Over the last few weeks I’ve been offering counsel, and guidance to Christian couples whose marriages are falling apart because of porn. This isn’t unusual it seems like at least 2 or 3 times a month someone calls or sends an email desperate for some guidance out of the chaos that porn has caused. In these cases it is the husband who has the porn problem. In one situation he is a pastor. In all the situations there is a common theme coming from the wives: “he’s distant”, “he won’t stop”, “he tells me he’s stopped, but then I catch him again!”. In the most severe case the “Christian” husband has simply decided that he will “never stop using porn” and is okay with his wife leaving him, or doing whatever she wants to do. One of the other couples is on the brink of divorce with talk of papers being served.
Do you remember the first time you got hit in the stomach, and it took your breath away? Remember that breathlessness, and gasping for air, but you couldn’t get any? I think if we multiply that experience by 1,000 we still wouldn’t be able to comprehend the emotional trauma caused when a wife finds out about her husbands secret porn habit. What’s worse is when our spouse finds out and we continue as if she doesn’t, only to have her continue to catch us. What we don’t realize is that every time she makes a discovery, or catches you in the act it is the emotional equivalant of taking a baseball bat, and hitting her in the gut so that she feels that breathlessness and pain.
May I suggest that for the spouse of a pastor it is all the more devestating because of the isolation. The wife of a pastor often suffers in silence. She sees the brokenness of her husband, how he is in front of the church, but then how he is at home. She can’t stand the lack of integrity. But she won’t devesate him. She won’t tell anyone because of the embarrassment it will cause, and the possibilitiy that he could be terminated which only further complicates things. Furthermore she wonders how can he be so loving, kind, and caring when it comes to ministry, but still look at porn and not care enough to look at his own wife!
In just about every talk I do on this issue I take a moment to interject, that for us men, and especially pastors we really don’t have a clue about the pain we are causing when we refuse to deal with our dirty little sin, and continue the reckless pursuit of pleasure at the expense of our spouses.
There’s a great song by Brandon Heath that I’ve been playing over and over lately. It’s become somewhat of a prayer, its called “Give Me Your Eyes”. In the song he’s praying for God to give him eyes to see the people around him more clearly so that he will care and show mercy, grace, and compassion.
Perhaps it is a prayer we need to pray so that we’ll really see our wives. If our eyes are open to the pain and devestation then it might just move us toward change and recovery. Pray that prayer this week that you would have new eyes to see your spouse’s pain. It is time to put the bat away.