I Surrender All: Rebuilding a Marriage Broken by Pornography (book review)

I Surrender All (click pic at right to access more information)  is a book by Christian recording artist Clay Crosse and his wife Renee.  It is a book that describes a man in the public eye of Christian ministry who has a shallow faith and slides into the use of pornography not realizing how dangerous it is to himself, his marriage and his faith.

I initially found this book because it was free on kindle. I was intrigued because while some might label this “vanity press,” confessing to the sin of pornography and adultery while in public ministry is not usually a vanity thing, but can be a deal breaker. I also, having spoken with many women who struggle to deal with their husband’s issues in this area of sexual sin, I wanted to understand both sides of the story.

The Crosse’s do a good job describing the rise to fame and descent into sin, how that impacted them and what God did to bring Clay to repentance. I loved the honesty that Clay and Renee express as they share a deeply painful part of their marriage and life. I also appreciate the emphasis on repentance and that pornography was not really the “biggest sin” that they faced. That was merely as surface issue that had its roots in selfishness and not being fully surrendered to Jesus Christ.

They describe their painful journey to healing and how God has led them through that process. There were no magic bullets through the pain they endured but they did not give up on their marriage or each other in spite of the pain and I find that admirable given the high rate of divorce even in the Christian church.

If you want to understand the damage pornography can do to your faith, ministry and marriage, then this book is good. It reads quickly and the use of Scripture is succinct and appropriate. There is no preaching here, just authentic telling of their story and what they learned.  Biblical headship and trust are addressed in how that plays out in the wake of such a painful breach of trust in a relationship. Men who are struggling with this issue could learn a lot from the example of Clay’s humility and servant’s heart towards his wife.  It is a beautiful thing to see how God has taken what was dark and painful and brought beauty out of it in their marriage.

I would recommend this book to pastors, and to anyone struggling with pornography or married to someone who is.  Everyone’s path may be different but I think the core issues that the Crosse’s address are biblical and true and would be helpful to those who really are not even “getting it” as to why this sin I s such a big deal.

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