#PreApproved Sisterhood Series
Welcome to a new series, hosted here on the blog. Every Tuesday night, one of our PreApproved sisters will share her story on letting go of a love idol.
Together, we’re giving up our love idols, and we’re not taking them back.
We are already approved; we have nothing to prove. In Christ, we are #preapproved.
Crushing the Idol, Once and For All
Our family has had a situation play out within the past few months that have been extremely painful for us all to process. There seemed to be an elephant in the room, although no one wanted to ever acknowledge it. We knew something wasn’t quite right, and yet every time we tried to address it, it was brushed aside once more. Nothing ever gets resolved when this happens.
The days of tiptoeing around this elephant in the room turned into weeks, then months, and ultimately years of denying there was an elephant at all. Yet, in the back of our minds, we knew. We saw, we felt, and we lived side by side with this elephant.
By now you may be wondering exactly where I am going with this and what, exactly, am I talking about here. You may even be scratching your head right now while asking, “What is the elephant in the room that she’s referring to?” It is my husband’s addiction to pornography. Before you gasp and shy away from this post, please hear me out and see how this has affected us all. It has been extremely painful, and yet, I feel the story needs to be told.
Men have been viewing this sort of thing for quite some time, although few will freely admit it. They lie to themselves that it’s “only this once” or that “no one will ever know” and ultimately “it’s not hurting anyone” when in reality it comes out in other ways in a relationship and can be quite damaging and hurtful to the one that they are supposed to love and cherish the most. The wife wonders exactly what is going on when her husband will not touch her, and she fears the worst; that he has had an affair.
What many don’t realize is that pornography desensitizes the viewer. They, then, develop an intimacy disorder where they are unable to express love and affection with their partners. It isn’t because they don’t love them. They do, but they are no longer able to express it to them after being exposed to pornography for so long. Their sense of reality becomes distorted, and they feel shameful and full of guilt, which keeps this cycle going where they shy away from any form of intimacy at all with their wives for fear of rejection or feeling as if they are repulsive for their addiction.
Perhaps you have seen the movie “Fireproof.” In this movie, Caleb struggles with pornography. He tries to be a good person, and he is in other areas of his life. However, his wife, Catherine, suffers at the hand of Caleb’s addiction. My family and I watched this movie years ago and took in all that happened and how things played out, never realizing at the time that my life would eventually unravel and things would be revealed much like what happened with the characters in that movie. Caleb and Catherine became estranged, rarely spending any time together, and what time they did spend together was peppered with arguments and harsh words. They drifted so far apart while both wondered what happened to their once-happy marriage. Then, the pornography addiction was discovered.
A lot of people think that the solution is simple: to stop viewing pornography. However, in the case of an addict, it is one of the hardest things for them to do.
My point with this post is that I have suffered at the hands of this addiction. My husband suffered in his own way as he became a slave to it. I suffered by being robbed of the intimacy and closeness with my husband for years. As a result, I had low self-esteem, felt inadequate, and as if I wasn’t good enough if my husband would turn to this stuff instead of to me. I wondered for years what was wrong with me.
I tried to fix myself up with the best makeup, clothes, and shoes that money could buy. I grew my hair out really long as I knew he liked it that way, and I always kept my nails well-groomed and freshly painted. Soon I realized, though, that I didn’t need all of those things. I sought my husband’s approval, hoping to catch his eye, and then one day I realized that it wasn’t in any makeup that I could put on my face. It wasn’t in any of the fancy clothes or high-heeled shoes that I’d wear. My strength wasn’t in my long blond hair, nor the shiny red nail polish I would wear for him. The only approval I truly needed was from God above, and He gave me His stamp of approval long ago!
Please know that our story will have a happy ending. It will. My husband has stared his addiction in the eyes and is crushing it once and for all. This will not be an easy road that we walk, yet it is part of our journey. We will walk it together now hand in hand as I will not desert him but will, instead, stand by my man on his road to recovery. We know that God has great plans for us, and we are clinging to Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,“ says the Lord, “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
My name is Shirley, and I know without a shadow of a doubt now, that I am pre-approved by God above!
Shirley considers her greatest blessings to be her two beautiful daughters who are her heart and soul. She has a passion for her family, photography, music, and most importantly God. She writes to share her heart and God’s Light, Love, & Hope. You can find her at her blog, on Facebook, or through Twitter.
A Note For Anyone Struggling with Pornography
If you or someone you know has faced a struggle with pornography, may I suggest the following resource?
Jennifer and Craig Ferguson have recently released a book called Pure Eyes, Clean Heart: A Couple’s Journey to Freedom from Pornography
. “In this candid account, Craig and Jen Ferguson share their personal story of the shame, anger, and hopelessness associated with Craig’s porn addiction. It threatened to destroy their marriage until they
discovered how drawing close to Christ could lead them out of the pit of sinful habits, unhealthy responses, and personal despair toward true recovery. Marked by biblical and practical guidance for addressing the heart issues that lead to addiction, Pure Eyes, Clean Heart
offers encouragement and hope to those who struggle—or whose loved ones struggle—with the lure of pornography. Includes Scripture-based prayers, discussion questions for couples, and other helpful resources.”
THE LOVE IDOL MOVEMENT
Click here to find out more about the Love Idol movement.
Click here to purchase the book that inspired the movement.
Click here to join us on Facebook as we lay down our Love Idols and declare our #preapproved status in Christ.
Click here to print the black and white preapproved cutouts.
Place these where ever your Love Idols have lurked!
A pink PreApproved printable: to frame, to put on your refrigerator, to give to a friend.
Click here to print. My gift to you, brave soul!