I had every intention of never speaking to him again. After discovering my husband, Tim, had been going to prostitutes for over a year without me realizing it, I filed for divorce. Unbeknownst to me, God had a much different plan in store.
During a six month separation, God held back the divorce papers. He brought both my husband and me into a true relationship with Himself through Jesus. Then He called me to reconcile with my husband.
In each of these situations, God directed my steps and showed me very clearly what to do (Proverbs 20:24). The key was listening to Him. Every marriage situation is different. There are different circumstances, different people coming from different backgrounds, different journeys and relationships with the Lord. Perhaps one spouse is a believer in Jesus and the other isn’t. Maybe they both think they are following the Lord but neither one of them has a close relationship with Him.
What God Has Done for Me
Many women in my situation ask me for advice. I can only share what God has done in my own marriage. I then encourage them to seek the Lord with all their heart. God is able to show each one of us what we should do. He desires that each of us trust Him and ask Him for advice and direction. I believe God uses these devastating situations to bring us closer to Him. Because He created each one of us uniquely, He can show us what to do in every unique situation.
Sometimes God will call us to stay. Sometimes He will call us to separate. Never will He ask us to condone or enable sin.
When God called me to move back home with my husband, I did so only out of love and obedience for Him. I was very afraid of being hurt again. During our time apart, God gave my husband a glimpse of hell, where he was headed if he continued with his life of sin. Thankfully I got the message and, in tears of release and repentance, he gave his life to Christ. (2 Corinthians 7:10)
One of the ways I knew it was God’s will to reconcile was because of the true repentance I saw in my husband. It was amazing to see how excited he was about the Bible. He was convinced it was 100 per cent true and he should live his life by it. I saw my husband as a new creation in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
God wants each one of us to be with Him forever. This means truly turning from our sin, repenting, and giving our lives to Him. I believe a big part of our roles as wives is to love our husbands enough to leave them when they are sinning and not take personal responsibility for their sin. (1 Corinthians 7:2-6) If our spouse is not a believer, separating for a time may be the only way God can get their attention. That old saying, “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone” often comes true in this kind of situation.
Tough Love Can’t Condone
I learned that if I truly love my husband, truly want what is best for him, then I cannot condone or enable his sin. I have to be the wife he needs, not necessarily the wife he wants. The wife he needs prays for him, encourages him to spend time with the Lord, and cheers him on. She also forgives him when he stumbles, and hates the sin but loves the sinner.
Sometimes love is tough. It does the very thing we may not “feel” like doing. It doesn’t always line up with our emotions or feelings because love isn’t a feeling but an action (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). Love looks out for the best for the other person, even if that person may “feel” unloved at the time. Isn’t God that way with us? He doesn’t always give us what we want, but He always gives us what we need. Because He loves us so much, He wants us to grow, persevere, and become more like Jesus in character (Philippians 2:1-18).
“My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” (James 5:19-20 NIV)
Father, I pray for people that are struggling with sexual sin. I pray You give their spouse the strength they need to separate when necessary and the obedience to reconcile when You call them to that. You are a God of redemption. Help each one of us to follow You and trust Your guidance in every situation. You alone have all the answers. I pray these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.
This article is written by Amy Allen, who along with her husband Tim have the web site A Redeemed Marriage, which tells the “story of hope and redemption through Jesus.” We highly recommend you visit their web site and read Amy’s blog. It can be an encouragement to anyone who has a troubled marriage because of sexual addiction. You will be blessed as you read of their spiritual and marital journey of resurrected hope and love.
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Filed under: Pornography and Cybersex Surviving Infidelity
8 responses to “Are You Enabling Your Spouse?”
My husband and I have been married for 20 years and he is handicapped. He has been since he was 3 years old and it has not always been a problem. Recently, due to a severe blow of losing his government income and medical, he has said and done some harsh and radical things. He has always been a believer in Messiah and been a disciple teaching and leading others in the truth.
Recently (almost 3 months ago), he says he does not believe all of the Bible and he is questioning his faith. He also told me for the 2nd time in our marriage that he does not love me and that he is not in love with me. The hard thing this time is he says he does not believe we have a marriage so he gets his sexual means met by looking at internet porn and believes he is justified in it because of how he sees our marriage. I am a submissive wife, as is illustrated in 1 Peter 3 and I pray for him at least 3 times a day. I have to work because of his disability and he cannot do a lot for himself. I have been told I should make him miss me by being gone for an extended time. Please pray for us and for me to hear Yah.
Tahar, That computer needs to be locked up or discarded. The stuff he is viewing is reprogramming his brain (there is research that shows this is true) and he is exchanging that which is real for that which is an illusion –a very unhealthy illusion. Please know that when you are gone, he has full access to feed his mind things that a husband (or any person, for that matter) should not be viewing. I don’t doubt that you are being told you should be gone for “an extended time.” This is an excuse to give him unbridled time to feed his flesh with that which is tempting him farther and farther away from you and from God.
I agree that 1 Peter 3 is important for a wife to follow. But that doesn’t mean that there are not times where you are supposed to fight for your marriage and help one who is “lost” in a world of delusion, when it is appropriate. There are times when you need to stand back and times when you need to go forward in battle with God to save that which is important. Your marriage and his relationship with God is important. Your husband is feeding himself with that which strikes against the heart of God. If you saw him eating poisonous stuff that you knew would eventually kill him slowly, would you submissively still make that food available to him, or would you find a way to get it out of his reach so the temptation would not continue to draw him to it? If you knew that rats were coming in and nibbling away at his skin, eating it away little-by-little, but he didn’t realize the danger, but rather thought they were his amusement, would you submissively stand back and let it happen if you could stop it?
What about parasites –those invisible to the eye bugs that eat away at that which is healthy? I read something in the Love Dare devotional that addresses this. We’re warned: “Watch out for parasites. A parasite is anything that latches onto you or your partner and sucks the life out of your marriage. They’re usually in the form of addictions, like gambling, drugs, or pornography. They promise pleasure but grow like a disease and consume more and more of your thoughts, time, and money. They steal away your loyalty and heart from those you love. Marriages rarely survive if parasites are present. If you love your spouse, you must destroy any addiction that has your heart. If you don’t, it will destroy you.
“The Bible speaks plainly about this protective role, often using the analogy of a shepherd. God warned, ‘My flock has become prey …food for all the beasts of the field.’ How so? ‘For lack of a shepherd.’ Not because these men were too weak to perform their duties but because they didn’t pay attention. Instead of watching to make sure that the sheep weren’t being picked off by predators, ‘the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock’ (Ezekiel 34:8). They took extra good care of their own needs and appetites but gave little thought to the safety of those under their supervision.
“…Remove anything that is hindering your relationship, any addiction or influence that’s stealing your affections and turning your heart away from your spouse.” As told in the Bible, “You will be restored if you remove unrighteousness far from your tent” (Job 22:23).
Your husband stopped paying attention. He is being picked off by predators that come in the form of alluring pictures of women he should not be viewing. You need to fight for your marriage and for the soul of your husband; he is in danger and so is your marriage. You need to do so respectfully and carefully, but wisely. God will show you how to do this as you pray and ask. Also, I encourage you to read through the Pornography and Cybersex Topic, we have on this web site. I believe it will open your eyes A LOT and will show you the spiritual warfare battle you have going on in your marriage. There are also links to other web sites, which may be able to give you guidance on this. I hope and pray so… I pray for you and for your husband and for victory over the battle that has entered into your marital home.
Thank you for your reply Cindy. You have made some good points. I have been concerned about behaving like a woman with a Jezzebel spirit and he is now very strong in discussions and makes it very clear when he thinks I am not submitting. I will continue to pray and ask for Yahweh to give me guidance how to make things change. I am the only one working as my husband is seeking help with getting a job because of his disability. He is 70% deaf now, which also plays into all the madness. We have no fellowship or friends around us and he has no accountability besides me. I so just want to do the will of our Father Yahweh and I pray a lot. I appreciate your prayers.
I forgot to add that I am a telecommuter so my job, being the only one working, is vital to our survival. Because of working from home, I have to have the Internet and this is where a lot of the problem stems. I also have to have a computer. So, things are challenging, but with the love and power of Yahushua and his precious blood and the prayers of the saints, my marriage will be healed. I just need to do the right things and sometimes that is hard or unknown.
Tahar, It’s obvious that you need a computer for your work. But there are ways of locking the computer while you are away, of putting it in a place so when you ARE home it’s not somewhere private so you can see what is being viewed by your husband. It’s not that you want to be his marital police, but if your spouse is doing that, which is harmful for the marriage on the computer, you need to use your God-given wisdom to figure out ways to protect your marriage from this harm. There are computer locks, and programs that keep youth out of sites they shouldn’t be on, so why not use these safeguards in this type of case? The more your husband views the junk on the computer, the more it hurts him and the more it hurts your marriage and you.
Don’t just sit back thinking God will take care of this. Apply what He will tell you. God gave us brains to use and gives us wisdom and discernment to apply when we ask. Pray, and then look into what you can do to keep your husband away from places he shouldn’t go on the computer. Don’t be mean about it, be wise and respectful. God never means for us to invite this kind of temptation and evil into our homes and our marriages. When it is being brought in then it’s up to us to find a way to “flee” and find a way to uproot it.
We’re given insight on this type of issue in one of the Psalms of David, “I will ponder the way that is blameless… I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me” (Psalm 101:2-3). As your spouse’s partner and as one who lives in your home, you have a responsibility to uproot that stuff or it WILL “cling” to you –you will be the recipient of the harm it will do (and so will your husband). Be meek –Jesus said that those who are meek will be rewarded. Meekness is strength under control. Ask the Lord how to do this tough stuff in the most respectful, yet wise way. And then DO IT. Your husband may still rebuff, but you will be doing what is right with the strength and insight God can give you AS YOU APPLY what God shows you to do. I hope you will.
I’m praying for you.
Good advice to Tahar. What if my husband is not disabled and has cyber relationships in his office, which he would deny me access to? He also keeps his phone away, yet he is saved and a music leader.
Was your husband saved before the separation? If he was, are you saying God was showing him he could lose his salvation?