Christian Women and Mommy Porn

illustration of a wife and husband
Laura Perez

As a life and relationship coach, I've heard from thousands of women over the past decade who bemoan their husband's pornography habit. They question, "Doesn't he realize how his wandering eyes make me feel about my own body? About us?" I've never heard a woman say, "I'm just not offended that my husband looks at porn."

Women naturally crave being the only woman that floats our man's boat. The more we believe that we are the sole source of our husband's satisfaction, the more secure and emotionally connected we feel in the relationship.

With this general understanding established, let's talk about the latest cultural phenomenon turning women's heads — romance novels and movies referred to as "mommy porn." But haven't we already established that pornography isn't good for men? Isn't good for marriages? So why would women think that it's any better for us?

One of my clients wasn't feeling aroused by her husband. A friend recommended the "Fifty Shades of Grey" fiction novel to pique her interest once again — and her husband initially seemed happy. However, the sparks soon fizzled because Rachel compared her husband's relational style to that of the lead character in the novel. Oblivious to how this would rob her husband of much of his confidence, Rachel's comparisons created insecurities for both of them to sift through.

We were created by God as sexual beings, and healthy thoughts about physical intimacy in marriage are both natural and holy. God wired us in a way that we desire a close connection with another human being who's in a covenant relationship with us. Why? Because we're made in the image of God, and that describes Him perfectly — He desires a close connection with His covenant people.

However, Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:5 to "take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." In other words, we are to channel our sexual thoughts exclusively toward our husband. Only then can we represent God well as both spiritual and sexual beings.

Intimate thoughts and fantasies can quickly become more of a burden than a blessing when we aren't good stewards of these mental abilities. Something is definitely awry when fantasies fuel our imaginations to the point that:

  • we objectify our spouse by unfairly comparing him to other people or characters
  • we grow disillusioned with our reality because it doesn't measure up to our fantasy
  • we become tempted to act out on fantasies in unhealthy ways
  • we run the risk of luring others into our fantasies, creating emotional trauma for them

If your fantasy life has created any of these dynamics, I urge you seek the help of a counselor. It's important that you learn to discern the difference between thoughts that undergird your marriage and thoughts that undermine it.

So before women run to novels such as "Fifty Shades of Grey" or to movies such as "Magic Mike," let's consider the question, "Don't wives owe husbands the same courtesy we expect from them?" Women may say, "It warms me up for my husband," but that's really no different from a man looking at the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition and justifying his lustful eyes with an excuse like, "It makes me want my wife even more." No woman would buy that justification — so perhaps we shouldn't try to sell it, either.

Shannon Ethridge, M.A. is an AACC-certified life coach with a master's degree in counseling/human relations, and the author of 19 books.
A portion of this article appeared in the March/April 2013 issue of Focus on the Family's Thriving Family magazine.
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Copyright © 2013 by Shannon Ethridge. Used by permission. From the Focus on the Family website at FocusOnTheFamily.com.

Next in this Series: Living in a Shades-of-Grey World

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