I recieved a private letter that I won’t disclose, but imagine any number of ladies reading this could have written something along the following lines:
My fiance/boyfriend confessed to a porn addiction/ongoing use and suggested I might want to call off the engagement/stop seeing him. I’ve read up on this subject, so I have an idea of how hard our life together would be, but …. (insert
excuses reasons for wanting to marry Mr. Wrong here.)
In short, I love him, and if I say yes (or continue in the engagement) I can help him overcome this even though right now he’s ready to give up and doesn’t want to talk about it anymore. I’d be better able to help him and surely my love can save him. Right? He needs me. How can I reject him?
the Future Mrs. Wrong
If you see yourself in this letter, the following is for you:
Dear Future Mrs. Wrong,
Beloved, I realize you love him, but frankly, he’s done the most loving thing he can in allowing for an amicable parting as friends. As long as he’s struggling with this, and especially if he’s not willing, or able, to do what it takes to overcome this, marrying him would bring you little but heartache and could even end in divorce. You can be his friend (after taking time away from him to refocus) and that is what he needs, but it would not be good for either of you to continue pursing a romantic relationship.
Marry someone spiritually stronger than yourself, someone you can look up to and respect, not to mention someone you can trust, in terms of both his faithfulness and judgment. He’s sick, and if you were married to him already, or his illness were physical in nature, that would be one thing. But a wife’s first duty towards her husband is respect him and follow his spiritual leadership (if that makes you cringe, note part of his role involves delegating to you the tasks/decisions in which you are clearly more gifted, but you may have to let him figure that out the hard way if his pride gets in the way.) But it comes down to this: with this kind of spiritual sickness, neither of you could fill your proper roles in marriage, and that would lead to nothing but heartache.
When evaluating a potential husband, ask yourself: Is he respectable, is he honorable? Do I respect him and treat him with honor? Is he someone I can look to as my spiritual authority (head), trusting in his judgment, his ability to make good decisions? Is this man going the same direction I am, and if not, could I ever follow his direction, or at least be a help to him in his calling while following complementary goals of my own? A wife, according to God’s design, is to be a helper fit to assist her husband in his calling, or mission in life , not a nurse maid, and definitely not his mother.
Women want loved first and foremost, but for men, it’s to be respected. As unbelievable as it is to us women, most men, if they had to chose between the two, would rather have respect without love than love without respect (which explains, in past cultures where the duty fell to him, why a father usually sought for his daughter a respectable husband even if it meant the exclusion of love.) So you’d do well to seek a man who will meet your basic need for love and who you can also meet his basic need for respect.
I’d suggest visiting forums for wives of sexual addicts (such as Shelley Lubben Forums or those listed at Bebroken.com :: Wives Links). Read some of their stories and talk to them, so you’ll have a better idea of what you’d be getting into.
Also, I’d recommend you at the least take some time apart, find a nice quiet spot where you can think clearly, and pray and fast unto the Lord, asking Him to reveal His will to you. I’d say Mr. Wrong doesn’t need a fiancÃ©, wife, or for that matter any position of spirtual leadership, especially ones that would give him easy access to vulnerable children and women and others the pornography might tempt him to harm. What he does need is your prayers, the Lord’s healing, and friends he’ll allow to hold him accountable (preferably men, this disease makes it difficult to not relate to women as sex objects–that goes for children also, depending on his viewing habits.) If he’s giving up and not willing to be held accountable, I’d say don’t walk, but run from this relationship.
Ask the Lord to open your eyes to see clearly. The hormones raging in your blood stream are deceptive and will lead you straight into harm’s way.
As to concerns about rejecting Mr. Wrong, whether he realizes or accepts this or not, he needs your love as a sister in the Lord, not a romantic entanglement. Find a man you can accept, respect, and look up to just as he is, not one where you can do this after x number of changes which you hope your love will make. It won’t. Only God’s can. All you can do is keep reminding him of–or point him to–the Truth and encourage him to walk in it rather than lies. But that will require establishing clear platonic boundaries.
Now, circumstances sometimes do change, and God can change a man who wants to change, certainly. If later on, he actually does prove he has come out of this victorious and becomes a man you can respect and look up to, someone you can lean on as much as he does you, I am not one to hang past sins forever over the head of the repentant and would not suggest you do so either.
Still, we have ladies, when dealing with a tiger, who want to say: “we can marry if you make x changes” or, worse, “I’ll marry you if you promise to make x changes.” I highly recommend avoiding such statements, as that’s not fair to either of you. A marriage partner is an as-is deal and you have to evaluate prospective husbands as if what you have today is what he will always be (but do pray for his soul, spiritual growth, and healing of course.) Promises made by mortals mean little as they are often broken, and changes made to hook a fish last about as long as the courtship; once he has you safely in the bonds of matrimony, Mr. Wrong often reverts back to his native stripes. And that’s especially true in the case of pornography, as even with the most sincere efforts, this demon has a way of coming back to torture a man again. A good man can overcome with the power of Christ’s blood, but it’s never an easy battle for him. So make sure, if you’re planning to go forward into matrimony with a man who struggles or has struggled with that weakness, that you’re doing so with both eyes open.
In Christ’s Love,
Coming this April: Light at the Edge of Darkness, An Anthology of Biblical Speculative Fiction
Featuring: FROZEN GENERATION a short story by Andrea Graham
Venture to futures where faith equates to terrorism. Where terrorists smuggle frozen embryos to save lives and resist invasive technologies designed to break their very souls
Trackposted to Perri Nelson’s Website, third world county, A Blog For All, The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, basil’s blog, The World According to Carl, Pirate’s Cove, Cao’s Blog, The Amboy Times, The Bullwinkle Blog, and Conservative Cat, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.