As I sit to write this first entry to our new website blog…..I am blocked by trying to make it “catchy” and insightful. It needs to be something that would draw you in and give you all the principles to a better marriage and relationship with Jesus in a few paragraphs. Then I realized the part of me that desires acceptance and accolades, the need to feel important, and the wanting for the “pat on the back” still exists within my heart. For years I was motivated to do, say and act a certain way in order to fit it, feel accepted, and feel needed.
It was those very deep ingrained desires that slowly eroded my heart, soul, and life around me for so many years. If I am brutally honest with myself I could say that without God’s Grace and Redemption I would be right back in those places in a matter of time. On my own, my heart drifts towards those things. I am identified by those things I do….With Jesus though I don’t need to.
Four years ago my world came crashing down around me. Not because I wanted it to, but because I chose for it to fall apart. You see, I made choices over 28 years that led to the near destruction of my marriage, family, career, and relationships. It wasn’t because of some outside circumstances done to me, poor parenting, or the “devil made me do it” attitude. When it came down to it……I made choices that affected the direction my life and heart would take. I own my decisions.
Each of us has a story.
Each of us has a past.
Each of us has a collection of choices that explain us.
The problem came when I allowed my choices to define me.
I allowed them to set a course of
All of those are key ingredients to let sin grow.
In those places the enemy of our soul flourishes. He can twist our reality and keep us captive to our sins and desires. In darkness I opened the door to my heart. When that door opens the path that is beyond is a wide open road to endless sins. Notice I didn’t say the enemy opened that door for me….I opened it. I chose to keep that first look at pornography to myself when I was young. I kept those images of women locked in my brain. I didn’t know by doing that I would start a path of objectifying woman, distorted view of relationships, a false sense that intimacy was for pleasing myself, and that the cure for a pornography addiction was marriage.
Just writing this makes my heart heavy. It brings back a flood of emotions of a time when it seemed there was no hope. I was a mess….on the inside…
Many of you may read this and be in shock because you never saw this part. You didn’t know that I struggled with these things. You never knew that Andrea and I were separated for a time.
I was very good at hiding.
I was so afraid of being found out that I covered my tracks really well
I was a great achiever and performer.
I was a people pleaser. That gave me the feeling of acceptance and worth. If we are honest with ourselves we all like to hear good things said about us. The problem was I took it on as a job. My decisions were driven out of making everyone else happy. I was the yes man….
I thrived on being in the spotlight of people’s hearts. I didn’t realize or understand what I was doing or the lasting effects. I was supporting an inner need of my soul that I didn’t fully understand. It was unknowingly eroding my heart away along with my life around me.
Sin is incremental. We don’t just wake up one day and decide to ruin our marriage. Satan has studied us for thousands of years. He knows how to tempt us slowly and allow us to make small seemingly insignificant choices that take us deeper into the destruction of our own lives. I made those choices and one day found myself in a huge pit. My choices eventually led me to break my marriage vows.
I was in the pit, but I wasn’t alone. God was there with me. He spent all those years patiently pursuing me. Satan is patient and persistent, but God is more! God was relentless in His pursuit of me. I am not unique though. He is waiting on you as well. He longs for your heart to be aligned with His.
Andrea and I have spent the last four years going through the roughest part of our marriage. There have been times of utter agony and despair. It has also been the most freeing and sweetest parts of our marriage so far! God has shown us his faithfulness, grace, restoration and redemption. He has planted in our hearts principles of His way to FREEDOM. He showed us that it does not have to be over. He walked us through brokenness, complete surrender, forgiveness, spiritual warfare, true biblical intimacy and restoration. God showed me how to walk in freedom from pornography’s grip. As we learned and put into practice these principles God was gracious and patient. He surrounded us with people who loved and reinforced His hope and healing in our lives and marriage.
After seeing these people pour into us, we feel His call to pour that hope into others. He has planted a seed in our hearts to speak truth into an area of sin that is rampantly destroying marriages everywhere. Proclaiming Freedom Ministries is launching this year. He is calling us to stand with Him to share His HOPE to marriages that have been devastated by sexual sin. Our marriage was for years. But when the world said it should be over…..
God said “not yet…do you trust me…can you trust me….will you trust me?”
We did and are still trusting Him daily.
Where are you today? Maybe you are in a place of secrecy….maybe in a place of brokenness…thinking of giving up…..captive to sin….
Will you step out and trust Him? He longs to set you free so a new relationship with Him can be built.