Tag Archive for: pornography addiction


Micah remembers the first time he viewed sexually-explicit material. He was with some friends. One of them had a magazine he found at home hidden in the garage. It was full of arousing images of women. Micah remembers how he was awash with both excitement and guilt. He soon found himself fantasizing about those images and also scheming ways that he might be able to view more of them.

Pornography is sexually explicit material that degrades and dehumanizes men and women for the purpose of sexual self-gratification. These days it comes in many forms. The most prolific venue is the internet. It provides a myriad of content one can view anonymously. Much of it is also free of charge.

Pornography makes promises it cannot deliver. It promises sex without consequences. Porn promises to be harmless. It also promises to satisfy. Those are empty promises. There are serious consequences to regular consumption of pornography. There are physical, emotional, and spiritual consequences.

Over time, pornography loses its ability to satisfy. The desire to view porn intensifies, however. The craving for more leads a person to seek out more risky behavior and risqué material. This can lead to inter-relational problems. It breaks heart and severs engagements. Emotional and sexual intimacy between spouses is diminished. Prolonged use of pornography can lead to further sexual additions and pathology. Instead of leaving a person satisfied, pornography most often leaves a person feeling empty, guilty, shamed, and even depressed. Above all, pornography ruins the bond of love and commitment the Lord intended to exist in marriage.

Sexual sins are never static. Like all sin, sexual ones progress and draw people further away from God’s design for love. Many people feel that porn is innocent and not really sex. And so, people will use it to reward themselves. People will seek porn to relax or to unwind after a long day.

The Bible is very clear that pornography is a sexual sin. Sex is meant to be a beautiful expression of love in marriage. Satan tries to distort and destroy that gift. The reality is that pornography always hurts. It always lies. And it is never secret or anonymous. People think they can hide parts of themselves from others. Nothing is hidden from Christ, however. Not even sexual sin escapes his sight. The Bible tells us as much:

I am he who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.  Revelation 2:23

That should be enough to make us flee from such temptations. Our flesh is weak, however. We all make bad choices and those choices lead to sad consequences.

It is important to know the triggers that lead to unhealthy choices. Avoid internet platforms that promote pornography. Do not use electronic devices in private. Install accountability software. Remember HALT.

H – hungry
A – angry
L – lonely
T – tired

Recognize those triggers. Be intentional and seek out someone to be an accountability partner to encourage healthy choices. It is best this is not a spouse or significant other. And be honest. The path of healing from sexual sin is to practice disclosure. This is how healing and forgiveness begins. At the heart of sexual sin is betrayal. Trust has been broken. Honesty is the first step in healing broken trust. Be honest. Be open. Confess and disclose your unhealthy sexual behavior with your partner. And disclose to your Savior. While Jesus already knows your sin, he is always ready to forgive them.

Remember you are loved. Sexual sin is forgiven sin. Jesus’ blood cancels out all sin. He sees and knows you. And still, he loves you.

Jesus will hold hope for you as he heals you to hold hope in yourself. And that takes time. Identify your spouse’s love languages. Speak to those languages in deliberate ways with sincere action. Trust is built gradually. As you speak in those love languages, you are speaking directly to the trust that has been betrayed. Betrayal needs time to be healed. Words + Actions + Time = Rebuilt trust. Trust is rebuilt slower than we want, but always faster than we deserve.

Above all, trust that Christ is your Savior. Find forgiveness in his promise and strength in his presence. He will not leave you alone. He will feed you with his promised love. He will calm your troubled hearts. His presence combats your loneliness. And his forgiveness provides peace to tired, guilty hearts.

So, H.A.L.T. Jesus is the healing salve to all those needs.



Jesus, I am dealing with pain over sexual sin. You promise to be with me. I trust in you. Help me to stand firm and to find freedom from the power that pornography holds over my impulses and choices. Amen.

From Dirty to Dancing

From Dirty to DancingThis short read (90 pages), From Dirty To Dancing (God’s Grace for Those Struggling With Pornography) by Conquerors through Christ Chairman Mike Novotny is a helpful and honest approach to a subject that is often overlooked in Christian circles. Mike shares his own journey with purity, redirects the reader back to Christ, and shares concrete steps for those struggling as well as for friends, parents, and ministry leaders.

When I was asked to write a review for this book, I was eager for several reasons. The author takes a topic that is often considered too awkward and shameful to openly discuss and skillfully addresses it as an addiction, yet not as one that is outside the reach of God’s glorious grace and forgiveness. Read that again. Pornography is an addiction that is not outside the reach of God’s glorious grace and forgiveness. Pastor Mike challenges the reader to become intimately involved with our own spiritual care and that of others, especially those belonging to the household of believers.

“Porn is our struggle, our fight, our concern—because porn is affecting us”.

This book is not only for those addicted to porn but also for concerned parents, betrayed spouses, called workers, and those caring enough to reach out to a hurting brother or sister in Christ who is or has been hurt or enslaved by porn. I have had students in my own classroom, family members, and friends of friends who have struggled mightily with pornography, and I have viewed the damage firsthand that it can wreak on relationships, careers, and hearts. But there is good news amidst all this heartache and pain. It is possible to find healing and restoration. It is possible to go From Dirty To Dancing.

You’ve most likely heard the admonition “Don’t judge another until you’ve walked a mile in his/her shoes.” Well friends, Jesus did just that. He left his throne on high and walked 33 years in our shoes as he took on flesh and blood. He wasn’t too proud to associate with the likes of us. Jesus knew human beings would have a difficult time resisting sexual sins, and this is why He speaks so often about them in Scripture. In the chapter “The Dirty Can Dance,” the author refers to accounts recorded in Scripture where individuals struggled with sexual sins and came away “dancing.” It’s true we have a shrewd and deceitful adversary who seeks to win us over; Satan knows our every weakness and where we are most apt to fall prey to temptation. Yet in the Bible we hear story after story of our Savior spending time with those who were tempted and fell. He understood their struggles. He took time out of His busy schedule to walk with them and talk with them. He says to come as you are, but don’t remain as you were. Isn’t this the story of every Christian? We struggle. We fall. We’re forgiven. This is the power of the gospel.

The author’s straight forward approach to dealing with an addiction to pornography, including timely humor, is refreshing. He begins with the challenge of airing one’s dirty laundry for the sake of accountability. He provides a helpful list of dos and don’ts for airing dirty laundry. When God’s people are too ashamed to confess their sins to one another, Satan gains ground. He tempts Christians to believe the fight is theirs alone. The author stresses that acknowledging and confessing one’s sin is paramount to overcoming addiction. Furthermore, fellow Christians will prove to be worthy allies in the fight. As the body of believers, “Porn is our struggle, our fight, our concern—because porn is affecting us” (p.61). Romans 6:6 tells us God has set us free from the slavery of sin. It is refreshing to be reminded that God delights in His children. He has lovingly set us in church families. The family of believers can help one another with these addictions.

The author compares the fight against porn to dancing. It may seem awkward and uncomfortable at first but following some basic steps can help develop spiritual muscles. The book contains much practical help for doing this. For instance, those who struggle can avert weak and vulnerable moments by keeping in mind their H.E.A.L.T.H., which stands for Hungry, Energy, Angry, Lonely, Tired, and Heart.

The author manages to present an often-depressing subject in a consistently positive way. Instead of feeling shamed and hopeless, God’s children are reminded that “our dirty doesn’t stop Him from dancing” (p.89). Jesus told a parable about a young man who squandered his inheritance on wild and lascivious living; however, when he returned home, he received forgiveness and then heard music and dancing. (Luke 15:25) The same victory awaits all who cling to Jesus’ promises through His Word and the loving encouragement of brothers or sisters in Christ.

Reviewer: Mary E. Hochmuth
Review Date: July 20, 2020

Publishing Information: Northwestern Publishing House: 2018 (89 pages)

Northwestern Publishing House

Lust is the problem

Lust is the problemSex Is Not The Problem (Lust Is) may be one of the best books on the market today to help us counsel people in our struggle against the enslavement of sexual sin. It is especially useful for people who are under age 25. It is good not just because of its practical advice, but because of the stress which the author, Joshua Harris, usually gives to the Grace of God. The Gospel shines forth throughout most of this book in a way that is not found in many of the other books on the subject of sexual sin.

In the first section of the book Harris develops his statement regarding the “truth about lust.” He really talks about the power of the Gospel. His chapter titles read, “Not even a hint,” “Sex is not the problem,” and “You can’t save yourself.”

I love God, but I cannot continue to ask for forgiveness over and over and over for the same thing.

In the second section of the book Harris becomes more practical, talking about “A custom-tailored plan” and the differences between “Guys and Girls” in connection with lust and sexual use and dependence. His chapter on “Self-centered sex” may be the weakest in the book. He cannot seem to see the problem of lust in connection with masturbation as well as he see the problem of the sin of lust in connection with his other topics. The final chapter of this section deals with the temptations of the media.

Harris develops strategies for change in the third section of the book. Here he devotes a chapter to accountability partners. Another chapter speaks of the power of the Word of God. He lists many helpful Bible passages, but we would classify many of them as Law passages. The reader will want to supply Gospel passages of forgiveness for this chapter in addition to the passages that Harris lists. In his final chapter on sowing in the Spirit, Harris writes: “Remember that your hope for change is based in God’s grace. It’s because Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins that you can stand justified before God and know that he will sanctify you…. You can press towards God’s standard of not even a hint of sexual immorality in the unshakeable confidence that through faith in Christ you stand before God with not even a hint of guilt. Because of Jesus Christ, we have victory over lust.” p. 171.

The appendices at the end of the book are valuable. “Purity Download, Seven tips for fighting internet porn,” is a helpful addition of practical insights. “The Path of Repentance” by John Loftness is helpful, but the power of the Gospel and the Word of God as a means of grace is not properly stressed and will need to be added by the reader.

I’ve come to believe that lust may be the defining struggle for this generation.

Over-all, I would recommend this book as a very useful tool to be read by those seeking to get out of the cycle of the sin of pornography. It is also a very good discussion tool for friends to help friends who are struggling with porn use. It offers a good template for continuing discussion.

Buy Now
Author: Joshua Harris
186 pages
Reviewed by: Alan Siggelkow on July, 2013

Porn and You

Porn and YouIn this self-published little book, Porn and You, author John Wong goes into a helpful discussion of pornography. He divides his discussion into two parts. The first part deals with what porn is and its harmful effect on you, your relationships to your children, spouse, and, just as importantly, your attitude towards women in general. Part Two takes one through the evaluation of whether you have an addiction to porn. Then Mr. Wong goes into a discussion of how to break free from this addiction. Lastly he concludes with a brief listing of on-line resources that one might find useful.

He encourages “meaningful engagement with our children on topics of human sexuality.”

In Part One Mr. Wong goes into a detailed discussion of “how porn harms” you in a variety of ways (psychologically, physically [Did you know that you can ‘break’ your penis?], and relationally). He also delves into the sordid and harmful issue of child porn, sexting and non-mainstream sexual behavior. He includes a plea to protect children by parents monitoring their child’s internet use. He encourages “meaningful engagement with our children on topics of human sexuality.” (p. 41)

Mr. Wong also deals with the harm it does to the performers of porn — a topic I have seldom heard discussed. The author quotes a number of “performers” and brings to life the very real harm that was done to them, both male and female.

In Part Two, “How to go porn free”, Mr. Wong spells out how to tell if you have an addiction to porn and if you do, he gives a number of helpful directions to free oneself from this addiction.

Throughout this little book Mr. Wong provides footnotes that are informative and enhances the point he is trying to make. For instance on page 47, he gives a footnote that identifies a book written by a former porn star, Jenna Jameson, and from which he pulls a lengthy quote. In addition the numerous quotes from a variety of people bring the harm of porn to life.

One thing lacking (from a Christian perspective) is the absence of Scriptural references. But then again, Mr. Wong, makes no specific references to God’s morality as a reason to seek release from porn’s addiction. He argues instead from the perspective of the psychological and physical harm that is done. All in all anyone will find this book informative and helpful.

Reviewer: Rev. John F. Boehringer
Review Date: February 2015

No Stones

No StonesThis book is a serious, thorough resource for women struggling with sexual addiction. It gives a realistic view of the problems of women’s addiction, noting the ways it differs from men’s. In the book, No Stones: Women Redeemed from Sexual Addiction, Marnie Ferree doesn’t offer quick fixes but she does guide the reader toward hope and recovery.

“When we experience enough grace from human hands, we begin to trust that God also extends his grace.”

This book is not an “easy read” but rather is to be used as a study guide or textbook for sessions. Each chapter ends with questions for reflection or small group discussions.

The book’s structure is made up of three parts:

  • Part 1: The Problem – Women Caught in Adultery- Secret Sin – Definition of Addiction- Consequences and Cycles of Addiction- Diagnosis of sexual Addiction.
  • Part 2: The Root- Sins of the Fathers and Mothers- Unhealthy Families- Trauma of Abuse and Abandonments Long-Lasting Effects- Addicts’ Core Beliefs, Emotions, and Coping
  • Part 3: The Solution – Woman at the Well –Surrender and Sobriety –Disclosure – Healthy Relationships and Rebuilding Trust – Tools of Recovery – Healing From Trauma- For Husbands (and others including clinicians) -12 Steps of Sexaholics Anonymous.

The author uses Law and Gospel throughout the book – the Law to point to the sins and God’s voice on sexual addiction, the gospel showing God’s grace in that he does not condemn. To those “caught in adultery” (as the woman brought to Jesus) we see that the condemners must put down stones of condemnation and offer a way out. Even the Master said, “Neither do I condemn you.” (John 8:11)

In some areas of her book, Marnie Ferree broadens her interpretation of what Scripture says to fit the situation she’s describing. Careful reading would be encouraged. This book provides information for a pastor or counselor who is supporting women as for help with this problem.

No Stones: Women Redeemed From Sexual Addiction

By Marnie C. Ferree

Forward by Mark Laaser,Ph.D.
Publishing Information: InterVarsity Press : First Edition 2002, Second Edition 2010

Reviewer: Muriel Mathey
Review Date: April 2015

Every Woman's Battle

Every Woman's BattleThis book attempts to cover sexual and emotional issues effecting women. It’s easy to read and deals with sound principles based on Scripture. The book emphasizes that women struggle with sexual sins just as men do, but in different ways. The author points to the daily need to fight to live as children of God.

“The only reliable standard we can use to measure our thoughts to determine if they are appropriate or inappropriate is God’s Word.”

The book is divide into three parts:

  • Part 1: Understanding Where We Are – Not just man’s battle, Sexual integrity, Seven Myths that intensify the struggle, time for a revolution
  • Part 2: Designing a New Defense – Taking thoughts captive, Guarding your heart, Locking loose lips, Building better boundaries
  • Part 3: Embracing Victory in Retreat – Sweet surrender, Rebuilding bridges, Retreating with the Lord, All quiet on the home front

I particularly appreciated that she began and ended each chapter with Scripture passages that applied. “The only reliable standard we can use to measure our thoughts to determine if they are appropriate or inappropriate is God’s Word.”

Reading this book would be beneficial to singles, divorced, widowed or married women. Men, also, would benefit from reading the book to gain insight into women’s battles and how they differ from men.

Every Woman’s Battle: Discovering God’s Plan for Sexual and Emotional Fullfillment by Shannon Ethridge

Forward and afterward by Stephen Arterburn
Publishing Information: Alive Communications, Inc. Colorado Springs, CO

Reviewer: Muriel Manthey,
Review Date: March 2015

Is it my fault?

Is it my fault?The book begins by defining abuse as “not necessarily physical.” Emotional abuse can be just as damaging – and at times more so. Ethicist Wolfgang Huber argues that “violence is better defined as the intent to hurt or torture, more than physical injury. Violence is the unrelenting assault on human dignity.”

“Your situation does not fall outside God’s reach of transformation.”

This book is meant for:

  • Victims and Survivors of Abuse
  • Pastors and Ministry Leaders
  • Friends and Family of the Abused
  • Women in General

While the authors indicate that there are men who are abused by their partners, they are a great minority. Thus the book is written to females, though males can certainly gain insight into the problems as victims as well.

This book is well written and very comforting in its understanding of the effects of violence, physical, sexual and emotional, on women. The authors insist throughout the book that only the abuser is at fault – that it is never the fault of the abused. They continue to assure that God has not abandoned the abused – that God sees and recognizes their pain and will help.

Since, often, the abuser will say that the woman is to “submit” to her husband, using a Biblical concept as an excuse to justify the continued violence, this book points to Bible passages and looks at what Jesus has to say about women, and what God has to say about suffering.

The Bible indicates that there is no virtue in enduring suffering if no greater good is at stake. We are not created to suffer. Examples given are Noah ,the Patriarchs, David, Israel at the times of the Judges, Esther, Paul, and even Jesus. Jesus walked away from people who wanted to stone him. David ran from Saul. The entire book of Judges is about suffering and getting away from it by the actions of God. God will often provide a way to escape from violence by normal, natural means. “Your situation does not fall outside God’s reach of transformation. God delivers, but sometimes the deliverance we hope for does not arrive as quickly as we’d like. Therefore….our hope is in the promise of deliverance. We can look to the future and the final deliverance with the return of Christ and we can actively position ourselves to avoid violence that is avoidable.” (p.124)

I would recommend this book to victims as well as counselors and pastors for insight as the depth of fear that can hold a victim in its grasp.

Is It My Fault? by Justin S. & Lindsey A. Holcomb

Reviewer: Joan Garrity
Review Date: September 2015

Closing the Window

Closing the WindowWHY A BOOK LIKE THIS for a Christian Library?

A recent survey of Christians attending church indicated that 25 men and 10 women out of a hundred adults admitted to struggling with porn. Tim Chester’s purpose in writing his book is to help especially those who need to win their battle with porn, but he, also, desires to assist those wishing to help someone involved in porn. He warns the reader that porn is intriguing and entering into this to assist others presents a danger. He encourages the reader to listen to Paul’s warning in Galatians 6:1 that in helping a believer overcome a sin, be careful not to fall into the same sin.

If you preach the gospel in all aspects with the exception of the issues that deal specifically with your time, you are not preaching the gospel at all. —Luther

In his introduction Tim Chester addresses what he calls the “epidemic of pornography” today. He attributes it to two factors; 1)” an increasing permissive attitude in our society “ and 2) “ the acceleration of porn comes in the form of new technologies that can deliver porn into the home.”

He quotes psychologist, Dr. Alvin Cooper talking about the “the triple-A engine” that drives cybersex: Accessibility, Anonymity and Affordability. Tim Chester quotes Martin Luther when expressing the need to talk about porn in the church with words Luther was reported to have said, “If you preach the gospel in all aspects with the exception of the issues that deal specifically with your time, you are not preaching the gospel at all.”

Throughout the book five key ingredients are addressed: abhorrence of porn, adoration of God, assurance of grace, avoidance of temptation, and accountability to others. The author very clearly presents what porn is and does when he lists the TWELVE REASONS TO GIVE UP PORN. In this section he encourages the reader to look at Proverbs 5. The entire book draws us away from the world view of sex and marriage seen through the eyes of porn to look at how God can and has freed us. To God belongs the glory.

The conclusion gives us a summary review of the five key ingredients with questions for reflection, and David’s Psalm 51 for confession. The NOTES section at the back of the book gives you resources, authors and books for further reading.

Closing the Window-Steps to Living Porn Free By Tim Chester

Publishing Information: InterVarsity Press, PO Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1426 (Permission from Inter-Varsity Press, Nottingham, England)

Reviewer: Elsa Manthey
Review Date: February 2017

I Loved a Girl

I Loved a GirlOne of the great difficulties the church faces in talking about sex is the pervasive attitude that the only real barriers to sex are age and consent. Thus the only way to sin sexually is to have sex with someone who is unwilling or underage, or to have sex with one person while there is still a commitment to another. Even then, we don’t call it “adultery,” we call it “cheating;” the same word we use for not following a diet or the rules of a game. This leads to another difficulty we face: we always seem to approach sex as a list of “don’ts” rather than as a gift God gives to the married.

[She] wasn’t married…Consequently, she didn’t belong to anyone and I don’t understand who it is I have wronged.

In I Loved a Girl, Pastor Trobisch addresses both these difficulties. The book is a true story, a collection of letters between François, a teacher at a school in Africa, who loses his position as teacher and is put under church discipline when it is discovered he had casual sex with a young woman. Confused by this response he writes to Pastor Trobisch, as he was the missionary who first brought the Gospel to him and baptized him. What has he done wrong? After all he is unmarried, and all he did was love a girl. “[She] wasn’t married…Consequently, she didn’t belong to anyone and I don’t understand who it is I have wronged.”

As they correspond, François asks questions about sex and marriage of Pastor Trobisch, who patiently instructs François in what it means to truly “love a girl,” and how sex is more than a physical act but part of God’s blessing of marriage. The talk of sex in the book is frank and thorough, but never graphic. I gave the book to my 12-year-old daughter to read and have used the book every other year as a devotional in my 7th & 8th grade classrooms. I’ve found it especially useful there, as a common theme in the book is the blessing of marriage and how sex plays a part in that, rather than “Here Is a List of Things Not To Do.”

The book benefits from being a collection of letters, as the question of François and the answers of Pastor Trobisch naturally facilitate discussion. While the book is brief, you would be hard-pressed to find a more thorough exposition on the Sixth Commandment. There is no overt discussion of pornography or homosexuality, yet Pastor Trobisch’s approach – sex being part of the overall blessing of marriage – makes it easy to address those topics as well. The book also benefits from its clear pastoral tone; the law is always clear and unflinching, but you are never in doubt that this is a shepherd seeking a lost sheep, addressing repentance with beautiful, unconditional Gospel. Indeed, the book would be a welcome addition to a Pastoral Counseling or Pastoral Theology class.

In the end I have nothing but praise for this book. It is one I find myself often recommending to parents and parishioners when discussing the topics of sex and marriage, telling them I hope they find it as enjoyable and beneficial as I have.

I Loved A Girl by Walter Trobisch

Publishing Information: Quiet Waters Publications, Bolivar, Missouri 2009

Reviewer: Alexander Ring
Review Date: July 2015

Secret Sin

Two separate book reviews follow

Secret SinI like this book very much. The author begins with the story of her experience with an abusive husband, followed by involvement with men who have various sexual addictions, and how the Lord led her even when she did not know or desire it.

The Lord has not given me the liberty to give counsel outside of the parameters he has set forth in his Word.

This is series of letters to wives whose husbands are caught up in various sexual sin and perversion, from pornography to bestiality and just about everything in between. Gallagher consistently uses God’s word to warn, comfort, encourage, and advise these wives depending upon their situation. I especially like that she does not promote divorce, but sometimes advises separation with the hope of reconciliation.

Some of the subjects she addresses are: Dealing with Suspicion, The Unrepentant Husband, Dealing with Fear, Feeling Betrayed, and many more.

There are 56 letters in the book, most of which are two pages or less in length.

I would highly recommend this book, but caution the reader to read all the letters, not just those that tell you what you want to hear. You may take a letter that encourages one woman to leave her marriage and use that as an excuse to file for divorce, when your situation is completely different from the wife in the letter.

Gallagher states in her introduction that you can “find many books which, in the name of Christian love, give an alternative to those…in Scripture. The Lord has not given me the liberty to give counsel outside of the parameters he has set forth in his Word.” She carries through with that position throughout the book.

When His Secret Sin Breaks Your Heart by Kathy Gallagher

Reviewer: Joan Garrity
Date: March 2015

The key to his living victoriously is faithfulness and endurance.

Kathy Gallagher is a woman whose husband was not only addicted to porn, but addicted to other sexual sins as well. Steve, her husband, would often hire prostitutes while Kathy was working in addition to his porn addiction. Since then, Steve has left that life style, and he and Kathy have set up Pure Life Ministries. This ministry is geared toward counseling men who have sexual addictions along with counseling the hurting wife.

Though I was looking forward to this book, I did not care for it. The author claims in the opening pages that the purpose of this book “is to provide the hurting wife, with solid, biblical answers and practical solutions to everyday problems associated with being married to a man in sexual sins.” She does give practical solutions to everyday problems, but her biblical answers are not great.

The book is a compilation of response letters from the author to hurting wives who have written her letters. The reader does not see what the hurting wife has written, only the topic and the author’s response. Which presents a problem: not every chapter will relate to the reader. Not only that, but how can the reader know which chapter applies to her life? The author admits this saying, “As you read these letters you will find some that seem to encourage you along a path you have been taking that isn’t right. Let me explain…Perhaps you are weak, beaten down and would rather forget that you just discovered your husband is in adultery. You need the encouragement to be strong for your husband, as outlined in the letters to Judy and Robin. You wouldn’t want to follow the advice found in the letter to Kelly who wants to police every move of her husband.” Some of the chapters may never apply to a certain individual.

The motivation for change is also a problem as it was not focused on the gospel. She encourages the wife to be there for her husband a lot, but does not give the hurting wife encouragement that Jesus has paid for his sins. Throughout the whole book there are only a handful of times when the author makes mention of Jesus’ death on the cross for either a husband or a hurting wife. Even in sections encouraging the wife to forgive her husband she says, “…you can be free from your self-made prison today if you choose to repent of the hatred that has consumed your heart and then allow Christ to love your husband through you. Seems pretty impossible, huh? Not so! The reason you can do this is because Jesus showed us how.”

Throughout the whole book, the emphasis is primarily on what we do. She often says your husband can overcome his sexual sins, yet does not motivate him through the gospel. Rather she puts the emphasis on the husband, “The key to his living victoriously is faithfulness and endurance. If he remains diligent and chooses to do those things God has shown him, he will make it!” Even with the ministry they have going on at Pure Life Ministries, she does not give the gospel any reason for the change in men from their sexual sins. “But I am convinced, that there isn’t a sincere man alive, who couldn’t overcome his sin at the Pure Life live-in program. I say this because everything he needs to find victory is made available to him: a godly environment, counselors who have been there and who offer wisdom to overcome life-dominating sin, tight accountability, and most of all, a heightened sense of the presence of God.”

She does give some good practical advice that could benefit many different women whose husbands are dealing with sexual sins. However, there are so many different situations it might be hard for the reader to know which ones she should apply to herself and which ones she should not.

In her own story in the introduction, she makes a big deal of the Lord speaking to her, her husband, Steve, and her parents about what to do. This carries over to some of her letters where she tells the recipient to pray and listen for God’s guidance and he will tell the recipient what to do. In fact, she thinks that feelings are sometimes divinely inspired, “How do you know if your misgivings are rooted in fear and influenced by the devil or if they are based upon fact and divinely inspired.” That is a slippery slope to be heading down.

Overall, there were a few gems here and there, but it was mostly not good. Knowing that the only thing that changes hearts is hearing that Christ loves you so much that he laid down his life for you, I cannot recommend this book. Not when the main emphasis is on us with a splash of God will give you the strength to change.

When His Secret Sin Breaks Your Heart by Kathy Gallagher

Reviewer: Stephen Apt
Date: April 2015