Misconception #4. It can be prayed away

I want to be clear on this point. I believe nothing is impossible for God, and prayer is essential for healing. However, God won't circumvent a person's will to choose. People driven by addiction must bring it out into the light through confession to those affected. Only then is the addict ready to dig into the causes. There is no magic quick fix. It takes much prayer by the addict, and those who love them, just to get the healing process started. (I have heard of rare cases where God provides freedom, but they are the exception.)  

Misconception #5. It's all about attractiveness.

Many like Melanie have been told if they were only more attractive, available, or supportive their husbands wouldn't stray. The saddest part about this lie is that Satan places it as a millstone around every betrayed woman's neck. It keeps them in a state of self-loathing and guilt. When that stone is sanctioned or perhaps even placed there by a pastor or counselor, the damage and weight stalls the wife's healing and leaves her floundering.   

Misconception #6. Sexual addiction doesn't exist in my church.

Men addicted to sex are not lurking in the shadows, hanging out in trench coats at schoolyards. Many are sitting in the pew, perhaps some even serving on your church board. These addicts think they are the only one with this ugly secret; however, any church with more than 30 members has someone suffering in silence. The truth is millions of men in the U.S. struggle with this addiction, and the number is growing. The number of women is also growing. Thanks to the Internet anyone can log onto any depravity in the privacy of his or her own home. These men and women need a lifeline. They need the hope only Christ can provide.

Breaking the silence around sexuality and this growing addiction is critical as access to pornography increases. Many marriages have been restored even after they were damaged by betrayal. I know this very well. Many church leaders, who have equipped themselves to minister in this critical area, are being used greatly by God. Avoiding these six common misconceptions is a good place to begin. . 

*Names have been changed to ensure confidentiality. For more resources go to http://www.hopeafterbetrayal.com/

Originially ran September 16, 2008

Meg Wilson is a regular speaker to women's groups, Bible studies, and conferences. Five years ago she founded the Healing Hearts Ministry to offer help and hope to women whose husbands are caught in the web of sexual addiction. Her book Hope After Betrayel: Healing When Sexual Addiction Invades Your Marriage (Kregel Publishers) was released last year. You can visit her website at www.hopeafterbetrayal.com