A Daddy Draft
Have you ever watched someone do something that you know is wrong and you simply wonder to yourself, "What were they thinking?" The Father who blows his whole paycheck at the bar on Friday night and gets waisted. The wife who racks up thousands of dollars of credit card debt just so she can wear clothes that are "in style." The straight "A" student who steals prescription drugs and overdoses on them. The husband who beats his wife. The woman who abandons her children. "What were they thinking?"
My story begins twenty years ago when a friend of mine introduced me to pornography. It began simply as my curiosity getting the best of me, and it morphed into an unbreakable chain that grew stronger and tighter as the years went by. I grew up in a Christian home, I have parents who love me dearly. I went to church regularly and actively participated in their events. I studied the Bible for myself, went to Bible college, and served in various ministries. I got married, i had three kids, and I worked in a Christian organization. And all the while I was dabbling in a secret sin that few knew about. Cautiously finding time alone to serf the web and look at images and videos of people having sex and living promiscuous lives.
You're probably saying to yourself,"What was he thinking?"
My wife knew of my battle with purity. She had caught me a few times in the past. I always assured her that I would do better. I would seek counsel from my friends and pastors and I would try to live a pure life. But I always turned back to my sin. It was so rampant that my daily struggle that nearly always ended in failure would leave me thinking, "It is impossible to be pure, this is just who I am."
On September 22, 2012, my wife discovered that not only was I still failing at living a pure life, but I was about one step away from having an actual affair. She confronted me and told me that I had to change and find help because I was destroying our family. And she asked me, "What were you thinking?"
The truth is, I didn't know what I was thinking. I didn't understand how I could love my wife and kids, and yet still look for something else to satisfy me. I immediately sought counsel from my pastor and my father-in-law. One of my biggest frustrations was that I didn't feel like I was truly remorseful over my sin. I desperately wanted to break down and cry and weep over what I had done to my God and my family. But I couldn't. In fact, I couldn't even remember the last time that I had ever cried at all.
I began praying and asking God to grant me repentance. It was something that I felt only God could give me. "God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, (2 Timothy 2:25 ESV)" On October 15, 2012, my Pastor met with me and my wife to discuss my sin and how we could move forward as a couple and as a family. He told me that I needed to have a conversation with Lindsay and tell her everything about what sin I had been involved in and how I had been hiding it from her and I needed to ask her to forgive me. He warned me that it wasn't good enough for me to simply tell her 90% of what I had been involved in, but to be completely honest in every detail not hiding anything.
That night Lindsay and I sat in our living room and I shared with her the sin that had enslaved me for the past twenty years of my life. It was not a pleasant conversation; I was ashamed and humiliated, and Lindsay was furious that I would be involved in something so disgusting. Lindsay was so angry that she ended up turning to scripture and just started reading from the Word. I don't remember what she read, I simply remember how the Word of God pierced my heart like a two edged sword and I began to weep over the sin in my life. God had finally granted me the repentance that I had been longing for.
Since that night I have spent most mornings reading the Word of God and clinging to Him each day. He may have granted me repentance from my sin, but their was still a lot to do to mend the relationships that I had broken with my wife, family, and friends. I began reading through Proverbs and The Lord showed me something very interesting. Many times throughout Proverbs it contrasts the wise and the foolish. "On the lips of him who has understanding, wisdom is found, but a rod is for the back of him who lacks sense. (Proverbs 10:13 ESV)" It is very clear in Proverbs that those who are wise have understanding and they obey God's Word. But the fool lacks sense, and has no understanding. Proverbs repeats this idea over and over again. I was a fool. I was trapped in sin, and that sin caused me to lose my senses so that I couldn't see or understand how gross and wrong my actions were. The more I sinned, the more distorted my mind became and I was unable to understand that I was destroying my marriage and my family.
So what do you do if someone you love and care about has lost their senses? Timothy lays out a very simple plan of action on how to help someone who has lost their senses. He says,"And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, (2 Timothy 2:24, 25 ESV)"
1. Do not be Quarrelsome
- Arguing with someone who has lost their senses is useless. Only God can give them understanding
2. Be Kind
- It is against human nature to be kind to someone living in sin. God commands us to be kind and to love one another regardless of the sin in our lives.
3. Able to Teach
- We must know the Word and be prepared to speak truth into the lives of others. It is only the truth of the Word of God that can lead someone to repentance.
4. Patiently Enduring Evil
- This may be the most difficult step of all. What if when my wife confronted me I had not changed, but continued in my sin? The world would say,"Get a divorce and leave that pervert." But God says we ought to patiently endure evil. My wife endured my sin for 7 years before God finally granted me victory in my life. Where would I be if she had not patiently endured evil.
5. Correcting with Gentleness
- It is hard to be gentle when you have been wronged. Ask God for grace to show gentleness to those living in sin.
As you live your life and you observe sin in people's lives and you wonder,"What we're they thinking?" Remember that sin is powerful and it causes people to lose their senses. They can't think clearly and they need the Truth of the Word of God to give them understanding and clarity of thought. For the past four months I have been living in victory over my sin of impurity and have renewed my relationship with Christ. It is such a blessing and extremely humbling to have the privilege to be married to a woman who is not quarrelsome, but is kind, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, and willing to gently correct me when I am wrong.
((I, Lindsay, am linking up on Multitudes on Mondays because there is nothing I am more thankful for than Christ's redeeming blood!))