Weekly Web (W)roundup

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Each week, we roundup the best links, articles, and videos we find that are relevant to finding freedom from pornography addiction. Please note that by posting a link here it doesn’t necessarily mean we agree with everything in the linked article. It just means we found it interesting enough to share.


Gospel Coalition: Help Your Kids Say No to Porn 

“The first time porn was served at the cafeteria lunch table, my son was 11 years old. Does that seem young to you? Research suggests that one in three children ages 11 to 14 have viewed pornography on a mobile device. Add to that the very real possibility that a child will stumble across explicit content on YouTube or in a pop-up ad during innocent computer usage, and one thing becomes clear: parents must be proactive in talking about porn with their kids.”

Tim Challies: The Porn-Free Family Plan

“I want to protect my children in a world like this, but I want to do more than that. I want to disciple my children to live virtuously, to use these new technologies for good purposes instead of bad ones. I believe this is a crucial part of my calling as a parent.”

xxxChurchI’m a Pastor and I Look At Porn

“I’ve had two conversations lately with senior pastors who found themselves in bad situations. After years of hidden porn addiction, they decided they didn’t want to keep living like this, so they confessed to their wives and then called me to talk about their next steps.”

John Bevere: Gaining Freedom from Pornography

In Christ, You are a Citizen of Heaven

 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. (Philippians 3:20)

In ChristWhat does it mean to be a citizen?

I was born in America, which means I am entitled to all the rights, privileges, and benefits that come from being a citizen of America.

In the same way, if an american family adopts a child from another country, that child becomes a citizen of America as well—not by birth, but by adoption.

Likewise, once you put your faith in Christ, you are adopted as a child of God and are granted citizenship in His kingdom. You become a citizen of Heaven, instantly receiving all the rights, privileges, and benefits that come with it. Your earthly citizenship may be in America or some other country, but your eternal citizenship is in Heaven.

So, on that day when you reach Heaven’s gate, God will take one look at your passport, see that Jesus has already stamped it, and say “Welcome home, my Son.”

What benefits of being a citizen of Heaven are you most looking forward to?

10 Lies Men Believe about Porn Preview

What If You’re the One Who Cheated?

I’m excited to announce that my first article for xxxChurch.com went live today. If you aren’t familiar with xxxChurch, they’re the #1 site on the internet offering biblical help for those who struggle with porn addiction. I suggest you check out all the great resources they offer to help you on your journey to freedom. And, of course, check out my post on their site as well.

What-If-You're-The-One-Who-CheatedEarlier this week, Craig wrote about the hard question: “Should I stay or should I go?”

But what if you aren’t the one asking that question? What if you’re the spouse who cheated and brought the question into your marriage?

That, unfortunately, is my story.

I hid my porn addiction from my wife for the majority of our marriage. When I finally did confess it to her, it was like a bomb went off in her heart. She felt hurt, betrayed, blindsided, and angry.

Read the rest of the article on xxxChurch.com.

Smart Quote of the Week: Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.” —Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Thoughts on this quote? Feel free to discuss them in the comments below.

What I Wish I Could Say to Morrissey

Morrissey I have forgiven JesusEvery now and then a song comes up on my iPod and it completely wrecks me.

Typically, it’s a worship song that reminds me of God’s love, making His presence seem even more intense in that moment.

Often, it’s my favorite Johnny Cash song, reminding me of the broken and pain-filled past Jesus has rescued me from.

Sometimes though, it’s a song that breaks my heart not out of happiness, but out of sadness.

Morrissey’s “I Have Forgiven Jesus” is one of these songs.

I’ve been hooked on Morrissey since my roommate introduced me to his music back in college. As much as I love his music though, the emotional honesty he puts into his lyrics makes it hard for me to listen at times. I can’t help but hurt for him when I hear him sing about the pain and rejection that has defined his life.

The sad part though, is some of that pain doesn’t need to be there. I don’t say this to minimize anything that may have happened to him in the past (after all, I do not actually know the man or what he has been through). What I do mean, is that some of Morrissey’s pain comes from a misunderstanding of how Jesus views him. If He came to know the truth in this area, his pain would be replaced by the freedom, joy, and peace that everyone is longing for.

I doubt I will ever get a chance to talk about these things with Morrissey, but if I did, I would want to share with him these three life-changing truths:

1. Jesus never has, and never will, desert you.

Forgive me any pain I may have brung to you
With God’s help I know I’ll always be near to you
But Jesus hurt me when He deserted me.
—I Have Forgiven Jesus—

Yes, we all make mistakes in life, and many of these mistakes will cause pain to others—even to Jesus. But as Jesus hung on the cross in agonizing emotional and physical pain, what did He say to God regarding the men who were causing Him pain in that moment? 

He offered them forgiveness. Not only that, He continued to go through with the plan to rescue these very men, even though it would cost Him His own life to do so.

If Jesus was willing to forgive these men and stick with them even as they were torturing and mocking Him, I’m pretty sure you can trust Him to stick with you no matter what sort of pain you may have caused Him.

37 Those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them (John 6:37).

2. Jesus loves you, and He made you to be a lover as well.

Why did you give me so much desire
When there is nowhere I can go to offload this desire?
And why did you give me so much love in a loveless world
When there’s no one I can turn to to unlock all this love?
—I Have Forgiven Jesus—

I could be wrong, but when I read these lyrics as one who has struggled with sexual addiction, I hear the same question I wrestled with for years: Why did God give me such a strong desire for love and intimacy and then tell me not to have sex until I was married? What a jerk move.

Unfortunately, these thoughts were actually pulling me away from the only thing that ever could truly satisfy the desires that consumed me.

If you believe that love, sex, and intimacy are all the same thing, you will inevitably begin to question God’s goodness. You will view Him as a cruel and controlling master, much like a man holding a carrot just beyond the reach of a donkey. It will seem as if God has put these desires in you and then forbids you to satisfy them.

The truth though, is God made you to be a lover, which is why you have this strong desire to love and to be loved. This love isn’t sexual though, it’s sacrificial. True love is always about what you can do for others, not what others can do for you. (Tweet this!)

This type of love isn’t something you can produce on our own. It’s something that is only unlocked when you trust Jesus to produce it though you.

19 We love each other because He loved us first (1 John 4:19).

If you can come to trust God’s unconditional love for you, your ability to love (and to be loved) will suddenly come alive.

3. Jesus doesn’t hate you.

And why did you stick me in self-deprecating bones and skin?
Jesus, do you hate me? Do you hate me? Do you hate me?
—I Have Forgiven Jesus—

You are correct in looking at your flesh and wondering why it controls you as it does. In fact, the Apostle Paul made the same observation about his own flesh:

15 What I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate… 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh (Romans 7:15,18).

Yes, nothing good can come from your flesh. No matter how hard any of us try, none of us can overcome the sinful desires within our bodies. But before we get too down on that reality, we need to also look at what Paul says next:

24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:24-25)

The truth is, Jesus doesn’t stick you in self-deprecating bones and sin—He wants to free you from them! He came to rescue you from your flesh, not condemn you for it. (Tweet this!)

In fact, the very next verse reminds us that “there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1)

How can Jesus hate you if He doesn’t even condemn you? The truth is, He can’t.

And why would He purchase your freedom from sin and death with His own life only to turn around and resent you? He won’t.

No matter what you have done, it will never separate you from the love of Jesus.

Nothing will ever cause Jesus to hate you. That’s the beauty of His undying love for you.

•••

You have given all of us a gift, Morrissey, with your music and honesty. For that I thank you.

If you’re ever passing though Oregon, let me know. I’d love to buy you a cup of coffee.

Don’t worry, I won’t talk about Jesus the whole time. But I will remind you that Jesus doesn’t hate you, He hasn’t rejected you, and He loves you more than you know.

And I believe I can speak for all of your fans when I say we do as well.

Wherever you are…Don’t lose faith.
—I Know It’s Gonna Happen Someday—

10 Lies Men Believe about Porn Preview

Weekly Web (W)roundup

weekly_roundup-img-640x290

Each week, we roundup the best links, articles, and videos we find that are relevant to finding freedom from pornography addiction. Please note that by posting a link here it doesn’t necessarily mean we agree with everything in the linked article. It just means we found it interesting enough to share.


xxxChurch: The Real Reason Why You Can’t Change 

“Throughout the years I’ve heard many stories from people who have talked about wanting to change. They’ve made commitments to stop using pornography, having anonymous sex, or masturbating. But for whatever reason – and there have been many – they haven’t been happy with their behavior.”

Desiring God: The Single Man’s Journey to Sexual Happiness

“It was afternoon New Year’s Day and I was sitting in my room, sad and alone. I had met another girl, and I could already tell that pursuing her would lead to another failed relationship. The more I thought about my history, my shame, my brokenness, the more miserable I became.”

PornHarms: Porn Stars—Behind the Screens

“Pauling said that progression into darker and darker films would cause the light to go out in a young woman’s eyes; the girls are shocked and ashamed by what they have done. Eventually, most of them resort to drugs and alcohol abuse to escape reality and depression.”

TrueFaced: Old Me/New Me

In Christ, You Reflect God’s Light

For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! (Ephesians 5:8)

In ChristHave you ever tried to stop light from spreading? You can put your hand over a flashlight in a dark room, but the light will still spill out around your fingers. It may even shine through them, causing them to glow pink in the thinner spots.

Sure, you could put a bucket over the flashlight, but would the light really be gone? Not at all. The inside of that bucket would still be lit up even if you couldn’t see it from the outside.

The light of Christ has the same effect within you. You used to be full of darkness, but now His light is illuminating your insides, giving life to your soul. Whether you see it or not, it’s there. And nothing will ever be able to turn it off.

However, just like the flashlight, it’s up to us whether we share it with others. We can keep it hidden, or we can allow it to shine on those around us.  Jesus made it pretty clear what He is hoping you will choose though.

So don’t hide God’s light. Let it shine! Love others with the love of Christ. Offer the same grace and forgiveness that He offered you.

Be a beacon of hope for those who are still wandering in the darkness.

After all, isn’t that what it means to live as people of light?

How are you reflecting God’s light to others?

10 Lies Men Believe about Porn Preview

Book Review: Fathered by God

Fathered by GodA few years back my counselor recommended I read Wild at Heart to help me understand how my addiction was fueled by misunderstandings of how God made me as a man.

To say that book changed my view of what Biblical masculinity looks like would be an understatement.

As much as I enjoyed Wild at Heart though, I believe Fathered by God is perhaps even more helpful for men who struggle with living as the man God calls them to be.

Where Wild at Heart teaches us about how God has made us as men, Fathered by God shows us the path He wants to walk us through to bring us into that position of authentic, Biblical masculinity.

In Fathered by God, John Eldredge outlines the six stages of manhood that God walks every man through over the course of their life. There are lessons to be learned—that must be learned—in every stage:

Boyhood

“We must remember that above all else, boyhood is the time of affirmation, the time when a boy comes to learn deeply that he is the beloved son… Without this bedrock of affirmation this core of assurance, a man will move unsteadily through the rest of his life, trying to prove his worth and earn belovedness through performance or achievement, through sex, or in a thousand other ways.”

Cowboy

“A notable shift begins to take place in the boy’s soul as he approaches his teens, a yearning for real adventure. Something inside tells him that he needs to prove himself, needs to be tested. He wants to learn how to do things—how to drive a car, to hunt birds, to build a loft in his room. And now the question of a man’s soul begins to present itself in nearly everything the boy-becoming-a-young-man does: Do I have what it takes?”

Warrior

“The recovery of the warrior is absolutely crucial to the recovery of a man. All else rests on this, for you will have to fight, my brothers, for everything you desire and everything you hold dear in this world. Despite what you feel, or what you may have been told, you have a warrior’s heart, because you bear the image of God. And He will train you to become a great warrior, if you’ll let Him.”

Lover

“Learning to be loved, and learning to love, learning to be romanced, and learning to romance—that is what this stage is all about. Not duty. Not merely discipline. But an awakening of our hearts to the beauty and love of God, and at the same time, we offer our hearts as well—to God, to the women in our lives, to our sons and daughters, to others.”

King

“[A good king] uses all he has to make his kingdom like the kingdom of Heaven for the sake of the people who live under his rule… Most of the men I know in some position of power and influence [kings] are not holy enough to handle even what they do have, and they are doing damage as we speak. They operate out of their business training and “principles of leadership,” they operate out of a great deal of their own brokenness, but they do not, on any sort of regular basis, check in with God, submit to Him, live as a man yielding his plans to Him.”

Sage

“There comes a time when a king must yield his throne. This does not mean failure. It means it’s time to become a sage, and let another man be king… It will appear that at this stage a man’s “kingdom” may be shrinking—he retires from his career position, perhaps moves into a smaller home or apartment, lives on a fixed income. But, his influence should actually increase.”

If a man is wounded in any of these stages (or skips over any of them completely), he will miss the lesson it has for him. He will move forward in life with holes in his masculinity, functioning as an incomplete man.

But God, as our loving Father, wants to bring us back into these overlooked stages to teach us what we missed. He wants to heal those gaps in our development and raise us up as His beloved sons into authentic, Biblical masculinity.

This is the message of Fathered by God—a message that can give any man hope, no matter what stage of life he is in.

Smart Quote of the Week: Michael John Cusick

Cusick-01

Thoughts on this quote? Feel free to discuss them in the comments below.

Weekly Web (W)roundup

weekly_roundup-img-640x290

Each week, we roundup the best links, articles, and videos we find that are relevant to finding freedom from pornography addiction. Please note that by posting a link here it doesn’t necessarily mean we agree with everything in the linked article. It just means we found it interesting enough to share.


Tim Challies: Samson and the Pirate Monks 

“I find books like this easy to dismiss, perhaps especially because so many of us have tried accountability relationships and found them wanting…But then I think about men I know and wonder how they would receive this book and, even better, the kind of relationships it models. And then I realize that men are desperate for exactly what Larkin describes here.”

People of the Second Chance: 3 Truths to Live By

“If we live by these 3 truths every day, we will live in a radical place of freedom for God’s glory, all because of His goodness.”

Storyline: What To Say When Everything Is Not “Fine”

“Every interaction we have is a holy one. And if we knew the real story of the person in line at the grocery store or the friend we pass on the street, we’d speak differently to one another.”

Pastor Bob: Why do Bad things Happen to Good People?