No doubt the beaming faces of your friends and family members reflected the joy on your own face as you walked down the aisle on your wedding day. Your heart overflowed with love for the handsome man waiting to exchange vows with you at the front of the church. You never felt more beautiful, loved, and desirable. Your mind was a warehouse of dreams and expectations for the rest of your days as Mrs. Right.
Then the unthinkable happened. Whether you have been married a few months or celebrated numerous milestone anniversaries, your “happily ever after” has been tarnished by the discovery of your husband’s sexual addiction. Perhaps you stumbled upon something on the computer, or you unwittingly uncovered a secret stash of pornographic magazines and movies. Maybe you walked in on your husband in the middle of an act of self-gratification.
Each of our experiences is different. Our reactions, needs, and solutions will be different as well. How I wish I could peer into your life and offer you an individualized solution to your unique situation! I’d love to be able to say, “Friend, if you do X, then Y will happen.” If you think that is what this book will provide, you are going to be sorely disappointed. I can’t possibly offer that kind of hope and healing myself. However, I have walked in your shoes, and I know how desperately you long for a solution and some guarantees. I don’t have the answers, but I know Who does.
I believe that the most pressing need we all share is to embrace the hope that God is able and willing to pluck us out of the slimy pit, remove the filth that’s clinging to our hearts and minds, and usher us to the next step of healing. Amen?
For a while you didn’t even know you were in a pit. Like undetected termites that eat away at a foundation until one day the house collapses, an ongoing sexual struggle has been undermining your home. God had to expose what was going on with your husband for you to rebuild on a firm foundation. As 1 Corinthians 4:5 says, God “will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart.”
While the discovery of your husband’s sexual addiction pulled the rug out from under you, it came as no surprise to the Almighty. He sees the sins committed in a darkened office or bedroom just as clearly as those done in broad daylight.
It’s not uncommon for a revelation to come as a complete surprise, however. Consider the apostle John. As an elderly man he was banished to the island of Patmos by the Roman authorities for faith- fully preaching the gospel. In his wildest dreams, he probably never thought he’d meet Jesus on Patmos. The title of the book chronicling this experience is found in the first five words of Revelation: “The revelation of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:1). The Greek word for “Revelation” is apokalupsis (ä-po-kä’-lü-pseˉs), meaning, “unveiled.” God knows what has been unveiled in your current situation.
Read Daniel 2:22:
“He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him.”
What does God reveal?
What does he know?
How does it make you feel to realize that he knows and reveals things that were once hidden in secret?
Secrecy shrouds sexual addiction. Until a man confesses or is caught, his struggle with lust is his own burden to bear. For 70 percent of sex addicts, the Internet is the primary source of their pornography. Online porn is extremely accessible, anonymous, and affordable, making it especially easy to hide. When your husband’s addiction is made known to you, the secret becomes the albatross around your neck.
Read Psalm 44:21: “Would not God discover this? For he knows the secrets of the heart.”
What does God know?
It sounds ridiculous to suggest that you should be grateful that God has unveiled the truth about your husband’s addiction to you, but that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Christ longs to set us free from the things that have been hiding in the shadows. To do so, those issues must be brought to light.
Read Ephesians 5:8–14 (NASB):
For you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things, which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
Verse eight is like the Reader’s Digest version of the gospel, neatly wrapped up in one verse. Read the first half of the sentence very carefully: “For you were formerly darkness.” Most of us tend to read what we think something should say or what we would prefer it to say rather than what it actually says. This passage reads, “You were . . . darkness,” not “you were . . . in darkness.” Ouch. But that makes sense in light of Paul’s words to us in Romans 3:23, doesn’t it? “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (emphasis added).
Listen to the promise we are given in Jeremiah 32:17: ““Ah, Lord GOD! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.””
Did you catch that? Nothing is too hard for our Lord God.
It’s sad but true that sin causes a chain reaction. Your husband’s sin may very well have triggered a sin reaction in you. Now that light shines into darkness, shadows of sin are bound to be cast.
I want to encourage you to persevere. You are beginning the journey of healing a broken heart. The two parts of the word “persevere,” “per” and “severe,” actually mean through and causing great discomfort, damage, or distress. Press onward despite the discomfort, because at the end of the journey is hope.
What has God revealed to you about your husband’s sexual addiction?
Take a moment to thank Christ for shining into the shadows.
Excerpted from When Your Husband is Addicted to Pornography © 2012 by Vicki Tiede. Used by permission of New Growth Press. Excerpt may not be reproduced without the express written permission of New Growth Press. To purchase this and other resources, please visit www.newgrowthpress.com.