I (Jeff) am a regular blogger on www.XXXchurch.com. Sometimes they use content from our Porn to Purity site for their blogs. Other times I have opportunities to write fresh articles directly for the site. For the last several weeks, I and several other bloggers have been writing on group of key questions:
1. Why am I Looking at Porn?
2. Why can’t I stop my sexual behaviors?
3. What’s wrong with me? Why do I feel so bad?
4. What can I do to stop my sexual behaviors?
5. Now that I’ve started my purity journey, what’s next?
HOW DO I LIVE NOW?
Alternate Title: SEXUAL PURITY 201
I’m assuming that you’ve already taken some first steps. To me, this is an intermediate blog. It’s primarily for those who are working on their sexual purity journey. You are engaged in the basics.
How do I know I’m engaged in the basics?
- You’re sharing your sins, secrets and struggles with others
- You’re building a support team
- You’re building a purity strategy
- You’re in the battle fighting, struggling and wrestling (you’ve not given up)
It’s hard to take the next steps if you haven’t taken the first steps.
It’s hard to take the next steps if you’re still hiding.
It’s hard to take the next steps if you are throwing in the towel.
SEXUAL PURITY 201
Alright, let’s look at some deeper lessons. I think these tips will help push your sexual purity journey into the deeper places God wants you to be.
1. Always move toward truth. – We can’t lie and go with God. We can’t hide, cover up, minimize, deflect, and color our actions and be righteous. We need to accurately reflect our sins, struggles, and victories to others. Moving toward the truth means we take the next steps. We answer our wife’s questions. We tell the truth to our accountability partner and to our group. We allow light into the dark closets of our heart.
2. Behind the wounds are lies, find them. – My counselor challenged me with this. I’ve been testing this theory for the last 4 years and found it to be true. Anytime I have pain or wounds, I have believed something wrong about myself, God, or another person.
3. Deep healing comes in patches. – Of course, healing is a process. Of course, God can instantly heal our hurts. But I’ve found that I have to work on a patch before the next patch opens up. Some call it “layers of the onion”. We will find new areas of our life and past that we need to surrender to God and seek Him for healing. Every patch that gets touched by God is one more place you’ll be able to reflect God’s glory.
4. Tune in to your emotions. – We guys generally run away from our emotions. We push them away and think that someone’s a “sissy” if they talk about their emotions. Not in 201 class. The student of sexual purity is learning how to identify what’s in his heart. He’s learning to talk about his feelings and express them in a healthy way. If you’re building a good support system (friends, support group, counselors, ministers, spouse) those will be good places to develop your emotional muscles.
** Bonus Insight ** My counselor reminded me that porn and masturbation has a numbing effect on our emotions. When porn is gone and we’re no longer medicating, we’re able to feel more. The highs are higher and the lows are also lower.
5. Healthy sexuality is the larger goal. – The main goal is not stopping our bad behaviors – the affair, masturbation, chatrooms, or Internet porn. It’s bigger than that. God wants us to move toward having a healthy sexuality. There are many of us (myself included) that never had health to begin with. Now we have a chance to experience the true fulfillment in our sexuality that God intended. We are getting a taste of the Garden of Eden. True intimacy with God and with our spouse. Exercising our capacity to value, respect, and love others. Serving others instead of consuming.
6. Figure out who God really is. – I was surprised how messed up my understanding of God was. He was like my earthly father – distant, angry, and loved me conditionally. He was a God that had to be appeased. I had to work to earn His attention and love. I thought I had to be a “good boy” in order to have good things happen to me. Wrong. Our sexual purity journey is a spiritual journey. God not only wants you to stop looking at porn and ogling women, He wants you to know who He is and how deep his love, grace, and mercy is. Personally, the book of Psalms is the place where I’ve found God most during these last four years of my recovery.
Q: What do you think?
Q: What else would you add to the Sexual Purity 201 list?
GET HELP FOR YOUR PURITY JOURNEY
- Online / Phone Support Groups
- Accountability Coaching
- Personal Coaching
- Speaking at Conferences