Last week I introduced the idea that our husband's porn/sex addiction may provide an opening for spiritual attack on him... and us (as well as our family and community).
As part of that discussion, I shared this free PDF resource from Deeper Walk International which guides the person who has committed the sexual (or other) sins through the process of getting free. This organization has a number of other very thorough resources in book format (as well as a course) on the topic of spiritual warfare, so if you feel called, I would encourage you to dive in to one of those (and consider letting us know how it goes).
He Doesn't Get It
But what if our husband isn't confessing his sin or doesn't want anything to do with prayers that revoke enemy permission? Fortunately, we can still "stand in the gap" and use our God-given spiritual authority to break soul ties between him and us (and us and others he has formed soul ties with through his sexual sin). See the above-mentioned resource for more on "how" to pray through the breaking of a soul tie.
Beyond this, standing in the gap can also mean repenting on behalf of others. To our Western minds this is a bit of an odd concept, but biblically we see examples of it, including Abigail who repented on behalf of a narcissist husband (1 Samuel 25). And while her repentance didn't save Nabal from the consequences of his sin, it did save her and many of her household. Such prayers may help free our children from the effects of generational sexual sin (see the "Lineage" chapter in the Deeper Walk pdf.
Moreover, we can use our authority in Christ to cleanse our home. In that above-mentioned resource, Marcus Warner includes the following prayer:
In the name of my Lord Jesus Christ, I renounce any claim that any demons may have on this home. As one with authority over this home and as a child of the king, I renounce the sins that opened a door for any demonic presence in this place. Therefore, in the name of Jesus I command every demon to leave this place now and go where my Lord Jesus Christ sends you. And now, I invite the Holy Spirit to sweep this place clean and fill it with His presence. I ask that the blessing and peace of God will rest on this place so that it may be a haven of rest, a home blessed by God. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Now, there can be a bit of a temptation to go for the quick fix with a rote prayer such as the one above (even if they do make for a good starting point). However, I, and the author of the above prayer, would encourage anyone thinking of undertaking spiritual warfare of any type to be consulting God and asking the Holy Spirit for guidance. The spiritual realm is not something we need to be afraid of, but neither do we want to "lean on our own understanding" (Prov. 3:5) here.
Also, spiritual warfare is best thought of as an ongoing part of life — one of our daily disciplines and something we're always bringing to God. Jesus himself in his "template" for praying included (near the end after confessing/repenting and forgiving) "but deliver us from the evil one." (Matt 6:13) Warner includes a daily spiritual warfare prayer at the back of his resource that includes the line:
Heavenly Father, I pray that now through this day You would quicken me; show me the way that Satan is hindering and tempting and lying and counterfeiting and distorting the truth in my life.
Ultimately, whether the issues are ours or others, if they're affecting us, our children, our homes, God wants us to "quicken us" so we become aware of the issues and pray into them. From there, He can show Himself "mighty to save."(Zeph. 3:17)
Our Own Stuff
As we learn about spiritual warfare, there will undoubtedly be our own baggage to deal with. This is something else we'll need the Holy Spirit to help us with. As I discussed in Beyond Betrayal, God revealed to me that I had issues of demonization extending to an incident in my childhood.
In addition to this I've had to deal with my unrighteous anger and negative attitude towards my husband (possibly comes under Warner's categories of "unforgiveness" and "rebellion") at times. This has probably also helped free our family in the spiritual. Let the Holy Spirit lead you on this.
As I point out in Beyond Betrayal, forgiveness is not necessarily something for the very early days of this journey: grieving and taking stock of our losses needs to precede it. Surviving needs to precede it. The Holy Spirit will bring up the issue at the right time if we're staying in touch with Him. However, it is good to be mindful of the temptation toward bitterness as we go along, so that we can work to resist it.
On a related topic, consider Warner's words about living with an "abusive authority:" If abuse is going on, leave the home or leave the abuser temporarily (or permanently). Living with abuse for a length of time makes bitterness a nearly unavoidable trap. Divine help may make it possible for some, but ongoing abuse is not God's plan for a life.
As I mentioned last week, a lot of what we see in the world has explanations in the natural. Nevertheless, as Christians we should be aware that some of what we see and experience has roots in the spiritual realm. Thus it makes sense to try spiritual problem-solving—such as prayer (a key piece of our relationship with God anyway) and spiritual warfare—as well as natural solutions such as counselling, support groups, etc.
These are very difficult days for people to live lives of sexual integrity, and to heal from sexual betrayal. Fortunately we have the ultimate heavenly ally on our side who has already "overcome the world." (John 16:33)
I will be speaking on April 12th in Houston, Texas, along with my husband Michael, on some of the more natural solutions to life with a sex addict at the Redeeming Sexuality and Intimacy conference which includes a day-long workshop for partners of sex addicts on April 11th run by APSATS.