If you are like a lot of women, you have heard for most of your life that "men are visual". But do you really know what that means? After reading Through A Man's Eyes by Shaunti Feldhahn and Craig Gross, I suspect that most women have no idea the extent to which men and women's brains are wired differently. There is no way we can actually know what our men go through as visual creatures since most women have no real frame of reference.
This book describes in scientific, practical, and emotional terms what it means for men to be visual. I feel like I have read a lot on this subject in the past and had a pretty good idea of what "men are visual" meant for my husband and sons, but I learned so much through this book.
The book opens with an example of a typical Christian man's day in this sex-saturated culture, and I really appreciated that. It gave me a little peek into how my husband must process a lot of what he encounters from day to day, and it made me feel so much more compassionate and appreciative of the effort I know he has to make to keep his mind on things that are pure. It also made me recognize things I need to do better to guard my sweet sons' eyes as they grow - because that visual nature of men? It starts much earlier in life than you might think.
This book is written mainly for women, so we can understand what the men in our life have to deal with, and also so that we can figure out what we can do to make this task a little easier for them. Because, ladies, sexual images are everywhere in this culture. I don't think we realize how much men have to deal with it, because those images just don't affect us the same way.
The book starts out saying that if you are in a particularly vulnerable place, or if the talk about what women can do to help men with this struggle annoys you, you may not be in a good place to read this book. I thought that was a good point to make. Some women, if they aren't truly open and ready to here the truth about the visual nature of men, can have an over-blown reaction, so I think self-evaluation is important before you jump into this. I know there have been times in my life and marriage when this book would have been more hurtful than helpful, so if you aren't sure, pray about it and wait until you are ready.
Through A Man's Eyes made me think about modesty in a whole new way as well (and making sure I don't show too much skin was already important to me). This is great information to have so I can make sure I am being vigilant with my own wardrobe. I don't want to cause heartache in another girl's life by inadvertantly becoming a stumbling block through carelessness with my clothing - you just never know who is struggling. It reminded me why it is important to be a help to my brothers in Christ (and by extension, my married sisters in Christ), instead of selfishly wearing what I want and adding more challenges for them.
I also appreciated that they included a mother's perspective, because it's weird to think of our innocent little boys as being affected by the images they see. I usually default to thinking about my husband when reading this kind of thing, and I forget that this is something my boys will have to learn to deal with too. The more we can prepare them, the better.
This book wasn't all doom and gloom - I thought some of this information was kind of fun, because I learned more about how my husband feels when he looks at me! Husbands in general love looking at their wives, which should be a nice boost of confidence to us married ladies - and they don't have to feel guilty about it, because their wives are exactly who God intended husbands to look at! God gave men this visual nature in the first place to make their relationship with their wife better, which is a beautiful thing. Through this book I gathered some ideas of things I can do to use my husband's visual nature to my advantage . . . if you know what I mean.
I picked up this book after a great review by Alex, and I agree with her that this is a book that every woman should read at some point, when she is in a good place to learn. Moms of boys - this book is especially important for you! I definitely recommend it.
Note: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.