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Past Addictions Become Distant Memories

Bob remembers it like it was yesterday. “One night, there was a knock on the door, it was my ex-girlfriend, and she said, ‘Hey, I’m pregnant. And you’re the father.’”

At the age of 18, Bob’s carefree lifestyle came to an immediate halt.

“When I went home, I told my Dad and my Dad said, ‘Well, you’re going to be a man, not a worm. You will get married.’ And so I got married. I don’t think when I married her there was ever any love involved. The love was gone. And during that time, I drank. I began to drink.”                        

From the very beginning of the marriage, Bob was bitter about losing his freedom and being stuck in a dead-end marriage. He got into pornography as an escape, and he would drink with his friends whenever he got the chance.

“It was not uncommon for us to go through two or three fifths of gin or two or three fifths of vodka while we were working. And then go to the strip club and close it down afterwards. And sometimes go to somebody’s house and drink after that.”

His first marriage failed after ten years. He then married Vicki in 1979. By this time, he was addicted to pornagraphy.

“I was drinking so much, I was hanging out in strip clubs, I was coming home at 3:00 in the morning, and I became a lustful person. I was very into anything that wasn’t at home.”

He tried his best to get Vicki to be a part of his addiction.

“She wasn’t into any of that at all,” says Bob.

“I always told him you needed a circus going on around him in order to be happy,” remembers Vicki. “And it was difficult in that we always had a struggle of some kind going on.”

“And she kept saying, ‘You need to be changed,’ says Bob. “And I kept saying, ‘No, I’m fine. You’re the one that needs to change.’”

Vicki asked Bob to go to church with her. He refused every time.

“We were not a peaceful household,” says Vicki. “And so it wasn’t the idyllic situation that I anticipated that it would be. I prayed, prayed for him, prayed for our kids every day.”

“I didn’t know God,” says Bob. “I didn’t know anything about church. I never went to Sunday School, I didn’t know the Bible. I didn’t know anything about God. I felt that way in my heart.”

In 2012, while Vicki was watching a church service on TV at home, Bob overheard the pastor.

“I’m walking by and he says, ‘If you think putting $5 in the hat extra today is going to put you over the top with God, you’re wrong. God don’t need your money.’ I said, ‘Well that’s the first pastor I’ve ever heard say that.’ And I sit down and listened to him preach. And I looked at it and I said, ‘I think I want to go hear him preach. I said where does he preach at?’ She said, ‘You know that great big church she said you’d never set foot in?’ I said, ‘Oh!’ I said, ‘I still want to go next week.’

“I turned around and I walked up the stairs, going upstairs to work. And it was just like me and you sitting around having a conversation, anybody having a conversation. There was this voice that said as clear to me as anything: ‘Son, I’ve given you so many opportunities to make something of your life and you’ve blown every one of them. Maybe you should give it to Me.’ I walked up and I sit down at my desk and I just looked and I said, ‘I don't know who You are, if You’re God or whatever, I don't know.’ But I said, ‘You’re right, and I’m so sorry. You can have it. Just take it, I’m done with it.’”

Bob gave his life to Jesus Christ that day, and soon joined a small group at his church.

“I went to work and I come home and I looked at Vicki and I said, ‘Who am I seeing in the mirror?’ And she said, ‘It’s you, why?’ I said, ‘This isn’t me.’ She said, ‘Bob, God changes your heart just like that [snapping his fingers]!’”

“God has given Bob a peace that he has never had before,” says Vicki. “And a calm about situations that he would’ve been upset before.”

“I was so different that I didn’t even recognize myself,” says Bob. “People now, I went to the golf course and I played golf one day and somebody said, ‘What happened to you?’ I said, ‘I became a Christian.’ ‘You became a Christian?!’ I said, ‘Yeah!’”

“I always prayed that, especially that he would enjoy his family more and that’s happened and that’s a real pleasure,” says Vicki. “It’s so great when we’re able to sit down and we pray together as a couple. And we’re praying for the same thing. And that’s an amazing thing.”

Bob and Vicki have been married nearly 40 years, and they have seven grandchildren. Looking back, Bob thanks God for forgiving him, and changing him into a new man. Pornagraphy and alcohol are a distant memory now.

“I just don’t do it,” says Bob. “I mean, the temptation is real. Temptation is real. And I know there’s a lot of people out there, whether it may be with drugs and everything else, alcohol. Those are terrible addictions and terrible things. But I really believe if they would ask Jesus to get rid of them, He would. He would take them. I mean, You have to repent for it and you have to want the forgiveness and you have to be able to believe that that’s going on. And sometimes that’s really hard to do and it was for me for 62 years.

“I’m telling you I’m a better person now, better than I ever could’ve been on my own. And Jesus Christ did that to me when I accepted Him. I became a better person. I became a child of God. I’m one of His children and how can you be any better than that? What’s the greatest thing in the world? Would you rather have money or would you be called a child of God? I’ll be the child of God, the Creator of all things. Let me be His child.”

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