A note from me- After I did the last Real Talk with Kasey on Sex a friend of mine sent me a note about her and her husbands struggle and I asked her to write about it for us. I know that they aren’t alone in their struggle and I hope this encourages and opens the conversation for those who are struggling. Here is their story.
“I could no longer keep the secret. I knew the time had come to expose what I had been doing behind closed doors for so long. My husband of 2 years would surely be devastated, hurt, and confused when I confessed my sin. Instead, he stood there, frozen with a pale face and sweaty palms. Little did I know (or would have ever suspected) that he had been struggling right along with me the entire time. Our secrets were crippling us silently and destroying our intimacy.
Pornography. It had slowly crept into our lives from a young age and began to invade our every day life. It left us both feeling unworthy, ashamed, and alone. We both struggled with porn for years while we were dating leading up to marriage. We both thought that once we got married and were finally able to be intimate with one another, our desire to engage in viewing pornography would subside. We were wrong.
We would also both agree that our sex life was “great” before we exposed our sin, but we had no idea the true intimacy we could experience until the healing journey began.
The morning we shared our secret with one another was the hardest, yet best day of our marriage. My confidence was suddenly shattered. I felt betrayed, undesirable, and as if I could never trust my husband again. However, within that same moment we became transparent and vulnerable to one another. An intimacy we had not yet experienced. We forgave one another, and our marriage immediately began to heal and move forward.
We prayed right there in our bed, vowed to keep our hearts and eyes pure, and promised to be honest with one another. We knew we could fight and overcome this battle as long as we had each other.
The next morning was Easter Sunday. We made our way to the front row, emotionally raw and exposed to one another as the band sang REDEEMED. We stood there, hand in hand, with tears streaming down our faces, belting the words out. It was beautiful. A moment I will never forget. An overwhelming love and forgiveness swept over me. We had both been Christians since a young age, but were trapped in our sin and shame.
“Seems like all I can see was the struggle, haunted by ghosts that lived in my past
Bound up in shackles of all my failures, wondering how long is this gonna last
Then you look at this prisoner and say to me “son”
Stop fighting a fight that’s already been won
I AM REDEEMED, you set me free.
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains,
and wipe away every stain, now I’m not who I used to be, I am redeemed”
The words pierced right through my heart.
Following that day, we both thought our desires had ceased forever and the battle had been won. We remained silent about our past struggles. Any insecurities it had caused or damage it had done was ignored.
Unfortunately, our flesh desire began to rear it’s ugly head again within that same year. We were both back into the same patterns we were entangled in before. This time the secret felt bigger. The shame and guilt was much worse. Knowing that the things I was viewing were the very things my husband was seeking previously was devastating and it was ruining my self worth as well as my desire for my husband. I never struggled with insecurity or sexual desire for my husband until then. I was hurting, insecure, confused, and lonely.
I just wanted my desires and all the shame to disappear. I wanted to fully forgive my husband and not feel so betrayed or undesirable. I begged God (as I had hundreds of times in the past) to take the pain and sinful desire away. Yet, I often fell victim to my flesh. As Easter approached I prayed to God that I would have the courage to touch base again with my husband on our past struggles. I wanted to reveal my shortcomings although I knew it would be even harder this time.
Easter arrived, and on our way to church, “Redeemed” was the first song to come on the radio. (Hello God) I felt paralyzed and knew in that very moment God was spurring me on to expose my failures to my husband. Sure enough, we were both back at square one. We had both tried for the entire year to fight the flesh battle alone and in our OWN power.
It was evident that trying to do it on our own was impossible. The truth is, only God can take our past, our struggles, and our failures and renew and redeem us. We must fully rely on Him and seek His wisdom and guidance each day. It was time for a change, time to fully give ourselves over to our Savior.
We needed to Surrender.
That is exactly what we did. Fully surrendered ourselves to Christ.
We both faced imaginably difficult days and challenges following that day. We were faced with the consequences of our sin, but ultimately, it brought us closer. It refined us. Those moments were crucial for our healing.
It took boldness to confess our sin and struggles to mentors and friends, but we did. We sought accountability. We resisted temptation while constantly keeping our minds on things above.
I began to bury scripture within my heart, reciting it when temptation came sneaking up. I would also recite it when the enemy would lie to me about my identity.
I would encourage my husband every single day. I let him know how much I desired him. I was completely transparent with him every day. We began to be more intentional with our love and in our relationship. It was a daily battle, a daily surrender to Christ.
In time, our marriage began to flourish.
Our intimacy had reached an entire new level, one I never knew could even exist.
We checked in daily with one another and were constantly encouraging each other to “bounce our eyes”. We also prayed together each morning to be clothed with the armor of Christ, and asked for pure eyes, hearts, and minds. [Psalms 51:10]
The world we live in is full of sinful enticement. Billboards, magazines, commercials, movies, social media feeds…. its EVERYwhere, lurking around every corner. Rid of the things you can. We cancelled our cable, deleted apps on our phones, and removed the things we had control over. Learn to be READY for battle. Suit up!! Know the enemy has a plan and be ready to fight him. The enemy is seeking to steal, kill, and destroy. Our God is greater, our God is stronger, our God is higher than any other.
Learning to put on the full armor of Christ [Ephesians 6:10-17] each morning and fighting the good fight one day at a time has got me to where I am; Pornography free!!
I am leery of EVER thinking I have FULLY overcome it… the truth of the matter is, I may struggle the rest of my life with this area of temptation.
I love that I now have the tools I need to fight the battle of the flesh. The battle is real ladies, no matter what YOUR battle may be. To give in would mean you are sacrificing all the abundant blessings God has in store for you. Sure, those temporal things can be enticing and satisfying, but you will never truly experience the fullness of what God intended for you if you don’t commit to remaining obedient in Him.
We are to “set our minds on the things above.” [Colossians 3:2] Walk in Him!
Our Savior has plans to prosper us and not to harm us. [Jeremiah 29:11] Following our flesh desires will only end in defeat and brokenness that ultimately only Christ can mend.
Maybe today is the day you surrender. Surrender to those things that hold you captive. Release those inner secrets and sins. Share your story with a mentor. Ask for prayer, seek accountability and encouragement. As Christians, we are here to sharpen one another. I am thankful for those along the way in my journey who were able to sharpen me. The path to healing is a surrender away!”