Thursday, April 25, 2013

Throw Back Thursday: Clear Eyes: The destruction of Pornography



Sooo this is a big one today... fairly heavy and fairly raw. I pray that it lands on gentle ears and brings healing to those who may need to know that they are not alone!!!



I am unsure where to start really… maybe with my undying admiration I have for my husband and his willingness to be open about his struggles….

My incredible husband of 10 years!!!! It’s because of the way I see him live out life with a passion to feel the pain in order to gain the lesson that I share… It’s the fact that no matter what we go through… I always know that the way that he looks into my eyes tells me a world of answers to questions that only God can direct me with grace to ask…. Maybe it’s because the more time I live out life with others the more I know how much this topic needs to be addressed. 

For the women… for the wives… for the girlfriends who all desire to support the men in our lives, this blog is for you!

Only by the grace of God do I share this… and not because I believe that we are free from struggle but because I have seen so much victory within our marriage in the last 10 years!!!

 I will never forget the day that he told me everything… before we were married… before we were dating… he opened up… We prayed we cried and I told him I would support him no matter what!!!  And I believe that I have… even to a fault. That’s the day that I was introduced to a topic that I didn’t know anything about… Pornography.

Our marriage has been solid. We often say that only by that grace of God have we been able to stay unified through some of the struggles that we have gone through in our few years of marriage. Sometimes we look back in awe at how many moments God gave wisdom that was beyond our years… and then protection that was undeserved considering the decisions that we had made.

There may be some of you that read this and are in shock!!! “How could you possibly be a follower of Christ and struggle with pornography.”  This is where our humility comes in and a reliance in the fact that we believe that only through being able to create open avenues of communication can we grow and learn from others mistakes.  So we put our hearts and our story on the line, we desire to help and open a door to healing in those who have struggled with the same things.

On the other side there may be a few of you who are rolling your eyes and confused at the topic even being addressed. "It’s just porn!! Calm down!!! What’s the big deal? It’s just a guy thing!! "

Early on, at one point I fell into the side of “maybe it’s not that big of a deal” and decided  to stop confronting. For all the struggles that people go through this certainly was not something that I needed to make a big deal out of… I had a husband that love me unconditionally and worked his butt off to support our family… he was an incredible father to our two children (at the time)… and I knew that even through this one struggle… he loved God with all of his heart and desired to live his life serving God in every possible way he knew how. It was a short time… I think only about 3mths or so… but during that time… everything seemed to darken around me. Including his eyes and the way he looked at me. The more I chose to give freedom instead of talking, the more I felt chained to pain and hurt. God was pulling at my heart non-stop! It was a big deal!!!!!! And everything inside me screamed… until I couldn’t handle it anymore. By this quick point everything had spiraled in my mind to believe that the disconnect I was feeling meant the worst must be the case and there for… I asked him… I asked if there was anyone else… that’s the first time my words have ever broken his heart. Not because I had accused him… but because of the reality of how far he had gone and how much he had hurt my heart… There was no one else, but his mind and thoughts were not mine, his eyes were not mine. He confessed of how he was going to the strip clubs and he was really struggling.  In my naivety I hadn’t realized there was anything more than “those” magazines and “those” websites. That’s when his count started… I’d have to ask him for the exact # of days…. pretty sure he stopped counting after the 2,500 day mark since he has gone to a strip club. That was a HUGE step to seeing the clarity in my husband’s eyes and a step towards victory!!!

I would like to say that it got sooo much better from there… but we continued to struggle within our 3 year old marriage.  It was a journey. Something we learned was how to fall forward.  Our broken hearted prayer became one of “Lord, I know I will fail but within those failures teach me how to fall forward. Teach me how to grow and learn and NOT go through the same lesson over and over again. May I be open enough to allow You to mold my life into something beautiful.”

I love him more today than the first day that I laid eyes on him. BECAUSE, we have allowed God to teach us through this struggle. Because we didn’t sweep things under the carpet. Because we chose to address every little issue, every feeling I had. Because I chose, as much as it hurt to not allow for it to be an attack on my worth.  All of that… has created our continuing story of God’s faithfulness again in our lives. And because of that I now have the confidence to say our marriage is stronger because of it!!

We now have a new count… it’s pretty amazing… this is the victory part right here…. I know that one day soon we will be able to look back and say… it’s been… soooo many thousands of days since pornography created a wall between him and I and with God. The victory is the deep line carved out in rock!!! We, not just my husband… it’s him and I, unified, doing life together and being led by God to obtain all that He has called in our lives!!!

So…..
Why is denying pornography to be a part of your relationship a big deal?? For me it’s because I have seen… I have seen the clarity and loving passion in my husband’s eyes. I have seen him without the capturing of his soul and mind to something that pulls his spirit from my spirit. Nothing can steer me away from how important it is to fight for my husband’s beautiful eye’s and heart now!!!!  Nothing will steal our future from us!!!

*****************************

What I have learned!!!!

For those who are not married:
Whether you are in a relationship or not… you will always see signs of a sexual struggle. A couple of the obvious ones are crude comments or jokes. Something that I remember one of our pastors saying was what you are willing to laugh about you will accept as being normal. Movie choices also show an acceptance of sexual sin.  We had to go through our movie collection at one point and get rid of a bunch of movies with crude humor. God was teaching us that you can never have too sensitive of a spirit.
Every person struggles with something, BUT!!! What you want to look for in a friend and eventual husband is a willingness to be open and honest. Someone who will address issues quickly, and isn’t defensive when confronted. Above all else you want a man who you can see God’s presence and hand in their lives at all times through all circumstances!!!  Those qualities will last the test of time!!!

For those who are newly married or engaged:
Ask the right questions now!!! Open the communication NOW!!!! There is nothing like a kick in the gutt to know that for so many years your husband has been struggling with pornography alone!!! There is not a one sided struggle in a marriage… you’re in it together!!!  Mark 4:22 “We’re not keeping secrets were telling them; were not hiding things, were bringing them out into the open.” Marriage is about being unified and connected and working through things for the good and the bad!!! We need to allow ALL topics to be in the light!!! No matter what!!! Choose to be courageous!! It is a big deal!!!!!!!  It will save a lot of heartache in the long run!!!! Then pray!!!! Pray for wisdom and protection, and sensitivity to know when things are not quite right.

For those who are in the trenches:
You are not alone!
This is not about you!!! No matter whether you are at your pre-baby, pre-wedding weight…. or how often you have sex. IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU!!! This was a struggle before you!!!
Men’s attack comes in the area where they are meant to cherish their wives…
Women will be attacked emotionally … and it typically comes out when we start using manipulation and guilt as part of the process of confrontation.

We will always receive better response from our husbands when we confront with a loving confidence that addresses the core first before the emotional effect it has had on us.
Pull out the best in our husbands not the worse. God created men to have that passionate drive and desire… What is your husband passionate about… what has God called him in. To start God has called our husbands to be the head of our homes. To passionately protect and care and love our families!!! Pornography will cause that drive to be side tracked. Pornography will always leave a hole.

As much as it may hurt, have sex! Never allow this struggle to get in between your sexual relationship!! 
We need to be awake to what is going around us. Do not be tranquilized with the business of our lives!!!
Pray for the Holy Spirit to teach us how to see… how to see the “disconnect” in our husbands eyes.
Then stay connected… call, email, encourage… “How is your mind today?” “You seem a little distant…” “I love you babe…. And hey… can I do anything for you?” “I have an uneasiness in my spirit… is everything okay…” “Babe, you are amazing… thank you for leading our home with integrity and passion.”


I asked Adam to put a prayer together to finish this post. May this prayer become the battle cry for those who are struggling, and may it be a beautiful stake in the ground for those who desire continued blessing in their lives. 

Father,
Keep me safe in you as I pursue you first.
Give me the grace to walk life out with my own desires being less and less important in all areas of life. Give me new opportunities to put others first, to humble myself and prefer another.
Give me eyes to see your blessings all around; your joy, peace and love in choosing life over death. Blessing over curse.
Strengthen my resolve to love what you love, and a hate what you hate. To passionately desire a pure love; an unconditional agape love.
Holy Spirit rest on me today, as you build my spirit man to need more and more of you, and less of me.
I commit to start my day with you; committing my mind, soul and spirit to you.
Thank you for my wife, she is a heavenly blessing that I will cherish today. You truly are a good God.

11 comments:

  1. Thanks for your genuine honesty. I'm sure that was very difficult, however your honesty may be just what someone else needs for their journey. Below I have posted a video link that talks about the neurological changes in the brain that occur when viewing pornography. My prof posted it for us in class and it might shed light on why pornography is so addictive. Much more can be said about this topic but it gives a basic biological perspective.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ya67aLaaCc&list=UUC552Sd-3nyi_tk2BudLUzA&feature=player_embedded

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sooooo good thank you for sharing!!!!

      Delete
  2. Amazing - I was just talking with one of the college students about these very things yesterday morning. Thanks for sharing so tastefully and with such encouragement and purpose. Nic you never cease to amazing me with you ability to share and handle even the most delicate of topics. Steph

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for sharing! Your wisdom is great...this is a battle for every man and like you said the earlier it's dealt with the least amount of pain will be suffered because there is a very specific decline if not stopped in it's tracks. The enemy has a very specific purpose in his target, destroying families. Great tips on "falling forward" and not allowing the emotional aspect of us women to get in the way of dealing with the real issue. SO hard when for us it is very much an attack on our worth and feelings. Bringing things to light is attacking the enemy where it hurts! Thank you again for putting yourselves out there for the purpose of building His kingdom

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow! The beauty by which you explain your struggles, the pain, and the glory of God through everything is amazing and inspiring. Thank you BOTH for the willingness to share your story so openly!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Awesome blog. Way to be real guys!!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Fantastic Nicole & Adam...Powerfully vulnerable...

    ReplyDelete
  7. I know there are ladies that need to read this - shared it. The mark of a good writer is one that can be vulnerable - that is when your words begin to resonate in others. Keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
  8. As always, I am incredibly proud of you both! Exceptionally well written with genuine love & humility. I pray that others will be inspired to follow your example and reap the rewards of that choice. ♥♥♥♥♥

    ReplyDelete
  9. Emily Walters-ChamberlainApril 25, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    I always appreciate honesty, and someone who is willing to address those 'taboo' subjects. Well written! Blessings to you and Adam, Nicole

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you for sharing your heart Nicole and Adam, God Bless

    ReplyDelete