Excerpt from An online Course: Where God puts two hearts in a home
Men have a profound eye hunger for the female body. That is one reason why pornographic images have such an appeal. When a man sees a sexually stimulating image, a hormone is released that engraves the image in his memory and causes that image to keep replaying in his mind over and over again, like a flashing neon sign. This is a physical response to the hormone, not a moral failure.
Scientists have determined that most men have sexual thoughts every three seconds! The question is not whether he will have these thoughts, but whom he will be imagining and how he will respond when it is an inappropriate image. It is God‘s original design for a man‘s wife to be the one who is imprinted in his mind. God says rejoice because of the wife of your youth … may her breasts satisfy you at all times, may you be captivated by her love always. But why should you be captivated, my child, by an adulteress? (Prov 5:18-20, emphasis added). A wise single woman avoids trying to capitvate a man using sexual arousal. It does not lead to the type of love that will ultimately satisfy her, and she is unkind to purposely kindle sexual thoughts that she cannot righteously satisfy. However, a wise wife captivates her husband‘s mind with her own sexual image.
Many wives do not understand how their bodies are designed by God to satisfy their husband‘s eye hunger. In one class, a female student said that she told her husband when they became Christians that he must stop looking at her nakedness or approaching her sexually. Such things, she said, are indecent and disrespectful to her as a Christian wife.
In another class, a wife confided that she would never show her naked body to her husband, even during sex. She was too embarrassed that her overweight shape was not attractive enough. I‘m certain she spoke for many women who only have sex in the dark or wearing heavy clothing. But according to God‘s Word, these women have swallowed a lie. In the case of my overweight friend, her husband became more driven toward viewing pornography in order to satisfy his eye hunger. She took this to reinforce her own worry that he did not find her attractive (even though when they first met, he had been attracted to her full figure). He didn‘t understand why she seemed so unconcerned about his addiction. You can see how the enemy used each of their brokenness to cause greater pain to the other.
God does not hold her responsible for his sin, but she was not helping him as only she could by allowing him to enjoy her body visually. Thankfully they have now resolved this problem and he is no longer addicted to pornography.
A Wife’s Part
- Please read Song of Solomon 6:13–7:9.
The Shulamite is doing a sensual dance in front of her husband! How does he react to this? She is apparently only wearing one article of clothing. Wives, God wants your husband‘s mental snapshots to be a sensuous postcard of you. So it is very right for him to enjoy looking at you, both with and without clothing. Virgin modesty when you are alone with your husband is a habit to be shed on the honeymoon. In fact, a godly woman invites her husband to feast his eyes on her nakedness. Perhaps you do not know how to dance like the Shulamite, but after bathing and when changing clothing, a wise wife does not hurry to clothe herself, but allows the sight of her beauty to satisfy her husband‘s visual hunger.
But what if she is not as beautiful as the girls in pornography? It doesn‘t matter. As a man learns to direct all of his sexual thoughts to his wife‘s image, her attractiveness will actually increase. There is a hormone in the male brain, which is released during ejaculation. That hormone deeply imprints the image that he sees at that moment. Next time he sees that image, he will become sexually stimulated. God designed this hormone so that a man‘s wife should look more and more beautiful to him! It was not designed for a man to become hooked on pornography, but so that a husband can view aging hips and sagging breasts through rose-colored glasses. This imprinting on a sexual partner is intended as a wonderful gift of God to aging women.
A Husband’s Part
- Please read Matthew 5:28.
From Jesus‘ comments, we see that God does not permit mental sex outside marriage any more than He excuses the physical act of adultery. Job said I have made a covenant with my eyes (Job 31:1). But in today‘s sexually gorged media, and considering his brain‘s involuntary reaction to stimulating images, how can a man keep his thoughts from tripping him up? Should he move to a country where women dress in shapeless robes? This is not necessary, but he must still act wisely.
- He realizes what tempts him and avoids it as much as necessary (Prov 6:18). For example:-
- He does not go into places or to Internet sites that he knows will contain sexually stimulating images.
- He does not read pornographic magazines for the articles or sexual books for the great plots.
- He does not watch movies that contain adult sexual images, even if his friends watch them.
- He avoids the appearance of evil to avoid harming the reputation of Christ (1 Thess 5:22, 1 Tim 3:7,1 Pet 2:15).
- He lets his friends know that he finds his wife attractive.
- He doesn‘t joke about sexual immorality nor laugh when others jokingly boast about their escapades.
- He does not set an example that might cause a younger brother to stumble. (Rom 15:1; 1 Cor 8:13). Particularly, a man‘s son looks to him for what is appropriate behavior for a Christian man (Mt 18:6). For instance, if a father has his own sexual needs well met, he may be able to pick up a sports magazine and just read the articles and ignore the sexually provocative advertising. But when his teenage son picks up Dad‘s magazine, he may get swept into sexual immorality.
- Even with good intentions, there will be times when every man inadvertently encounters enticing images. In this case, either a single or a married man can develop the habit of bouncing his eyes quickly away and, if possible, of removing himself from the situation, just as Joseph ran from Potiphar‘s wife (Gen 39:12). Then he moves his eyes and his attention immediately toward something good that fully engages his mind. If he likes puzzles, history, or science, he keeps a supply of this kind of book or magazine handy. If he is married, he may seek out his wife and enjoy talking with or kissing her. He forces that activity to fully engage his mind in order to overcome the illicit sexual image.