Monday, June 30, 2014

Thejoyfilledwife's Husband's Addiction To Pornography

Thejoyfilledwife is one wise, young woman. I loved her post Never Defrauding Him Sexually and many of you did also. What many of you don't know is that her husband was addicted to pornography. I asked her to share her story with you since I know it is epidemic among men today in hopes of it helping many of you to know how to help your husband's battle in this cruel bondage ~

I don't think I'll forget the date as long as I live. It was Sunday, June 2nd, 2013 when I awoke in a panic, grabbing my phone as the chirp of a new email sounded. I quickly cleared the various texts that had piled up over the past several hours and began to delete the last of my emails. Drawing closer to the final message, I suddenly felt a pit in my stomach sink like a 1,000 pound lead weight. As my eyes fell upon the title of my final email, I knew in my heart that I was about to come face to face with one of my greatest fears in life. It was the weekly Internet accountability report we had subscribed to since we got married four years prior. The title of the email urged me to check the content report of the web sites that had been visited in recent hours, stating that there was cause for concern. Lord, please no...anything but this.

With all the courage that I could muster up, I swallowed hard and clicked. In a matter of moments, I felt the air escape from my lungs like a blow to the stomach with a steel pipe. Hours...upon hours...of pornographic image searches. I felt my heart crumble into a million pieces as I sunk my face deep into my pillow to silence my cries. Please, Lord...don't let this be true. But I knew in my heart that this was no mistake.

I would be lying if I said that I hadn't battled the urge to send the email straight to the trash without opening it. If I did, perhaps I could pretend I never saw it and go on with life as I knew before. When we go through tragedies, sometimes our first instinct is to pretend it's not happening, especially when we can't make sense of it all, or we want to ask why the Lord would allow us to face such heartbreak. Yet we serve a God who gives us the courage to fight those tragic battles with our head held high and peace in our heart. Peace amidst trials is nonsense to the world and, believe me when I tell you, these tragic times are often the greatest opportunity of our lives to show the world the One who dwells within us. The Lord has called us for such a time as this. If we but keep our hearts set on the promises of His Word that "He will never leave us or forsake us"{Deuteronomy 31:6}, He will use us to impact more hearts that we could imagine. When we choose joy in the midst of our painful circumstances, it is a powerful testimony to those who are watching from the sidelines. And trust me when I say, there are ALWAYS people watching from the sidelines.

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 
I Peter 3:1,2

Although my husband is a believer, I knew it would take an act of the Holy Spirit for him to overcome his addiction and subsequent struggle with anger and control. Still, I Peter 3:1,2 kept rising up in my heart. If unbelieving husbands can be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, could the Lord use me in that same way to help point my believing husband back to Him?

Lust is often a lifelong battle for men and we, as wives, can bless our husbands by being their greatest prayer warrior, meeting their physical and emotional needs, being patient with them, and by showing them respect in all areas {unless they ask us to sin}. We serve a God who changes hearts and there is no heart too hard for Jesus to soften. I pray we will allow Him to use us to minister to our husbands in ALL areas. Before I wrap this up, I feel compelled to say something very important to you fellow wives out there who were or are currently facing this same kind of heartbreak in your marriage ~

You are beautiful.
You are valuable.
You are precious.
You ARE good enough.

Not because of who you are, but because of Who you belong to. You are the daughter of the King. He made you just the way He wanted you and desires to use you to accomplish great things for His Kingdom. Please don't believe the lies of the enemy that tell you if only you were prettier, or taller, or shorter, or thinner, or tanner, or sexier, or better in bed, that your husband wouldn't have made the choices he has.

While we ARE responsible to fulfill our wifely role and to not cause our husband temptation through neglect or disrespect, we are NOT responsible for their sin.

When our husbands have a stronghold in their lives, the one and ONLY person who can break that bondage is Christ. Cling to Jesus, for He is "the author and perfecter of our faith"{Hebrews 12:2}. Do not give into fear, sweet sisters, for our precious Lord reminds us, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world"{John 16:33}.

It was a little over a year ago that I faced the most devastating battle of my life and marriage. The countless tears I have cried the past year from a heartbreak I sometimes questioned being able to survive, have given me a perspective I wouldn't have gained otherwise. Although I prayed for many years that Jesus would strip away the strongholds in my life, I never thought He would do it all at once ~ and while fighting for dear life to just survive another day and not give into feelings of hopelessness. But I have learned so much about the beauty of forgiveness and the power of prayer in the past year and, although I would never want another human being to have to endure what I have, I know that there are countless others out there who are facing this same battle. Please know that you are not alone.

Although we will be subject to all kinds of pain and suffering in this life, we serve a faithful and merciful God who desires to use our trials to accomplish His greatest will in us, if we let Him.

My relationship with Christ has deepened in ways I never could have imagined since last year. I think of myself as holding on to the bottom of Jesus' robe for dear life as He whisks my heart away to the secret place and covers me with His tenderness and love. Perhaps one of the most important lessons I've learned in all this is that joy is not a feeling, but a choice. I call myself Thejoyfilledwife, not because of what I am, but because of what I am becoming. And all by the grace of God.

By the grace of God, my husband is overcoming his addiction and he has told me countless times what a gift my prayers and patience have been through it all. Although he still battles his habits and earthly temptations, we are rebuilding trust every day. God is so faithful to walk beside us down this road.

And now, I leave you with the lyrics of a song that ministered to my heart when I began this painful journey a year ago. Our God is so faithful, sisters. Will you grab on to the bottom of His robe with me as we travel this road together? You are cherished and deeply loved. Yes, you.

What if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near?
What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy?
What if the trials of this life ~ the rain, the storms, the hardest nights ~
Are YOUR mercies in disguise?
{Blessings by Laura Story}