As I continue to explore the issues at hand and ask God to reveal to me what I need to look for in my heart, my focus continues to stay on the foundational or root issues. And I've realized that my motivation for seeking healing has often been off base.
Like many addicts and habitual sinners, I continue with cyclical behavior until there is a painful consequence, and then I scramble for a time to change my behavior and make others happy. My focus is then on people and the pain, not on pleasing God, which should be my highest priority. Yes, there have been personal reasons for not having God as my highest priority (mainly, not understanding the character and love of God and therefore not trusting Him), and those are discussed in other articles.
But as I connect the links in this chain of healing and recovery and break the bonds of unhealthy behavior, I have to realize that I can't be a "man pleaser" as the bible puts it. My first desire should be to please God, and therefore my repentance from my habitual sin should be with a focus on doing so for my relationship with God, and not because I am living in fear about the lost relationships because of the continued sin. I can't focus on the pain that I'm in, because it is cyclical and fleeting, and I will always rationalize it away and fall back into the cycles of habitual sin.
But if my focus is on healing for myself and my relationship with God, then my attitude takes on more of a spirit of "against You and You alone have I sinned," coming before God to re-establish a right spirit and a real relationship. I look to God first for the answers and the healing power, rather than the old method of applying temporary patches so my wife is satiated while I continue to make God hang out in the outer courtyards of my life. I didn't understand that I was doing that, but I was. The new approach is to then learn to invite God into every room of my life as my Daddy, the one who loves me, and the one who I want to have purview over everything, because He knows what is best for me. When my attitude turns to one of priority over pain, I have experienced different levels of genuine repentance. I want to repent because I have a God who will never leave me and loves me, and I want to please Him. He is not fickle in His love, and He will never abandon nor forsake me. And that makes me want to repent.
That said, I need to turn my relationship with my wife and my entire sexuality over to God. I expect that God will do wonderful things, because He is in the business of doing so. I don't demand it. But He's my Daddy, and I can go to Him continually and ask Him for the change in my heart and in that of my family. Nonetheless, I have to fathom the possibility of divorce and continued pain as a possibility, and realize that I have to leave all of that in God's hands, let go of it, and proceed with my relationship with Him, fully and unabated by the motivation to fear or please others.
In other words, I have to focus on the priority, not the pain. God first, then all else.
God, please be my Father, my Daddy. Forgive me for harming my relationship with You time and again, and help me to seek you with all of my heart. I pray that our relationship would be healed, above all others. I also pray for my wife's heart to be healed, and for you to restore our marriage - it is dead and would need to be resurrected by your healing touch, your power. Please allow me to be the father and husband that I am meant to be, and may your name be glorified above all when everything is said and done.
The folks at Top Addiction Networks (formerly Transformed Hearts) have written a great article on what I'm talking about here: