*Through a Man's Eyes*

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Re: *Through a Man's Eyes*

Postby MayDayGirl » Wed Sep 02, 2015 8:10 am

bigloop wrote:
MayDayGirl wrote:What is that reason?
What is the reason most women aren't so visually prone?

I don't know that most women aren't visually prone. I was just wondering what you thought the reason men are, based on the context of your post.

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Re: *Through a Man's Eyes*

Postby bigloop » Wed Sep 02, 2015 9:43 am

I would suggest a general polling of TMB may clear that up but it would be a biased poll at best since women here are in some way interested in sex or at least actively conscious of its impact. But a simple scan over the local magazine rack would indicate the market has spoken as to who consumes visual, sexual material the most. It's not even close.

As to WHY God made the genders the way He did, I only have anecdotal evidence of the results. I can only suggest consulting His word for further clarification.

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Re: *Through a Man's Eyes*

Postby MayDayGirl » Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:10 am

I believe that the majority of magazines are targeted for women, whether they are sex-based or not (Self, Cosmo, Good Health). Unless it's about cooking, pretty women are featured on all the covers. And the cooking ones have gorgeous cakes. There must be a reason for that.

I'm sorry you don't want to answer my question. Your posts are long and sort of cryptic. I was truly trying to understand why you think God made men to find all beautiful women to be tempting if He wants us to be in a monogamous relationship?
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Re: *Through a Man's Eyes*

Postby cbmike » Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:26 am

bigloop wrote: But a simple scan over the local magazine rack would indicate the market has spoken as to who consumes visual, sexual material the most. It's not even close.

But this fact is misleading when you omit historical context. Historically men have both controlled the means of production of media as well the power to decide what media was consumed. Thus much of the history of media is men making things aimed at male audiences. Recently, however, as woman are increasingly gaining positions in these areas and earning a more equal share of total income, we are beginning to see more media targeted at women.
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Re: *Through a Man's Eyes*

Postby seeking perspective » Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:32 am

Since reading this book, I've been paying a lot more attention to the images that my husband sees, and I've had several conversations with him about this. I'm not sure what to make of it now.

He says he doesn't notice other women at all. He says there is never an inkling of attraction to or sexual awareness of any woman other than me. I have tried to reassure him that I have never doubted his attraction to me.

However, I'm not sure he's being honest with himself. Here's what I've observed:

For years, whenever he has seen a woman with a tattoo (even discreet and lovely ankle art), he makes a comment--"Did you see her tattoo?" "Why would she get that thing where everyone can see it?" When he sees a heavily tatted man, however, he doesn't even blink. He says he is just commenting on the tattoo itself regardless of the person's gender, yet in all the years I've known him, I've only twice known him to comment on a man's tattoo. If I point out a particularly obnoxious or beautiful tattoo on a man, he will be surprised because he hasn't noticed it.

When we are out and see a woman who is dressed fairly provocatively, he'll make a comment about how she is letting too much show or how women who dress like that shouldn't be surprised if the men stare at her chest.

Last week, he was playing a video game and paused it to point out to me that video games are designed with a target audience of adolescent boys. He proceeded to show me the figures of several female characters and comment on their costuming.

Are my perceptions of his awareness of women off? Is he simply unaware of what he observes? I have also wondered if he is aware of the truth but doesn't feel safe in admitting it. But I've been scratching my head about this for several days.
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Re: *Through a Man's Eyes*

Postby SquarePants » Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:26 pm

seeking perspective wrote:I have also wondered if he is aware of the truth but doesn't feel safe in admitting it.


Maybe he doesn't feel safe admitting it to himself?

How old is he? In Brad Watson's "Is it Lust or Legalism?" he mentions that men's sexual mental behavior tends to change as testosterone levels decline. They may notice that they really rarely notice attractive women any more. They may attribute this to spiritual maturity, though Watson suggests that it's more likely due to declining hormone levels.

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*Through a Man's Eyes*

Postby bigloop » Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:34 pm

MayDayGirl wrote:you think God made men to find all beautiful women to be tempting if He wants us to be in a monogamous relationship?


I didn't say that ^. You came to that conclusion on your own. I simply meant that the fact that men respond more to visual sexual clues than most women was designed by God and His word lays out the hows to capitalize on that in a monogamous relationship. There are always exceptions.
I was referring to the overtly sexual media - porn mags specifically - the sale of sexual imagery. Not many targeted at women, not much media selling the nude male body to women. If they were buying, no doubt someone would be selling. That's not where the money is. I know the porn industry is "evolving" and more is being made and more is being viewed by women. The percentages though are still overwhelmingly male oriented.
The media you describe preys on women too but not from the overt sexual angles I refer. It preys on many women's self esteem, self worth, self image, telling them how they are supposed look, act, feel. When the real answer is in God's word.

Why did God make most men stronger, larger, "harder", more single-minded than most women? Why did God make most women more caring, nurturing, multi-faceted than most men?
I don't know. But they seem to compliment each other very well when His plan is followed. The genius of God...
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Re: *Through a Man's Eyes*

Postby OldMarriedLady » Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:38 pm

seeking perspective wrote:For years, whenever he has seen a woman with a tattoo (even discreet and lovely ankle art), he makes a comment--"Did you see her tattoo?" "Why would she get that thing where everyone can see it?" When he sees a heavily tatted man, however, he doesn't even blink.

I think this is more likely a reflection of his age group (same as mine) than his gender. Back in our day women didn't get tattoos, so they are something "unusual" that we notice. My husband is the same way, only comments on female tattoos. In fact, as the years roll on he's less likely to notice or comment about them since they have become commonplace now.
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Re: *Through a Man's Eyes*

Postby seeking perspective » Wed Sep 02, 2015 2:32 pm

SquarePants wrote:Maybe he doesn't feel safe admitting it to himself?

I've wondered this as well.
How old is he?

He is 51. He has always been like this, and he says that he has never noticed any other woman sexually since meeting me at the age of 22. If what I'm seeing were a change, it would be easier to attribute to a drop in T.
OldMarriedLady wrote:I think this is more likely a reflection of his age group (same as mine) than his gender. Back in our day women didn't get tattoos, so they are something "unusual" that we notice. My husband is the same way, only comments on female tattoos. In fact, as the years roll on he's less likely to notice or comment about them since they have become commonplace now.

Interesting. Maybe it does have to do with it being commonplace.
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Re: *Through a Man's Eyes*

Postby cbmike » Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:43 pm

bigloop wrote: Not many targeted at women, not much media selling the nude male body to women. If they were buying, no doubt someone would be selling. That's not where the money is. I know the porn industry is "evolving" and more is being made and more is being viewed by women. The percentages though are still overwhelmingly male oriented.

But as you said, that's changing. Theses sorts of social changes don't happen overnight, and businesses don't respond to them over night either. You can't necessarily look at a market and conclude it is an accurate reflection of societal attitudes, and you certainly can't conclude that it's an accurate reflection of biological nature. It's not as simple as saying societal attitudes determine what media is produced; what media is produced also determines societal attitudes. It's easy for this kind of thing to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. More porn is produced for men because more men watch porn because more porn is produced for men. It's not always clear what starts these kinds of cycles, but they can be difficult to break, especially when the status quo is used to justify the status quo.

seeking perspective wrote:When we are out and see a woman who is dressed fairly provocatively, he'll make a comment about how she is letting too much show or how women who dress like that shouldn't be surprised if the men stare at her chest.


This seems like the only odd one to me. I was thinking along the same lines as oml on the tattoos, and it's not surprising for him to notice deliberate pandering to male audiences in video games, plenty of female gamers notice the same thing. Plus the subject of the objectification of women in media has been a hot topic for a while, and there was fairly recently a lot of controversy about it in the video game industry specifically.

But it's hard for me to understand why he would be bothered by a woman "dressed [...] provocatively" if it didn't catch his eyes. That makes me think that either it somehow does grab his attention, OR he is repeating sentiments he heard growing up, or from you or someone else near him. I suppose it's also possible that, if he thinks you might doubt him, he may be deliberately noticing and condemning the behavior to try and prove to you that he's not looking for opportunities to stare at women.
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Re: *Through a Man's Eyes*

Postby ledgemoor » Thu Sep 24, 2015 12:27 pm

I have not read Through a Man's Eyes (other than the free Look Inside part on Amazon), but I have read her book For Women Only. It has a chapter entitled "Keeper of the Visual Rolodex" on this topic. I am a fan of this author, and appreciate her helping women better understand and accept the visual nature of men.

Frankly, I am surprised that mens' visual orientation is news to so many women. This is in part because of the trend in society of masculinizing women, demasculizing men, and generally discounting the differences between the sexes. I'll bet your grandmother knows that your grandfather likes to check out womens' bodies.

But if you were surprised at the amount of hand-wringing in Feldhahn's book over this, so was I. Consider the tale of Jack as told in the free portion of Through a Man's Eyes. Jack comes to work, and coworker Abbie walks by. She is "well endowed" and showing a little of the tops of her breasts. He wants to enjoy the sight, but immediately looks away to avoid "temptation". He pretends to concentrate on his paperwork so Abbie won't stop and chat. Throughout the day he has to fight images of Abbie appearing in his mind, including flashbacks of previous encounters with Abbie. My God, Jack. They're just boobs.

What I find perplexing about "Keeper of the Visual Rolodex" and what I have read of Through a Man's Eyes is that she admits that men are made by God to enjoy looking at women's bodies, and that it doesn't detract from our attraction to our wives. Yet she continues to toe the evangelical line when it comes to what men are to do about it -- namely AVOID looking.

The subtitle of the chapter "Keeper of the Visual Rolodex" is "Why It's So Natural for Him to Look and So Hard to Forget What He's Seen." Then there is a little sidebar which says "Even happily married men struggle with being pulled towards live and recollected images of other women." I have also been reading Every Man's Battle which is more of the same. Feldhahn references the title of this book when agreeing that it is indeed every man's battle. She is saying, in effect, that we are in a battle with the way God made us.

This phobia of the female form goes way beyond anything scriptural. Nothing in Jack's saga suggests had adulterous lust towards Abbie, or that the encounter had any negative effect on his desire for his wife. Indeed, Feldhahn never mentions Matthew 5:28. Merely avoiding adulterous thoughts is apparently not good enough :-).

Feldhahn does correctly state that it is not a sin to be tempted. But would a kind, benevolent, and loving God place men in a state of constant temptation? No. When we pray the Lord's prayer, we ask Him to "lead us not into temptation."

By placing normal everyday occurances in the forbidden-fruit basket, we are making these situations more sexual than they already are, having the opposite of the desired effect. Jack clearly has an unhealthy obsession with Abbie. And the women on the billboards on the way to his client. Then the girls at the swimming pool. Thoughts of them consume way more of his day then it should, even though he is an upstanding and moral man who did what he believed to be the right thing and tried not to look.

Imagine if men were forbidden to look at other people's cars. That alone would tempt us to look more than we already do. But, we would HAVE to look a LITTLE. We can't go bumping into them. So we get our appetites whetted no matter what we do. No wonder guys are going nuts.

A solution everyone is quick to raise is for women to dress more modestly. Good luck getting everyone to go along with that. But it wouldn't matter if they did. No matter what women cover, our imaginations are still at work, and someone will make an issue of what is visible. Uncovered knees used to be a big deal, then ankles before that.

Someone mentioned men in Muslim countries getting aroused looking thru eye-slits in burkahs. Indeed, if men aren't allowed to enjoy looking at women other then their wives, then Islam has the right idea. Cover everything. A woman's face and hair can be very alluring. If her face and hair are pretty and she has a smile on her face, whatever she has going on below the neck doesn't matter -- she is hot. I have seen a few studies that show that men look at a woman's face first.
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-men-loo ... se-answer/

Suppose Jack lived in a culture where women go topless in public and he wasn't forbidden to look at them, much like women's faces in our culture? Would he notice and appreciate Abbie's breasts? No doubt. But I don't think he would be obsessing about them all day. Realistically, what if he allowed himself a discrete look, think "nice boobs"? Would he not then be better able get on with his life?

Someone asked why God made men to be visual. On page 25 of Through a Man's Eyes, Feldhahn says that this "presumably so a man will be attracted to a healthy woman with whom he can 'be fruitful and multiply'. But it goes beyond that. God likely also provided this visual wiring to help create a wonderful bond between a husband and wife." But she doesn't discuss why God makes men to continue to get pleasure from looking at other women when we marry. When we are single and dating, we have sexual desire for a lot of women. When we fall in love, get married, and make love to our wife, the desire to have sex with other women goes away. God could have made our visual orientation the same way. But He didn't.

I suggest this is why: In Songs 6:8, Solomon compares his bride to 60 queens, 80 concubines, and countless young women. He concludes that she is more beautiful than all of them. This is not surprising. You see numerous posts here on TMB where men state that their wives became their standard of beauty. Solomon was checking out other women! Otherwise, how could he compare?

God made women's bodies in a wide array of sizes and shapes. My wife's breasts are unquestionably the best :-). But, as glorious as they are, they wouldn't be so beautuful and downright sexy if all women had breasts that looked like hers, or if other women somehow managed to dress so that I had no idea what their breasts looked like. The same goes for hair, her face, or anything. It is a combination of love and the unique appearance of our wife that makes her the most visually desirous.

This process of becoming sexually attracted to one woman starts before marriage when a man begins dating. Single men have at least as much opportunity to see other women as married men do, plus they are more free to look. Yet they have no problem choosing one woman to marry. It seems to me that the process that initially attracts a man to his wife's beauty will continue to work after marriage.

1 Peter 5:5 "...be clothed in humility...".
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Re: *Through a Man's Eyes*

Postby SeekingChange » Thu Sep 24, 2015 12:51 pm

Do you honestly not experience a difference in a first impression of a woman on whether they are "sexual" or not? If two women walked in a room at the same time, one dressed with only her eyes showing and one in a tight skirt and cleavage showing, would you lable them both as "sexual stimulating" on the spot? We aren't talking about how everyone's a sexual being or how after deep thought and searching you can imagine and become sexually stimulated, we are talking immediate reaction to the two women. That is what she is talking about. When a man's mind automatically triggers "sexual", verses something like she's beautiful, or she's professional, etc there is a different process that happens within physiological.

Also, just because God makes someone a certain way doesn't mean there isn't a weakness to that strength that has to be battled. Women are made with emotions but that doesn't mean we have free reign to let the emotions wreak havoc and run our lives and those around us.
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Re: *Through a Man's Eyes*

Postby ledgemoor » Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:35 pm

Hi SC. Thanks for reading my post and responding.

SeekingChange wrote:Do you honestly not experience a difference in a first impression of a woman on whether they are "sexual" or not?

I'd say it is more a matter of degree than "sexual" or "not sexual". A professional, smart, powerful, confident woman in feminine attire is sexual to a degree.
http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1172451/image ... cebook.jpg
The reaction to face and hair that I mentioned is immediate and sexual. Once in a while I'll see nothing but a woman's face, yet it is an immediate turn-on. I don't know what it is exactly -- if she is my "type" (i.e. resembles DW :-) ) then of course. But sometimes it is nothing in particular -- she just plain looks sexy. Maybe it's just me, but I don't think so. It would be an interesting topic to discuss.
SeekingChange wrote:Also, just because God makes someone a certain way doesn't mean there isn't a weakness to that strength that has to be battled. Women are made with emotions but that doesn't mean we have free reign to let the emotions wreak havoc and run our lives and those around us.
Most anything can be misused, but that doesn't make it bad. We teach women to control their emotions, not be unemotional. I agree that men do need to control what they look at and what they think. That's why God gave us admonition in Mat 5:28. Thanks to King David and Bathsheba, we can see why this admonition shouldn't be taken lightly. There was more involved than just viewing of course, but viewing was a major factor.
But the not-looking doesn't seem to be working out so well.
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Re: *Through a Man's Eyes*

Postby SeekingChange » Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:50 pm

I am sure people are different, but I also know that my husband has, in his own words, without reading anyone's opinion, shared the same exact concept, because that's his experience, as what this book talks about. Because they have interviewed and have worked with thousands of men, I would say this is a pretty common reaction for a man. And it appears there have been studies that show a physiological difference in men's reactions to different visual stimuli.

I know it's hard to step out of our own experience, but just because something isn't "our experience" doesn't make it false or wrong.
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, find comfort, survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years...then she did something new.

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Re: *Through a Man's Eyes*

Postby bigloop » Mon Sep 28, 2015 1:24 pm

SeekingChange wrote:. I know it's hard to step out of our own experience, but just because something isn't "our experience" doesn't make it false or wrong.


That was a mouthful for sure....folks should chew on that for a while.

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Re: *Through a Man's Eyes*

Postby seeking perspective » Mon Sep 28, 2015 1:43 pm

Paul's recent XY Code post brought this book to mind. My husband and I have had several conversations about what he sees and how he responds to that stimuli. I've been fascinated by what I'm learning about him, both in the ways he fits the research behind the book and in the way he doesn't fit.
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Re: *Through a Man's Eyes*

Postby ledgemoor » Mon Sep 28, 2015 8:10 pm

Seeking Change wrote:I am sure people are different, but I also know that my husband has, in his own words, without reading anyone's opinion, shared the same exact concept, because that's his experience, as what this book talks about.
Ok, what concept exactly? That he gets pleasure from looking at women? Or that he thinks about what he has seen a lot afterwards -- i.e. the "rolodex"?
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Re: *Through a Man's Eyes*

Postby SeekingChange » Mon Sep 28, 2015 8:49 pm

This concept...
SeekingChange wrote:Comparing my husband's experience and what he has shared and what was shared in the book about how anything "sexual" automatically lights up the nucleus accumbens part of the brain verses what is not seen as sexual, modesty makes sense to me.

from the book wrote: We also don't realize how intense a man's reaction is. According to the latest brain science research, the gut-level reaction men have to a sexual image is also quite a bit stronger than the thinking-oriented reaction of women. And the strength of that sight and that reaction can even impact how the brain processes those images over time.

It is also important to note that a man's reaction is different if the image is attractive but isnt perceived as sexual. Men are able to appreciate beauty just like we are, after all, and that includes noticing that a woman is attractive-- without any physical reaction. If a man sees an attractive woman who is not calling overt attention to her body, it is often a nonissue. His nucleus accumbens simply doesn't light up. The automatic reaction, and thus temptation, isn't triggered. Without having to work at it, he can mind his own business and go about his day.
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, find comfort, survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years...then she did something new.

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Re: *Through a Man's Eyes*

Postby cbmike » Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:35 am

But whether simply showing skin is enough to qualify as sexual is dependent on a host of other factors, including culture, context, and the viewer's current level of arousal. As far as the area of dress is concerned, it really is a relative thing.
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Re: *Through a Man's Eyes*

Postby NaiveHusband » Tue Sep 29, 2015 9:46 am

I have to say I totally understand Jack's plight in the first chapter. That's my plight every time I leave the house. I wish I could just shrug it off like some other guys in this thread (claim to) do, but I can't. It just doesn't work. The problem is the instant sexual arousal that occurs when I see a woman (not necessarily dressed provocatively) that I find "sexy." I know it's wrong to indulge that arousal, and therefore the stress of having to be ready to avoid it at any split-second can become highly distracting.

Nothing can make the fight between the flesh and the Spirit more clear to me than to be in a public place where a sexy woman also happens to be, with neither of us remaining in the same area for long. At every movement, every corner turned, every door opened, etc., the flesh is hoping to see and the Spirit is trying not to. The flesh has an edge since one can't keep one's eyes closed all the time. The mental and spiritual stress can be incredibly intense.

It's far worse if I know in advance that my wife will not be available that night, for whatever reason.

Regarding modesty (and bearing in mind that the Bible gives modesty guidelines for both men and women), I struggle to find anywhere in the Bible that anyone is commanded to dress modestly in order to make life easier for anyone else. It's rather more about one's own heart and obedience toward God. With that said, Christians have a responsibility to not knowingly be sources of temptation to one another. Paul went so far as to say he'd become vegetarian rather than tempt another Christian to offend their conscience - and this about something that Paul himself said wasn't even sin.

Men are capable of lusting over anything - some guys even find "frumpy and baggy" incredibly sexy. This shows that making women responsible for their Christian brothers' mental purity is not only wrong, but impossible. However, there are some things that are "generally" sexy, and in that vein, most Christian men I know would appreciate it if more Christian women would at least give our weaknesses a bit of consideration when it comes time to get dressed for church.

As far as the author's treatment of her female readers, well, all I can say is that my own mother (who has a very healthy attitude toward married sex) would read it, get disgusted, and tell men to "just not BE like that!" So I can definitely see why Shaunti feels the need to counter such unproductive responses in the text.


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