Archive | May 2013

Admiration v Lust

My husband is a very visual/artistic man and says that for him, for the vast majority of the time, looking at beautiful women in bikinis, lingerie, etc is the same as looking at a beautiful car or art picture. He enjoys it for it’s beauty and it has nothing to do with his love or desire for me, nor does he use it for sexual fulfillment.

As I step out to tackle this issue, I am fully aware that there are as many opinions on this matter as there are variables to consider in determining what is right. And honestly I believe that this is one of those topics where there is not one right answer for everyone. We all have different weaknesses and areas where we are more prone to sin, and I believe that two people could be looking at the same thing and one of them could be sinning while the other is not. Your heart before God is between you and Him, and I won’t attempt to determine for anyone whether or not admiring a beautiful person crosses over into lust. What I want to do is create a space to consider what we should be aware of with this issue.

To begin with we need to keep in mind that although there is much grey in this issue, there is no grey in the fact that God is clear that lust is sinful. For more information on this you can read our article on lust, but suffice it to say that if you are unable to look at beautiful people without developing a sexual desire for them then you need to figure out how to manage that. You are going to have to maintain sufficient boundaries to protect your heart.

The grey area is in whether or not you are able to look at people who are in situations that you associate with sex, and not lust after them. Men in a Calvin Klein underwear ad. Women in a Victoria Secret catalog. Nude sun bathers on the Mexican Riviera. Artistic paintings that portray intimate acts. I can not draw a line for anyone else in these situations because our weaknesses are different. Where one person sees nudity as being redeemed through Christ’s death on the cross where he removed our shame, another person has only ever seen nudity with a connection to sexual acts. How can we possibly establish a black and white rule that would apply to both people? That is why we need the Holy Spirit to lead us, because He knows us and will guide us in how to be self-controlled in our thought life.

So I do believe that the husband, in the case of the writer of the above question, could very well be able to look at beautiful women and admire her without becoming sexually desirous or covetous of her, but if in fact he sees an attractive woman in lingerie and admires her and then desires her, he needs to be accountable for that sin. In either case, an important factor is that his wife is uncomfortable with it. In order to be loving toward her, when he is with his wife and an attractive woman is near by in a bikini I think it would be respectful of him to keep his focus on his wife in these situations. I think it’s important for a couple to be able to communicate these sorts of things to one another and so it’s good that this man could express his perspective on it and perhaps at some point this writer will adjust her own perspective and there will be more unity between them. For now, though, it would be beneficial to their relationship for them to extend a lot of grace to one another.

We need to remember in all of this that nakedness, in and of itself, is not sinful. It’s the circumstances around how someone is or isn’t dressed that determine if it is sin or not, and because we live in a fallen world, we do need to be mindful of the fact that to see immodesty is a struggle for a lot of people. This is why I believe that a certain amount of awareness of the impact of  how we dress is important. Having said that, I also believe that the onus is not on us to manage another person’s sin for them. If a man or a woman looks beautiful and they dress well, people are going to notice and will choose where they allow their thoughts to go.

Another woman wrote us the following:

My husband continues to point out beautiful women that we see in public, on the internet and on TV.  I’ve told him that this hurts my feelings.  I am a beautiful woman and I’m happy with the way I look and he agrees.  He feels it’s better that I know that he his looking at other women, than keep it a secret.  He is very communicative about all things and that’s usually a blessing, but his commentaries on beautiful women bothers me.  Should I just get over it or tell him again to please stop?

This is another situation where not every solution will be appropriate for every couple. I have friends who are very expressive with their spouse about the attractive people they see and they are fine with that, but the fact remains that if this writer has told her husband not to mention the beautiful women he sees, he should be respectful of her wishes and keep those observations to himself.

So what is your opinion on this? How do you feel about your husband looking at beautiful women? Do you think it’s ever possible for him to look and not lust? Are you able to look at handsome men and admire them without lusting? I’m interested to hear your perspective.

original article

Throwback Thursdays: Shelley Lubben: A Porn Star Set Free

The story of Shelley Lubben has impacted me (and my spice sisters) in a profound way. Shelley is an ex-porn star who God saved from the industry and released as a missionary to be used of God to set women and men free from the effects of the pornography industry. She is a brilliant woman and very well spoken. Not only is she aware of so many aspects of the industry that most people are ignorant of, but she also can intelligently communicate the information to audiences and governmental authorities as she rallies to see girls in the industry set free and laws set to reduce the damage caused by pornography.

I want to share some of her story with you, but encourage you to view the video at her website of her sharing it herself. I have watched it several times because it is so impacting. Shelley Tells the Hardcore Truth. You will find the video listed on this page.

Warning: the video contains some descriptions of what she endured as a victim of the porn industry and is not suitable for children.

Shelley grew up in a home with a disconnect to her parents. She describes her father as a workaholic and her mother as one who loved to nag. They raised her in the church for her first 8 years and then relocated and the family stopped attending church together. When she was 9 years old she was sexually molested by a teenage boy and his sister and she didn’t have the security in her relationship with her parents to be able to go to them for support. As a teenager she acted out her pain and anger towards her parents by drinking, smoking and having sex. When she was 18 years old, her father kicked her out of the house which she describes as feeling that her whole identity and been taken away.

She became homeless and hungry at that point and after not eating for several days a man approached her and told her that there was a man down the street who thought she was pretty and that she would get thirty five dollars if she would have sex with him. At first she was shocked and was going to say no, but then she heard the enemy tell her that no one else cared about her, why should she care. And this was her door into the sex industry. Prostitution, Stripping and Pornography. Shelley began a life of prostitution, but when she started fearing for her life a friend suggested that she try porn because it was legal in California. Knowing that she could make a lot of money and expecting that it was just like prostitution she decided to do it and over time became deeper and deeper entrapped by the lies and pain of the industry. She contracted an incurable sexually transmitted disease which devastated her. Throughout her years working as a prostitute and porn star she had been crying out to God, but she never felt that He gave her any hope. She knew He was there and heard Him speak to her, but she had no way to see how He could help her.

When she contracted herpes she left the porn industry and decided to go back to prostitution, but ended up infecting a married couple with the disease. Shortly after, she met a guy at a bar who she developed a non-sexual friendship with and they would get high and study the bible together. He fell in love with her and wanted to marry her and take her out of the sex industry after he heard of all that she had endured. Although she didn’t love him, she felt the love he had for her and was uncontrollably drawn to him because of it.

When they went to get married it cost them thirty five dollars to get the license, the same amount that she had been paid to turn her first trick. At that moment the Lord confirmed in her spirit that this was His hand.

It took years of recovery for her to be set free, but she is now this amazing voice of hope and freedom to those trapped where she had been and she has been miraculously healed of herpes along with many other emotional and physical wounds caused by working so many years in the sex industry.

If your husband is struggling to break free from an addiction to pornography, if you have sons who need to understand what life is like for the women who are victims of the industry, consider watching this together with them. A great deal of helpful information can be found at Shelley’s website.

original article

True Orgasm

I have a question about climaxing. Considering I was not a Christian and I watched WAY too many movies growing up that did have sex in them (nothing porno, but definitely R rated), you see a lot of “YES YES YES” and then this calming down smile.

For me, I get immense pleasure, “yes yes yes” and then…. I am not sure. It feels REALLY good, but the after effects are nothing like what I have seen (of course, what IS like anything you see on TV?). What DOES an in real life orgasm look/feel like? I have always heard if you don’t know if you had one, you haven’t had one. Well, that just isn’t true if you don’t have a godly picture of what ONE IS. Does that make sense? I could totally be having one and not know that is what it is because my mind has a different image of what a true orgasm is (based on movies).

This question had my mind going in circles because really, what is a “Godly picture of an orgasm”?  I think whatever you do when climaxing with your husband is considered (in my book) a ‘Godly orgasm’.  Everyone has their own thing they may do when climaxing but our bodies are experiencing the same things and I think that is how you know if you have had an orgasm.  Unlike a man it is not so obvious on the outside when we climax but a woman should be able to tell if she has by her rapid breathing, increased heart rate, maybe some flushing, muscles throughout her body become rigid, secretions outside the vagina all followed by muscle contractions within the vagina that vary in length of time.   Those muscle contractions feel incredible and they are pretty difficult to overlook or mistake for something else.  ;)

Now, we all react differently on the outside with our facial expressions/body language.  Some of us may be extremely vocal.  The ‘When Harry Met Sally” scene where ‘Sally’ shows ‘Harry’ what she sounds like when she experiences an orgasm is an example of how loud we can get. Some are quiet as a mouse while they even hold their breath.  One woman may flare around in bed while another barely moves.  There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to have an orgasm.  I know that I, for one, may be extremely verbal and flare around one time and be quiet the next.  Is one way better than the other?  No, what I do may just depend on my mood or whether we have the potential of being heard.  I have heard some ask “Why do people say that they are coming when they are climaxing?  Isn’t that strange?”  It is not strange.  It is a way of expressing and enjoying yourself.  My husband can tell if I am climaxing without me being verbal about it but that doesn’t stop me from expressing myself.  Now that I think about it one of my favorite memories is when my child first rode his bike without his training wheels.  He was so excited to be riding without any assistance that he yelled “Mommy, I’m doing it!!!!”  Suddenly I began yelling “You’re doing it!!!” just as enthusiastically.  So why do we state the obvious?  Well, I guess we do it because it is fun.  It is a way to share joy with my loved one and isn’t that part of being ‘Godly’?

So, just as I stated at the beginning, I think that whatever you do is a ‘real orgasm’ and sometimes it will resemble what is depicted in the movies and sometimes it won’t.  Just enjoy yourself and do what comes naturally.  If your husband likes to hear sounds or see you so excited that you can’t contain yourself then let it all hang out.  Some women are not comfortable losing control but this is the one place where you can feel safe to do so.  It could make for some great memories for your husband and it may increase your arousal to.  If you would rather stay quiet and concentrate on the sensations that are going through your body then that’s great too.  It’s all good and all very real.

original article