I know we’ve all been hearing a lot about the upcoming Valentine’s Day. I’ve seen many posts offering unique gifts for your spouse. Some of these have great suggestions. However, if you’re like me, there may have been times that Valentine’s Day was painful. Many of you are struggling to rebuild your marriage. Some of you are feeling hopeless with the cycle of your husband’s lust.
There have been a few Valentine’s Days that brought me deep sadness. But, this year, I’d like to offer a post with some hopeful gifts for your husband. The first year after I found out about my husband’s pornography viewing and unfaithfulness, I felt awful. I couldn’t think about getting him the usual mushy-type gifts. This is why I think Valentine’s Day can be a nice opportunity to give him a gift of encouragement. Some gifts can bring us closer to each other and the Lord. Of course, if you’re working toward reconciliation, still give him the gift you know he’ll love.
So, here are some gifts to provide your marriage with hope. Some of these I’ve given to my husband.
I am happy to share with you today’s post from Bonny Logsdon Burns. She is the author and founder of OysterBed7.
Robi’s blog name is dead-on. Active hope is how God continues to lead me after our marriage’s initial devastation with pornography. Thank you, Robi, for allowing me to share my hope with your readers.
With our 2-year-old son asleep in the next room, I try to haul my pregnant belly into bed. I’m 35 weeks ginormous with identical twin boys. I lift my feet off the floor just as I hear the sound of a freight train outside, the tell-tale sign of a tornado.
A lifetime of tornado drills put my husband and I in auto-pilot. We know exactly what to do to have the greatest chance of survival.
It takes 60 seconds for the violent, F4 tornado to clear a path in our neighborhood. I barely have time to ask God for help.
The break of day finds me trembling in a hospital bed as I watch the aftermath on television. I weep from horror and gratefulness as I see the massive debris field of my neighborhood.
The first decade of my marriage was like this tornado. It was only in retrospect that I saw clues that a tornado was coming. We had foul weather swirling; nasty attitudes, disregard, dismissive and condescending behavior; until it all converged in devastating fall-out.
This prayer is for the wife who is looking for hope in the New Year.
Dear Holy God,
The New Year is coming. Only You, God, know what will happen in this year.
Only You, God, knew all that would happen in my life. And I know I do not want to repeat these events again.
I am coming to You, God, for a new prayer. I’ve had prayers of sorrow and anger. But, let this prayer be different.
Let this be a beautiful prayer of hope to my Holy God. I love You, God. And I trust You more than any other.
My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26 (NKJV)
There are many times when our hearts fail us. We come across the pain of life and we feel deeply broken in our hearts.
The Psalm above understands this pain. My flesh and my heart fail. I have felt that so many times during this journey with my husband.
My flesh is weak. It fails me when I turn to anger. It fails me when I am so overcome with sadness. I have all these emotion inside and they fail me. They make me think that I cannot go on anymore.
If you would like to read more about my story, please click here.
After going through the worst hurt I ever experienced in my life, I realized that I needed to make some changes. Before all this truth came out, I was very easy-going with my husband. If something made him happy, I did not mind it. One example is that he was starting to drink heavily. I never drank and did not agree with it. However, he found a way to persuade me into thinking it was not that bad. So, I let him do what he wanted. That is just one small example of how our marriage was.
However, after feeling the pain that night, I was finished with being easy-going. It was obvious that my husband did not regard me in any decisions he made. He carelessly did whatever he wanted. Even if we were “Christians”, he did not mind living a full life of sin.
This was when I started thinking about boundaries.
If you would like to read my story from the beginning and the reason why I am writing about this please see the Sharing My Story Page.
Sharing My Story: God’s Faithfulness in My Pain
After my husband told me the painful confession about his co-worker, I think I was in shock. I remember feeling thankful to God that he finally admitted some truth to me. However, I didn’t feel any pain for a few days. I think I was really just so shocked that my loving husband would actually pursue another woman. He really lived a true double life. I would like all of you to know that if this has happened in your marriage, I understand. I know that you never thought this would happen to you. I had honestly believed that we were in love and that my husband would never even look at another woman. Words cannot explain the shock that I was experiencing since the beginning of this journey.
After I felt this shock, I began to feel so very alone. My husband was the one that I went to with everything. He was my love and my best friend. And he had hurt me so deeply. Yes, he was very ashamed. He was very repentant. He felt very guilty. But, none of that changed how alone I felt. I didn’t know anyone I could talk to that would understand. I also looked for a website where women could connect with each other if they were experiencing this. That is why I know God is blessing this site. Almost every woman I have met through this site has told me how alone she feels in this. This is because the hurt is from the sin of our husbands. And that makes the pain more unbearable. Additionally, most women are too embarrassed to talk about this. It is a deep rejection.
Today we are going to study turning to God with all of our hearts.
If you would like to see the Restoring Marriages Bible Study Days 1-8, please click here.
Turning to God
Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13-14 NKJV)
When we go through a crisis in our marriage, we realize how uncertain life can be. Maybe you had dreams about the way your life was to go. Maybe your finding out for the first time that life is a very difficult path. Wherever you are right now, one thing is very certain. We need God. We cannot go through these trials without God. When we try to do it our own way, we end up hopeless.
Jesus came to give us hope.
Sharing My Story: The Sad Truth
This is a part of our story that still hurts today. If I think about it I can still feel the deep pain from that day. However, I feel it’s important to share it. I’d like you all to know exactly how our story unraveled. God has brought redemption and restoration to our marriage. But, that doesn’t mean that we haven’t been through a lot of hurt. I think sometimes people assume that when we follow God, we shouldn’t feel hurt. That is not true at all. Most of you know that in marriage there is a lot of hurt. The saddest part to me is that my love story really was never true. I wasn’t my husband’s only one. And this truth can crush you with pain. It’s something that we experience as wives when our husbands choose this path. That is why we have to turn to something higher. That is why we have to trust in God and accept God’s love for us. He is the only one that can love us perfectly.
I just created a new page called Sharing My Story. It contains the links to each part of my story in order. I hope that makes it more convenient if you are just started reading or if you would like to read anything again.
This is a prayer for beauty. It is for any wife who discovers her husband has viewed pornography.
I am coming to you today about something painful. It is something deep in my heart that is broken. It is raw and empty. It is about beauty.
This is a post written by my husband for your husband. You can read a prayer written by him here. You can also check out the Ask My Husband page. Additionally, there is a new post for the Restoring Marriages Bible Study so that you can find all the days on one post.
Cleansing Your Mind: For Husbands
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy- meditate on these things.(NKJV)
Image after image after image followed by more images. Why won’t they go away? I just want to follow you God. I promise this is the last time I act on these images.