Where does truth start?
Let me ask that again, where does truth start?
Where do we begin?
Recently I was challenged to fill in this blank:
Answers swirled around my mind, but three settled in. Truth:
- Sets me free
- Never changes
How would you fill in the blank?
When I listen to each of my coaching client’s stories of betrayal from her husband’s porn addiction, every story begins the process of discovering the truth about his choices, her choices, beliefs, scars, fears, and the relationship.
But where does truth start?
Truth starts with me.
I cannot be authentic with others or know when they are hiding something if I continue to lie to myself.
Truth starts with you.
You cannot be authentic with others or know if they’re hiding something if you continue to lie to yourself.
The fill-in-the-blank test gives me 3 “truths about truth” to focus on to make this painful exploration more grounded.
What were they, again?
Let’s start there.
If you’ve discovered your husband’s porn addiction and feel like you’ve been hit by an earthquake or a tsunami, you have. Your world no longer remains as it once was. The substantial pain, confusion, and loss of normal upend you. That truth hurts. Almost like we need a bigger word for “hurts,” or at least hurts is in all caps, bolded, underlined.
But that pain is your first win.
At least the painful understanding starts from a place of truth. I avoided knowing and only delayed the pain.
It’s when we face the lies that we discover freedom in the truth. Does it sting? Does it sear? Of course. But, you can’t address what you don’t know.
The truth hurts. It’s easier to say that and write songs about it than it is to live it. I know that! I don’t like pain!
But deep, deep, down, in a healthy place, you want and need to know that you know everything about your husband’s betrayal. You don’t want to learn the truth in pieces. Until you’ve heard it all, you can’t start the healing process. Don’t be surprised by the pain. Remember, the truth hurts.
How about being truthful with yourself?
We want others to be truthful with us, but do we want to be truthful? I want to hold him accountable, but I don’t want to be held accountable.
I’m not going to realize when he tells a lie because I’m hiding. I’m not truthful.
Ouch. That part of truth hurts too!
But please—choose truth even when it hurts. Don’t slip back into “normal.” That’s what got you here in the first place.
SETS ME FREE
The truth may hurt, but it sets me free. Recently, I began more work to process another layer of speaking truth to myself. My coach challenged me to look deeply and get honest about the lies I cling to.
He told me, “You can’t speak Truth to others until you start speaking it to yourself. Truth won’t let you. Truth flows freely when it originates from a pure source. If you want to be a Truth Teller to others, it starts with being a Truth Teller to yourself.”
I want that truth! And I’m willing to deal with some hurt to know it.
While uncomfortable, as I sat in the quiet space listening for the Holy Spirit and thought about myself and truth, breakthroughs came. No guilt, just knowing that these lies had to be dealt with for my health and vibrancy.
I don’t need to be perfect. Neither does my husband. But what do we have if we don’t have the truth?
The truth sets us free.
But what is truth?
This was Pontius Pilate’s question to Jesus before he tried to release Jesus because there were no grounds for executing him. Pilate knew that Jesus was innocent of the charges leveled against him by the Jewish leaders. Yet, Pilate eventually caved to the threat of the Jewish leaders who accused Pilate of being disloyal to Caesar. A heavy charge indeed.
It takes courage to confront the lies and discover the truth. You must be persistent to willingly push beyond the easy answers to find the bottom line.
When dealing with a porn addict who has maintained his cover for many years, you need boldness and compassion to uncover the truth. Depending on the addict, you may never discover all of it. If the addict doesn’t face his truth, how can he be truthful with you?
If truth never changes, where do you find it?
To know Truth, you and I must spend time reading the Bible, learning about Jesus, and applying what we learn to how we live, think, and speak.
Something that doesn’t change is reliable. Life changes fast. I am relieved to know that Truth never changes.
In Greek, “I know” means I’ve heard it or read it. The Hebrew “I know” takes action. It means I live it. It is an intimate walking out of what you’ve studied and learned. This is what Jesus refers to often. He asks how we can study him and not walk in the truth.
To live a truth-filled life, we apply knowledge and understanding to all we think, speak, and do. Otherwise, our study only increases our knowledge, which builds our false pride.
Have I resolved all I discovered? Not yet, but I will. Some of the issues I discovered take daily discipline. Others require me to let go of false expectations, such as being accepted by everyone for speaking out about the dangers of porn addiction. No one pleases everyone all the time. Gotta let that one go!
With so few things I can rely on in this world, I choose truth.
It wasn’t always that way with me. When I asked my coach, “Why didn’t I know?” She said, “You did.”
She was right. I knew some of the truth. But I needed someone else to help point me towards the not-so-true truth that Dave and I had settled for in our lives to avoid the pain.
Now over thirteen years later, we love our brand-new marriage. I have a new love for the same old guy. Our marriage is messy, authentic, fun, and full of surprises that we share.
Truth gave us our lives back.
Please reach out. I’ve been there and know how to recover. You can opt for a free initial one-on-one session or join an Aftershock Recovery Method small group by visiting the Resources page. All are safe, non-judgmental zones to get your feet back on the ground. Let’s talk truth.