There’s a clip recently posted on Instagram by Jackie Hill Perry, who is a wife and a mom, a poet and a hip-hop artist, and a guest writer for us. We’re fans of her work. The clip she posted is a really bold and insightful word to married couples. I’ll play the audio, Pastor John, and then get your thoughts. Here’s the clip.
Question: How often are you honest with your spouse about your lustful temptation? When it comes to men, I think it might be two reasons why they might be unwilling to share with their wives about their struggle.
1. They like it. They enjoy entertaining the fact that other women want them or the ideas that pop up in their minds about what they could do with other women. That is a heart issue.
2. You women are too insecure to take it! Every time this man wants to let you in on what he is struggling with, you want to get in your feeling. “So, what you are trying to say? You were thinking about another woman and she was in your dreams? You’re telling me I am not worth dreaming about now?”
Girl, calm down. You should let the fact that he let you into his heart give you security and the reassurance that he loves you. Letting our spouses in our issues gives them the opportunity to hold us accountable and pray for us. And it uproots any opportunity for Satan to wreak havoc on our marriages through secrets. So, be honest with your spouse.
She gets to the point, doesn’t she? Pastor John, any thoughts you’d add?
Two to Tango
Jackie Hill Perry is very thoughtful. She is a thoughtful young woman, and it is manifest in this penetrating analysis into a man’s love affair with lust and a woman’s fears of letting her man talk to her about it.
“Men, is your wife the only woman that you desire?”
She isn’t just blowing steam here. She is seeing — seeing through and seeing into — and that is a great gift that every Christian should aspire to.
Another thing as I listen that makes these couple of minutes compelling is that she is balanced. She goes after both men and women in their respective sins and weaknesses. She is not just harping on the man or harping on the woman. It takes two to tango, and it takes two to play hide and seek — especially hide. And she gets that right.
The third thing that I thought of as I listened that adds depth to what she says is that she takes Satan seriously.
There are a lot of people who don’t even believe in Satan, and there are Christians who never give serious thought to how deceptive and destructive his designs are. Jackie draws our attention to the truth that Satan works in the dark. He is like roaches. You turn the light on, it goes away. You keep the light off, he might run right up your leg.
“Satan gets the upper hand in our relationships when there is unconfessed sin we don’t even know about.”
When Paul says in 2 Corinthians 2:11 that we are not ignorant of Satan’s designs, he was referring to the unwillingness to forgive. That is a field day. That is a dark kitchen for the roach of Satan. Maybe there is, however, a kitchen that is darker than the kitchen of unforgiveness. That would be the kitchen that is so dark nobody even knows there is a need to be forgiven. “At one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8).
As James says, “Confess your sins to one another” (James 5:16). Surely Jackie is onto something with husbands and wives here in applying it to that relationship. “Confess your sins to one another . . . that you may be healed” (James 5:16).
She would add, and I would add, that Satan might get the upper hand in your relationship through all the darkness of unconfessed sin that you don’t even know about.
Desiring Forbidden Fruit
If I would add anything to what Jackie says, I might say to the guys: Jackie stressed lustful thoughts in which you think about doing things with other women. Don’t let yourself off the hook if you say, “Well, I don’t fantasize about doing things with other women. I just fantasize about seeing things.”
Jesus said, “Everyone who looks at a woman to desire her has already committed adultery in his heart” (Matthew 5:28, my translation). So, the question is: Is that woman in your head your wife? That is the question.
The last thing that I would add is this. If there is going to be enough deep security and strength in this woman’s heart and the man’s heart — I would say, to welcome this kind of honesty that she is commending — both of them will need to lay some pretty massive foundations of Christ-centered commitment before him. I mean like rock-solid, unshakable, blood-bought, Spirit-dependent, Bible-saturated commitment; namely, divorce by either one of us is not an option.
Noël, my wife, and I said divorce is not an option to each other over the last 47 years many times, and in our darkest, stormiest seasons we knew there was hope to get through the storm, because we had promised nobody is jumping out of this plane.
So thank you, Jackie, for wise and penetrating words. I hope they bear much fruit.