Two Heads Aren’t Always Better Than One (Though They Can Be, Potentially)
Yes, it’s a disconcerting and oft surprising phenomena. Given a first thought, one may be inclined to believe that getting married can solve or reduce your personal problems. Even within the first few months of marriage, when two eagerly love-struck individuals begin to come to grips with “what’s mine is yours and yours is mine,” sharing everything is a new and wonderful experience. While assimilation into married life physically can seem easy and fun, as it should be, spiritually speaking it can be much more difficult.
Think of it this way: your wife-to-be has issues of her own (“as it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one;’” – yes, that means even your perfect woman isn’t exactly so), and you, as a man, have yours (in our case, often some form of sexual sin or pornography). On one hand, marriage is a place of peace, where a partner and friend is always there to listen and “share the load.” On the other hand, bearing one another’s burdens (Gal 6:2) doesn’t always mean you divide your sin with hers and therefore each has a half-load – it means her sins are compounded on top of yours. Remember, “two shall become one.” You are no longer separate people with different sins and backgrounds. I don’t mean to say that it isn’t a blessing or joy to be married, but the spiritual atmosphere when you say “I do” becomes twice as volatile.
Bringing a sin like porn addiction into marriage with a coy attitude that marriage itself is the solution, is going to make you fall flat on your face – except that this time you’ll take your wife down with you. I’m not saying that your wife can’t help you, but you both are likely in for a lot of trouble if you don’t deal harshly and honestly with your sin NOW. Sex with your wife will gratify your sexual desires temporarily, but it will not feed the insatiable monster of addiction within you. In my experience this is not a reflection of your sex life or the attractiveness of your wife. It has more to do with feeding a need that can only be met chemically in your body by masturbation to pornographic images – a need your wife will be unable to fill unless you break free. Your mind has developed unrealistic expectations for sex.
In the case of pornography and sexual sin, do not ever expect that marrying your dream woman will somehow set you free. It won’t. In my case, the Lord used our marriage and love for each other as the vehicle to help me find that freedom, but it was the most difficult time of my life. I don’t wish that agonizing road on anyone. My road to freedom cost a lot of my marriage.
Like I said before, marrying another sinful individual doesn’t make life easier. One day on Facebook recently I had a discussion with a friend (a different conversation, but this fits), and concluded with this:
I think that’s why Paul spoke of marriage the way he did in 1 Corinthians 7.
Verses 32 – 34 say, “I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the …Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided…”
I know paul doesn’t say this to discourage love and marriage, for he speaks highly of marriage elsewhere, but to encourage higher devotion to the Lord and to serve as a warning of sorts. He knows that in the fallen world we live in it is easy to be distracted by things not of the Lord (in many cases love and marriage). He warns us in 2 Corinthians not to be yoked with unbelievers (those who are already Christians and were not married before we were saved, but that’s another issue all together). That point being made the Lord warns us through Paul not to be frivolous with our life choices, and to have our minds prayerfully made up before we enter in to them.
The other side of that coin has Paul telling us in Ephesians 5 how to love our wives with the sacrificial love of Christ. I know first hand the blessings God has for us in marriage when we are enabled by His Spirit to love the Lord first, and then have that love overflow into love for a wife. Admittedly there are countless distractions and ups and downs in our marriage, but without fail, when my eyes are fixed on Jesus first, I know our love for one another and our testimony to others glorifies God…
Looking back at myself before we were married, my idea of love was so limited. I found out after being married that loving Christ and loving LIKE Christ is so much harder than it seems. It’s easy to talk about, but following through with it in a marriage relationship has been one of the hardest learning experiences of my life. I think that’s one reason divorce happens so often. I don’t mean to over-simplify divorce, but today people don’t have enough of a desire to love the Lord (and thereby their spouse) above themselves. When times get tough or temporal feelings of love leave, there is nothing more anchor to their committment. I know for me it is extremely difficult not to satiate my own personal whims as the leader of my family, instead of putting their needs above mine. Every day is a lesson to die to myself, and when God’s not first I fail as a husband and dad way too often.
Being in a marriage relationship is hard; being designed by God to be the leader of a family is even harder. Please don’t enter into it lightly! Get counseling. Get help. Be honest! The blessings you glean in a godly marriage, however, far outweigh the danger when you trust the Lord. Listen to Him make the decision to let Him lead you in your places of weakness. Our wives share our burdens, but doesn’t Christ ask us to cast our burdens on Him first?
Do you have any examples from marriage to share? Or preparing for marriage?
Posted on May 16, 2011, in Christian, porn addiction, Scripture & Insight and tagged addict, addicted, addiction, Christ, christian, counseling, engaged, engagement, faithful, faithfulness, freedom, God, help, honesty, Jesus, love, marriage, married, men, porn, pornography, scripture, sex, sexuality, sin, women. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.