This morning in my bible study God led me to Psalm 12 which I have to admit I wasn’t concentrating on fully, this brain doesn’t stop! I turned the page and verse 5b caught my attention and I back tracked to read the whole verse.
“Because of the devastation of the afflicted, because of the groaning of the needy,
Now I will arise,” says the LORD; “I will set him in the safety for which he longs.”
v5.b “Now I will arise,” says the LORD; “I will set him in the safety for which he longs.”
That caught my attention and my heart. I am a woman who loves a man who has a sex addiction. Living for me hasn’t been safe for a long time. I knew He was speaking to my heart here and making me a promise. I finished the Psalm and then went back to the beginning to read it again. With God using the pronouns “he” and “him”, it had thrown me some in my context, especially having seen “The Heart of a Man” recently. That same look of the son when he walked away I’ve seen on my husband’s face, as I tried to talk sense to him at various times in this journey. “There is a way that seems right to a man but it’s end is the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12 Once the consequences of the weakness are realized there is horror and a shame so big and black and dark…on both sides, the offender for the trauma of the offense and the offended for not being worthy of better, broken and rejected. I know it is my promise from God to set me in a place of safety but it is Tim’s promise from God, too. It is easy to forget that while I am a daughter of the Living King, Tim is a son of the Living King. He wants the very best for His sons, even more than we do. These sons He has trusted with His daughters and His children to teach them about Him. Our Father in Heaven, Jesus the Christ, who wept for Martha and Mary’s pain weeps for His children in their pain, His sons who do not know His truth, His daughters who do not know His truth. We are all, every single one beautiful in His eyes and He sees us as just as righteous as He is under the blood of Jesus Christ. He will deal with our sin but as a Father to his child, in love, gentle at first yet harder if we do not respond until we finally fall to our knees. We believe the lies of the world, holding a false standard to our own and we will always fall short. No matter how far we fall Jesus is there to pick us up and walk us out of the dark cave of having just been ripped open again. He is so good and He is my Savior and He wants my Tim to be my savior here on earth with skin on, the man He created Tim to be and I’m starting to see that man. A man who can look at me and understand my pain and not condemn it, who does everything he can to make it go away. He is kind of surprising me every day. The best part is that’s not the best part! This whole Psalm not only speaks to the broken wife of a sex addict but to the broken sex addict, too, as well as all kinds of other dysfunction! It is grace and mercy, the grace and mercy we all need. I’m going to take it apart and see what the Lord reveals.
I am not a therapist or counselor, I’m writing from my experience. I believed many wrong things over the years and that has done me great harm along with so many of my sisters and brothers. The messages we are bombarded with on this planet are so many lies yet we base our entire lives trying to achieve what they say we should have and are entitled to. There is a standard set by God for living which is right and true and correct. It is in direct opposition to the standard set by the world. Purity is laughed at and made to seem wrong and defiled at every turn. Up is down and down is up. We’ve been indoctrinated into this thinking and then throw in childhood hurt and pain and we’ve got disaster in every sacred thing. There is an enemy who is dancing every time we look at or do something inappropriate because God built us to save those things on our heart to bind us to one person forever, in marriage alone. When we take that sacred gift and abuse it for selfish pleasure we are doing great harm to our souls and our souls react. Great and horrible shame grows out of trying to do something meant to be only holy that always seems to turn carnal. These things happen in the depths of your being and you don’t even recognize the real harm that is being done, day after day. How can you form this forever attachment to your spouse when you’ve already attached to so many others? Everything in this holy union is already broken and we blame each other for its dysfunction. Striving to resolve this pain of what is missing, we then try to fix it in all kinds of destructive ways that only further divide. Right ways of thinking become distorted in both partners and the result of this unstopped runaway train is destruction. You must get around healthy and safe people in order to get a grip on what real truth is and undo the lies that have hurt you and your spouse to your inner most parts.
v1. “Help, LORD, for the godly man ceases to be, for the faithful disappear from among the sons of men.”
How many men and women of God are spending time alone with things they shouldn’t? Or are isolating themselves in their pain? Modeling for the next generation this cycle of destruction? Shame and hiding and hiding and shame become a way of life and the work of the Lord is not being done. Not effectively because how can we demonstrate freedom in Christ when there is this big dark secret holding power over us? The injured spouses are beat down because it is allegedly their fault they don’t live up to some image or ideal they could never live up to. The children are living in this tension all the time, knowing something is wrong, observing this dance and they are not seeing this beautiful gift from God called marriage modeled before them, as God intended. I see it, Lord, the faithful are disappearing into darkness and it’s got to be stopped. We must begin active rescue.
v2. “They speak falsehood to one another; with flattering lips and with a double heart they speak.”
An honest and real relationship with any addict is extremely difficult because of the shame, the secret. Until they’re in deep, deep recovery there is always something to hide and it might take a long time to dig it all out. The person who manipulates and lies to achieve their desire is dealing deceptively, duplicitously, and damaging those around them. If these emotions aren’t dug out into the light to be examined they can turn into latent hostility for your spouse that looks really good on the outside but can explode out into damaging and destructive treatment of the spouse who is withholding the thing they are demanding. “I’m not angry!”, then everything in the house is being slammed. Or it can manifest in little things that are known to cause pain or irritation and it can also be destroying what that spouse loves, anything to cause them pain in payback. To make the spouse become what they think they are entitled to or to make them pay for withholding whatever it may be. The intimacy God built us to receive from one another is gone, exchanged for a lie. We don’t live up. Our souls cry out for this intimacy, this desire to be known and shame chases us back to our holes to fight for it in wrong ways. In this we deny ourselves what is right and good and correct in exchange for the lie that satisfies for but an instant. We lose ourselves. Everyone is deceived because real truth is not known or being lived and it harms all parties.
v3. “May the LORD cut off flattering lips, the tongue that speaks great things;”
I think here of all the times I heard “I’m so sorry. It will never happen again. I don’t know who that was who did that.” It felt sincere, it seemed sincere, and I would feel safe and trust, sometimes for years, and then there would be some discovery that would literally pull my entire world out from under me. This was because I believed Tim and not the experts. Until I began setting real boundaries in our marriage nothing changed. In his defense, I know he believed it, too, and didn’t want to discuss this horrible event because of the shame but unless you get in there and do the work it’s going to come back and your life will become like smoke and mirrors, not knowing what is real and what isn’t. Do not believe words, believe actions.
Ladies, please do not become something you are not simply to get him to stay. It is not something you can sustain and it reinforces and justifies the betrayal. In one way, it betrays the offending spouse as well, allowing him/her to keep believing they are correct in this broken thinking which doesn’t help at all. There is much work to be done, don’t believe what you hear, believe what you see and experience.
v4. “Who have said, “With our tongue we will prevail; our lips are our own; who is lord over us?”
This to me is like deceit stepped up. Many years I knew something was terribly wrong in our marriage. Even before the first time he went outside of it. I would try to say this isn’t right, there is something not right and there would be fights. I’d listen to shows and buy books to prove it but there was just flat out denial. There was something wrong with me. This was because the picture of “love” my husband saw first was pornographic and not love at all. He firmly believed that was the way I should act. This was reinforced by pastors and counselors that were not sex addiction specialists. “You aren’t keeping him happy as a wife” and then begin picking your whole world apart to see how you’re not satisfying him, causing him to cheat. You are the injured party and therefore willing to work on you and it ends up destroying your soul believing that you somehow deserved this. It also enables him by justifying his very bad behavior. We see it all the time in politics and business, “Keep lying until they believe you” but it has no place in any healthy relationship. Lies are not truth just because we say they are.
v5. “Because of the devastation of the afflicted, because of the groaning of the needy,
Now I will arise,” says the LORD; “I will set him in the safety for which he longs.”
He sees! He SEE’s you! He’s coming to save you! He hears you! He has heard your cry, Man. He has heard your cry, Woman. He is coming to rescue you. Believe it, He’s never failed me yet and I believe He never will!
See also the beginning note.
v6. “The words of the Lord are pure words; as silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times.
This is the Lord saying trust me, I’ve been tested! Proven! I love you and I see you! I know your pain! Though you are drowning rest in my arms! You can trust! Believe and count on My word! I am not a man that I would lie! Do not fret, rest, I’ve got this. This is amazing because I’ve received that comfort from God but in our recovery my husband is now sometimes giving me that comfort as well and that is miraculous. Praise You, my Jesus.
v7. “You, O LORD, will keep them; You will preserve him from this generation forever.” The Lord does see and He does act to heal and “restore what the locusts have eaten” and somehow make us all better for it. Tearing down the strongholds that have been in our families forever, be it sex, alcohol, drugs, anger, control, violence, abuse…it’s all running from what is real and true, believing lies. Jesus is going to pour His grace and His mercy all over you and your situation and mine and you will know that it was Him. We may not see it now but rescue is coming!
v8. “The wicked strut about on every side when vileness is exalted among the sons of men.”
Vileness in our world is glorified, Purity and Truth are condemned. God said it very well with no need of explanation.
By Sherry Pogar