I (Todd) am sure that anyone who has experienced sobriety from any type addiction experiences true freedom, maybe a freedom they never have experienced. I have heard from friends who have been able to quit smoking express a newfound freedom when they quit. It is like taking a deep breath of fresh air for the first time,…new…fresh…life giving.
I think many men experience a freedom right away when they are finally able confess their sin of pornography. Although a confession like this to a spouse can be devastating, the good news is that freedom can be experienced by both spouses. I could never have imagined the freedom that my wife and I have experienced this past year after my confession to her. My love & passion for my wife has grown and I now walk in the freedom that through Christ power, my wife has been able to forgive me. That forgiveness has given me the peace to know that my wife truly loves me even with my faults…an insecurity I held for years, and of course insecurities is something that also fed my addiction. I don’t think one truly understands the grip pornography has on oneself until he or she experiences true freedom from the addiction, it is like that breath of fresh air I mentioned earlier. Everything seems brighter in a sense because you are no longer haunted by sinful thoughts that rob you of joy and keep you in a dark and sinful state of mind.
I am free—free to enjoy life fully, live at peace, live with joy with my God, my wife and my family, and serve the Lord fully in a way I never though possible. I now have the opportunity to help others through similar struggles. Sharing my story brings light into the dark, and, though hard at first, he is so freeing. Sobriety brings power to the testimony and the freedom to share that testimony openly without condemnation.
Freedom for me (Diane), and I believe all innocent ‘victims’ of porn, is called FORGIVENESS. Freedom came to me when I chose to forgive him and remember no more. I didn’t feel he deserved my forgiveness, which I gave to him the night that he confessed it to me, but I don’t deserve Christ’s forgiveness either. Forgiveness never justifies the wrongs, but it sets free those who have been wronged. Likewise, I quickly understood that our marriage would get NOWHERE if I chose unforgiveness, and that I would be the one sinning if I chose not to forgive what had been confessed. I realized I would have him strapped to my back with pain and anger. So, it is by Christ’s power that I was to say, “I forgive you,” on that great and ugly night of Todd’s honest confession. It really is a choice. Anytime Satan wants to remind me of Todd’s betraying addiction, I remind Satan that Todd confessed it and is free and that I’ve forgiven him, so I’m free. Jesus said, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed,” (John 8:36), so Todd and I are both free through the power of Jesus Christ! Because we have both declared and walk in freedom, we are free to embrace all that God has for us. I’ve said a thousand times since Todd’s confession 15 months ago, but it’s so true, so I’m going to say it again: what Satan intends for destruction, God uses for construction. We are free to use this for His glory, sharing our story to help others overcome pornography and other struggles.
Furthermore, we experience freedom and abundant life together. Because of Todd’s freedom from this secret sin, there is nothing between us. I thought we had a great marriage for 14 years (really nothing to me indicated this addiction in his life), but it pales in comparison to what we have now. Our relationship is deeper than ever. We are free to grow together in the Lord and have meaningful spiritual conversations almost daily. Todd is free to love me as as “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (Eph. 5:25), and I feel it! Todd’s sobriety means he is free to be the spiritual leader of our marriage and family as God intended (Eph. 5:23), and we are so blessed because of it. I want to submit to him. I respect him fully. I am free to believe the best about him. I am free to trust him, though we adhere to Nehemiah’s plan: “But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat,” (Neh. 4:9).
Likewise, we are free to be best friends and lovers. Deep joy is ours when we are alone together, whether it’s sitting side by side on the couch, date night out, or intimate time together; we thrill each other. Praise Jesus for the freedom we have in Him!