In my last post I shared some pretty heavy stuff about my past and how image was a huge contributing factor to deceiving myself and others. I found the need to look perfect on the outside in order to hide the mess that pornography had created on the inside.
Pornography is built on lies:
I had believed its lie to make me feel better
That it would provide for me in times of need/want
I could stop looking at any time
That it is a normal thing that guys do
The biggest of all would be that when I got married I would not need it any longer……..
Lies, Lies and more Lies
And keeping it hidden only made it worse and more powerful. It grew and progressed. It was exactly like a drug…..actually it works in the brain the same way creating pathways and releasing pleasure producing chemicals. And just like a drug, the need for a greater high and more often is present.
I share this not to produce shock value and or draw attention to myself. Believe me sharing these things does not create a sense of pride or importance. Actually it is the opposite. I am disgusted by the things I did, the lies I believed and the people that were in my path of destructive behaviors. Then why do I share?
I share because God’s prescription for freedom from Darkness is HIS LIGHT!
I share because it gives glory to Him for freeing me from the bondage of slavery to this awful sin.
Ephesians 5:13 “But everything exposed by the light becomes visible-and everything that is illuminated becomes a light”
Without shining the light on my darkest parts, then it can remain hidden. I spent years hiding, posturing and playing Christian.
I shared before that God pursued me….what does that mean? He wanted all of me..I had given only part of me. I was doing some good things.
I was serving and helping at church.
I had gone on several mission trips
I was a good husband
I was a good father of my kids
I was a good boss
That’s the problem. God doesn’t call us to be Good….He calls us to be HIS.
He doesn’t want performance and deeds…..He wants us to surrender our Hearts
Surrender, Repent, Confess
I had to admit to myself that what I was doing was wrong and out of control. I had to stop and Repent. That is making the decision to turn away from sin and start doing the exact opposite of what I had been doing.
Then I had to confess……Up to this step it was all internal between God and me.
Now I had to share SOME of this junk with Andrea. NO, I had to share ALL of it! Andrea knew of my struggles. In God’s pursuit of my heart over the years of our marriage there were several opportunities to come clean. The problem was, I only opened up a little because I believed that if she really knew it all then our marriage would be over. If I only would have trusted sooner and revealed the truth I could have avoided so many years of pain.
It wasn’t until four years ago when I was at the crossroads of my life. We were separated and my relationship with God was at the decision point. Do I really trust you with all of me? Am I willing to follow what you fully ask of me?
Our counselor had me do something that I will never forget. She said take time to make an inventory of the sexual sins you can remember. Ask God for clarity and completeness to write this list down. Then once the list is done highlight the ones that happened after you were married. It took several days to make sure it was complete….I wrote and wrote….when I was done I read over it and felt utterly disgusted and ashamed. This is the picture I have in my mind of what judgement day will be like when all of our sins will be revealed before our Creator. To see a complete list of years of sins compiled all together…I said to myself its over. When she hears this any glimmer of hope for us to work this out is gone. So I chose to be obedient and share even though it may be the end of the marriage.
The next step was to share them with Andrea in order to ask for forgiveness.
WHAT? EVERYTHING? COMPLETE CONFESSION?
True intimacy and oneness is being fully known. If you are not fully known then you can’t be fully and unconditionally loved.
That Tuesday afternoon is etched in my memory. I shared one by one all of the disgusting, hurtful and shameful things that I had amassed in my past. She listened with tears and questions. Imagine someone reading a list of things that were done in secret over years that were slowly destroying the relationship you thought you once had!
There were so many tears that day. It was an afternoon that seemed to last an eternity. After sharing this with her I took the list and built a fire and burnt it. As I watched the paper ignite and disappear in the flames, there was a sense of freedom that overcame me. It was gone, just like Jesus had forgiven them when I asked, the list was no more. Freedom had begun that day. I was fully known by God and Andrea. Was everything better in an instant? Did we know from that moment on that our marriage would make it? NO GUARANTEES
It was the start of obedience. Each day He calls me to be obedient. I have a choice to respond. The challenge is to stay fully known….not to create more secrets. The enemy tries, but as long as I am obedient to Christ the enemy will stay at the gates.
Is confession easy? NO
Is staying fully known easy? NO
Is it possible? YES
God didn’t call us to easy…He called us to possible!
Are you still hiding something from your spouse? Are you scared of being vulnerable and fully known? True Intimacy with God and your spouse is only found when you are fully known.
Do you need to have that talk? Make sure it is done in a loving way and prepared. Not just an unloading of junk. Maybe it will take a counselor to navigate this process. Maybe your marriage has some good communication and can handle this talk without counselors. I don’t know but I do know that God wants ALL of your heart!