I often hear Christians claiming that God will fix their illness, or fix their marriage, or fix one aspect of their life, and I think too often we approach God as a doctor, not as a healer. When we experience symptoms, we go to a doctor: when we have a cough, or a runny nose, difficulty breathing, a hurt joint. And often what we want is to have the symptom fixed. Yes, the doctor might say, well you have a sore throat because of a bacterial infection, and so we have to treat that in order to fix the sore throat, but really, we’re interested in fixing the sore throat most of the time. But, even in that case, the bacterial infection might be a symptom of a larger issue, which will rarely, if ever, get addressed. It’s beyond the scope of the doctor.
But, God is not a doctor. God is a healer. While He cares about the symptoms, He’s more interested in the root causes. These root causes often have very deep roots, and pulling them out takes a lot of work, and often a lot of pain.
For example, if you’re praying that your spouse would be more interested in sex, don’t expect God to flip a switch and suddenly they’re sex drive jumps through the roof. In many cases, this needs a rather large overhaul of one system or another. Be it their complete understanding of sex, their view of marriage, their view of themselves, the basis of your relationship, or something else just as large and deep rooted.
If you’re looking to be free of a porn addiction, the addiction likely isn’t the root cause. There’s likely a deep need for true intimacy, or old wounds that need to be dealt with and healed, or a marriage that needs to start fresh with a new dynamic. I have yet to talk to anyone who has quit porn without some massive change in their life, their marriage, or themselves. I know of no “well, I just tried hard and stopped” stories. I hear of confessions, and tears, pain and rebirth. Of refining and coming out stronger. And in all cases, it hurts. It hurts them, it hurts their spouse, it hurts their marriage. But, usually they heal. They heal. The porn addiction isn’t “fixed”, they are healed, on a level far deeper than the addiction.
If you’re struggling with ED, you might have some serious health issues to deal with. You might need to change your diet, or stop masturbating, or quit porn, or deal with some old issues. A doctor will give you viagra, but God can help dig out what the real issue is.
We’ve had a lot of healing in our marriage. What we have today is unrecognizable from what we had in the first half of our marriage, but then, so are Christina and I. God didn’t snap His fingers and solve our problems. He healed us, and that, in turn, solved our various symptoms. Rather, I should say it is solving our various issues. Some healing takes time, and I’m sure we have more deep roots that need to be dug out. God willing, in another 8 years we won’t recognize who were are now either, and our marriage will be just as different.
So, I guess I just want to say, be careful for what you pray for. While I have no doubt that God will take your plea to fix a symptom seriously and go to work, but you should be aware that that work is probably going to be difficult and painful … but it will be worth it, and you might want to pray for some strength to get through the healing.
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