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    GUEST POST: When Your Husband is Addicted to Porn

    Thursday, January 21, 2021

     

    Many of you who frequent this page are single. It is a blog about singleness, after all. But I do have many married and dating sisters-in-Christ that find themselves here. A common struggle in this world we live in is pornography. Most likely you will encounter it in a relationship. Or maybe you yourself, as a woman, struggle with it. 

    A brave sister-in-Christ reached out recently and wanted to share anonymously what God has been doing in her life after finding out her husband was addicted to porn. This post is meant in no way to point out other people’s sins. Rather, it is meant to give wisdom in how to respond when you encounter sins within a relationship. You can respond to sin by sinning. Or you can choose a response like Jesus. Search your heart and mind as you read this post. 

     

    As a wife who is married to a man who was ensnared by porn for more than half of our marriage, I wish I could say I handled the initial trauma of finding out in a Christ-like manner. Like most women, however, I immediately wanted a quick “get me out of this” solution.  What I was not anticipating was the whisper of the Holy Spirit opening my eyes to see this as an opportunity to apply all that He had been teaching me up to this point in my life. For example, about a month before this revelation I started reading a book titled: What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do by David Jeremiah.  I am not even sure how I got the book, but sitting in my hands, a month before all this mess, God placed this tool to equip me for “such a time as this.” 

     

    This book is an in-depth study about the book of James. You may recall that James begins with, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, considerate an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (James 1:2-4 NLT) So call this trial a testing of my faith!  I certainly did not want to “consider” it to be joyful, but today, I can tell you, I do consider it a great joy because I have grown closer to my Lord and Savior through this testing of my faith in Him. 

     

    If I would not have had a solid foundation in the love of Christ prior to this trial, my eyes would have been blind to see how the enemy wanted to keep me more focused on the emotional impact and his lies.  The enemy is good at keeping my eyes on me and the hurt from the sin that was thrown on me.  It felt like my husband’s sin was piled into a dump truck and was then dumped out on top of me.  This is where the enemy wanted me to sit, in the pit with all the yuck dumped on top of me.  His main purpose is to steal, kill and destroy, and that is exactly what this pit and pile of yuck was doing to me and my marriage whenever I was distracted, and my focus was on the sin. 

     

    To respond in a Christ-like manner with any trial we must first have a one-on-one intimate relationship with Christ and a deeper understanding of Him. After the initial shock and verbal outpouring of my hurt and anger, I went straight to the place that I had been going for years - my closet.  I was not going there to hide, but to be with the Lord.  My closet is where I go to pray.  A couple years before this trial I began going to my closet, getting on my knees, and talking to my Heavenly Father.  This was my safe place.  This is where I knew He would comfort me, hold me and where I knew my eyes and ears would be on Him.  I ran to Him because He had been loving me and teaching me. And at that point I knew He was the only One I could fully trust. 

     

    Every day, every hour, every minute I ran to Him. Every time my mind would race thinking about the evil of the sin, I would pray.  Every time I would begin to feel the tidal waves of pain crashing into me, I would go to His Word.  Every time the anger would begin to build up within me, I would turn on worship music and worship Him.  Instead of focusing on the sin, which is what the enemy would whisper for me to do, I would force myself to turn to Him by praying, reading His Word, calling my mentor or my closest, godly friends (who I knew would direct me back to Him), listen to worship music, turn on a sermon, or physically just look up to Him.  I was learning to renew my mind by: “Fixing my thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Thinking about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.  Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me-everything you heard from me and saw me doing.  Then the God of peace will be with you.” (Phil. 4:8-9 NLT)

     

    The enemy’s strategy is to try to focus my mind on the reality of the evil of the sin.  He would throw flaming arrows of lies at me to fuel the anger, the hurt, the unfairness, the betrayal, the yuck of the sin.  In Isaiah 54:17 (NLT) the Lord says, “But in that coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed.  You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you.  These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord; their vindication will come from Me.  I, the Lord, have spoken!”  Paul explains in 2 Cor. 10:3-5 (NLT), “We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do.  We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.  We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God.  We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.”  This was the waging war that was going on within my mind.  The battle was not between my husband and I, but with the Truth within me and my human reasoning fueled by the lies of the enemy.  He was out to destroy me, my husband, and my marriage.

     

    Listen, I did not do all this waging of war perfectly!  My flesh wants to do things my way by paying back evil for evil because that is what my husband deserves in my eyes. The enemy says, “yes and then some.” But the Word of God says, “See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people.” 1 Thess. 5:15 (NLT).  This was and still is a daily process of transformation and sanctification all done by the grace and mercy of God. No one deserves grace, but I am thankful God gives grace freely to me and to my husband. 


    Some tough questions I am asked by other women who walk this road are, “How do you know if your husband has truly repented and understands the weight of his sin? How do you begin to trust your husband, love him and forgive him?”  I will never fully know all the details.  I will never fully know his heart and mind. But what I do know is he is responding every day the same way I do, by running daily to our Savior who guides us, protects us, and loves us unconditionally. 

     

    I am so thankful for those, like my sweet sister-in-Christ, who are willing to be brave and share their stories. I hope and pray this post encourages you to focus on God and what He is doing in your heart and life in the midst of difficult circumstances.

    God is Not Finished with Your Story

    Monday, December 14, 2020

    God is not finished with your story.


    Sometimes big life events, our own choices, or another person’s decisions leave us feeling like life is over. God can’t work anymore. God can’t redeem this mess. We find ourselves at the bottom - after a divorce, a breakup, a loss of a loved one, the abortion.


    I’m sure Moses, after he killed a man and fled to the desert for 20 years, thought that God was finished with him and could never use a murderer. He later went on to lead a nation to freedom and to a homeland.


    I’m sure Joseph - after standing up for purity and righteousness, being lied about, and thrown into prison - wondered if he should’ve gone the easy route. Why was he punished for choosing good? He later went on to become a ruler and to save two nations from famine.


    I’m sure the woman at the well, chasing men for satisfaction, thought she was too far gone with her choices. How could God use an adulteress? She later went on to evangelize her entire town.


    I don’t know where you find yourself today, but your story is far from over. Philippians 1:6 says “that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”  If you are in Him, He is sanctifying you and making you look more like Christ. Nothing separates us from the love of God. You are loved by our Father. He is a good Author who can take twists and turns and smooth them out into a ๐“‘๐“ฎ๐“ช๐“พ๐“ฝ๐“ฒ๐“ฏ๐“พ๐“ต๐“ต๐”‚ ๐“ข๐“ฌ๐“ป๐“ฒ๐“น๐“ฝ๐“ฎ๐“ญ story.


    The best is yet to come, my friend. Keep trusting. Keep walking in His faithfulness. And keep reading the story of God’s goodness in your life.


    Beautifully Scripted Book Release

    Friday, December 11, 2020

     


    Guess what!? I just released my new book, Beautifully Scripted! I am SO EXCITED! God led me to write this book about singleness, and I am trusting He will use it for His glory. It all started several years ago when I found myself needing encouragement in my singleness journey. All the books I found were either written by a married man about the theology of singleness, written by a married woman who had already found her special someone, or was solely focused on finding the right man. All of these books have a place and are good. However, I longed for a book written by a single woman who wasn't on "the other side" but was right in this season with me. So God called me to be that person.

    Beautifully Scripted is written to encourage women currently in the season of singleness: how to find your identity in Christ and not in your relationship status, how to have FUN, wisdom for dating, practical advice, and much more. (If you are married, there is a chapter dedicated to how to encourage the single women in your life. Also, it helps you understand the struggles of this season that many of your friends might find themselves in.)

    Here is the description on the back:

    I knew what my life was going to look like. It felt like reading from a script. Everyone around me whispered the lines for the next scene. There was safety and surety. I loved knowing what was to happen next. However, the day came when it seemed as though my life had “gone off script.” Wasn’t marriage supposed to follow college? Where was the man I was supposed to meet? I had always been told it would happen. But instead of entering a marriage scene, I found myself feeling misplaced in a scene of singleness. Being single was never what I wanted. Do I have the right script?

    It took years to realize that my script — though different than I imagined — was written just for me. I have a grand part to play. When I started to listen to the Script Writer for my lines and direction, I began to understand that He gave me a part in a story greater than I could ever have dreamed.

    Maybe you have felt or currently feel the same way — confused, overlooked, bitter, discontent — because singleness was not the part you wanted. The truth is that the Author of your script lovingly penned this part for you. Your life is Beautifully Scripted by His hand. The question is — are you ready to accept this role and gracefully live out your season of singleness?

    Beautifully Scripted is now available on Amazon for $12.99 on paperback or $9.99 on Kindle. You can order a copy here. When you get a copy, please share what you are learning! Tag me on Facebook, on Instagram at @singledoutforhim, or shoot me an email at singledout4him@gmail.com. I'd love to hear how God has used Beautifully Scripted to encourage you. Thank you for joining me on this journey.

    You are seen. You are cared for. You are loved.

    Being a Third Wheel

    Thursday, October 8, 2020

     


    Being a third wheel works - if it’s a TRYcycle. And what I mean is you have to TRY and put forth the effort. It doesn’t come naturally. It takes work, communication, and acknowledgement that things are different. 

     

    I love being a third wheel! Currently, I’m a third wheel girl to a dating friend, an engaged friend, and several married friends. I love having their significant others as friends! I mean, who doesn’t want more awesome guy friends in their lives? 

     

    Here are some tips that have helped me:

     

    > When your friend gets a boyfriend, acknowledge to yourself that things will be different. False expectations lead to disappointment, so just expect that your friendship with your girlfriend will change slightly. Change is not always a bad thing! Maybe you gain a new guy friend or learn new things from being around them. 

     

    > Allow for adjustments in how much time you expect to spend with your friend. She will be spending time with her boyfriend. This is a good thing and an exciting thing! They need time to get to know each other and to be together. If their relationship is headed towards marriage, their time together needs to be a priority. Give grace as your friend is trying to figure out a new normal. 

     

    > Become friends with their boyfriend/fiancรฉ/husband. What does your friend love about him? Find out who he is, what he loves, when his birthday is, etc. Take interest in getting to know him. 

     

    > Hang out with them as a couple. Get to know them as “them.” Don’t just focus on your friend; make her significant other feel comfortable and welcome too. 

     

    > Schedule solo time with your friend. It probably won’t be as regular as it used to be. You might have to schedule it way in advance, but be intentional about nurturing the relationship. 

     

    > Communicate and be honest with your friend about how you feel. When I was dating, I had three or four friends tell me they felt neglected in our friendship because I was spending all my time with my boyfriend. I literally did not see it (hello infatuation stage of dating!). But I listened and tried to make adjustments. Sometimes your friend just isn’t aware. 

     

    > Learn from their relationship. What do they do that makes you comfortable or uncomfortable? Take note for your future relationship. 

     

    > Embrace the awkward. Couples are awkward and weird at times. It’s a fact. So have fun with the awkward. 

     

    > Know when to give them space. When you are hanging out for extended amounts of time, see the signs of when they need a chance to talk together and just take a moment to walk away. 

     

    > Pray. Pray God’s blessing and direction for the couple. Pray away jealousy from your own heart. 

     

    > Take this time to be comfortable being alone, exploring new hobbies, or making new friends. 

     

    > HAVE FUN! There is always going to be a learning curve when your friends start dating, but look for the positives and have fun with this season of life. 

     

    What advice do you have for being a third wheel? What is hard? What is easy?


    Taking Yourself Out On a Date

    Tuesday, October 6, 2020

    Grab a cup of coffee and join me and my friend, Cassidy Jo, as she shares about taking yourself out on a date.


    When you're in a relationship with someone you love, date nights quickly become the highlight of the week. You think about it for the days leading up, you plan an elegant outfit, and ultimately you know, you're going to get to spend undivided time with your favorite person. It's pretty much every girl's dream.


    But what if you're a single girl and date night hasn't been an activity on the calendar in quite a while. Thinking about your perfectly planned night with your perfect Prince Charming, tends to feel like a dream that's way too out of reach. 

     

    Let me offer you a little idea of hope: maybe date night or a day date, isn't only for boyfriends and girlfriends or married folks. Maybe it's for YOU too.

     

    One of the dictionary's definitions for the word [Date] is: a social or romantic appointment or engagement. 

     

    Here's the thing, I happen to be one of those single girls I talked about above. I've actually been one of those single girls for about 4 years now. But the difference is this — being forced into a season of change, allowed me to change my perspective. What I found was, my singleness was actually a chance to engage life, to engage my independence, and most importantly, it helped me to engage with Jesus so much more than I ever had. 

     

    Why do I say all this? It's because "date nights" & "day dates" have become one of my most favorite pastimes. Going to brunch and diving into my favorite bible study, book, or devotional over a warm cup of coffee and a pancake - it doesn't get much sweeter than that. Spending the afternoon shopping with girl friends or strolling a small town square by myself, brings so much light, laughter, and lots of cute new clothes to my closet. And sometimes date night is with a cute new guy I met, but usually it looks more like coffee shops and writing in my journal or oftentimes it’s curled up in my bed watching a movie and talking to God about the future.

     

    Spending time alone with myself and with Jesus really is a lot like what I mentioned in the first paragraph: I look forward to it throughout the week, it's undivided time with the One who loves me most, and the outfit selection is way more comfy. {Oversized sweatshirt and leggings anyone?}

     

    Sweet girl, I want you to still look forward to that date night that WILL be with your Prince Charming -- but until then, I want you to know you are not alone, that treating yourself to a walk in the park/ a pumpkin spice latte/ or a stroll through target really is a lot of fun, and most importantly - that you will never live a day that you are not pursued and loved by GOD.


    Cassidy Jo, is a 31-year-old Christian Blogger in Nashville, Tennessee. Her passion for Jesus & encouraging women that there is ‘Purpose for their Pain & Healing in Him’ is what led her to start her Blog “Still She Laughs” — Proverbs 31:25. Cassidy Jo loves Fruit tea, Shopping, and Spending time with her closest friends!


    Stop Calling Me Beautiful Book Review

    Thursday, July 23, 2020

    Stop Calling Me Beautiful: Finding Soul-Deep Strength in a Skin-Deep World by Phylicia Masonheimer is a much-needed wake-up call in today’s perfectly-Instagrammed, Bible-study-and-coffee world. It is a challenge to a deeper walk with Jesus and gives a greater understanding of the Christian journey.
    Phylicia recounts when she realized that “Christianity wasn’t just about me — my faith, my study, my growth, my self — but was ultimately about God . . . Until then, I’d been seeking Jesus to learn more about myself . . . When I began searching for God for God’s sake, I discovered the kind of spiritual walk Jesus came to initiate. I discovered what He meant by His promise that He had come to give us abundant life.”
    Phylicia, much like us, often found herself bound in addiction and stagnant spiritual growth. The “You are beautiful in Christ” messages she kept running into only put a band-aid on her problems. Once she started seriously devoting herself to reading God’s Word and to prayer, she realized that “the beauty of God’s people is not the point of the gospel. The goal of the gospel is to unite us in relationship with our holy, loving God, and to invite others to have that relationship through our witness in this world . . . We need to hear less about us, and more about Him.”
    Stop Calling Me Beautiful is relatable to all women. The book covers topics such as legalism, anxiety, grief, broken sexuality, community, fear of man, overcoming shame, and making a difference in the world around us.
    I read Stop Calling Me Beautiful while also reading A.W. Tozer’s Pursuit of God, and I saw that Phylicia’s heart and passion behind her book reflect that of 20th century Tozer. They both call us beyond just going to church on Sunday and living a powerless Christian life. They challenge us to dig into God’s Word and to allow the power of the Holy Spirit to truly change our lives. We were meant to experience God’s presence in our lives, to know Him intimately, and to live a life for His glory.
    Yes, you are beautiful, my friend. But you were also made for so much more.

    If the Lord Wills

    Tuesday, July 21, 2020

    How should women who are single talk about the future when marriage is desired, yet it is never guaranteed? God never promises marriage for his daughters. He never guarantees a husband, so it can be difficult to plan for and talk about the future when it is unknown.
    One reader says, “There seem to be two systems of thought: The first where you don’t mention husband/kids (outside of deep talks with a select few) because there is a possibility that it may never happen. The second being to talk about husband/kids with expectancy (as a part of life, not what you’re solely living for) because that is what you truly desire.”
    I don’t pretend to have the right answer here. This is something that I am still processing and trying to figure out myself, and I may never know the perfect way to handle this. But I know that this quandary is not limited solely to single women longing for marriage. I think of my married friends longing for a child. Or those working odd jobs so they can hopefully pursue their passion as a career. We all have areas of our lives that feel vulnerable to talk about because we just don’t know the future.
    And sometimes, honestly, it is hard to know how to allow yourself to hope for the future. But one thing I know to be true: We can safely hope in Jesus because a future with Him is secure. It’s important to acknowledge this truth first and foremost because it is the rock on which our beliefs stand. If this foundation is not there, all other areas in life will crumble. I also know that God wants me to pray and ask for what I desire. So I will ask. But then I must daily lay down my desires and future plans in surrender at Jesus’ feet. I must trust that He knows what is best for me, and even if my dreams never come true, I must purpose in my heart to believe His goodness and kindness.
    That brings us back to the question that brought us here today: How do we talk about the unknown future with others?
    I think it is good to be honest with your hopes and desires. In my early 20s, I ignored my desire for marriage because I felt a sense of shame. Why am I desiring something that God hasn’t given me yet? It must be wrong. But a desire for marriage is not wrong, and there is never shame in wanting something God designed.
    Don’t shy away from being honest about your feelings with yourself and with others. But do so acknowledging the fact that it is “if the Lord wills.” James 4:15 says, “Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’”
    I personally have embraced talking about my desire for a husband and children “if the Lord wills.” I believe it is good to be vulnerable and honest. But my decisions today will reflect what God has laid before me today. Though I desire marriage, I won’t wait around for a spouse before I make decisions. I have decided to live my life today based on the known.
    Believe that the Lord has a good timeline for you and that His story for you may look different. You could get married later in life. You could be married within the next year. Adoption may be your story. Perhaps you may have a quiver full of children. Or maybe you will have a spiritual lineage of children-in-Christ. Let go of expectations of how your life should look and allow God to write a beautiful story while being honest and real with yourself and others about your desires.
    (Note: In regard to God promising marriage, He actually does promise a spiritual marriage one day between Christ and the church. This post, however, is solely referring to earthly marriage which is never guaranteed by God.)
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