For the first 10 years of my marriage, my husband hid a secret sin.
He struggled with pornography and I had no idea.
While I was busy with babies and then toddlers and juggling a part time job, managing our home and laundry and you know, life–he was fighting a hellish private battle.
Fear kept him in a quiet prison.
He was terrified if he admitted his struggle, he would lose his family.
I was the proverbial good girl, a rhinestone Jesus pin-wearing wife who would be destroyed by his struggle.
And although he would succumb to temptation in his weakest moments, he never stopped fighting. He also kept quiet.
When we had a son, things changed. My husband didn’t want this cycle to continue.
In a desperate move, he decided he wanted freedom more than he wanted anything else.
He confessed. And it destroyed me.
But broken things heal stronger. And sometimes starting over is better than never finishing. We began the long road to healing, reconciliation and redemption.
The moment he spoke the shameful words, he had his first taste of freedom. Because that’s what happens when we shine the light on darkness. It scatters. And with every word, through counseling and tears and long talks and resources, he experienced freedom like he didn’t think possible.
He said yes to freedom. He said yes to honesty.
It’s changed the way he fathers his son. It’s changed the way I mother our children. Because there is nothing too shameful, too secret, too horrible, that God cannot heal.
God has used this brokenness and we are raising our son differently because of it. Instead of pretending like our 12 year old son won’t be tempted some day, we proactively educate him about self control. Saying these things out loud–talking about these private issues has created an atmosphere of honesty in our home. No subject is taboo or off-limits.
Because nothing my son does will make us stop loving him. Even his sin. But silence shackles us.
My husband’s biggest regret all these years later? That he stayed silent for so long. He has said over and over, if I had known how freeing it would be to speak it out loud, I would have. I would have said yes to God sooner.
Here are 4 Ways To Encourage Honesty With Our Sons:
- Be honest with them. My husband is just beginning to share his story with our son. Our boys need to know we have struggles, we sin. We need forgiveness.
- Be open about hot topics. If we don’t talk to our boys about sex, pornography, girls, someone else will.
- Be forgiving. Our kids are as human as we are–create an atmosphere of forgiveness.
- Be vigilant. Our sons are growing up in a world much different than we did. There isn’t the restraint we once had over these issues. It’s not only available, it seeks our sons out. Don’t be afraid to explain to your son why you have Internet passwords and monitored screen time.
To read more about raising our sons with intention and to read more about how God performed a miracle in my marriage, check out my new book: Rhinestone Jesus: Saying Yes to God When Sparkly Safe Faith Is No Longer Enough.
Blog: We are THAT family
Non-Profit: Mercy House
Beautiful message Kristen – there is freedom in confession! Bless you for sharing such a hot topic. It’s in these discussions that we can learn how to help free others, including our own families.
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Yes. I’m already teaching my boy to guard his heart and eyes, that there will always be something to look at, etc. The secret creates shame, not healing. thank you for bringing this into the light – it’s a HUGE subject! I wrote about working to protect my son (age 9) below.
beautiful article,my son is still a toddler,but this is something ill keep in mind for future.
My husband has been sober from porn addiction for 1,861 days. There is a great place in Colorado Springs run by Doug Weiss, and my husband goes to group every week in our hometown. When doctors evaluate PET brain scans of porn addicts, their brains look like the brains of heroin addicts. It is a chemical and emotional addiction. I would recommend any of Doug Weiss’s materials for sex addicts and partners of sex addicts. For our four boys, my husband has done the Passport to Purity program with them. That has really opened communication about sex, dating, etc.
What a great thing confession is for the soul. Be blessed by God everyday. He wins when we let Him in on the battle.
thank you for sharing your heart! we Our oldest is 10 and we are getting into the stage where he is more aware of his surrounding.