As little girls, we have no trouble dreaming up Prince Charming. We start with a cute guy on television and endow him with the noble character traits they read about in books. During our teen years, we dream about the quarterback or the quiet poet from across the high school classroom. While dating, we measure our prospective partners to our dream guy until we find a man who fits the description. We expect our prince to make all of our dreams come true. Sometimes our Prince Charming turns into an ugly toad after the nuptials. Endearing quirks become annoying habits. Long talks while cuddling turn into grunts and scratches while flipping through the channels.
Married women sometimes find themselves dreaming about Prince Charming once again. The space between unmet expectations and reality fills with daydreams about the way it could be with another man. This imaginary boyfriend could be a casual acquaintance, someone from the past, or a vision of the perfect man. Thoughts of him threaten the fidelity and sanctity of marriage.
Men have a reputation for rogue thoughts about runway models and waitresses at the wings joint. Their battle is primarily visual. In her book For Women Only, Shaunti Feldhaun says, “Even happily married men are instinctively pulled to visually ‘consume’ attractive women, and these images can be just as alluring whether they are live or recorded.” They learn to avert their gaze when met with temptation, just as Job declares–“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl” (Job 31:1, NIV).
Women, on the other hand, are most often drawn into temptation through emotion and thought.
Men and women struggle in different ways when it comes to sexual integrity. While a man’s battle begins with what he takes in through his eyes, a woman’s begins with her heart and her thoughts. A man must guard his eyes to maintain sexual integrity, but because God made women to be emotionally and mentally stimulated, we must closely guard our hearts and minds as well as our bodies if we want to experience God’s plan for sexual and emotional fulfillment. (Shannon Ethridge)
We can read a compelling love story, have an interesting conversation with a man, or recall a memory of a past relationship and lose our affection for our husbands in a blink.
Continue reading at To Love, Honor, and Vacuum.
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Photo credit: Alexander Solodukhin via Unsplash.