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Blazing Grace Newsletter, May 2007
* The Wife’s Gethsemane
* Ministry News
* The Blazing Grace Radio Show
* More Reading
* The Numbers
* Prayer Requests
* Final Words
The Wife’s Gethsemane
By Mike Genung
It had been three years since Jaime discovered her husband was in bondage to sexual sin.
She first discovered his problem when she unwittingly stumbled on to porn images on his computer at home. Shock and disbelief were soon followed by fits of rage and crying.
“I promise I’ll do what it takes to overcome this,” her husband had said. When she asked him to attend a support group, his reply was “It isn’t that bad; I can beat this on my own. Look, I’ll just password protect the internet browser and you can set the code to get in.”
She’d agreed, and for awhile it seemed everything was getting back to normal.
Six months later, Jaime’s husband came home from a business trip. As she was going through his luggage, she found a hotel receipt marked with several $9.00 “movie rentals.” When she asked him what movies he’d watched, she knew immediately by the look in his eyes that he’d watched porn. He responded by insisting she was being paranoid, and saying how angry he was she didn’t trust him. Even though the intensity of his response backed her off, deep down, Jaime knew what he was doing.
Over the next two years their relationship had deteriorated. Her husband progressively pulled away from her emotionally and physically, to the point where their communication dried up. When they did talk the result was that it often ended up in a fight; she felt more like a roommate than a wife.
Then, it happened. One afternoon, as she was driving by a motel in the part of town that was frequented by prostitutes, she saw his car outside one of the rooms. Jaime parked across the street and waited. Ten minutes later, a woman exited; her husband followed not long after.
There was screaming, fighting and crying that night, with a demand that Jaime’s husband get help, now. He weakly promised to go to a group, but even as the words limped out of his mouth, she doubted he meant it.
They attended church a few days later, in silence. Their children must have known something was seriously wrong; it was the first time Jaime didn’t sit with her husband in church.
It was the next morning, while their kids were in school and her husband was at work, when Jaime went to the Lord.
“Lord, I’ve had enough! It’s over! I’m sick of hurting, and he’s not going to change. Isn’t it time for me to start packing and get it over with?”
Her question is met by silence, and she starts crying. She flips through her Bible, slows as she reaches Matthew and then stops at 26:38:
“My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me." And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will."
Jaime breaks down into a full sob. She has a few friends, but none who will “watch with her” without piling on a bunch of unwelcome advice. She feels more alone than ever before.
Jaime chews on Christ’s words “… let this cup pass.” Jesus wanted to bail out, just as she wants out of her marriage.
“Lord are you trying to tell me something? I… I don’t want this anymore than you wanted the cross. Please, it hurts too much, I can’t keep doing this.”
A scene comes to her mind; it is a close-up of a man’s unclothed back.
In slow motion, a man’s hand sweeps from the right. In his grip is a foot long steel handle, which is trailed by seven long leather cords, each which are laced with numerous pieces of sharp metal and bone. As the cords waft through the air, the bits of metal and bone rake across skin, catch, and pull, tearing open fresh channels of flesh that produce streams of blood. The cords continue to shred the man’s back open until the handle, then the middle, then finally, the cords, vanish to the left.
To her horror, the scene is repeated again. As the handle swings to the left, each cord finds a new patch of skin to cut, pull, and tear open. The man’s back shudders, and there is a soft groan.
“No, please, I can’t watch anymore,” Jaime whispers.
The scene is repeated a third time, and then vanishes, leaving Jaime alone again with her thoughts.
“How did you do that?” she whispers. “Where did You find the strength to endure… I can’t imagine being tortured like that, and then… the cross.”
A new picture comes to her mind.
Jesus is alone in the garden of Gethsemane, late at night. There is a look of agony on His face as He cries out “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done."
Softly, Jaime repeats Christ’s last eight words, turning them over in her mind: “Yet not my will, but Yours be done.”
Jesus knew the brutal treatment He would receive centuries before it happened; His suffering was foretold in the book of Isaiah. He also knew He would rise from the dead and win the final victory over sin.
The Lord knew Jaime would marry a man who would betray her, just as Christ knew what Judas would do to Him. How did He feel when Judas kissed Him? Did Jesus want to deck Judas, as Jaime wants to do to her husband? Was He hurt? Or was there sorrow because He knew that Judas would spend eternity in hell?
The Lord knows what the end result will be with Jaime’s marriage, but unlike Christ when He said “Your will be done,” Jaime doesn’t. She starts getting an uncomfortable feeling that Jesus might be asking her to stay in a marriage with a man who is more Judas than friend.
“Lord… if I continue on, what will happen?”
Silence. No answer comes; she’s in a desperate situation with no control over what her husband does, with no guarantee of a pleasant outcome.
And then, she is brought back to the Garden:
Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him.
“I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”
Jaime is in her garden of decision, and Christ is speaking to her, strengthening her, encouraging her to go on.
And, (gulp), she is being challenged just as He was. She can turn away, or say “Thy will be done” and keep going.
None of it makes sense on the surface. Jaime had spent months praying to be released from what had become a bad marriage on its best day. Although her friends had often counseled her to leave her husband, there was always that firm, inner sense of restraint every time she considered it. She’d even packed her bags once, only to relent and unpack later.
Her best friend Betty had pressed her to leave her husband; she could see hear it now. “You’re staying with this guy? He’s treating you like a prostitute and you’re staying with him?? Give me one reason why!!”
“Uhh, ‘cause the Lord told me to.”
“Yeah right. And how do you know God told you to stick with this jerk?”
Jaime pondered her response to her friend’s imaginary question. She was the only one who would know what God was saying; it wouldn’t be something she could explain or prove. If she surrendered to what she believed the Lord was calling her to, it wouldn’t make most of her friends happy.
But then, most of Jesus’ friends bolted when he decided to surrender to His Father’s will. Could staying with her husband cause the same reaction?
“My friends haven’t walked in my shoes or paid the price I have.”
“Thy will be done.” Those were scary words. Jaime thought of her husband’s broken promises, what she’d caught him doing, and all the fighting, screaming, and lies. She didn’t feel like sticking with a guy like that; he surely didn’t deserve it.
Jaime turned back to the Lord. After one last pause of several minutes, she says:
“Okay, Your will be done. I’ll follow You.”
Jaime sees Jesus in the garden. He’s just finished praying, and has risen to His feet.
The sound of Judas and a band of thugs approaching from a distance can be heard, and she watches as the disciples lay there, snoring.
In spite of this, the look in Jesus’ face is one of determination.
And it mirrors the look in Jaime’s.
There are very few resources for dealing with sexual addiction outside of the U.S., and the Lord has been opening a number of doors lately for us to partner up with others.
A group in Austria has translated the Blazing Grace website into German. Those of you in Europe can contact them at www.blazinggrace.de.
A man has translated the BG site into Spanish and started a Strength in Numbers group in Guatemala.
You can see the Spanish version of the site at www.graciaradical.com.
I’ve been invited by a pastor in India to translate and print my book into three languages there (Tamil, Kannada and English) and to come and speak there. It will cost around $8,500.00, including printing and trip costs to complete this project. I have no personal financial gain from the printing of these books; this is something we’re doing to help the church in India, which doesn’t have the funds to support projects like this.
A ministry in Korea, WellSpring of Life, is using some of our materials and is translating the book into Korean. You can see their ministry at http://www.wellspring.kr/200705/index.php. The picture of Gollum they have on their home page links to My Precious (my article on masturbation).
We’d be happy to partner up with those of you who are outside of the U.S.. Email me for more information.
We also have other projects going in the U.S.. If you’d like to support what we’re doing financially by paypal or check, please go to http://www.blazinggrace.org/support.htm.
The Blazing Grace Radio Show…
…Is Jayson Graves of Healing for the Soul , Julie Dozier of Wings of Grace and Mike Genung taking on the porn epidemic. Jayson and Julie are Christian therapists who specializes in helping those who struggle with sexual addiction.
See anything new about that last paragraph? Yes, we’ve added a third member to our ragtag bunch. Julie is a former wife of a man who struggled with sex addiction who ministers to spouses and women who struggle with sex addiction.
Special call in show:
On Wednesday, June 6 at 11:00am Mountain time, we’re going to tape two half hour shows that will be our listeners calling in to make comments, share their stories, or ask questions. Please email me if you’re interested in participating, and I’ll provide you with the phone number to call in.
Here’s our May lineup:
May 5: Interview with Melissa Fryrear of Love Won Out, Part 2.
May 12: Interview with Phil of Blazing Grace Austria
May 19: Women who struggle with sexual addiction.
May 26: TBD
The show is now broadcast in South Africa on Wednesday evenings from 10:00pm to midnight on Impact Radio 103FM (http://www.impactradio.co.za/).
You're welcome to partner up with us and sponsor the Blazing Grace radio show in your city, whether in the U.S. or abroad.
You can download mp3s of the broadcasts without cost at the radio page, or listen to them in streaming audio at Oneplace.com.
The broadcasts are available as a podcast through Itunes. If you have the Itunes software, the shows are listed under “Religion and Spirituality/Christianity.”
On dealing with porn/sex addiction in the church:
How Many Porn Addicts are in Your Church?
How Your Church Can Take on the Porn Epidemic
Getting to the Roots of the Porn Epidemic
How Your Church Can Help Those Who Struggle with Porn or Sex Addiction
The Destructive Force of Adultery
On getting help for porn/sex addiction:
It’s Just a Little Porn; I’m no Sex Addict
Sexual Sobriety isn’t Enough
Winning the War in the Mind
* 87% of university students are having sex over webcams, instant messenger or the telephone.
Reuters, Ontario Canada, February 16, 2006.
* In a Kinsey Institute survey, respondents were asked "Why do you use porn?"
72% said they used porn to masturbate/for physical release.
69% - to sexually arouse themselves and/or others.
54% - out of curiosity.
43% - "because I can fantasize about things I would not necessarily want in real life."
38% - to distract myself.
The following are a few of the prayer requests received this past month. When you have a moment, I encourage you to pray for a few of those who are there. These are real people with real marriages and families on the line.
My husband has had this problem 17 and half years of our marriage. I kept finding pictures etc. it made me crazy. Now that his family has found out, they are funding our divorce, rather than counseling. I don't want a divorce. My husband won't even admit he has a problem Please pray this bondage is broken, and for reconciliation and restoration of our marriage.
Please pray for my husband of 18 years, John; his addiction has finally gotten him committed to a relationship with a prostitute/stripper in Tijuana Mexico. He moved out 4 months ago and tells me he is in love with her, though he does not trust her. He asked me to attend the Porn to Grace Conference in May, but has no intentions of leaving that relationship. She is also involved with witchcraft and a sect called Santa Muerte. Please pray that the Lord would speak into his life and turn this situation around for him. I am not certain that I want to remain married to him, but I do want to intercede for his deliverance. Thank you
There is so much dysfunction in this house. More often then not I am embarrassed to say we are Christians. What kind of ambassador for Christ looks like this? My home is aching for spiritual leadership. My husband is hot and cold in getting consistent fellowship with godly men. I am struggling with the loss of my father right now, and do not feel precious to any human man now that he is gone. My husband seems to view me as his "hypodermic needle" to give him his release! NO THANK YOU! I didn't get married to feel used! Sexual addiction has robbed me of more things then I can list, and I am recognizing worlds of bitterness toward my husband now because of it! I need a parting of the Red Sea miracle here. I claim victory over the enemy and his wicked ways in the area of sexuality in this home, and I pray for God's spirit to flood this house and every person that lives here with His strength, discipline, love, vision, obedience and energy! To Jesus be the glory! ***
And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write:
“These things says the Son of God, who has the eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass: "I know your works, love, service, faith and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first. Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce my servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. I will kill her children with death, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works. "
Revelations 2:18-23 (Thyatira is known as the corrupt church.)
Blazing Grace is a 501c3 non-profit corporation whose purpose is to minister to the sexually broken and equip the church to effectively deal with the porn epidemic.
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May God’s grace abound to you.
All material copyright 2007 Mike Genung