Pornography – Spouse

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Mentoring Tips

Make one-to-one mentoring easier by learning what to do and what not to do.  Click to learn more.

Tip#1 – Find your PLACE

  • Pray: simple yet powerful act
  • Listen: people want to feel heard
  • Ask: good questions foster productive dialogue
  • Consider: think slowly and biblically
  • Encourage: uplift rather than beat down
Tip#2 – Avoid the common mistakes

  • Fixing: this is a person, not a project
  • Preaching: walk alongside, don’t talk at or down to them
  • Carrying: show concern but don’t carry too heavy a burden
  • Blaming: no condemnation in Christ Jesus
  • Rescuing: you are not their savior!
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Scriptures
Hope
Help
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Conversations
Starters
    • How did you find out about your spouse’s pornography use?
    • How long has this been a problem?
    • How are you dealing with the strong emotions you must be feeling since finding out about your spouse’s pornography use?
    • What do you believe are the next steps in the process of healing and reconciliation?
    • Have you openly expressed your hurts and disappointment with your spouse?
    • Have you ever fully experienced for yourself the forgiveness that God offers through Jesus Christ?
    • Are you willing to consider how your spouse might need the grace of God and your forgiveness as you move forward?
    • Are you willing to find someone of the same gender who can offer support and encouragement to you?
    • Has your spouse found someone to be accountable to?
    • Are you willing to stand beside your spouse as God changes them, even if that change takes place gradually over time?
    • What are some safeguards you can set up with your spouse?
    • How can I as your mentor help and encourage you right now?
Deeper Questions
    • Are you committed to your spouse and to seeing God restore your marriage, even if it will be a painful process?
    • What can you do today to strengthen your own commitment to the marriage despite the process it will take to change patterns and to rebuild trust?
    • What if God chooses to bring your spouse out of sexual sin gradually rather than immediately?
    • Have you and your spouse had conversations about how the pornography has been affecting your sexual intimacy and/or expectations of one another?
    • Has your spouse sought forgivness?  Have you granted it or are you choosing to withhold and punish?
    • Do you believe that your spouse is committed to finding lasting change and rebuilding trust?
    • Is there anything you need to eliminate from your own life to avoid giving your spouse any excuse to continue to move away from marital oneness?
    • How did you find out?  How have you reacted to the revelation?
    • What for you has been the most difficult part of this experience?
    • How can you help set up internet safeguards for your spouse without necessarily trying to be the one to hold him/her accountable all the time?
    • What is one step you can take in the right direction and how can I help you do that
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Resources
Online Helps
Other Ministry Links
  • Celebrate Recovery  A recovery program that addresses all types of habits, hurts, and hang-ups
  • Covenant Eyes  Accountability and filtering helps you protect your family online
Books
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Encouragement
Quotes
  • - Fred and Brenda Stoeker, Every Heart Restored, p. 34

    “The Lord has proven His undying love for you by exposing your husband’s sexual sin, and He stands ready to help you get through this. While you may not feel good about what has happened, this event could bring about one of the most hopeful times of your life. The discovery of your husband’s secret sin has revealed the true state of your marital union, and now you have the opportunity to experience something real with him. Marriage doesn’t have to be a big fat lie … Whatever it’s been up until now, it doesn’t have to stay there.”

  • - Dennis and Barbara Rainey, Growing a Spiritually Strong Family, p. 88

    “No marriage bed has room for three people, but that’s the situation when one partner brings in fantasies based on pornographic images.”

  • - Dave Harvey, When Sinners Say I Do, p. 129

    “I don’t want my words to make a spouse feel ‘caught’ in sin, because I don’t want to create a temptation to be more concerned with fixing a problem than encountering God. Confrontation is not a ‘gotcha’ event. I want my spouse to encounter the Holy Spirit, sent to convict the world of sin (John 16:8), and thus to experience the cleansing and faith-inspiring work of godly sorrow over sin.”

  • - Fred and Brenda Stoeker, Every Heart Restored, p. 72

    “When we wives disobey God and do not make ourselves sexually available to our husbands, we block off their main, natural route for expressing intimacy. Of course, in the wake of his sexual sin or his addiction, it may be necessary to mutually agree to a sexual moratorium to allow the healing process to begin.”

  • - Fred and Brenda Stoeker, Every Heart Restored, p. 142

    “Living happily ever after is not the only thing He has in mind. … What if God needs to change your husband by making him struggle through these problems with you? Is it not fair for God to ask you to serve Him this way after everything He’s done for you?”

  • - Fred and Brenda Stoeker, Every Heart Restored, p. 195

    “We definitely urge you to be purposeful about surrounding yourself with godly sisters who are navigating the same waters … You don’t want to blab your husband’s problems all over town, but being able to vent and pray with someone who cares for you can do wonders for your sanity.”

  • - Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker, Every Man’s Battle, p. 209

    “We all struggle with sin … To whatever extent your husband has won his battle against sexual sin, he deserves extra respect. But even in defeat he needs your respect. Cherish him.”

  • - Joshua Harris, Sex is Not the Problem (Lust Is) p. 87

    “Lust offers men the pleasure of sex devoid of the hard work of intimacy.”

  • - Fred and Brenda Stoeker, Every Heart Restored, p. 173

    “Taking things one day at a time is good advice because complete openness and honesty, patience as you heal, and trustworthy acts don’t happen overnight, but they will happen quickly once your husband turns his whole heart to God. Once they do, your emotions will finally catch up to his new life, and you’ll experience the loving freedom of your dreams.”

  • - Fred and Brenda Stoeker, Every Heart Restored, p. 137

    “People are 100 percent responsible for their lives 100 percent of the time. Yet what spouses do or don’t do has a direct influence on the situation. A wife can certainly make matters worse, but she can also make matters better.”

  • - Joshua Harris, Sex is Not the Problem (Lust Is) p. 6-7

    “People who are ‘addicted’ to pornography aren’t so much addicted to lurid material as they’re addicted to self-centeredness. They’re committed to serving themselves, to doing whatever they can to find a convenient way not to die to self, which is the nature of companionship in a relationship. “

  • - Dave Harvey, When Sinners Say I Do, p. 126-127

    “It might seem that life will be easier if we take the timid path of avoiding certain uncomfortable truths or winking at selected sins, but we always reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7-9). If we sow loving honesty and courageous care, we will reap growth in godliness. If we avoid confrontation, we will just get confrontation anyway, because sin unaddressed is sin unconfined.”

  • - Chip Ingram, Love, Sex, and Lasting Relationships, p. 148

    “If we plant seeds of wanton lust, or seeds of using and abusing people, or seeds of indiscriminate sex and self-centered pleasure, we should not be surprised by the fields of toxic weeds that cover our lives. But if we want the harvest of a loving, deep, intimate relationship, we need to understand that a loving relationship demands sexual purity.”

  • - Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus, Intimate Issues, p.121

    “An expert in sexual issues made the following statement: ‘Ninety percent of sexual problems aren’t sexual at all–they have their roots in the emotional barriers we place between ourselves and our partners’ … The reasons why a man may lack sexual interest include changing sex roles, fear of closeness, feeling overworked and overstressed, time pressures, boredom, marital conflict, anger, and fear of sexual dysfunction.”

  • - Joshua Harris, Sex is Not the Problem (Lust Is) p. 86

    “A man’s lust leads him to detach a woman’s body from her soul, mind, and person and use her for the sake of his selfish pleasure … Pornography reinforces the lie that women are sexual playthings for men’s enjoyment—that women want to be used, not loved and cherished.”

Next Steps
    • Remind them that immediate “deliverance” from sexual temptation may not occur for their spouse in this area, and that for most people recovering from habitual sexual sin will be a deliberate process
    • Encourage your mentee to get involved in a local, Bible-believing church for spiritual growth and accountability
    • Esteem the mentee for reaching out for encouragement regarding this delicate issue.
    • Encourage the mentee to read one or more of the resource articles and discuss it with you.
    • Encourage the mentee with scriptures of help and hope
    • Assure the mentee that you care about him/her and plan to be there along the way to a solution
    • Remind the mentee that God did not wait for us to stop sinning before he loved us…  He is our model for love
    • Encourage your mentee that his/her spouse does not need to be perfect to receive love and rebuild trust
    • Encourage the mentee to reach out for help by finding one or two other friends to meet with regularly for accountability
    • Encourage your mentee that there is everything right with being angry about this sin… we should be angry about sin
    • Encourage your mentee to be more concerned with his/her spouse encountering God than with fixing a problem
    • Encourage your mentee to remember that he/she too is the beneficiary of God’s grace and forgiveness
    • Encourage your mentee not to give up on the marriage but to keep believing that God truly can bring about change
    • Encourage your mentee to read resources for personal healing and growth
    • Encourage your mentee to be educated on the wealth of available internet monitoring and accountability software
    • Talk about the limits you and your spouse have put on pornography and how you feel those are working.
    • Discuss how each of you defines pornography.  Talk about ways you define it differently.