Hearts Set Free
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Tough Love
5 Keys To Staying Married
(when you feel like calling it quits)
By Elaine Creasman


The day I finally trusted God with my husband's addiction to pornography was a turning point in his healing. Prior to that point, I'd think Steve had given up viewing pornography only to find hidden contraband in our home.

"When is he ever going to give this up?" I'd cry to God, my counselor, or to a trusted friend. I told Steve my feelings, and he seemed to understand my hurt. I felt he finally was delivered.

But one morning I awoke early, and there was my husband looking at porn on the Internet. I felt as though I'd been kicked in the stomach. My usual response to such a discovery was sobbing, shouting, blaming, and shaming. This time I heard God whisper, Say nothing.

I went into the bathroom, knelt on the floor, and cried out, "God, I can't take this anymore."

Suddenly peace overwhelmed me as I gave Steve's sin and my pain to God. Psalm 62:1 came to mind: "For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation" (AMP). For the first time, I was silent. I didn't say anything to Steve. I didn't complain to my friends. I didn't call my counselor. Instead, God helped me see Steve's battle rather than focus on how his addiction affected me. While Steve looked to pornography for comfort, I realized I too looked for comfort in things besides God—things such as food and shopping. Within a week, Steve announced, "I've made an appointment with a counselor," something I'd pleaded with him to do many times.

He confessed he'd never sought counseling before because he was ashamed. And what was my natural response when I caught him in the act? To shame him. I had been part of the problem.

When I got out of the way, Steve was able to turn to God for healing. Giving our marriage to God isn't a one-time deal; it's something I have to do over and over.

Recently my parents reached their fiftieth wedding anniversary. As I joined in celebrating their lasting love for each other, I reflected on God's faithfulness through their tough times. And ours. I'm looking forward to our fiftieth. We only have 24 more years to go. When Steve and I reach that milestone, I'll give God the credit. I'll shout, "What a miracle!"—and even more loudly, "What a Miracle Worker!"

Elaine Creasman, a hospice patient-care volunteer and substitute teacher, lives with her family in Florida.

Copyright 2003 by the author or Christianity Today International/Today's Christian Woman magazine.
"I run in the path of your commands,
for you have set my heart free."
Psalm 119:32 NIV
































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