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Exposure…
I blurred out my face and my friend’s husband’s face because my intent is not to point fingers or drag his name through the mud, though I am inclined to do so, presently, as a protective friend. I’d like to blur out his face for real, though I know it’s more productive for me to pray, so I won’t beat the tar out of him…God can deal with His son more effectively than me:)

I’d like to bring to light scripture and hard core truth that would really solve a lot of problems in Christendom if we heeded the Lord’s direction on the topic. There’s actually a ton of meaty content on either side of the verses I’m going to highlight, so maybe that’ll be a part two and three or more…

  • Matthew 18:15-20 “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16 But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. 18 “I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19 Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”

Before this verse Jesus is talking about lost sheep, after He shares a parable about the unmerciful servant, and then the next chapter leads into divorce…

So, what I am talking about here is sin. We all sin. It’s not like one day, we just ‘out of the blue’ decide to have an affair or murder someone or hoard or squander wealth or be 100lbs overweight. The list goes on, obviously, but an affair starts with poor/no communication, then co-existence, then striking up ‘trust’ and ‘friendship’ with someone of the opposite sex who is not your spouse, then justified late nights at work and BAMMO, your new ‘best friend’ is not the one God designed and you actually think that person is worth destroying your family over. You justify in your heart that you can be a great parent but not a great spouse. In summary, believing lies…

Let’s take the next one on the list…murder. You don’t just go shoot/stab/whatever someone at lunch one day. There are obviously pent up emotions of anger and angst that build and build because healthy ways of dealing with disappointment, frustration, abandonment, rejection, were never sought. In summary, believing lies…

Or take over-eating and obesity. I can talk about this because I was in bondage to thinking about food for a good 25 years of my life. You don’t just wake up one day 25, 50, 100, 300lbs overweight. This sin of gluttony is real and I lived it, though I may have never ‘looked’ the part, it’s abuse of God’s temple, our bodies. This one comes through daily choices of not taking a short walk, choosing life giving foods on a regular basis, and thinking food is something other than just that…food. In summary, believing lies…

So, back to sins…James encourages us. “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16 Most sermons you hear from this scripture only refer to the verses before that talk of faith healing for the sick. Well, sin makes us sick. Worry, fear, anger, pride, lust, greed, control, passive-aggressive angst, gossip, etc, etc. “My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” James 5:19-20 Again, this verse is mainly used in circles referring to people who don’t know Christ, but James is talking about Christians who are wandering, steeped in sin. We need to stop expecting the ‘hardcore, real’ sinners to start fessing up and heed the scriptures that are directed to followers of Christ. I’ve done it before and will most gladly do it over and over again…I will air my dirty laundry because as crappy as it is to admit I’m not perfect, it’s not like anyone thought that in the first place, so, it’s helping me see what everyone else has seen all along and what God sees, and that brings freedom.

Jason’s and my marriage is not perfect, but we work on it daily. We have always been best friends, but even with your best girl or guy friend, you make a concerted effort to know that person, to care for that person, to love them and show them you do. Why do so many people turn around at the altar after the ceremony and think that’s it? Anyway, Jason and I have been praying for many of our friend’s marriages over the last 15 years. Many have hit rock bottom and are on the uphill now. Some have ended. Recently, one friend shared with me that like we’ve shared with the world about Noah’s sickness, pleading for prayers from all over the globe, she desires so badly to tell the world that her marriage is sick. She likened it to cancer, a sickness, that needs healing. Her husband, however, was not as keen on the idea of letting people know about the current state of their marriage.

Currently, a dear friend is in a battle for her marriage. It’s her husband in the picture above that I blurred out and he vacillates between wanting to work on it and wanting to back out and take the easy road because he thinks he’ll just mess up again. My friend has gone to him one on one. She then shared their heartache with family and close friends to come alongside them. Now, she’s gathering an army of people around her to pray for her and her husband and their son. She has even begun blogging about it because, like the other woman, it’s a sickness that needs prayer for healing.

You know what satan loves (it’s the only thing he’s capable of ‘loving’…)? He loves to hate us. He loves to see God’s creation, that is, all of mankind, in bondage to sin. He loves lies and is the author of them, so when we realize we are believing lies and desire to break free from them, he gets REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY ticked off! And that’s not the whole of it! He knows scripture more than many of us, so when he sees that we are starting to ‘know’ it and live it and walk in it, he freaks because he knows that a man who knows who they are in Christ is a dangerous force against his cause…the destruction of God’s image, Man.

Soooooo…when we openly confess our sins to one another, or are turned from sin because someone we love rebuked us, we are breaking the enemy of our hearts hold on us. No, it’s not necessarily pleasant! It totally sucks, really. Oooh, how fun to tell the world that I was a closet eater and literally thought about food all day long for years! But it has no hold on me now!

  • James 4:4-10 says, “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”

Legalism uses this Scripture to refer to not listening to anything other than Christian music or only going to Christian schools or boxing yourself into Christian circles so you aren’t ‘exposed’ to the world. What I think it means is befriending sin. Befriending the temptations that so easily entangle, our buttons, our weaknesses, the thoughts that run through our minds, instead of taking them captive since they are in opposition to the Most High God. When the idea that having sex with someone else’s wife ‘pops’ into your head, it’s not a good thing. (Jesus covers that in Matthew 5:27-30) Don’t ‘befriend’ that lie…

I love the book of James. There is so much meat in it. Anyway, the ‘funny’ thing about lies and sin is that it’s not original. For instance, do you or your husband or your friend’s husband or wife really think you are the only person to be tempted with looking at another beautiful person other than your own spouse? Oooh, it’s not original! You aren’t all that and a bag of chips! None of us is! Sin isn’t original…it’s WAY old, like, since even BEFORE the Garden (when Lucifer thought he was all that and a bag of chips), and until we get sick of it in our lives and openly confess it because of the blood of Christ, NOT CARING WHAT OTHERS THINK BUT ONLY CARING WHAT GOD THINKS, it will eat us alive, corrupt our hearts, our minds, our marriages, our attitudes, our relationships. It will cause us to believe that friendship with the world is where we were created to exist and take our focus off of heaven, God’s presence, the place for which we were created to breathe.

I’m not saying to go look for the specks of dust in everyone and their dogs’ eyes. Though, if there is someone in your life who has sinned against you, or whom you have sinned against, go to them quickly instead of allowing it to eat away at your heart. Follow the instructions of Jesus above and if, after all the steps are followed, they don’t give a rip, walk away, with forgiveness in your own heart and pray. Believe me, James says that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely, NOT slightly. God will work on that person’s heart, and if they still are self-serving even after that…I guess I don’t really know what happens. That’s between them and God.

My friend has followed the order of steps Jesus teaches to heal her marriage. She cannot force her husband to follow suit nor can she cause him to repent or choose to fight for their marriage. His submission to God is the only thing that can allow that to happen. Not all our sins have to be taken to this public a level if we would swallow our pride early on. Newspapers, tabloids and TV stations would actually report on news and not people’s personal lives if we were willing to admit our need for prayer and sharpening in the first stages of temptation. I can tell you from personal experience, confession of sin to a 3rd party behind a booth or curtain has no accountability. When we are able to be real about our weaknesses, shortcomings and sins, face to face, full exposure, we are closer to healing and walking in freedom. Without accountability there is no motivation for change, and certainly no need for remorse and hardcore repentance…

Of all of my friends that have fought for their marriages, some ending in divorce due to their husband’s marital unfaithfulness, others in reconciliation, one thing has been a central theme…each woman has RUN to Jesus, thrown themselves at His feet and in losing themselves, have been found. Each one can lift her head, not in pride, but because of where her focus lies, on the Author of her faith, the One that loves her unconditionally…

23 thoughts on “

  1. I will pray for your friends and their marriage. I have a wonderful marriage, but by no means perfect. It is a lot of work, soul searching, prayer and commitment. I am sure after your post she will have many prayer warriors.

  2. trouble always begins when we take our eyes off of Christ and look to ourselves~ our needs, our hurts, our lack of fulfillment, our desire, our resentment, our pleasures….

    (which we are all guilty of daily-)which is why i sing this song daily to help guide me….

    “turn your eyes upon Jesus. look full in His wonderful face. and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of your glory and grace.”

    i will pray for your friends marriage….and for all marriages to seek the most important partner-Christ.

  3. Oh Adrienne

    You just don’t know how your words spoke VOLUMES into my heart.
    Right now our church is going through something with a Pastor and because of it our church is broken and lost and my heart literally cries because Satan has such a strong hold.
    Please if you could pray for our church family I would be so thankful and If I may…with your permission take your words along with God’s scripture verses to
    bring our hearts comfort……
    I would be greatly. Your words today are like a gift from God
    because we needed HOPE. Our hearts are broken.
    Thank you Adrienne.
    Love,
    Lynda
    bishopswife@comcast.net

  4. My heart aches for the people that are struggling in marriages. I heard a sermon that spoke of how God’s design for the earthly marriage was designed to mirror the relationship God had toward’s His bride (the church). Now isn’t it just like our enemy, satan, to go after that holy union and attempt to defile it. By defiling the marraige union satan thinks that he is able to distort our human understanding of God’s relationship with us – dumb devil! Until we as Christians are able to surrender our lives to Christ fully, and not just in word alone, but totally abandon our lives to the One that was sent to die for us, will we really understand why we are on this round ball called earth. Let’s put others before ourselves for once. Why is it always about “me, me, me”??? When our focus is on “me”, very seldom do we notice that anyone else is in need or that they are hurting, let alone that the one that God paired us with until “death us do part”. My prayer for all marriages is that there is an abandoment of “self” and total submission to Jesus. Once we are able to do this then true peace and happiness will reign. Adrienne, I will be praying for your friends marriage specifically and that the husband chooses to put “self” last and will hear the call that God has placed on his life to be a husband to the woman he has been paired with. What God has brought together, let NO ONE destory!

  5. Well I will be praying for your friends marriage as well as some of the others who have left comments. You are so right about NO-ONE being immune to sin in their marriage. I tell my husband all the time to protect our union, be careful of female contact because you never know. God bless all of you..

  6. Charles, if you want, you can email me and Jason. We are praying for you and your wife. It may not seem like ‘enough’ right now, but believe me, it’s transformative. You can find my email under my profile on the left side of Noah’s blog. Even with an email, if you wish to remain anonymous, Jason and you and I could correspond. God laid a lot of things on my heart when you posted…

  7. Oh man, my heart is breaking for you, Charles. I have to tell you that God and God alone is the giver of joy. I am the friend whose marriage Adrienne has posted about and only because of the grace of God and His reign over my life can I have joy during this exremely hard time in my life. It IS possible!
    I am so glad that you opened up and posted on Adrienne’s blog and that you will be able to communicate with her and Jason.
    Oh my Father, I pray now that you would make your presence undeniable to Charles. Speak your truths to him my Lord! May he know without a shadow of a doubt that you have defined him by your grace and love…that he is not defined by his wife or anyone else. I pray also, my God, that your Holy Spirit would soften his wife’s heart so that she, too, may know your promises. Thank you, God of blessings, for loving us unconditionally and waiting for us as a love-sick Father with open arms.

  8. Charles, I just wanted to tell you that I am praying for you and your wife. I understand her pain and struggles intimately. The only reason my husband and I are still together is by God’s grace. Only He can heal and restore and work in your wife’s heart. I pray He will do that.

  9. I wanted to add that I can hear the pain in your voice and also the deep love you have for your wife. Selfless, persistent love can win her back. God bless you and restore your marriage.

  10. Adrienne…

    I will pray for your friend. The Lord wants marriages to work. When you marry, you take an oath before the Lord that this is the person you will be with for all of your life here on earth. The truth is, marriage just is not easy. Stats show that more than 50% of all marriages will end in divorce. If we all followed God’s word, there would be no divorce. The only input I can give lies within my own experience. My husband and I have been together since I was 16 and he was 18. We dated in high school. We were married right before my 20th b-day. My husband and I hit our rock bottom, and he was very close to leaving and giving up. Then, not planned by us here on earth, our miracle came. I found out I was pregnant. I was then 22. For that reason, WE both made an effort to make things work. Our pastor counciled us. Now, at 25, our marriage is greater than ever. The best it’s been.
    NO!!…I am not saying one should try to get pregnant to solve marriage problems, that is the absolute wrong thing to do. But, for us, it was not planned…in fact, I thought I could not produce children because of certain health problem I had been battling for years. But, it was the Lord’s will, he sent us this little miracle, and that little miracle taught us how to love once again. God gave us our son at the perfect time for us. The Lord knew what was in store for us, and I truly believe, would not have given us our son if he did not see our marriage working out.
    Marriage still is a struggle sometimes. But, things that we truly cherish in life are not as glorified as they are if they are not fought for. The good things in life are not just handed to us.
    Your friends should put this is the Lord’s hands, and his will will be done. God will always lead the way, if the followers are watching and listening. So, I will pray for your friend’s husband to be the Lord’s follower, and to be watching and listening for his advice.

    Mary Geeslin

  11. For a single girl like myself, this post opened my eyes. I have been so annoyed lately because I am 25 and still oh so single. People say that I am still young but I don’t feel it. I now understand why God has not brought “Mr. Right” into my life. First of all, I have things to fix in my own life. My own addictions to face and my own ignorance of reading the word to tackle. Also, I have always heard marriage took work, but I never really thought about it. Now I am beginning to understand. It is a daily commitment to work at something. It is the desire for a life together that makes people work so hard to make it work. Thanks for sharing!!!

  12. I will pray for your friend. I hope that he gets it together soon!
    Last night I went to bed upset over your post. I even had a bad dream about it. Maybe I misread it. I am overweight. Not from over eating. I have an endocrine/hormone disorder that is causing my body to store fat instead of burning it. I do not over eat or eat fastfood, sodas, etc. In fact I eat fruits, veggies, and only chicken. I am also active. Most people would be very thin on my diet. I was upset from being put in the box with murderers just because of the way I look. I just wanted to say that not every one is over weight because they are lazy.. I get discriminated against every day and it hurts.

  13. Hi Ade. 🙂
    I’m so glad this post had the impact on Jess that it did. Our world puts a significant emphasis on the wedding ceremony and it becomes every little girl’s dream to have a beautiful wedding.
    It is my desire that single girls and women would come to know the magnitute of the decision to marry and that they would marry themselves to Christ first!!

  14. I have to agree that I am a little upset about this post. I usually come here for guidance and to be uplifted with your spirit in the Lord. Now, I do find my own uplifting, but your words are usually so refreshing and insightful. Not this one.
    I am also over weight. Yes, I used to over eat, but I overcame that sin, and today I am active, healthy, eat right, drink my water, take my vitamins, and I am STILL over weight. I was also really hurt to be put into the same category at murderers. I saw that you apologized for it, but the fact of matter is you said it.
    I pray that the anger that I was getting from that post leaves you, that God helps you with this period in your life.

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