This will have to be another two part-er. As far as our television/movie viewing goes, there are two important issues I want to discuss. The first one has to do with deference; a vital part of respect. Are you aware of your husband’s eyes when you watch TV or go to the movies? Do you curtail your own viewing in response to his needs? If you do, tell him what you’re doing. If you don’t, consider it!
We all know men are wired through their eyes. They know we are extremely body conscience. If he loves you (& that’s most of our husbands here), they will probably not tell you they are struggling in this area out of respect for you. They wouldn’t want to make us feel bad about our bodies & more self-conscious, so they just don’t bring it up or make notice of it. But for 99% of red-blooded American men, when a bra commercial comes on the screen, or a show comes on with some girl in a bikini, they struggle!
To help us better understand, let’s turn the tables a minute. Let’s suppose you have a food issue. (I often equate food for women with s*x for men – most have issues in one fashion or another in these areas whether they talk about it or not.) If you were on a diet & really trying to lose weight & your husband had the TV on the Food Channel constantly, or a show with constant commercials for Krispie Kreme & Taco Bell, would that bother you? Would you feel a little (or a lot) uncared for? Unsupported? Unloved? Well, he feels disrespected in much the same way when we watch shows with no regard for his needs. Take Dances With the Stars for instance. It’s a seemingly good show – dancing, music, classy! But look at what those girls are wearing!! Don’t tell me your husband doesn’t struggle while you watch that show. Ask him. If he hasn’t told you, it’s probably out of embarrassment or not wanting you to get on his case or not wanting to hurt your feelings. Out of love & respect for him, keep your eyes keenly aware of these things. Don’t ask him to go see a movie where there will be scenes in it that will cause him to stumble. Do your homework. Find out what those movies have in them with sites like Plugged In On Line. Turn the shows off that show half dressed women. Keep that remote handy, don’t get up & go get some popcorn during the commercials. Turn the channel when those commercials come on.
And let me tell you, you have to be ALERT these days! Shampoo & pizza even use s*x to sell. It is everywhere in our culture & you never know when it’ll pop up next. Think about what a struggle that is for your God-fearing husband! Think about your sons & protect them, too! Take steps to guard their eyes in a respectful way. Don’t think of them as “pigs” for this. It’s the way God made them – it’s a great thing with self-control. God made you to retain fat for childbearing – do you want them thinking of you as a pig for a few extra pounds on your body when you don’t show self-control in that area? Then don’t pull that on them. Create a haven in your home for your man & boys. They have to struggle out in the world all day long; don’t make them have to when they try to relax at home beside you on the couch as well.
Pray over the men in your life about this. Cover them in prayer. Hold their arms up in this battle as Aaron & Hur did for Moses. Prayer does change things & bring encouragement, support, etc. Be alert in public. When you are walking along the street & some swanky girl is swinging her back porch swing in front of you, if you notice, don’t you think your man is noticing, too? Pray for him right then & there. Lag further back or get ahead of her so his eyes don’t have to be glued on her. If there’s an immodest teen in your church, don’t sit your family in the pew right behind her. Be aware. Prayerfully consider how you can help her know what’s going on. Maybe talk with her mother in love? Maybe just pray for her in love? If you have a relationship with her & can in love, talk with her about it. If it’s an issue in your church, perhaps talk with other women about addressing it in a group. But certainly respect your man enough to find a different seat! Got it? I gave a few examples, now you can think of your own situations.
If your husband isn’t “struggling” in this area & is just not dealing with his sin here, do not judge him, PRAY for him! I know I for one have not always dealt with my sin with food. There have been times in my life I didn’t struggle with it at all; just didn’t feel like dealing with it. I am so thankful my husband didn’t get all judgmental & in my face with me! Rather, he prayed for me, and waited for God to convict me in this area. It didn’t take long. It doesn’t mean I am perfect either. God continues to work on me as my husband encourages the steps forward, & prays when I step backward. I am blessed! Bless your man that way. Be his best friend in this area, not his enemy.
Most of you can probably understand the whole food issue thing to some degree. If you don’t struggle with food in any way, I am sure there is another area you can relate to; we are ALL born sinners. Is it your mouth? Attitude? Pride? Gossip? Bitterness? Anger? Search your heart. Find the area, then put yourself & struggle in your husband’s shoes. It really helps to understand where he’s coming from.
Here are a few verses to meditate on in this area…
Proverbs 27:12 – “A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.”
Romans 14:13-19 – “So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall. I know and am convinced on the authority of the Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong. And if another believer is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it. Don’t let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died. Then you will not be criticized for doing something you believe is good. For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.”
Exodus 17:10-13 – “So Joshua did what Moses had commanded and fought the army of Amalek. Meanwhile, Moses, Aaron, and Hur climbed to the top of a nearby hill. As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage. Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset. As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle.”