Understanding Your Wife’s Heart: Part 7

The Wife of an EMB Attendee

Notes From The Wife of a Sexually Sinful Husband

Suffering has its purpose. As I read though the miracles of Jesus I have found that suffering has its purpose. Suffering may: bring about repentance, be a witness of faith to others while in the midst of it, be a witness when delivered from trial, or bring about a softened and contrite heart -thereby drawing the sufferer closer to God.

Why, I ask myself, would God leave me in the midst of a very painful
marriage? A marriage riddled with detestable sexual sins that have consumed the man I love. Several answers come to mind. Perhaps I am there to be a witness and reminder of God’s love. My husband needs my spiritual insights and support. I say this without pride because only God gives me this.

Perhaps I have been made by my uniqueness and by my experiences (especially the sexual ones) the one to impart God’s wisdom and reminders of God’s forgiveness and power. Who better than a molested child, a rape victim, and a person who has gone through a divorce because of sexual sin, to stand beside her husband in these hours, days and years of his greatest need. Perhaps by knowing the pain of a victim I can help him understand the consequences of such sexual sins. Being a member of a family of victims also gives me intimate knowledge of sexual sin and the power it has over you and the sense of hopelessness the sinner feels. Yes I feel the excruciating pain his sins impart more acutely than those who have not suffered these atrocities, but this same pain empowers me with knowledge and empathy.

Second and by far not the least, is the benefits I might receive from this trial. That through this trial, I am now devoid of my own strength and ability to forgive. What choice do I have but to draw on Christ’s power and forgiveness! Perhaps only by this trial, I will realize in whom my faith, self-esteem and power lies. Do I hold my relationship with my husband in a higher position than that of God’s relationship? Does being married to a “sexually normal” husband mean more than being in a relationship with God? How much pain and energy have I consumed over these sexual sins? Much more than was healthy, I have despaired to the point of wanting to end my life. What opportunities have I lost: times to grow spiritually, times to minister to my husband, and times when Christ could have shown through me. Where is my faith in answered prayers or in God’s wisdom if he chooses to not answer those prayers? For 24 years I have prayed for God to heal my husband of his sexual sins. Perhaps never in my or his lifetime will this trial be over, does that mean there was no purposes or that God has abandoned me? I may be overcome with pain and hopelessness at times, but my God loves me, in this I am sure. Would I know God so deeply, be able to hear His voice so clearly and seek Him so fervently if I had not gone through this trial! What treasures of leaning on Him and learning of Him do I have yet to find if this trial continues? Oh, that I might find some hope and joy in this, when I am overwhelmed.

So I continue to pray:

That God will heal my husband, give him the strength to avoid temptations,
draw him closer and give him peace in forgiveness.
That God will restore our marriage: that it can be based on love,
self-sacrifice, and honesty.
That my husband might find his sexual satisfaction in me,
that I may find strength and peace even in the midst of this sin.
That I might grow in the knowledge of God and understand His ways.
And that I might reflect Godliness while in the trials that my husband and I go through.

After attending Every Man’s Battle, we strongly encourage you to attend our marriage program at our New Life Weekend
This weekend will help your marriage to heal from the wounds of
impurity and will especially help your wife with questions that she
still may have.


The Blessing of Brokenness

One of the consequences of the fall is that shame makes us hide. It is the natural outcome of eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When we sexually act out, instead of turning to the Father and asking for help we run 180 degrees in the opposite direction. Moving out of the light to conceal our secret into the darkness to hide our shame and sin. We put on our fig leaves and hide our nakedness.

We prefer the wilderness instead of remaining in the garden in His Presence. We know we have sinned and have done wrong and our first impulse is to hide. That is what shame makes us feel. We judge and condemn ourselves.

Then there is the self-talk: you did it again, how could you? Was it worth it, the bad feeling in the pit of our stomach? How dare you ask for forgiveness again? We can get depressed. We beat ourselves up. Often many of us will essentially voluntarily isolate ourselves feeling unworthy and deserving of banishment. Our sex drive seems impossible to overcome. As rebellious reprobates, we deserve judgment and punishment for our failings and shortcomings. So we feel we have no other choice but to do what Adam and Eve did, we’re naked so we hide and cover ourselves. We stay exiled, self-imposed. Because of our shame we feel we have no other place to turn.

Psalm 52:17 says: ‘the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.’ NIV

On the other hand what if we are posing that we are all just fine? Yet I do not think that that front will allow us to benefit in our desire to stay sober.

There is a story that I think explains brokenness very well. There was a young priest who was about to lift the communion cup up and bless the cup. The cup was made of choice crystal and very perfect. Just when he lifted up the cup it slipped out of his hand and broke in a million pieces all over the floor. He looked up at the senior priest thinking that he would be ridiculed and instead the senior priest said, ‘I never knew there were so many beautiful pieces to reflect the light until the cup was broken. How marvelous and beautiful are all the pieces when the light shines on them!’ It is the light that shines though our brokenness that is so beautiful. For that light is the Lord. What we fear is to be broken or be seen as broken but as the story illustrates it is in our brokenness and non-posing state that the true light of Christ can shine in and make our brokenness beautiful. The addict has to see her/his brokenness if they are to over- come one of the major obstacles in recovery.

George MacDonald says: “Gather my broken fragments to a whole. Let mine be a merry, all-receiving heart,
but make it a whole, with light in every part.”

John Eldredge in Wild at Heart comments, “But you can’t do this at a distance; you can’t ask Christ to come into your wound while you remain far from it. You have to go there with him.”  We are in pain and are broken. Its ok to be broken, it is in our brokenness that we can bring it to the Lord and have His touch and light heal and bring hope to our broken heart.

I have resisted for years to allow myself to experience the pain of brokenness but this last year I experienced many things that suggested I was not in control of my life and that the world I lived in was broken including me. As long as I tried to hold on and make it work I would get depressed, tired, a bit moody and self absorbed–I did not want people to see me in pain.

Finally in May of 2002 my cup was smashed on the ground, I never thought that with so many pieces all over the place that order or hope would come. But yet to my surprise God used this brokenness to show me how much He really loved me (and he’ll do the same for you.) After a very painful divorce and relocation God used His church to show me love when I had nothing to give. It came down to me and my God. I have had friends support me and give me space to heal and grow. Then I received encouragement from pastors/ministers, allowing my life to be touched by others. Then my own practice began to pick up, and finally after time, God even allowed me to meet the most beautiful woman I have ever met. It has been a joy to be in relationship with Amy and not be afraid of the past, able to give love to her from a place of strength and not need. I have love that I can share with her and others because my brokenness allowed for God to fill me with Him. She and others have seen me for who I am. My brokenness has allowed me to be made whole–to begin healing, not by me, but the Lord. The very thing that I thought would destroy and break me God has used to bless me. This is truly the best time I have been experiencing in my life. Even though there was a period of six months of deep pain, God has taken me and allowed me to experience brokenness, to lose everything that I thought would give me peace. And He replaced that with Him. Now He is even giving me the desires of my heart. He will for you too.

May we not see our brokenness as a road block to healing and wholeness but as a door to enter, to begin that wonderful journey where we experience the love that God has for all of us. May we allow him to heal our hearts. Heal and reflect His love.

For more help, see Every Man’s Battle or call 1800-NEW-LIFE (639-5433) for more information