I follow Jesus. I am a disciple of Christ, but not always a very good one. Sometimes I want to lay down my cross and veer a little from the path. That’s why God gave me twenty-two years with a great woman. He knows I mean well and, with a little help from my wife, I just might stay (nearer to the center of) the course.
Adonica was a sports fanatic. She once subscribed to Sports Illustrated magazine and enjoyed the weekly updates on favorite teams and the mostly well written articles about athletes’ personal and team achievements. I occasionally glanced at the magazine.
Like most guys, I was aware of the annual swimsuit edition in which beautiful young women model tiny bits of fabric. I’m not sure what this has to do with sports but I am fairly certain it boosts magazines sales and SI revenues. Maybe I would take one of my “occasional glances” when the swimsuit issue arrived in the mail. I would be nonchalant.
Adonica informed me the annual swimsuit issue had arrived.
“Oh yeah, where is it?,” feigning only casual interest.
“In the recycling. I didn’t even bring it into the house,” she replied.
“So you mean its in the red recycling box in the garage?”
“No. I mean it was picked up today and taken to the dump. It’s gone for good.”
“Good,” I said. “Darn,” I thought.
My dear wife saw this as a teaching opportunity. She explained that the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated is really soft pornography and had no business in our home. She also discovered that subscribers can ‘opt out’ of receiving the swimsuit issue and get an extra magazine at the end of their subscription. I learned that’s what we would do if we re-subscribed.
The incident described above happened about ten years ago. Given the opportunity, I doubt I would have opened the magazine. God faithfully provides a way of escape with every temptation I face (1st Corinthians 10.13). By His amazing grace, I have not intentionally viewed pornography (or an SI swimsuit issue) for nearly twenty years. Nor have I returned to my old sexually addictive behavior patterns since my dear Adonica died two and a half years ago. I am acutely aware of the enormous weight that sin once carried in my life and I don’t want to go there again. However, I most certainly would have been tempted and I am glad I had a marriage partner who understood that. I am saddened to know that she is no longer here to remind what a good man is and does. Now I must figure that out on my own.
And yet, I am not on my own. In August 2015, Adonica joined that “great cloud of witnesses” who surrounds and reminds me to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” me, (Hebrews 12.1). I also have my brothers and sisters in Christ, specifically, my 423 Community of support. I am never on my own. Alone, I might take a detour from the path of life. I certainly do not always watch where I'm going.
By God’s grace, I will not dishonor my wife's sacred memory. With the help of my brothers and sisters in recovery, I will keep following Jesus and become the man she always wanted and deserved and expected and helped me to be.
Could you use some help on the path of purity? Join at 423 Community today at https://www.423communities.org/join-a-group/ or simply email email@example.com. We have sexual recovery groups for men, women, and youth.
You are not alone. There is hope.