March 18, 2010

Truth and Love

After I blogged this morning about my "root of disappointment," I spent some time in prayer. As I have shared before, I am in a very difficult situation at home. My husband of 25 years (26 this September) has been involved in several adulterous affairs. This came to light in February of 2009, and since then came back around in August, December and again in January. It is an ongoing problem, one with a name: Sexual Addiction. Anyone who is familiar with addictive behavior knows that without intervention, the addict will step further and further into their chosen lust (be it alcohol, drugs, gambling, or sex).

My husband has struggled with pornography addiction for years. I wasn't aware of it when we married, but learned about it three years later. I was devastated, since I was brought up to view all THAT sort of imagery as being of Satan. My parents raised me as a very conservative girl. Although I was naive, I was aware that this sort of stuff lived and breathed in many homes, and even in convenience stores (remember when it was displayed with all the other magazines -- no covers!) However, as a young Christian wife, never in my wildest dreams did I think my Christian husband would choose to look at, keep, and use such awful material.

I know now that many Christian men are addicted to sex. It is unfortunate and something that the Church fears to address. My counselor said the reason is that men send mixed messages. To some, it is not bad, just not a good thing to do as a Christian man (sort of the "prostitute on the corner isn't going away, so just don't go over there" approach). To others, especially those in more conservative churches, it is abhorrent sin that must not be allowed to remain within the church. But, for men who are struggling with this addiction, it really depends on the male influence in their life. If they were raised that it is "normal" for boys and men to want to look at such things, then they tend to just take the "I won't look" approach.

The problem is that the Bible is very clear about what is appropriate and what is not. Paul clearly tells men not to look (lust) after the woman. He tells them to remain pure. He was a man, and I am sure he had his share of views of temple prostitutes (in the sense that they were there, all around). Jesus Himself was well-acquainted with prostitutes as well. They were everywhere, and there was little control over them. The Jewish community exiled any one caught in prostitution, and in doing so, attempted to keep men from straying. Yet, they did. They did, indeed.

I have known about my husband's affairs for a long time, but I chose not to do anything about them. This was partly because of my belief that I had no choice. I literally felt that I had to remain faithful, even if my husband chose not to do so. It has taken me a long time to come around to the Biblical perspective of the matter. God has given women the option of leaving their unfaithful husbands. They can return to their fathers and live as an unmarried woman (always unmarried). They can also seek a writ of divorce and formally divorce themselves from the man. In the latter case, the Bible says that the divorced woman is to remain unmarried. In either event, the idea is that God separates men and women from matrimony ONLY through death. In the event of divorce or separation, the ONLY option is celibacy.

Today, as I prayed over my situation and the coming months, the thought came up to me:

I will be a faithful husband to you says the Lord.

Yes, is it not so. The Lord is the faithful husband, the loving Father, and the provider to the homeless. He is the Great Shepherd, the One who cares for His Flock and ensures that they are both fed and sheltered.

God has done this for me, since before the truth was shown to me. I know this now. I see His Hand upon my life, throughout the years, providing, guiding and directing me. He has comforted me even when I chose to look aside, to ignore the truth in front of my eyes. He has carefully helped me to accept the truth, and to begin to see myself as He sees me. I am a new person, with a new view, a new image, and a new mindset. I no longer see myself as a betrayed woman, the wife of an unfaithful husband; but rather, as a child of the Most High, a daughter of the King. And, in doing so, I am reminded of the truth of Scripture. The King knows what His Children need, and is ready and willing to provide it to them.

My prayer today is that this whole nasty matter of infidelity comes to light. It has been exposed. It has been partially dealt with, but it still is here. It still lingers because my husband still lives in my home. I am confronted with it daily. It cannot remain this way any longer. The sin, and the one who commits it, must be removed from within the camp (so to speak). This is the Lord's choosing, not mine. However, I am now 100% fully agreeable and acceptable to His Will in this matter. I have let it go, my hand is off the case, my heart understands that this is for my best, and is for the betterment of my child.

Dear Lord,

I accept your will today. I know what you must do, and I am agreeable to it. Please remember us, Dear Lord, your faithful servants. Do not let us linger without provision, without shelter, and without hope. You are our strong tower and our refuge. You are our ROCK of SALVATION and it is in your name that I pray this today. Amen. So be it. Thy will be done.


Pam said...

One of the sins that offends me the most is pornography. Yet, I have to remember that my sins are just as ugly to others.
I am glad you are finding the confidence in Christ to be apart from this. I am sure it is very hard.

Jeanne said...

Oh Carol, I have just spent the past hour or so skim-reading every one of your posts from last year. I was such a faithful reader of your blog up until February of last year when you blogged only sporadically. I now know the reason for the break, but it got me out of the habit of visiting you. I am so very sorry that I wasn't around to offer you some more support.

You were the one who defined my homeschooling journey. My AO plans, my daily schedule - even MEP maths I use because of YOU!

I care for you a lot, and I prayed for David and you when he was ill and...and...and...well now I want to cry. But I won't because you are so strong! You are relying so obviously on our great God, and he does have a plan!!!!!

It is wonderful to know that we are all part of his great big picture for the world and he knows and cares for us, isn't it? What I admire about you today is the way you have clung to this hope even through all that you have gone through in the past year that I haven't been visiting.

Chin up girl - we love you lots!!

Carol Hepburn said...

Thank you, Jeanne! I appreciate your comments and support. This year has been incredibly difficult for me. I have had to deal with so much, and it still seems like more comes each day. I am so ready for it to be over, yet I know that the Lord's timing is perfect. I covet your prayers, especially through the next two weeks. I am hopeful to hear on a job offer very soon. PTL!