Recently, I had one of those moments. One of those moments where I wasn’t guarding my heart and thoughts, where I allowed my mind to dwell on the pain of the past; I allowed my fears to run rampant and I began to scrutinize every little detail of my husband’s behavior. One of those moments where, even though I have no evidence what-so-ever, I attempted to nitpick his actions until I could find something that he was doing that wasn’t “diligent” to his “pursuit of purity.” It was pretty easy, once I allowed the enemy to put doubt and painful memories at the forefront of my mind. And I went on the attack. I questioned him left and right, I had a terrible attitude and spoke harshly to him. I acted as if his words had no credibility, even after over two years of complete sexual sobriety. I rolled my eyes at all his responses and I sighed with disappointment. It was truly disgusting behavior and I am ashamed.
My husband has not fallen. He has not done anything impure. In fact, his eyes and mind have been victorious over sexual temptations for 2 years. But that night I was not going to let him forget his past; I wanted him to remember how much he hurt me and I wanted him to know that he is not invincible. My heart was not full of love at the moment, but rather selfishness and hostility. Like I said, it was pretty easy to get to that point. It doesn’t take much for my emotions to be overrun with fear and bitterness. In fact, it’s one of the most dangerous temptations of my life that I have to guard my heart against. And unfortunately, there are still days where I fail miserably. Even after seeing the amazing transformation that God has made in my husband and our marriage.
I can narrow it down to 3 key elements that led me down that path that night: lack of prayer, lack of pardon, and lack of pursuit.
1) Lack of PRAYER: Prayer is essential to the healing process. In the beginning, it was the only thing that got me through the day. Praying for mercy on my husband for deliverance, praying for comfort from the pain, praying for God’s strength and courage to stay in this marriage, praying for my kids that they would not remember the long days of mommy and daddy fighting and crying. Prayer was a cornerstone in our healing. And unfortunately, prayer is something that can wane in my life due to lack of discipline. Sure I have plenty of excuses. I have 4 children under the age of 6, including infant twins. Who has time to sit around and pray and read their bible, right? But the fact of the matter is I can’t afford not to spend time in prayer and in the Word. When I take the time to talk to God and meditate on His Word, I don’t typically lose control of my emotions or become overwhelmed with painful memories and fears. But if I am in a lull, having a lack of prayer, these moments come far too easy.
2) Lack of PARDON: (Pardon is just a fancy word for forgive but I needed another word that was alliterated!) The point is this healing process is forgiveness in action. Walking in forgiveness daily. My life verse since the very beginning of all this has been Isaiah 43:18-19, “Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” In order to walk in forgiveness, I have to keep my thoughts on the roads and rivers God has graciously made, not the wilderness and desert of my husband’s sin. If I lack pardon and I focus on the pain of the former things, fearing the things of old, I will continue to lash out emotionally and accuse my husband (even with a complete lack of evidence or motive). But if I can steady my heart and focus on this new thing that God has created; this man who has given me his whole heart and holds nothing back from me or his children. This man who lives his life daily to serve me and to please God. This marriage that has been restored and redeemed by the Lord and how good it really has been. If I can focus on these things, I can walk in forgiveness for my husband and freedom from the pain of our past because I KNOW that God is sovereign. He’s been with us every step of the way and that’s never going to change.
3) Lack of PURSUIT: Let’s face it, life gets in the way of intimacy! I’m up several times a night nursing the twins, and then my 3yr old is up every day by 7am ready to watch Spiderman. My daughter sleeps in a little later but we’re all up, fed, dressed, and start homeschool by 9am (that’s AFTER I feed the babies again and put them down for a morning nap). Homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, church ministry, meetings, changing diapers, nursing, playing FBI agents and super heroes, coloring My Little Pony and baking cakes, disciplining, grocery shopping, snuggle time, etc. etc. And by the time everyone is in bed at the end of the day, it is 9pm and all I want to do is sit on the couch and do NOTHING. But my day isn’t done; I still have to plan for school tomorrow, fold more laundry, do dishes, write if I have time, and by 11pm, intimacy with my husband is usually the last thing on my mind. Life gets in the way. But here’s the kicker, I have to make an effort to pursue him even so. Sure I’m busy, so is he. But if we both don’t take the initiative to spend time together, we’ll never spend time together!! And that doesn’t bode well for a couple in the healing process of addiction recovery. If we are not connected- physically, emotionally, or spiritually- then my first reaction is to question his purity. In order for us to stay connected, we both need to pursue the other. It’s not a one-way street. And no matter what life is throwing at me, my relationship with my hubby is more important. So I have to try harder to pursue him daily. Whether it’s sending him love texts, surprising him with special gifts or treats, dressing up and going out, or dressing down and staying in… I can show him that I am still interested and available.
My husband was gracious to me (God really has changed his heart towards me through all this) and was very empathetic to my crazy tirade. Even though I was in the wrong, he still understood that deep down those painful memories still exist and it’s possible something can trigger them. He handled it very well and we worked through it. I thank God for the grace that He continually pours over me, and I thank God for my husband; a man that loves me enough to continue to patiently and humbly help me tread through the messy life of addiction recovery and healing.
Walking in Freedom,
Tags: confession addiction recovery healing prayer pursuit pardon
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