I don’t recall exactly how I began looking at internet pornography about 6 weeks before May 15th, 2008 – what I now call D-day. I do recall the random thoughts that began popping into my head. I remember thinking that I had heard that pornography was so easy to get to on the internet but I had never been tempted to look – until now. It started as a curiosity. “Just click on this here. Do they really make it that easy?” Yes, they do. And then you click away real quick because of the shock – O my gosh, did that just happen? But that image - it gets stored in that special part of the brain right alongside the magazine from 30 years ago. I hate that. And the enemy goes for the kill – the tornado hits. My walls are down, I have no close male friendships, I was far away from God relationally, and I’m alone. Worst place to be. You know when the cheetah gets the gazelle separated from the herd…you know what’s coming…death. Awash in shame, then repeat.
Fast forward to D-day. A day I will never forget as long as I live. That’s the day I learned I wasn’t like the role models. Fortunately (though painfully) consequences hit me square in the face like a 2x4. God, in his severe mercy, broke in that May 15th day through a feisty brunette named Ima. First, the phone call from her while I was at work. The knotting stomach, the mind searching for a place to hide – no place to hide…she knew. Deny. Deny. Deny. Think…think. Cover it up. Play it off. She hung up. O God, what have I done? Is this for real? What have I done? I know now a thimbleful of what Adam and Eve felt falling from perfect relationship with God, “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked…and they hid…” I blew it. I had to make it right. I left work and headed home unsure of what would happen but knowing I had to face the music.
Thank God for Ima. She refused to cover for me when she discovered my lie. She refused to hide what happened. She refused to be a crutch for me. She screamed from the rooftops “No! Not in my marriage!” She took a hammer to the computer and a hammer to the trust we had built. Some people may say that she was wrong to do that. That she should have accepted that looking at pornography wasn’t that bad – “it’s not like it was a real person.” Or kept it between us to show me respect – “being submissive means letting God deal with him, not you.” Or maybe just accepted that this was the way guys are wired – “guys are just visual so deal with it.” blah blah blah. I’m here to tell you that pornography is straight from the pit of hell. It’s dark, deep, addictive, and like drugs, it won’t let go. I’m here to tell you that I needed that wallop. That wallop was the first dose of reality I had. And without it – let’s just not go there.
Thanks to Ima calling me on the carpet I turned around and began the chore of climbing back out of this hole - a really hard path – a hole I had been digging my whole life. I had betrayed my wife, my kids, and my God. I had totally blown it. The trifecta of screwing up. I considered crawling away into a hole. Giving up. Confirming to Ima that I was as low-down dirty as she thought I was. But something in me wouldn’t let go of my marriage vow. I vowed through thick and thin, rich or poor, sickness or health. It’s hard to explain, but the truth is that just because I broke the vow didn’t mean the vow was broken. I suppose that’s because it’s a vow before God. And He wasn’t letting go. So neither was I. It was my fault, but that just meant I had to clean up my mess. I chose to fight. Fight for my marriage. Fight for my relationship with God. Fight for a future for my kids.