Prince Charming Has a Porn Addiction

If I could offer one piece of advice to those who are hoping to get married, are engaged, or are newly married it would be this: do not expect your spouse to fulfill you in a way that only Christ can.

We are a culture filled with false ideas of what will make us truly happy. While I believe most Christians know we are broken individuals and our biggest need is Jesus to reconcile us with God, we still struggle with deep-down wanting to believe that someday something other than God will come along and make all of our dreams come true.

The idea that marriage will complete you is idolatry. Idolatry is a tricky thing because often the things you idolize are good things. It becomes our utmost purpose and identity when we take something good and try to warp it into something it can never be. Augustine, the sixth century theologian, called this distorting of good things “disordered love.” There are good things that we should love, but the moment we place our identity and purpose in those things, we are violating the 1st commandment. We are to have no other gods before God. Our Father is good and he knows what is best for us. We can trust him in what he tells us to avoid. There is a reason we are not to place anything above him – not even good things.

I have been blessed to be married for almost 5 years. The first several years of my marriage were not easy. You see, my husband and I entered into marriage with him as a recovering porn addict. (You can read my husband Tyler’s experience through addiction HERE). That had its own slew of problems that caused misery and breakdown in our marriage. However, if I’m honest, a lot of the misery I experienced had a lot more to do with my own idols being threatened.

Before I met Tyler, I regularly felt insecure about my desirability with men. People would express what a catch I was, so why didn’t men pursue me more? What was wrong with me? When I fell in love with Tyler, it was wonderful. I felt like a man really got me. It felt like I finally found someone who said, I see you and what I see excites me. And that feeling became very important to me. After we got married, Tyler’s struggle continued, and when he chose porn again and again over me, it felt like complete rejection. And it devastated me.

It also made me angry. I thought marriage would give me validation and purpose.  The realities of marriage were not meeting my expectations of what I thought about marriage. I blamed my husband for how that made me feel and I struggled to forgive him. I held onto the pain in my heart and that made me feel distant from God. It was a bleak time.

At some point God gave me this insight: when you turn to those things that you place above me, you do the exact same thing that Tyler does to you when he turns to porn.

But, God is good. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” When you are in the thick of difficult times that can sound like a platitude. However, God used my husband’s porn addiction to help me see how worthless my idol of marriage was and how fulfilling he is. Tim Keller, in his book The Meaning of Marriage says, “we come into our marriages driven by all kinds of fears, desires, and needs. If I look to my marriage to fill the God-sized spiritual vacuum in my heart, I will not be in a position to serve my spouse” (72). My husband’s porn addition really didn’t have anything to do with me. I think that was – and sometimes still is – the hard thing for me to believe. And when I make it all about me, the truth is I’m not helping either of us.

My husband’s addiction is something between him and God. It is about him looking for fulfillment outside of Christ and that is a heart issue that only God can heal. I, in turn, also look for fulfillment outside of Christ and that was a heart issue that God is healing in me. At some point God gave me this insight: when you turn to those things that you place above me, you do the exact same thing that Tyler does to you when he turns to porn. The wrong you feel your husband does to you, you have done that to me time and time again. Ouch.

But, the good news is healing. God loves me so much that he offers me forgiveness. In fact, the Father sent his only Son, who never did what I’ve done to him, to the cross for me. This means because of who I am in Christ, I am a chosen, adopted, and redeemed daughter of a king. This is my identity; this is what is true about me. Is there a greater love than that? When I see that I have that kind of love, how can I not turn and offer forgiveness to those who hurt me? I was given a small glimpse of the depth of despair that is my sin, but in turn I learned that the depths of Christ’s love for me is far greater. Understanding this has melted my heart and allowed me to understand the gospel on a much deeper level.

Very slowly I learned I could not control what only God can. What I need to do is trust God and pray for him to do what only he can do. I need to sacrificially love my husband the way that Christ has for me. And God was at work. God was working in Tyler, he was working in me, and we started to intentionally show one another sacrificial love. We started putting up blocks to the internet in our home. We started to forgive and try to point one another towards Jesus. God was healing our marriage.

We live our lives thinking something other than God will give us all our heart’s desires. For me it was the idea of Prince Charming and a love story. I never imagined my love story would involve Prince Charming having a porn addiction. I can promise you that whatever your thing may be, it will not be able to give you your greatest desires. That’s a lie as old as the one the snake told Eve in the garden and it will bring you nothing but misery and breakdown. We have to believe the truth: life with God will give us far more than we can even begin to desire. When I keep my eyes on Jesus, I get to see the power of his redemptive love and how he can heal two sinners struggling through marriage together. And that, my friends, is the true love story.

When will I see that movie, Disney?



← Back