Yesterday, we discussed the four core beliefs of someone with a sexual addiction.
Today, we continue the discussion.
Impaired thinking shows up in a variety of ways as the addict reframes his actions in such a way as to diminish the blame and avoid confronting the reality about his life, marriage or work. It is not uncommon for rationalization or denial to take over as the addict's way of coping with his addictive behavior. He may justify his actions on the basis that his wife rejected him, does not like sex, is pregnant, is busy, or is preoccupied with the children. He may justify it on the basis that the person he violated really wanted it, asked for it, and equipped it, so the incident really is as much the other person's doing as his. Or it may be that he denies that it was really that bad.
In addition to rationalization and denial, some use intellectualization, in which the addict stands back and treats the behavior as though it were some kind of experiment, helpful to the victim or necessary for the addict. Intellectualization serves to justify the actions, diminish the despair, and reduce the shame and guilt. Whether rationalization, denial, or intellectualization is used, the faulty thinking is a necessary part of keeping the addictive cycle going. This was the situation for a married man who violated a younger member of his wife's family. He was able to convince himself that his action was understandable because he had not been getting much sex from his wife and the person was asleep when he molested her. The impaired thinking is evident.
The component of unmanageability reveals itself as major portions of the addict's life become out of control. Life become unmanageable. This can affect almost any area of life: spending, sleeping, working, eating, drinking, and/or playing. When life is experienced as out of control and unmanageable, the addictive pattern is well-established and the addictive cycle will occur repeatedly.
The information from this post is taken from COUNSELING FOR SEXUAL DISORDERS.BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
In discovering the beliefs of the sexual addict, it is essential to determine his view of women and his view of himself. The likelihood is that he believes he can only find gratification in the world through sex. No one is ever going to love him; he can only be gratified sexually if he goes after it for himself because there is no one who could really love him. He is such a shameful and despicable character. These are common beliefs among sexual addicts.
The shame and despair that come from the powerlessness and unmanageability help crystallize the core beliefs about sexual unworthiness that are part of the addict's addictive system:
1. I am basically a bad, unworthy person.
2. No one could ever love me as I am.
3. My needs are never going to be met if I have to depend on others
4. Sex is my most important need
Although these beliefs seem to be common to all who struggle with sexual addictions -- mild or severe -- whether they be men or woman, the addict may not be aware of these core beliefs. He may say that he comes from a very loving family, yet deeper exploration may reveal that his feeling loved is dependent on his being perfect.
This post is intentionally short to give you time to reflect on the four core beliefs and see if they apply to you or someone you love....Tomorrow, we will delve a bit deeper into this impaired thinking.
The information from this post is taken from COUNSELING FOR SEXUAL DISORDERSBE HOLY.BE A MAN.
I recently had a meal with a new Christian friend, someone who is older than me and that I respect greatly. The conversation covered religion, politics, war, racism, etc. What was interesting, is that he assumed that I believed the same as he did. When he made a disparaging comment about someone's skin color and I let him know I didn't agree with his statement (I'll be writing about the sin of racism later) this song by Larry Norman went thru my head.
This tremendous song was written by Larry Norman over 40 years ago. It did not receive a lot of acclaim. However, this song of protest at the state of American society still rings true in many ways (caveat: I'm too young to appreciate the intricacies of the Vietnam War, so I don't know if I agree with Norman about his anti-Vietnam stance; nevertheless, I do agree with the rest of his song):
I was born and raised an orphan in a land that once was free
In a land that poured its love out on the moon
and I grew up in the shadows of your silos filled with grain,
but you never helped to fill my empty spoon.
And when I was ten you murdered law with courtroom politics,
And you learned to make a lie sound just like truth;
But I know you better now and I don't fall for all your tricks,
And you've lost the one advantage of my youth.
You kill a black man at midnight just for talking to your daughter,
Then you make his wife your mistress and you leave her without water;
And the sheet you wear upon your face is the sheet your children sleep on,
At every meal you say a prayer; you don't believe but still you keep on.
And your money says in God we trust,
But it's against the law to pray in school;
You say we beat the Russians to the moon,
And I say you starved your children to do it.
You are far across the ocean but the war is not your own,
And while you're winning theirs, you're gonna lose the one at home;
Do you really think the only way to bring about the peace
Is to sacrifice your children and kill all your enemies?
The politicians all make speeches while the news men all take note,
And they exaggerate the issues as they shove them down our throats;
Is it really up to them whether this country sinks or floats?
Well I wonder who would lead us if none of us would vote.
Well my phone is tapped & my lips are chapped from whispering thru the fence,
You know every move I make, or is that just coincidence?
Well you try to make my way of life a little less like jail,
If I promise to make tapes and slides and send them through the mail.
And your money says in God we trust,
But it's against the law to pray in school;
You say we beat the Russians to the moon,
And I say you starved your children to do it.
You say all men are equal, all men are brothers,
Then why are the rich more equal than others?
Don't ask me for the answer,
I've only got one:
That a man leaves his darkness when he follows the Son
Copied from MetroLyrics.com
BE A MAN.
When I first started this blog, I had an entry that precedes this present entry. That one is to be read in conjunction with this one. Click here to read that entry.
After I posted the other entry, a Lt Colonel friend of mine responded about my impressions about the Colonel picking up a piece of trash. My friend said, "in God's eyes, a Colonel has no more value than any one else. A private is just as valuable as the Colonel. Remember that military folks have ingrained in them that they should pick up garbage!"
His statement made me think of how God desires immediate obedience. When I told that to my friend, he replied, "Wouldn't it be great (santification does it
) to be so in tune with the Holy Spirit that we would do the "right thing" not because it is a challenge, but simply because it is ingrained within us? " When he said that, someone popped into my mind.
I am thinking of someone who comes from America's greatest generation.
Actually, he's a tad bit young to fit into that generation; however, he embodies many of those qualities. Better yet, he embodies the quality of "immediate obedience." Since this is Memorial Day, we are to remember those who have fought for our country to retain our freedoms.
If you look at that picture above, you will see my father-in-law. When I think of a soldier, I think of this picture. Then I think of the gentleman that he is and of the example he has provided for me over the last 28 years of knowing him. I am a much better man because of his willingness to be "immediately obedient" to God's working thru him.
So today, this Memorial Day, take the time to honor someone who has taken the time to show you what being a real man is like, being a gentleman's gentleman. Let him know now before you don't have a chance to tell him. Tell him that he is your inspiration.
Thanks, Dad! (yes, he let's me call him that)BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Many are saying of me, "God will not deliver him." But you are a shield around me, O Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.
We receive messages about ourselves from the important people in our lives. We internalize these messages and carry them with us, repeating them to ourselves as if they were gospel truth. When the messages are shaming messages then the internal chorus chants "You are not lovable. You are beyond repair. Even God cannot help you."
This chorus is a chorus of lies. The psalmist rejects these lies. And we need to begin to reject these lies as well.
The Lord is a "shield around me", the psalmist says. A shield protects. It comes between the blows of an enemy and a person's vulnerable places. Most shields are small and can only protect a limited area from attack. But the shield which the Lord provides completely surrounds us. We can let this shield protect us from these attacking messages.
The psalmist also says that the Lord "bestows glory on me and lifts up my head". Heavy burdens of shame, neglect and abuse have bowed our heads. The Lord listens, pays attention and cares about us. God's love counters the voices of our internal shame-chorus so that we can lift our heads. God replaces our shame with glory. It is a picture of a ragged, neglected child whose head is bowed and shoulders are bent. A king sees the child and goes to him. The king gently lifts the child's chin until his eyes meet his own smiling eyes. He asks the child to come home and live as royalty with him. The child is loved, honored, protected. You are the child. God lifts your head and bestows glory.
God help me to stop listening to lies about you.
Help me to stop listening to lies about me.
Be a shield around me.
Lift up my head.
Copyright Dale and Juanita RyanNational Association for Christian RecoveryBE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Last week, we talked about the "Kratos"
power of God. Today, we are discussing the power that is behind Kratos
. "Finally, my brothers, be strong in the LORD and in the power of His might."
Just as Kratos
power is available to every believer, so is Ischuos
is translated here as "might." Ischuos
conveys the picture of a very, very strong man, such as a bodybuilder or a mighty man with muscular capabilities.
If you look in the verse above, you see that Paul is attributing Ischuos
power to God, not to any human. Paul sees God as One who is able, mighty and muscular.
It is Ischuos
that is backing up Kratos. Kratos
, if you remember is the outwardly manifested, eruptive power of God. Ischuos
is the force that works behind the Kratos
All that God is, all the power He possesses, and all the energy of His muscular, mighty ability now energizes the Kratos
power that is at work within you. With this power at your disposal today, you can confront the unseen demonic spirits that come to wage war against your flesh and your soul -- and you can win every time! Since this power is available to you today, you are ready to lay hands on the sick, pray with power and authority, speak God's Word in every situation, and see mountains move on your behalf!
So the next time that you run into a problem that seems a little overwhelming, remind yourself that "...greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world."
You have no need to be afraid and no need to shrink back in timidity, for there's enough power at work in you to resist ANY force that comes against you and to supernaturally remedy anything that need to be changed!
Taken form Sparkling Gems from the Greek
(pg 348-350).BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Many agree that sexual perversion is rife across the world. Does that mean that all men are always looking at women like a piece of meat? Of course not. While every many has the visual hardwiring, not all men choose the path of lust every time they see an attractive woman. Perhaps they were protected from perverted, unhealthy views of sexuality while growing up and never began to objectify women as sex objects. Perhaps they've been delivered by God's grace.Pure men can notice a woman's beauty and still see her as a sister, moving from thinking SHE IS BEAUTIFUL! right back to their previous line of thought. But even for those men there are things happening inside them that they don't always consciously recognize, which explains why men appreciate beauty so intensely.This post is taken from Every Heart Restored (p 56).BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Unlike an alcoholic who can abstain and maintain sobriety, the sexual addict has to face the fact of his sexuality. Celibacy does not resolve the problem. Hence, the question emerges for addicts as to how they determine when their sexual behavior is addictive.
The following formula is suggested as a guideline. Signs of compulsive sexuality are when the behavior can be described using the SAFE
1. It is a SECRET
. Anything that cannot pass public scrutiny will create the shame of a double life.
2. It is ABUSIVE
to self or others. Anything that is exploitive or harmful to others or degrades oneself will activate the addictive system.
3. It is used to avoid or is a source of painful FEELINGS
. If sexuality is used to alter moods or results in painful mood shifts, it is clearly part of the addictive process. Also, if sexuality is used to avoid the pleasurable feelings
of monogamy , there is trouble.
4. It is EMPTY
of a caring, committed relationship. Fundamental to the whole concept of addiction and recovery is the healthy dimension of human relationships. Marriage takes a lot of work. There are ups and downs in marriage, that is part of what makes a long-term marriage satisfying. There is a great shared history. If the addict avoids the work of commitment
, he runs a huge risk of being sexual outside of marriage.
If the SAFE
acronym applies to you, I urge you to get help
This material is taken from the book Out of the Shadows
(pg 189).BE HOLY.
BE A MAN.
Research shows that there are five predictable steps a man goes thru as he becomes addicted to pornography. I'm not saying that everybody who looks at pornography becomes addicted to it. However, porn has a powerful effect on men, their relationships and how they view women. There is some research to indicate that pornography has a higher addiction potential than cocaine and harder to quit than cocaine. It is believed that's how Ted Bundy got started. When the porn he was addicted to wasn't enough anymore, he tried the real thing — rape, and then murder. When he succeeded, he did it again. And again. Pornography addiction is very serious.Five stages of addiction
- Early exposure. Most guys who get addicted to porn start early. They see the stuff when they are very young, and it gets its foot in the door. The earlier a guy is exposed, the higher the chance for addiction.
- Addiction. Later comes addiction. You keep coming back to porn. It becomes a regular part of your life. You're hooked. You can't quit. You convince yourself that porn is normal and that everyone does it.
- Escalation. After a while, escalation begins. You start to look for more and more graphic porn. You start using porn that would have disgusted you when you started. Now it excites you. You start getting into sadism, bondage, bestiality, etc. You may even start mixing drugs with your porn experiences. There is a very LARGE connection between cocaine use and sexual addictions.
- Desensitization. Eventually, you start to become numb. Even the most graphic, degrading porn doesn't excite you anymore. You become desperate to feel the same thrill again but can't find it. The "highs" that you used to get last such a short time, that they feel almost nonexistent.
- Acting out sexually. At this point, many men make a dangerous jump and start acting out sexually. They move from the paper and plastic images of porn to the real world. They have affairs, one-night stands, multiple sexual encounters, etc. They may even start to stalk women, unable to differentiate their sexual fantasies from reality. Finally, they move to committing unwanted sexual activity and are arrested for their behavior.
Some of you reading this may have already developed an addiction to porn. If you see any of the patterns I've described above in your life, you need to put the brakes on right now. Is porn beginning to control your life? You can't put it down — you keep going back for more? Perhaps you find yourself needing to see increasingly graphic pornography. You're masturbating more and more often. You're starting to take risks or act out physically for sexual thrills. If you see yourself at any point on this progression, you are in serious trouble, and you need to realize it — and get help
This information is taken from the TROUBLED WITH site of Focus on the Family. You can find this entry by clicking here.BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
The back seat of my car can morph into a movie set (they’re usually filming some sort of Lifetime drama
), a competitive arcade (we have more gaming electronics than HH Gregg
), an MMA cage fighting ring (yes, the pastor’s kids know how to throw down
), and even a courtroom (complete with opening arguments, character witnesses, and passionate cross-examination
And all this in the 6 minute ride
from our house to school each morning.
Three kids, two miles, one back seat. As chauffeur, it’s a strange mix of irritating and entertaining. Irrirtaining? As usual, my favorite display will undoubtedly erupt from the 6 year old.
“Emma, watch me blow a snot bubble with my nose.”
“Emma, look at me!”
“Arghhhhhhh…..Emma! Look back here now!!!!”
“Dad, would you make
Emma look at me!”He’s demanding.
Attention. Love. Acceptance. Approval. Laughs. And when big sis doesn’t give it to him, he starts to lose his mind. “Make her give it to me, dad! Make her! Make her
!”As adults, we’re not much different.
Just (well, sometimes
) a bit more discreet. When someone ignores us, disagrees with us, disapproves of us, we absorb it so personally. And out of our deep insecurity we respond with indignation, shaking our fist
(figuratively or perhaps at times Metta World Peace-ably
) in the face of our offender…“Love me!”“Approve of me!”“Respect me!”“Agree with me!”“Accept me!”
The only problem with this approach is that it’s both emotionally exhausting and completely ineffective.
The more we demand love and respect, the less the other party desires to give it to us. It creates distance, not connection.
So here’s a little trick I learned from a good friend that’s given me immense freedom
in this area of life. When someone disagrees with you, shames you, ignores you, refuses to give you what you want – don’t shake your fist and demand it.Smile. Laugh.
Seriously, it’s simple and it’s empowering. Makes you much more comfortable with who you are, and much less likely to absorb the rejection you’re feeling inside
. Sure it stings, but you can handle it. And the acceptance you’re longing for is much more likely to come if you’re respected. No one runs toward a whiny beggar.God doesn’t demand love from us, so why should we try and demand it from others?
It you have to force it (dad, make her look at me!
), it’s not real anyway.Is there someone who’s love, approval, and acceptance you long for? Are you trying to demand it?"
This post was written by Erik Cooper, an all around good guy and pastor.
For the original post with comments, click hereBE HOLY.BE A MAN