Lesson 1 Hope in Christ


Hello, my name is Jody Cleveland; welcome to the A United Front course.
My husband, Mike, was enslaved to sexual impurity for many years before we experienced victory through the gospel and became a united front in our marriage. This course material is the fruit of what God worked into my heart and life during that difficult time. I pray that it will be useful to you and that God will give you much hope and strength through it.
This course is designed to be interactive, so you will study some text, watch a music video, or listen to a short audio clip and answer questions related to what you read, heard or watched. If you are working with a mentor here at Setting Captives Free, they will examine your answers, pray for you, and respond back to you. Our mentors are carefully selected as people who love the gospel and care about others. If you are not assigned to a mentor, we highly recommend that you involve someone local to you who can support and encourage you along the way. There are also a few lessons where you will be given an email address that you can use to ask questions, etc.
Each lesson is divided into sections. When you submit a section the site will save your answers and mark your place. Should you leave the site for any reason, you will be able to pick up where you left off when you return.  
Along the way, we will share responses your fellow students have written as they have gone through this course, as well as testimonies. The comments are sprinkled throughout each lesson; we share these with you to inspire you and to assure you that you are not alone—many people around the world are dealing with these issues. We hope you will be encouraged as you see their comments and testimonies showing God at work in their hearts, marriages and situations. These are actual comments from actual course members who have gone before you. We do not use last names for privacy reasons.
We also have a free Purity course for spouses of students enrolled in the A United Front course.
You might want to subscribe to the ministry's newsletter called "The Power of the Cross." You may subscribe by sending a blank email to main+subscribe@SettingCaptivesFree.groups.io from the email account you want to subscribe and then replying to the confirmation email you receive. This newsletter is sent out once a week, on Sunday, and alternates short teachings one week with testimonies the following week.
Additionally, we utilize the Setting Captives Free Forum as a way of offering accountability, answers for questions you might have on the course, and general interaction about the course with others.
Finally, we have made it easy for you to share anything that you read. To see the ease of sharing on social media, watch the following video.
Now, let's begin.
I knew a little of my husband’s involvement with sexual impurity before we married, but I naively believed once we married I could meet all his sexual needs so thoroughly that sexual immorality would no longer tempt him. I can see how ignorant I was. I was unaware of sin and its power, and I was prideful to think I could prevent my husband from sinning; only God can change a heart and keep any of us from falling into sin (Jude 1:24).
After we were married, I fell into a habit of rationalizing away any suspicions I had about my husband's involvement with sexual sin. I wanted to believe the best of him and, besides; I did not know how to deal with the problem. Eventually, the evidence and corresponding marital troubles became so glaring that I knew I had to deal with it, but I was hurt and afraid. I didn‘t understand why my husband was acting this way, and I didn’t know what to do to make it stop.
We had recently attended a church where the pastor was also a biblical counselor. So, when I came to him and told him of my concerns about my husband, my pastor was reassuring and comforting but also firm in his direction. My pastor told me I would need to approach my husband about his sin lovingly. He taught me that to truly love someone, is to want to see them successful in their walk with Christ so, if I truly loved Mike, I would need to approach him in love with the goal of restoring our relationship.
The problem was that I was afraid, and I did not want to tell my husband what I had discovered. I didn’t even know how but, thankfully, my pastor helped me. Mike initially responded positively to our loving reproof, but the months that followed were hard.
I hoped that once I approached Mike with the evidence of his sin, he would confess and ask for forgiveness and then everything would be okay again, and we could all get on with our lives, but that isn’t how things work with sin. Mike repented of his sin of sexual impurity, but that did not mean that the temptations were gone. In fact, for a while, it seemed the temptations grew even more intense!
It became immediately plain to us we needed to change our lives to protect ourselves from the attacks of the devil.
Under our pastor’s instruction, we learned how to unite in love and in spiritual warfare. We did whatever we could to work together to overcome this struggle that nearly destroyed our marriage.
Mike and I sought ways to rebuild our relationship. It was not an easy road to travel but, now I can look back and rejoice at God’s grace and mercy in bringing us through this fire so that our marriage might be founded on the gospel of grace. By God’s grace and power, my husband is walking in purity, and we remain united in love and the gospel.
Friend, we would like to help you. Please share a little about the struggles you are facing and about your family life by answering the questions in the next step.