Women, your men and husbands are different than you in many ways; and are completely different from you in one specific area – the way they are wired sexually.
Men are completely VISUAL! It is no wonder when Jesus talked about lust that he pointed his comments toward men. It is equally no surprise that the porn industry is geared almost completely for men. In both cases, they understand that men are so much more visually oriented than almost all women.
This is a truth that you as a women need to know, understand and embrace. And when you do, it will liberate you. But before we get to that, let’s start here. Shaunti Feldhahn did a survey of happily married Christian men who had attended a conference where one of the presenters was a very shapely, attractive, well-dressed woman. She asked the men what was going through their minds as this woman made her presentation.
Here were some of their responses:
- “Great body... Stop it! What am I thinking?”
- “I checked to see if she had a wedding ring”
- “I wondered if she thought I was attractive”
- “Just look at her face... just keep looking at her face... don’t look below her neck”
- “I wonder what she looks like without that dress on? Stop it! Focus on the lecture”
- “I was wondering what she would be like in bed”
- “She is killing me... I’m trying to just listen and learn, but it’s almost impossible”
As women, your first thoughts might be these are just dirty old men. But not true! They were actually prominent, successful, happily married, and took their Christian faith seriously. And in comparison with one survey after another, it is found that these men and their responses were very typical and very normal. The findings can be summarized like this: Even happily married men are instinctively pulled to visually consume attractive women, and these images can be just as alluring whether they are live or recollected
Shaunti found two things to be true, even about the best of men:
- A woman who is dressed to show off a great body is an “eye magnet” that is incredibly difficult to avoid, and even if a man forces himself not to look, he is acutely aware of her presence
- Even when no such eye magnet is present, each man has a collection of stored images that can intrude into his thoughts without warning or can be called up at will. Another survey confirmed all of this by stating that 98% surveyed said when they see an eye - catching woman, they can’t not look or be attracted. The results of all of these surveys are the same whether the men were happily married or not; or whether they were Christian or not.
Our culture adds to your man’s problem. Even if he doesn’t want to look, he can’t look away. Everyday tons of attractive women pass by your man. This may be at the office, the grocery store, the gym, magazines and newspapers, on the internet or on TV. Many commercials use sex and sexy women to sell their products. Some commercials are really sneaky. They will flash sensual two-second images – say, of a woman undressing – that are up on the screen and gone before a man can look away. Nothing he can do. This is now etched in his brain forever. You need to remember as a woman and wife, this is all normal. This is the everyday battle that your husband fights! Men who don’t care don’t fight this battle and just give in. But for those who do, and take their wives seriously, this is a battle that never has an end!
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW!
- Your husband looking at other attractive women is normal. Even when he isn’t looking for images of women, they will come across his radar or pop-up from within his collection of images stored in his brain. Daniel Weiss, the media and sexuality analyst at Focus on the Family, stated, “I would emphasize to women that, yes, men do have these thoughts whether they want them or not.” It is like telling someone “not to think of a pink elephant.” The person is helpless to think of almost anything else. For men, they can’t help but look and be aware of women around them.
- Men aren’t completely helpless – they do have a choice to make.
While men can’t help but look and while men can’t help but feel certain emotions and even arousal; they do have the choice of dwelling on the woman or images or moving on. It is true that when a sensual image enters a man’s mind, it brings a rush of sexual pleasure – a short-term pleasure that, hopefully, the man denies himself in order to honor God and his wife.
Remember, there is a difference between temptation and sin. To be tempted is not moral failure. Rather all persons are called biblically to “take every thought captive.” Your husband is not totally powerless. He might be powerless to keep images and thoughts from entering his mind, but he does have power over what he will do with those images and thoughts.