I know what it is like to struggle with sexual sin. I also know that life can be so much better than that. If you are struggling with sexual sin, want help and live in the Wichita, KS area feel free to email me. I will point you in the direction of some really good resources.

Planks and Specs

July 12, 2010 3 comments

1 Corinthians 7 says that we should abstain from sex for only a while. She almost never wants it. Shouldn’t I confront her?” These words echoed in my ears as I listened. Like the smell of an old musty wooden drawer it took me back to earlier days. I clearly remember thinking the exact same thing as I started dealing with my junk. In fact…I think this is a really common temptation for guys in the beginning of the sexual purity fight.

It’s a great question that needs to be asked but our sin nature misleads us. Lots of thoughts swirl through our minds here like:

  • If I don’t have sex I’ll explode.
  • It’s a tough world to be sexually pure in.
  • If my wife is not keeping me satisfied, isn’t that causing me to stumble?
  • God said so, it’s in the bible.
  • If God didn’t want us to have rich sex lives then why give us the plumbing?
  • Sex is a good thing, right? Shouldn’t I confront her on this?

The whole council of scripture. Hank Hannegraf says that “We are to interpret scripture in light of scripture.” That means that all of scripture agrees with all the other parts. If that is the case (I think it is) then there may be other places in scripture that helps us make some sense of this. Let’s take a look.

Submission…the two sided coin. Ephesians 5:22-24 tells wives to submit to her husband in everything. Men often stop there. That should sum it up…she has to do what I ask, right? Guys, if you stop reading there you are going to miss a clear command aimed right between our eyes.

The next 8 verses tell us that men need to love theirs wives like Christ loved the church. Jesus sweat blood as he begged the Father for a way out of being crucified… for the church. Ultimately, he submitted to the Father’s will and gave his life for the church. This leads to our forgiveness and eternal life. The example makes it clear that we are to love our wives sacrificially to the point of death if necessary! Are you asking for submission without loving to the point of d

Sexual purity - plank in my eye

Planks. Matthew 7:1-6 Jesus told us to remove the plank from our own eye before taking a speck out of our brother’s eye. Hmmmm…planks? Let’s do a little self-examination shall we?

In Matthew 5 Jesus said that a man who looks at another woman lustfully in his heart has not only committed lust but also adultery. Honestly now, how are you doing with that one? We tend to minimize our sin. Facebook, chatting, meeting men in parks and restrooms, using pornography, hanging out in bars, looking at women on the street or at work, masturbating. We reserve our condemnation for the likes of Senator Craig and Jonathan Edwards. Scripture tells us that when we just lust we are no different. No small splinter here, we just found the motherload of redwoods! I’m surprised that our necks don’t snap under the load!

What does God think about this kind of plank? Galatians 5:19-21 that the sexually immoral will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Like all sin sexual immorality separates us from God. We need Jesus. The point is that sexual sin is a really big plank that we need to deal with before we lovingly ask our wives to deal with their spec.

But this is really urgent/important/critical/etc. Steeped in sexual sin I totally lost my sense of reality. I thought I was normal and my wife was the issue. The reality was that we both had issues to deal with. I was just too blind to see my own. Recovering alcoholics have a saying “Clean up your own side of the street, let others clean up theirs.”. Deep down I knew the calling. I had to take care of my own junk and trust her to take care of her own.

There may be deeper hurts. It’s entirely possible that your wife has deeper hurts that need to be resolved. We live in an age of sexual promiscuity that is incredibly damaging to women. Consider the possibility that there may be deeply hidden issues and hurts in her heart. It’s also entirely possible that you have played a part in these hurts. I am absolutely not recommending that you go on a witch hunt trying to fix your wife. Leave it alone for now. Clean up your own side of the street! What I am saying is to use a scripture verse out of context to compel a woman who secretly suffers from this kind of hurt is to perpetrate a kind of emotional rape and create very difficult damage to repair.

The easy way out. This is an attractive verse to misapply. The bottom line is when we are misusing sex then more sex never solves anything. Our brain chemistry tricks us into just wanting more. When we misuse sex it’s only temporary relief. It’s the heart issues that need to be solved, not the amount of sex. There is no denying that the 1 Corinthians 7 verse is there and it is a biblical truth. It was just not intended for us to use it to force our wives to satisfy us. If it is a something your wife needs to work on then let her discover it and let the Holy Spirit convict her. God is fully able. He knows your need and he knows your wife’s needs. Trust him…clean up your own side of the street.

Categories: General

What kind of soil are you?

June 21, 2010 1 comment

I was reading an excellent blog posting here by Jeff Fisher. He knows the road to recovery. He writes a great blog about it at PornToPurity.com that you may want to bookmark it. He asks, “What is your goal [in recovery]?” It got me thinking about my goal … remaining faithful to God’s calling for the rest of my life. It means maintaining boundaries, doing heartwork, improving relationships and staying sexually pure until I die. It means being good soil.

Sexual purity - good soilIt you are in this for long you will see success and failure. The patterns remind me of the parable of the sower in Luke 8. Some seeds are sown on pavement, rocks, weedy soil and in good soil. Birds eat the seeds on the pavement. The seed that land on the rocks spring up but die quickly. Weeds choke the seedlings that grow at their feet. The only seeds that excel land in good soil. The parable is really about the state of our heart (the soil).

I have seen all four examples in my heart:

The pavement: I asked the question “Is masturbation really wrong?” and heard the radio programs about sexual sin and avoided them. The strategy is to ignore the message. A hard heart will not respond to the Spirit.

Rocky soil: I knew I needed to turn from this. I felt the pressure to change but wasn’t ready to let go of my way of coping. It’s common to get pressure from wives, friends, counselors, parents, employers or other people in our lives. We respond to get along. There is short-term success but lacking real motivation to do the hard work, it dies. Rocky hearts soon return to their old tricks.

Weedy soil: It’s having a deeper desire to quit but being afraid of the solution. I’ve found resolve isn’t all that counts. I also had to weed my soil. Weeds come in all shapes and sizes. Some weeds even look like good plants. Lack of honesty. Minimizing the real story. Secrecy. Double mindedness. Isolation. Not finding good support. Not fixing our baggage. It’s fear that the medicine is more bitter than the problem.

Good soil: Weeding the garden really helped. It you are like me, you have some trouble recognizing your own weeds. I had friends help me weed. I told a good, wise, spiritually mature, confidential friend. I got involved in a support group. Heartwork to deal with my stuff was key. I have seen guys pulling up the roots of self deception. Living honestly, setting up healthy boundaries. Getting in the Word and applying it in their lives. Spending consistent time in prayer. Helping others who are not as far along. Finding experts to help them. It’s a total commitment to water, fertilize and pull weeds for the rest of their lives.

What about you? What kind of soil are you? How will you respond? If you’re ready please email me. It’s free and confidential. I have never felt better, been more on track with the Lord or been more sexually pure. You can be too!

Categories: General, My Story

Check out porntopurity.com!

June 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Hey everybody. I’ve been asked to post a guest post at the PornToPurity.com blog. It’s a post on the basics of my program that has worked for me…structure, heartwork and relationship. You can hop over there and read it here.

Another note. Jeff’s blog (porntopurity.com) is a great blog. He knows what it means to be committed to recovery and has a lot of great insight. He also has a good podcast if you are into those. Put it on your bookmarks or your newsreader.

Categories: General, My Story

To Do List – Get Accountable Part Two

May 24, 2010 Leave a comment

In part one of this post we discussed how important accountability is but that it was not a magical fix. Part two is what to look for an accountability partner. Remember that you will never find someone who is a perfect accountability partner.

You are looking for someone engaged in the journey that can walk side by side with you. A brother. A friend.
  • Struggles with the same or similar issues as you do. This person needs to have a clue about what your struggle is like. Sexual sin thrives on deception and denial. A person who understands your struggle will be better able to see the areas in your life where you are deceiving or in denial and bring that to your attention.
  • Is able to challenge you. Using a person that you can control will be completely ineffective. If they are not free to challenge your thinking where you need it, then the entire accountability relationship will be worthless. In other words, using your employee or grown child as an accountability partner won’t work. If you’re in ministry, you need to find someone who is not in your “flock.”
  • Comfortable with them. You gotta get along with them. If you can’t relate and find common ground, then it may not work out.
  • Has the time and diligence for a weekly conversation. You need to talk about things every week and sometimes on a daily basis. If the person is not consistently available, you’ve gotta find a different solution.
  • Is not your spouse. Some people think that their spouse would make an ideal accountability partner. They almost never do. First, it’s very likely have a long history of hiding your sexual sin from your spouse. If this is the case, what makes you think you can be honest now? Second, every time you make some kind of revelation to your spouse (who is already hurt to the core) it will be like salt in their wound. This is not an environment that encourages honesty. Third, they have their own stuff to deal with. It is said that the healthy does not marry the sick. Usually, your dealing with your stuff will expose some issues your spouse needs to deal with that make them poor accountability partners. Using your spouse as an accountability partner will very likely make your relationship worse.
  • Same gender as you. It seems silly even saying that, but you’d be surprised that some people think that might work!
  • Balanced approach to life. There are two extremes in the area of quitting sexual sin. The “Just give it to God” camp and the “I just need some counseling” types. The problem is both are right to some degree. If you take either approach and push it to the extreme it doesn’t work. We were created spiritual, emotional, physical and mental beings. The solution will draw a good balance between all the areas.
  • Must be confidential. Think carefully. Confidentiality is a non negotiable. If you hear your potential confidentially partner sharing things about others that you would be embarrassed about if that was you, they are not your accountability partner. This person needs to be so totally committed to confidentiality that they need to not share this stuff with even their wife. No bringing it up as a “prayer concern” – or any of the other loopholes we use to gossip.

A common question that people ask about accountability partners is “Does my accountability partner need to be further down the road than I do?”. Not really. Often times that kind of person would be called a sponsor. You are looking for someone engaged in the journey that can walk side by side with you. A brother. A friend.

To Do List – Get Accountable Part one

May 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Get accountable. Being accountable to someone else has really helped me to get and stay sexually pure. The ability to discuss openly with someone else the nature of my struggles has been indispensable. I’ve been at this quite a while now and I can’t tell you how often I hear from a newbie, “All I need to do is get someone to hold me accountable.” Accountability is important, but it can also definitely fall into the category of “magic fixes.”

One key thing you have to realize about even the best accountability is that its success depends on you – not the accountability partner. You have to be honest. No accountability partner in the world is going to make you be honest or quit sinning sexually.

Magic fixes are things that people think are the silver bullet for their problem. Just fire it once and the werewolf dies, never to return. Usually magic fixes are based on good things. The problem is that people think this is all they need to do. It will somehow magically make their problems go away. While accountability relationships can be very beneficial, they never work out to be a stand-alone magic fix.

One key thing you have to realize about even the best accountability is that its success depends on you – not the accountability partner. You have to be honest. No accountability partner in the world is going to make you be honest or quit sinning sexually.

Sexual sin depends on lies and deception to grow. If you’re involved in it, then you’re involved in a systematic program of deceiving yourself and the significant people in your life. It’s likely that this deception and hiding has gone on for years or decades. Undoing these years of deceptive habits and patterns will take getting honest with yourself – which is not something an accountability partner can make you do.

Think about it this way. All these years, your best efforts to stop doing what you are doing have failed. Your own conscience has not brought about the change you have been looking and hoping for. The Holy Spirit has likely been prompting you to change but you haven’t stopped yet. So how is another human going to accomplish this thing that your best efforts, your conscience, and the Holy Spirit (working on an uncooperative subject) haven’t made happen?

For a large majority of us, solving this issue will require an honest response to the Holy Spirit’s prompting and hard work from us. Don’t look to your accountability partner to make you honest.

Accountability partnerships are good things… really good things. When I’m struggling, I’ve found that my accountability partner helps me think things out. He usually sees things from a different perspective and helps me get past my own deception. I’ve come to think that the term “accountability partner” is a bad description. It conjures up images of a cop or law enforcement officer; someone who’s making me toe the line. Far from that: an accountability partner walks side by side with me. Yes, sometimes he does hold me accountable, but I find much greater value in his friendship as my confidant, adviser and encourager.

Part II… what to look for in an accountability partner.

Fire Drill – Magazine asiles

May 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Magazines in America are getting very aggressive in their attempts to get you eye. A trip to the grocery store is like a leisurely stroll in a mine field. The worst thing about magazines are the covers that use airbrushed women get grab your attention. The problem is that once you see it, it’s in your brain.

I do three things in the grocery store. First, I avoid the magazine aisle if at all possible. I find that for me it’s better to not go there to begin with. Second, if I have to go to the aisle then I look at the ceiling, the floor or the cart that I’m pushing. Lastly, the checkout aisle. I look at candy, the scanner, the cashier’s face, the card reader, the stuff in the cart. The key for me is looking at anything other than the magazine covers.

Start thinking about the positives

May 10, 2010 1 comment

I have been on both sides of this issue; steeped in sex and living in sexual purity. There aren’t many people out there who have really lived both sides. I can tell you with certainty…given the choice between the two I’d choose sexual purity any day!

So often the battle seems to be about the struggles, hard work and effort that it takes. It’s important to keep the positives in you mind as well. Here are some things that started happening to me as I became more victorious over my sexual sin.

Less Shame. Sexual sin creates massive shame in our lives. We feel terrible about what we are doing. This is the red light on the dashboard telling us that something needs attention. Shame bleeds into every aspect of our lives. One place it showed up for me is in my relationships. I found that I felt so bad about myself that I felt ashamed around others. The last five years have had so much less of that shame. I can look people in the eye with thinking “If they only knew how black my heart is”.

Accomplishment. It really feels great to look back and see how far I have come. My life today is 180 degrees different than it was before recovery and it feels great. I feel so much more able to achieve the things that I need to achieve. Sexual sin really sinks it’s talons in our hearts. Thanks be to God…it’s one of my crowning accomplishments of my life.

Much closer walk with the Lord. Ten years ago I thought that it was impossible to have a consistent quiet time. Now its four out of seven days. That is paying huge dividends in my heart and my understanding of who God is.

Respect from my wife. Just the other day she looked me in the eye and said. “You have really changed. I don’t know what it is for sure and when it exactly happened but you are totally different.” Man! That feels like streams in the dry, hot, thirsty desert! It feels so good to know that she sees my efforts, respects me as a man who takes responsibility and does the right thing now. It’s great to feel like her hero, a Godly man, an overcomer. Hearing her express that and seeing it in her actions makes a HUGE difference to me.

A better relationship with my wife. The days of blaming her for not living up to my distorted sexual standards are over. This has made such a huge difference in all areas in our life together. There is so much more peace. It’s funny but when you are so focused on a goal sometimes it actually drives a person in the opposite direction. The more you try to make it happen, the more the other person goes the other direction.

Prayer. My prayer life was nonexistent before. Really, the only prayers I would say were when I was asked to pray in public. I spend most drives to work praying now and they are far more focused on me learning who God is than me asking God for some favor.

Spiritual Direction. Before I was so clouded with sin that I could hardly hear the Holy Spirit shout. Now I have some pretty clear direction and a very clear sense of what I need to be doing. It is very freeing to be able to say “No” because I truly know that I am not called. I am free to say “Yes” to good things that I have been called to do and work wholeheartedly in that direction.

Peace. No more covering tracks. No more fear when someone is using my computer. No more worry about being discovered, about people really knowing who I am.

Friends closer than brothers. Before I wondered if people would still like me or accept me if they only “knew what I knew” about myself. The good news is I have found brothers that won’t “run from the room screaming” when I talk about what I think is my worse stuff. I know men who have been engaged in heroic battles of good and evil and have won. They are truly modern day heroes that nobody knows. Don’t get me wrong, I have some great friends from before that are still friends now. It’s just that I now know that there are people who accept me…all of me…with the love of the Lord. Wonderful!

What I am trying to say here is that it’s important to have a sense of where you life could go and who you could be if you focus on this issue and whip it. I have been on both sides of this issue; steeped in sex and living in sexual purity. There aren’t many people out there who have really lived both sides. I can tell you with certainty…given the choice between the two I’d choose sexual purity any day!