"We're gonna put our money into a computer rather than marriage counseling." This was a statement from a man with a rather troubled marriage. "I don't think counseling is going to help us any. We can spend time together in front of the computer and find good resources there." I looked at his wife and she, in a rather pie-eyed fashion, gave her tacit permission towards her husband's solution to their many marriage troubles. He proceeded with a rather lengthy story about how a new, more powerful computer, would be the solution not only to their family woes but also the difficulties in his marriage. "We will gather around the computer as a family and make our computer a place of bonding, we'll become stronger if we invest in that rather than counseling." I attempted to protest but he had won his wife over to his point of view. They cancelled their remaining sessions and I never saw them again.
Do you think the computer helped this marriage? A computer is amoral. It is neither evil nor good. It is what is done with the computer that brings in the morality.
I have been able to watch this man's behavior from a distance and unfortunately, his life has fallen apart. His wife divorced him. Several things transpired that she could not live with: 1) he used the computer for watching porn, 2) he used the computer to develop relationships with numerous women with whom he had affairs, 3) he was arrested for having sex with a patient, 4) he was also arrested for domestic violence and 5) he lost his medical license.
The computer also affected his children. One of his children became addicted to pornography (from the same computer), another was charged with sexual molestation and must now register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, the rest of his children have completely cut him off, wanting nothing to do with him.
I'm not saying that if they had continued in counseling that everything would have been perfect and these problems would not have occurred but I think it is ironic that the very thing he convinced his wife would solve all of their problems seriously contributed to his moral failure and the subsequent behavior of his family. I'm also not saying that the computer was his main problem. His main problem (in spite of claiming the name of Christian) was old-fashioned selfishness. He was not allowing God to transform him.
I'm writing this to you to ask you a few questions:
Into what are you pouring your time, energy and money?
Have you convinced yourself that possessions will bring your happiness?
Or have you invested your life into accountability, honest relationships and seeking God's will for your life?
God is very clear about His will: It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.
I have heard that this man is now trying to repair the damage he has done and is trying again to live a life that is pleasing to God. I find that encouraging.
Please pray for him.
BE A MAN.
As a young boy, Paul Christiano loved the world of girls — the way they danced, how their spindly bodies tumbled in gymnastics.
In adolescence, as other boys ogled classmates, he was troubled to find himself fantasizing about 7- to 11-year-olds.
His desires remained stuck in time as he neared adulthood. Despite a stable home life in suburban Chicago, he was tortured by urges he knew could land him in prison."For having these feelings, I was destined to become a monster," he said. "I was terrified."
In 1999, Christiano was caught buying child pornography. Now 36, he said he has never molested a child, but after five years of state-ordered therapy, the attraction remains.
"These people felt they could snuff out the desire, or shame me into denying it existed," he said. "But it's as intrinsic as the next person's heterosexuality."
In the laboratory, researchers are coming to the same conclusion.
Like many forms of sexual deviance, pedophilia once was thought to stem from psychological influences early in life. Now, many experts view it as a sexual orientation as immutable as heterosexuality or homosexuality. It is a deep-rooted predisposition — limited almost entirely to men — that becomes clear during puberty and does not change.
The best estimates are that between 1% and 5% of men are pedophiles, meaning that they have a dominant attraction to prepubescent children.
Not all pedophiles molest children. Nor are all child molesters pedophiles. Studies show that about half of all molesters are not sexually attracted to their victims. They often have personality disorders or violent streaks, and their victims are typically family members.
By contrast, pedophiles tend to think of children as romantic partners and look beyond immediate relatives. They include chronic abusers familiar from the headlines — Catholic priests, coaches and generations of Boy Scout leaders.
Other pedophiles are "good people who are struggling," said Dr. Fred Berlin, a psychiatrist who heads the Johns Hopkins Sexual Behaviors Consultation Unit. "They're tortured souls fighting like heck not to do this. We do virtually nothing in terms of reaching out to these folks. We drive it underground."
Some of the new understanding of pedophilia comes from studies done on convicted sex criminals at the Center for Mental Health and Addiction in Toronto, where researchers use a procedure known as phallometry to identify men whose peak attraction is to children.
A man sits alone in a room viewing a series of images and listening to descriptions of various sexual acts with adults and children, male and female, while wearing a device that monitors blood flow to his penis.Like men attracted to adults, nearly all pedophiles respond most strongly to one gender or the other — females far more often than males.
In searching for causes of pedophilia, researchers have largely dismissed the popular belief that abuse in childhood plays an important role. Studies show that few victims grow up to be abusers, and only about a third of offenders say they were molested.
Scientists at the Toronto center have uncovered a series of associations that suggest pedophilia has biological roots.
Among the most compelling findings is that 30% of pedophiles are left-handed or ambidextrous, triple the general rate. Because hand dominance is established through some combination of genetics and the environment of the womb, scientists see that association as a powerful indicator that something is different about pedophiles at birth.
"The only explanation is a physiological one," said James Cantor, a leader of the research.
Researchers have also determined that pedophiles are nearly an inch shorter on average than non-pedophiles and lag behind the average IQ by 10 points — discoveries that are consistent with developmental problems, whether before birth or in childhood.
In a 2008 study, Cantor's team conducted MRI brain scans on 65 pedophiles. Compared with men with criminal histories but no sex offenses, they had less white matter, the connective circuitry of the brain.
The evidence also points to what Cantor explained as "cross wiring": Seeing a child sets off the same neural response that men typically experience around an attractive woman.
More evidence of brain involvement comes from scattered examples of men with brain tumors or neurological diseases affecting inhibition.
In one case, a 40-year-old teacher in Virginia with no history of sexual deviance suddenly became interested in child pornography and was arrested for molesting his prepubescent stepdaughter.
The night before his sentencing, he showed up at an emergency room with a bad headache. An MRI revealed a tumor compressing his brain's right frontal lobe.
When the tumor was removed, his obsession faded, according to Dr. Russell Swerdlow, a neurologist on the case. A year later he again became sexually fixated on children. The tumor was growing back.This post was written by Alan Zarembo of the Los Angeles Times. For the original post, go to: http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jan/14/local/la-me-pedophiles-20130115BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
What should you do when you find yourself attracted to another woman? Here are some helps: 1. Avoid being alone with her. Ensure that your spouse is with you whenever you must be with this person. If not, tell your spouse ahead of time and/or immediately afterward.
2. Stop fantasizing about being with her romantically and/or sexually.
3. Don't open Pandora's box by telling her that you are sexually attracted to her. It will only complicate matters more. She may turn around and accuse you of harassment.
4. Share your feelings of attraction with a close friend who can hold you accountable.
5. Take responsibility for all your actions. You are not to blame for your feelings but you are responsible for the actions that follow your feelings.
6. Try to look at the whole picture. A few moments of passion can lead to a lifetime of regret and hurt.
Taken from The Sexual Man: Masculinity without guilt
BE A MAN.
Men who read and watch a lot of pornography have active imaginations and often live in a fantasy world. Pornography messes with a man's mind. His reasoning changes.
Men who are avid fans of pornography develop an unusual perspective on women. They view women as sex objects. They forget that woman have their own motives, ideas and plans.
Many times women's motives, ideas and plans do not include men.
A man with an addiction to pornography cannot understand the previous sentence.
These men cannot imagine that women are really not always "on the prowl" looking for sexual encounters. What these men forget is that almost all pornography is written and directed by men. Therefore, men who use pornography develop a perspective of women that women exist just for men's satisfaction. These men's minds have become programmed by the pornographers.
When men get this distorted perspective of women, they are prone to act out. They have fantasies and often want to do what they see on TV, in the movies, and on the computer.
Let me tell about one man's reprehensible actions. This man had a fantasy that he would encounter a woman he did not know who would be wanting to have sex with him.
This man would spend a fair amount to time in the mall, sitting outside of women's clothing stores deciding which woman would be the one with whom he would have sex.
He saw a certain woman and decided that he found a woman who would fulfill his fantasy...
His fantasy was one that he played over and over in his mind, just like the movie he played over and over on his DVD player. In this fantasy, he would follow a woman who just purchased lingerie. As she walked from the store, she would turn and look back in a flirtatious manner on her way to her car and then he would follow her. He imagined she would drive to a secluded area where she had kept her lingerie on from trying it on in the store and then they would have a sexual encounter in his van or even better, she would drive to a motel and they would share a room.
Do you see how distorted this man's reasoning is? What woman, in reality, would actually do what he is fantasizing? But that's what happens to men who view porn, they think all women are ready for sex when a man wants to have sex.
He spotted this particular woman and realized that he had seen her several times before in the mall. On one occasion, he thought she had actually looked at him and smiled. That meant that she wanted to have a liaison with him.
He followed her down the mallway. She would turn and look back every so often and he felt encouraged. He knew his fantasy was going to be a reality!
What this man did not know because his reasoning was so out of whack is that the woman was fearful. She was looking back because she was watching him. She didn't like that he was following her.
She went to her car quickly (which he interpreted that she was so excited that she wanted to get to their encounter rapidly) and he got into his car and followed her as she drove away. She drove a rather circuitous route and he was closely following her, fantasizing about what was about to happen.
The next thing he knew, he was awakened from his fantasized induced stupor when she pulled into a parking space at the local police station.
This man was fortunate, he had enough reasoning to realize he was about to be in trouble. He quickly drove off and went home. That was when he finally understood that he needed help. That's when he called a counselor to get help.
I won't get into this man's counseling as that is not the point of this post; however, suffice it to say this was a turning point for him. He decided he needed to change. He was lucky. He wasn't charged with a crime. He could be sitting behind bars.
Do you catch the point of this post?
Pornography always takes. It never gives up. It is insidious. It ruins a man.
It changes the way you think.
Dump your stash/cache.
Stop watching "adult" programming.
Get rid of those movies.
Stop wasting time on the internet.
Ask your pastor for help.
Be a real man.
BE A MAN.
The crime of human trafficking is one of the most egregious human rights violations, and it is happening in our own communities. Its victims are individuals lured into this country under false promises of legitimate work, only to be forced into the sex industry on arrival. They are domestic runaways taken in by traffickers and forced to trade sex for a place to sleep. They are also girls being baited into “the life” by a presumed boyfriend who later reveals himself as a pimp. Much like victims of domestic violence, human trafficking victims are trapped by fear, isolation and brutality at the hands of their traffickers and those who purchase them for sex.
An estimated 1 million children worldwide are sexually exploited annually. The average age of girls forced into the sex trade is 12 to 14. Within the United States alone, it is estimated that nearly 300,000 children are trafficked for sex every year. The cases involve tremendous violence, such as a recent case where the victim was beaten, forced naked into a cold shower, covered with ice and then made to stand in front of an air conditioner for 30 minutes.
What can be done to prevent other children and teens from being victimized? A first step is addressing the truth about trafficking. Put simply, human trafficking is the selling of human beings for profit through forced labor, sexual exploitation or involuntary domestic servitude. Experts estimate 27 million people are trafficked worldwide annually, reaping $32 billion in illegal profits, which makes it the second-largest and fastest-growing black market in the world.
Human trafficking is a crime that can be difficult to identify and track. The Internet and websites such as Backpage.com have only exacerbated this problem, by taking the sex trade off our streets and into hotel rooms — out of sight of law enforcement and social services. Our computers provide access to a variety of sites that promote prostitution, which make millions of dollars by offering anonymity to traffickers, further facilitating the victimization of children.
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act passed in 2000 became the first federal law to emphasize the need to protect victims and offer legal protection for victims of trafficking. States have responded by passing comprehensive human trafficking statutes and updating existing statutes. Today, all but one state have some form of anti-trafficking law. While momentum against trafficking is increasing, however, more must be done. Our work to reduce the demand for commercial sex is built on a simple, solid foundation: Societal change requires information. Just as a movement against drunken driving helped the public understand the danger of drinking and driving through a concerted campaign of public awareness and powerful testimonials to reduce deadly accidents, our work seeks to spark positive change. Moreover, just as domestic violence all too recently was a topic broached only behind closed doors, bringing the tragedy of human trafficking to the public eye is the first step of many.
Those who receive messages from popular music, movies and television that selling sex is just another career choice should know that most prostitutes are, at the very best, selling themselves for the lack of other means to support themselves. In fact, those used in commercial sex lead an extremely dangerous and often violent existence. Epidemiologists report that individuals used in commercial sex live only to an average age of 34. Many aren’t willing participants. The stark reality is that many aren’t even old enough to consent to sex. If apprehended, johns increasingly face serious criminal prosecution. These basic facts, if widely understood, should reduce the demand for commercial sex and thus lessen the number of human trafficking victims.
Is the effort to reduce demand for human trafficking a misguided moral crusade or an imperative to protect young people and others from those who profit from illegal, often involuntary, servitude? Decide for yourself. The answer seems pretty clear.
If you wish to join the effort, consider offering your time and financial support to charities that provide services to victims. Men can speak out against johns who purchase individuals for sex. Parents, parent-teacher organizations and schools can help educate children about how to protect themselves online. Doctors, nurses and hospitality and travel industry workers can seek training to identify victims and help them access services.
The fight to end the exploitation of human trafficking victims continues.
This post was written by Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II who is the attorney general of Virginia. For the original post, go to: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jan/15/the-truth-about-sex-trafficking/#ixzz2JH96Z6rr
BE A MAN.
I was tasked with assessing a man regarding his sexual addiction.
Unfortunately, his tale was all too familiar.
As he sat across from me telling me that he is now considered a sexual offender and must register with the local police every time he moves, he started to unfold his story. He told me that he had found his Dad's stash of Playboy and Hustler magazines when he was just eight years old. That is a bad sign... The earlier a man is exposed to porn the greater are his chances that he will become addicted and the greater are his chances of getting into legal trouble.
The more he looked at porn, the more he wanted to look at porn. (Interesting cycle, don't you think?) The more he looked at porn, the more he fantasized about doing what he was watching on the porn movies.
The more he watched porn, the less developed his social skills became. This happens because porn causes a man to be selfish and just think about his own pleasure. Friendships are unnecessary. Girls are unnecessary because the girls in porn movies and magazines are always accessible and there for a man's pleasure.
It's a terrible cycle that entraps a man. He wants to approach girls but fears rejection. He wants to do the things he fantasizes about but he fears she will say no. Finally, his isolation led him to frustration and he decided he would act upon some of his fantasies.
A really weird thing about men addicted to porn is that they think that women are turned on by seeing male genitalia. The porn that men watch gives a terribly distorted perspective of sexuality. In actuality, women are more attracted to an intimate relationship than the male physique.
This man started to act upon his fantasies from the porn that he had been viewing over the years.
One of his fantasies was that he would "accidentally" leave his zipper down and a woman would notice and become aroused. He would walk around in grocery stores with his zipper down, fantasizing about his inevitable sexual encounter. He was disappointed that no women noticed.
So, he developed another plan. He decided that he would sit in his car close to the exits of stores with his pants open and hope that women would see and become aroused. That didn't work either.
So, his next step would be to call women over to his car, "to ask a question" and hope that with his pants open, they would notice, be sexually aroused and want to be with him. He continued to be very disappointed.
He thought, because of his distorted perspective of women and sexuality, that what women were wanting to see was that he was sexually aroused, that he was erect, ready for sex. So, he would sit in his car and fantasize about a woman jumping into his car and they would drive to a secluded place for a sexual encounter.
One morning, while he was sitting in his car masturbating and fantasizing, he rolled his window down and asked a woman to come over because he had a "question" he wanted to ask her. She approached his car, looked at him and where his hand was and instantly became repulsed. She noted his license plate and called the police when she got home.
She made a report to the police and he was arrested and prosecuted. His prosecution was made public, his family was embarrassed and he lost his job.
As he finished his story, I asked, "have you gotten rid of your porn?" I knew his answer would be "no." I was right. The court wanted recommendations at the end of my assessment. My recommendations were necessary: no cable tv, no vcr/dvd player, no internet, no smart phone, no porn. If he was caught in possession of any of these items, he would go to prison. Also, he needed intensive counseling. If this failed, then he would need residential treatment.
However, when the judge found out that he had not given up his porn, he acted swiftly. This man immediately went to prison.
Wouldn't it be nice if all of my stories ended in a positive note?
This is a depressing, disgusting story.Porn wins."Behold, you have sinned against the LORD and be sure that your sin will find you out."
BE A MAN.
Where can porn take you? I met a man who confessed to me that he digs thru the garbage dump to collect his porn.
This man belongs to a very conservative sect of Christianity where one does not use electricity. Because he is so separated from modern culture, I asked him how he became addicted to porn. His answer was astonishing. "I was dumping some trash out of a garbage bin and I saw a Playboy in the dump with the centerfold laying open." He had never seen anything like this. He had heard about "centerfolds" and was always intrigued but was thankful that those "worldly temptations" were something he never had to deal with. Nevertheless, He quickly grabbed this magazine and tucked it down his pants. Later that day, when he was alone, he ogled this picture and found himself extremely attracted to the naked woman. He started to fantasize about her and then masturbated to her seductive image.
To me, the message was clear but lost on him: Porn is garbage. It belongs in the garbage. It should stay in the garbage. Garbage in, garbage out.
What the garbage collector didn't know is that porn is insidious
. Porn never gives up.
It keeps taking and taking, offering false feelings of comfort until you end up doing things that you never imagined.
It didn't take long before centerfolds were no longer satisfying to him. He started noticing, at the dump while looking for more centerfolds, other pictures. In these pictures, there were women posing seductively with animals. These pictures sparked further prurient interests for him. He started attempting to have sex with his goat. Over time, he moved on to other animals. His addiction finally caught up with him when he found himself naked in the pig pen on all fours. That's when he came to his senses
and realized that he really, really, really
had a problem.
He was fortunate, because if he had been caught during these activities, he would have been charged with a crime. Zoophilia is illegal
in many U.S. states. The medical issues that can occur are numerous.
However, the legal charges and the medical issues are not as severe as the toll that such behavior takes on a man's soul.
More than zoophilia is the duplicity that this man lived. He would go to church regularly and then engage in these detestable behaviors at other times. That's what the sin of porn does. It causes a man to pretend to be holy.
His energy ends up being consumed by things that weaken him rather than strengthen him.
You may be thinking, "Porn will never do that to me. I can control it." However, let me assure you, porn will win. It always does.
Porn is garbage. It belongs in the garbage. It should stay in the garbage. Garbage in, garbage out.
If you are looking at porn, stop. Get rid of your stash. Tell your pastor about your decision. Become accountable to a counselor and a men's support group.
With God's help, you can stop. BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
There is so much more to this question than just a cut and dry answer. I think when Pastors are approached with this question its easier to answer on the spot than in a blog. Answering this question takes having some background and some more information than just saying Yes or No. Lets look at some questions I have been asked through the years.Is Masturbation OK if we are married?
Many times people get very legalistic about what they can and can’t do with the confines of a marriage bed. As we talk about this the first Caveat is I would never endorse anything that makes someone feel shame or anything that is being forced on one another. Paul uses these words when dealing with our hearts 1 Corinthians 6:12-1312 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. 13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.
That being said I think there are ways that manual stimulation can be used between a married couple that are fine and don’t need to bring up thoughts of guilt or shame.What if my Spouse and I can’t be together?
I get this question from time to time from military members who are deployed or are separated for some reason from their spouse. The Bible is very clear that you should only have eyes for your spouse. If this brings you closer to your spouse during long separations and doesn’t drive a wedge in your relationship I would say that could be OK. I would beware of the wandering mind and if doing it distracts from thoughts of your spouse I would steer clear of it altogether.My wife isn’t that interested in sex and I am so can’t I do this to tide me over until the next time we have sex?
Although this may seem like its the same question as above I view this differently. Masturbation can distract and be a coping mechanism that isn’t healthy inside of a relationship. I would strongly warn against doing this and labeling it as a need. Sexual appetites are like any others the more you feed them the more they consume us. Excessive masturbation can lead men and women to have a skewed view of sex with your spouse.I’m single and It keeps me from sleeping around. Isn’t this ok?
I would disagree with the thought process here altogether. Jesus said this when dealing with thoughts of the mind.Matthew 5:27-28 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
So if your lusting after women its the same thing. Keeping a pure mind is difficult enough in todays world and adding masturbation and fantasy to it is not going to make that any easier. Masturbation is not simply a physical act it also engages the mind as well, and that is where we need to be extremely careful.Is the act of masturbation alone a sin?
The Bible tells us everything we need to know not everything we want to know. Unfortunately the bible isn’t filled with an FAQ section. The Bible is very specific when it comes to the heart issues that can surround masturbation. The Bible tells us not to worship ourselves, Not to lust after women, That our eyes are the window to our soul, To be careful and guard our hearts and many more things that can relate to this issue. When pressed I don’t think we can say the act in and of itself is a sin but it can cause us to sin and this is why we must be very careful when dealing with this subject.
This post was written by Rod Poepping of XXX Church. The original post with comments can be found here: http://www.xxxchurch.com/men/pastorsblog/what-do-i-do-when-asked-if-masturbation-is-ok.htmlBE HOLY.BE A MAN.
When Paul says we are to “walk in the Spirit” he is writing to a church community, not just to random individuals reading his letter in their private corners. Keeping in step with the Spirit of God is a community activity, something we do together. During anti-porn week,
we identified from secular research what viewing porn does to a person. This week presents practical advice of how to stay away from the influence of porn.
In other words, we keep in step with the Spirit by keeping in step with one another. We must live lifestyles of encouragement and accountability.
Nothing slays the power of sin like confession. James writes, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed” (James 5:16). In confessing our sins to God
we are promised forgiveness. In confessing sin to others
we are made whole.
Sin must be habitually
exposed to the light of confession. This is called accountability
: being honest with another trusted believer about our temptations, sins, and the state of our heart. Like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, after eating of the forbidden fruit, our knee-jerk reaction is to hide—to hide from God and from one another. Accountability is the willingness to habitually and regularly allow others access to your heart, your motives, your secret desires, your dark thoughts, and, of course, your sinful actions.
How does this relate to pornography? The late psychologist, Dr. Al Cooper, believed three main factors draw people into online sexual activity:
(porn is accessible easily from any Internet connection)
(millions of free or very cheap images are available online)
(home computers and Smartphones have made it very easy to be secretive)
He dubbed this the “Triple-A Engine” of Internet porn.
These three factors work like three legs on a stool: remove just one of the legs and the stool will fall (or at least make it awkward to sit on).
The easiest leg to remove is the leg of anonymity
, or secrecy. We do this by becoming accountable to others about the time we spend online, taking away the option to hide our Internet activity.
One way to do this is through the use of Covenant Eyes Internet Accountability.
This software program monitors your home computer, work computer, or smartphone and then sends a detailed report of your Internet activity to a trusted friend, spouse, or mentor. Covenant Eyes,
which pioneered this concept, also rates websites for mature content, flagging specific web searches and sites.
Confession of sin is not the only goal of Christian community. In the face of each other’s weaknesses, we need to encourage one another to fight sin. The author of Hebrews says, “let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Heb. 10:24-25).
This can be called “responsive accountability.” When we give an account
of our sins to someone else, in return, they should listen and then give an account
of God’s gospel promises to us.
In this text, God calls us to “stir up” one another—that is, to urge, to spur on, to provoke, to motivate each other—to love and good deeds. Each time we meet together we should be contemplating and praying, “God, show me how I can really motivate my friend to resist temptation and instead love You and others wholeheartedly.” We are to have a hardcore intentionality and thoughtfulness in our friendships.
Like the embers of a red-hot fire, we stir up the fire not by adding heat to it, but rather by exposing the glowing embers to the air, helping to bring out of the embers the energy that is in them already. If the Spirit of God is in us, He has already planted His holy desires into our hearts. He has etched his law on our hearts (Jer. 31:33-34; Ez. 36:25-27). But He has also placed us in the family of the church, among trusted friends who are also filled with His Spirit, in order that we might stir up in each other what God has already put in us.
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.
For those who have been entrenched in pornography, how do we reverse these mind-warping effects? How do we renew our minds (Rom. 12:1-2)? During anti-porn week,
we identified from secular research what viewing porn does to a person.
This week presents practical advice of how to stay away from the influence of porn.
The Bible does not describe us merely as wayward, broken, and needing a “moral boost” but as those who are dead
in sin (Eph. 2:1). Dead men and women do not need reform: they need resurrection.
For the follower of Christ, the ultimate goal is not merely “quitting pornography,” but is something far richer and more comprehensive. If merely modifying behavior was the most important thing, there are any number of psychological tips and tricks one can use. But for the Christian, as it should be for all people, the goal is not merely recovering
from pornography, but being remade
by God Himself into the image of the perfect Man, Jesus Christ.
This is the work of the Holy Spirit.
Just as sure as pornography stirs up lustful cravings in us, the Holy Spirit is a source of new, holy cravings. Romans 8 tells us all true Christians have the Spirit of Christ within them (v.9). Galatians 5 says we are given the “desires of the Spirit” (v.17), and when we keep in step with these desires (v.16) the lusts of the flesh (leading to sexual immorality, impurity, and sensuality) will not have their way in us.
This is what the old Scottish minister Thomas Chalmers called “the expulsive power of a new affection.” Laws, rules, and regulations can only tell us what
is bad and why
it is bad, but they do not change our desire
for sinful things. These sinful longings can only be conquered by implanting new “affections,” new cravings, that counter our sinful cravings. This is what the Spirit does in us: He shares His own desires with us, changing us from the inside out.
Paul tells us we must “keep in step” with the desires of the Spirit with us (Galatians 5:16).
How do we do this? Come back tomorrow for hope.
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.