How Safe is Your Marriage?
Today, we are excited to share with you a brief interview with our good friend Trisha Davis, the co-author of the new book Beyond Ordinary, that she penned with her husband Justin.
In this beautifully written book, Justin and Trisha take us inside the slow fade that occurred in their own marriage—each telling the story from their own perspective. Together, they reveal the mistakes they made, the work they avoided, the thoughts and feelings that led to an affair and near divorce, and finally, the heart-change that had to occur in both of them before they could experience the hope, healing, and restoration of a truly extraordinary marriage.
Now, without further adieu, here’s my interview with Trisha…
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1. Briefly, share with us how pornography first affected your marriage and where it eventually lead to.
Justin and I got married young. In the first two years we were married we moved five times; had a baby and started brand new careers. Justin had become a full-time youth pastor and I was a full-time stay-at-home mom. The demands of life left little time to be physically intimate; at least that’s how I would justify it in my head. We would go weeks sometimes months without having sex. In my mind I knew sex was important but I didn’t think it needed to be a top priority. This became the norm for the next ten years of marriage.
As this area increasingly became a source of contention Justin started looking for other ways to fill this need. What started as a simple “I’ll only do this once” not only became an addiction but a prison of shame and secrecy. It wasn’t till Justin had an affair in 2005 before I would find he also had a porn addiction and was sexually abused as a child. It was the first time in our marriage I finally knew ALL of the truth. As soul crushing, as it was to hear all that had been hidden for so long, we were finally living in truth.
The word intimacy means to be fully known. For the first time in a long time Justin was fully known by God and now by his wife. Although the pain was more than I have words for, we both for the first time in our marriage were able to experience freedom. Freedom found in confession.
Freedom in knowing God still loved us both regardless of how messed up we are. Freedom found in the glorious light of forgiveness that brings about healing.
2. What is your advice for someone who struggles with pornography, but who might think it’s harmless?
Sin always leads to death, maybe not a physical death but death of relationships, death of dreams. We convince ourselves “this is the last time and then I’m quitting”. Regardless if you’re a food addict, drug addict, attention addict or porn addict, addiction always leaves you wanting more. One “last time” isn’t enough and eventually what was meant as a one-time event becomes an obsession. An obsession that breaks intimacy of being fully known and eventually starts to erode the person, wife, husband, mom or friend God longs for you to be.
If you’re addicted to porn and reading this post please hear my passionate plea for you to know that you’re NOT ALONE! You are not too messed-up, too addicted, too broken to find healing! But you will have to choose it. You will have to choose to believe that God can heal you. I don’t know how or what your healing looks like but I know Jesus is able. Will it painful? Most-likely but this time it will be redemptive pain that leads you to live in the freedom only he can provide.
3. What is your advice for the wife or husband of someone who struggles with pornography?
As hard as this is to believe, it’s not personal. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t feel betrayed or angry but there’s more to pornography than simply looking at images. Once you are able to grieve and accept the reality of your spouse’s pornography addiction you can then take your own steps to find healing. Healing begins when:
– Have honest conversations with your spouse
– Seek wise counsel from professional counselors, pastors and friends who have been on the same journey.
– Pray! Pray for wisdom, strength and grace and I promise you God will show up in ways that will blow your mind.
4. Why did you and Justin decide to write this book together?
Honestly I fought the idea of writing a book. There is a sea of marriage books out there so why add another? Why or how for that matter would God use our story anyway? Then it hit me. The story of the three servants found in Matthew 25:14-30.
Three people were given a gift of money and the freedom to do whatever they choose with it. One hid it while the other two did something with their money allowing it to multiply. God gave me the gift of HIS redemption story; the question was would I be willing to do something with it? Beyond Ordinary is my response to that call.
5. Who should read this book? Is it just for married couples?
We hope this book meets you right were you’re at. Single, married or single again this book will take you on a journey in which you will find your own story in the midst of ours. Regardless if you’re an addict or recovery addict we hope ordinary will be defeated with each turn of the page and you will see that God is fighting for you more than you are fighting for yourself.