Ok, well, LaRissa let me hijack her blog one more time so I could finish telling you my part of our story.
Remember, I told you that in almost every one of the great love stories, there is a princess and a prince who fall madly in love. Their love, however, is threatened by an evil enemy. The enemy often captures the prince and keeps him enslaved with a horrible monster. Meanwhile, he plunges the princess into a horrible darkness.
Well, that is where I left off with our story. Satan was the enemy who had captured and enslaved me with the horrible monster of a pornography addiction. But, it wouldn't be a very good story if that were all there were to it. In the fairy tales, the prince destroys the monster, overcomes the enemy, rescues the princess and brings her out of the darkness with a kiss, the symbol of his love and devotion.
In our story, I killed the monster. How did I do it? Well, there were several necessary elements to defeating the monster. The first thing I learned was that the monster was seriously weakened in the light. So long as the monster of pornography addiction is kept in the dark, is kept a secret, it thrives and grows stronger and more horrific. But the minute it is exposed to the light, the instant the secret is out, the monster begins to die. Like Pastor Rick Warren says, "The hurt can't be healed until the secret is revealed." Once the secret life of addiction comes into the light, it can be dealt with. Help can be sought. Unresolved issues and struggles can be confronted openly and honestly. So long as I kept the secret, so long as the monster was in the dark, it had control over my life and kept me captive.
Second, I found that the monster's goal is to keep you isolated and alone, but the monster does not like you fighting with others. The prince called in help. I confided my struggles and hurts to my best friend and he began to fight with me and for me. Now, this guy was a great champion, a mighty warrior who had slain many dragons in his life. So this monster didn't stand much of a chance once he entered the fight. I learned that you need other guys in the fight with you.
Third, I discovered a powerful weapon for defeating the monster. It is called the sword of truth. I committed to memorizing some key Scriptures related to defeating this monster. Psalm 19:14, "May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer." Psalm 139:23-24, "Search me, O God, and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Philippians 4:8, "Finally, my brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is admirable--if there is anything excellent or praiseworthy--think on these things." As I committed to memorizing, quoting, and meditating and these and other passages of Scripture, I found that the monster's chains were falling away more and more.
Fourth, I committed to stay far away from the monster's lair. Don't go near where he held me captive. Don't even get close to the dark forests and pathways where he lies in wait for someone to devour.
So, with those four things, the prince killed the monster. But there was still a princess to revive. The princess had been in darkness for a long time. Depression, discouragement, fear and a host of other forces were all tools the enemy used to destroy the princess's heart. But I was determined to win it back. I did everything I could to demonstrate love to LaRissa. She detailed those things in her last post, but I just wanted to reemphasize that I was committed to loving my wife unconditionally, even if she never loved me back.
Now, it didn't happen all at once, like in the fairy tales. And it took way more than a kiss. But slowly and surely the princess came alive. In fact, for the first time ever, she is truly alive and she is more beautiful than she has ever been. Ours is one of the greatest of all love stories.
Happily ever after? Who wants it? Somehow we got better than happily ever after.