The Renewed View of the Body
Here at MyChainsAreGone.org, we have offered a very different understanding of the unclothed human form as compared to our culture’s (and, unfortunately, the church’s) view which we have called “The pornographic view of the body.” We do recognize that using such a term might feel inflammatory, but it certainly is not intended to be so, at least not needlessly so.
But let’s lay aside that rather emotionally-charged label and consider two scenarios based on the differing views about the human body and sexuality. We have made every effort to present both scenarios in as positive light as possible, yet without hiding the implications. We have attempted to be objective, but we are biased towards one of the views nonetheless. We do have a point to make. However, we will wait until the end for our comments.
If you have read the entire MyChainsAreGone website, you’ll remember that we also published a corollary to lie #2 having to do with the idea that men are primarily aroused visually. Some may react with strong disagreement to the suggestion that being visually aroused was not how God made men, nor how He intends for men to be.
In Proverbs 5:18 (KJV), we are told, “Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.” The context leaves no doubt that this “rejoicing” is about the sexual enjoyment that a man should have with his wife. Also, the clear implication is that for the entire duration of his life, his sexual pleasures should be centered upon the woman he married while young. This is the Biblical standard and mandate.
So what we have presented below is a comparison of the traditional view regarding how a man is sexually aroused and what we’ve called a “Renewed” view, which claims that men and women are relationally aroused rather than visually aroused. We have focused on the impact and implications of the contrasting views as it relates to the various stages and changes in life.
Traditional view of a person’s sexual responses to the sight of a woman’s form.
Renewed View of a person’s sexual responses to the sight of a woman’s form.
Men are primarily aroused visually, and when they see a nude woman, their innate natural response is to be aroused and sexually drawn to that woman.
Men, as well as women, are designed to be aroused relationally. God did not create man to automatically lust/think sexual thoughts simply when he sees a woman’s unclothed form.
Response to Nudity:
As sexual expression and experience is to be limited to marriage, nudity is primarily sexual. The Godly man must make every effort to ensure that his wife’s nude body is the only one he allows himself to see. Allowing the sight of any other woman amounts to infidelity.
Sexual expression and experience should be limited to marriage, but the godly man knows that seeing a woman’s body need not be defined as a sexual experience. He knows that the sin is to objectify the nude form as sexual and/or to indulge in the sight of it for personal sexual gratification.
The couple comes together on their wedding night and see each other for the very first time. The experience is wonderful and very worth the wait. They eagerly anticipate the opportunity to enjoy each others’ naked bodies for the rest of their lives.
The couple has reserved sexual intimacy for their wedding night, regardless of whether they have seen each others’ bodies before. They have not allowed themselves to respond to the sight of nudity with sexual lust, so their wedding night is truly a consummation of their relationship and love. It is wonderful and well worth the wait.
The man finds visual contentment in the sight of his wife’s body. Seeing his wife’s nude body excites him and leads to a very fulfilling sexual relationship.
The man enjoys the beauty of his wife’s nude body, but it is not the driving force towards his sexual fulfillment. Rather, it is his warm and intimate relationship with her that draws his heart and his body to hers. They have a very fulfilling sexual relationship.
Sexualized images of bodies in the culture are literally unavoidable and men are constantly under attack from a variety of different sources (TV, internet, advertising — even women at work or church. The man must continually be on his guard to turn his eyes away to preserve both his soul and his sexual interest for his wife.
Because he has learned not to respond negatively to unclothed bodies sexually, nude or partially nude images are viewed objectively either for their artistic merit or as sad oversexualized marketing preying on illicit and dehumanizing falsehoods. Rather than attracting the man’s attention as a temptation, the images no longer have a negative effect.
The man must be on his guard because there are simply too many women whose idea of dressing attractively amounts to conforming to the sexualized styles of our culture. These styles are designed to draw sexual attention to the body. A man may find it very difficult to interact with such women when work or social context demands it. Any woman not his wife is dangerous, and her continual inappropriate appearance maybe his downfall.
Because the man has learned that sexual appeal is not based upon the display of skin, but in the depth of relationship, the revealing attire of women he interacts with does not stir inappropriate thoughts or responses. He is not distracted by a woman’s attire. He avoids staring at her form, not because it is dangerous to him, but because it would simply be impolite. Personal temptations that he must avoid have to do with guarding his heart emotionally rather than guarding his eyes.
When the man feels the physical desire for sexual release, he will also sense a increased eagerness to see his wife’s body, since that is the means by which he experiences sexual excitement. At the same time, his alertness to the sight of other women’s bodies will be heightened, as will his temptation to have a sexual response to such sights.
When the man feels the physical desire for sexual release, he will seek out his wife, for it is only in his relationship with her that he experiences sexual excitement. The temptation from other women is very small because none have the relationship with him that his wife does. The simple sight of a woman does not require a sexual response.
As a woman experiences the changing of time upon her body, youth fades. Along with that youthful beauty, she loses some of her sexual appeal. The man still disciplines himself to be satisfied with her body as it is, but the sexual impact of her nudity on his libido has waned. In some cases, a woman’s body may change significantly due to disease or lifestyle choices. These drastic changes will affect his sexual desire and require a stronger resolve to flee from the enticements of other women, especially younger ones. As she ages, his wife simply does not and will never again have the kind of sexual appeal that she had when they married.
Physical appearance is part of a who a woman is, but the man values his deepening relationship with his wife more than her youthful beauty, and since his sexual response is based upon his relationship with her, rather than on her physical appearance, his ability to respond sexually with his wife is still strong. Changes in appearance do not take anything significant away from her femininity, therefore, the man’s sexual relationship deepens with each passing year — even throughout their twilight years.
The woman knows that her body is sufficiently attractive to her husband while she is young, but as the years and other factors take their toll, she also knows that her body will no longer have the sexual appeal that it once had. She still holds the exclusive rights to her husband’s sexual interest, but she must constantly be on guard against potential rivals. Everywhere she turns, there are enticements vying for her husband’s attention. She knows instinctively that she cannot compete visually with younger women or pornographic images.
The woman knows that years and other factors have taken their toll on her body’s natural and youthful beauty, but her relationship with her husband remains strong. She does not compete against other women’s beauty, but celebrates it as a gift from God. Her husband’s sexual interest in her is based on the strength of their relationship, not solely on her looks. She can rest securely because she knows that she and her husband hold to a renewed view of the body.
By the time a couple reaches “Old Age,” most people would likely affirm that those in a healthy relationship would be squarely in the “renewed” column. Of course, we would agree. In fact, we would suggest that if a godly man is going to truly “rejoice in the wife of [his] youth” for his entire life, that at some point, he must transition to the point of being sexually aroused relationally rather than visually.
But if the renewed view is true for a man in Old Age, then it is true from the very beginning. If that is to be the driver for the sexual enticement in old age, then it can and should be the driver for the sexual enticement throughout life. If such a response is possible to learn when old, it is possible to learn while young.
We hope that you will also give serious consideration to the very last pair of entries entitled “From the Wife’s Perspective.” We firmly believe that the false view we have held for so long has deeply wounded and victimized women. This chart shows two of the ways that has been manifested:
1. It shows how the traditional view can leave women in a constant state of fear regarding their husbands’ mental and physical fidelity.
2. It also leaves them with an ever-present dissatisfaction with their own bodies and its declining power to be sexually enticing to their husbands.
How can a woman ever be free of this fear and dissatisfaction unless she has full confidence that her husband’s sexual interest in her is not based at all on her appearance? Once again, this hope is to be found squarely in the “renewed” column. We believe that the “renewed” view is really God’s will for all of us. It is the only view that will carry us righteously through our lifetimes, and it shows us a much surer pattern for mental and physical fidelity within our marriages.
— the MCAG Team