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.