hubby around, but he struggles with the constant visual bombardment that goes on in our culture.

    Not to promote my own blog, but I did a post about this during my marital sex series and the comments were really powerful. http://thediaperdiaries.net/the-challenge-week-14-the-challenge-of-purity/

    Thanks for what you are doing. As I said, this is a passionate subject for my hubby and I. We try and be very careful with our own marriage and now that I have a new baby son I am extra passionate about keeping him pure.

  91. 101

    says

    I think it is awesome that you and your husband are willing to share your story with all of us in the blog-o-sphere. I only wish our church would be as open about it. It is a problem for a LOT of men but nobody wants to talk about it!

    Thank you so much for sharing this vlog with us. Its nice to know that other Christian familes like us have struggled with it as well. The vlog makes it more real…it shows that ya'll are just normal people like us!

    God Bless!

    Brooke

  92. 102

    Anonymous says

    The other day I was speaking to a muslim woman at my children's school. She was from Pakistan and was wearing a burka. She was beautiful woman and even through the burka I could tell she had a killer bod. Immediately my mind jumped to judgement. Poor, repressed woman with a control freak for a husband, however, she explained her burka choice differently. She said that she chose to wear the burka and loved it. She said what's under it is a gift only for her husband and not for others to experience. I had never thought about it like this. I wonder if our Christian men would experience such a struggle with lust if 'our sisters' of the world didn't parade around in scantilly clad clothing and instead covered up and saved themselves for their husband (I totally just sounded like my dad). Perhaps the muslims do have something figured out.

  93. 103

    says

    Thank you so much for your honesty. I'm praying about sharing this with my husband, hoping that he will be receptive to it. I don't think he has a huge problem with lust, but I do feel uncomfortable when he/we see impure images on TV, computer, email, texts, you name it they are everywhere.

  94. 104

    says

    2 1/2 years ago my husband disclosed his "lust" problem. I had no idea. He hid it so well.

    Six months later my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer that would take her life this past August.

    It's been a very, very rough 2 1/2 years, but we're still together and we're still working things out. He has joined an accountability group for this type of thing, gotten counseling and is on the road to complete recovery.

    Thank you for sharing this. I don't know if I'll ever be as brave as you.

  95. 105

    says

    My oldest son turned 9 last week. I was reading through the comments and was really surprised to see how many men's problems started around that age. I thought I had more time!

    Do you have any resources that moms of boys could use to help our sons with this issue?

    Thanks for doing this. I think sometimes it's easier as women to just dismiss this and not even think about it, but that's a dangerous way to behave. This is real and we need to inform ourselves and be on guard.

  96. 106

    says

    I read the same book a few years ago, and then I asked my husband to read it. He said that she was the first woman to ever verbalize (in written form, of course) the true inner workings of men. I highly recommend this as a must-read for every woman, wife or not.

  97. 107

    says

    Kristen, what a great post to share! I'll go over & read your post at incourage too, haven't done that yet. I read For Women Only over 5 years ago & my hubby & I discussed that book before we got married & he agreed that all men are prone to having this problem, looking and lusting & taking it further. And our society totally makes it much more difficult for young boys and men to stay away from porn. It's just so pervasive in our society & the church has to address it too. Bravo for you & your hubby!

  98. 108

    Anonymous says

    You will never have any idea how much it meant for me to read this blog, watch the video, and read other's comments. I feel less alone in my own marital struggles due to this. I could never thank you enough.

  99. 110

    Anonymous says

    I know this is an issue men struggle with and there are resources out there for them. But where are the resources for women who struggle with it too? As a victim of sexual abuse as a child and being introduced to pornography at a very young age, I've struggled with pornography and am so ashamed by it. I am a Christian and find that when my relationship with God is where it should be, I don't struggle. But when I've gotten lazy in my spiritual life, I struggle a ton. It's so embarrassing and I've not admitted it to anyone…not even my husband.

    Maybe this series will help me be honest with him and seek help.

  100. 111

    says

    By the host of responses you have gotten on this topic, you can tell how important it is to discuss.

    Thank you for being open to sharing your struggles – both you AND your husband.

    God bless you in this "ministry" to others.

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