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When Girls Unknowingly Tempt Guys Toward Lust

By: Kristen Clark

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 encourage her husband peruse another woman’s bare body?!”

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.

I’ll never know what that wife was thinking, but I do know this – she didn’t seemed one bit concerned with placing a direct sexual temptation in her husband’s face.

That, right there, is a big problem.

Sexual temptations bombard the guys in our life on a daily basis and they don’t need us adding to the struggle.

Unfortunately, I don’t think we, as Christian girls, fully understand that. I’ve been guilty of this and I’ve seen many other Christian girls who have been too.

For example, I was over at a Christian family’s house several years ago when I noticed a provocative CD cover on their living room shelf. The CD featured a totally nude image of the backside of a female. I learned later that the CD was the wife’s.

I’m guessing that wife was unaware of how sexually tempting and unhelpful that image would be for her husband and her sons.

Another time I was staying overnight in the home of a Christian family. The daughters were all involved in ministry and their dad was the associate pastor of their large church. While using their bathroom, I noticed a pile of tabloids next to the toilet. Half-naked women filled these magazines as I quickly glanced through one.

These seductive magazines belonged to the sisters, and I’m sure they had no idea how tempting they could be for their dad and brother.

Another time I was over at a friend’s house for a casual lunch get-together.

She had the TV running in the background with one of those reality supermodel shows on. Her husband was walking back and forth doing house projects. When the commercials weren’t playing, the TV was filled with half-naked bodies of models doing sensual photo shoots.

This wife seemed unfazed by the amount of nudity and skin blaring on her TV. I’m guessing she had no idea how tempting these images could be for her husband.

All of these Christian girls and women were unknowingly tempting the guys in their life towards lust. They weren’t doing it on purpose, they were most likely just naive. They were bringing immodest, sexualized, and sensual women into their homes without even thinking about it.

As I’ve learned from my husband, Zack, over the years, this does not aid him (or any man) in fighting against lust.

Now  – please don’t read into what I’m saying. I’m NOT saying that guys aren’t responsible for their own choices. I’m NOT saying that girls “make” guys lust.

I’m simply saying that we, as Christian girls, need to be more aware of what we bring into our homes and what we show our dads, brothers, and guy friends.

To all of my fellow Christian sisters out there: Whether you realize it or not, the guys in your life have to fight against lust every time they walk out the front door or turn on the internet browser. Sexualized billboards, raunchy magazines, immodest women walking by, and pornographic pop-up ads attack these guys on a regular basis.

The amount of sexual temptations they face on a daily basis is unreal.

Let’s not make it any harder on our Christian brothers than it already is. Whether your dad, brother, boyfriend, or guy friend asks you for it or not, there are a lot of things you can do to help him fight the battle.

Here are some things I’ve done over the years that my husband really appreciates:

  • I’m careful not to post images containing immodesty on my social media accounts.
  • 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 and girlfriends do this, and from what I hear, it’s not helpful for the guys.
  • I sort our mail and throw away the immodest/sensual ads so Zack doesn’t have to be bothered with them.

I know these things may sound extreme to some of you and I understand why. It’s not normal.

However, the way Zack and I see it, it takes extreme measures to fight for purity in our modern sexualized culture.

We’re both committed to helping each other out and doing whatever we can to fight for purity.

As Christian girls, I pray we will all see the value of fighting for the guys in our life by making the necessary sacrifices to help them succeed morally.

I’d love to hear from you on this topic.

  • Have you ever thought about helping the guys in your life fight for purity? If so, how?
  • Have you been guilty of bringing sensual things into your home? If so, what can you do to change that?

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  • Leanne

    Great post! I can totally relate to the mail ads problem. I once got a famous lingerie store promotional in the mail addressed to me, not my parents, out of all people and was very puzzles how they got my name! And thank you for pointing out the seriousness of the problem, even if they don’t ask about it. That has helped to resolve some questions in my mind. It is a good reminder how God instructs us to be pure in this filthy world, so that we can shine as lights. And we are supposed to be holy, as He is holy.

    Keep on doing your work for the Lord and never grow weary! See Galatians 6:9.

    Greetings from soon-to-be-snowy easy coast!

    • Thanks for sharing Leanne! Sounds like on the right track, girl. Keep it up! Wish we were getting some snow down here in Texas! 🙂 -Kristen

  • Maggie Fipps

    Thank you for this post Kristen! I have often struggled even as a female keeping my eyes off the sensual tabloids they put at every cash register. I just thought, maybe a good idea would be to turn the tabloids around,( as long as their’s not another bad image) so that the front isn’t facing out. Even if someone later comes and turns it back, it would be protecting the men and children behind you from those images. Just thought I’d share! Thanks!

    • Hey Maggie! Thanks for sharing. I agree with you…I don’t think it’s healthy for us, as Christian girls, to look at and read those raunchy tabloids either. It fills our minds with garbage. I’ve done the whole “flipping the magazine around” routine many times too. 😉

    • I believe I’ll try that idea of flipping the tabloids and mags around. I also read somewhere that you can try slipping books on purity into them! That would be a good idea too!

  • Sarah

    This post is very good Kristen!! I would just like to add that while this problem is significantly worse for men, society has done the same for women as well. There are magazines, ads and other things that show half naked men as well. I am not saying anything bad about your article, I am just adding to it…
    I am ashamed society would stoop this low to try to “get our attention”!
    Thanks for the article!! You guys always do a great job!! 🙂

    • Hey Sarah! Thanks for commenting and sharing your thoughts. I totally agree that society has done the same for women. It’s not easy to be a pure women in today’s culture either. I’ve written a bunch of posts on that topic in the past, but just didn’t have room to address them in this post. If you’re interesting in reading some of them, check out my comment to Grace… I shared a bunch of links with her. 🙂

  • thehappygirl

    Wow, great post Kristen! I try not to bring in or promote anything that may tempt my dad or brother to lust. I’ll admit it’s hard sometimes!! They try to do the same for the girls in my family as well (like not having magazines with shirtless guys on the cover).

    • Thanks for commenting! It sounds like your family is really trying to help one another out! I love that. Keep striving to be a God-defined girl! -Kristen

  • Greg

    It’s not an excuse–just a fact that most women (not all, but most), regardless of age, simply don’t value physicality and sexuality to even a fraction of the extent that men do. Just one of the many ways God created us differently.

    That’s not to downplay the seriousness of the concern at all; but it does provide the explanation.

    • Hmmm Interesting thoughts, Greg. Thanks for sharing! I wonder if it’s more that women aren’t stimulated visually as much as men are, so it appears that they don’t “value” sexuality as much… For me, and every wife I’ve talked to, we all value sexuality, it just looks different than the way our husbands value it. 🙂

      • Greg

        I must admit this is a perplexing area–but one I genuinely want to understand, because I think we all win if we know where each are coming from. Would you say it’s true that there’s more variation in the way women face temptation with sexual things and men’s physicality in general? That’s not me trying to be critical of women in any way–just trying to understand and make sure I don’t misrepresent you/them in my perceptions.

        BTW, thank you for letting me (as a guy) add my two cents as it were; I really appreciate the open dialog. I’ve really missed that aspect since the Good Women Project website went offline.

        I deeply value what you and Bethany (and your readers) share here, because it seems that the world around us is widening the gap between men and women, rather than decreasing it.

  • L

    I’ve been amazed at how aware I become of all of the immodesty around me when a man that I care about is with me. I immediately want to shield him from it all.

    • I felt the same way when I got married! I know exactly what you mean. -Kristen

    • Leah

      I feel the same way too!

  • Monty

    Thought provoking post. Raises the issue for me of accountability. For example, do I hold my husband accountable for buying cookies, ice cream and candy at the store when I am trying to lose weight? Is he responsible for my temptation to eat things that are not good for me? Am I going to ask him not to buy them and deny himself the enjoyment because on my lack of self-discipline. No, No and No!!! Its 100% my responsibility to deal with any lack of self control and to rely on God for the strength to make smart choices and resist the temptation that is all around me. We are raising our teenage son to take responsibility for his own though life with God’s help. If guys have a problem with lust then they need to seek helpful strategies from other Christian brothers who have similar issues. Not all men struggle with lust just like not everyone struggles with overspending or overeating or stealing or lying or whatever the sin area may be. We are all different and unique and we are all accountable for our own walk.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Monty. You’re spot on when you say that everyone is responsible for their own choices and their own sin. That is exactly right and biblical. However, as fellow believers, I believe it’s good for us to have a mindset of helping one another out to achieve success in our weaknesses. And that’s all we’re encouraging girls to do with this blog post. We need to view our brothers-in-Christ as teammates and strive to do whatever we can to help them succeed. And to be honest, I’ve never met a single guy (or girl) who’s never struggled with lust. It seems to be a struggle we all face at differing levels and seasons. In the end though, you’re right – we will all be accountable to God for our own actions and choices. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  • Grace

    I don’t disagree with this post, but I see a gaping hole in it–you talk so much about helping men not to lust, which I’m all for, but what about women? Women are just as prone to lust, and often men don’t think about this. They may walk around shirtless or watch films with sexual things that don’t bother them, but they don’t stop to think about whether it may be tempting the women in their life. Also, you talk about how women shouldn’t show these immodest movies to their guys, be around certain people, etc… but if it’s not okay for a guy to see that half-naked woman, is it okay for a girls to see her? If a person’s body is for their spouse only, no one else, man or woman, should be looking at it.

    I hope I don’t seem nitpicky. It just can be frustrating to me when I see people talk so much about male lust without considering female lust as well. It’s not a gender problem–it’s a human sin problem

    • Deranda Smith

      I agree, when the topic of lust is brought up women are treated as though they are immune. I would love to see a post where the roles are reversed.

      • Hey Deranda! We’ve written some great blog posts addressing that exact topic. Check out the comment I wrote to Grace for the links. I think you’ll find those other posts refreshing. 🙂

  • Autumn Stevens

    I don’t think this is at all extreme! This article is exactly what my Mom has tried to cultivate in me and my 5 sisters, and I think its all great advice! Habits like these help remind us to be considerate, and not become so calloused or “used to” the norm of sin in the world around us. Practicing this stuff is just a helpful little reminder for me that “Hey, this isn’t really okay. Guys struggle with this, and it’s not something God wants us to endorse.” And as far as female lust goes, we could definitely use some self control and limits in these areas too! I don’t think looking at all those sensual ads, magazines or feeding on the sexy scenes is beneficial for us either (even if the lust struggle may not be so hard or widespread for the gals) So, by avoiding immodesty it not only helps the guys, but helps us have a healthy perspective too.

    • Thanks for sharing, Autumn! Sounds like you have a really neat mom! Keep striving to be a God-defined girl. -Kristen

    • Auditi Lib

      The majority of woman are less prone to lust then men, especially before they are involved in any sexual activity. I’ve known that to be true in my personal experience. Thank you for sharing.

  • Ashley

    This is perfect, definitely blindsided by how the guys are tempted 24/7. I never really thought I could do anything about it because with the magazines, commercials, etc. it feels good to know I can actually do a lot.

  • Lindsay

    Great post.

  • Talya

    Wow! I absolutely loved this post. I’m new to the blog so I was exploring the post and came across this one. These are great guidelines! Thank you!

  • truth here….as a wife and sister I do these things and I say thank you to those who do too!

  • Sara

    This blog basically advocates treating grown men like 13 year old boys who are just going through puberty and can’t control their hormones. Yet another reason why I don’t subscribe to this type of “christianity” and why I am grateful that the men in my life don’t need this kind of coddling. They are adults, they can manage themselves.

  • Raisa

    If married, should a wife encourage his lust for her? Would my husband’s viewing of those images decrease or increase his desire for me? Some girlfriends of mine have shared they thought seeing those images will help him confirm his feelings for her instead. I think this post is very practical. When I was living at home, my Dad once requested I unsuscribe from several magazines because he didn’t want to examine those images as my brothers would go take them from the mailbox.
    I’d love to hear more from you on this!

  • Julia

    What I don’t get is, these men and boys can’t help themselves apparently when they see a random woman in a bikini on a magazine or while on a beach, or a girl in a tank top at a restaurant, but then women see shirtless men on the beach all the time and seem to be fine. We don’t make boys wear shirts to swim, or not allow any men who are sexually appealing into households. Women are sexual beings, just like men are. If we can control ourselves, why can’t they?

    • Viller

      Because we have higher level of testosterone in our bodies. if for one day you had the level of testosterone that is placed in a guys body, you’ll understand how hard it is to fight visual lust.

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