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.
He sat across the table from me, trying to convince me that his behavior wasn't hurting anybody. "I'm not having sex, I'm just having some fun!" He proceeded to tell me his story. It's one that I have heard many times. Unfortunately.
His behavior started fairly innocently. He was happily married but there were occasions that his wife would work late. During these times, on occasion, he would call a "chat line." The conversations started out innocent enough but he didn't realize that he was being fleeced. God speaks about this. He says,"with persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk."
The young lady on the other end of the phone started flirting with him and tapped into his ego. The next time he called her, she talked about how wonderful he was and how he helped her not to feel so lonely. A few calls later, the trap was sprung. He gave her his credit card number so that she would "tell him things that she knew he wanted to hear." His calls continued with greater frequency. He would get out of bed where his wife was sleeping to call this young lady. She was always available to him and would say things that his wife would never say.
He started to feel guilty and talked to the young lady about not calling her anymore. That is when she set the hook. She told him that she was a college student and that she needed the money to pay for school. She admitted that she did this with just a few men and that they "weren't doing anything wrong."
He looked at me and said, "but, I'm not cheating!!! I'm not having sex with her. We're just having a little fun . No one's getting hurt and I'm helping her pay for her education."
I cautioned him about his behavior. I explained to him what such behavior leads to. That's when he said, "funny you should say that...." He then proceeded with this all too familiar story:
This young lady suggested that they meet. It was a town that he visited on business often. She explained that she offered private services to help men feel more masculine and perform better in bed. She explained that he would enjoy it as "most men do."
He went to the house that she and several other young women (who were working their way thru college too) used to "help men." There was never any intercourse. He was "learning how to let a woman be in charge." He found these lessons exhilarating. He paused in his story, "but, I'm not cheating!!! We aren't having sex and I really like how she makes me feel." It's as if he was trying to convince himself more than he was trying to convince me.
I would love to be able to tell you that this man conquered this illicit behavior but I cannot. His life became a disaster.
One night when he was talking to this young woman on the phone, his wife happened to be listening on the extension. The next day, when he got home from work, he found his belongings on the yard, the locks changed and a court injunction prohibiting him from ever seeing his wife again. The divorce proceedings were quick and he soon found himself on the street with no home.
I haven't had any contact with him since. I don't know where he is and I don't know if he got help. I do pray for him, hoping that he has turned to God and is living a life that represents Christ well.
Why do I tell you this story? I guess you need to know that it is easy for men to rationalize their sinful behavior. Men have a tendency to compartmentalize their behavior and think that their lives cannot be affected.
God has something to say about this. "The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be."
So, what is in your heart?
Are you pretending?
Ask God to give you a new heart.BE HOLY.
BE A MAN.
Last week was anti-porn week here at Ironstrikes. I hope that you were able to read about the five topics:1. Porn and sexual satisfaction2. Porn and fake relationships3. Porn and women4. Porn and cruelty5. Porn is insidious
Readers have asked about the Zillman-Bryant study from which these five posts were taken. In the early 1980s, Dr. Doll Zillmann of Indiana University and Dr. Jennings Bryant of the University of Alabama wondered whether continued exposure to video pornography had any impact on people's sexual beliefs and their attitudes towards women. For their experiment, 80 male and 80 female college-age participants were divided into three subgroups, and each group was shown 4 hours and 48 minutes of media.
1. The first group, the “Massive Exposure Group,” was shown 36 non-violent pornographic films over a six-week period.
2. The second group, the “Intermediate Exposure Group,” was exposed to 18 pornographic films and 18 regular films over a six-week period.
3. The third (control) group, the “No Exposure Group,” was shown 36 non-pornographic movies over a six--week periodYou may be saying, "that is an old study, what relevance does it have to today?"
At a 2011 conference, Dr. Mary Anne Layden commented about Zillmann and Bryant’s 25-year-old research. “When this study was done, what was called the ‘Massive Exposure Group" -- seeing five hours of porn over a six-week period -- "I now call that the Friday Afternoon Group."
Her statement is far from an exaggeration. A recent survey of 29,000 people at North American universities, shows 51% of men and 16% of women spend up to five hours per week
online for sexual purposes, and another 11% of men spend anywhere from five to twenty hours per week. What used to be “massive” exposure is now common practice.
Furthermore, the Internet has not only increased the public’s exposure to porn, but has also changed the way it is consumed. Dr. Jill Manning believes Zillmann and Bryant’s findings have greater
applicability in the modern age because Internet porn tends to be more interactive and consumer-driven. Viewers can select exactly who and what they want to see, custom-tailored to their greatest specifications.This week, I will be giving four solid tips in helping to curb your vulnerability to porn.
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.
This bad boy
lives by the Shakespearean phrase, "all the world's a stage and we are but actors." What makes him bad is that he seems to never be offstage. He maneuvers, manipulates, exerts pressure and maintains many "masks" to get what he wants and needs from others.
When encountering these men, we are left to wonder if the person is putting on an act to get approval or get something from us. Within these men there is an emptiness, a craving for new conquests, new stimulation, additional applauding audiences. Out of their hollowness
, they deceive themselves and others, which leads to disaster in the churches where they "serve." Boredom is their constant, sad motivator. Superficial, broken relationships lie in their wake.
These men creep into the church because congregations want gregarious, charming, outgoing pastors, worship leaders, youth leaders, etc. The modern church is replete with "religious shows" with seductive clothing, music, bodily movement, and overdramatized religiosity. Religious expressions of love, intimacy, caring, fellowship and personal sharing and testimony can easily become eroticized and promiscuous in the hands of the histrionic bad boy. This bad boy's leadership results in churches that are incestuous, abusive and enmeshed.What can the church do to prevent these men from coming to power in the church?
When interviewing people for leadership positions within the church, there needs to be careful expectation of a person who forms relationships responsibly, makes promises carefully based upon plenty of information, and is able to stick with people thru longer, less superficial relationships. One needs to consider the ability to have life-long relationships. How can the church help these men change their bad boy image?
In dealing with the histrionic bad boy, underneath the show is an inner emptiness. This is the end result of life without commitment. Instead of relating to people as Christ would, he sees people as commodities to be pushed around for the purposes of getting more limelight and attention.
The histrionic bad boy needs to be held accountable for his behavior. He needs to deepen his commitment to God and then, using that as a guideline, decide who he really is and what he needs to be under God's direction. He needs to reshape his whole interpretation of life. The objective is to challenge his spiritual emptiness and self-love. He needs to develop fidelity to a steadfast relationship to God in Jesus Christ and fidelity to those in the church and in the marketplace.
He needs to be challenged to open up the gates of a new life of depth rather than superficiality, durability rather than transiency. We can represent Christ to him. We can refuse to be seduced by his flashiness. We can challenge and confront his restless boredom. We can refuse to be used and make durable and steadfast relationships with him so that we don't respond to his endless drama and emergency. We can help him develop character and maturity and help him form and maintain deep and lasting relationships.Many thanks to the deceased Dr. Oates from whom much of this information is taken. His seminal work Behind the Masks should be read by those in positions of leadership in the church.
BE HOLY.BE A MAN.