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 message of the cross and became a united front in our marriage. This course material is the fruit of what God worked in 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.
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I knew a little of my husband’s involvement with sexual impurity before we married. Still, 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 started attending a church where the pastor was also a biblical counselor. So, I approached our pastor and shared my concerns; our pastor was reassuring and comforting but also firm in his direction. Our pastor told me I would need to speak with 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. I just wanted us to leave the sin behind and 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 they grew even more intense!
It became immediately apparent to us that we needed to change our way of thinking and living to protect ourselves from the devil's attacks.
Under our pastor’s instruction, we learned how to unite in love and 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.