We’re almost to the end of Restored Vows! Today, Brandon dug deeper into what he did to intentionally pursue Tonia to get to where they are today—a stronger marriage than ever.
Perhaps the most important step was that Brandon spent time wrestling with what it would mean for him to lay down his life for Tonia, as it says in Ephesians 5:25-32. For Brandon, it meant serving daily in the small ways. That includes things like helping with the dishes or laundry, or even simply holding her, with no expectation of sex. They have regular date nights to stay connected.
It also means maintaining guardrails for his own purity. One of those guardrails is a commitment to using Covenant Eyes to stay accountable for what he does on his devices. Covenant Eyes monitors his device activity and sends it to his ally for conversations about where he may be opening himself to temptation. Even after being porn-free for several years, Brandon still maintains that guardrail—because guardrails are never removed from the highways, even when there haven’t been any crashes for a while. Try Covenant Eyes for 30 days free here: https://rb.gy/gb9zkn
But his accountability relationship is more than a mere guardrail. Brandon and his ally also focus on spiritual growth and development. When done well, accountability isn’t just about quitting one behavior—it’s about establishing newer, healthier habits and practices. Brandon here emphasized accountability in his prayer life; he can also talk about how he and Tonia still practice the conflict management techniques they learned as they recover. For you, accountability may extend to how you use your time. Are you replacing porn with something equally selfish or unhealthy, or are you using it to develop new, creative hobbies or rebuild other friendships that may have been impacted by porn? You can learn more about this in our free ebook Hobbies and Habits (click here: https://bit.ly/3NfYk11). Be sure to discuss these ideas with your ally!
1) What do you want your marriage to look like? What steps can you start taking now to get there?
2) What are some intentional hobbies or practices that you can pursue instead of porn? How can your ally support you? (Download Hobbies and Habits for ideas.)
3) Read Ephesians 5:25-32. What would it mean in your marriage for the husband to love his wife as Christ loves the church?
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word. He did this to present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless. In the same way, husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own flesh but provides and cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, since we are members of his body. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This mystery is profound, but I am talking about Christ and the church.