“What’s the one piece of advice you would give
to someone struggling with porn addiction?”
Jayson Graves is a christian psycho-therapist, pastoral coach, and founder of Healing for the Soul. He is also the author of the new theology school course, Biblical Sexuality in the 21st Century.
Connect with Jayson:
Steve: Hey guys! Steve here with Belt of Truth Ministries. I’ve got Jayson Graves on the line. Jayson is a Christian psychotherapist, pastoral coach, and founder of Healing for the Soul. He’s also the author of the new theology school course Biblical Sexuality in the 21st Century. Jayson, thanks for joining us.
Jayson: Hey Stephen, thanks for having me.
Steve: Yeah. So what’s the one piece of advice that you would give to somebody struggling with porn addiction?
Jayson: The one piece of advice I would give to somebody struggling with porn addiction is actually a 3-in-1, so I’m kind of cheating a little bit. But if we had a theme verse for healing for the soul, counseling and coaching, it would be 1 Thessalonians 5:23, which says “be sanctified body, mind, and spirit.” Really, when it comes to growing through the things that are the roots of sexual integrity issues like pornography or even things like compulsive masturbation or acting outside of marriage sexually, all of those that just aren’t really consistent with God’s model of sexuality, there’s really three ways, if you will, we need to go about that in the sanctification process or the process of getting cleaned up and growing as believers, and it’s body, mind, and spirit. So body, alright we have a physical body. That means there’s physical implications for the recovery or the sanctification process. There’s physiological implications for that. So physically, we need to do things to keep our body in shape. One of the real simple ones is obviously exercise. Exercise doesn’t just keep us in good physical shape, but we emotionally feel good about the way we look. Plus, it gives us a physiological benefit in our brain, the brain is part of our body, obviously, because it gives us endorphins. We get feel-good neurochemicals where we need them and in ways we need them, which diminish the perceived need to get those same endorphins through acting out kinds of behaviors. So physical and physiological implications. Sometimes it’s things like we need supplements. Nobody has the perfect brain, and that the five main mood centers of our brain, if we have under-functioning issues or over-functioning issues, we need help to get stabilized so that we can function optimally. Beyond the body, there’s also the mind, or technically in the scripture it’s really the soul. So the mind or the soul is really more than just our thoughts. It’s our emotions, our feelings, what makes us unique in our temperament. So it has implications for not just emotionally but also relationally by extension. So in the sanctification process, we also have to do things that help us look at our emotional functioning. Sometimes, we do that through mental approaches or intellectual approaches like reading. A really great book is from a great mentor of mine named Gordon Dalbey. He wrote Healing the Masculine Soul. I highly recommend it. Another one is This Is Your Brain on Joy by another awesome man of God and mentor, Dr. Earl Henslin. Those are important, but also just checking in on a regular basis with our recovery partners on how we’re actually feeling, what feelings are going on in our hearts so we can keep those in the light, be real, be connected relationally because feelings and emotions are the stuff of connection in relationships that help us to go deeper and have viable, lasting, real, authentic connection with other believers. That’s when we can be known, when we can feel supported, when we can have space to just be messy and be real about both good or favorable feelings and not so good feelings. And then of course there’s the spiritual. The trick about spiritual part of sanctification is that it’s not just vertical spirituality, the things that are kind of the transcendent part of our faith or spiritual experience like the stuff that we call our relationship with God or the stuff that we experience between him and us on an individual basis like of our devotional nature, so reading the scripture, meditating, prayer. Those are all very important. We need to be just as engaged in the horizontal things of our spirit, the communal as opposed to the devotional. We tend to way over-emphasize the devotional. We tend to way over-emphasize the vertical. And sometimes that actually leads to something that’s a bit counterintuitive but it’s true – it’s isolation. So we need to emphasize and invest in the communal and the body of Christ connection of spirituality, just as much as the vertical or the devotional, and that means centering around Jesus together, taking time to actually be in his presence together, listen to his voice together quietly, use what he says in each other’s lives, to build each other up according to the way that he’s not only spoken to us but the way that he’s gifted us, whether that’s sharing the scripture that he gives us in that quiet moment, or a song. It might be a prayer. It could be a word that he’s gifted you with. It could be a dance. Who knows? Whatever. The Lord wants us to be each other’s mutual edifiers. And if we are plugged in at that level, oh my gosh, I mean think about how transforming that would be in our own lives but also to the body of Christ. So again, really the one piece of advice in all of that is be sanctified – body, mind, and spirit.
Steve: Right on. That’s a lot of great info crammed into one thing.
Jayson: Also, it’s not drinking from a fire hose but there you go.
Steve: That’s also why we transcribe this, so people can kind of go through point by point and all that. That’s a ton of great info. Thanks for sharing that with us, Jayson.
Jayson: My pleasure.
Steve: Tell people where they can find out about you and your ministry online.
Jayson: Sure. Healing For The Soul counseling and coaching is at healingforthesoul.org and we have both counseling and coaching, just like this over Skype all over the world or by telephone, and we even do professionally-facilitated recovery groups on a private teleconference system as well. So there you go, healingforthesoul.org.
Steve: Right on. Thanks again for your time and I hope you enjoy the rest of your day. Thank Jayson.
Jayson: Yeah, thanks. God bless.