When a man is ensnared by sexual sin — soft-core or hard-core pornography, Internet liaisons, or adultery — his wife’s love and trust are shattered. However, if he chooses purity — and if his wife chooses mercy — trust can blossom again amidst the ruins.

The book Every Heart Restored is coauthored by a husband and wife team who faced his sexual sin and successfully rebuilt their marriage. Healing can begin, the authors say, when both people face the truth and confront the problem head on. The husband must understand that he needs to return to living by God’s boundaries rather than his own. Below is an excerpt from their book.

Men are slower at understanding relationships, and we can’t forget that our husbands have blind spots that result from their hardwiring. Your goal is to speed up his learning curve by grinding with the iron and pointing out clearly what God means by being trustworthy.

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Confront him.
Be excruciatingly honest about your pain. Remove the wiggle room with the precision of a surgeon, talking straight about how he is failing you and how you are losing respect for him.
Your not here to hurt him but to help him. You’re not fighting for your way but to have things God’s way.
Never withdraw from him verbally ? the silent treatment must never happen in your home, because that’s just another form of anger out of control. Your silence can inflict more cruel damage on a relationship than an open storm.
You do it by defending God’s boundaries and not your own. Be transparent, persistent, and resolute.
You aren’t there to attack the man ? you are there to boost the man. It’s not your ministry to bring him back to you sexually. It’s your ministry to bring him back to God spiritually. It may be hard to keep this as your focus,but it’s the right focus.

Insist that your husband stop drawing his own
lines for sin.

He needs to accept God’s definitions of sin, not those of the guys he plays pickup basketball with during lunchtime on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Your husband must accept God’s terms, or else He can’t trust your husband. Just like Justine wrote:
One night during our engagement, Caleb showed me a calendar he’d gotten from a tool dealer. Since he was an auto mechanic, I’m sure he was excited about the cars, but all I could see were the blatantly sexual scantily clad women in serpentine poses suggestively draped all over the cars.
I objected to the calendar and asked him to throw it out, but he huffed, “They’re not pornographic? These women aren’t even nude!”
We argued some more, but a little piece of me died when he icily chided, “You are so insecure and immature! Patronizingly, he then added, “I chose you, not some model. Can’t you even see that?”
Clearly, I’d lost the argument. But a small voice inside me inquired persistently, Isn’t he really choosing those models over you by not honoring your request? I’ve heard that voice grow louder throughout the years.

Those pictures are pornographic, and this voice should get louder, because it’s telling the truth. You mustn’t muzzle the Spirit’s voice in your helper role, because if your husband is stuck in sexual sin, his eardrums have been cauterized to the whispers of the Holy Spirit, and his conscience has been seared. You must speak for God and call sin “sin” so your husband can hear and learn what it is.
Insist on the truth.
Perhaps your husband can’t deliver on sexual purity by the weekend, but he can be man enough to start telling the truth today. Normal Christian men tell the truth, and if he expects God to trust him, his lying has got to go. Call him out every time you know he’s lying to you.
Obviously lies undermine relationships. Your husband must stop lying immediately. You need open communication regarding his sin, and he must truthfully answer any question you might pop his way.
Insist he stop posing as a strong Christian man.
Remember, your husband has been hiding behind a good Christian image, but that must change. Since image is everything these days, “Showtime Christianity” is pandemic. Brody’s part of the show went like this, according to his wife:
After arguing about his porn again, I left the room and went to God in prayer, sobbing. I really didn’t see how Brody’s pride, shame, or defensiveness would budge, but I asked God to jar them anyway. I proposed to Brody that we go see the youth pastor at our church, since he is also a licensed marriage and family therapist.
If Brody refused to go, I’d know he’d rather save his pride and be comfortable than work things out with me. Brody finally agreed to go, but protesting loudly, “That pastor’s never going to look at me the same way again.”
Who cares if the youth pastor won’t look at you the same way, buddy? Get real! Your wife already can’t look at you the same way, and God’s eyebrows are arched askew too. Being Christian should have total priority over looking Christian any day of the week, and if God is to ever trust your husband, you must encourage your husband in that direction.
Insist that he quit posing at church. If he’s a deacon or elder, he ought to step down until he’s free of sexual sin. If he’s a lay worship leader, he ought to step down. If he’s on a mission board, he ought to step down. His image may mean something in the visible realm, but only substance counts in the spiritual realm.
If he won’t do it, consult the pastor. Your husband needs to face the truth that he isn’t who he says he is. Those bushes must burn, and this charade must end.


New Life Ministries offers the Every Heart Restored Workshop for married women whose husbands are involved in or are in recovery from pornography or infidelity. For more information, visit their Web site.

Used by permission of New Life Ministries. New Life Ministries has a variety of resources on men, women and relationships. Call 1-800-NEW-LIFE or visit www.newlife.com.  “Four Ways to Defend God’s Boundaries with Your Husband,” taken from the book Every Heart Restored by Steve Arterburn and Brenda & Fred Stoeker.

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