Nineteen years ago, our country was still reeling from the devastating loss of life that took place on September 11.
As people began their day on September 11, 2001, they anticipated an ordinary day. Within hours, life was turned upset down as a nation watched in horror at the events unfolding in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C. Disbelief, shock, anguish, and heartbreak were felt across the land. In the days that followed, these feelings gave birth to a sense of urgency to respond. We prayed together. Some flocked to the devastated areas to help in any way that they could. Others just felt compelled to do something for the benefit of someone else.
We began to reexamine our priorities. A new level of gratitude and appreciation emerged. We hugged our families tighter. Worrying less about ourselves, our hearts were burdened for others instead.
Life Lessons from Ground Zero
Everyone understood that there was no turning back. Instead, we fixed our eyes on the future. The resolve of the American people increased. We flooded the churches. Patriotism was at an all-time high. As a nation, we knew that it was time to rise and fight. We fought for each other, for the lives lost, and for the families that would never be the same. As a nation, we stood truly united.
Plans were made to rebuild Ground Zero. The building was to be stronger and more majestic. Not only was it to be a portrait of tomorrow, but it needed to also commemorate the past. Today, as visitors flock to New York City, Ground Zero serves as not only a place of solemn remembrance and reflection but a place of hope as well.
The lessons we learned from September 11 can be applied to other situations we face – including failing marriages.
Fox News recently reported that divorce rates have skyrocketed since the onslaught of COVID-19. Compared to the same time as last year, there has been a 34% increase in the number of people seeking a divorce between March and June. Sadly, the largest percentage of dissolving marriages is stemming from couples who have been married for five years or less.
According to the report, a variety of factors combined to result in the strain couples felt in marriage. Many experienced layoffs due to quarantine mandates. In some cases, a household with two incomes quickly became one with no income. With states struggling to keep up with the increased number of people filing for unemployment, entire systems faltered and failed. As a result, many faced issues as they tried to file for unemployment. Those with school-aged children found themselves having to adapt to homeschooling. The fear of the virus itself or the illness of close family members also contributed to the uncertainty felt within the home.
By themselves, each of those factors can be stressful. But the combination of several proved too much to handle. Likely, this stressful time exacerbated unhealthy coping mechanisms – some of which may have included alcohol or pornography. Ironically, the ease of access to obtain these substances increased.
For the person struggling with pornography, this may have been the time that your secret sin was revealed to your spouse. Now, life is uncertain for you.
Your spouse is hurting, shocked, and angry. They feel rejected, lied to, and betrayed. They had believed in a happily ever after with you, but that is now in ruins at their feet.
Where do you go from here? Is this the end of your marriage? It doesn’t have to be.
Rebuilding Your Ground Zero
For many who struggle with pornography, a certain level of denial exists. They know that they have been caught, but struggle to see what is wrong with their actions. In the beginning, they may choose to shift the blame to everyone else. It is often difficult to accept responsibility for the choices that you’ve made. But once you get past this stage, and you not only recognize the need for change but willingly pursue it, hope can emerge once again.
No, your marriage will never be the same. Your spouse will never be the same. But, much like the new World Trade Center was strengthened during rebuilding, your marriage can be too.
Waging War for Your Marriage
For more than one million men around the world, they have started their journey through the Conquer Series. The Conquer Series is a powerful 10-week introductory course that helps explain why trying harder does not work while examining the roots of addiction and the importance of knowing one’s identity in Christ. While this has helped them significantly, they are left wondering what to do next as they seek restoration and reconciliation for their marriage.
Warpath, a new 29-week course for men who are in pursuit of freedom from sexual sin, can become the blueprint for your recovery journey. Hosted by Dr. Doug Weiss, this powerful study will continue to teach you the importance of knowing your identity in Christ. This is non-negotiable, as your identity lays the foundation for your destiny.
Throughout this course, you will also learn the importance of dealing with your battle scars. Most who struggle with pornography are attempting to shut out the pain caused by unhealed wounds from the past, but they shut out their loved ones in the process. Dismantling the lies that have narrated your life up to this point is crucial to building a hopeful future.
Though your spouse may now know that you struggle with sexual sin, you will have to learn the importance of disclosure. This is not a one-and-done event. Ongoing honesty and vulnerability will be required for you and your spouse to begin the reconciliation process. As you walk through this time, you’ll learn how to be empathetic to your spouse’s needs. And as you become emotionally fit, your spouse will begin to receive the message that you’re willing to rebuild your life. Beyond this, you will also gain valuable insight and knowledge into reconnecting with your children who likely also have also been hurt along the way.
The Road Less Traveled
This journey is not easy. However, it is worth it. You’re worth it. Your marriage is worth it. And your family is worth it too.
The choice you make today affects your tomorrow. Beyond that, it can positively or negatively affect the tomorrows of your spouse, your children, and even people you have not yet met. This journey isn’t just about you but about how you can become a beacon of hope for others who find themselves in similar situations. And the best part? You do not have to fight alone but can instead gain the support of brothers in Christ who can relate to your struggle.