The following is an excerpt from the introduction in my new book, Restoring the Wife’s Heart. This will give you a feel for the direction the book takes. There’s something for everyone in the words that follow.
Introduction, from Restoring the Wife’s Heart.
Your heart matters to God.
Discovering that your husband has been binging on porn or has committed adultery is a traumatic experience. I’ve known women who’ve ended up in the psychiatric ward because the shock was so overwhelming that it broke them.
Maybe you feel like you’re inches from the cliff.
Tragically, there are many who don’t understand the blunt force trauma a wife endures. “It’s just porn . . . there’s nothing wrong with masturbation . . . men will always watch porn, so get used to it . . . you need to submit to your husband and forgive him.” That’s some of the tamer stuff I’ve heard. Some Christians full-on blame the wife. “If you gave him more sex . . . were nicer . . . were patient with him . . . he wouldn’t be into porn.” Then there are those, including family members, who love to swing the battle axe. “Divorce him! Scrape him off and find someone else.”
The message that snakes through all of this is that your heart doesn’t matter. People tell you to stuff your feelings and get over it. They don’t want to deal with a woman who’s crying one moment and ready for a straitjacket the next.
None of these misguided responses reflect the heart of God.
Behold my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my Spirit upon him;
he will bring forth justice to the nations.
He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,
or make it heard in the street;
a bruised reed he will not break,
and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Your husband’s sexual sin is not your fault.
Some of you need to read that again.
It’s not your fault.
God sees the truth. If your husband has blamed, manipulated, gaslighted, or abused you verbally, emotionally, or physically, God knows. He sees your sorrow, the jolting emotional roller-coaster you’re on, the hopelessness, doubt, despair. You didn’t shock Him when you questioned why He gave you a man who’s addicted to pornography.
Your heart matters to God.
This book is about restoring your heart and equipping you to take up the mantle of Jael, a female warrior who lived in an era when the men had lost their way.
During the course, you will walk with God, a support partner, and a group of other women who are on the same path you’re on. Healing comes in community . . .
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
— James 5:16
. . . and resting with Him.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
“Lie down in green pastures.” Rest. Many of God’s people have forgotten what rest of soul is. Maybe they never knew. Rest of soul comes from the deep peace that is only found in silence with God and allowing Him to minister to your heart. That’s not easy to do in a time when everyone’s running at 150 miles per hour, especially if you’re a mom of small children trying to navigate your way through the emotional minefield of a marriage that’s been sabotaged with pornography. Jesus calls us to rest no matter what we’re going through and regardless of how busy we think we are.
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
This book isn’t about your husband, nor is it about fixing him. In spite of your heartfelt prayers and efforts, your husband may choose to fall deeper into the hole. I hope not. My prayer is that he is serious about healing, growing, and taking the action steps to prove it, but from experience I know that isn’t a given. Some men take longer to get there; others refuse to change until God rocks their world.
Our mission is to equip you for the journey ahead and take your relationship with the Lord to a deeper level so that no matter what happens, you can stand strong in Him and be at peace. That doesn’t mean you won’t get hurt, but that neither your husband’s actions nor the misspoken advice of others will break you.
You’re stronger than you think because the Spirit of the Living God resides in you. Weakness (yours) and power (His) abide in the same clay temple. Weeping and grieving is part of the healing process. If you haven’t given yourself the permission to cry, do so now. Crying isn’t a sign of weakness; it is a sign of strength. Give yourself the grace to take the time to do what you need to do in order to heal and grow. Many wives beat themselves up because they can’t get over the emotional gyrations quickly. Healing from marital infidelity or porn takes years, and the wounds can flare up occasionally. There are instances when I choke up or completely lose it in front of an audience when I share how I committed adultery with a prostitute in 1991. I’m the one who hurt my wife, and it still hurts at times—even decades later.
It is better to go to the house of mourning
than to go to the house of feasting,
for this is the end of all mankind,
and the living will lay it to heart.
Sorrow is better than laughter,
for by sadness of face the heart is made glad.
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
I love being with hurting people; I believe that’s where real life is. What you’re going through is painful, but God can use it to deepen your life in a profound way that you’ll one day see as a rich blessing. Looking back, I can see how the pain and suffering in my life have been gifts that burned off pride, fear, and selfishness. They taught me how to stand up and fight my spiritual battles, and as a result, my relationship with the Lord blossomed. Pain is also the best teacher for ministry. Suffering has a language of its own, and only those who’ve been through it can relate to other broken people.
Your heart matters to God. You’re stronger than you think you are.
Dimensions: 7 x 10”
Paperback, 184 pages
Price: $19.95, Including Media Mail.
Order here: https://www.blazinggrace.org/store/
For more information:
Restoring the Wife’s Heart is the basis for our Wife’s Heart course for wives.
Reply to this email for more information, or see
https://www.blazinggrace.org/wives-support-group-porn-adultery/ for more information.
Want our help setting up a support group for wives? Contact us and let’s start the discussion.