I hadn’t had sex in three weeks. I was physically tired from a hard week of workouts, mentally exhausted from a week of orientation and training at a new job, and emotionally drained from moving to a new state and not seeing my family in a week. In short, I was primed and in the perfect condition for the enemy to attack me. As I was patiently driving to the local Five Guys to grab my cheat meal burger and fries, I looked to the side of the street and saw a sign for a strip club. I didn’t think anything of it at first, but that all changed quickly. As I sat down after ordering my meal, I felt tempted in a way that I’ve never experienced. Thoughts started racing through my mind like, “You deserve this!”, “You need this!”, “No one will ever know!”, “This can’t hurt anyone!”, and “Your wife doesn’t have to know”.
I knew this was the enemy trying to capitalize on my physical, mental, and emotional weakness so without hesitation I texted a couple of my friends for prayer because all things considered, I knew this was gonna be a fight that I couldn’t fight by myself. In that moment I knew I had the choice to indulge my flesh and sin, or walk in the spirit, honor my wife and family, and leave.
I left. As a matter of fact, I drove away from that place as fast as my ‘97 Chevy Metro could take me. In that moment of temptation, I won. I still had another choice to make, I still had another battle to win. Do I tell Stefani, my wife, what just happened? Do I tell her that I was just literally tempted to visit a strip club?
In that moment I felt something I’d never felt before, shame for being tempted. I had not sinned, as a matter of fact, I had fought in that moment and walked in the spirit in a very powerful way. However, I was still feeling a sense of shame for simply being tempted, not sinning, but just being tempted. I had a choice to make, allow the shame to turn into hiding or to walk in humble transparency and oneness with my wife. So, I told her.
As I text her what had just happened, there was no immediate response. I thought for sure she was upset, let down, and possibly hurt.
The text that came next was a game changer. Here is the actual text.
Wives, there is an incredible lesson to learn from my wife's response. How you choose to respond in the moment of your husband's weakness will either give him the fuel to be open and honest with you or the excuse to always run and hide. If you choose to shame your husband in moments of weakness he will turn to other things in the future.
In this moment I knew that my wife wouldn't just celebrate with me in my victories, but she would also stand with me in my struggles and in my moments of weakness and temptation. To say this was liberating would be an understatement.
I’ll end with a series of questions for but husbands and wives that you should answer for yourselves.
Husbands. Do you have men in your life that you can ask for prayer from in moments of temptation?
Wives. Does your husband feel like he can share his moments of weakness and temptation with you? If not, why?
Husbands. Would you have hidden this kind of thing from your wife? If so, why?
Wives. What can you do or say TODAY to help your husband know that sharing things like this with you is safe and will not result in shunning or shaming?
Husbands. Are you fighting a battle with porn, participating in a “flirtationship” with another woman, or living a secret life? It’s time to stop, confess, repent, and begin the process of healing and restoration.