I must be suffering from writers block during the times I refer to other articles- but this is one that I think is a must read for those of us who have chosen to stand with our husbands as they continue to battle through their struggle with pornography. I have heard some opposition that if a man is a new creation in Christ that he will never ever struggle again and if he does then there is no evidence of transformation. I disagree with that. I do believe there is fruit that remains from true repentance but fruit is not instantly seen. We know that something was going on inside the seed and under the soil before the ripe plant grew up and out and produced it’s sweet fruit! I hope you enjoy this article from my friend Kathy Gallagher of Pure Life Ministries.
Failures are a part of the process.
Steve came to the Lord in 1982, I naturally assumed that his sexual
escapades were over and done with. But like many newborn believers,
his zeal for the Lord was no match for the lustful desires still
stirring deep within him. Three weeks after his conversion, he fell
back into sin. For a long period afterwards, He had spurts of victory
followed by relapses into pornography and illicit sex. I was
devastated, and I couldn’t imagine much good ever coming out of his
At times I questioned his sincerity. “How can he say that he loves God
and loves me and still return to his sin?” I asked myself. I was very
idealistic about spiritual matters. To me it was simple: you repent,
you turn away from sin, and then you get on with life. The
inconsistency in his walk with the Lord led me to think that Steve
didn’t mean business.
Eventually, I realized that he was in the fight of his life and hadn’t
become addicted overnight. Sex was his biggest idol even before he got
saved. For years his mind was a fantasy warehouse where he stored
volumes of pornographic images. He had had countless sexual encounters
before and after we got married.
My husband’s experience helped me to see that in order to break free
from sexual sin, a man can’t simply flip a switch that completely shuts
down his sex drive. It is unrealistic—and unwise—for any wife to think
that one experience of brokenness at an altar will be the last of her
husband’s struggles. In our society today, complete immunity against
sexual temptation is virtually impossible. Nevertheless, a wife whose
husband truly desires victory, but occasionally stumbles, should remain
hopeful. God is at work in his heart.
Breaking free from habitual sin is almost always a process, and
failures often serve as springboards to real freedom. Very few sex
addicts are zapped. Therefore, setbacks are to be expected—despite any
resolve to find freedom. Each of us was born with a natural propensity
to sin. Only after a person gets sick and tired of wallowing in the
pigpen and reaping the consequences, will he begin to hate his sin.
A godly wife must find a balance between patiently bearing her
struggling husband while refusing to tolerate insincerity and
unfaithfulness. Often it can be difficult to discern when someone is
having a temporary setback as opposed to someone who is not serious
A man who really wants to break free must show some willingness to
change and make the necessary steps that will lead to long-term
freedom. Although I was devastated by Steve’s repeated failures, I
never lost hope because it was obvious he was desperate to find God.
Because of the depth of his sin, our marriage would have quickly
fizzled out had he not permitted the Lord to deal with him. Many times
his sin brought me almost to a breaking point, but God was faithful to
give me the grace to endure.
If your husband is battling habitual sexual sin, I encourage you to focus your attention on three things:
1. Focus On An Awesome God
Don’t stare at the overwhelming mountain of your husband’s sin, look to
God who moves mountains. It is imperative that you spend quality time
with the Lord everyday to maintain this kind of faith. If you don’t do
this, your hope won’t be based upon the reality of what the Lord can do
but upon how well your husband is doing. This is an easy set up for
much heartache and grief. Your hopes of him ever changing will be
2. Focus On Your Husband’s Efforts
If your husband has demonstrated a desire to change, believe the best.
Perhaps you have tried to do this in the past and have been
disappointed when he failed. It is very likely that this kind of
disappointment comes whenever you zero in on his failures instead of
examining the overall pattern of his life. If you seek the Lord for
yourself, you are less likely to brood over his past sins and will look
for the good in your husband. However, if you don’t press into God,
his failures will distort your view of him.
3. Focus On The Length Of Your Days
Try your best to see the big picture. You and your husband are on a
long journey, and hopefully by God’s grace his addiction will only be a
small part of it. If you were to draw a ten-inch line on a piece of
paper, representing the rest of your lives, this period will appear
very small. If you then draw that line with respect to eternity, this
season of your life will barely be distinguishable—it will appear as a
You must have the proper perspective; otherwise your husband’s
failures will paralyze you emotionally and spiritually. As a child of
God, you cannot allow his setbacks to cripple you. To avoid going off
into despair when your husband fails, focus on the One who is Sovereign
over all things, on your husband’s efforts to change, and on the big
picture. Then before long your faith will once again soar like an
Kathy Gallagher is the Vice President of Pure Life
Ministries. She has been ministering to Christian women for over 20
years and has a deep desire to see them living a fulfilled life in