Another day, another re-post from the olden days. I run into many interesting situations as a pastor. Some can seriously trigger major depression for me. Some anger me; some amaze me; some situations make me feel guilty, because I can’t believe how bizarre the situation is — not to mention, I get distracted by the bizarreness. I mean, I get “front row seats” to the most profound tragedies, the most evil sins, and the greatest acts of service to others. The greatest glory is always given to God.
Many years ago, I met a couple who had been married for 10 years or so. I really loved this couple and thought their family was cute. They had two older kids and a sweet baby, who really took to me by the way. Just sayin’.
This couple seemed to be pretty cool…until they told me their story. Looking back, it was hard not to be floored by it. The wife had been unfaithful to her husband — with a guy from her past whom she had been involved with before her marriage. A fact made easier since she was a sex addict. Her mind was typically antagonized by a myriad of mental issues. To top things off, she was not attracted to her husband.
Unsurprisingly, she would have the occasional “breakdown.” Much to her husband’s dismay, she would get in the car and go to this other guy for the sex that she craved. In fact, her baby was not her husband’s but the other guy’s.
At this point you’re probably thinking, “What kind of husband would stay in this situation and remain married to this crazy woman?”
I will tell you what kind of man: a dude who loves God more than anything, who—through God’s love, strength, and power—loves his wife and remains faithful to her through good times and bad times.
This is a dude who gave up his life for his wife and until she leaves him for good. He is in it for the long run.
But don’t think the wife is totally at fault; she isn’t so crazy. Even though her “heart desires” to be with her lover, she actually returns to her husband each time. She continues to surrender to the precious love of Jesus, which brings her back to His will and plan. The fact is that she could leave her husband at any time, yet she hasn’t.
Does God ever show you patience and grace despite a particular recurring sin?
We can learn a lot from this couple:
The world says to “follow your heart.” If the wife had done this, she would have already left her husband to start a new life with the man who wasn’t her husband. Speaking of, the husband would have beaten the hell out of this dude, and then gone on with his life after a divorce.
The world says to “do what feels right and feels good.” If she followed this advice, we know what she would have done by now, and the husband would have thrown in the towel years ago—it would be way easier for both, way less stressful for her, and way less humiliating for him.
The world says “divorce is always an option.” This couple had said, “No, it’s not.” Currently, they are still together and, to my knowledge, are weathering the storm through Jesus’s strength.
This couple represents all marriages. Two sinners that have to learn selflessness. Jesus is the real hero as always, but I can’t help to think of the word “heroes” when I think of what this couple has battled, endured and persevered through.
Maybe reflect today on your situation, in light of life not being about you.
Sharing his sexual addiction that he carried into his marriage, Toby talks about the difficulties in our book, BADCHRISTIAN GREATSAVIOR, here’s an excerpt from that chapter.
“ORAL SEX IS OK” BY TOBY MORRELL
I had been engaging with porn during our entire relationship leading up to our marriage, and I never even came close to revealing to Jess the amount of porn I viewed. Watching porn is easy and stimulating, but people knowing that you watch porn, especially regularly, is embarrassing. And it is very embarrassing if you’re a Christian. What kind of Christian looks at porn, anyway?
I would guess most. (Look at the dude nearest you and ask about his porn life. It’ll be very uncomfortable, but WWJD, right!) Once again, we’ll save this topic for another day.
After we were married, I did control the amount of pornography I watched more strictly and even thought I was becoming free from it entirely. The problem was, I still had not had a fully revealing conversation with my wife about pornography. I didn’t want to hurt her or even give her a tiny thought that these porn stars came close to her beauty in my eyes. They didn’t at all, but how do you explain why you watch porn to the love of your life and make her feel loved and beautiful and sexy?
By only sharing partial confessions with her on occasions when I felt really convicted, it made it easy in times of weakness, or when I got that “old fashioned feeling” to slip back into the old routine. I also could justify it by telling myself that I was on the road for weeks or months at a time away from my wife. I was never tempted to cheat on her with another woman, so what was the big deal with watching a video once and a while?