Monday, August 15, 2011

Reaping the Whirlwind-by the Other Nut, part 2

Looking back, no one ever talked to me about pornography – other than a passing comment about how sinful it was. No one ever talked to me about what to do with all those raging hormones in the teen years. No one ever talked to me about growing up to be a man, what that looked like, what it was not. So I learned from Indiana Jones. Remember him? Indy. Rugged. Independent. Whip in hand. From him I learned to keep unsure thoughts and feelings inside because an adventurous loner was admired by both men and women. Other role models came from Animal House, Revenge of the Nerds, and Porky’s. From them I learned that real men can’t control themselves, they chase women, women want men to chase them, and real fun was seeing women naked. Another great role model for me was James Bond - the Roger Moore one. Now he was real slick. Women just threw themselves at him in a never ending stream of sexual liaisons. And why? Because he was handsome, drove cool cars, had grand adventures, and never showed any emotion like fear, regret, or loneliness. And what was the common thread of all these movies? Men portrayed in unhealthy lifestyles with no consequences…No consequences. Let me say it again. They…never…suffered…consequences.

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.

Linking up with Jen at Finding Heaven

Linking up with Emily at Imperfect Prose


Stacie said...

Again, such beautiful honesty here. May God bless you and your marriage.

Shanda said...

Thank you for your honesty. So many of our marriages have had problems or do have problems with pornography yet few are ready to share it. Thank you for setting the stage. May God continue to bless your marriage and give you victory over sin.

Joywriter said...

Another amazing and edifying post. My favorite point:
"Men portrayed in unhealthy lifestyles with no consequences…No consequences. Let me say it again. They…never…suffered…consequences."
Preach it, and blessings to you!

Brandee Shafer said...

Thank you for your testimony. I appreciate your honesty, for sure. I guess--as the mother of a tween--I come away with some questions. You wrote: "Looking back, no one ever talked to me about pornography – other than a passing comment about how sinful it was. No one ever talked to me about what to do with all those raging hormones in the teen years. No one ever talked to me about growing up to be a man, what that looked like, what it was not." Can you offer some guidelines? What is it that you WISH someone had said? Thank you. (Here from Jen's.)

"Ima" said...

Thank you Stacie. I am so proud of my husband and his willingness to be so honest and open.

Shanda-I think you are so right. Pornography is something that is so common, and so many hide it-which I totally understand from the shame stand point. It is a shameful thing, one of Satan's best tools; but even in the shame, it still needs to be talked about-and I'm so thankful the Other Nut believes that.

"Ima" said...

Thank you Jan! I loved this part as well when I read what he wrote. Honestly, I had never noticed that, the never suffering consequences thing, but it is so true.

Brandee-so glad you stopped by. Just told the Other Nut your question, and he said he will think about it to put it into words-sounds like another post to me! Great question. It is something that we have to start talking to our little Walnut about as he is about to turn 9 years old. One thing that we have already started to do is teach him, without talking specifically about pornography, where to allow his eyes to look. If we see a magazine cover with a half naked woman on the front, we talk about diverting our eyes away because looking wouldn't be God honoring. When they walk past any bra section in the stores, they practice looking down. Again, God wouldn't want us looking at the pictures-it isn't polite. We talk about that even though some things might look "pretty" to us, it doesn't mean we should look. We need to come up with a code word, like turtle, or train, something that when we say it, it means to look down, because something is around that isn't great to look at. Great question again! Looking forward to reading his post myself:) Thanks for stopping by-looking forward to spending time at your blog.

My daily walk in His grace! said...

Hi Tami - When a person reads these words, you cannot fail to see the humility in them and the desire to do things God's way. I pray that God shows you how to use this victory to show God's glory because so many men out there think porn is ok! and its so not!!! God's blessings to you both. I have no doubt in my mind that God will use you both to help others fight and win this battle.
God bless

Jen said...

This is truth: the truth is that just because I broke the vow didn’t mean the vow was broken.

Reading your words brings me such hope. I love Brandee's question because to me, it signifies the importance of telling our stories so that future generations have a much better way of handling this than we did. As a wife going through this with her husband, I had no idea what to do -- I did only what I felt I had to do, but it was such a lonely process because so few people talk about it.

Lisa Maria said...

All I can say is Wow! I'm blown away! Thank you, Ima and your wonderful husband for helping me to see this through the eyes of the man. My husband really appreciated reading the first part and I know he will appreciate this one too.. mostly that I can gain some understanding of things he's found difficult to talk about. He agreed with everything that The Other Nut said before.

This is really powerful stuff and as I said before, I'm sure the start of a whole new ministry!

Love & Hugs

Debbie said...

Again, I say that this is awesome. Just as with part one, I feel that it is the basis of a much needed book or at the least published article on this VERY IMPORTANT topic.

As you said in the last segment, one in THREE in our churches.

I am completely and utterly convinced that it the single most dangerous weapon used against the seed of God.

Amy Sullivan said...

Ok, love that you are sharing, but really wish that more males could be right here reading this! A story so many can identify with.

Thanks, guys.

Melody said...

"when the cheetah gets the gazelle separated from the herd…you know what’s coming…death." This was profound to me because it points out the importance of true community among men in our churches. To have a spiritual herd of sorts to help encourage and keep accountability in place. This post was excellent. Thank you both for your honesty.

Pamela said...

It can't be easy to share your story. God is going to do amazing things with your marriage and willingness to tell the truth of the path.

Sarah (Nikki) said...

Your honesty blows me away. So many people are stuck and your sharing so candidly will help them find freedom.

emily wierenga said...

i love the ministry you both have, reaching out with such transparency... God bless you. e.

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