I’m excited to kick off this ongoing series, “The Wonder of What God Has Done,” with my friend Katie’s incredible story of how her marriage overcame pornography addiction by God’s grace and mercy. It is an absolute honor to share her story for God’s glory and your encouragement!
A Husband’s Confession of Pornography Addiction
Two years ago, I faced a catastrophe in my marriage that I never saw coming. My husband of almost 6 years at the time—now nearly eight—confessed to me that he was addicted to pornography and had been since he was a young boy. I was taken aback because we had discussed this issue time and again as I sought to hold him accountable in this age of technology where temptation is at our fingertips. Though he always assured me that he never gave in to any temptations regarding pornography, he brokenly confessed his lies and addiction to me on an April night I will never forget.
Through my tears and utter brokenness at the idea of my marriage falling apart, I battled the voices of the enemy and the bitterness of my own flesh until the voice of God whispered into the chaos. “Tell him he’s clean.” I will never forget it because it was the furthest thing from my mind. He certainly was not clean and
A Wife’s Submission to God
After warring against that idea of cleanliness and forgiveness, I finally broke down and submitted to God. I told him he was clean and we began to travel down the road to forgiveness and restoration. It has been the greatest struggle of our marriage to rebuild trust, to choose forgiveness, and to daily fight off the temptations that held my husband captive for so long. I would be lying if I sat here and claimed that I told him he was clean and we lived happily ever after. But it would also be a lie for me to leave you without hope. With God, by the power of his Holy Spirit at work in our lives, there is always hope. He is the restorer. He is the Redeemer, and he always leaves a remnant.
Practical Hope for Healing
Right now, I would like to get practical. How do we overcome the mess that pornography makes of our lives? This by no means is a one-size fits all answer. With each woman I speak to about this, I learn that every marriage is different, but here are some tips that I think will start you in the right direction.
1. Get Accountability.
There is strength in numbers. You cannot do this alone and you need someone to talk through your struggles and temptations with. Maybe it is your spouse or maybe it is a friend. It does not matter who you find, but you must tell someone. The only way to overcome darkness is to shed light on it. Tell someone and get help. Your pride will keep you from healing and overcoming if you let it. Humble yourself and tell someone.
2. Do Whatever It Takes.
If you are serious about destroying the sin of pornography in your life and marriage then you need to recognize that means removing the areas you are tempted.
Often times we stumble into sin, but we never stumble out of it.
If certain TV shows lead your thoughts to darker paths, don’t watch them. If you can’t be on the internet alone in a room, tell your spouse and vow to only use it with them in the room. If you don’t trust yourself enough to keep that vow, have them make the passwords for your computer so you can’t turn a computer on without their knowledge.
Maybe this seems radical, but think of it this way: if you were newly sober from alcohol, would you expect, or even want, the keys to a liquor cabinet? Would you go out with your friends while they drank? The same is true with an addiction to pornography. Cut it off. Whatever. It. Takes.
3. Enforce Filters.
It was news to both my husband and me that there are filters out there that you can place on your phone and internet. Many of them require a monthly cost, but we have found it to be totally worth it for our family. They work by monitoring your activity and reporting it to a person you select or even by blocking websites that surpass the maturity level you set. Three of these websites
Check them out and see if there is a right fit for your family.
4. Fill the Void.
There is a story that Jesus tells in Luke that I regularly refer to in discussions I have with women about this. Jesus tells this story:
“When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes throughMatthew 12:43-45
places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.” arid
I believe the moral of the story is this: Sin and your flesh do not simply go away by you kicking them out and saying, “Be gone!” You must kill your flesh and replace your sin with something else. You must replace it with the Holy Spirit of God. Jesus left us with the Holy Spirit as our advocate and helper to be with us forever (John 14:16). Friends, with the Holy Spirit, we have the power of the Living God dwelling inside of us. He takes up residence and sin and Satan flee. By the Holy Spirit, you can die to your flesh. Because Jesus trampled sin and death, we have hope and the ability to fight against temptation, no matter how strong and overbearing it may seem. There is always a way out.
5. Know Your Foe.
Finally, I come to this point. This is the point I would argue is the most important for both parties to recognize.
“Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”Ephesians 6:12
It is so easy in this situation to point fingers. Perhaps you think your husband must not love you because he turned to porn. Perhaps you feel as though you can never be enough and never measure up to the other women he has seen.
Hear the lies and know your foe. Satan longs to destroy marriages. He longs to see you place the blame on one another, never realizing his hand in the matter. Yes, the sin was committed, but know there is more going on tha meets the eye. I have never met a man who was happy about what his pornography addiction was doing to his marriage. Rather than fighting against your husband out of your hurt, fight for him with your prayers. It may be the hardest thing you ever do, but it will help him to fight and it will help you to heal.
My Marriage Overcame Pornography
Dear friends, pornography is everywhere but we do not have to be overcome by it. You can master what has mastered you. Allow forgiveness to heal. Allow God to speak his life where death once dwelt. Let him speak peace over your mess. Let him speak freedom where chains once bound. The God we serve is stronger than anything we face in this world. Invite him into the mess, seek his face and fight with everything you have in you. You are not alone. Lean into Him. Lean into his hope, grace and truth and be set free.Is your marriage struggling because of a pornography addiction? Find hope here! #marriage #messymarriage #pornographyisruiningmymarriage #pornography Click To Tweet
If this post encouraged you to look to God to help you overcome messes in your own marriage, Liz’s printed
When Marriage Gets Messy is an 11-week workbook for wives who want to overcome 10 common messes married couples make. The comprehensive workbooks contain powerful testimony, daily prayer, reflection questions to help you dig deep into heart issues, word studies, Bible Study material, date night ideas, memory work (not what you’re thinking), additional resources, and of course S-E-X! It makes a great individual or group study, or even a wedding gift!
Linking Up With
For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne Eller, Faith On Fire, Susan B. Mead, Faith Filled Friday, Grace and Truth, Faith and Fellowship Friday, Soul Survival, Rah Rah Link Up, Tell His Story, Sitting Among Friends, Testimony Tuesday, Planting Roots, and Fresh Market Friday, Salt and Light, and Becoming Press’s Writer Wednesday, Moments of Hope