If you would like to read further days in the Restoring Marriages Bible Study, please click here. Our last study was about Turning to God. Today we will look at our faith in God.
Restoring Marriages Bible Study: Day 10-Faith in God
James 1:6 is a verse that speaks to my heart quite often.
But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. (NKJV)
Many times we bring requests to God. We may be sincere in our asking and earnestly seek God. However, many times we walk away not believing that God will hear and answer our requests.
I am sure you have asked God for help in your marriage many times. You may have asked God to heal your hurts. You may have asked God to help bring change in your spouse. There are just so many things that we ask God!
Some things that I have come to God about are forgiveness, healing, help with anger, my husband, my marriage, my emotions, etc. This list can go on and on.
But, what we go to God with is not as important as the faith we have in God.
I recently posted When Thoughts Trouble You. This post was about overcoming those difficult, satanic thoughts that come to us. One comment mentioned that this is easier when your husband is doing the right thing. That is, of course, right. It is so much easier to follow God and overcome our thoughts when our husband is following God himself. It helps when he is living out a faithful, loving lifestyle. But, what can you do if your husband is not? How can you grow and heal through God? And how can you help guide your husband to God? I would like to talk about some suggestions in this post.
First, I would like to explain that my husband did not instantly follow God after I found out about his pornography addiction and unfaithfulness. If you are new to this site, you can read more about my story here. I just want to let you know that it was a very long time before my husband followed God and was completely repentant. Looking back, it really happened in small parts. God uncovered each thing one at a time. God showed us both the area we needed to grow in. And that was the area we worked on. We are never a completed process. But, we are continually working to grow closer to God and each other.
Sometimes when wives read my posts and my guest posts, they comment or ask how my husband instantly came to God or how my marriage was restored “over night”. This is really far from the truth and I want all of you to know that God has worked slowly to bring my marriage where it is today. I am starting to see how this is part of God’s plan too. It would be impossible to immediately fix all the things that were hurt and broken in both of us. Usually, God’s way is to gently draw us closer to him. I am going to continue sharing how we both got to the place we are today. But, for this post, I just want to focus on a few important points.
Today I am going to respond to some questions left on the Feedback From Readers Page.
This was the comment that one reader left:
I just found this website and I am SO BLESSED and thankful already and I have only spent a short time reading some of the entries and comments.
Is there any information on here about how to find SAFE PEOPLE at CHURCH? My husband and I were New Believers who joined a Small Group and most of the couples in the group were dealing with addiction by showing the men GRACE. I was incredibly frustrated and was given messages such as… “Just love your husband”… “Be the face of Christ”… “That’s his problem to deal with”… “I don’t ask him about that”, and my favorite… “We’re not going to deal with the Pornography Addiction when the real problem is the marriage”.
It was a large church so we went to the Area Director, Small Groups Pastor, and then a Lead Pastor. At every level we were met with invalidation, told our EXPECTATIONS were too high, and that the Small Group Leader and Group was SAFE. That it just wasn’t a good fit for us. I became the scapegoat really. I was in such a vulnerable place at the time that I started to believe that maybe I was the problem. It was awful and I was deeply hurt, and fought depression, extreme social anxiety, and a host of health issues. I felt unloved and unsafe in my marriage, in my family of origin, and the final blow… I felt unsafe at church.
It took 2 years to get back on my feet. When I say get back on my feet I mean I struggled to get out of bed, leave the house, and function without flashback and triggered thoughts pulling me under. It was scary. I thought I was going crazy. Depression medication barely made a dent. I was spiritually crushed. I had a lot of past stuff hitting at the same time, so there was a lot to sort through. I was hanging on by a thread, but the Lord didn’t let go of me.
I see a lot of recommendations on this website and others to contact a counselor or PASTOR… but when we did look to our church leaders… they did more harm than good. The leaders and pastors were not at all equipped or trained to handle addiction. It really set us both back.
How do we move forward after being “de-churched”? What do we need to look for moving forward, what are some questions we can ask?
I would first like to say that I think most people are very quiet on the issue of pornography in marriage. This is especially true in the “Christian” population. Many husbands and wives are afraid to bring up these problems in the church. Moreover, some marriages think the church is the last place they would go to for help with this. I truly believe that pornography in Christian marriages is a silent sin. It is something that no one wants to talk about and no one wants to confess. However, marriages are suffering. Because of this silence, people are alone and trapped.
We’ve been discussing thoughts several times recently. We looked at a question from a wife who had troubling thoughts. Then, I talked about what we think about in an Update on My Marriage and the recent Restoring Marriages Bible Study. Many readers also commented on how they struggle with these thoughts as well. Someone even brought up how current events can make us remember the bad things that have happened. Then we get stuck and dwell on them. This is one issue that seems to be so difficult for every wife who finds out about her husband’s secrets. That is why I thought I would continue with this topic.
It was three and a half years ago that I discovered my husband was addicted to pornography. I had been looking through his phone when I stumbled upon deleted still screens of images from porn websites. It came to me as a total shock. My husband had meticulously deleted all traces of his addiction for ten years. I never even knew he had a problem with lust. This crisis in our marriage set forth many months of difficulties.
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.
I want to let you know that I am starting to tweet short prayers each day on Twitter. If you haven’t done so yet, please start following Hopeful Wife Today on Twitter. Together we can continue praying for our husbands and our marriages that God will continue His restoring power. This is our hope and our faith that God can bring light out of darkness.
I am praying for you daily as you seek to follow God in your marriage!
Going through a crisis in your marriage is not an enjoyable time. However, if you both rely on God and follow God’s plans for your life, your marriage can become stronger than ever. Every marriage goes through a crisis eventually. There is no avoiding it. This is the time that many go through painful divorces. However, if your marriage survives the crisis and you come out on the other side, you can share an intimacy you never knew was even possible. God has shown me, through my marriage, five ways that your marriage can be stronger after you survive a crisis.