Several years ago my husband came to me with a difficult and shameful confession. He had been a user of porn.
Greg and I were not only husband and wife but also best friends for 28 years. He coached me as I gave birth to three children. He worked hard so I could stay at home with the kids and never complained about the things we could not afford. He was the first person I would run to for perspective when the world crashed around me. He filled my love tank over and over again. We shared everything, I thought. But through all those years, he wandered far from me and from God into a dark place, a place I would never want to be, a place he didn’t want to be.
Grace is a beautiful gift from God, His unmerited favor, that transcends our temporal state in a body of flesh and connects us with our eternal God who can forgive and redeem our sin. Grace is like an ocean that grows more dear as we discover its depth. And though we may never fully comprehend it, it is exactly what our sin-sick souls need to lead us to God’s forgiveness and restoration.
As amazing as the grace of God is, many who engage in secret sin struggle to find grace to move out of the darkness. Where is the grace for these hidden sins?
There is grace for the secret sin, but it’s no different than grace for every sin. Embracing grace for the secret sin means embracing the light that grace comes wrapped in. There is no darkness in God, and as He lovingly extends grace for the sin shrouded in darkness, He brings light to lead us out.
Though secret sins may keep us in hiding, James 5:16 directs us to confess our sins to one another. God will give courage to open our hearts and confess the places we’ve been and the sins we’ve committed there. Confessing to another, or humbly receiving another’s confession, can become a means of God’s grace to a sinner.
In my work I am privileged to sit with precious souls who struggle with porn use or sexual sin. For many of them, hope seems distant. But many others tell me of the incredible weight that is lifted from them as they have begun to expose their struggle to the light and to confess to the those they love and others. In those tender moments, grace comes as a balm to both the sinner and those he or she has wounded. Though the journey toward healing is not easy, relationships can mend, and the keeper of our hearts provides what is needed.
For several weeks beginning January 5, Greg will share how God has transformed his heart over the past three years since he found freedom from bondage to porn. It is a beautiful story of grace and redemption, and I hope you’ll read along with us and find a deeper understanding of God’s amazing grace.
If you struggle with sexual sin or love someone who struggles, TrueNorth has resources to help you, and our prayers are with you.
Founder and CEO of TrueNorth Freedom Project in Atlanta, Georgia
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