Addiction brings brokenness.
It’s not just collateral damage. Brokenness consumes the addict and those around him. Whether it’s pornography, sex, drugs, or alcohol—addiction leaves broken people living broken lives. Something that doesn't just go away overnight. Forgiveness comes and healing begins, but mending the broken pieces takes time and effort.
When my husband confessed his addiction to pornography, he was broken. Broken over his sin. The shame and the guilt of his sin broke his heart. He couldn't bear to look at me. It was overwhelming. I reciprocated his brokenness. His words shattered my heart. I was dying inside. Hearing the confessions of betrayal from the man I loved was piercing my soul and I felt fragmented. No longer whole. As if a part of me was no longer alive. Everything I knew to be true changed in an instant. Our marriage, his covenant with me, my trust, our marriage bed, our intimacy… all broken. Pornography had already been chipping away at all these things for many years, but that night the walls came crashing down around me and we were both completely exposed. Him in his repentance and I in my repulsion. Both wondering how we were ever going to put our life back together again.
Jesus took the broken pieces-- cleansed them, purified them -- and built something new. He took all that shattered rubble of our old life and created something beautiful.
This wasn't a quick fix. The Potter used skill and took His time. I wish I could say that this experience was pain free. That there weren't any bumps along the way. If I said we didn't struggle through the healing process (and even still struggle every now and then) I would be lying. Brokenness brings all sorts of emotions along with it—anger, hatred, bitterness, sorrow, loneliness, confusion, pride – and often we react to each other through our brokenness. Even in the healing process. There were times when, though I had forgiven him for his betrayal, I was still broken and I acted as such. My heart had not healed. My trust had not been rebuilt. My communication was still shaky. And you know what? That’s totally NORMAL! Don’t let anyone tell you that brokenness doesn't play a huge role in the healing process. Whether for the husband or the wife. Brokenness is a major component of the healing process and we should not try to brush it under the rug or to “get over it” quickly for the sake of appearances. Brokenness plays out differently for each spouse.
For the addict, the broken promises, relationships, trusts, marriages, etc. will be difficult to overcome. Don’t think for a second that just because you confessed and are in recovery that everything will be love and hugs! You broke the people you love. You broke your most important promises. You broke their hearts, their trust; you turned their lives upside down. Don’t expect things to be normal right away just because you said you’re sorry. It takes time to heal. Be patient and be humble. Say how sorry you are a thousand times if they need to hear it. Let them cry and let them be mad. Answer their questions in humility, no offense. They’re hurting and they need to figure out how to manage the murky waters of brokenness. Trust God to heal their hearts as He heals you from your addiction. He has the power to do both.
For the broken spouse, you will react in ways that may confuse you. You’ll get steaming mad when he buys you flowers and you’ll lovingly caress his hair as he cries on your chest in confession. You’ll fly off the handle one minute and want to jump in bed with him the next! Like I said, brokenness brings an ocean of emotions and you have to learn how to manage those murky waters. Trust in the Lord, prayer all the time, talk to your spouse about how you are feeling, ask questions when necessary, find support in a godly friend, read the Word as often as you can, memorize Scriptures to help you focus on God’s Truth – Isaiah 43:18-19, Philippians 4:8-9, Galatians 6:7-10, 1 Peter 1:6-7, Psalm 55:22, Psalm 55:16-18, Psalm 40:1-3, Psalm 23:3, Psalm 34:22, Psalm 18:2-3—and don’t feel bad when you cry or when you laugh. It’s ok to feel the pain of the betrayal and it’s also ok to enjoy the healing as it comes. Don’t be afraid to allow yourself time to grieve and time to heal.
Brokenness is a blessing. It’s a blessing to the addict, as it is the only way to true repentance and recovery. An addict cannot hope to become sober and stay that way without a broken and contrite spirit. David, when confessing his adultery with Bathsheba and subsequent murder of her husband, said to the Lord, “You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise” (Psalm 51:16-17). David was a man after God’s heart and he knew that the only way to a restored relationship with the Father was through brokenness. It is also a blessing to the betrayed. While it does brings agony and sorrow for a season, it brings with it hope. Hope of a new life. Hope of a restored marriage. Hope of kept promises. Hope of intimacy. Hope of rebuilding trust and communication. Hope of joy and freedom.
Brokenness brings hope.
There is always hope.
Walking in Freedom,
Tags: addiction brokennes healing ""pornography addiction"" "psalm 51:16-18""
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