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julie portrait3BW[From Julie] Well, we’re back with the Real Marriage class this week after taking a summer break.  What a topic to start off with.  ‘Welcome back everyone.  Hope you had a great summer.  So, do you have a porn addiction problem that we can help you with?’  Okay, the conversation didn’t exactly go that way.
I don’t care who you are, talking about pornography and marriage on the first week back from holidays is like jumping into the deep end of the pool on the first day of swimming lessons.

We watched the Real Marriage video (Chapter 8) together as a group and then we split the class (guys and girls) for discussion.  The ladies had a good discussion and we had the opportunity to share perspectives and encourage each other.  I understand that the men also had good conversation, but I’ll let Noel elaborate on that.

Noel and I both wanted to bring this issue into the light with our church family.  There are few areas in life that are as dramatically different as pornography from a Christian point of view and a secular point of view.  If you ever hear someone at work or in non-church circles comment about pornography you will get a ‘no big deal’ kind of attitude.  On the other hand, within church circles you will get nothing… Crickets!  Church people don’t talk about porn at all.  Like it doesn’t exist.  Nothing could be further from the truth!  It seems that pornography is so taboo that it can’t even be discussed in polite company.  Neither one of these reactions is healthy.  With this class we were hoping to get couples talking to each other about the issue and provide some support if the couples discover a problem.

The statistics regarding pornography use are startling.  Frequently within a couple, you will find one partner with a porn problem and the other partner unaware of it.  This can be extremely damaging.  I encourage all of you to read chapter eight in the book and learn what is happening in the brain each time a person views porn.  It is concerning and if the statistics are to be believed, it is a massive problem for all marriages including Christian marriages.  Please take it seriously.  It’s not just a guy thing or something that can spice up your sex life or an issue that doesn’t hurt anyone.  It’s rewiring your brain and changing the way you see each other.

We had some important homework this week.  There was one question in particular that I thought was especially important.  “In what ways does Jesus give us hope in the face of sin and bondage – yours or someone else’s?  It’s important to keep this in mind as you start into this discussion together.  As a wife if you find out that your husband has a porn problem you need to start praying about it.  Pray for an appropriate response and pray for guidance as you work through this issue.  You need to be on your husband’s team.  Open the lines of communication and avoid judgement and shame.  Neither you or your husband are defined by this.  You aren’t the one who is going to fix this problem but you can be your husband’s partner in recovery.  If it is you that is dealing with a porn addiction then you need to be honest with yourself, your husband and most importantly with God.  Learn how to build a better intimate relationship with your partner.  You will draw closer together and be more satisfied.  Your connection to each other will be deeper and stronger if you rely on God’s plan.  He really does know what is best.  He really does want you to be happy and have a strong, fulfilling sex life.  He wants you to be connected to each other in a unique way and be drawn to each other in ways you are not drawn to anyone else.  That kind of connection is worth the effort.  Don’t allow anything to chip away at the foundation of your sex life.  Guard your marriage and value it above any kind of cheap thrill or promise of something new or exciting.  Nothing is as exciting as a couple who have eyes only for each other.

JW

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