A Purity Survival Guide to the Holidays – Triggers

by porntopurity on November 26, 2014


santa_crazy_xmas_man_christmas-999pxSexual strugglers can have a rough time during the holidays.

Most of us look forward to the holidays.  We anticipate time off from work and school.  We look forward to an extended vacation where we travel, visit family, reflect on God’s goodness, shop and watch sporting events.  We dedicate a lot of energy to planning the celebratory part of our holiday, but we might not plan well for the purity part of our holiday.

I (with the help of my buddy Frank Honess) have put together this Purity Survival Guide to the Holidays to help you think through your holiday purity strategy.

LISTEN to our podcasts.  Jeff’s podcastFrank’s podcast.

WATCH our YouTube video on it. HERE


A trigger happens “when something sets you off emotionally.  In our purity journey, we need to learn to respond to triggers in healthy, godly ways.  The problem is we have encountered a trigger, don’t know how to deal with it, so we take the shortcut and go to porn and sexual acting out to deal with our emotions.  Sexual thinking and behaviors for us become a coping mechanism.  A drug or medication we take to make it all better.

For the holiday times, you will need to think through people, places, things that set you off emotionally.  Here are some common holiday triggers:

WORK / SCHOOL- There are stresses with work leading up to a holiday.  Deadlines.  Assignments are due.  Tests need to be taken.  People taking time off.  You have to make sure you get your work done or delegated before you leave.  There are stresses with work after the holiday, trying to manage a heavier work load.

TRAVEL – It can be exciting to travel, but getting on a plane, train or car when thousands of others are trying to do the same can be very stressful.  Accidents, emergencies, delays and bad weather complicate our efforts to get there.  If we’re traveling with our spouse and kids (and maybe a pet), their challenges become our challenges.

FAMILY – The holidays are great times to get together with family, but families have their own dynamics.
Some family members we like being around, others we dread.  Some family members trumpet their great accomplishments and we are unfairly compared to them.  Other family members criticize us, belittle and shame us.  Family members have their own baggage that is hard for us to deal with.  For many sexual strugglers we have abuse and woundedness in our pasts that make visiting family very complicated.

MONEY – Shopping and purchasing gifts for family bring money stress.  Big, expensive lists and the expectations that these gifts will be bought make it hard.  The holidays might also be times for big utility bills.  Some companies (especially blue collar) lay off staff during the holidays or staff are forced to take unpaid days off.

santagroupPARTIES / SOCIAL GATHERINGS- These can be challenging for many sexual strugglers who have trouble making friends and developing relationships.  Social awkwardness is a stressor.  Holiday parties can also be places where men or women are dressed in sexy, provocative ways.  People get flirty and lose, especially when alcohol is involved.

VACATION / RELAX TIME – The very thing we long for can be triggery if we’re not careful.  When we relax, unwind, and decompress we can lose focus on our purity journey.  Relaxing for many of us equals disengaging from sober thinking.

LACK OF STRUCTURE – It’s nice to be out from under the structure of work, school or family, but it can be dangerous.  The sexual struggler hasn’t done well in the past with a lack of structure.  And if we’re traveling to stay with someone else, we are often on someone else’s structure which can bring an added layer of stress.

MORE ALONE TIME – There are more times during the holidays to get off by ourselves.  Alone time for many of us is one of our worst triggers isn’t it?

LONELINESS – Loneliness is not the same as being alone.  Alone time means no one is around me physically.  Loneliness is when I feel no one is around me emotionally.  This is very common during the holidays.  We get away from the busyness of our normal routine.  We slow down, life gets quiet, we are around less people.  We don’t feel supported emotionally.  Sometimes it stops at that, but sometimes an emptiness emerges.  Is loneliness one of your top holiday triggers?

GRIEF / LOSS – If we’ve lost loved ones, the holidays can often remind us of our loss.  Or if we have suffered a separation or divorce we may experience a lot of grief and hurt.

snapshot2UNMET EXPECTATIONS – These can take many forms.  Some of us expect the holiday to be fantastic.  We have big plans.  We expect the perfect holiday, and everyone to be in peace, love and harmony.  Or maybe we expect the perfect vacation, the kids to get along, and that we would have sex with our spouse every night.  We are often disappointed when we don’t get what we hope for.  These can bring an array of triggers like anger, sadness, disappointment, feeling unloved, or feelings of rejection.

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN / SHOULD HAVE BEEN – This is a mix of unmet expectations, and grief.  If our sexual sin has caused consequences to our personal life, career or marriage, we can get caught wondering what the holiday would have been like if we had not suffered the consequences our choices and behaviors have brought on.  “If you had not done this, we would be having a great holiday right now?”  “We have to tip toe around my family because of what you did to me.”  This can very quickly take the form of shame.  In your mind you interpret it as, not the bad things you did and their consequences, but the bad person you are.”  That’s shame.  A terrible trigger that sends us into a bad place.


HOMEWORK #1 – Make a list of your holiday triggers.  Write them out.  Walk through your holiday in your mind and put down the triggers you might face along the way.

Glad to help you on your purity journey.

Jeff and Marsha Fisher

Top Tips For Sexual Purity Podcast (I-Tunes)

Big Question: When Will My Life Get Back to Normal?

by Jeff Fisher on November 11, 2014



CLICK HERE TO HEAR THE PODCAST OF THIS BLOG Click here to download or listen to the show

If you are recovering from a sexual addiction, there is probably no question more popular than this one. A guy’s sexual behaviors get found out, his life blows apart, others are hurt around him, he begins his recovery, and he starts to wonder “When will things get back to normal?” A spouse of a sexual addict will ask this question too.  Our spouse is affected by our sexual struggles and it shatters her world.  She gets overwhelmed with the truth of the situation and the peril her marriage is in.  She wants to know when things will get back to normal.  WHAT ARE YOU’RE REALLY SAYING? What most people mean when they wonder when they ask the question is:

  • “When will the pain go away?”
  • “When will I not have to think about sexual addiction anymore?”
  • “When will the consequences go away?
  • “When will we be able to put this behind us?”
  • “When will we all be healed from this?”
  • “When will my marriage be restored?”
  • “When can I go back to doing what I was doing?”
  • “When will I be free of sexual temptation?
  • “When will I have victory over this?”

That’s a lot of possibilities isn’t it?  I suppose the right question to ask for clarity is “What do you mean by ‘normal’?” WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY “NORMAL”? Normal = The way things used to be That’s a bad place to be.  .  Normal in that sense didn’t work very well.  You used to be secretive about your sexual sin.  You used to hide, lie, and deceive.  You used to rationalize and minimize your sin.  You used to be a very unhealthy person, spouse, or parent because of your sexual sin. God doesn’t want you to get back to that type of normal.  God want us away from that old lifestyle and false intimacy. Normal = I want the pain or consequences to go away Who doesn’t want less pain?  Recovery hurts.  Suffering consequences hurts.  And if your spouse is the one who’s sinned against you with his sexual sin, it’s a different dimension of hurt.  But shortcutting the pain is not the best thing.  We have to properly address the pain, talk about it, get it out, bring it to God for healing, and use it as a stepping stone to grow in our relationship.  The sexual struggler needs to feel the pain and consequences that his sin has caused.  God can use it to drive home the seriousness of his actions and help him to be serious about recovery.  Pain can also help us cling to God and to others more deeply. Normal = I won’t struggle with sexual temptation and sin anymore This is not ever going to happen.  We can’t drive away temptations.  We can’t ever be sinless.  What we can do is set up roadblocks to minimize triggers and temptations.  And we will always have our fleshly, old nature to contend with at times. We can make decisions to avoid certain places and people and to walk in God’s ways.  Healing from sexual struggles does not mean it will never be an issue.  If we don’t keep a recovery mindset we can always fall back into the bondage of sexual sin. Normal = My marriage will be restored This is not even a good goal of recovery.  You can work on your own behavior, but you cannot guarantee the behavior and decisions of your spouse.  Your spouse may go off the deep end.  Your spouse may decide to divorce you and take the kids.  You can’t control these things.  God’s perfect will is that a marriage be restored, but that doesn’t always happen. OUR DEFINITION OF NORMAL IS PROBABLY NOT GOD’S God has a much higher goal for us in our sexuality.  Let’s face it, we are the ones who have set a low standard for many years.  But God has a very high definition of normal.  God’s big picture for you is healthy sexuality, healthy emotionally, healthy relationally, and healthy physically.  God wants you to strive for sexual purity and not settle for less than His best. One of the reasons He allowed you to go through this period of struggling was to help you glorify Him better.  You were on a very destructive path in your sexual bondage, and God is trying to bring you to the new norm. Healthy sexuality is very different.  When you start getting a taste of it, it feels good, but it’s not something you’ve been used to.

  • To be free of masturbation and pornography
  • To be serving your spouse instead of serving your lustful desires
  • To have sex with your wife and not feel shame
  • To have open, honest friendships with other men
  • To be able to talk freely about your struggles
  • To renew your walk with God
  • To heal from your wounds
  • To connect emotionally with your spouse

This is what healthy sexuality looks like.  This is the new normal that God wants for us.  This is what God has designed you for and has been trying to bring you to all along. DON’T SHORTCUT YOUR HEALING In your sexual addiction recovery, God is taking you through a very important process of healing.  It hurts like heck, sure.  But you don’t want to short change it.  You don’t want to be LESS healed than God wants you to be. The best thing for you might be that you have to work on your recovery for another 6 months, year, 3 years.  It’s not because you’re a failure.  It’s because God wants you to be healthy, and health takes time.   It took us a long time to get unhealthy.  It’s not going away in 30 days or with a few intense counseling sessions. Let God have His way.  Let Him heal you fully.  Instead of asking the question, “When will I get back to normal?” ask the question “God, what is the new normal you want for me?”

And even better, make this declaration to God:  “God, I’m willing to do whatever it takes, spend whatever money is necessary, and take whatever time is needed for me to be healed and healthy.  Help me learn as much as I can during this process.”

Now that’s a big prayer! Thanks For Listening! jeff@porntopurity.com Subscribe to Top Tips For Sexual Purity on I-Tunes CovenantEyes.comTHE BEST ACCOUNTABILITY SOFTWARE We are proud to be affiliated with Covenant Eyes! They have allowed us to offer you a Free 30-Day trial of their software.  I my and Marsha’s opinion, it’s the best on the market.  They have great filtering software and accountability software. CLICK HERE for a free 30-day trial of Covenant Eyes, and type in the code PURITY when you check out. Take this important step and shore up your computer with some filtering and accountability. Show Music from MusicAlley.com Show Theme – Derek K. Miller “Hotcake Syrup” Background – Beau Hall “Sugar Rush”

6 Types of Erosion the Sexual Addict Can’t See

by Jeff Fisher on November 10, 2014

{ 1 comment }

Our sexual sin affects many things we cannot see, yet.

Erosion brings a hidden, slow devestation.  Erosion to soil can cause a house to sink into the ground.  Erosion of the nuts and bolts in your car cause parts to go bad.  Beach erosion causes houses and lighthouses to have to be moved.

When we are struggling sexually and don’t talk about it, a deadly erosion takes place on many levels.

Erosion of our spiritual life – Our relationship with God.  Our prayer life.  Our spiritual fervency.  Our intimacy with God.  Our focus on Kingdom things.  We cannot be holy vessels when we are holding onto sexual sin.  We cannot be sensitive to the Holy Spirit when we are in sin.

Erosion of our authenticity – We can’t be our true self.  A second person exists.  We lack integrity.  We pretend.  We lie.

Erosion of our sense of truth – We are slowly being deceived into thinking that keeping a secret is OK.  We begin to convince ourselves that it would be better not to share; that there will be less carnage and consequence.  We start believing lies.  Even lies that our behavior is not that bad, or that somehow, it’s OK with God.  We don’t realize how far we are straying from a sense of truth.

Erosion of our relationships – We give less energy and passion to others.  We are becoming self-absorbed,  protective and private.  There’s a part of us that we can’t offer to others.  We cannot fully minister to others.  When we do connect with others, it is devoid of the power of God from a clean vessel.

Erosion of our passions – Our passion is not God, but ourselves.  Our passion becomes our sexual habits.  This is idolatry.  We are giving ourselves to something God did not ordain for us.  The energy that we could be using to serve Him, our spouse, and others is being given to porn, fantasy, masturbation or adultery.

Erosion of other people’s lives – Some of us are involved in illicit relationships with other people.  We may be having an affair, encounters with prostitutes, anonymous sex, or an emotional affair.  In some cases a parishioner is involved; someone you counseled, a secretary, a teenager, a child.  Other people become victims of our behaviors.

When we are in the middle of our sexual sin, we do not see these types of erosion.  God may have blow our life apart before we see the erosion.  There is always degradation with sin, and sin always puts us on its destructive path.

The key to stopping the erosion is to share the secret.  The only way for the power to be taken out of the secret is to talk about out with safe people.  Darkeness must come into light.  The affects of erosion will contnue as long as the secret remains.  Erosion will never magically disappear.  It has to be arrested and counteracted with something bigger than ourselves.


snapshot2Jeff Fisher helps guys with their purity journeys through:

  • Online / Phone Support Groups
  • Accountability Coaching 
  • Personal Coaching 
  • Speaking at Conferences


Twitter Page
Facebook Page

purity coaching banner 1

Do You Really Believe You Can Be Free?

by Jeff Fisher on November 9, 2014


Hear Jeff Fisher podcast this blog on his Top Tips For Sexual Purity Podcast:  CLICK HERE

I want you to be honest about what you’re about to read.

These Scriptures speak to your sexual sin, and any other areas of your life that God wants to touch.  Read them slowly.

Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

Galatians 5:13 “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.”

Romans 6:12-14 “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.”

Response #1:  I believe it.  I’m experiencing Christ’s freedom and learning to walk in it.

Response #2:  I believe it.  I can’t figure out how to get there.

Response #3:  I read these verses, but have a hard time believing them. 

There’s no question what the Bible says here:

  • Freedom exists.
  • It is Christ who makes it happen.
  • I can use my freedom to indulge in sin or serve God and others.
  • There is a connection between freedom and the grace of God.

I have struggled with these Scriptures (even as a Christian) because my sexual sin was so dominant.  I believed in Jesus, I knew He had saved me, but I didn’t think I could be free from lust, pornography and masturbation.  How was that possible?  If there was freedom in Christ, why was I having such a hard time staying pure?

Some Scriptures are easy to believe and obey.  I like those.  Some Scriptures I struggle with, but still believe they are possible.  Other Scriptures kick me in the butt and seem so out of reach for my life that I have trouble accepting them.  The exercise here is to be honest… with yourself, with others, and with God.

It’s OK to admit that you are having trouble believing a Scripture.  God is our loving Father.  He can take it.  He will not strike you down or punish you for your honest.  The people He had the strongest judgment for in the Bible were the fakers.

I’m learning not to be a faker.

I’m also learning that freedom is a journey of faith.  I am learning to believe that God’s Word is true.  I believe if He allowed it to be penned in the Scriptures there must be a way to get there.

If you’re having trouble believing that freedom from sexual sin is possible, that’s OK.  Be honest with God and ask Him to help you believe.

Mark 9:24 “Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’”

Tomorrow’s blog is titled “I Believe Freedom is Possible, But How Do I Get There?”   I hope you’ll join me.


snapshot2Jeff Fisher helps guys with their purity journeys through:

  • Online / Phone Support Groups
  • Accountability Coaching 
  • Personal Coaching 
  • Speaking at Conferences


Twitter Page
Facebook Page

purity coaching banner 1

I recently posted this book review on the Covenant Eyes blog.  Click HERE to see the original post.

As the mother of an eleven year old and a five year old, I was eager to read Stan and Brenna’s Jones’ award winning book How and When to Tell Your Kids About Sex. My husband and I both grew up in homes where sexual development and sexuality were mentioned very little and with much hesitancy. While abstinence was discussed in our church youth groups, that message was a mere trickle compared to the barrage of information we received from our public school sex education, cable television and our peers.

We were determined as parents to have very open and honest conversations with our sons about sexuality and purity, and we knew that in order to reduce the inherent awkwardness we would need to begin at a young age. But how much was too much for their little minds? I wanted to stay ahead of the curve, but I also didn’t want to scar them for life. How and When answers those concerns and more. Not only do I feel better equipped having read the book, I’m excited about the opportunity I have to shape their understanding of a gift God has for them that the world has gotten very confused.

How & When to Tell Your Kids About Sex is built around 12 core principles of Christian Sex Education, which the authors fully develop over 17 chapters. Below, I’ve noted some of the key themes of the book that stood out to me, most of which were also part of the 12 core principles.

Key Themes

1. Christian sex education is not a one-time talk or a series of talks that take place at certain key points. Rather, it is an ongoing discussion that happens whenever teachable moments happen, when parents take the initiative to ask questions and when children come to us with questions.

2. Our message should be positive, not negative. “We attempt to convince our kids not to have sex, to protect them from sexually transmitted diseases and sexual promiscuity. While this is important, don’t we also want to give them something profoundly positive? Our most important goal should be to equip and empower our children to enter adulthood capable of living godly, wholesome and fulfilled lives as Christian men and women, Christian husbands and wives.”

3. Parents should be the primary sex educators. We have let our own discomfort about discussing sexuality prevent us from being open with our kids, assuming that they know where we morally stand. We’ve also allowed the public school system take the lead in formal sex education. The authors argue that our silence about sex teaches that we don’t want to talk about sex, we are uncomfortable talking about sex and we are not a good source of information about sex.

4. Sex education should start early because first messages are the most potent. The authors argue that because, “it is far more powerful to form a child’s view of sexuality from scratch than it is to correct the distortions the child will pick up in the world, parents must lay a foundation and do so when our influence is greatest and our children’s trust in us is highest.”

5. Close parent/child relationships are key to sexual education. Several studies were cited that showed that teens with close relationships with their parents were more likely to remain abstinent until marriage. According to the authors, a close relationship with a parent keeps children from looking for affection and affirmation from other people. This need for positive affirmation is especially important during puberty, when “your child has a fragile sense of self.” Avoid unnecessary battles and let love cover and multitude of sins. Especially praise your kids when they ask questions about sexuality or relationships.

6. Sex education is about character development. Again, the authors really stretched my understanding of sex education when they made the point that sex education was really part of character development. They spent a good amount of time going over the building blocks of character development and practical ways parents can utilize these building blocks in the arena of teaching abstinence until marriage.

7. Inoculating our children. It’s important to expose our children to what the prevailing cultural opinion is about sex, so they will be prepared to respond and counter-argue. Otherwise, we send them out in a war on culture virtually defenseless.

Practical Advice and Sample Dialogues

How & When to Tell Your Kids About Sex does just what the title promises. It instructs parents on what to share with their child about sexuality and physical development, beginning from infancy all the way through puberty. From correctly naming body parts for your curious toddler to having frank discussions with a pre-pubescent 10-year-olds, and everything in between, the book offers wonderful sample dialogues that I know parents will appreciate. The authors back up their suggestions with biblical doctrine and solid research, as well as their own personal experiences as parents.

Personal Likes and Dislikes

What I liked most about How & When To Tell Your Kids About Sex was the extremely practical advice it offered, as well as the sample dialogues. I think this book would be helpful to parents with children of all ages. Whether you have gotten off to a great start with sex education or are looking to get on the right track, this book will serve you well.

Some personal dislikes I had about the book involve scope and layout. A parent picking up a “How and When” book might find that this book offers much more information than they bargained for. The authors go into great detail in some areas, making this book a long and not-so-easy read. For example, the explanation of character development and the theology of sexuality took me in deep waters. In addition, there were some repetition of points across the chapters that made a long read even longer.

I think most parents would also expect a “How and When” book to be organized in order by child’s age. This book is organized by core principles, with age-specific information interspersed within the chapters.

I would have hoped the authors would have given more specific guidelines in their chapter covering inappropriate physical touch while dating. Instead, they encouraged parents to come up with their own personal limitations and share those with their teenagers. As a starting point, why would you not begin with “touching sexual organs are clearly off limits. Taking off clothes are clearly off limits. Putting your hands under clothing is off limits”? (In the sample discussion offered, several of these limitations are given by the parent in the scenario.)

Biggest Concerns

My biggest concerns with the book centered around its thoughts on contraception education and the morality of masturbation. The authors concluded that you should teach your children about contraception because you can give your kids information about sex and you can encourage them not to have sex, but you can not prevent them from having sex. If they choose to have sex and do not use contraception, the consequences can be extreme.

I understand the argument, but in reading the sample dialogue offered I couldn’t help but think how I would have responded as a teenager. I would have ultimately viewed this warning as “my parents expect me to have sex” and it would have been so easy to add that to society’s teaching that “everyone has sex before they get married.” I’m just not as convinced as the authors are that this is the way Christian parents should go.

While I realize there is great debate in the Christian community on the issue of masturbation, I disagree with the authors’ opinion that it is not much of an issue with God. Masturbation is rooted in lust and while difficult to fight, like all sin we struggle with in our fleshly nature, there is a way of escape. Let’s encourage people to make an effort to strive for purity rather than give in to lust.

While I had major concerns with these two areas, this would not prevent me from recommending this book to a friend. Overall, I found it to be very informative and it has already shaped my approach to sex education as a parent.


fisherEmail:  marsha@puritycoaching.com 

She offers help to spouses of sexual strugglers through phone coaching and online spouses’ support groups.

Check out our site:  www.puritycoaching.com

purity coaching banner 1

6 Reasons We Should Tell Our Wives About Our Sexual Struggles

November 7, 2014

Mike Genung’s book The Road to Grace: Finding True Freedom From the Bondage of Sexual Addiction shares his story of recovery of sexual sin and many of the lessons he’s learning about sexual addiction recovery.  Here he shares reasons our wives need to know about our sexual struggles. The marriage is corrupted – Lust erodes […]

Read the full article →

How Can I Begin to Get Serious About My Sexual Purity?

November 6, 2014

Q:  How can I begin to be serious about my sexual purity?   SEEING THE TRUTH OF WHERE I REALLY AM I wrote a post recently called “6 Breakthroughs That Took My Sexual Purity to Another Level”.  One of the breakthroughs in my life was when I started to see the truth of where I […]

Read the full article →

Book Review: Dirty Girls Come Clean by Crystal Renaud

November 5, 2014

In the war on pornography, Crystal Renaud just unleashed a torpedo. Until now, there have been very few resources geared specifically for women who struggle with pornography.  With the recent release of Crystal’s book “Dirty Girls Come Clean” women now have the tools they need to fight a battle that many assume only ensnares men. […]

Read the full article →

7 Questions Wives of Porn Addicts Often Ask

November 4, 2014

We were impressed with a 3-part series on the Covenant Eyes blog called “7 Questions Wives of Porn Addicts Often Ask”.  The articles are by Ella Hutchinson of Comfort Christian Counseling. These are, by far, the most popular questions that we see from wives who email us at Porn to Purity.com. Click the links to […]

Read the full article →

Why WE Can’t Stop Sexual Sin

November 3, 2014

I continue to realize that I cannot stop my sexual sin. But it doesn’t mean that all is hopeless and that I’m trapped. Also included: a funny routine by Bob Newhart.

Read the full article →

Discovering Your Sexual Rituals

November 2, 2014

Every sex addict has sexual rituals. Learn to identify them and devise a strategy against them.

Read the full article →