October 17, 2006
The following is a letter written to a group of women in response to a woman's question regarding her husband's viewing of pornography and how grieved and hurt she was that he had been viewing it.  This letter was written to encourage wives to be very careful regarding scolding and shaming husbands and to be very careful how to rightly respond to a husband caught in the web of pornography.  The entanglement in the web of pornography is NOT rare — believe me, sisters, it is very common.  So how do you deal with it?  How will you or how would you respond if you discover your husband has been, or is, tangled in the web of pornography?   The matter surely must be addressed but must be bathed in earnest prayer.
This letter is not meant to excuse the practice or incident or to make light of the it.   More importantly, the point of the letter was not to trivialize sin.  While our husbands might be "just men," they are to endeavour to walk uprightly before the Lord.  We cannot excuse their behaviour and *they* cannot excuse their behaviour under the cloak of "I'm just a man,"  anymore than we can do so with our own sin!  The author of this letter simply wanted to encourage the women to remember that their husbands are fallible - to recognize that, and cut them a bit of slack.  And she also shared what she would do were she to be in the same situation in which the sister found herself regarding her husband's viewing of pornography.    So it is with thanks and permission that I post Debbie's response to the hurting sister and to countless others who are in the same place:
Just a Man

I remember reading "The Pastor's Wife", by Sabrina Wurmbrand  (missionary Richard Wurmbrand's wife), years ago. One particular story stood out to me, and continues to do so some 20 years later.

Richard spent many, many years in a Russian Gulag - suffering horribly for his faith in Christ. His wife, who was only in her 30's (I think) at the time, found herself becoming drawn to a Christian brother. No one knew if Richard was dead or alive, in fact - some firmly believed he was dead, so encouraged Sabrina to accept that fact and go on with her life. They even encouraged her to go ahead and marry this fine, godly man who she believed herself to be falling in love with - after all, there'd been no word of Richard for years (I'm thinking about 14 - or something like that - but could be wrong).   In the end, Sabrina felt she couldn't simply assume he was dead. So she continue to wait and pray that her husband was still alive.

Lo and behold, Richard was not dead and was eventually released. The resumed their life together, with Richard continuing to minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ unashamedly.  One day he went to Sabrina, and told her he was finding himself drawn to another woman, that he was struggling with his thought life. Rather than respond with hurt, she reached out and touched his arm,  and looking into his eyes told him, "Richard, you're just a man."

Those words were a balm to his soul. Rather than being met with anger, disdain, or even just hurt - his wife understood. And told him as much. She knew what it was like to be drawn to another - she'd experienced it herself. But even if she hadn't, she knew about human nature - man's sinful nature. So rather than condemning, she loved.

I've never forgotten that. And she was right. He was "just a man."

Years later, I responded to what I believe to be the prompting of the Holy Spirit to jump in my car at 7:00 a.m. and go to a friend's house. I hadn't seen her in many, many months. I'd had no foreknowledge of a problem, but as I drove down her long country laneway, I saw a most dejected woman sitting on a swing - tears coursing down her cheeks.

She poured out her heart to me, telling me she'd "fallen in love" with another man. She said she'd done nothing "physical" with him, but knew both she and he were developing a "relationship." And she was grieved. Deeply grieved, and feeling very confused and guilty. I put my arms around her, and those words of Sabrina Wurmbrand came immediately to mind. I told my dear friend that she was "just a woman," that God knew all about it. That He would forgive her and set her feet solidly back upon that firm foundation - if she would just lay it all down at the cross.

She did so. She stopped putting herself in situations where she'd see this man. She asked her husband's forgiveness. And he lovingly gave it. Not only that, he made every effort to "win her heart" again. That was 10 years ago.  They're still married.

Let us never forget our own weak and sinful frames. Not one of us should ever believe we cannot be tempted. It could happen tomorrow.  Let us remember
we are all "just women". And when we sin, we can ALWAYS find forgiveness in our most blessed Redeemer. And may we always endeavour to remember our husbands in the same light. They are 'just men.'  Sinners."


Used with permission; Debbie Yuck, Canada  2006