Enjoy another blog from the continued series by Elle Emmerson!
I cried the first time I watched the movie, A Beautiful Mind. I couldn’t believe how much the life of a man living with schizophrenia, and the life of the wife struggling to help him, mirrored the life of a husband struggling with sexual brokenness, and the life of the wife living to love him through it. The similarities, uncanny.
In A Beautiful Mind, John’s imagination has turned towards the direction of self-destruction. As schizophrenia slowly devours his mind, it also threatens to destroy the love he shares with his wife. Simply stated, John is slowly loosing his grip on all that’s real and beautiful in his life.
Christian men everywhere struggle with sexual brokenness. Some, more than others. But make no mistake about it, internet pornography is the crack-cocaine of sexual addictions. It enters the body through the eye at break-neck speed, kicking an endorphin punch so powerful that it knocks a man’s sexual libido clear out of the park each and every time they choose to fix their gaze on sexually charged images on the screen. Porn hits a home run with every man, every time, guaranteed. And, in the process, healthy relationships between husbands and their wives are often destroyed. Men free fall further than they ever would have wagered. Some men reap the total destruction of everything they held dear in their lives. The slippery slope of habitual sin, left unchecked will always spin into a death spiral if it’s not cut off completely in a man’s life. Death of a ministry. Death of a dream. Death of a marriage. Death of a beautiful mind. Death of all that’s real in a man’s life.
Men who use porn are hooked on fantasy. And, they are hooked on the sexual high they get from using porn for sexual release. But false intimacy and real intimacy were never meant to co-exist peacefully in the same heart. The human heart was never created to live with such duplicity.
When Alecia realizes that John has lost his grip on reality, she knows that the only way she can help him is to show him the difference between what is real and what is fantasy.
Alecia to John: “Do you know what’s real?”
Alecia: “This.” (She strokes his face with her hand.)
Alecia: “This.” (She strokes her face with his hand.)
Alecia: “This.” (She puts her hand over his heart. ) “This is real.” “Maybe the part that knows the waking from the dream…maybe it’s in here”.
Alecia: “I need to believe that something extraordinary is possible.”
Do you see it? Alecia knows that a beautiful mind flows out of a heart that lives for what’s real instead of for fantasy. When a man is hooked on porn and waist deep in the sickening sludge of sexual brokenness, he needs someone extraordinary to awaken his heart again to what’s real. When a woman is betrayed and feels like her heart has flat-lined, she needs someone extraordinary to pull her through to life again. Jesus is extraordinary. He longs to break into both of your lives and bring forth new life. He and he alone can do the extraordinary.
Alecia: ” I think often what I feel is obligation, or guilt of ever wanting to leave. Rage against John, against God. But then I look at him, and I force myself to see the man that I married, and he becomes that man. He’s transformed into someone that I love, and I’m transformed into someone that loves him. It’s not all the time, but it’s enough.”
Trust God for the strength to keep on loving your man while you wait for change. Believe God to act on behalf of your prayers tomorrow, in ways you can’t even imagine are possible today.
Alecia reminds us to see with eyes of faith, no matter what our present reality. Believing in extraordinary possibilities despite incredibly challenging circumstances. Envisioning the man your husband could become. Believing God for transformation.
Fast forward to the end of the movie. Alecia and John’s love has stood the test of time. He has learned to manage his illness. She has persevered through the hard times in their marriage. Standing before his academic peers, John accepts The Noble Peace Prize for his life’s work on The Theory of Equilibrium.
John asks the question to the audience: “What is truly logic? Who decides reason? My quest has taken me to the metaphysical, the delusional and back. And, I have made the most important discovery of any in my life. It is only in the mysterious equations of love that any logical reasons can be found. I am only here tonight because of you. (The camera flashes to Alecia) You are the reason I am. You are all my reasons.”
Only in the mysterious equations of love can any logical reason be found. May we say this of Jesus when we meet him in heaven. May we say this of his love. May perseverance be part of the mysterious equation of love that helps to bring our husbands to heaven with their hearts and minds healed, fully restored and found beautiful. May the only logical reason for living in the beauty we discovered in marriage, be because together, we found Jesus. And, may we have fully come to realize that with God in the equation, this belief that the extraordinary was possible, wasn’t just a pipe dream after all.