I wish you were here right now, so I could look you in the eyes, take you by the hand, and assure you of a few things that I think you need to hear. I would begin by telling you how terribly sorry I am that you even need to read this blog post. I am sorry that your husband didn’t come to you and confess his struggle, but that you had to discover it on your own.
I bet I know what you’re thinking: Is he truly sorry because of what he did, or is he sorry he got caught?
It’s normal for a wife to wonder how much longer he would have kept this little secret or if he would have ever come clean. This is a question you’ll never have an answer for, so it’s best to set it aside in lieu of the question that has answers: What do I do when I catch my husband looking at porn.
- Rest assured that your husband’s use of pornography is not about you. I hope he has already told you this, but I suspect you’re not so sure. Believe it. Pornography is a selfish act meant to meet his own perceived needs. That means you are not in competition with digitally enhanced images of other women. This is not about your appearance, your sexual availability, or your competence in the bedroom. You do not need to be a size 8, get a tummy tuck, or engage in sexual acts that make you uncomfortable.
- Expect to be bombarded by a host of emotions. It’s entirely possible that since you caught your husband you have experienced anger, fear, sadness, depression, and guilt –and the pain feels incomprehensible. If you’re anything like me, you’ve found yourself saying and doing things you never thought imaginable. I was undone when I discovered my husband’s addiction, and I alternately cried until I made myself physically sick and raged like a crazy woman. (Not my proudest moment.) Above all, you need to know that there is hope and that God is big enough to meet all of your needs. 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 reminds us that our endurance, patience, and perseverance are inspired by our hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. Believe me when I tell you that His long arm of mercy can and will reach you and pluck you out of this miry pit.
- Your husband’s use of porn will not go away if you simply ignore it, chalking it up to “boys will be boys.” God gives us a standard for marriage in the Bible. It’s that standard that causes you to think, “A faithful, loving husband doesn’t do this.” While the word confront doesn’t sound very loving, leaving your husband in this sin isn’t a loving response either. You need to tenderly confront your husband about his use of pornography. Some women need to confront the issue immediately while others require some time to process what they’ve discovered before they can discuss it. There is no right or wrong time, as long as you don’t avoid or deny the issue. Don’t be surprised if your emotions bubble to the surface and you find yourself crying or fighting mad. Exhale. Remember that you are in a battle, but this is a battle not between you and your husband, but a battle between the two of you against pornography.
- Find safe support. It is important that you find someone to talk to, and the first person should be God. Ask Him to direct your path in this situation. This is not the time to broadcast this to everyone you meet, but you do need support. Your best confidants will be those who are equipped to listen without judgment, and preferably someone who has experience with this. If your husband is committed to restoring your marriage and he is taking obvious steps in the right direction, I strongly encourage you to consult him about who and how much to tell.
- Accept the fact that it is not in your power to fix this for your husband. God has given the Holy Spirit the task of conviction of sin. You are not responsible for your husband’s daily choices. Your job is to walk in obedience to the Word of God. Turn to the Wonderful Counselor for healing your own heart. You’ve experienced a painful betrayal and you need to trust yourself into His care. When you arrive at a place of healing, you will be in a better position to create an environment that promotes healing in your marriage. Leave your husband in God’s hands. He’s got this one.
You can read more about what you can do to create a healing environment for your husband in my book, When Your Husband is Addicted to Pornography: Healing Your Wounded Heart.
If only I could get this child potty trained…
If only I could get that promotion or new job…
If only I could get pregnant, so we could start our family…
If only this traffic wasn’t so bad or I could find a parking spot…
In this season of giving, we wait. We wait for the next big thing we have been planning or to get through the line at the checkout. As Christians, we wait for our Savior’s return. Much of life is waiting. So how do you wait? Are you restless, impatient, even angry … or are you hurting, crying out in your waiting like Job in his trials.
Whatever your circumstance, the waiting is often the hardest part. In his new release, The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing, Jeff Goins examines the journey of waiting and looks to the wait as a time of transformation and growth in our relationship with God.
Goins is an accomplished writer / speaker who gently leads his reader to conclusions that are simple, but thoughtful and poignant. I really liked the personal aspect of his writing. He writes in a manner that is very readable. You can imagine him sitting across the table over coffee telling you about these real life experiences and the gleanings reaped from them. He shares that when we embrace the “In-Between”, we learn the lessons of how to:
- Slow Down
- Let Go
- Be Grateful
In this season of waiting, consider adding this excellent read to your reading shelf or for someone on your holiday shopping list. And blessings to you in your wait!
Here’s Jeff explaining the idea behind the book. If you’re not sure about the book and its message, he explains it best!
Most of us spend our lives searching and longing for something more than what is in front of us. Whether it’s traveling abroad or chasing cheap (or expensive) thrills, we’re all looking for medicine to satisfy our restlessness. And, so often, we’re looking in the wrong place.
The In-Between is a call for all of us to accept the importance that waiting plays in our lives. In this spiritual memoir, Jeff Goins reveals the unexpected good that came from his times of waiting. And he encourages us to embrace the extraordinary nature of the ordinary and enjoy the daily mundane, what lies in between the “major” moments.
Moments of breakthrough are not where life’s greatest transformation happens; the stuff that God uses to shape us often lies in the in-between. It’s the bus stops and layovers and DMV lines and moments of unintentional pause that force us to become better people.
That’s not to say there aren’t moments of epiphany. There are. It’s just that most of us find ourselves living somewhere in the in-between. Learning to live in this tension, to be content in these moments of waiting, may be our greatest struggle…and our greatest opportunity to grow.
Paperback: 176 pages (also available in e-book and audio formats)
Publisher: Moody Publishers; New Edition edition (July 23, 2013)
Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 5.2 x 8 inches
Retail Price: $13.99
Available for less at these retailers:
The Book Trailer is great too!
About the Author
Jeff Goins is a blogger, speaker and author. Originally from the Chicago suburbs, Jeff graduated from Illinois College with a degree in Spanish and Religion. Junior year, he spent a semester in Spain, which opened his eyes to a whole new world. After graduating, Jeff spent a year on the road with a band. Then he moved to Tennessee to chase a girl. In 2008, he married her. Check out his Blog at Goinswriter.com.
Note: We were provided with a complimentary copy of the book through Shaun Tabatt at Cross-Focused Reviews and the publisher for an honest review of this title.
I suspect He needs more of me too. I can’t put my finger on whether I’ve been feeling lost or I’m hiding, but something isn’t right.
I’ve been about Philippians 4:11–13.
I am not saying this because I am in need,
for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.
I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation,
whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
This is a very familiar passage, but it’s hard for me to grasp how in all my fleshiness, I can be content whatever my circumstances. Truth be told … I’m rarely content. (Ouch. That hurts to see that little confession in print.)
When I was writing When Your Husband is Addicted to Pornography: Healing Your Wounded Heart, I studied the Greek text of this passage. I discovered that the Greek word which we translate as content [autarkes (ow-tar’-kace)], really has nothing to do with our emotional state of satisfaction. Rather, autarkes means “self-sufficient, self-reliant, or self-complacent.”
Paul wasn’t promoting a DIY (do-it-yourself) mindset. He wasn’t suggesting, “For I have learned to be self-sufficient whatever the circumstances.” No, throughout Philippians, Paul clearly teaches the centrality of Christ for living according to God’s design. Let’s see if we can figure out what he’s saying.
Paul says he learned 2 things …
1. He had to learn to be content and
2. He learned the secret of being content, which implies that there was a time in his life when he didn’t know how to be content. (That makes me feel better.)
If you don’t know how much it cost Paul to learn this lesson, take a moment to read 2 Corinthians 11:24–28. Friend, I wouldn’t trade places with Paul for most of the things he experienced!
Yet he learned contentment.
Paul was an old, gray-haired man when he wrote these words. It took him a lifetime of lessons to learn to be content. (I only have 1-2 gray hairs, so I suspect I have more to learn, eh?)
Paul says in Philippians 4:12, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.” FYI, Paul is not a very good secret keeper, because he spills the beans in the next verse.
Check out Philippians 4:13 –> I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Paul isn’t about self-sufficiency at all. He is about Christ-sufficiency. He is wholly relying on Christ as his source of strength. Happiness is temporary and based on our circumstances, but contentment is independent of our circumstances and based on the degree to which we rely on Christ. It’s as though Paul is saying, “I have learned the secret of being Christ-dependent in any and every situation.”
Don’t miss this. You, too, must be Christ-dependent in every situation, including your present circumstances. God has little concern for how happy you are, because he hasn’t promised you happiness. He is, on the other hand, most interested in how content, holy, and “his” you are. Your contentment is found in your relationship with Christ.
Oh, baby … it’s all about the relationship! Our family was reading Ann Voskamp’s new Advent Devotional, The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas last night. She reminded us that the first question asked in the Old Testament is “Where are you” (Genesis 3:9)? and the first question asked in the New Testament is “Where is He” (Matthew 2:2)?
Let that sink in … it’s significant.
We only find ourselves when we find Him. (For in Him we live and move and have our being. Act 17: 28) We’re created to desire relationship with each other.
NEWS FLASH: IF I’M NOT WITH HIM, I’M NOT CONTENT, BECAUSE I’M CHRIST-DEPENDENT!
I love the thought that He looks for me and sees me. Hagar named Him the “God who Sees” (Genesis 16:13).
We must never doubt that he is looking for us. A student at the Bible college where I teach recently shared that her family raised sheep. She explained that if a sheep is alone – without a flock – it will die of sadness. In fact, she explained that if a shepherd has only 2 sheep and 1 of them dies, he will need to sleep with and stay near that lone sheep or it will die.
I was struck by how this new information amplifies this passage: “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off. And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off (Matthew 18:12-13).
This sheep hears the voice of her Shepherd calling.
Here I am!
Today I’ve invited Jennifer Maggio to tell you about her new book. I know that a lot of single moms follow my blog and I don’t want you to miss this! If you or someone you know would be blessed by this book, be sure to leave a comment. We’ll be drawing for one free autographed copy of “Peace tne the Single Mom” next Friday. Send me a private email with your mailing address in case you’re our winner! email@example.com ~Vicki
Eighteen years ago, I gazed into the eyes of my unbelievably beautiful firstborn. I sat in the hospital room alone. It was the first of many nights, many years, that I would spend parenting my son alone. It wasn’t long before I found myself curled in a ball in the middle of my cold, bathroom floor, crying hysterically. I was convinced that no one could possibly understand the depths of my pain. When would this misery end? I was broken. I was exhausted. I had no money, few friends, and no hope. How was I going to raise a child alone for 18 years? How could I make it financially? Would my circumstances every change?
That is my story – the story of a lonely single mom, living on government assistance, running from God, and feeling I couldn’t push through. The next several years brought a winding road of highs and lows, victories and defeats. But I did push through. I made it through those early years of parenting alone. Although I hadn’t been in years, I became involved in my local church, rededicated my life to the Lord, and slowly began the journey of digging myself out of a financial and emotional hole. My heart found rest. I leaned on the Lord, when everyone else had failed me. And I never forgot what it was like to be that lonely, overwhelmed single mom. That little baby I held oh so long ago is now eighteen, thriving, and the joy of my life.
My new book, Peace and the Single Mom: 50 Moments of Calm in the Chaos, exists to walk another single mother through the certain loneliness she has felt, but also to guide her to God’s faithfulness, to wholeness, to humor, and ultimately, to peace. It was written as my “thank you” for all God has done in my own life. It was written as my encouragement to that mom who feels no one understands.
Single moms don’t need just another sermon preached at them. They don’t need another book that makes them feel they are light years away from being a good Proverbs 31 woman! They want to hear about God’s grace, His faithfulness, His unconditional love. They want to learn to laugh again. My hope is that Peace and the Single Mom does just that!
Picture Peace and the Single Mom as your girl-time with me, as we sit in your living room, sipping coffee, with our feet on the furniture.
Jennifer Maggio is an award-winning author and speaker whose personal journey through homelessness, severe abuse, and single parenting leaves audiences riveted. She is founder of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries and Overwhelmed: The Single Moms Magazine. For more info, visit www.thelifeofasinglemom.com.
Friends, I’m delighted to introduce you to my friend, Kathy Collard Miller, who is guest blogging for me today …
There’s something deep inside of us that believes worry can change others. If someone we love has a different perspective than we do, we worry. If someone we love has a different belief about God, we worry. If someone we love has a character flaw, we worry. We just know their wrong thinking will mess up their lives.
Some of these worries may truly seem “worthy” of worry. Your mother may not know Christ as her Savior, and she has cancer. Your son may be on the street taking drugs. Your friend may demonstrate a lack of integrity at work. Another friend drives while intoxicated. You may have tried to reason, cajole, quote Scripture, even manipulate each person into changing their ideas and their behavior, but nothing has worked—not even prayer. God hasn’t changed them either. You fear something bad, really bad, is going to happen.
Even if it’s not a matter of something really bad occurring, we can easily take responsibility for someone else’s happiness and then respond in an unhealthy way. I recognized that possibility as we walked through the grief process with my mother-in-law, Audrey.
My husband’s parents, Don and Audrey, were married for sixty-two years and in that time, Audrey was only alone overnight for fewer than twenty nights—total. Even when Don was away during two different wars, Audrey’s mother lived with her. Four or five months before Don passed away, Audrey remarked to me, “If something happens to Don, I don’t know if I can live alone.” Then about a month later she commented, “I’ve been thinking about living alone and I think I can do it.” I was so proud of her.
The first night of Don’s hospitalization, Audrey stayed in our home. The next day she surprised us with her spunk, saying she wanted to return to her own home. I volunteered to spend the night at her home, but she said, “No, I have to get used to it.” And she did, even after Don died a week later.
But that doesn’t mean I didn’t worried about her loneliness. During the first two weeks we made sure she had something to do with us every day. But realizing we couldn’t keep that up for long, I wondered how she would cope.
In my prayer time I prayed verses for Audrey dealing with the topic of loneliness. I began praying Psalm 146:9 for her: “The LORD protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow; But He thwarts the way of the wicked” (NASB). Unexpectedly, I thought, I shouldn’t try to fill the place the Lord wants in her life.
Wow—that hit me hard. In my worry about her loneliness, I had begun to feel responsible to make sure she wasn’t lonely. I wrote in my journal: “I can try to be there too much and she could depend upon me and/or Larry instead of looking to You, Lord. Help me, Father, to resist the compulsion to ‘be there’ for her too much.”
When I told Larry about what the Lord had revealed to me, I jokingly (but with some seriousness) quipped, “God doesn’t want me to be your mom’s grief savior.” If I had continued to worry about her, I could have easily become that. And I’d be good at it because I so easily take responsibility for the happiness of others.
When I talked to Audrey later that day, she enthusiastically said, “Guess what Chuck Swindoll talked about on his radio program today?”
“What, Mom Audrey?”
“Loneliness. It really ministered to me.”
I laughed. God had come through. I didn’t need to be in charge of making sure she wasn’t lonely. Of course, she’s going to be lonely—she’s alone for the first time in her life. We certainly are going to help her, but she should primarily look to God, not us. Otherwise, she’ll draw too close to us and not closer to God.
It is possible to worry less through trusting God more. Regardless of the storms of trials, temptations, worry, uncertainty, confusion, or regrets that you’re facing, you can trust God more. Partly Cloudy with Scattered Worries offers a conversational style, personal testimonies, practical illustrations, and solid biblical teaching for breaking anxiety and the devastating effects of worry. Each chapter includes Discussion Questions for individuals or groups, along with a “Letter from God.” In addition, a profile of a woman in the Bible who struggled with or experienced victory over worry is featured in each chapter to inspire every reader to see God’s hand in her life.
Kathy Collard Miller is a speaker and author. Her passion is to inspire women to trust God more. She has spoken in 30 states and 7 foreign countries. Kathy has 49 published books including Women of the Bible: Smart Guide to the Bible (Thomas Nelson) and she blogs at www.KathyCollardMiller.blogspot.com. Kathy lives in Southern California with her husband of 43 years, Larry, and is the proud grandma of Raphael. Kathy and Larry often speak together at marriage events and retreats.
Order Cloudy with a Scattered Chance of Worries HERE