I see a man who has broken my heart and hurt me deeply.
God sees the brokenness of a son in need of a Savior, a Redeemer, a Deliverer.
I see a man full of lust.
God sees a son living without the gift and satisfaction of true intimacy.
I see a man who is selfish and prideful.
God sees a son who is fearful and insecure.
I see a man who betrayed and deceived me.
God sees a son who was deceived himself.
I see a man who will never change.
God sees a son full of destiny and influence; whose impact can change the lives of many.
I see a man lacking self control.
God sees a son controlled by desires he is too shameful to speak of.
I see a man who does not seem to hear the cries of my wounded heart.
God sees a son who hears the voice of the enemy tormenting him day and night.
I see a man who speaks lies in order to cover up what he does in darkness.
God sees a son in need of TRUTH to uncover the lies and bring light to the darkness that surrounds him.
I see a man who is addicted to porn.
God sees a son who is bound and held captive by the enemy.
I see a man whose heart seems cold and calloused.
God sees a son whose heart is full of emptiness and frustration.
I see a man who is angry and withdrawn.
God sees a son whose heart needs peace.
I see a man who is hard to love.
God sees a son whom He loves unconditionally.
Even though you may see your husband moving forward on his journey towards deliverance, sometimes it is difficult to see him as God sees him. I can relate all too well. We tend to see through eyes of the past. We see through distorted lenses. We see through the pain, the tears, the memories.
On our own journey to healing and wholeness, God reveals to us over and over again how very precious we are to Him. We realize our worth and value is not defined by our past, by other's opinions, or by our husband's addiction to porn. As God speaks to our wounded hearts, we revel in the fact that we are His beloved daughters. We ponder over the scriptures that tell us what God says about us in order to bring truth to the lies we have believed. These revelations are all so very needful and necessary in order to fulfill the destiny God has for us. However, we must not stop there.
Not only are we to see ourselves as God sees us but we are called to see our husbands as God sees them.
Just as our issues and our past does not define us, our husband's battle with an addiction to pornography should not be what we allow to define them.
Herein lies the challenge. I must see my husband for who he is and more importantly, WHOSE he is. My husband is God's precious son. The son whom He loves. The son whom Jesus died for. The son whom He has called by name. The son in whom He created with special unique talents and abilities. The son whose future He has orchestrated with divine purpose and divine destiny. The son in whom He desires to work all things together for good (including his porn addiction). The son in whom He equips to overcome every hindrance, every stronghold, and every temptation in order to be who God created him to be. The son in whom He has called to be my husband.
I must see through the eyes of Jesus in order to capture the beauty of His redemptive power. The truth is, my husband needs me to see him forwho he is in Christ, not as he was as an addict.
My husband needs to know the joy and peace of having a marriage without porn, as I do. Unfortunately, I hinder this from happening by seeing him as he was.
The fact is, how we see our husbands influences how we treat them; how we see our husbands influences how they see themselves.
As wives, we have the power to impact our husbands way beyond the here and now. Just think about Eve. Eve's influence upon Adam changed the destiny for all of us. We have a choice whether to influence them for good or for evil. We are called to be suitable helpers in the lives of our husbands and to treat them with respect and honor. Continuing to see them as addicts and treating them as such will not be helpful to them at all and will not cultivate the respect we are commanded to give. We may not feel like they are worthy of our respect, but God's commands are not based or ruled by our emotions. I have battled that one many times over and always end up with the same convictions. God commands it, so I must do it.
These things will not come easily. Seeing others, especially those who have hurt us, as Christ sees them won't happen by accident. It will be an intentional choice that will have to be made every day.
Often, we want to hold on to old mind sets, fearing that we are only setting ourselves up for huge disappointment and more pain if we allow ourselves to think that good things could possibly be happening in our midst. This kind of thinking only keeps us in a bondage of our own.
No matter what our future holds, can I tell you that obeying God will not bring you disappointment but only a deeper, more intimate relationship with Him? Dear sisters, isn't that what we long for? We are called to obey and leave the outcome to God. That's the life of peace we are called to.
As our husbands are making choices to become healthy and to be free from the past, may God help us wives to not be a hindrance to what God desires to do in them and in us. Let us be thankful for what God is doing and for our husband's committment to the difficult journey of healing and deliverance. As we lean upon God's strength may he empower us to surrender our old mind sets, our expectations, our selfishness, and see our husbands with our Father's eyes.
What is God calling you to do? Do you, like me, need to let go of some old mind sets? I challenge you to be intentional about the lenses you are seeing your husband through. There is great things to see in the the man that stands before you. Refocus and see him with a new perspective. As you do, you will experience greater freedom, your husband will thrive, and your marriage will release a fragrance of God's grace and beauty like never before.
2 Cor 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?........
.......and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
The Lord God said, ".....I will make him a helper, suitable for him."
Mindy D. Adams has been married to her high school sweetheart for 27 years, and blessed with five wonderful children. It is only by God's extravagant grace that they are still together. Her marriage has survived years of captivity and darkness that comes from an addiction to pornography. Her prayer is that God will use what she has been through to help and encourage others. You can read more about Mindy and her journey here.
This post was adapted from Mindy's blog Secure In Him.
[photo: johnhope14, Creative Commons]