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Trusting God to Redeem Your Broken Marriage (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
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November 5, 2020 5:00 am

Trusting God to Redeem Your Broken Marriage (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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November 5, 2020 5:00 am

Dave and Kirsten Samuel describe how God's grace and healing helped saved their marriage which was nearly destroyed by his pornography addiction and her struggles with PTSD, anxiety, and suicidal depression. (Part 2 of 2)

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Today on Focus on the Family. Returning to the story of a damaged marriage work. God intervened in powerful ways, and I will cover some mature topics here, so please direct the attention of younger children elsewhere for the next 30 minutes and then mom and that started guy taking me through my about because when he asked me that question we had. We had met with the restoration team and got it began his work in me longing that I could see the hope that's Kirsten Samuel she's with us again today on Focus on the Family along with her husband Dave and the credible story force your hostess focus president Dr. Jim Daly I'm John from John. We had an amazing conversation with David Kirsten last time describing the heartbreaking revelation that Dave was suffering from a lifelong and secret addiction to pornography and as a result his job and marriage were on the line but God was right there in the middle of the crisis and the Samuels were almost immediately able to get the help they needed to begin restoring their relationship. It was a difficult message earning if you missed the program last time, get the download get the smart phone app listen to it because if you're in that spot. This is the kind of help that you need to know about and the bottom line is, let us help you. That's why they're here telling their story.

Their heart is that they can be vulnerable, share their story, so perhaps tens if not hundreds of people can be helped and healed as well in their marriages and we've seen literally thousands of couples helped through hope restored Jim the Focus on the Family marriage and tenses that have four days or so of time unpacking and exposing and dealing with some of those things that you talked about, you know it's there. We have three locations for you.

It's in Branson Missouri. Also in Michigan and in Winship, Rome, Georgia, and we want you to reach out we will find a way to get you through the program and it has an 80% post-two-year recovery rate in those. That means that 80% of those marriages that were headed toward divorce are two years later still together and doing better and that were here for you and that is a wonderful program it is and miracles do happen at these and tenses that call us if you'd like to learn more about hope restored or to talk to one of her counselors.

That's a free service that we offer.

We can set you up for consultation with one of those counselors we get in touch and we got the phone number and contact details in the episode notes and as we did last time recovering a great new book that's out with Kirsten, Samuel called choosing a way out. When the bottom isn't the bottom and let's pick it up right there. It was so good last time, so painful. You both had tears. I did it and I so appreciate your willingness to share the story because people will be helped. And that's the bottom line, Dave.

I want to ask you because we didn't really cover this territory. Last time that addiction problem. Where did it start. What happened to you how old were you and it's not an excuse that same time right lemon happens but it doesn't mean you have to choose to go that direction. It all started. I was exposed to pornography, probably when I was five or six by a neighbor, friend, you just one of those things where hey check check out his magazine.

I was the youngest of three broad and military families. We moved around all the time so you know didn't have a lot of friends that had a lot of history and so that fed my insecurity of being a boy that wasn't into sports, you know, didn't wasn't the jock didn't do all that stuff was more attracted to the arts and music more of a sensitive temperament and so didn't really feel like I fit in anywhere with the guy friends that I would have at school you went.

When I would make friends. Finally, after we changed the help military posts and so that whole process that that pornography was my medication of choice when I felt insecure when I felt scared and frightened, which was a lot of the time that you going to a new school for the first time, then it's hard it was hard for me but that was my medication of choice. Okay, before the Internet. It was more difficult to have access to any of that. So it was pretty much controlled with the exception of you walk along the street and find a magazine that somebody tossed out the car window or something like that but for the most part was control, so the first part of our marriage really had no access to it. It was it was fine. The marriage was great, but around the time where Internet started becoming indoor homes which would have been early 90s and early mid 90s. It really became a struggle because the access was there. The anonymity was there.

The secrecy was there was all those things that fuel and addiction where I can get away with this. And so that just continued to snowball you in that context before he moved back to the story. Addiction versus saturation in the culture saturated ran pornography to some degree scantily clothed people, etc. almost celebrated the Super Bowl commercial and all the stuff we talked about me.

How do you not look at some of them turn away but you are still being shown. This almost without any desire or anything so I turned away fast. Yet he can't just expose I me. I have two teen boys so that Jean and I are consciously talking about that and you know now it's inoculation it there exposed to it I guess. Okay. What would God want you to think about here and I guess the bottom line question is the culture so saturated it. How do you actually subdue that will I think let's talk about it from a parent standpoint of you know you've got kids in the home that are being exposed that you've got to talk about it.

You've got to say okay what did that make you feel what you see.

Let's talk about that. We borrowed it.

Yeah, like you, I mean when I would bring these things up to my parents and I love my parents and but no parent is perfect right the answer I would get would be the birds can fly over your head but you don't need to let them make a nastier hair, and I remember you as early as age and Proverbs member is a 12-year-old thinking. What does that mean that commercial where the woman's asking for financial advisor of her father says something like that and I dismember thinking okay that's not the that doesn't help and so I'm not going to pursue these questions with my folks anymore and so I didn't and I look back you know to for someone to show a five or six-year-old pornography is abuse and I know I know that now. You're right Jim, it doesn't sound excuse yeah, but because we do have a choice and I just wanted to make sure we get that out on the table that that was the origin. It's the typical origins for boys, you know that we end up seeing things at 819 years old and seems are getting younger all the time and then it it grabs you for all those reasons, it becomes a coping mechanism are last time we ended in a tender moment in Kirsten you were talking about the recovery program. You had a recovery team which I think is incredible.

I think for most people, you know, when they're asked the question, do you have a good friend. Many people certainly men say no so, describe. Even the idea of of the team of people that were there to help you and that most people probably would not have that. How did you recognize it.

How did you formulated and who came to rescue well like I said we made immediate phone calls first when I made was to Kathy and then Dave made a call to our friend here we been in Bible study with Peter and Debbie from a number of years and knew that we could trust them and so Peter agreed to meet Dave for breakfast the next morning because he had 24 hours to come up with a plan and I I had nothing and he had not. I thought again been trying this for years to come up with something 24 hours, so Peter indent wish you a good sense of urgency so Peter had actually participated in a restoration team for some other folks that were struggling in a marriage situation when it was some issues going on, and so he said I think I have an idea and he presented it to us and this idea comes from the book restoring the fallen and the hard part was that we had to choose between 46 people that we could trust that way spiritual mentor that would pray for us that we pray for family that would be willing to walk this journey from anywhere from 18 months to 36 months.

Okay, I started doing and I'm going who do we now that we do that, and this was part of the problem and this is what happens when there's when there's an addictive cycle going on become extremely isolated cell. I had people that I knew Dave wasn't comfortable with them. He had people he knew, but wasn't comfortable with them and when we had to identify we decide to go with couples.

We really struggled to come up with three couples. I think there is a people's dilemma. That's why asked the question but you persevered and that's one of the key things I want to make sure people here that if they're in that spot if you're not connected to church now would be a good time to connected. That is the place really where you can find that help whether it's a pastor, you know, maybe even addiction recovery group in that church. That's one of the great services the churches provide rights that's the social net that they're there to help people with so I would encourage you to go that way. Let let me move back into the story or with the counselor the first time, Dave. You walked out you know again you're the one addicted to pornography you been found out.

Go through all that sensitive, you know, being the one who betrayed your spouse, etc. go to the counselor counselor is pretty optimistic. You felt pretty buoyant right I did the NY because there was a plan in place. I knew you. He said okay this is what we need to be walking through and really when it came down to what I was struggling with in the addiction was low self-esteem. It was like okay.

How then can we take care of that and and there were no heat. His response was, we can deal with this. This is for so six of that had to be incredibly it was huge positive. Yes, Kirsten in that regard. He was a little more hard-hitting with you, which again people. Why she's the victim and we get that but just listen to your answer, let's go. We sat there and I think it was the first time that Dave and I took a deep breath as when he said this is fixable and is like okay okay working to make it working to make it and no lie in. He turned and he looked at me and his demeanor totally changed and he said Kirsten I have to ask you question. Have you ever or are you considering taking your own life while just that fast. That was it and I just I died. I stuttered this I started and I said no.

Why would you ask me that and he said because you suicidally depressed. Yet PTSD and you have a moderate anxiety disorder, and you need help now. Anything you need to get on medication and if you don't I have to put you in the hospital and the ground might as well have opened up and swallow me whole.

That had to be coming out to left field.

It was was he accurate. Yes, I had been hiding. This is the other part of the story.

I had been hiding since my abuse and I was stuck at nine years old. If you can explain that help us better understand what happened.

I was I was I was physically attacked by someone I knew and trusted. At the age of nine and the miracle of the story that my counselor took me through. After we had gone to intensive counseling.

I ended up needing additional specialized counseling and I was able to escape from that attack.

I never told anybody the first person I told was Dave before we got married and I but I brushed off. I said I'm fine. Nothing happened.

I'm fine. I was never in other than the trauma of it happening right and is a nine-year-old do not know how to process what should happen to you. You don't know how to process somebody trying to force themselves on you and all of that and and so emotionally. I got stuck at nine and so I was I couldn't process is term today called emotional intelligence whining habit because he couldn't process it.

So when winter counselor hit me with that my world literally went dark. I mean it was like you know how when you getting Ray to pass out higher. Your eyesight just starts to go damn and you start to seen a real pinpoint exactly what happened.

It was a very visceral response and he popped the bottle. I mean it was coming out all of a sudden get into this. All of this that I've been hiding all of these years was now exposed and it was like I'd said to me it's time to deal. We need to deal because I'm concerned about your health. I can imagine that jujitsu feeling that I'm here to help. My husband's got a really bad problem.

Pornography in him, turning to you in saying that, and it collapsing in on you is almost just to very distinctly different issues.

You guys are both kind of coiled around each other emotionally, spiritually, etc. Kirsten in your book. Choosing a way out.

You refer to yourself as a good Christian girl and I think this is the right place for that question. How did you manage those two kind of opposite ends of the years try to be this good Christian girl, probably trying to get clean from your nine-year-old experience.

I would think like no actually I was completely ignoring it. Just I had shut it off and it was like I'm fine. I don't have to deal with that and but the good Christian girl image lies Dan Allender describes it in the in the book the wounded heart that great book, which is a fabulous book. It took me months to read it because I had to keep putting it down as I was reading about myself yet they what he described is that there's the women who become who are abused, you go one of three directions you will the tough girl the promiscuous girl with a good girl.

I am very between the good girl in the tough girl mostly the good girl.

It was my responsibility to make sure everybody around me was happy it didn't matter what I was going through. So somebody was upset.

I took it upon myself to fix it. Whatever it was, that's exhausting.

That's exhausting and God used our counselor and with a 2 x 4 to literally rip the rug out from underneath me and say I have something better for you and this is not it. Kirsten in the book. He had a powerful story about learning how to grieve were touching on that.

I think it started with the counselor asking you where is Jesus… You know we are Christian at her core. So that is a fair question in all of this where is Jesus's teeth. They are, and what that nine-year-old was either when she took me back to that day in the details are vivid, she said, look around you and where is Jesus and I stood I saw Jesus standing over my attackers shoulder weeping sleeping for me, but he was weeping for my attacker because there was something in that attacker that had caused him to act out and God revealed that to me and it you know to the point that when my attacker died again because this is someone I knew when he died. I grieved his death and that to me was God's grace in action. I could literally grieve his death and rejoice because I knew he was with Jesus. Now he'd come to the Lord and he had a vibrant relationship with Jesus. Dave let me turn to you, you know it's interesting, you're like no longer the star of the story here in terms of the cheer issue that may have added you have it being the you know addicted to pornography person and I got a somehow step in and help your wife is dealing with debilitating depression and figuring out what to do next. Having always been an introvert and self I reacted like any loving husband would cry thought, it's not all about me know which was totally wrong wrong answer. Very human very yeah the spotlight was off and I could breathe a little bit but pressure is on a different way and that that thought lasted about a second and then it was okay, how do I help my wife through this and how do I show her the same love and compassion and forgiveness that she has been showing me through my struggles. How do we work through this together and and that was that was the thought that finally took over life and Kirsten Imes.

I'm sure people are wondering what were the next steps 1 to 3. What happened to curled up in the corner of your doctor's office and just describe for them where you come from and how you doing I'm doing great, by the grace of God and doing great.

You know we tell people we wouldn't wish we went through on any our worst enemies but I wouldn't trade it for the world. What because I discovered who God is and he is so much bigger than I thought.

He is so much greater than I thought. He has so much my grace for me and he is a father. He is the one who sustains and I mean note everybody's walk-through depression is different. I went on medication. I am no longer on medication but that's doesn't mean I won't have to go back on it, sure, but the big thing in the depression. Not only was there the mind fog. The physical mess that the CT all of that but it was the spiritual because all of a sudden all of my spiritual clichés didn't work.

Be as I'd hit bottom. I had hit the bottom of the pit and I remember being at the bottom and I describe it is slimy and cold and damp and silent and I would pray and it didn't didn't go anywhere. I would read my Bible and it didn't make any sense. The only thing that made sense to me with the Psalms and they were the Psalms were David is saying gnash their teeth out, kill them, and it was all of that because that was all of the pain and the anger that was in me was finally coming out and I discovered a few things about God when he can handle my anger here. He knows a habit he can handle it to. He's not afraid of my questions and I had a lot of questions because I was like where you you not answering me and he was bigger he was answering his question in my bacon and he was saying I'm here. And when I hit the bottom. Jim never forget the image a member I was sitting at home.

Dave was at work. I was sitting at home and I just said I don't want to go on anymore, and this is the second time that I realized that was the suicidal depression and incident want to go on anymore, and I remember crying out insane God, where are you. You promised you wouldn't leave me alone. I don't know where you are and I was sitting there with my eyes close and the house and I got this picture in my head and it was Jesus standing with his arms wide open.

He said right here when he said that brief started to breathe because they knew I knew that he knew that my God was real and he had met me in my point of pain and he would never ever leave me because he had he had all these promises and he said I provided for you had a time look is in place and he had people surrounding us. This restoration team.

I described them as a cocoon. They became the place where he crawled in and they protected us.

They held us accountable but they protected as they asked us the hardhearted questions so that when we got to that point where we were coming out of the mess we were not the same people we were when we went in when that is so critical for people to hear. You know that Scripture that says I'm close to the brokenhearted, I'll paraphrase its God is closely brokenhearted and saves those crushing spirit is almost as if he saying the valleys will be where I teach you who you are and who I am and we especially in Western culture we run from the ballot down the valley want to step on the mountain. 20 ways to make me happy. 45 ways to do my hair. Whatever we want to go to the Valley were there serious stuff.

And that is where God will meet you and it is where we should run to so we don't have to linger in pain.

This is been such a great story. I want to go online. Give a few practical helps to people at the website. John you give those details. We just have run out of time, but I want people that are hurting you either go there couple more questions I'll ask about practical application to prevent situations in your marriage but also if you're hurting right now I'm emotionally believing I can feel it.

I want you to call us were here we have a caring Christian counselors who will call you back because I'll schedule a time and and that will will get back to you and we will talk with you and they will provide resources for your etc. take advantage of it. Supporters provide the means for us to be able to do that for you.

There is no condemnation in that and after 43 years of ministry. We have really heard most everything and it's okay you can trust us. Were not going to hurt you but we do want to help you. And that's a commitment that I want to make to you, so get a hold of us.

If you're in a place in your marriage that is struggling terribly look into our hope restored program.

It's for you it's for that couple that is really in trouble and again, don't hold back. Ask yourself the question, is my marriage worth is there hope, and if the answer is yes, let's go. Let's do the work you need to do to make your marriage better and that you can do all that at the website or by calling us and we have so many resources that can help our team of caring Christian counselors were Kirsten's book, choosing a way out, and then a podcast series by Greg and Aaron Smalley called no porn marriage in which they dig deeper into the impact of pornography and how you can find healing as a couple are numbers 880 family 800-232-6459 or check the episode notes for more and I'll encourage you to make a donation today of any amount to this ministry you'll help us to reach out and rescue and strengthen hurting marriages and your monthly pledge or one-time contribution, except big difference in the work that we can do so, please donate.

As you can and will say thank you by sending a copy of Kirsten's book to you again our number 880 family or donate by clicking the link in the episode notes.

They were Kirsten thank you so much for being with us. It's amazing what God has done in your marriage, and in each of you individually. It's really the picture of what having a relationship with Christ is all about. Thank you and welcome Jim, thank you, thank you were so glad that you could join us for this episode of Focus on the Family trust that really been touched by what are guests of shared coming up next time be introducing you to an artist who God chose to paint for his school. We are humans and we don't have it all in our heads to know exactly where something will look in nature now and so I like to write God's creation and see with my own eyes and respond to it.

Rather than try to create it on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back once again help you and your family thrive in Christ

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