For most women in the Beauty for Ashes Group (myself included),
there has been a time where we have thought about separation,
and what our life would be like without our husbands, without
porn, and without the pain that comes from walking through
healing from sexual sin.
It can be easy to let the mind wander, to the “what if’s.”
“What if I wasn’t married?”
“What if I had another life?”
“What if he does____… will I stay?”
My own, “what if” was full of how free and happy I’d be IF I
I would fantasize about moving to India to become a missionary;
it was easy to imagine how “wonderful” and Christ-filled my life
would be, if only I wasn’t married.
I really wrestled to understand why my husband couldn’t just stop
Thoughts like these came often…
“If he’s truly sorry, then why does he continue to do this time
again and again?!
“If he really loves me, he would stop sinning and causing me
pain…he must not really love me…I would never do this to him!”
I remember each day teetering on whether or not my husband had
had a “good” sin day or not. If he had looked at porn or self
gratified, I was majorly bummed out, hurt and offended!
The offense was VERY personal…as if his reason for looking at
another was because he was not satisfied in me; I saw it as a
personal adultery of the heart.
Looking back on this time, I see a lot of hypocrisy in my life. I too
was very far from loving my husband perfectly, and I greatly
lacked the very loyalty which I had so criticized in him. My love
became performance based, conditional, and very critical.
The reality was my husband did love and cherish me. He was
fighting the good fight of faith, and falling… sometimes daily,
sometimes longer, but he had not given himself over to his sin like
before. He was in an accountability group; he was being honest
with me about his struggles; and he was looking to God to be his
Helper and Deliverer. He wanted to change, and his sin grieved
him. He was fighting, yet falling.
Proverbs 24:16 says,
“A righteous man falls seven times in a day, then get’s back up
The Proverb doesn’t say, “a righteous man never falls, or sins,
Yet this was what I expected of him- to live a “perfect,” sin free
Sometimes when I wrestle with judgement about my husband’s
struggle with lust, it really helps me to consider the areas that I
struggle in my own life. For example, worry and fear are constant
areas of struggle for me.
This is an area where I REALLY struggle; I struggle to trust God
all the time: with the little things, the big things- you name it- I
suck at trust! The truth is, as much as I struggle with this, I have
really come to hate this area of sin in my life. Sometimes it
literally feels like a chain around my neck. I don’t want to do it,
but I do. (Romans 7:15)
Even though I WANT to trust God with my whole heart and not
fear ever again… even when I know I’m wrong…even when I’m
fighting and trying with all my might to be strong…it’s like,
sometimes I just can’t help myself and there I am again, right
back in my sin.
The struggle to abstain from lust is similar for my husband, and
through time I have learned that his failures, confessions, and
desire to change are beautiful moves toward God.
Just his very desire to be different, is a working out of the Holy
Spirit in his heart toward more freedom and healing! That doesn’t
mean it doesn’t hurt when he lusts over another; it can leave me
feeling sad, un-loved, or create distance between us. Still I want
to align my heart with the heart of the Father, and remember that
these moments are used by God to draw us closer to Himself.
When we look at the story of the Prodigal son, we see it’s not until
he was face down in the pig muck that he wanted to go home.
(Luke 15: 11-32)
Sometimes God uses these sin moments, and failures
and fallings to show us the BETTER PLEASURE of
Christ, and the beauty of living in the Father’s house.
Nothing is wasted in Him…not even the pig muck
moments of life.
The struggle for my husband was real (and remains so); looking
back, I see how self-focused (and self righteous) I was.
I thought only of myself- my hurt, my pain, my sadness, my
desires for his freedom, me, me, me- all the time, and no care at
all for my husband. I began to see my husband as the very enemy
himself, and my heart became more and more hard and separate
My own self-righteousness had blinded me to the hatred and sin
in my own heart. Instead of seeing his problem as our problem,
and his pain as my pain, I saw him as THE problem- period.
This is not a biblical way of thinking though. Over and over, God
calls us to care for one another, to be merciful, to forgive, and not
hold our sins against one another. (Please read Matthew
2 Corinthians 5 also says:
“Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of
reconciliation; that is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to
himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and
entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.”
“Carry one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of
Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)
Also in John 13, when Jesus poured the water into the basin and
washed the disciples feet he said to them,
“…As I have done for you, so do for one another.”
Jesus wasn’t afraid to put His hands in our filth, and be with us in
our muck. He didn’t hold our sin against us, but has entrusted us
with His message of reconciliation.
Can you imagine if God required perfection of us to be in a
relationship with Him? Or if God allowed our past (or present
sins) to define His relationship with us for the rest of eternity?
Yet, for those that have put their faith in Christ, the former things
are forgotten. They are lost in the ocean, never to be found again.
(See Micah 7:18-20) The Father calls us “justified,” which means
“just as if we’d never sinned.” (Romans 5:1)
Recently I met a gal and she said something that really struck me.
She said, “I’m not going to waste anymore of my life; he makes me
I couldn’t help thinking about the Father’s love that runs to meet
the prodigal son, the Father who waits and waits, and watches for
his son to come home. Similarly, there’s a beautiful passage in
Hosea where God is talking about adulterous Israel. She has gone
astray and failed Him, and broken His heart yet again. But this is
the response of the Lord’s heart-
“How can I give you up, O Ephraim? How can I hand you over, O
Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like
Zeboiim? My heart recoils within me; my compassion grows warm
Isn’t God’s love for us so beautiful? I so wish I loved more like
Him. To the wife who’s husband is sorry, broken, sad and
struggling in his sin, I encourage you to run to him (as the Father
of the prodigal son did), embrace him, and cover him with the
“For love COVERS a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)