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 | When Holidays Aren’t Happy: 4 Ways to Deal with Grief and Porn Addiction

“There are many of you who have entered this holiday season with loss because of your spouse’s addiction. Whether s/he still struggles with pornography or is in active recovery, there are moments when we grieve what we’ve lost because of it. When we notice the sense of loss creeping up on us, we have choices about how we will deal with it, just as we do with any type of grief. We can pretend it’s not there, we can put on a happy face to get through the holidays and then cry alone in the dark. Or we can be real with our spouse, trusted friends, and Jesus.”

Key Life | Repent Now!

“I saw a bumper sticker once that read, ‘Sin Now, Repent Later!’ Truth is, as blasphemous as that sounds, it’s what most of us do anyway.”

Eternal Perspective Ministries | God’s Offer of Forgiveness and Freedom

“Because of Christ’s work on our behalf, we’re free to reject sin and its misery, and instead embrace righteousness and its joy. When we do this we’ll experience a flood of God’s grace in our lives, restoring us to the abundant life of walking with the One who is our Lord, King, and best Friend.”

Ligonier Ministries | The Great Exchanges of Romans

“In response to the great exchange that has been accomplished for us in Christ, there is an exchange accomplished in us by the Spirit: unbelief gives way to faith, rebellion is exchanged for trust. Justification—our being declared righteous and constituted in a righteous relationship with God—is not made ours by works, ceremonial or otherwise, but by the exercise of faith in Christ.”

Tim Challies | How To Use Accountability Software Right

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.


Relevant | What Christians Get Wrong About “Accountability”

“As long as we define our relationships by what we shouldn’t be doing, we’re encouraging people to hide their shadow selves from each other and God as they worry about not being accepted.”

NY Times | Married to a Mystery Man

“On the drive from the Calgary airport to the hotel for our honeymoon, my new husband casually mentioned that he would need to find a criminal defense attorney when we got home…”

Christianity Today | The Dead White Man Who Could Fix Our Race Problem

“This larger insight seems to be the point. What we see in each other starts with what we see in God.”

Biblical Counseling Coalition | My Five Counseling Goals for Session One

“I repeatedly find that when I meet these five goals—welcome, know, hope, plan, commit—in session one, the counseling begins on a solid foundation.”

Gospel Coalition | How to Talk to Your Children About Sex

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.


Radical Mentoring | We are Complete

“At the end of the main talk, 6 truths about identity were put up on the screen along with this question, ‘Which of these do you struggle to accept and believe about yourself?'”

Relevant | The Deeper Question at Play In ‘Thor: Ragnarok’

“Behind Ragnarok‘s improvisational, eccentric vibe is a message about the walls that provide the boundaries of our identity and how they have to be knocked down and rebuilt over time lest they become prisons.”

Intentional Warriors | Abundant Life?

“So what do you do with that if you’re a man who follows Jesus and takes the Bible as true, but you aren’t experiencing abundant life?”

And Sons | Cousin Dwalo

“We live in a catastrophic world (add stronger language here). This world is seriously broken; nothing is as it ought to be. We also live in a time of evil unleashed on the earth (surely you see evil ravaging humanity). Therefore, in a climate like ours, with a total loss of meaning, with brokenness all around and even within, as evil rampages, any series of choices towards the good is heroic. In a world of hatred, any choice to love is heroic. In an age of staggering unbelief, any commitment to faith is absolutely epic. In a world built upon the False, any ongoing commitment, however faltering, to choose the Real is heroic. And in a world totally stripped of gender, to choose the narrow way of masculine formation is utterly heroic and epic.”

X3 Church | Sex in the Digital Age

Parents, Affirm Your Kids (or They May Become Darth Vader)

Anakin and Obi-Wan

People have been asking an important question for more than 40 years now:

Why did Anakin Skywalker turn to the dark side and become Darth Vader?

For the three of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, go watch the entire Star Wars movie saga (feel free to skip Episode I), and then thank me tomorrow after you’ve paid a huge markup for opening-day Last Jedi tickets on Craigslist now that you’re hooked.

Anyway… The predominant narrative you’ll hear regarding Anakin’s fall to the dark side is that he blamed himself for his wife’s death and allowed that shame to plummet him into fear, hatred, and rage.

I, however, think his spiral into the dark side has roots that go back much further:

What if Anakin Skywalker was lured to the dark side because his unmet need for affirmation and validation left him vulnerable to receiving it from anywhere it was offered?

I’ve come to believe that everyone has a question deep within their soul that they will never cease asking until it is answered: “Am I worthy of love and acceptance?”

When this question isn’t answered with a resounding YES!, they will keep asking the question elsewhere until a yes is found.

We see this in girls whose fathers fail to offer them healthy physical affection. This distancing can often be interpreted as; “I must not be lovable,” leading her to seek affection from someone else (a teenage boy, perhaps) in order to answer her question positively.

We see it in the 30-year-old doctor whose parents chastised him for the single B on his report card rather than praising him for all the A’s. What he hears in his heart is “You’ll never be good enough…” The second anyone comes along who is impressed with who he is (like that nurse he just starting working with—who is most definitely not his wife), he’s a goner—putty in her hands.

Friends, when your soul is parched for affirmation—when your question of “Am I worthy of love and acceptance?” remains unanswered—you become like a man stranded in the vast desert of Tatooine, willing to drink from a bantha dung infested watering hole. Any water is better than no water, you tell yourself…

This was Anakin’s story: He was thirsty enough to drink bantha water.

Anakin, after being taken from his mother at a young age, was mostly raised by the Jedi: a monkish order who believed emotions were dangerous and misleading.

His main father figure, Obi-Wan, was never pleased with him—at least not verbally. No matter how much talent Anakin showed, Obi-Wan always pointed out the areas he needed to improve. There was never a “Great job Ani, I’m proud of you,” or “I know I can trust you to make the right decision because of the man I’ve seen you become.”

All Anakin heard was criticism. By the time Obi-Wan finally told him he loved him, it was too late. Anakin’s heart was hardened and he could no longer receive it. He had found new source of validation—someone who not only saw his potential, but praised him for it (he just happened to be a Dark Lord of the Sith, the future Emperor Palpatine who only had nefarious intentions for Anakin).

Here’s the crazy thing though: Palpatine doesn’t even hide those intentions. He openly admits he wants to train Anakin in the ways of the dark side, but quickly follows it by telling him “The [Jedi] council doesn’t fully appreciate your talents…”

Anakin admits his unmet desire for affirmation, and in doing so receives whole-hearted validation from Palpatine. Suddenly, that whole “dark side” thing doesn’t seem like a big issue anymore. “I’ll slaughter all the younglings as long as you keep telling me I’m loved and accepted.” He looks to Palpatine and proclaims: “I will do whatever you ask…”

This is what happens to the hearts of those who are never affirmed: They become Darth Vader. They turn towards darkness and begin to function more like machines than living, breathing humans with healthy emotions.

•••

Parents, as fun as it may be to dress your kid up as Darth Vader on Halloween, we all know that’s not actually the life you desire for your padowans. So what can you do to help them avoid the lure of the dark side?

For starters, you can treat them differently than the Jedi treated Anakin:

  • Speak words of love and affirmation to your kids—constantly.
  • Tell them specifically what it is about them you enjoy, what you’re proud of, and all the things in them you delight in—Every. Single. Day.
  • Be selective, prayerful, and extremely careful with how and when you offer criticism. Try to resist making it your default response to their inevitable shortcomings.
  • Most importantly, point them toward the only place where they can get their question of love and acceptance answered fully and completely: The Author and Creator of love Himself, God the Father.

After all, it’s one thing for your child to know that their parents (or Jedi Masters) love and accept them, but if you can help them to trust and believe that the Creator of a thousand galaxies—the commander of the angel armies—the One who spoke their entire world into existence—not only delights in them but loves them as much as He loves His own son, Jesus… well then, good luck enticing them with bantha dung-water.

Nothing will be able to compete with the affirmation and validation they receive from knowing who they are in His eyes.


Resources you may find helpful:

Need some practical help on how to affirm your kids (or anyone you walk closely with)? I highly recommend the eBook, Experiencing Affirmation in Your Family. The included worksheets make great dinnertime conversation, and have been a tool we use in our own house regularly.

Curious about all the things God says are true about you? My book, 52 Amazing Things that Became True of You the Moment You Trusted Christ will help you see yourself exactly how your Creator sees you: Worthy, Loved, Accepted, Chosen, Empowered, and so much more!

http://store.beltoftruth.com

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.


Gospel Coalition | 5 Ways to Murder Your Marriage

“With little effort and a whole lot of pride, you too can destroy your marriage. And any time you do, you destroy a powerful image of Christ’s covenant love for his people. Sadly, the world will be happy to let you get away with this murder.”

Glen Scrivner | The Real Turning Point in the Prodigal Son Story

“When we sin, do we put ourselves in the pigsty with the long journey home stretching ahead of us? Or do we consider ourselves in the Father’s arms? There’s a big difference.”

Key Life | Belonging and Behaving

“Jesus flipped that script entirely. Jesus knew that it’s the other way around: that we belong before we behave. Sinners don’t become saints at a distance, so Jesus drew near to them and loved them – and his love transformed them. “

Lead them Home | 8 Practical Ways to Love LGBT+ People with Humility

“Relating effectively to LGBT+ people begins with a desire to do so, but that desire must translate into practical change in our churches. Here are 8 practical ways to begin loving LGBT+ with humility as a church or ministry leader.”

Hillsong | Splinters and Stones

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.


ERLC | Talking about sex with your kids: 5 things I’m learning

“Children are exposed to sexually charged programming, information and contact at an increasingly earlier age. So, we need to be intentional in playing offense. If we play defense, we’ll have to deconstruct what they’ve heard first. We want to be the ones who frame how our kids see the world.”

Paul Young | Sexuality, Shame and “The Heart of Man”

“I think human sexuality has been a subject that has been kept under wraps as it were. I also think the Church has not been good about having open conversations, because there’s such a sense of perfectionist performance that we’ve turned the Gospel into some form of moralism or behavioral perfectionism. So everybody begins with shame and shame always drives you to isolation.”

Intentional Warriors | The Cheap Grace Firing Squad

“The irony, of course, is that I spun out of control with my sin by following the constrained understanding of love and grace that was being taught to me. I spun out of control as I followed the religious model for how to keep my life under control. I spun out of control by not taking God at His word on love and grace.”

Relevant | The Lies Modesty Culture Teaches Men

“Many men grow up so scared of women they never develop healthy relationships with any of them; they don’t actually get to know a girl as a co-equal member of the human race.”

Mark DeJesus | 6 Tests for Finding Safe People

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.


KeyLife | Looking for a Stronger Hope

“I believe hope plays the critical role. You’ll find it pretty hard to love when you’ve lost hope; hopelessness collapses into who cares? And what does it matter that we have faith if we have no hope? Faith is just a rigid doctrine with nothing to look forward to. Hope is the wind in your sails, the spring in your step. Hope is so essential to your being that Scripture calls it ‘an anchor for the soul’ (Hebrews 6:19).”

Relevant | 5 Things Christians Should Know About Relapse and Recovery

“My first period of recovery was, honestly, one of the greatest experiences of my life. I felt this incredible sense of lightness, an inexplicable inner peace that, even when I felt like going back to drinking, never really left. For a long time, it motivated me to stay sober. Then I relapsed, and for what seems like no good reason. I wasn’t struggling, I wasn’t experiencing an intense urge and life seemed to be on a great path. But Satan is called the Tempter for a reason: He will exploit any weakness, even as he attempted to cause a weakened Christ to sin in the desert.”

X3 Church | Porn Can’t Deliver What We’re Created For

“It’s not a stretch to say we are remaking humanity in some regard, and not in a good way. We are fundamentally rewiring the human race. And the biggest hit we are taking—not only with porn or technology but also in how they interact with each other—is the death of intimacy.”

Gospel Coalition | 4 Lessons for Christians from the Harvey Weinstein Scandal

“It’s tempting to mock the movie industry for such blatant hypocrisy. They frequently preach to us about their superior values; meanwhile, they were overlooking abuse in their midst. But instead of gloating we should consider what we as Christians might learn from the horrific, decades-long cover-up. Numerous lessons could be learned, but here are four specific takeaways we should consider.”

NF | How Could You Leave Us?

My One Thing: Jason Pamer

“What’s the one piece of advice you would give
to someone struggling with porn addiction?”

Jason Pamer is the Producer & Writer on the critically acclaimed film, “Rape for Profit” as well as his current film — “Heart of Man.”

Connect with Jason:

Hearts of Men

Website: heartofmanmovie.com

Twitter: @heartofmanmovie

Unearthed

Website: www.unearthedpictures.org

10 Lies Men Believe about Porn Preview


Check out all the “One Thing” video interviews here.


Transcript

Steve: Hey guys! Steve here with Belt of Truth Ministries. I’m on the line with Jason Pamer. Jason is the producer and writer on the critically acclaimed film Rape for Profit, as well as his current film, Hearts of Men, which is slated to be released in late 2015, early 2016. If you guys haven’t seen the trailer yet, it’s right below this video. So make sure you check that out. I’m really looking forward to seeing this movie. So Jason, thanks for joining us. What’s the one piece of advice you would give to somebody struggling with porn addiction?

Jason: Stephen, I don’t know if you’ve had this answer before, hopefully not, but I would recommend every guy read this book. A little cross-pollination right now. I’m serious man. I just got it recently and you and I were talking, kind of preproduction meeting for this call, about it’s not about the porn. And your book does a great job of getting to the lies that get underneath this issue of porn. I think if you think about it from a strategic enemy standpoint, if you can get all the money, all the resources, all the air time, all the books focused on an issue, then he has the ability to get around on the flanks and just destroy men with shame, and get them so focused on white knuckle and trying so hard in developing the 8, 10, 12 step program so that they don’t look porn again. And when they do relapse into porn, it heaps more shame on to them. It’s just this vicious cycle. I think he’s done a good job. Your book is one of the only books I’ve ever read that gets around the issue and gets more to the heart of it, which is what we’re going after the Hearts of Men. And I’m not here to promote the film, as much as I say to guys that “listen, you need to understand at the midst of the addiction there is this relentless thought of coming after you in the midst of it.” And one of the ways we’ve postured this is in the room when you’re looking at porn, a lot of think he’s got to be outside the room because he can’t possibly be in the room because he’s got to be too pissed off at us for relapsing again. And if he’s in the room, he’s probably in the room with his arms cross. There’s no way. He’s sitting next to us with his arm around us, and in fact he is and he’s whispering truth to us. And in those moments, he’s going “guys, I’ve got something so much better for you, so much more real, so much more textured, so much more vibrant.” And I think that’s really what he’s whispering to us. It’s not “I can’t believe you’re looking at porn again, Steven. I can’t believe, Jason, that you’re giving in again. What’d I tell you? Didn’t you not read my word? Did you not pray this morning when you got out of bed?” Those aren’t the things he’s saying to us. He’s going “I love you. You are my son. I’ve got a feast, a lavish feast prepared for you. I’ve got a woman that is going to take all of your energy, heart, mind, and soul to pursue, and that’s where your effort should be, is to go unearth this gem that I have prepared from the beginning, before the foundations of the world.” So I just think it is way more about the action towards something else than it is about the action against something. And that sounds kind of easy and fluffy and maybe it feels like it’s [03:08] issue, but I really do think that if we focus on “how do we defeat this thing?” We’re going at it the wrong way because it’s ultimately not the thing we have to defeat. Again, you get to that in the book. What do we need to defeat? What’s the lies? Because when I go binge on porn, relapsing on porn, if I trace back six hours preceding that event, I can look and go “what was the triggers? What got me there?” It wasn’t because I had just had a great meal with family and friends and my wife and I were really connecting, we had a great glass of merlot, and then all of a sudden I was like “man, I want to go relapse into porn.” That doesn’t happen. It comes from a number of different triggers. And for many of us, it starts very early on. And a lot of us it’s centered over father wound and we’re trying to go, it’s very complex and that’s why I do think there’s very few books I think or films that I would just push people toward because it gives you a really good comprehensive look. Your book does that.

Steve: Thank you, I appreciate that, and I really appreciate what you had to share because obviously you and I are kindred spirits in how we approach this. And you’re right, there’s a much deeper issue. Porn is just the symptom. That’s why I love what you guys are doing with your films, helping to just put a visual picture in people’s minds of what’s really going on below the surface. Thanks for your time, Jason. Tell people where they can find out more about what you’re doing online.

Jason: We just released a major piece of content, our first real piece of what the film’s going to look like. It’s a feature, it’s a 6-minute piece. If you go to unearthedpictures.org or heartsofmenmovie.com, those are the two places that we post content. You can find us on Facebook about those spots as well, Unearthed Pictures and Hearts of Men movie. And that will be areas where we post more content, more teasers, production spills, thoughts, interviews like this we’ll post there. Again, Steven keep doing what you’re doing man. I love it. I think it’s got the right behind it. I think the enemy is positioned against it because it’s starting to uncover, pull back the curtain on what really is happening back there.

Steve: Thank you again and I really appreciate your time. We’ll be sure to link to all that stuff in the show notes and can’t wait to see what you guys keep producing. Thanks again Jason.

Jason: Thanks for having me man.

Steve: Alright, see you.

Jason: Bye.

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.


TheoLatte | God is Not Ashamed of You

“Don’t let your limitations keep you from believing, embracing, and resting in his limitless love. When you stand before God one day you will not stand in shame. You will stand clothed in the righteousness of Christ. That is the gospel. And of this gospel may we never be ashamed.”

Gospel Coalition | I Was a Pastor Hooked on Porn

“I shudder to think what would have happened had God never exposed my sin and crushed me as he did. It was the worst and best year of my life. I would never want to go through it again, but I wouldn’t trade the nearness to God I gained from it for anything.”

Radical Mentoring | Identity is Ascribed

“For Jesus-followers, our identity was ascribed to us the day we accepted God’s invitation to be adopted into His family. From that day forward, you’ve been the son of the King of Kings! That’s your true identity, ascribed by Almighty God!”

Covenant Eyes | How to Tell If Your Husband Is Really in Recovery

“Your husband will still make mistakes as he tries to make the biggest changes he’s ever made in his life. Many of these things do not come naturally to addicts and he will need a learning curve. He will become defensive at times and get frustrated. But you can expect faithfulness (no more porn or inappropriate interactions with others), serious motivation for recovery, and to be treated with respect.”

Jason Gray | Remind Me Who I Am

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.


Harry Schaumburg | Can You Repent Without Changing?

“Let me say it as clearly as I can: When it comes to sexual sin and addiction, recovery is not repentance, and repentance is not recovery. Repentance is not merely human effort. It is not a self-help program. Repentance is God’s surgical procedure, in which he not only humbles the sinner, but works a change in him that is visible from the outside.”

Relevant | A Deeper Look at the Meaning of Sex

“While I know the passages and stories and laws about sex in the Bible, I’m more concerned with constructing (or recognizing) a coherent and distinctively Christian sexual ethic and placing it in conversation with the ethics of popular culture.”

Forward Progress | A Different Way to Think About What It Means to Grow Up In Christ

“As we embrace His work now, often times through the practice of self-discipline, it is entirely appropriate for us to long for the day when that work will be done. For that will be the day when faith is sight, and at long last we will not only know the truth of the gospel, but we will feel it as well.”

Desiring God | Be Patient with Your Slow Growth

“[O]ur abundance and increasing conveniences on every level have shaped — and in some ways warped — the way we view time. We now expect that nearly everything should happen fast and with little or no inconvenience.”

Beautiful Eulogy | Symbols And Signs