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Christian Living

wehispanics 09/01/09

The Virtual Adultery of Pornography

(Click here for Spanish) Yesterday I had the chance to share on pastoral counseling and afterwards I was approached by a young woman who timidly asked me to give her a few minutes in private. Sensing an urgent need, I agreed and we stepped away to talk privately, though still in a public setting, and prayed for the Lord to give us wisdom.

 

She is a young woman married to a minister of the Gospel, who accidentally discovered two years ago that her husband is involved in pornography. She confronted him, but he keeps falling into sin and refuses to confess to anyone, insisting that he can overcome this on his own. Recently she even found pornographic images on the computer at church! and films that he’s purchased. She has tried to help him by working near him so that he feels being observed, but he insists on using the lap-top alone. Then she told him that he cannot continue to preach while in this habitual sin, to which he retorted that placing a "block" on his computer was enough; but she fears that without having confessed his sins to anyone, he would continue on his sinful ways while being accountable to no one.

 

It is hard to describe how a woman feels when she discovers her husband has a secret and sordid life and has cheated on her for years. She feels betrayed, used, ashamed and even disgusted at his touch. Their marital bed has been sullied, and she loses respect for him, questions his authority and thus struggles to accept it. This wife does not want to leave her husband and fears that by denying his embrace she will further push him down the path of his destructive habit. But as a Christian, she also knows that he cannot continue to minister the Word of God while living a lie and placing other believers under the influence of his lie. She asked him to leave the ministry and seek help but he refused. What should a woman do in this case? she asked me.

 

I told her there are three dimensions to her case with different priorities: first, the spiritual life of her husband is in danger; secondly, the sheep under his care and thirdly, his own marriage is in grave danger. Her husband is offending God, deceiving his flock, and breaking their marriage covenant because looking at a woman lustfully is adultery- even virtual images of a woman. If he could see the situation in this way, it would help him not to act on the natural impulse of self-protection, but rather to see this as an instrument of God and a healing agent for man, for the Kingdom and for his own marriage.

 

It is very difficult for a woman, but when life is endangered it is necessary for her to take authority over her fallen husband. Her husband has a form of cancer that needs to be treated radically for their own good, and as no effort is spared in the case of a physical illness, the same should apply to this spiritual case. A wolf (i.e. the adversary) has gotten into the flock which requires the authorities to be alerted, and the only hope for their marriage is to appeal to the mercy of God to heal him completely. She is not obliged to give her body to her unfaithful husband, but out of love, she is to give him every opportunity to be healed and restored. Ideally, he would recognize his sin and confess them to their authorities and receive their necessary discipline, monitoring and restoration as a man, as a husband and possibly even as a minister.

 

There is no guarantee that he will allow himself to be healed and the process will surely bring with it stress and discomfort, but it is worth fighting for the man she loves. If her husband confesses, she is to treat him as a sick man in need of support, and she is to accompany him all the way along the road to healing. But if he does not confess, then she has no choice but to report him to the authorities and treat him like a criminal who falls into the hands of the law, and then faithfully await while he “serves his sentence.”

 

I ask the reader to pray for this wife facing such a hard (and sadly common) situation.

 

Please send us your comments to blog@joselgonzalez.com and please read my other articles on our Hispanic culture at www.semilla.org. See you next week…

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