5 Stars Out Of 5
Loving, Honest, Encouraging Book.
December 5, 2012
Last week I read a wonderful series of articles by Pastor Tim Challies on pornography. He addressed the fact that pornography has warped our conscience as a Nation, setting the tone for the way millions of men view women and marriage. He said that every time a man views pornography he deadens his conscience a little bit more. What broke his heart the most was this-
"The saddest emails I have received in the past few days came from women who are older than you are and perhaps even old enough to be your mother. They told tales of utter devastationâ€”of husbands who got into pornography when they were young and who never cared to give it up. And here they are, all these years later, still damaging themselves and their wives and families. The choices they made as young men threaten to tear apart their families today. The women, the one God calls these men to be intoxicated in for all of their lives, live with gaping holes in their hearts, longing for their husbands to step in and fill them up. Could this be your wife some day?"
Tim Challies was writing to young men, teens or newly married. He is pointing them to the fact that if they continue on this road of death they will someday break their wifes heart.
Mrs. Vicki Tiede was one of those women. This book is her story. She wrote this book to address the questions that a woman has when her marriage is blown apart by a husbands pornography addiction. Can she ever have Hope again? How does she Surrender? Is it safe to Trust? How do you deal with being Broken? Where in this madness do you find Identity? And how do you give Forgiveness to someone who tore up your trust and betrayed you? Are you even expected to forgive them?
Vicki writes Sister in Christ to Sister in Christ, praying for her readers and crying with her readers. Her book is saturated in prayer and tears. Tears because Mrs. Tiede had to open up the old wounds to write heart to heart with the wives of other porn addicts, prayers because she interceded before Our Heavenly Father, for every woman that would read this book. "I did not choose pornography. (I am sure you did not either.) God did not choose it for me either. However, when my husband chose pornography, God inserted a parenthetical moment into the story of my life. In the space between those parentheses, He assured me I was not alone. He knew my pain. He saw my tears. He felt my losses and he would redeem it all. He did." Page 147, emphasis mine. The idea of a parentheses in a woman's life is a very helpful idea. The parentheses contains a limited number of words. The parentheses is not the story itself, only a part of it. But the words within the parentheses change what comes after them.
Vicki writes the way she speaks, overflowing with the word of God and the love of God. She wrote this book to come along side women and walk with them through a six week journey. This book was written to say the things she needed to hear as the wife of a porn addict. The first thing needed is Scripture. Scripture fills this book. Scripture to comfort you, Scripture to counsel you, Scripture to do what God wrote it to do- Point you to Christ. The second thing needed is a sister who has walked this road to help you understand how to move forward in the healing process, because with Christ there is healing, but it is a process. This book is not a book about your husband or about addiction. This book is about you and your healing. This book is arranged as a Bible study, and takes a number of weeks to complete, which allows the reader to soak in the Truths of Scripture. The verses used come from a variety of translations, including the Kings James Version, the ESV, the NIV and the Message.
The women that this book was written for are the wives of level one or two addicts. Level one and two are everything below criminal behavior, and these behaviors are considered normal by todays culture. Wives of Level three and four addicts (affairs, raped someone, or molested a child) can also benefit, because tragically enough the "normal male behavior" of pornography use leads to these other acts.
The women this book is written for also are probably hoping to reconcile with a changed husband, although that is not always possible. This book does NOT affirm divorce as a simple, painless solution. It is Not. However, in this fallen world, there are times when a husband is dangerous to his wife, unrepentant in his sin, blaspheming God and dishonoring his marriage covenant unrepentantly. There is one time in the New Testament when divorce is permissible, when the spouse has committed adultery. Pornography is adultery. It is marital unfaithfulness. God hates it. God hates divorce also. Once again, Vicki's story will minister to a woman's heart. From page eleven, "When my first husband refused to responsibility for his actions or recognize a need to repent of his behavior, the behavior escalated, and my emotional, physical and spiritual health was at risk. I was advised by a Christian counselor and my pastor to end the marriage, and I did. Please hear me when I say this- God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16 NIV), and I have never met anyone who has gone through a divorce who does not agree with God. It is God's desire that every heart and marriage be restored (Job 22:23)." If you are afraid that there is no hope, then this book is for you. If you are praying for reconciliation, then this book is for you.
Mrs. Tiede also ministers to the heart of hurt wives who believe the lie that whispers if they had been more-whatever- then he would not have gone elsewhere. This is a flat out lie. Your husband did not choose pornography over you because the women were more beautiful. He chose pornography because it was forbidden, dangerous, and evil, and sin drew him. People are not tempted by the pure, sweet, normal and wholesome. Temptation is the slimy, the sick, the ugly, the brutal, the secret. That is pornography. It is an absolute perversion of a woman's body and sexuality. And yet there are wives who try to "compete" with this filth for their husbands love. No amount of "being more beautiful" would have filled him, because he was not looking for his wife's natural beauty that every woman is born with, he wanted the fantasy of photoshopped pixels.
Vicki tells the Truth plain, but gently in this book. This kind of gentle "truth therapy" will help heal a woman's heart. What he is doing is not innocent. No matter what the culture says. It was not a deficiency in you that made him choose this sin. Attempting to give "instant forgiveness" to avoid the pain of working through the problem sounds more Christian- but it isn't. Yes, a wife's identity is shattered after this- but God holds the pieces and it is God who knows what you were created for, and who can put your heart back together. It is not your fault, and there is no way you can "fix" him. That is between him and God. There are ways to promote healing, however. There are ways that you can work with a willing husband to make healing possible.
This book is honest, loving, and encouraging. If she could, Vicki would invite every woman who is in her former shoes as a wife of a porn addict to come to her house, sit on her couch, take out her Bible and a box of tissues, and talk heart to heart. This book is part of what she would say. This is her heart behind the book, her hope for all women who have been betrayed in this way. "My prayer is that a woman will focus her eyes on the God of Hope, rather than basing her hope and happiness on her husband's choices. Learning to allow God to meet her greatest needs is a long and learned process, probably longer than the amount of time it will take to go through my interactive book. It's a slow dance through brokenness in the arms of the Almighty. I know. I've been in her shoes and I've learned the intricate steps to finding Hope in the midst of a husband's addiction to pornography."
A few years ago we made one of those mosaic butterflies. You make the mosaic with pieces and shards of broken glass in all different colors and sharp edges, but the result is a beautiful mosaic butterfly. We still have it in the garden. Mosaics are beautiful, made out of broken pieces. Mosaic is a perfect metaphor for the healed heart.
Mrs. Tiede has since remarried, and has one daughter and two sons whom she home -schools. She is a student of Scripture, an author, and speaks at Churches and conferences. You may visit her blog, VickiTiede.com and her Facebook Page.
We are grateful to have received this book free from New Growth Press to review it, and were asked for our honest opinion. You may buy a copy from New Growth right here.