The young man told me an unbelievable story. He was telling me about an activity that was popular in his college dorm. It was called "hogging."
As he explained what this activity was, it became clear to me that this young man was engaging in a very sinful and demeaning sexual activity. By many standards, his behavior was considered deviant and misogynous.
Clearly, hogging is when a man purposely seeks out an overweight or unattractive woman to satisfy his sexual appetite. Many times, it is a game, a form of competition that men do to see who can have sex with the largest woman. It is not unusual for a group of men at a bar decide to "spice up" the most overweight or unattractive woman or it occurs when it is close to bar closing and a man decided he will "settle" for this woman rather than go home alone. This type of behavior is disgusting, despicable and wrong on so many levels.
This young man was starting to feel a twinge of guilt for his behavior. The night before he was involved in a "rodeo" where his friends hid in his bedroom and took pictures of his sexual activity and then jumped out and surprised the woman, humiliating her and telling her it was all a competition. This last encounter ended with the young woman breaking down in tears, angrily crying hysterically and threatening to call the police for sexual assault.
It's disgusting the path that sin takes in men's lives. The desire to seek sexual thrills coupled with competition makes men stupid. This selfishness leads to treating people like objects, forgetting that other people have needs and feelings as well.
His behavior reminded me of a section of the Bible where Paul is speaking to first generation Christians: "Don't you know that wicked people won't inherit the kingdom of God? Stop deceiving yourselves! People who continue to commit sexual sins..." Then Paul reminds them that even though they have engaged in sexual sins, that they have changed... "That's what some of you were! But you have been washed and made holy, and you have received God's approval..."
This young man didn't have a Christian heritage on which to build, just like these first generation Christians. He thought that what he was doing was "normal, what guys do." Fortunately, the Holy Spirit was speaking to him, letting him know that abusing women and seeking sexual thrills and competition is not "normal." And he was listening...
God takes pleasure in uprightness, in those who seek to please Him before pleasing their own sensual desires and selfishness.
This young man changed for the better. He is now walking in righteousness, seeking God's will for his life. He is forgiven. He is now made holy. He is receiving God's approval.
God changed this young man.
Allow God to change you.
BE A MAN.
CBS/AP) LOS ANGELES - Joe Francis, founder of 'Girls Gone Wild,' was found guilty Monday of misdemeanor counts of assault and false imprisonment stemming from a dispute with three women after a night out at a Hollywood club in 2011.
Officials said after a two-week trial, a jury convicted the 40-year-old man of three counts of false imprisonment, one count of assault causing great bodily injury and one count of dissuading a witness. He faces a maximum of five years in prison. A hearing to schedule his sentencing was set for Wednesday.
Francis met the women at a club in 2011 when they were celebrating a college graduation. Francis led one of them out of the club by the hand into his limo. According to prosecutors, the other two women followed him and their friend thinking he was going to give them a ride to their car.
Prosecutors said Francis took the women to his home, when he tried to separate one from the other two a dispute broke out. Francis grabbed one of the women by the hair and throat and slammed her head into the floor.
After an investigation, the district attorney declined to file felony charges in the case and referred it to the city attorney, who filed the misdemeanor charges.
Francis is the founder of GGW Brands LLC, he filed for bankruptcy in February listing more than $16 million in disputed claims.
Neither Francis nor his attorneys could be reached for comment.For the original post with comments, go to: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-57583219-504083/joe-francis-founder-of-girls-gone-wild-convicted-of-assault-and-false-imprisonment-report-says/
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 acronym:
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 A MAN.
Here is an anonymous confession by a reader of this blog. It is edited slightly and names are changed to protect the identity of the individuals. It is posted here with his permission.
"Dale, I have struggled over sending this to you. I don't know why I am. Maybe leading by the Holy Spirit. I'm not looking for anything out of it. If anything, maybe it will help someone else. You're blog posts on pornography have hit closer to home than you may know.
You probably know already that Mary and I are no longer married, but I don't know if you are aware of the circumstances that brought that split about. In 1995, I sexually molested my daughter. I have not voluntarily told this to anyone. In fact when asked if I have children, I have recently started telling people, "no," so I don't have to explain or make up a story about why I can't see them. I was arrested and spent several months in jail and the next four years in psychosexual counseling.
Because of my sin, I destroyed or at the very least damaged several lives. Mary was so hurt she left not only me but her faith. I have kept up a little with the kids (I have a permanent no-contact order) through MySpace and Facebook. John and Sally have graduated high school, but they both appear to be heavily into the occult. They are doing drugs and drinking. Bobby seems to have gotten on a better path (finally). I can read their wall posts, but if I were to contact them, it would be a mandatory six months in jail. So, I have watched my kids grow up online due to my actions.
All three kids have been in and out of foster care. John and Bobby have both been incarcerated. Mary has been through more than I am even aware of. I am devastated to know the damage I have done to these innocent lives. Would things have turned out differently if I was still in the picture? I don't know, but I would like to think they would. I did read on Mary's facebook page that her new boyfriend and Bobby were baptized a couple weeks ago. So, hopefully things are on a better track for her. I continually pray for them.
I have been addicted to pornography and sex since I was in my teens. I recall shoplifting pornographic magazines from the store when I was in junior high. When I was working for a city in Montana, I found a stack of porn in one of the trucks. I sat parked in that truck for several hours looking at those magazines. I had a tough time explaining to the boss where I had been with the truck. I made up a lie to cover myself.
I am reluctant to tell you what has happened to me, because I don't want to sound like I'm looking for pity. I want no sympathy from anyone. For what I did there is no pity warranted. I hate this kind of behavior in others. I am repulsed by it.
What has my crime/sin cost me...?"
"Everything! I lost my wife. I never got to see my kids grow up. I lost my ordination in the church. I lost friends and family who can no longer stand to be around me."
In the last several years I have lost jobs when employers found out about my past. I have had difficulty finding jobs, especially in the last couple years where everyone now does a background search.
I have to register as a sex offender for the rest of my life. When I move, my neighbors are informed of my crime and who I am, including a picture. I have been denied residency because of my crime. Every six months a sheriff's deputy shows up at my door to make sure I still live here. I have a felony conviction that denies me entry to other countries.
I have been asked not to attend two different churches including what I considered my home church. I attend church regularly, but now I will not fill out a visitor card for fear of being asked to leave. The church is a mega-church. 4,000+ attendance, and I don't know anyone there.
What I did was over 15 years ago, and I have lived a model life since. I haven't even had a speeding ticket since 1984. I pay all my bills on time. My faith in Christ has never dwindled. I know that without my faith, I would have ended it all years ago.
I knew I had a problem, but fear kept me from finding help. I never considered how much it would cost (myself and others). I told myself it would never happen again, but without counseling the cycle just continued.
I have always been kind of a loner. I never really fit in, so I have kept to myself. As a result, I have taken to living in isolation. I have no close friends, but I have 400+ facebook "friends." If they only knew... This is the beginning of my cycle... then depression...
How have I broken the cycle?
1. Awareness - I was made painfully aware of my problem. I recognize that I have a propensity to porn and I avoid it.
2. Admission of problem - I have admitted that I have a problem, and that it is a problem.
3. Recognize cycle - In my four years of counseling, I learned to recognize that my failings came in cycles. I found that when that cycle was progressing toward sin, there were ways to avoid it, to break the cycle.
4. Avoidance - I have used several things to prevent entering into my destructive cycle over the years. I can't say that it always works, but I have found that these help: 1) Turning off the TV or computer, 2) Prayer or read my Bible, and 3) Negative reinforcement ~ snapping a rubber band on my wrist (when I think about it)
5. Redirection - Find something else to do. Go for a walk, fish, read, exercise. Anything healthy."
Anonymous will be reading your comments. So please let him know what you think...
BE A MAN.
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Many of us find it very difficult to feel confident in intimate relationships. If we learned early in life that the people most important to us were unapproachable, then confidently approaching others as adults may be difficult. There are many ways to learn that approaching other people is dangerous. It can come from abuse, or criticism, or disinterest.
One result of experiences of this kind is that we find it difficult to be confident when we approach God. This is particularly true when we are feeling fragile, weak or needy. The last thing we expect is mercy and grace in our time of need. We expect to be criticized. We expect God to say 'why are you still so needy?'. We expect to be abandoned. We expect God to say 'I'm busy now.' We expect to be rejected. We expect God to say 'If only you had more faith or prayed more or read the Bible more or trusted me more.' With expectations like this, it is no surprise that we lack confidence when approaching God.
But God offers us an invitation we long to hear. He invites us to approach. And, God invites us to come with confidence. God will pay attention. God will hear us. God will be interested in our well-being. God will respond with mercy, grace and help.
I don't have much confidence, Lord.
I don't trust other people very much .
I don't trust you very much.
I don't expect mercy and grace
from anybody, especially in times when I'm this needy.
I expect criticism, abandonment, and rejection.
Thank you for inviting me to come to you.
Thank you for providing good reasons to have confidence in you.
You are full of mercy and grace.
This is a time of need for me, Lord.
Give me confidence to approach you today.
I need your mercy and grace.
Copyright Dale and Juanita RyanNational Association for Christian Recovery
Self love is natural and not to be thought of as sinful. One tale-tell sign that we love ourselves is the manner in which treat our bodies. "For no one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it" (Eph. 5:29
NRSV). When we mistreat our bodies -- for example, drinking too much alcohol, over eating or eating too much junk food, indulging in sexual immorality, neglecting proper exercise -- we are speaking volumes about how we feel about our inner selves.
I once thought that one of the problems with my inner life was that I loved myself too much. But I have concluded that this is not the case whatsoever. If I truly loved myself then I would always do what is best for myself, as I walk daily before God, and do good to others. This has not been a reality for me in the past. One of the major problems with my inner life has been self-blame, and self-rejection, not self-love. I have had difficulty even liking myself, not to mention loving
Henri Nouwen, in his book The Inner Voice of Love: A Journey Through Anguish to Freedom
, explains that "self-blame is not a form of humility. It is a form of self-rejection." (86) When an event does not pan out as I wished, self-blame sets in, and I imagine such blame as godly humility. Nouwen writes: "When a friendship does not blossom, when a word is not received, when a gesture of love is not appreciated, do not blame it on yourself. This is both untrue and hurtful." (86) I must endeavor to view all forms of rejection objectively.
For example, given that Christ is Lord of my life, I must understand that He is guiding my steps as I seek to live in, through, and for Him (Ps. 37:23
). If I encounter some form of rejection, I must understand that, in an ultimate sense, the Lord has another plan. If I do not, however, view rejection in such a manner, but begin to reject myself, then a dangerous worldview can be adopted. Nouwen writes: Every time you reject yourself, you idealize others. You want to be with those whom you consider better, stronger, more intelligent, more gifted than yourself. Thus you make yourself emotionally dependent, leading others to feel unable to fulfill your expectations and causing them to withdraw from you. This makes you blame yourself even more, and you enter a dangerous spiral of self-rejection and neediness. (86) I have experienced this reality, and I can attest that Nouwen's conclusion is correct. Leaving myself utterly vulnerable to the dependence of others for validity or happiness or fulfillment is desperate. In the end, the only one hurt is myself. At such a point, self-rejection sets in, and a vicious cycle is repeated.
I cannot, nor should anyone else, deny that when rejection is experienced a sense of hurt is also present. Rejection hurts because we perceive ourselves as unworthy of love and respect. But unless we reject self-rejection, then we will continue on an anxious, downward spiral of mental and emotional anguish, torment, and despair.
If someone I imagined as a friend constantly mistreats me, emotionally hurts me, I should not, then, reject myself. But neither should I harbor malcontent for the other person. Harshly blaming others in such instances can be just as harmful as self-blame. I should give no place for a root of bitterness to grow within me (Eph. 4:31
; Heb. 12:15
In such a circumstance, I should merely conclude that the two of us do not make an appropriate, friendly match. Yes, I may still experience a little hurt. But I should not be devastated by and obsessive over the fact that we do not make a perfect, friendly match. Nor should I reject myself, and think less of myself, as someone unworthy of quality relationships. Nouwen writes:Avoid all forms of self-rejection. Acknowledge your limitations, but claim your unique gifts and thereby live as an equal among equals. That will set you free from your obsessive and possessive needs and enable you to give and receive true affection and friendship. (87) If I am to be a healthy friend, or brother in Christ to others, then I must maintain a proper view of myself. If I am constantly rejecting myself then how can I expect others to embrace me?
Moreover, if God the Creator embraces me in and through Christ (Eph. 1:5-6
), and even counts me as His friend (John 15:14-15
), then I actually have no right to self-rejection. If God has not rejected me, then I cannot reject myself. Rejecting myself would implicate God's better judgment. By His grace, I will constantly be rejecting self-rejection.
Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Inner Voice of Love: A Journey Through Anguish to Freedom
(New York: Image Books, 1998).
This post was written by William W Birch. For the original post with comments, go to: http://www.classicalarminian.com/2013/01/rejecting-self-rejection.htmlBE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Can you imagine a husband making a funny joke and then, at the punchline landing a solid jab to his wife’s shoulder? Of course not. It’s out of place (and perhaps domestic abuse). However, in the context of a male friendship such behavior is widely practiced and acceptable. What’s the difference? (I’m about to get profound here…) Simply, women are different then men. Husbands and wives are different. And this is a good thing, something to be celebrated.
However, it is also apparently an evasive truth. One of the most common non-spiritual, basic, counseling I give to a husband is: don’t treat your wife like a guy. Believe it or not, men seem to forget this fact about as often as we leave our dirty socks on the floor. One of the chief areas this is seen is the area of romance. Many men think that they can woo their wives by treating like men. We think that we can just snap our fingers or just jump right to physical intimacy without any regard for emotions.
Guys, this doesn’t work.WE NEED TO KNOW THEM
Instead, what is right and what does work is understanding. Peter reminds husbands to live with their wives in an understanding (or knowledgeable) way (1 Pet. 3.7
). Therefore, it is helpful to know what makes them tick. While I realize this task is virtually impossible to master it is possible to improve upon.
C.J. Mahaney once said something that really stuck with me, in reference to marital romance, “Before you touch her body, touch her heart and mind.”
What is he saying? He is saying, you better not treat her like a guy! She is different. Therefore, if you know your wife, if you understand your wife, then you have got to do and say things that truly reach her heart.
Here are some suggestions.THE KITCHEN SINK IS A PRETTY ROMANTIC PLACE
One of the ways husbands can do this is through service. I truly believe that some of the best romance in a marriage can happen at the kitchen sink. Instead of sitting around like a piece of furniture when you get home from work, husbands can go to the sink and help with the dishes or cleaning in the kitchen. As you are doing this you can talk about the day and serve by cleaning. Here you are entering into your wife’s world, listening, learning, and helping.FACE TO FACE TIME IS INVALUABLE
Another way to learn your wife is to actually sit down and talk to her. And, talking while walking with your back turned or while checking the football score doesn’t count. I’m talking about eye to eye talking.
I should also stipulate that it is not always a good idea to talk all about yourself here. Remember you are trying to serve and learn your wife, therefore, listening and learning are good things to do. (Also be sensitive to your wife who loves you and wants to hear about you. Don’t be cryptic, nondescript, overly negative or prideful. Serve her by talking thoughtfully.)
One of the most treasured times in our evenings are when I get to sit and talk with Christie. When I get to hear her talk about her day and the various things the kids did. I am reminded of her love and sacrifice for them and she is reminded of my love for her and the children. This is a good and valuable time.DATING THAT ENCOURAGES COMMUNICATION
Another way to learn is to go on dates with your wife. This is pretty obvious. However, a lot of guys take short cuts here. Too many guys are not thoughtful enough here. Going to movies, games, or double dates are fun but they don’t always deliver the level of communication and emotional intimacy that you may be after. If this is the extant of the dating, over the long haul, I don’t think it is going to really help the bottom line. Again, it works great for guys to hang out with one another but marriage requires a bit more thoughtful and intentional work.BOTTOM LINE IS BEING THOUGHTFULLY INTENTIONAL
The bottom-line for guys is that we have got to be intentional in the romancing of our wives. We cannot become complacent or lazy. We cannot plateau or go backwards. It’s not an option.
One suggestion I have in addition to the above is to ask your wife how you are doing. Does she think you treat her like a guy? Does she think she is the most important person in the world to you? Does she feel like you know her? How does she rate your ability to romance her?
Listen, I don’t have this stuff all figured out. Trust me, these questions convict me too. But I know that my wife is worth it and I want her to feel and know she is loved. I trust many of you husbands can relate. Therefore, takes some time to think, chew on it, and then get to work. And if it’s helpful maybe you can punch me in the shoulder next time we bump into each other.This post was written by Erik Raymond. You can find the original post with comments here: http://www.ordinarypastor.com/?p=10596BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
“You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve,” said C.S. Lewis’ Aslan. “And that is both honor enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth." The Scriptures tell us both men and women are created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26- 28). The implications of this doctrine are far-reaching. As image-bearers we “reflect” God in a way no other creature on earth does. As far as God is concerned, to assault someone made in His image is a great crime (Gen. 9:6; James 3:9). Knowing we are made in God’s image should impact how we see ourselves and one another.
It is not only men who bear this image, but women as well. In human history the failure to appreciate this fact has led to all manner of abuses to women. And in our increasingly sexualized culture, it is women who are often the most dehumanized as they are constantly rated for the size, shape, and harmony of their body parts. Often pornography, and even mainstream media, portrays women as people who are glad
to be used and objectified. It isn’t surprising to find women increasingly devalued in our porn-saturated culture.
In the Zillman- Bryant
experiment, the Massive Exposure Group was far more likely to believe women in society really fit the stereotype of the women they saw in pornographic films. They were more likely to believe all women are really “as hysterically euphoric in response to just about any sexual or pseudosexual stimulation, and as eager to accommodate seemingly any and every sexual request” as the porn girls.
Participants in the experiment were asked to rate their overall support for women’s rights. Men in the Massive Exposure Group showed a 46% drop in support compared to the No Exposure Group. And among women participants, this drop was an alarming 30%.
“Free porn” is a misnomer. Pornography always costs somebody something. And it’s the women and girls in our culture, surrounded by boys and men with porn expectations, who often end up paying the highest price.
Naomi Wolf, writing for New York Magazine
, puts it best: “Today real naked women are just bad porn.” The onslaught of porn doesn’t train men to value women as people made in the image of God, but instead trains people to see fewer and fewer women as porn-worthy.
This post is taken from the booklet, YOUR BRAIN ON PORN
by Luke Gilkerson. The booklet can be found at: http://www.covenanteyes.com/brain-ebook/BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, He had compassion on them and healed their sick.
It is foundational to our healing for someone to see us with compassion. We do not see ourselves with compassion. Instead, we often see ourselves through harsh, condemning eyes. We have come to reject and shame ourselves for our need. In order to learn to heal from the inside out we need someone to see us differently than we see ourselves. We need someone to see us as we are and to respond to us with emotional warmth and genuine concern.
Jesus saw. And had compassion. And he healed. All three experiences are helpful in recovery.
God sees us. He sees that we struggle, that we need help, that we hurt. Our brokenness is not a surprise or a disappointment to God.
God has compassion on us. God feels with us. God is emotionally responsive to us. It matters to God that we are in need. It impacts God.
God heals. Having seen us and had compassion for us, God responds. God touches our wounds. God mends our broken hearts. God strengthens our weary spirits.
For those of us who have felt invisible, who have experienced shame and rejection and abuse, it is a wonderful thing to find someone who sees, has compassion and seeks to heal!
Lord, thank you that you see me.
You see my pain.
Thank you that it matters to you that I struggle and hurt.
Thank you that it is in the context of personal attention and compassion that you heal me.
I await your healing touch today. Amen
Copyright Dale and Juanita RyanNational Association for Christian Recovery
A sad story
of yet another pastor who has destroyed his ministry for the sake of following his lust. It is a pointed illustration of new realities in this new world. It was also an illustration of something that transcends the digital world.
Until Tuesday, Jack Schaap was pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond, outside Chicago. First Baptist is the largest church in the state with something like 15,000 people attending each Sunday. Schapp’s pastorate came to an abrupt and shameful end on Tuesday.
Jack Schaap had left his cell phone on the pulpit and a deacon had seen it on the pulpit and had picked it up to bring it back to him,” Trisha Kee, who maintains a Facebook group for ex-congregants, told the station. “From what we understand, the deacon then saw a text come through from a teenage girl in the church, and it was a picture of Jack Schaap and this girl making out.
Church officials announced that he had been fired for “a sin that has caused him to forfeit his right to be our pastor.” Schapp has since confessed that he was involved in an affair with a girl of sixteen who had come to him for counseling.
What stood out to me in this story was not so much that Schapp took advantage of a young girl, that he abused his position of authority, or that he has risked his marriage by committing adultery. All of these things are horrendous but, sadly, sickeningly, all too common. There is a long and growing history of men who use the pastorate as a means to fulfill their sinful, selfish desires. What stood out to me in this case was the manner in which the pastor’s sin found him out.Sin makes so many promises.
Sin promises joy, it promises fulfillment. Sin promises to be your friend. When you first meet a new friend you reveal only little bits of who you are, what you believe, what is important to you. But over time, if that friendship is to grow, you need to reveal more and more of yourself, you need to open yourself up. Friendship grows out of the vulnerability of allowing another person to see who you really are beneath the polite exterior. Sin asks you to give just a little bit more of yourself to it every time. Just a bit more. Just a bit more after that. But over time sin comes to own you. It comes to know everything there is to know about you. And then it stabs you in the back and laughs with glee as you are left sputtering and humiliated and destroyed. It laughs as your marriage is destroyed, as your church is shamed, as your friends are betrayed. That’s the kind of friend it is.
Can’t you see sin having the last laugh here? Schaap didn’t have
to leave his phone on the pulpit. A deacon did not have
to fetch it. That girl did not have
to send a text message at that moment. The message did not have
to contain anything explicit. The deacon did not have
to be a man of integrity who would make it known to the rest of the church. None of these things had to be the way they were. Yet that is exactly how it unfolded. The deacon picked up the phone and looked as the message showed up and saw the picture of the pastor and the girl. And sin broke out in gales of laughter. Sin rejoiced when his friend was exposed as a hypocrite, an adulterer, a fraud. Sin had the last laugh.
This is what sin does. This is who sin is. Sin is the friend who is so much worse than any enemy.
(Appendix: This is where Tolkien’s ring is such a powerful illustration of sin. From the moment a person puts that ring on his finger, the ring is out to dominate and to destroy him. The ring has a mind of its own, a mind that is bent on destruction. The ring will be satisfied only when it has ensured that the ringbearer is overcome, overwhelmed, and destroyed. All of its promises merely lead to a greater kind of enslavement that leads toward death.)This is a post taken from Tim Challies.
For the original post with comments go to: http://www.challies.com/christian-living/sin-wants-to-be-your-friendBE HOLY.BE A MAN.