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In the case of a woman needing comfort and encouragement verses her need to protect her marriage and husband to foster growth and maturity she, well, she did choose.
I would not leave your husband over this. He has been open to you and sounds repentant. Forgive him and pray together. DoveGrey has offered some sound Biblical based advice which I agree totally. - GP
- Under the stars
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A man CANNOT help having an erection...and should never be "crucified" for it when it comes to seeing an attractive women or having an erotic thought. It happens....regularly. I can't control those things. What I can control, upon seeing a beautiful or immodestly dressed woman/girl enter my sights is whether or not I entertain any thoughts and whether or not I treat her as a smorgasbord buffet for my eyes & mind OR praise God for His creation, remind myself she is someone's daughter/sister/wife and redirect any sexual thoughts to the blessed wife I have at home!!!
My guess (from a lifetime of church ministry) is that the church ladies response, they probably don't have much of a sex life and are gatekeepers so their natural thoughts is to cast harsh, foolish judgment (tell a woman to divorce over this? Calling it rape?) and extend no grace, like they probably do at home with their spouses. I, and WE as forum, cannot speak about the "lust" he confessed. Was that what he was masterbating to? OR did it start there...and with the build up of sexual tension from lack of release (admitted by the poster), did the husband make the choice to take matter into his own hands? (pun intended). What will his response be to openness and communication in his marriage the next time something happens? Intimacy was crushed and I believe the husband was treated without honor or respect (yes, despite what he did was wrong)...but how is he supposed to show his face at family functions or church? I pray the two of you will have some deep conversations about the situation and hurt both of you have experienced and caused and come to peace about how to move forward.
Last (I think), the sister's attire didn't help the situation...but it's not her fault for his failure either (see above thoughts again). I have a choice to make when I see something that draws my mind towards sexual thoughts. With that said, I've got attractive step-daughters and I've had to have some difficult and AWKWARD discussions with their mom (dear wife) and each of them about what their wearing, covering (or not), how the attire fits their shape (UGH!!!) and how boys/men think...and even talk about that. They all want to look cute, attractive, hot, feel good about themselves, etc. and I have to sometimes lay things out VERY clearly. NOT FUN!!! They're dad isn't in the picture and wouldn't be much help I believe, even if he was around. Self-esteem is a big issue with girls/women and it plays into this. What are you "selling"? All guys will notice you BUT what will they notice? The outside OR the inside? Just because a guy notices you, are they worth your time? The great ones will be attracted to you no matter what you're wearing. I'll step off my soapbox now.
I agree with many of the answers here. End your marriage over this? Please do not be so foolish. You love your husband, he loves you, your son needs you both. Forgive Him and move on. When Jesus said what he said about a man lusting after a woman in thought being adultery, Peter responded as any honest man "Who then can be saved?". He is saying that (most all) men have a sin problem in this area. My advice would be to pray, forgive and jump back into your marriage bed with all the verve, energy, enthusiasm, and imagination that you can handle and I think you will find that the next time the subject of your sister comes up, hubby will say "Who?" God Bless.