Matthew 10:24 & 25 says, “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for a disciple to be like his teacher, and a servant like his master.”
Luke 6:40 says, “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.”
I wrote this blog several months ago intending, of course, to publish it. After it was written it felt like it was intended more as a reminder for me than for public viewing. I believe now, it’s time.
My blogs are written for everyone, strugglers or not, always hoping something will be helpful. This one is directed to the men with whom I work on a daily basis. Men who are struggling to recover from pornography or sex addiction. Men who are desperate to restore their marriages or be able to enter a marriage with purity and holiness. I “preach” to you guys (a lot) about V-T-H (Vulnerability, Transparency & Honesty), to be forthcoming and to turn from your old ways to new and Godly ways. When Jesus taught, He not only spoke His teachings but lived them. He is a mentor you can watch through a microscope and never find fault. As a mentor I like to think my words and my actions align; that I would never ask you to do something I would not do myself. Unlike Jesus, this mentor doesn’t do it perfectly, and is not above his “students.”
I wrote this quite a while ago, but the story still rings in my heart, still brings moisture to my eyes as I edit it. I’m sure it’s only the dust in the house today. Not.
It was a Monday evening, and I was allowing the distractions of life to come between Lynn and me when we had an intimate appointment scheduled. That would normally not be an issue. Stuff happens. But instead of being open and honest about my feelings I clammed up and let the opportunity pass. That’s old behavior by the man I used to be, and Lynn was disappointed. The next afternoon we discussed it and all seemed fine. Lynn was fine. I still had concerns and fears infecting my heart. I chose not to stop and identify them. It was a golden opportunity to invest in us and share with Lynn what I was really feeling. I chose not to share.
Ironically, I had a group that evening and I promised Lynn I would be done and downstairs at 6:00 for dinner and to help clean the house. I gave her my word.
I allowed the meeting to extend past 6:00. I justified it. It was “only a few minutes and we started a little late anyway.” I lied to myself that not keeping my word to Lynn would be okay. I lied to Lynn by not keeping my word. Both of those are old behaviors and they hurt Lynn deeply. Although not relapses by our definition they were lapses that indicated I had lost sight of my priorities in general but specifically, Lynn. They cut her again. Deeply. Just like they used to.
That night I fell under the consequences of Lynn’s Safety Action Plan. I was to sleep on the couch until Lynn felt safe again; until I proved she was back in her rightful place, first in my life: ahead of fears. Ahead of clients. Ahead of old behaviors. Ahead of ME. Ahead of everyone and everything, second only, to God.
In your journey, I encourage and expect you to choose the hard road of total honesty with your wife & accountability partners. I expect you to start the conversation that used to terrify you. I expect you to be intentional about your remorse. I expect you to place your Beloved above yourself – IN ALL THINGS. This is the standard to which you are held when working with me. I am not above my “students” in what is expected. I live by that same standard. Occasional missteps, slips & lapses in wisdom happen. Before they deteriorate into a full and devastating relapse, crushing your Beloved again, how will you deal with them?
My actions in those moments speak more loudly than words. As do yours.
Freedom is a gift from God. It is also His Promise; and He ALWAYS keeps His Promises.