When I think over the last five years of my life, I’m no longer overwhelmed by “the ugly.” Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot of “ugly” going on. When Jeff came home from work in 2007 and shared that he had been caught binging on pornography on a ministry computer at our denomination’s office, I was devastated. We had moved to the Northeast to share the power of the Gospel of Christ, not to bring shame to the Church.
The consequences of Jeff’s actions were swift and severe. We lost our ministry, most of our savings and found ourselves in my home state of North Carolina. Our seemingly picture perfect family was a train wreck and we stumbled around for months wondering if there was anything left worth salvaging.
My husband and I had made a mess of our marriage – Jeff in more obvious ways with his choice to seek comfort in pornography rather than seek help for his internal struggle for purity. But my idols were just as powerful – pride, self-sufficiency and self-righteousness. Over the years our sin natures had played off each other in a strange, sick little dance. Finally, God’s light exposed the true depth of our darkness and it was so ugly that neither of us could stand to look at it anymore.
THE GRACE OF GOD
We would have been without hope, save one thing – Titus 2:11-14.
11 For the grace of God has appeared, with salvation for all people, 12 instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. 14 He gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a special people, eager to do good works.
By the grace of God, the Author of Hope not only teaches us how to repent and live for him, but He gives us His Spirit to empower us to do so. Jeff and I have learned a great deal about repentance and redemption during our recovery journey. It is not only impacting how we do marriage, but also how we do family, how we do church and how we do work.
So, when I look back over the last five years, the ugly of our fall is a speck compared to the beauty of the redemptive work I see taking place. Healthy conversations, spiritual growth, and acts of forgiveness are evidence that God is still at work.
I am so thankful I serve a God who is in the business of redeeming others. It is what He desires most for his children. What in the world are you holding onto that He is offering to redeem?
She offers help to spouses of sexual strugglers through phone coaching and online spouses’ support groups.
Check out our site: www.puritycoaching.com