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CBN.com “I saw makeup on his shirt one day, and it wasn’t mine,” Paula Stratton recalls. “Like a mad woman, I would check his pockets. I would look for notes. I would check his car. I would examine his clothes. I would look at his work.”
Her suspicions were right. When asked how many different women her husband had been with, he responds, “Hundreds. It would be in bars I’d be with them. I’d never see them again. I was like a dog. Just like a dog. I felt myself handcuffed and chained to an addiction I had no control over.”
Scott Stratton’s journey began when he was 11 and started looking at Playboy magazines. When he was 16, he experienced his first heartbreak and decided to become a playboy himself!
“I had an extremely bad reputation as far as women goes,” he says. “I was just going to use women. Get what I wanted from them and then break up with them. Drop ‘em, dump ‘em.”
That went on for a few years, but by the time Scott married Paula, he’d become a Christian. It looked like he’d cleaned up his act.
“I maintained a steadfast walk, involved in everything the church could offer as far as outreaches, missionary work, intercessory prayer,” he says. “Whatever the church had that could fill my time up, because I felt this draw of sexual addiction.”
Six years into the marriage…
“A girl stopped me in the middle of the day, pointed at me and asked me to follow her,” he recalls.
He couldn’t resist. The old habit re-surfaced, coupled with heavy drinking and a serious drug habit. Scott was worse than ever. While he provided financially for Paula and their three kids, emotionally he was rarely there. So Paula kicked Scott out of the house, and the couple separated. During that time….
“I would have women calling me telling me they were with my husband,” Paula says. “I had some tell me that they were going to raise my children for me. My husband bought them a $15,000 diamond ring. There are many times I just wanted to scratch his eyeballs out and all those others too.”
So why stay? Paula responds, “The Lord told me to stand. That’s why.”
When Paula and Scott married, they promised each other that they would never divorce. So for 11 years, Paula brought her broken heart and her broken marriage to God.
“He told me from the beginning, ‘As you stand, it’ll be a supernatural deliverance. He needs deliverance. I want you to praise Me, and I want you to pray My Word over him.’”
At first, Paula couldn’t do this. She was angry and depressed. But in spite of the hurt, she never stopped loving Scott.
“The sin kept piling up and piling up,” Scott says. “First I started out, ‘Oh, please forgive me.’ Then after a thousand ‘forgive me’s’, it becomes numb.”
Scott became desensitized. Paula became desperate.
“I said God, ‘Just strip it all away. Just strip him. Break him. If I have to live under a bridge, I would rather live under a bridge than live without him.’”
That’s almost what happened. The effect from Scott’s substance abuse and promiscuity finally bled into his business affairs, and he lost everything. Paula and the kids paid the price and ended up in a homeless shelter for months.
Scott recalls, “I was still debating, ‘Do I want to go to this shelter? Do I want to try to hook up with someone?’ I said, ‘Enough.’ I started crying, and I said, ‘Father, I’m done with this. I am so sick of this.’”
It was a beginning, but Scott’s real breaking point didn’t come until he faced the truth…
“The Lord gave it to me,” Paula says. “He said, ‘I want you to tell him he’s a coward.”
Scott says, “When she said coward, it hit me like someone threw a wet rag in my face. It was like medicine to my soul.”
“From arrogance and the hard shell that I saw him have, he dropped his head, and it was like a hard casing fell off him,” Paula says. “I could see a transformation.”
Scott shares, “It was as if chains fell off my hands. I could feel scales fall off my eyes, and I could all of a sudden see clearly what I saw dimly. All the dots connected that brought back from my youth when I was hurt all the way to the present point. It all was clear to me, and I just cried. What I read about in the Word of God, about Jesus’ yoke [being] easy and His burden is light, I never experienced it until then. I was free.”
Immediately, Scott was delivered from his addictions. Even though this was exactly what Paula had been praying for, she still had hesitations.
“I feared the first couple of weeks thinking, ‘How long is this going to stick?’ What I dreaded was never trusting him again. I said, ‘Father, I have to trust You. I can’t trust him. But I trust You.’”
Today, Paula completely trusts Scott. While his freedom from sex, drugs and alcohol came about supernaturally, the restoration of the Strattons’ marriage has taken forgiveness and hard work.
“The main thing that the Lord has used [to keep me faithful] in my life is to be transparent,” Scott says. “Me and my wife are always together in public places, restaurants, sporting events, at church. I don’t work late. If I am late, I call my wife every time I leave -- not because she asked me to, but because I want to.”
Now, over four years later, Scott and Paula have a greater love and respect for each other than ever before.
“The exciting thing is that God is in the center of everything,” Scott says. “The blessings that Jesus Christ has brought in restoring our family, restoring our marriage, mostly restoring our relationships not only with Him but with everyone that we encounter… It’s amazing how the Lord will still strive with you to pull you back. That was because of my wife.”
“I can truthfully say that this is my best friend when once I looked at him as the one that hurt, betrayed, offended and did everything that one that loves you is not supposed to do," Paula shares. "He caused every one of those feelings and to turn that around, be able to trust and say he’s truly the head of the household, he’s truly a Godly man is so remarkable. It’s satisfying to know I can trust a God who will do the impossible. What he brought Scott and I through He longs to do for you.”
Email Scott and Paula through www.4thisreason.com.
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