In the last few years, more books have been written about pornography than ever before. That’s a good thing. The conversation around this difficult topic is finally starting. I am convinced that the vast majority of these books were written by well meaning individuals. Folks wanting to help others by share their stories and thoughts. But what are these well meaning folks actually offering to struggling men and their wives?
I haven’t read every book out there or walked through every program. But I’ve done quite a few of them. And I feel comfortable concluding that the vast (like almost every single one) focuses on the concept of recovery. Now, please hear me. I am a fan of counseling. I frequently recommend counseling as part of a journey toward freedom. I’m not against the concept or its application in the world of professional counseling.
However. In most of these programs, recovery is presented as the gospel of the program. The good news. The thing that if you do the program or follow the steps you will move toward or receive or be in. Recovery is defined in the Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary as “regaining or returning to a normal state.” As in, I used to struggle, but I’ve been in recovery for 6 months or 6 years or whatever. Or, our marriage has been so much better since my husband went into recovery. This greatly concerns me.
Let’s think about it from the perspective of a wife. Recovery. Really, that’s the offer? A return to our normal state? So if my man does everything right and I do everything right, I might recover what we lost? But….what I lost was a crappy marriage to a guy who struggles with porn! Why on earth would I want that back? For nearly every couple I’ve ever spoken with, returning to what was normal has not been a compelling offer.
But what if the offer really was extraordinary? What if the offer was freedom, not just behavioral management or sin management? What if the offer was supernatural instead of just a return to the old minus certain actions. Would that be worth pursuing?
Here’s the real offer to men and women, chock full of hope, restoration, and freedom:
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:10, NIV)
Not WHO was lost, but WHAT was lost. What has been lost in your life? And what does God want to offer you?
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26, NIV)
Not a return to normal. Radical open heart surgery. A new identity at the level of your heart – the deepest, truest you. And why does He want to offer you that?
“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10b, NIV)
So you can have life to the full. Not normal. Not partway. To the full.