Today, I’m going to step a bit outside my comfort zone and just talk plain about something that’s on my heart and mind.
If you’ve visited me here at all, you already know that I am the sole woman in a house full of men. As I’ve said before, “When I was young, I naively thought I would grow up, fall in love, get married and have a nice, even mix of boys and girls.” When everything had shaken out and the dust had settled, I found myself on a tiny, pink raft, tossed about on Testosterone Ocean, surrounded by a flotilla in hues of blue, numbering four (gasp! I know, right?) boys and one husband.
It’s been real ‘nice,’ but it hasn’t been remotely ‘even.’
Anyway. You cannot live and move and have your being in this world, on this earth without noting the great sexualization of our time. The statistics are shocking; alarming, even for those who claim the name of Christ. Pornography, it’s clear, is no respecter of persons or offices or titles or faith claims.No respect-er, but a thief and a liar.
I’m speaking to you today as a woman and a wife because I want you to know a few of the things that I know now about porn, and about my husband. We were raised, Mr. Schrock and I, in a conservative Mennonite culture where little was taught about sex or about bodies. The message, largely unspoken, was that bodies were bad; that sex was, too, until one got married; and that a man would not fail to lust upon sight. For bodies, you see, were dangerous.
We got married at the tender age of 20, we two, and so began a long, often happy, but sometimes ridiculously difficult union of two sinners. Walking wounded. Spiritual babies.
It was through the exceeding-great trial of a prodigal son that the Lord began to break my husband. He will tell you (and you are quite free to ask him) that he used to be a hurting, angry man. Angry at God, at those who had hurt him, and angry at women in general. And while he’d not developed an actual addiction to pornography, still, the temptation was there, and it seemed that as long as women existed, they were, themselves, temptations. Sources of frustration.
There came a point in his journey where he put himself prostrate on the floor on a very dark day and surrendered everything–everything to Christ, holding nothing back. And God began to move.
Layer by layer by layer, one gaping wound at a time, Jesus began to heal him. To heal and, further, to reveal.
He showed my husband what He thinks of all people, yes, but what He thinks about women in particular. He showed him, too, how the cry of his heart all these years had been for an emotional connection with one. With me!
He showed him the lie of pornography and that “seeing one more” would never, ever fill that hole in his heart, meet his need, bring him comfort. Would never minister true love. For it never has. Never can. Never will.
Jesus also showed him that the simple sight of a woman, naked or clothed, could never cause him to sin, to lust. It could never alone draw his heart. For, as He said, “Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them (Mark 7:15).”
Today, my husband will tell you that he has died to self. That his flesh, that old, sinful nature, has in all reality and practical experience been crucified with Christ and, as such, he is now alive in Christ. Dead to the flesh, to the world and to sin. Alive, resurrected with Him!
I have to be honest with you and tell you this: at first, I did not believe him. I didn’t believe it was possible for him to live without lust, without a desire for any other woman. My own in-secure-ity and wounding were such that trust has come verrrryyy slowly. But I’m there.
After months and years of observing his life, I now know beyond a doubt that my husband is completely free. He’s utterly committed to me and our marriage. He’s single-hearted, full of compassion. He now sees people, not bodies, and his heart is moved at their plight. Women aren’t dangers.
In a hellhole of a bar on the other side of the world, I watched him mingle with scantily-clad girls, flaunting their bodies, plying their trade, up for sale, and he was grieved. I could tell that he “saw” them; really saw each one for the mother, the daughter or sister she was. Christ’s sister. Papa’s daughter. Shepherd’s lamb.
My husband’s focus now is on that emotional connection between him and I. In all of my life, I have never had someone protect and seek out and pursue my heart like this man has. It’s been the change point for our marriage…and for our family.
For our boys.
Ladies, what you need to know about your husband, whether or not he’s addicted to porn, is this–that his real need is an emotional connection. That’s what he’s actually seeking. Whether he knows it himself or not, he’s longing, he’s desperate for that loving. And he’ll never find it by turning to porn.
I share our story with you in hope. Hope for you, for those you love who’ve been trapped in these terrible chains. I share it with joy, for God is still faithful, and He can work in your story as well. I share it in love, for I long for your freedom and for the strength and the health of your marriage.
And so does Christ.