“My wife, Stacey, had tears in her eyes the first time we visited Watermark Fort Worth,” said Graham Robbins. “She loved the worship, the message, and the people she met. I had tears in my eyes that day, too, but it was because I was devastated by the weight of sin I’d been carrying.
“My parents divorced when I was five, and I saw my dad every other weekend. We grew up in church, and I viewed God as a benevolent dictator. Although I learned more about Christ at Young Life’s Frontier Ranch when I was 16, I thought God was hands-off when it came to me, and I didn’t know how to have a personal relationship with Christ.
“I was exposed to porn early, and it became a daily part of my life as soon as the internet came around. I became an expert at concealing my sin. In college, I sought to conquer women, seldom staying loyal to any relationship. I wanted to be the fun guy, and if people were laughing and having a good time around me, I was okay. I believed the lie that if I was better than the next guy and went to church occasionally, I was alright with God.
“After graduating from college, I went to work for Young Life and was reintroduced to what it meant to follow Christ. I was able to clearly articulate the gospel to others, but I was not walking with Jesus myself. I had an intellectual understanding that Christ was the Savior, however I communicated like a believer so that those around me wouldn’t find out about my porn addiction and other struggles.
“Stacey and I met through Young Life and were married within 11 months of our first date. I had no idea what it meant to be a godly man and brought my hidden addiction to porn and other baggage into the marriage. I coerced Stacey into the fantasy world of pornography and strip clubs. The worst part was that I actually expected her to be okay with it. However, when she told me about the shame she felt, I moved forward in my sin and didn’t include her.
“I bounced through at least a dozen jobs in eight years, constantly searching for the next opportunity. I found a job in sales, but my business travel opened up an opportunity for me to have an affair with another woman – a secret I swore I’d take to the grave. But as I hid my infidelity, I became devoured from the inside by my unconfessed sin.
“Our long-time friends, Newley and Karen, invited us to Watermark Fort Worth when it first opened. They had been transparent about their marital challenges and the redeeming work God had done in their relationship. During the service, one of the speakers said that their door was always open to us, so on Thursday, March 7, 2013, I walked into the Watermark offices so weighed down by my sin I could barely move.
“That day I began the process of confessing my long history of sin and deceit. The staff prayed with me and encouraged me to share my sin, first with my wife, and then in community with other believers. Talking about my infidelity with my wife seemed insane, but in reality, it was the beginning of God’s supernatural work in my life.
“When I finally opened up to Stacey, there was so much hurt. But as we prayed and read Scripture together, she also expressed relief for finally knowing the truth. Of course, there was distrust and pain, but there was also an immediate sense of freedom because of Christ. That was just the beginning of confession for me. I got into a community group with other guys at Watermark who had similar struggles, and we began to learn what it meant to trust Christ and walk faithfully with Him. I continued to come clean about the wake of destruction I’d left in my path, and those guys prayed with me and encouraged me. Stacey and I went through re|engage together at Watermark, and took part in the first re:generation group at Watermark Fort Worth, too. God used both of those ministries to help me see the gift of being fully known and fully loved by the Lord and others.
“Today I sound like a broken record when I talk to others about the importance of confessing sin and walking in the light, but it’s how the Lord brought recovery into my life and into our marriage. When God says to confess your sins and be healed, it’s not a suggestion; it’s a promise. Healing was always available to me from the Lord, and it began with confession and authenticity.
“I want people to know that God brings dead things back to life. I was not meant to carry the burden of my sin; that’s what Christ died for. On the other side of confession and wholehearted devotion to Christ was the truly abundant life we have now, and I am so thankful. All it took was the one step of faithfulness to Christ followed by another. What is your next step of faithfulness?”