Having accepted a counseling assignment for two years in a South American country, I met an interesting man. In his broken English, he confessed, "I like dirty women."
This man was a gynecologist, very educated and finally coming to the realization that he had a terrible problem. In English, dirty can mean several things. However, in Spanish, he was very clear. He used the word, "sucia." "Sucia" means physically dirty, unwashed. He continued with other clear words, "Indigenas, indias, mujeres sucias..." Translated, those words mean, "indigenous, indians, dirty women..." He was talking about a people group that were indigenous in that area: women from the Quechua people. These people are typically considered lower class by those who don't have indian blood.
Being educated and of Spanish descent, he considered himself to be superior to these people. That was his quandary. "Why do I like dirty women? I'm not attracted to pure blood women." He went on to explain that he would sexually use some of his patients, but only the Quechua women. He felt an attraction to women that he was not supposed to be attracted to, kinda like forbidden fruit. He soothed his conscience by believing that he was only having sex with women who were beneath his station in life. These people were essentially worthless in his mind.
He would trade his gynecological services for sexual favors with his patients. He found that many times, he would not be refused because these women were poor and did not feel good about themselves. "They couldn't say no because no one thinks they are attractive. I flatter them..."
So, you can see this man has a terrible sin problem. Actually, more than one. Just to name a few: 1) prejudice, 2) sexism, 3) racism, 4) elitism, 5) compulsions, 6) fornication, etc... Just plain sinfulness.
As his story unfolded, he also revealed that he was addicted to marijuana, alcohol and painkillers. Being a physician, he had no difficulty affording and obtaining these substances, especially when he would trade his gynecological services for these substances.
He was raised in an environment with a very strong mother and a father who had abandoned him. As we delved further into his upbringing, he noted that he was brought into sex early when his mother paid for a prostitute "to teach him how to be a man" as his father wasn't doing a good job at raising him. He recalled his first sexual encounter at age eight with repeated exposure, at his mother's insistence, until he left for college at age sixteen.
In spite of his medical and financial success, this man knew that he was doomed. "My soul is on the way to hell..." Fortunately, this gentleman was receptive to God's working in his life. He came for help because he had heard that hell was a place that he did not want to go. As I was unable to follow this man due to not being around long enough to help him, I was able to hand him off to a pastor. This pastor told him about God's redemptive power and discipled him. He became very much like Zaccheus. He repented of his sinful behavior and attempted to make restitution as best he could.
This man's story teaches us that we are not doomed by the sins of our parents, doomed because we had a bad upbringing or doomed because we have abused people. There is always room for God's offer of salvation. It is never too late to do the right thing.
Is your life like this man's? Or do you think that he is beneath you?
In what kind of sin do you find yourself involved?
It is never too late to do the right thing.
If God can change this man, he can change you.
How bout it?
BE A MAN.
I know a guy who cheats on his wife. He cheats on her every day. He cheats on her multiple times a day. He’s a husband and a father and a serial adulterer.
I shouldn’t know this fact about him, but it came up in conversation a few days ago. We were talking about the divorce rate; both of us gave our theories as to why the statistics are so high. I mentioned in my diagnosis a few studies that show pornography to be a root cause in over 50 percent of divorces annually.
He laughed. “People don’t get divorced over porn.” He went on to explain that porn isn’t a “big deal” to most people. It’s not “like it’s cheating or something.” He told me that he looks at it multiple times daily. His wife, he insisted, might be a little peeved if she knew the extent of it, but only because women overreact about “that kind of thing.”
What kind of thing? Their husbands spending all day obsessively plunging through the darkest regions of the internet for graphic sexual images of rape, abuse, perversion, exploitation and other forms of filthy depravity previously unknown to mankind?
Yeah. That kind of thing. No reason why any wife should be too upset about that, apparently.
Listen guys, I know this is an uncomfortable conversation. But it’s time we man up and get real about pornography. First things first: if you’re married and you look at porn, you are cheating. Period. From a Christian perspective, this can’t be debated. Christ laid it out very clearly: if you lust after another woman, you have committed adultery. When we look at porn we are choosing to succumb to that lust; we are indulging it, fertilizing it, giving it respite in our minds. We are diving into it headfirst and soaking in it like a sponge. We are lessening ourselves, betraying our wives and participating in the violent exploitation of women (and girls). Or minds and our bodies belong to the Lord and to our wives; pornography, therefore, intrudes on their domain. If we look at porn, we are adulterers. We are adulterers in all the worst ways.
We don’t even need to refer to Scripture to figure out the simple equation that porn equals adultery.
Why wouldn’t it?
Because you aren’t physically in contact with another woman?
So what? That’s merely a matter of semantics and circumstance. The absence of physical touch doesn’t automatically free you of the scarlet letter — if it did, ‘sexting’ with other women would be fair game, I suppose. How would you feel if you looked through your wife’s phone and found racy, sexually graphic text messages she’d sent to a man at her office? Would you be alright with it as long as she could prove she never had any physical contact with him? Or is that totally different because she knows the guy, whereas porn is anonymous and impersonal? See, we find ourselves constructing many arbitrary lines of distiniction when we are deteremined to rationalize behavior we instinctively know to be immoral and wrong.
But, OK, what if she didn’t know the guy? What if she was engaging in “fantasies” with men she never met? Imagine that, in your cyber travels, you stumbled upon a porn site featuring pictures and videos of a particularly alluring young female: your wife. How would that sit with you? Your wife selling digital sex all over the internet — how would you like that? It might cause a bit of a marital dispute, wouldn’t you say?
If you wouldn’t want your wife being a porn provider, you ought to understand why she wouldn’t want you to be a porn consumer. If you wouldn’t want her to invite and encourage other men to violate her in their minds, you ought to understand why she wouldn’t want you to accept the invitation to violate other women in your mind.
I don’t mean to concentrate only on married men. Porn is poison for everyone, married or not. And I’m not here to castigate you if you’ve stumbled. We live in a society that preys upon a man’s weaknesses, shoving sex into his face at hyper speed every day, all day, all of the time. This isn’t an excuse; just an attempt to put things into context. I won’t yell at a guy who fights a porn addiction anymore than I’d yell at a guy who fights a crack addiction. But at least the crack addict likely won’t encounter very many people (besides his dealer) who will tell him that it’s actually healthy to smoke crack. If he ventures outside of the abandoned shack where he scores his dope, he probably won’t find any respectable people who will say, “hey, crack isn’t a big deal — it’s totally natural to smoke crack, man!” In that way, the crack smoker has a leg up on the porn addict. The porn addict, by contrast, has to fight both the compulsion itself and the myriad of creeps who will try to convince him that it’s all just a bit of innocent fun.
That’s a lie, of course. It’s not innocent. It’s not fun.
I could cite for you the mounds of psychiatric research proving the detrimental effects of pornography on the brain. But you can do that research yourself.
I could tell you about sex slavery, human trafficking, drug abuse, and child molestation, and I could explain how the porn industry wouldn’t exist without these necessary ingredients. But these are conclusions you can draw on your own, if ever you take even a moment to think about it.
I could remind you that these women you find on your porn sites might not be women at all — they could be children — and there’s no way for you to know for sure. I could then point out that any avid porn customer has most likely at some point been a child porn customer, whether he knew it or not. But this is, indeed, an obvious and inescapable reality.
I could tell you that many children view graphic porn for the first time before the age of 12. I could tell you that we haven’t even begun to reap the atrocious fruits that will come from an entire generation raised on the heinous perversions of internet pornography. But it’s probably too late for these warnings.
So what is left? Perhaps nothing, really. Pornography is evil, empty, deadening, dirty — this is something we all know. That’s why, unless you are either psychotic or utterly despicable, you wouldn’t want your daughter to get into the porn business. That’s why most people hide their porn habits. That’s why it still isn’t considered acceptable to browse “adult” websites at your desk at work or at a table in Starbucks (although people still do, in both scenarios). That’s why you only find porn shops and strip clubs in the slummy, rundown parts of town. No matter how hedonistic and “open minded” we become, we still recognize porn as something that ought to be stowed away in the dank, dark corners of our lives. This is Natural Law, and we can’t escape it. We have an innate understanding of right and wrong, whether we want it or not.
Married men: I think we should be spending our free time with our families, or reading interesting books so that we can sharpen our minds, or building things, or exercising, or doing anything else that will make us better men. Porn will not make you a better man. It will make you smaller. It will make you a liar. It will kill that instinct inside you that calls you to protect and honor women. It will turn you into something you never wanted to be. It will turn you into a sneaky, shameful pervert. It will turn you into an adulterer.
Real men don’t look at pornography.This post was written by Matt Walsh. To find his original post with comments, go here: http://themattwalshblog.com/2013/11/25/married-men-your-porn-habit-is-an-adultery-habit/BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Why should anyone trust me, having broken the trust that others had placed in me, due to my public sin and offense? In one, ultimate sense, you should only trust Jesus and no one else. The LORD Himself knows full well: "The heart is devious above all else; it is perverse -- who can understand it? I the LORD test the mind and search the heart, to give to all according to their ways, according to the fruit of their doings." (Jer. 17:9, 10 NRSV) "Deceit is in the mind of those who plan evil" (Prov. 12:20 NRSV). Each one of us has a devious, deceitful heart, and often we are unaware of the depth or degree of our own depravity. We have the ability to deceive not only others but also our own selves. Our God, however, cannot lie or be deceptive (Titus 1:2 NASB; cf. Isa. 45:19; 53:9; John 14:6); He alone can be objectively trusted (Ps. 4:5; 9:10; 25:2; 31:6, 14; 32:10; 37:3; Isa. 26:4; 1 Pet. 1:21). But let us not over-react, either. Many people can be trusted, generally, without the potential of psychological, emotional, or physical harm.
In another sense, though, if someone who committed a horrible sin, offense or crime grieves over that sin and by the grace of God repents and makes perpetual and successful efforts at changing one's mind, which will affect one's emotions, which in turn will affect one's behavior, that person may regain his or her integrity and earn back and continue to gain the trust of others. Even so, however, I think that people ought to hold such a person to more stringent standards in demonstrating his or her integrity -- especially if the offense committed was sexual in nature.
First, the apostle Paul informs us that every sin a person commits is "outside the body; but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body." (1 Cor. 6:18 NIV) Note the distinction the apostle renders sexual sin: it is set apart for its own category; it is a sin of the mind, the heart, and the body. Second, once a sexual offense has been committed, there will always -- always -- remain, even in a small measure, a potential for some sort of future offense, even if the potential offense does not mirror-image any prior offense committed. This reminds us to always perform good deeds, because whatever deeds we perform, whether good or bad, the likelihood of repeating those deeds becomes exponential once performed. Potential victims are to be protected and considered a priority over and above the feelings of a former offender. Third, what must be understood about those who have committed a sexual offense is that the offender is well trained at being deceptive. Think about this seriously: prior to my offense, no one knew that I was struggling with sexual desire for my seminary roommate, nor did anyone imagine that I was capable of behaving in any sexual or ungodly manner toward him. I learned how to hide my true feelings, my inner struggles, while maintaining the trust of others
So, how might one who has offended, whether sexually or otherwise, another human being created in the image of God regain his or her integrity and earn back the trust of others? I will give my amateur opinion, which I have learned from over a year and a half of therapy, and from much reading on the issue of offenses. Trust is always earned and rarely assumed. Once trust has been broken, earning or regaining trust can be very difficult, and in some circumstances can never again be achieved. Offenders of any stripe need to realize that people have a right to question our motives, our words, behaviors, actions, and to ask us difficult and pressing questions regarding our various interactions in any organization, whether societal or in the church. (This is especially true for anyone who has committed an offense against a minor.) What we really want people to see, however, is not that we can be trusted, as in some surface manner, but that we are daily striving toward making healthy choices mentally, emotionally, and behaviorally.
Moreover, our motive in this regard cannot be derived from an interest to maintain or be accepted in a leadership role, to serve on a committee where trust is a major component, or even so that others will think better of us. Certainly, we want others to not view us as monsters. However, what is most important for us is to consistently think, feel, and live a healthy, transparent, godly life. If this is our consistent experience then people will see the results for themselves; we will not incessantly cultivate a need for others to perceive us in a positive light, but will be satisfied within ourselves that we are living as we should, and trust the Lord that the results of godliness will shine through for His glory and for the edification of the Church. Through this long and arduous process we must daily remind ourselves that living a healthy and godly life is a process that will take many years and much striving. Our goal is always "no new victims."
In order to accomplish such a goal we must never fear or neglect the supporting structures in our life (Christ, prayer, Scripture, pastor, family, friends, the church); never fear transparency, since it is a helpful aid in the healing process; and never fear the time that cultivating a healthy mind and godliness takes. Christ is more than willing to see us through on this journey to the end.
This post was written by William Birch. For the original post with comments, go to: http://classicalarminian.blogspot.com/2013/11/earning-broken-trust.htmlBE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Yesterday, we noted three important factors to consider in regard to those who have a history of molesting children:
1. As a church we have a responsibility to protect those who cannot protect themselves. Children are very vulnerable.
2. Statistically, people who commit sexual crimes are rarely truly rehabilitated.
3. People who commit sexual crimes are very good at making you think that they are rehabilitated when they really aren’t.
I have been professionally counseling men for 30+ years. Many of them for their sexual behavior and many of them appeared to be sincerely Christian men. Yet there have been some that have convinced me that they were totally innocent, that the charges were trumped up and that they were unjustly charged. However, upon further investigation, I found out that they were lying thru their teeth. My experience has taught me a few things about safeguards. Let me share them with you:
First of all, most churches do this but I have run across some that don't: Every person who works in the church nursery, teaches children's Sunday School/Vacation Bible School, and/or is a Church Camp counselor, needs to sign an agreement to have his* background checked by the local authorities and the FBI. In fact, anyone who has repeated contact with children in any capacity in regard to a church function needs to have a background check. If you have someone who is working with children and didn't divulge his background, then that person needs to be confronted and the pastor needs to understand why the person felt a need to hide such information. This could very well be a legal as well as moral and spiritual issue.
Yet, a person who is truly desirous to fellowship in a church where there are children present, will talk to the pastor about his past before attending church. It would be advisable for the pastor to let the person know that the board will be informed of his past and that safeguards will be in place. Here are some recommended safeguards:
1. The person will sit up front, to the side, in the congregation. That way the only people he can see are the people on the stage. Also, it keeps him in full visibility of the congregation and pastor.
2. Several men will be appointed to keep an eye on the person. If he gets up to leave for any reason, he will be accompanied by at least one other man.
3. He will never enter the bathroom alone. In fact, it is advisable that the church appoint individuals to make rounds in the church bathrooms and other private/secluded areas of the church before, during and after the service from the time the church is unlocked until it is locked again.
4. He does not need to attend services when children will be up front on the stage for extended periods of time. If he is there, he needs to excuse himself until the children are not up front, or he should just go home.
5. He needs to be active in the Men's Ministry of the church and be accountable to that group of men.
6. He needs to meet with the pastor regularly for counsel, feedback and accountability.
7. He should never be allowed to work with children, in any capacity.8. He should not be Facebook friends, or any other social media including texting with any minors in the church.So, it is possible to allow a person with a criminal history of sexually abusing children to worship and fellowship in the church but he must be transparent and be willing to follow the recommended safeguards. If he cannot, then the church can go to where he is and fellowship with him at his home or a neutral location. Or the obvious..... If you really want to minister to these individuals, consider a service that is for adults only... No minors allowed... Spaced far enough from the other service so that there is time to come and go without interacting with minors.We don't need to write off these men, they need to grow spiritually as well. And you know, it will decrease child molestation in the long run too... *The word "his" will be used throughout. The majority of those who sexually offend are males but that does not mean that the church should give an automatic pass to women. Women need to have background checks as well.BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
The first generation Christians were brought out of evil. The power of Jesus radically changed these individuals. Look at the list of sins from which the first generation Christians were delivered: 1) sexual immorality, 2) idolatry, 3) adultery, 4) homosexuality, 5) greed, 6) drunkenness and 7) swindling. I Cor 6:9-10
Did you catch that? The church treasurer who cooks the books is among the list of individuals who do things that the church vehemently speaks out against. Yet…
“…that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” I Cor 6:11
Did you also catch “that is what some of you were”? These individuals were brought out of their lifestyle and were justified. Justified is a term that means “just as if I’d not sinned.”
So what did the early church do about individuals who committed the sexually immoral behavior of molesting children?
On this blog you will find a post written by a man who did just that and now can’t find a church that will accept him. I know another Christian man who 20+ years past his crime, paid for his crime, and has set up boundaries to not be around children, who is searching for a church that will accept him into their fellowship.
What is the church’s response to these individuals? We will accept the greedy person (“God I want you to bless me with a Cadillac”) and in fact will have opulent church potlucks where people that don’t need the rich foods pile it on. We forgive the church board member who cheats on his wife.
But what do we as a church do about individuals who committed the sexually immoral behavior of molesting children?
This is not an easy answer… There are three complicating but very important points to make before answering that question:
1. As a church we have a responsibility to protect those who cannot protect themselves. Children are very vulnerable.
2. Statistically, people who commit sexual crimes are rarely truly rehabilitated.
3. People who commit sexual crimes are very good at making you think that they are rehabilitated when they really aren’t.
Knowing these three facts, as a church what should be our response to someone who is a sexual offender? Especially to those who have repented, become a sincere Christian; have turned away from their sinfulness and desire to have fellowship with other Christians? Tomorrow we will make some recommendations.
BE A MAN.
Nearly one in ten young Americans has committed an act of sexual violence, a new study in the journal JAMA Pediatrics reports. Of the 1,058 teenagers and young adults, ages 14 to 21, who participated in the online study, 8% reported that they had kissed, touched, or “made someone else do something sexual” when they “knew the person did not want to.” Three percent of teens verbally coerced a victim into sex; 3% attempted to physically force them into sex; 2% perpetrated a completed rape.
It’s long been apparent that teenagers face an elevated risk for sexual abuse. One 1998 study found that 12% of high school girls and 5% of boys have been sexually abused; a 1997 study found that girls ages 16 to 19 are “four times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault." But this new report sheds light on the demographics, tactics, and attitudes of young sex offenders. One finding in particular stands out: The prototypical teen sexual abuser is a white male from a higher-income family.
Here’s what else the study found:
Demographics: Most perpetrators committed their first act of sexual violence at age 16. Boys are more likely to coerce or force others into sex than girls are (though girls offend, too). White kids and higher-income kids are slightly more likely to rape than their peers. Eighty percent of victims were girls; 18 percent were boys; 5 percent were transgender.
Pornography use: Teens who had watched porn were more likely to be perpetrators, but the discrepancy was “almost entirely explained by whether the material was violent in nature.” Teens who had seen non-violent pornography were equally likely to have committed sexual violence as teens who had seen none, but those who had watched material that “depicted one person hurting another person while doing something sexual” were more likely to be offenders (the study doesn't address causality).
Relationships: In every case, the victim was known to the perpetrator. Fifty-two percent met their victim at school. Three out of four perpetrators targeted a “boyfriend or girlfriend.” Two percent met online.
Tactics: Thirty-two percent of perpetrators argued or pressured another person into sex; 63 percent guilted them into it; 5 percent threatened physical force, and 8 percent used it. Fifteen percent employed alcohol.
Consequences: In 66 percent of cases, “no one found out” about the incident, and the perpetrator faced no consequences. Twenty-nine percent of perpetrators were found out, but were not punished. Eleven percent “got in trouble with their parents.” Just 2 percent—one perpetrator found by the study—was arrested. Seven percent of offenders said they felt “not at all responsible” for the sexual violence; 35 percent felt “completely” responsible; 48 percent felt “somewhat” responsible. Fifty percent felt that their victim was “completely” responsible. (Yes, the overlap confuses us as well.)
The study challenges several popular assumptions about teen sexual violence. Girls can be abusers, and boys can be victims. The study's authors suggest that in light of the findings on race and income, healthcare professionals "assess and perhaps challenge our assumptions about sexual violence as an ill solely conscripted to underprivileged populations." And given the significant proportion of crimes that were discovered but not reported—and the percentage of parents who took care of punishment in their own homes—the study speaks to the opportunity for peers, educators, and caretakers to take action when they discover that a young person in their lives has victimized another. The low percentage of punishment and the high percentage of perpetrators who blame their victims is not a heartening mix.
This post was written by A Hess. For the original post, go to: http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/10/08/one_in_10_young_americans_has_committed_sexual_violence_new_study_finds.html
BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
"I got up in the middle of the nite and he was just sitting there on the couch, watching a scrambled TV channel" is what this single mother told me of her teenage son. This was the first indication that she had that her son may have had sexual compulsion issues.
Now, he was sitting in juvenile detention and she was trying to find a counselor to get help for her son. He had been picked up for entering his neighbors apartment without permission.
The neighbor had set a trap for him. She had been noticing that some of her underwear was missing. At first, the neighbor thought that her underwear disappeared in the dryer. However, some times, when she would come home from work, her underwear drawer was in disarray, different from what it was when she left for work in the morning. The police were notified and a hidden camera was in place. Upon reviewing the recording with the police, she identified this young man as the suspect. When the police picked him up, the young man seemed relieved that he was caught. He broke down and told his story.
His upbringing did not reflect anything out of the ordinary, just a father who was absent. After his parents divorced, his mother worked two jobs and his father came around for special occasions but otherwise did not have much contact with him. He wanted manly affection and wasn't getting it from his father. He wanted a mother's affection and she gave him love as she could but was so busy with work and raising him and his older sister.
The young man stated that he was viewing porn with some of his friends and there was one movie about a man who wore women's panties because he liked the way it felt against his genitals. This young man was looking to soothe himself because of the lack of affection he was getting from his family, so he started to get his sisters underwear and found it very sexually stimulating. Next, he was getting up late at nite to watch the Playboy channel on TV. Mom didn't pay for that channel but it still came in scrambled and sometimes he could make out pictures and could hear the sound. While sitting there watching this channel he would masturbate into his sister's panties.
Eventually, this got to be less stimulating so he started fantasizing about a sexual liaison with the neighbor. He found that there was a broken window that the landlord had not fixed that he could easily get into. So, on occasion, he would get into his neighbors apartment and take some underwear. Later, that nite, in front of the TV he would fantasize and masturbate.
You can imagine where this young man's sexual urges may have taken him had he not been stopped by the police. Nevertheless, he entered treatment for his sexual behavior which led to him committing crimes and it appears that a future life of crime was averted. This young man heavily invested himself in treatment.
There were a few things missing from this young man's life that could have helped him not get involved in criminal activity:
1. If his father had taken more of interest in him and spent time with him he may not have craved the affection he so desired
2. If his mother did not have to work two jobs to pay the bills she could have spent more time with him and also had a better handle on his activity
3. This young man was very introverted and did not participate in the social life of his school. If he could have joined sports, the arts, band, journalism, etc that could have helped develop his social skills and also given him interests that weren't so purient.
4. This young man was not involved in a church youth group. The parents of other teens could have served as pseudo-surrogate parents, or the youth pastor could have spent time with him.
These could have helped him develop in a healthy manner.
Ultimately, this young man's behavior is his responsibility. It is easy to blame parents, school, church or society and he came to realize that he was responsible for his own feelings, attitudes and actions. Nevertheless, if these four things had not been missing from his life, he would have had more opportunity to challenge some of his assumptions without having to be forced into treatment.
So, men, we have an important place in our society and our churches. Take the time to note those young men who are struggling and pray for opportunities to influence them.
BE A MAN.
Dreams are odd. In dreams we can fly, shape shift, transmogrify, meet people that we admire and also be turned on sexually. There is also a psychological technique called "lucid dreaming" where one learns the techniques to manipulate dreams.
Men, when they are teens, experience "wet dreams" that are usually intensely sexual. So, men have a history from early in their lives of connecting dreams to sexual arousal. Many of the men that I counsel tell me that their dreams often trigger their sexual acting out.
How does one handle sexual dreams? Often they are not under our conscious control. So, are we responsible for our dreams? Are we responsible for our acting out sexually when aroused by a dream? How does one stay pure, even while sleeping?
You are VERY responsible if you practice lucid dreaming. If you purposely manipulate your dreams, then you will be accountable for such.
However, there are things that one can do to try and keep one's dreams from turning too sexual:
1. Pay attention to what you think about while you are falling asleep.
2. Memorize scripture that you can repeat in your mind while falling asleep. Philippians 4:8 is a scripture that is made for just such an occasion. Proverbs 4:23 and Malachi 2:15 are excellent as well.
3. Pray while you are falling asleep. This is a great time to talk to God.
4. In your prayer, ask God to protect your mind while you sleep. God can do that, if you learn to count on His faithfulness.
5. Pay attention to what you watch on TV, in the theatre and on the internet, especially right before you go to sleep. You may have to take the TV out of your bedroom. Dreams often are an amalgamation of our daily experiences.
6. If you work with a professional counselor, you can dissect your dreams to help understand them a little bit. Even though a dream may be sexual, the core of the dream may also be something that you need to confront in yourself.
If you wake up sexually aroused from a dream, what can you do to prevent acting out?
1. Urinate. Many times an erection is simply the result of a full bladder.
2. Read something non-sexual. Opening God's Word and talking to God about what you are physically feeling is way of strengthening your relationship with HIm and beating temptation.
3. Call a member of your accountability group.
4. Take a cold shower.
5. Stay away from TV and the Internet while you are aroused.
6. Do not recreate the dream in your mind. Distract yourself by thinking in a pure manner.
So, even though your dreams are often not under your conscious control, you can control what you watch and think throughout the day. God is faithful. If you ask Him for His assistance in this area, He will help. Also, arousal does not mean that you have to do something sexual. You can choose to act out or you can choose not to act out.
BE A MAN.
Pornography and depictions of sexuality have turned more than 4,500 British children – some of them as young as five – into sexual offenders, according to a UK-based child welfare charity.
A Freedom of Information Act request showed that 4,562 minors – 98 percent of them boys – committed 5,028 sexual offenses over a three year period, from 2009-2012.
Three separate police forces reported five-year-olds committing sexual offenses.
However, the London Telegraph reports, “the true figure” of total offenders “could be even higher as nine forces, including the three largest – the Metropolitan Police, Greater Manchester Police and West Midlands Police – could not provide the relevant figures.”
Twenty percent of cases reported involved a family member. In another third, a family friend was victimized.
“We know that technology and easy access to sexual material is warping young people’s views of what is ‘normal’ or acceptable behavior,” said Claire Lilley, policy adviser at The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).
The report's content, though specific to Great Britain, contains universal truths.
“Child-on-child sex abuse and rape is a growing problem in every culture where pornography flourishes,” Patrick Trueman, a former federal prosecutor in the Reagan administration and president of Morality In Media, told LifeSiteNews.com.
“Children act out what they see. If they see acts of love and charity, they will mimic those,” Trueman said. “But when they see sexual violence, domination, rape, and other similar acts so commonly depicted in modern-day pornography, as today's children do, they will act out those, as well.”
The British report joins an accumulating mound of heartwrenching stories showing how pornography has permanently scarred children around the world – both the victims and the perpetrators.
In the Australian state of Victoria alone, 414 minors were referred for sexual offenses to the Centres Against Sexual Assault (CASA) last year. Just more than half could be placed in rehabilitation programs.
Therapists continually cite the role access to pornography and sexually explicit television scenarios play in sexualizing children and, in some cases, triggering them to exploit others.
Child therapist John Woods of London reported a case of a 13-year-old boy who raped his five-year-old sister after developing a “complex fantasy world” warped by “two years of constant porn use.”
Similar reports come from North America.
In Canada, a 13-year-old boy said his gay porn consumption led to his repeated rape of a four-year-old boy who lived in his foster home.
The omnipresent flickers of porn have caused alarm at the highest levels of European government.
A cross-party report from the British parliament found most boys learned about sex by watching pornography, an influence that “negated the primacy of relationships whilst promoting a self-centered focus of sex.”
That influence magnifies anti-social behavior. A 2010 study from Australia's La Trobe University found boys who watch porn are more likely to harass girls. Nearly one-third of British girls aged 16-18 said they experienced unwanted sexual touching in a 2010 YouGov poll.
“We must do more to shield young people from an increasingly sexualized society,” Lilley said.
As a result of cases such as these, Iceland is considering banning pornography because of the harm it inflicts on women and children.
The move touched off fierce debate in the UK. This report elevates that discussion to a new importance.
“The world is suffering an untreated pandemic of harm from pornography and children are suffering the most,” Trueman told LifeSiteNews.This post was written by Ben Johnson. For the original post, click hereBE HOLY.BE A MAN.
When I first started attending recovery groups in 1991, I met a guy who told me he’d had 2 years of freedom from sexual sin, and then fallen. I wondered how someone who’d gone that long could blow it. It wouldn’t be long before I would learn from experience.
I jumped into the recovery program, achieved 18 months of sobriety, and lost it.
I bounced back, gained another three years of sobriety, and lost it again. The bad news was that for the next three years I averaged a precarious 3 months of freedom with plenty of small compromises in between.
So what happened? Why do guys go so long and then lose it? Here are five reasons why:
This is number one, by far. A guy gets a few years under his belt, then the others in his recovery circle start looking up to him as the “one with the answers.” He enters the danger is if he starts buying into this and thinking he’s arrived... “Yo church, lemme show you how it’s done.” A guy in pride-mode is living in his flesh-strength, and fighting the lust of the flesh with the flesh never works. It won’t be long before he falls flat on his face.
2. They’re not grounded in humility. All of us are stuck with the evil, wicked nature the Bible calls the flesh until the day we die. Then there is the battle with the god of this world, who smells our weaknesses from miles away. Past freedom from sin is never a guarantee for future victory; we’re always one or two bad decisions away from a nosedive off the cliff. Pride blinds a man to the truth and causes him to rely on himself and his past. When I’m grounded in humility, I realize that I need God every day for the rest of my life to stay free from sexual sin. There’s nothing good inside of me apart from the Lord and I can’t do it without Him. This isn’t going to change until death parts me from my flesh.
3. They start making small compromises.
After a stretch of freedom, most men don’t fall instantly. What often happens is that they make little compromises that chip away at their resistance. They start allowing sexual fantasy to play in their mind, or they expose themselves to movies or other media they know is dangerous. “Hey, I can handle this; I’ve been sober for two years now.” Over time these little compromises strip down his resistance, and the next thing he knows he’s flat on his face wondering what happened. Never give lust an inch. If you give it an inch, it will jam its foot in the door and try to gain more ground.
4. They isolate themselves.
It’s easy to get too busy and stop attending support groups or back off from an accountability partner “because we’ve got this licked.” Yeah right. Guys who haven’t walked on water don’t have anything on sin. We need other godly men around us until our time on this earth ends. If you make a small compromise with lust, the easiest and quickest way to douse the sparks of temptation and compromise is to expose it to a friend as soon as you are able. This keeps the door slammed tight on lust and stiffens your resolve to say “no.”
5. They don’t stay alert.
“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Last summer, a day before I was to leave for a three day business trip, the Lord gave me several verses about Him “walking with me through the shadow of death.” I have to confess to being dense and not getting it. The first night, the pull to turn on the TV was consistent but not more than I could deal with. The second night, at another hotel, the battle got a little hotter. Then the third night, it was if the enemy pulled off the gloves and went for it. There were banging noises in the hotel room above late at night, and the pull to turn on the TV went red-hot. I flipped the TV on. Once I crossed that line, the temptation to rent a porn movie increased to bonfire proportions. By God’s grace alone I shut the TV off before it went any further.
I didn’t get God’s warnings before the trip, and it could have cost me dearly. Who knows how far I might have fallen if I’d have rented a porn movie? What I should have done was spend more time on my knees in prayer every night to shore up my defenses and ask for spiritual reinforcements from above. Bible reading and praying Scripture out loud would have helped. I got hit by an onslaught of the enemy and was in a battle zone wearing pajamas. Not smart.
We need to stay prayed up, sober, and on the alert; we won’t see what’s coming at us around the corner until it’s in our face.
This post was written by Mike Genung. Mike struggled with sexual addiction for 20 years before God set him free in 1999. He is the founder of Blazing Grace, and the author of The Road to Grace; Finding True Freedom from the Bondage of Sexual Addiction, available at www.roadtograce.net. For the original post, go to: http://www.xxxchurch.com/men/how-do-i-live-in-freedom.html
BE HOLY.BE A MAN.