My One Thing: Michael Cusick

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

Michael John Cusick is the founder and president of Restoring the Soul, and author of one of my favorite books on recovery, “Surfing for God.”

Connect with Michael:

Twitter: @michaeljcusick


10 Lies Men Believe about Porn Preview

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


Steve: Hey guys! Steve Kuhn here with Belt of Truth Ministries. I’m excited to have Michael John Cusick on the line. Michael’s the founder and president of Restoring the Soul and author of one of my favorite books on recovery, Surfing for God. When I was halfway done writing my book, I came across Michael’s and for a second there I thought “hey I don’t have to write my book now because Michael’s already said everything that need to be said.” It’s a great book. I highly recommend it. With that foundation set, as you can probably tell I’m pretty excited to be on the line here and to ask you the question Michael, what’s the one piece of advice that you would give to someone struggling with porn addiction?

Michael: Other than read your book because you wrote your book in your own unique voice and even though we both have a passion for the heart and getting down to the heart of the issue, your voice is an important voice in all the books that are out there, so I’m glad that you wrote it. The one piece of advice is really what this problem is not about. It’s not do this or don’t do that, but rather it’s a way of thinking about how to frame the problem. To the one thing is that struggles with lust and pornography and sexual addiction and acting out sexually, habitual sexual sin and enslavement, they’re simply not about sex. As I say that in a number of ways and I’ve said that for 20 years all over the world, I’m always surprised to how surprise guys are by that idea that it’s not about sex. Really? What that means is it’s not about the physical release or the orgasm, it’s not about the size of the woman’s body parts or how hot she is, or it’s not about the new image that you capture. It’s really about something deeper. It’s about a deep spiritual hunger. The first thing is I’d want to point guys to Proverbs 27:7 where it says…I memorized this a long time ago but I’m going to use my cheat sheet and I’ll tell you that upfront as opposed to trying not to look; “he who is full loads honey but to one who is hungry, even what is bitter tastes sweet.” This has everything to do with deep hunger and desire in our heart and that desire is not unholy or bad, rather it’s just desire. It’s just is. It’s the engine that drives our heart for God. It’s what we do with that desire.

The second thing is that with that deep hunger in our heart, God created us for connection and for attachment. And when we take our desire to connect, our desire for intimacy, our desire for attention, affection, affirmation, all that good stuff, when we take that desire to something or some person or some substance or an image, like pornography, and we give our heart to it, we attach to it. And the reason for that is God made us that way. So attachments to God and all of his good gifts are things that we’re meant to experience. But when it’s something that’s not God and one of his good gifts, i.e. something that is bitter even though it tastes sweet because we’re hungry, what happens is we become attached to it and then we can’t break free. And there are emotional and psychological attachments. There are neurological attachments. And there are, as you know because you emphasize warfare a lot as I did in my book, there are spiritual attachments and strongholds. And to undo those, we don’t try to undo those attachments and satisfy that deep hunger by trying harder, but we ultimately need to learn to rest in Christ. I think both the hardest commandment in the bible to obey and the one that’s most relevant for recovery from sexual sin is Psalm 46:10, “be still and know that I’m God.” For me that’s actually the hardest commandment to obey. I’ll often ask men “what’s the hardest commandment for you to obey?” And if you’re in a conversation with guys about sexual struggle and sexual sin, it always comes up “don’t look at a woman lustfully” or it’s one of the passages in the vice list in Paul’s writings or something. And people need to think outside of the passages about sex and to this deeper hunger.

It’s not about sex. It is about a deeper hunger. It’s about attachments at the soul level where our desires get misdirected. What then it needs to become about is about learning to rest deeply in Christ where we’re actually beginning to feed our soul from the tree of life and not just at the tree of knowledge, of good and evil.

And then finally to connect with other men in community. I know that’s 4 separate things. It’s about hunger. It’s about soul attachments, that we need to learn to rest in Christ and that we need to be connected with other men in community, but those are all A, B, C, and D under the #1 thing of it’s not about sex.

Steve: I think that’s excellent advice. Thank you so much for sharing that with us, Michael.

Michael: My pleasure.

Steve: Tell people where they can find out more about you and your books and ministry and all that.

Michael: My ministry website is It’s soul not sole. That’s a shoe repair shop; and then You can find out about our resources, our programs, etc. at either of those websites.

Steve: Okay. And we’ll be sure to have all those links in the show notes below. Thanks again for your time, Michael. Thank you for your ministry. I know your book has been very helpful in my life and I know in a lot of other lives as well. Thank you again for that and for your time.

Michael: You’re welcome. Thank you. Take care Stephen.

Steve: See you Michael.


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