Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Moving Back to the Hovel

This is going to be a tough post. It has been a tough week.

I am a sexual addict; and am involved in a ministry called For Men Only (FMO) because of that. My MSM account is parentally controlled with reports sent to my wife's email address. The defenses are pretty strong; but so is my will so I found a way through last week and have been wallowing in internet pornography - and got caught by my wife (not, incidentally, because of the email reports). While she said that she felt violated and unloved, she showed me grace in saying that she was sorry I had to struggle through this. That came to a head Saturday night.

Sunday morning came my pastor, Jeff Bell, teaching through:

Ephesians 4:17 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 20 But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. 25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another. 26 BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity. 28 He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. 29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
I am not going to try to cover the teaching - you can listen here (and you should - it was a great job). Since the teaching performed a 2x4 operation to the center of my forehead, I thought I would talk about that.

The word teaches that we can go to God when we sin and ask for forgiveness and be forgiven. James (5:16) teaches that we should confess to one another, and pray for one another, to be healed. Forgiveness from God, but it is confession to one another that brings healing. Now, I have FMO to go through that process in; but I feel like confession is necessary on a wider level - because pornography and sexual addiction are a huge issue among men, and women, who follow Christ: one that not enough churches are taking seriously and providing support and counseling for. People need to break the silence on this within the Body of Christ.

The analogy Jeff used to thread his teaching together was the TV show Extreme Makeover: The Home Edition on CBS ABC. For those unfamiliar, a home is picked for some reason - one that is usually unfit for a family to live in anymore for some reason. It could be mold, water damage, pestilence, etc. Usually the house is bulldozed or gutted while the family is away, and completely rebuilt or remodeled in order to make it a decent place to live. Jeff posited the idea that suppose instead of bulldozing the house, a new one was built next door. How many people would leave the new, clean residence with adequate space and facilities and move back into the squalor, filth, and lack of facilities next door.

I did that this week: moved right out of the light of God's grace and right back into the squalor of my sin nature and lusts. I damaged my marriage and hurt one of God's daughters - my wife. I believe my daughter knows; and therefore I have given a horrible example to my 13 year old child. For two weeks I have ignored other Kingdom, family, and work responsibilities to focus on viewing pornography.

I have repented (turned from) this activity; closed the holes and hopefully sealed the cracks. God has forgiven me; and I ask you who read this to pray for me so that I will be healed as James promised. I also ask you to press for FMO-type programs for your churches if you do not already have them: this is a critical issue standing between followers of Christ and their walk in the Light.

Resources: Please feel free to add your own resources in the comment section.

3 comments:

  1. I will be praying for you. The Lord can take away the desire completely to view any porn. And, He can put back the broken pieces of marriage or relationship with your daughter. He loves you! And, none of us have a right to pass judgement, for each of us could be in the same boat some day, needing forgiveness.

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  2. Be strong, brother. You're in my prayers.

    The Lord can take away the desire completely to view any porn.

    I'm not sure that's true. I bet She can give you the strength, though, to turn the demons away when they do arise. Jesus didn't banish all the demons at once; he cast them out one at a time. Pull back and observe yourself as you think of ways to get around the PCs. Bear witness to the earliest stages of the compulsion and you can head them off.

    YBIC,tcs

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  3. Barbara and Tyler

    Thank you for your prayers and kind words.

    ReplyDelete

How to debate charitably (rules are links to more description of rule):
1. The Golden Rule
2. You cannot read minds
3. People are not evil
4. Debates are not for winning
5. You make mistakes
6. Not everyone cares as much as you
7. Engaging is hard work
8. Differences can be subtle
9. Give up quietly