Stephen Kuhn

Stephen Kuhn has been leading recovery groups, speaking at college campuses, and providing free online counseling through Belt of Truth Ministries ever since he got steamrolled by Jesus and set free from the chains of porn addiction. His passion is to allow God to use the story of redemption in his life to encourage other men to seek healing through the work of Christ as well.

The Moment You Trust Christ: Your Roots are Planted in Fertile Soil

"Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness" (Colossians 2:7).

Are You Defining Yourself by Your Sexuality?

What if I asked, Who are you?, how would you respond?

If you’re like most people, you would tell me your age, current job, or even a list of hobbies you enjoy. If you’re a parent, you would surely tell me about your kids. And if you got more comfortable with me, you might even share that you’re gay, straight, transgender, or bisexual. After all, there does seem to be a growing pressure in our society to define yourself by your sexual preferences.

But what if your sexuality isn’t the best way to define yourself?

When we think of sexuality, it’s tempting to view it as a collection of different boxes. For example, look at the following image:

LGBTQ Sexuality

Most people can place themselves in whichever box they identify with. To do so, however, can lead you to become attached to that particular box. In other words, you can allow the box you’re in to define your identity.

For example, let’s say you identify yourself as a lesbian. By making that a defining characteristic of who you are, much of your life will be interpreted from within that box. If you hear someone claim God’s plan for marriage is for one man and one woman (a paradigm that doesn’t fit within your box) it will feel like a personal attack.

Or, what if you identify as a gay man, but find yourself drawn towards a woman? You might question those feelings based on the understanding that you’re supposed to be attracted to men and write the desire off as an anomaly. You may reject it based on how you understand your box, not on what your heart is telling you.

By defining yourself based on your sexual attractions, you’re allowing something that is designed to be only one part of you to become the driving force in your life. Rather than asking how your sexuality fits in with who you are, you may be trying to fit who you are into your sexuality.

Sexuality and Identity

Photo by Mario Mancuso | Flickr CC

A Better Way to Define Yourself

Your sexual attractions certainly do help describe you, but it’s important to never let them define you. In order to figure out what does define you—your true identity—you first need to understand who God says you are. After all, He’s the one who made you, so He is the only one with the authority to tell you who you truly are.

Thankfully, all throughout Scripture, there are dozens of examples of God telling you His definition of you. Any time you see the phrase “in Him,” or “in Christ,” it’s a description of how God sees you from the first moment you trust Jesus. For example:

The best part is this identity is available to everyone who puts his or her trust in Jesus. On top of that, it’s not a box you have to earn the right to enter, because He already paid the admission for anyone who accepts it.

It should be noted, however, that receiving this new identity doesn’t mean your sexuality will change instantly. Transformation is a life-long process, and God may or may not decide that your sexuality is His first priority. Odds are good though, that He will change the lens through which you interpret it.

Interpreting Your Sexuality from Your True Identity

Rather than identifying yourself by your sexuality, I’d encourage you to first define yourself as a child of God, and then ask which of the following categories your sexuality fits into: Pistis, or Porneia?

  • Pistis is the greek word used throughout the Bible for faithfulness (and in this case, the purity that results from it). Now, this isn’t the white-knuckle, resist-temptation-through-sheer-willpower external purity many of us grew up chasing, but the internal purity that only comes from trusting Jesus to transform the deepest desires of your heart.
  • Porneia, however, is any sexual activity outside of God’s established boundaries. There has been much debate on what exactly that entails, but I trust if you’re truly seeking to be pistis, anything that falls under porneia will become clear to you.

The important thing to realize about these categories, however, is they aren’t boxes—they’re trajectories: opposite ends of a line you can move between with varying levels of speed and velocity.

For example, imagine a pastor of a growing church with a loving wife and a couple of kids at home. He’s very outspoken about his conservative political views on marriage, and has preached multiple times on the evils of lust and sexual sin. Recently, however, he’s discovered a strong draw towards pornography, but he’s ignoring it hoping that it will go away. In reality, he knows it’s pulling him further away from his wife and causing him to feel increasingly distant from God. He may seem closer to pistis at the moment, but he’s quickly moving towards porneia.

On the other hand, imagine two women in a committed relationship who hear the message of God’s love for them and wholeheartedly receive it. They both recognize their need for a Savior and choose to trust Jesus, yet they decide to remain together as they pursue a deeper understanding of what it means to be disciples of Christ. Many would place them near porneia, but they’re moving towards pistis quickly.

These examples illustrate how, when it comes to being either pistis or porneia, the direction in which you are moving is more important than where you (or others) would place yourself currently.

Furthermore, no matter which direction you’re headed, it will never change your truest, deepest identity as a forgiven, accepted, unconditionally loved child of God. Once you’re in that box, you’re there for eternity.

So, instead of defining yourself as gay, what if you defined yourself as a child of God who happens to be attracted to other men?

Instead of identifying first as bisexual, what if you grounded your identity in the fact that God loves you unconditionally?

After all, God sees you as so much more than your sexuality. What would happen if you did the same?

Stephen KuhnStephen Kuhn is the author multiple books, including 10 Lies Men Believe about Porn, and DONE. 52 Amazing Things That Became True of You the Moment You Trusted Christ.

You can find out more about his ministry and read his story here.

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Weekly Web (W)roundup

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Each week, I round up the best resources, articles, and videos I find that are relevant to finding freedom from porn and sexual addiction. Please note that by posting a link here it does not mean I agree with everything in the linked article. It just means I found it interesting enough to share.


Key Life | It Hurts to Love You

“Christians, do you understand that it would be easier to love you, and you would be free if you would just own your offenses, and admit it when you have been using people instead of loving them? As it stands, it is easier to love you from a distance because it hurts too much to love you up close.”

Experimental Theology | Burning Love is the Outcry of the Heart

“The chilling of love means that the heart is silent; while burning love is the outcry of the heart. If your love is without ceasing, you are crying out always; if you always cry out, you are always desiring; and if you desire, you are calling to mind your eternal rest in the Lord.”

A Small Work | Christian Discipleship for the Rest of Us

“You see, grace is for everyone. It’s certainly for those who don’t yet know Jesus, who need to run to him for forgiveness, love, and righteousness. But grace is for Christians, too. Put more strongly, grace is not just available for believers, it’s essential. How could we begin following Jesus by grace and continue on without it?”

J.D. Greer | Marriage Is Not About You; Divorce Is All About You

“When I know that marriage is about God, I’ll stick it out in hard times, because I know God’s name, not my needs, is the ultimate thing of importance.”

TrueFace | The Path

The Moment You Trust Christ: You are Made Complete

"So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority" (Colossians 2:10).

Weekly Web (W)roundup

weekly_roundup-img-640x290

Each week, I round up the best resources, articles, and videos I find that are relevant to finding freedom from porn and sexual addiction. Please note that by posting a link here it does not mean I agree with everything in the linked article. It just means I found it interesting enough to share.


Brad Hambrick | Marriage Impacted by Pornography or Adultery? Help for Both Spouses

“When sexual sin impacts a marriage there is often a great deal of confusion exacerbated by shame. A couple is not sure what to do and is embarrassed to ask for help. The result is often either passivity (pretending everything is okay or that things will get better without help) or reactivity (taking a bold action with little sense of purpose or intent to follow through).”

Relevant | Jesus Isn’t Looking for ‘Good’ People

“We will always be flawed as human beings, but it’s when we begin to think we can handle things on our own that we start to fail. We begin to lose our peace, direction and feel like we need to work for salvation. When we start to feel this way, it’s a sign that we may be striving by our own power and not resting in His power and promises.”

Fierce Marriage | Fight for Unity, Fight for Your Marriage

“Fighting for unity means protecting yourselves from division and divisive people. This is especially true if you’re going through a hard time.”

TrueFace | Two Roads

[Sermon] A Few Good Men: What it Means to be a Role Model, and How our Lives become Honorable.

Audio  |  Sunday Summary


SPEAKER

Steve Kuhn

SCRIPTURE

Philippians 2:19-30

BIG IDEA

The Spirit of Christ within you empowers you to live an honorable life.

OUTLINE

What makes one worthy of honor?

  1. Genuine care for others
  2. Kingdom Mindset
  3. Sacrificial service
  4. Obedience and Trustworthiness

Honor is not about what you do, it’s about who you are (and Whose you are).

The Moment You Trust Christ: You are Set Free from the Law

"Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law" (Galatians 5:1).

Weekly Web (W)roundup

weekly_roundup-img-640x290

Each week, I round up the best resources, articles, and videos I find that are relevant to finding freedom from porn and sexual addiction. Please note that by posting a link here it does not mean I agree with everything in the linked article. It just means I found it interesting enough to share.


XXXchurch | Do I Tell My Wife When I Fall?

“If your spouse asks how you are doing, be honest and tell the truth. Not every exact detail, but accentuate the positive and offer them some hope that you are in fact walking a path to freedom.”

Sam Storms | 10 Things You Should Know about the Judgment of the Believer

“Therefore, the purpose of this particular judgment is not penal or retributive, but is designed to assess the works of Christians in order that the appropriate reward and praise may be assigned to them. We do not read here of a declaration of doom, but an assessment of worth. Eternal destiny is not at issue; eternal reward is.”

John MacMurray | Upside Down Commitment

“Maybe we shouldn’t be trying to commit ourselves to him. Maybe we should humbly receive his absolute and unwavering commitment to us.”

Streetlights Bible | 1 John 1

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The Moment You Trust Christ: You Receive all the Riches You Need

"This same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).

Weekly Web (W)roundup

weekly_roundup-img-640x290

Each week, I round up the best resources, articles, and videos I find that are relevant to finding freedom from porn and sexual addiction. Please note that by posting a link here it does not mean I agree with everything in the linked article. It just means I found it interesting enough to share.


CovenantEyes | How to Move from Sin-Management to Real Freedom

“The men who come to our ministry have tried harder. They’ve tried as hard as they know how to fight their urges. For a while they may succeed, only to then crash into demoralizing relapse time and again. We don’t need a pep talk that makes us get back up and try the same tactics really hard again. We know how that story ends–with eventual defeat while the sex culture around us continues to drift farther and farther from a Biblical standard of morality. Christianity needs real answers.”

Key Life | God Loves You…So Come Home

“We really believe that if we’re good and pure enough, and if we worship and serve him enough, God will notice and we will be free. The truth is you can’t get there from here that way. Obedience comes from freedom, not freedom from obedience.”

Reformed Margins | Child of God, You Are Loved

“For the Christians who are fearful when it comes to approaching the Father or thinking of his love, I offer some encouragement that I hope will be like the hand of a friend helping you keep your shopping cart from veering.”

Johnny Cash | Help Me