I have cheated on my wife a thousand times. I have lied to over a hundred friends and family. I have murdered countless girls’ dreams on the computer screen while feeding my need for pleasure. The opportunity has been given to me five hundred times to just walk away; but I told myself I just couldn’t. I have failed over and over and over again in my life- and that is why, I now succeed.
When I was a kid my hero and idol growing up was Michael Jordan. Anything he was on I watched. Every game, every shot, and every move I had down. Any Oprah, Jay Leno or News clip about him; I still to this day have taped. He was my everything. I remember being decked out in my basketball apparel when it happened. It was thecommercial that left me motionless in front of the tube. MJ stepped out of his limo in his three piece suite. The tint to the commercial made it dramatic and made sure you knew it was serious. The music behind it gave it enough beat to make your heart pump just a little. In the silence the voice I grew to love and know started to speak. He started to speak in a similar way as the paragraph above.
Michael Jordan— the greatest basketball player of all time started laying his faults before me. I could find no fault in him up until this point, but yet what he said before me I just couldn’t understand. “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career…” my mind started to scream “NO!”, he continued “I have lost more than 300 games….” My mind just wouldn’t listen—couldn’t listen I said to myself “Mike, you don’t know what you are saying man- just shut up; you are the greatest” but he continued “26 times I have been trusted to make the game winning shot… and missed…” thump a striking blow to my heart. It was too much. He had made so many shots, won so many games, made the game winning shots enough times to drown the other times forever. But it didn’t end; he started to walk through the door out of sight when he finished me off by saying “I have failed over and over and over again in my life…” If the commercial had ended right there I would have died and this blog would have never been written, but instead he simply finished by saying “…and that is why I succeed.”
Thinking back on the road that has lead me to now speaking openly about an addiction that haunted my childhood, I see what MJ was saying. At the time I just thought he was giving me advice on how to when a basketball game. However, I can now look back on how my wife and I made it through some of the roughest points in our marriage. Pornography had taken over my mind, stolen our intimacy and destroyed any pride I had left. It was only when I had to completely lay it all down and hold no pride back. My wife not only respected my choice to do so but she could better understand where I was coming from now. It still hurt her and you don’t have to almost destroy your marriage before finding this truth out. But looking back on your life and seeing where you have fallen and how you have fallen can help determine how you can make sure it doesn’t happen again.
For my wife and me we had to immediately download X3 watch on phone, ipod and computer we owned. Knowing that I had fallen during times of tiredness and stress we together, took away the temptation before I even had time to fall. Your spouse is not; as Dr. Phil put it “your porn cop.” They cannot be with you every waking second of the day or night. Finding where you are weak and making adjustments to your life together to make it happen will only make your fight together better and build back some of that trust that has been taken away. Another thing we decided to do in our fight against my temptation with porn was to take the TV completely out of our house. It’s hard but it’s so worth it. We put in its place a book shelf. Together we made a choice to not only take that temptation away but work on rebuilding our relationship in the process. Taking the TV was just what we needed for our personal relationship and it is something I would consider for yours as well.
Michael Jordan said it perfectly (which he did often!) when he made that commercial. His humility made him look at his mistakes and not see them as days of defeat. He looked at them and learned from his mistakes. It helped him to become the greatest athlete to walk this earth. When looking into your life as a struggling leader in your family the worst thing you can do is one of two things: First, is to close up with pride and not want to reveal your weakness. Second, is to share your faults and see them as only failures and defeat.
C.S. Lewis said “Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.”
You have to be open with your spouse so that you can work as a team to work from your failures. She cannot do that if you are not completely open and transparent. That is the only way you will ever get over your sin. Lust unfortunately is a temptation that is everywhere. The questions isn’t will lust be there, it’s how you can avoid it. That comes from looking at your mistakes from your past and making sure not to revisit them again.