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.


Thoughts on Joy in Recovery

Mark Verkler

“Short is the joy that guilty pleasure brings.”
‘ Euripides (484 BC – 406 BC)

“Joy is not a substitute for sex, sex is very often a substitute for joy.”
‘ C.S. Lewis (1898 – 1963)

ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTES!
We find in Galations 5:22, that Joy is the second fruit of the spirit. It is high on the list of ‘fruit’ that clearly comes from heaven, through the Holy Spirit and to us.

Let’s look at the definition of Joy:

The passion or emotion excited by the acquisition or expectation of good; pleasurable feelings or emotions caused by success, good fortune, and the like, or by a rational prospect of possessing what we love or desire; gladness; exhilaration of spirits; delight.

Joy is a delight of the mind, from the consideration of the present or assured approaching possession of a good.” ‘ John Locke (1632 – 1704)

Look at a significant part of joy’meditation, consideration, and expectation of future good. This is at the heart of Joy. Not simply a delight that is happening now’though I may rejoice about the present’but, significantly, the prospect and expectation of future good. To overcome the temptation of today, and to enjoy today, I must focus on: the joy that will come tomorrow by saying no to that sin; the joy that will come from all the good that God has for me today and in the future.

We find in Hebrews the power and need for joy for endurance and overcoming. Of Jesus we read ‘Who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame.’ Hebrews 12:2

What are some of the good things that will ‘come tomorrow’ if I say no to sin today? Some things we find from scripture are: reward in heaven, good reputation, clear conscience, peace that comes from not having the fear of being caught.

Another vital part of Joy in Recovery is about coming to the end of my own strength and coming to the beginning of God’s strength. As long as I focus only on what I can do, arrange or manipulate, I can have no lasting joy. When I come to the end of my strength I am at the beginning of God’s.

In 1 Corinthians 12:9 the Lord told Paul that ‘My grace (God’s) is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore I (Paul) will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may overshadow me.’

I think it seems strange on the surface to consider that I would ‘glory’ in my weakness. However, as I look closer at this I realize that the ‘glory’ is not about me, but about my absolute need for the Lord’s strength and power. As I embrace and acknowledge my weakness I naturally begin to look for strength and power from another source. As the power of Christ ‘overshadows’ me, I begin to find the joy that I could not find while looking to my own strength or my own prospects for the future.

And in James 1:2 we find that James exhorts us to ‘count it joy’ when we fall into temptations. He tells us the trying of our faith works patience. This prospect of giving thanks or rejoicing with temptations seems difficult if not impossible. We must do this by faith and not according to our emotions. The joy seems to be about the good that it will bring to me as I overcome in the strength of the Lord and about the God who is sovereign over all my life and circumstances. I can count that joy.

In Nehemiah 8:10 we find the exhortation that ‘the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ I pray that the Joy of the Lord will be your strength and my strength today and from this day on.

“The joy of a spirit is the measure of its power.” ‘ Ninon de Lenclos (1620 – 1705)

No Higher Power

Dave Boyle

Easter Sunday is the day that separates Christianity from all of the other world religions. No other religious leader ever rose from the dead. Jesus alone accomplished that miracle. And that is why we worship Him–that is why we put our faith in Him alone for our salvation.

Christ’s resurrection from the dead, which we celebrate this month, is also why you and I can stay free from sexual sin. The same power that brought Jesus out from the grave is the same power that you and I can plug into, on a daily basis, to bring us to, and help us maintain, sexual sobriety.

Much like a bulb is of little value if the lamp is not plugged into an outlet, so our lives will not shine to our wives, our kids or our friends if we are not plugged into God’s power source. It takes some work on our part, but the results are well worth it.

How do we ‘plug in’ to God’s power source?

The first way is to make sure you are connected to Him by talking to Him and learning about Him on a daily basis. This generally happens through a daily quiet time of prayer and Bible reading. If you have gotten away from this habit, it will probably be only a matter of time before relapse is crouching around the corner. The first point of the action plan that you received at EMB was to spend at least 15 minutes in the Word and in prayer each day, remember?

One of the things to pray for is sobriety; God will hear your earnest prayers and will be faithful. One hint: pray specifically and pray passionately. If your struggle is masturbation, pray with all of your heart that God will keep you from lusting and acting out, today. Don’t pray about tomorrow, or next week, take it one day at a time. Recovery is hard by the yard but a cinch by the inch. If your struggle is a certain woman at work, get on your knees and pray that God will fill you so full with the Spirit that you don’t notice what she looks like or what she’s wearing, but will only see her heart and that she needs Jesus. And if your issue is internet pornography, cry out to the Lord that He will get you to a point where you are so emotionally connected to your wife, or spiritually connected to a trusted friend or accountability partner, that the thought of an air brushed image on a screen holds absolutely no sway over you. If you pray specifically and passionately about your recovery, God will honor those prayers and will begin and maintain the healing process.

The other way of being plugged into God’s power source is by being in His Word. If prayer is talking to God, then reading the Bible is listening to God. Whether you use a devotional book along with your Bible, or just read a passage and think about it, always pick out one truth that you have received and meditate on it periodically through out the day. If you’re like me, you tend to forget what you’ve read, so I always put a post it note on my computer with the truth I learned that morning, and refer to it through out the day. It’s amazing how relevant that truth becomes as situations come up during the day. Then again, it’s really not all that amazing, because the same God who raised His Son from the dead, and gave Him power, is the same God who is vitally interested in you and your sobriety, and gives you power. You matter to God, and He wants to see you be successful in your pursuit of holiness.

As you celebrate Easter this month, make Christ’s resurrection power your own. It will be the best 15 minutes a day you’ve ever spent.