The Healing Soul Hope Herald – March ’11 – Featured Article
A true story of spiritual warfare against one of the most prevalent sin’s of our time
© 2011 Dani Miser, author of Single Woman Seeks Perfect Man-Facing the Consequences of Unhealthy Relationships (Deep River Books, 2010)
“For 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
Mary and Rick had only been married about two years when Mary discovered Rick’s hidden addiction to pornography. She knew he’d viewed pornography in his single years, but he had decided upon entering marriage to abandon what he had called a casual hobby. Mary and Rick were both believers and knew God had His hand in their coming together in marriage. God had confirmed to both their hearts they were truly meant for one another. They knew the Lord had great plans for them as a couple. Now Mary was having doubts.
She was pregnant with her third child and her emotions were a mess. With each emotional outburst, she put up a new wall of resistance. She and Rick were like two opposing magnets; the closer they tried to get, the further they bounced in opposite directions. Pretty soon, she had built walls so high as to almost completely shut out physical intimacy with Rick. Even his touch would make her cringe.
The betrayal she felt in her heart was reason enough to justify the rude thoughts about him that grappled her mind. Her unhealthy thinking was easily justifiable, and the self-construed solutions to this mess constantly captivated her thoughts.
One night, she had, had enough. Everyone was fast asleep while she lay in the bed tossing in waves of anxiety. Mary tip-toed to the living area, and with a heavy heart she cried unto the Lord. The words that spilled from her lips initially involved her hurt; she told God she couldn’t handle the situation any longer.
She had her Bible, and looked down to read a passage about the power of prayer when the Holy Spirit reminded her of God’s mighty right hand. Immediately, she saw a vision of her husband having three chains upon his back. The largest chain protruded from the back of his head while the others were smaller, falling from each shoulder. Each stronghold was labeled; pornography was the heaviest weight.
For the first time since she discovered the offense, as she prayed, God began softening Mary’s heart toward Rick. She saw a glimpse of him as God did. She began to grieve not because she had been offended, but that Rick was under attack, spiritually…that his walk with God was being hindered. Her anger turned from Rick to the enemy and the plans he sought for them. It was in that moment that God showed her something else.
His mighty right hand was positioned above Rick’s head, and in it was a running chainsaw. The Holy Spirit revealed that if she would but pray fervently (James 5:16), His hand would begin the process of cutting each chain. Mary did pray that night for Rick’s deliverance. She also prayed that God would help her love him unconditionally so that her joy might be complete (John 15:9-12).
Though it was not easy, with God’s help, Mary truly forgave Rick. She forgave him again and again each time he struggled and gave into sin. As a matter of fact, Rick tried with all his might to quit the habit! When he finally admitted the hobby was actually an addiction, he threw his hands in the air and called it quits. He had done his best and failed. He couldn’t stop! Because of his sin, he wasn’t sure if he could be the husband God had called him to be. He asked for a divorce, and in a heated discussion told Mary to “get out.” As she was leaving, the Holy Spirit guided her gentle words. “Rick,” she said, “I will never divorce you. I am totally committed. I will give you some space and let you simmer down. I’ll be back in a few hours.”
Believe it or not, God was still at work mending their marriage. Mary learned that it was God, not Rick, who alone could meet her needs. And Rick eventually learned that unless God had given him the “want to”, he would have never desired to quit his “hobby” in the first place. After acknowledging that God is the one who works in His children to act and will according to His good purpose (Philippians 2:13), Rick was able to humble himself.
They both vowed to neither mention, much less even consider filing for divorce. He and Mary resolved to go ahead and take advantage of the many resources God put in their path for help. The healing process continued for years, but as looks a pearl after it’s many adversities, their marriage is more beautiful and satisfying now than ever!
Mary, Rick, their four children, and many others in their circle of life rejoice that Mary did not obey reason and justify her anger by choosing to resolve this issue of betrayal in her own way. God honored her Hosea-like faith, and to the amazement of she and Rick, God has called them both to help pull others out of the slimy pit of sexual sin.
If you have an internal storm brewing due to marital unfaithfulness, whether it be pornography or an all out affair, God is available and willing to help you walk in love and forgiveness. He alone can truly satisfy your every longing and meet all your needs. He says, “Come to me all you who are weary and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28)
Has pornography crept into your marriage?
5 Do’s and Don’ts Mary Learned:
- Don’t blame yourself.
- Don’t encourage or excuse the behavior.
- Don’t assume he wants to continue.
- Don’t assume divorce is imminent.
- Don’t ignore the issue.
- Continually walk in love and forgiveness.
- Gently speak the truth to him, and invite him to share his heart on the issue.
- Renew your mind continually by reading God’s Word.
- Commit to working through the issue asking God to confirm which resources to pursue.
- Above all, PRAY and let GOD unfold your marriage as he unfolds a rose.
Dani is also the author of Single Woman Seeks Perfect Man-Facing the Consequences of Unhealthy Relationships.
(Deep River Books, 2010)