Mark Detrick: A Changed Heart
By Gorman Woodfin
The 700 Club
CBN.com -Mark Detrick fought a 30 year long battle with pornography. His struggle started when he was a little boy.
He remembers, “I was about 7 years old. We would get the Christmas catalogs, we were all excited about looking at toys and things like that and they always had clothing in them as well. So women’s lingerie was really the entrance.”
At church he learned his infatuation with women’s lingiere ads—was a sin.
“I’m drawn to this,” He recalls. “But now I know that I’m not supposed to do it, so the instinct was to hide it and that was the –the entrance into that world.
I’d say it was an addiction, but that’s not my preferred terminology. I really would say I was enslaved to that sin.”
Growing up Mark and his friends poured over pornographic magazines.
Later when the internet took off—so did his desire to see more pornography.
Mark says, “I guess what you could say, really a steep downhill decline into that dark world. There would be almost a binge feeding on it.”
Then Mark heard people at a business meeting talking about how important god was in their lives.
“I remember weeping and driving to get back from that meeting to be in church the next day” he says.
He prayed that night and the next morning he went forward at church.
He recalled, “I really sensed the presence of the Holy Spirit. I felt remorse for sin and was repentant. And there just was some really dramatic changes that came in my life.”
Not long after that, Mark met a Christian woman named Holly and they married.
While many of his bad habits stopped immediately, he was still tempted by pornography.
And for 11 years he kept his secret from his wife.
“I would look at this stuff, and then just feel horrible about it, he said. “I would shut it off for, you know, weeks, sometimes a month or two at a time. But there would always be that draw back into it that I would give myself over to it.”
Mark realized he needed to get help.
He recalls, “I called a friend of mine and we talked and he invited me to this bible study he had just started. And that very first night was the first time I’d ever unloaded my story to anybody. And there was actually, it was kind of a mixed emotion at that time.
So he locked arms with me and started to walk with me and encourage me in some things that I could do to um put some guardrails up in my life to keep me from going over the edge.”
Once Mark knew he was finally free from the hold pornography had on his life, he knew he had to confess to Holly.
He said, “If it means that I lose my wife and children, if I lose my career, if it means that, you know, I lose my house and I have to start my life all over again, that that was okay.”
He finally shared his dark secret with his wife.
Holly recalls, “I didn’t know what to do with it for a few days and had panic attacks. I had actually gone to the store by myself, wanting to run, and I didn’t know where to run to. I didn’t want to talk to my friends. It’s not something that you can just talk to your mom and dad about or talk to your friends about. I didn’t know who to talk to.”
Holly didn’t know if she could stay with Mark. But she says that god spoke to her .
She remembers, “It wasn’t an audible voice at all, but it was just this sense of peace that came over me and it was as clear as a bell that the Lord told me, you need to love him back to health. That’s what you’re commanded to do, is love him back to health. And I remember saying Lord, that’s not what I want to do. That’s not, really what I want to do. But then it became clear that God had forgiven me for a lot of things. And I knew that if I had to confess something like that to my husband, I would want him to love me back to health. I said, I think the Lord has told me that I need to love you back to health. So he turned around and he looked at me in shock because he wasn’t expecting that reaction.”
Mark says, “It was just experiencing grace all over again. To have her wrap her arms around me, and say what she said, in restoration.”
Mark now wants others to experience the same freedom he’s won over pornography.
Mark says, “The heart has to be changed. If the heart isn’t changed, the behavior long term won’t change. So look to Jesus. There really is hope.”
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