Fears: A Message for Wives (Part 1)

 As I sit to write this post, it is my desire to communicate an idea to the many wives who need to hear the message, but it is not my intention to contribute to a depressing journey for these wives, rather, the idea and hope for a more intimate husband and a more intimate marriage.

During the past three years of leading Clean Heart For Men, I have talked with many men who admit that they do struggle with lust, internet porn, occasional porn store visits, and other sexual sins and these men have also admitted a desire to attend Clean Heart For Men and to no longer try to overcome these issues in their isolation; however, each of these men are afraid of hurting their wife and ruining their marriage if their wife were to find out that they have a recurring sexual sin.  Each of these men told me that they did not know what to tell their wives if they were to attend.  I have actually had several men attend meetings and when their wives found out, the wife asked them to stop coming or made it difficult for them to attend.

I believe that for these wives the idea of their husbands attending Clean Heart contributes to several fears within them that they feel they would have to admit or question:

  • It’s all my fault… if I were prettier, if I wanted sex more, if…., if….
  • Will my husband molest our children?
  • My husband must have a severe sexual problem if he attends Clean Heart
  • Our marriage is a failure.
  • What would I say to my friends at church?
  • Another night he is gone from home.

And here is a list of fears the husband may have:

  • My wife will think that she is not a good wife (pretty enough, sexual enough, etc.).
  • My wife will be afraid that I may molest our daughter or granddaughter.
  • My wife will never want to have sex with me again.
  • My wife will divorce me.
  • I will have to quit my ministry at church.

I want to make it clear that all sex (physical or mental)including President Clinton’s style, outside of marriage is sin.  However, we as people place sexual sins into categories ranging from mental fantasies, to involvement in porn, to adultery, to illegal sexual activities, with the beginning being a lesser sin than the last.  And many times we see the horror stories on the news or have known someone who has experienced sexual horror and we place many with a sexual sin into a category of perversion.

A man who has to deal with sexual lust is simply a living, breathing man and there is not a man alive or ever lived who has not had to deal with it: many successfully, many with failures, and many who never tried to deal with it.   Samson is listed in Hebrews 11 as a man of faith, David is referred to as man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), and Solomon is considered the wisest man to ever live (I Kings 4:30) and each of these men had sexual sin in their lives.

Over the course of the next couple of weeks, I will write several blog entries to address the fears I have listed in this article and I hope you will check them out and consider those thoughts.  But for now, consider if your husband did have a private battle going on within him, wouldn’t you want him to be part of a team of men whose goals includes to live life with sexual integrity and to allow God to work in them to be the Godly husband and father they are intended to be.

Wouldn’t you want to have a marriage with a man who is free of guilt and shame, a man who provides true intimacy?  In order to be this type of a husband, many men will need to overcome sin.  These battles cannot be won alone, they must be attacked within the group of other men of God.

Change does not happen overnight, and I am not guaranteeing the journey will not have its share of pain, but I can say that a man who regularly attends Clean Heart For Men and actively reads, and implements the strategies discussed in Clean Heart will learn to trust a team of Godly brothers and live with integrity in this sexualized world.

Swindoll’s Open Letter to the Church

Swindoll’s Open Letter to the Church

The following is an open letter to the church that Chuck Swindoll originally published on his Insight for Living website:

FROM THE DESK OF
Charles R. Swindoll

An Open Letter Concerning the #1 Secret Problem In Your Church

Our churches are in significant trouble. I’m not talking about financial trouble, or having too few staff doing too many things. Comparatively, those are easy problems to solve.

This trouble concerns a severe disease that is eating away at our congregations, perhaps even some of our own leadership, from the inside out. Men and women, from adolescents to senior citizens, from all walks of life, have succumbed or are at risk, and more are becoming infected every single day.

The problem is pornography, especially Internet pornography. Without your knowing, it could be eating your church alive. And the scariest thing is . . . you may not realize the extensive damage it’s causing.

The most recent studies available suggest that 1 out of every 2 people-that’s 50% of the people sitting in our pews, are looking at and/or could be addicted to Internet pornography. The struggle is going on among those who volunteer in your church and mine. Chances are good that some of our full-time staff members, even some who faithfully serve on our boards, may be losing this secret battle. And while I’m listing these possibilities, let’s not overlook our young adults-married and single-who provide instruction among our junior and senior high youth. Truth be told, that statistic could be even higher.

Forget the red-light district or adult bookstore. Pornography has entered homes via the Internet more pervasively and subtly than any store or strip club ever did. The irony is that if an X-rated store was being established across the street from where you worship, you’d have a committee assembled to fight it immediately. Yet they’ve set up shop in the homes of millions of our friends in the church while we remain mute and passive.

Stop and imagine the ugly but very real possibility of some of your own elders and deacons leaving your meetings and going home to surf porn. Think about youth leaders viewing it one minute, and leading a small group with your kids thirty minutes later. It’s ruining marriages, destroying relationships, harming youth, and hurting the body of Christ. You hardly need to be reminded that fallen pastors and priests did not “suddenly” fall. More often than not, pornography played a role in their downward spiral.

My friend, it’s time to do something about it. In fact, we need to start today. Making a difference requires action. Following this open letter is a place for you to sign your name and commit to taking a stand on this issue. I’m convinced the more people who sign this letter, the more attention this issue will receive.

Second, once you sign this letter we will send you a list of resources and services you can put to use today to begin making a difference in the future of your family and your church. I urge you to take advantage of these resources right away.

Our churches are in trouble. This is no time to simply wait and pray. Please join me in this battle for our young minds, our marriages, our leaders, and our churches.

Impassioned and determined,
Chuck Swindoll, Chairman, Insight For Living

http://www.urbansermons.org/f/wiki/swindolls-open-letter-church  (Retrieved on 5.29.2011)