Kristen Clark, a writer for the website CovenantEyes.com, asserts that a wife showing her husband a magazine with a half-naked woman’s body on it was an example of a wife causing her husband to lust. Most likely by “half naked” she probably means the woman was wearing a bikini or a bra and panties.
In her article entitled ““When Wives Unknowingly Tempt Their Husbands Toward Lust“ Kristen Clark writes:
“I was standing in line at my local grocery store when an obnoxious magazine caught my eye. I’m used to seeing half-naked women on the cover of tabloids, but this image seemed even too edgy for a tabloid.
A small wave of anger rushed over me as I thought of the innocent children and husbands who were being exposed to this, as I call it, “tabloid porn.” As I tried to refocus my thinking on something more positive, a middle aged couple got in line behind me.
I watched in curiosity as the wife reached over and selected that magazine off the rack. I watched even more curiously to see what she would do with it. To my shock, the wife held that magazine cover up to her husband’s face and said, “Wow, wish I had a body like that!”
Her husband chuckled as he happily perused the cover until she removed it.
I quickly glanced forward, realizing I had been staring. I tried to wrap my head around what I just saw. “Why would a wife want to intentionally show her husband a partially naked woman?” “Why would a wife want to help her husband peruse another woman?
As I thought about that puzzling scene over the next few days, I began to wonder…maybe that wife didn’t understand the value of sexual purity in her marriage. Or maybe that wife was clueless about lust and temptation. Or maybe she wanted to prove her “security” by appearing non-jealous. I don’t know.”
Read the full article here.
Answering Kristen’s questions
Kristen’s first question:
“Why would a wife want to intentionally show her husband a partially naked woman?”
The answer to Kristen’s first question:
Because the wife accepts and embraces the fact that God designed her husband to appreciate the female form and not just HER form and her from alone.
The wife in that grocery line most likely understood the difference between lust and sexual arousal far better than Kristen Clark and many Christians today understand it.
Many Christians point to Matthew 5 in defining lust:
“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” – Matthew 5:27-28 (KJV)
Then they go on to say “Lust is sexual arousal or sexual fantasy about someone you are not married to”.
Did you see that definition of lust in that passage? No you did not.
So how about we let the Bible define what lust is instead of letting our culture and churches define what lust is:
“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” – Romans 7:7 (KJV)
This wife in that checkout line understood there is no sin in her husband appreciating or even being aroused sexually by the form of another’s woman’s body. She understood that lust is covetousness and that her husband was not going to covet this woman by thinking of how he could find her and sexually possess her outside of marriage.
So rather than condemning this woman as Kristen Clark as has done, we as believers should be applauding this woman for her actions. Instead of scolding her husband for his visual nature and appreciation of the female form – she shows him that God’s creation of his visual nature and attraction to the female form is GOOD.
Kristen’s Second Question:
“Why would a wife want to help her husband peruse another woman?”
The answer to Kristen’s second question:
I will answer her question with another question of my own and then answer it for her.
Why would a woman not just let her husband peruse another woman, but also give her to him as another wife?
“Then Leah said, “God has rewarded me for giving my servant to my husband.” So she named him Issachar.” – Genesis 30:18 (KJV)
In Genesis chapters 29 & 30 we that Leah is very jealous of her husband’s affections as he prefers Rachel to her. But eventually Leah overcomes her jealousy of her husband to the point that she gives him her servant Zilpah so that she can bare him more sons.
So the answer to my expanded version of Kristen’s second question is – This wife was putting her husband’s needs ahead of her own.
It is interesting how in many churches we will hear about how Sarah gave her servant Hagar to Abraham and how that ended so badly – yet we hear nothing of how God blessed Leah for giving Zilpah to Jacob.
The fact is these were two very different situations. In the one God told Sarah she would give Abraham a son and an heir. She did not believe God and instead sought to get him an heir through another means. Now there would have been nothing wrong with Abraham marrying another woman and he in fact married several more women later in life.
The problem was in Sarah trying to get him his heir through this method when God had said the heir would come through her.
With all due respect to Kristen Clark – it is she and so many Christians like her today that are in fact “clueless about lust and temptation”. The Bible is clear what lust is as I have previously pointed out and what Kristen describes in that checkout line was NOT a wife tempting her husband to lust. It was a wife loving and fully embracing her husband’s God given visual nature and appreciation for a variety of beautiful women.
Here is a list of things Kristen does to keep her husband from enjoying the form of any other woman but her:
“I sort the mail and throw away the immodest/sensual ads so he doesn’t have to see them.
I don’t ask my husband to watch movies with me that have immodest women in them (i.e. most chick flicks).
I intentionally leave all magazines, books, etc. out of my home that have immodest/sensual images or ads in them.
If I know a certain restaurant has immodest waitresses, I don’t suggest eating there.
I don’t ever take my husband into a lingerie store. I’ve seen many wives do this, and from what I hear, it’s not helpful for the men.”
I know where Kristen is coming from and I understand that her actions might not be coming from a place of trying to deny her husband any pleasure that God has given him to enjoy. She simply has been wrongly taught that the Bible forbids her husband from enjoying the view of any other woman’s body other than her own. So she must take every step possible to make sure he is never sexually aroused by the form of any other woman real or imagined.
She has been taught that when a man has sexual imaginations about a woman he is not married to (whether that his girlfriend, fiancé or some other woman after he is married) that these are by definition “impure thoughts” and thus her constant references to purity in marriage.
But the fact is that a man enjoying the sight of a woman’s form whether he is married to her or not IS PURE. It is pure and holy because that is how God designed him to be.
It is only when he allows those pure thoughts about the female form or even sex itself to turn into covetous thoughts of ways to possess a woman outside of marriage that his thoughts become impure and sinful.
But while Kristen and many other Christian may sincerely practice these things with good intentions toward God and their husbands – they are in fact sincerely WRONG.
How some wives DO tempt their husbands to lust
Up to this point we have shown why Kristen’s story does not show a wife tempting her husband to lust, but rather shows a wife honoring and show acceptance of her husband’s appreciation and desire to view the female form.
One of the biggest problems with all this focus on men not looking at images of women or real women is that it takes our eyes off the REAL dangers of men being tempted by their wives to lust.
Here are ways a wife can actually cause her husband to lust:
- When she sexually denies him – the more a man is denied by his wife sexually the more tempted he will be to actually lust (have covetous thoughts about getting women to meet his sexual needs outside of marriage).
- Even if she does not directly sexually deny him – if she does not sexually fulfill him he may be tempted to lust. Things like not letting him see her naked, refusing to wear lingerie or refusing to perform certain acts that the Bible allows (like oral sex or having sex in different positions) may tempt him to lust.
These are the real dangers where wives can have a direct impact in tempting their husbands to lust. These are where we should be focusing the battle against lust.
“Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” – I Corinthians 7:2-5 (KJV)
Christian wives – you want to help your husband to not be tempted to lust? Then stop worrying about the woman on the magazine cover in the supermarket aisle and focus on the woman who should be giving her body fully and freely to her husband (that’s you!).