BY CHRIS KOZACEK
NOTE: This article by a Trinity Student was originally posted as “When Your Secrets Are Revealed,” HERE. Trinity is proud to see Chris Kozacek’s work being featured on such an influential platform as XXXChurch.com, and can’t wait to see how God will use him in the future.
You are a Pastor. Your secret has come out. Whether it’s because you were caught, or you finally spilled it yourself…
Now your family knows… Your church knows…. Your staff knows… Your Elder Board knows… Your friends know… people know… facebook and twitter knows… God has known all along…
And you are…
Possibly relieved the secret is out.
You may have lost your family, friends, ministry and so on – or maybe not. Or maybe you have a group of people around you picking you up and supporting you in your recovery.
What now though? Either way – Thank God that the darkness is in the light. Yes, I did say to thank God for the brokenness that you now find yourself in. Am I crazy… well sometimes!
But the way that God has used and invested in people who were broken since the beginning of Creation, and will in the future, is amazing – and should be encouraging. He is waiting for you to come and return to Him. Through your brokenness, He is waiting to do a new thing with and in you. Whatever the length of the journey or the consequences to our actions because of this addiction – God is not done, and you can be used. There is hope; you can be restored in Him.
It’s true though, it may not ever be the same as it was – actually it shouldn’t be, you can be different now. Some will lose their families or ministry jobs, etc… for life depending on what happens (and obviously for that – we should mourn and hurt over the consequences of our choices) – but you are not useless to God, or to your neighbors. New life can come out of the ashes. You can be different going forward…
I was 21 when all my secrets really came out. I was serving as an Assistant Pastor in a great new church plant and on staff at another church. There I was at 6am, broken from a horrible night of struggle with porn and sexual issues and calling the lead pastor of our church plant to confess and repent, and later in the day sharing with my supervisor at the other church all my struggles as well. The Bible says we are all sinners, but I was convinced no one was worse than me, that I deserve everything bad for how disrespectful and non-God honoring I had treated women in the past and what a mess I had made of my life.
I had a different response from both of those men than a lot of guys experience when their stuff comes out. They both committed to a long and difficult journey of walking with me, holding me accountable, picking me up, showing mercy and grace to me – but most of all speaking and modeling Christ’s love to help me heal and change not just my behavior, but to be more like Christ in all areas.
Here’s the beginning of sharing a practical part for you (I hope)… if your secrets are out, it probably pretty difficult at the moment, but embrace the brokenness and turn from it. Rest in Christ. Read the Word. Find an accountability partner. Find people who will walk with you. Pray to the God who loves you and has been waiting for you to come home – let Him enter your journey. Apologize to those who you have hurt and offended. Regardless of the outcome, humble yourself before your God, and those you have hurt. Seek out counseling.
Get up, and walk in a new life. Be doers not just hearers of the Word. That doesn’t mean you won’t trip up again… but it should become less and less frequent as you truly take hold of Christ’s words and power in your life.
Be honest. Be humbled. Be broken. Be in Him…
“…And once again I look upon the cross where You died
I’m humbled by Your mercy and I’m broken inside
Once again I thank You,
Once again I pour out my life…”
(“Once Again” lyrics by Matt Redman)
Name above all names
The rescue for sinners
The ransom from Heaven
Lord of all…”
“Jesus Messiah” lyrics by Chris Tomlin”
I am humbled by His mercy. I know my life is broken mess, but has been taken by God and restored. God has been and is my rescue – my hope for a new and changing life. It’s all I have to cling to… it’s what I want.
This blog article is related to the material in the course “Issues in the Modern Church,” at Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary. You can audit the course or talk to us about starting your own journey at Trinity today by filling out the evaluation form to the right of this article.
1 thought on “Pornography: When Your Secrets Are Revealed”
It’s “Just Pictures” It doesn’t hurt anyone.
My heart pounds as I type this. My hands are sweaty. My legs are bouncing. My mind is racing. Extreme anxiety. We grow up in a society that tells us it’s ok to look at porn. I was married at the age of 24. I remained married for the next 18yrs. I guess I’ll start with the effects it had on my family. He had found porn at the age of 10. I remember him telling me he was scolded once or twice by his mom. Never by his dad. He told me how he would see his mom sneaking to see what his dad was watching. She would cry. Still he would sneak to look at it. It’s private. It’s intoxicating I suppose.
By the time we were married he had been looking at that stuff for nearly 10yrs. “Just” magazines and lousy movies compared to today’s standards. I never liked it. It always made me feel not pretty enough. It always felt like betrayal to me. It was without a doubt betrayal but I would learn the meaning of that word inside and out.
A few years of marriage, here comes the internet. His words, he was a kid in the candy store. Stay up late or sneak out of bed “just” to look. I cried. I yelled. I sacrificed my own values to try and connect with him sexually so he would see ME. I watched with him. Eventually, I told him I’m not going to have this in my life. Keep it out of my house. I always believed he would never reach out to a REAL person. He would have periods of time that he wouldn’t look at it and have periods of time he would dive all the way in. I eventually stopped looking to catch him. I accepted this is what men do. Good men do this.
Hello smart phones. Five yrs passed and nothing had fallen in my lap that told me he was looking at it. We were married for 15yrs at this point. One day I went to the mailbox. Over the next 5 days my entire world would crumble around me. To describe the pain that unfolded it was nothing short of watching a tsunami coming, my husband (the man that was supposed to protect me) breaking both my legs and telling me to save myself.
He had acted out. More than once. Porn stopped satisfying him yrs before. He needed real women without emotional connection to. To this day I do not know exactly how many women there were. I don’t need to. God delivered all of this to me as gently as possible so that I would know. God provided amazingly strong women in my life that literally saved me from killing myself. They listened to me rage for months. This was MY home, MY family!! They listened to me cry uncontrollably. These women loved me so much when I was incapable of barely functioning. Right there was God’s mercy and grace for me when I couldn’t stand.
We divorced 3 yrs later. My children now have 2 homes. There were lots of tears. Mommy, why are you doing this? I kept quiet. Only recently have I told them that yes I made the decision to divorce and break up the family but I did not make the choices leading up to why I made that decision. They don’t need to know the dirty details of what daddy was doing. It could have been worse. It could have been way worse.
Now, what about the people that perform these acts for their livelihood? Are they human? Have they been abused during childhood, used drugs as teens, and fallen into or taken into the porn industry and/or sex industry? More than likely. These people are human and worthy of love and respect. Most have never seen that demonstrated. So as men and women sit behind their PC’s or their smart phones and think to themselves, I’m not hurting anyone, you are the reason the circle keeps spinning. And you are harming the people you are watching.