After months of “warning signs,” I caught my husband viewing pornography on his phone. I am so disgusted. I wanted to believe this was a bad dream, but the reality is that he has confessed to having a serious addiction to pornography for more than a year. But even worse, he admits that this has been a “struggle” since his late teen years. I had no idea!
Our marriage is suffering, and I do not know how to help him or even if I want to help. I do feel sorry for him, but how can we possibly minister to others effectively with this in our life?
For starters, thank you for your courage! It is very important for you to know that you are not alone in this struggle. In fact, according to the most recent statistics from Covenant Eyes, an Internet accountability program, 51 percent of pastors say that Internet porn is a real temptation. In addition, 75 percent of pastors do not make themselves accountable to anyone for Internet use.
Porn does not have a demographic. It crosses all demographics, so unfortunately, our pastor-husbands are not immune from the pitfalls of this industry. It is estimated that by 2017, a quarter of a billion people will be accessing mobile adult content from their smartphones or tablets. We must take action now! And your cry for help is one of the ways to start restoration, not only for you and your husband, but for other couples.
A great place for healing to begin is a daily, dedicated time of prayer specific to this issue for you (individually) and your husband (together). I also recommend reaching out to couples who have experienced victory over a variety of temptations in their marriage. And if you haven’t already, install an Internet filter on all devices, and especially an accountability filter.
However, it is important to keep in mind not to become your husband’s “parole officer.” In other words, watching his every move, checking his Internet history, and questioning him often is not the answer. It has been said that constantly checking everything never reveals the internal heart condition but only external performance. However, you—with a heart seeking to be his wife according to the will of God—are his best hope for real change.
What you really want is a changed, victorious man. Spend quality time together (not nagging time) finding the journey back to wholeness in your relationship. Encourage him to be the man God has called him to be as you study and pray daily together.
“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:11-13, NKJV).
As you faithfully move forward and trust God for victory, your ministry together and to others will soar to heights that you cannot imagine! God has a plan. Trust Him.