Battles We Fight

Discovering Your Sexual Rituals

by Jeff Fisher on October 5, 2014

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Everyone in sexual addiction recovery has to be aware of rituals.  Rituals are

“Routines we have that prepare us for acting out sexually”

  • Going to a bar to pick up girls
  • Driving a certain way after work to pick up a porn movie
  • Masturbating before you go to bed
  • Chilling out in from of the computer before you go to bad sites
  • Positioning yourself a certain way to practice voyeurism
  • Carving out time to be alone so you can act out in private
  • Taking a long shower
  • Renting the sexually explicit movies when your spouse is gone

Rituals get us warmed up to act out.  They are yellow light behaviors.  They are actually the first stage of acting out.

Rituals open the door to sexual acting out.  They put us in a downward funnel.  They prime the pump for further sexual behavior.

 

IDENTIFYING AND DEALING WITH YOUR RITUALS

1.      Think about a time when you acted out recently. 
Masturbation, pre-marital sex, affair, voyeurism, objectification, fantasy

2.      What rituals led up to your acting out?
It could be watching a TV show, looking at sites on the computer, a Sunday circular, a flirtatious conversation, lustful long looking at a person, time alone in your hotel room…

3.       Write each of them down and start working on roadblocks and boundaries.

4.      Create a strategy for each of your rituals.
Build several barriers around you and your rituals. Example:  For the firty person at work, you need to take a different path when you walk around, not talk to the person, be cold toward them, pray before you talk to them, etc.

5.      Bring your rituals into the Light.
This is the most important step.  Rituals must be shared with someone safe.  Bring them into the Light.  This takes the power out of them.  Rituals are secrets that grow in the dark.  Someone safe needs to hear it.  You need to hear yourself telling someone.

6.       Time and distance.
Breaking from rituals take time.  Rituals are learned patterns that we build into our routines.  Our brains are trained to go down the path and to act out.  You have to recondition your brain to act in a healthy way, instead of in a ritualistic way.

Remember, you will still act out if your determined.  The best strategy in the world is not going to stop the person who is bent on acting out.

One more thing – Break it!  Don’t try to get as close to the ritual as possible.  Build big barriers around them.  Be as far away from your ritual as possible.

 

CHECK OUT THESE BLOGS
Terms You Learn in Sexual Recovery  Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

 

GET HELP FOR YOUR PURITY JOURNEY

snapshot2Jeff Fisher helps guys with their purity journeys through:

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

www.puritycoaching.com
jeff@puritycoaching.com

Confidential voice mail line:  (321) 5-PURITY

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Why WE Can’t Stop Sexual Sin

by Jeff Fisher on April 4, 2014

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stop_it

I thought this would complement yesterday’s blog on Why We Can’t Stop? Be sure to check out the You Tube link – Bob Newhart’s classic “Stop It!” routine.

 

Don’t you wish we could just STOP doing our sexual sin?  If you’re like me, you’ve tried 1000 times to stop.  But we just keep coming back to that same behavior.  A string of attempts, and a bigger string of failures.  I try to control myself, but instead find my sin is controlling me.

This is how an addiction works.  This is also what bondage looks like.

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.

WE HAVE TOO MANY PROBLEMS
1.  Heart problem - It’s not the behavior, it’s our hearts.  Our hearts are selfish, conditioned, and driven by our lusts.  Our hearts want what is easy and makes us feel good.

2.  Sin Problem – Our core, apart from Christ, is sinful.  Our natural desire is to go the wrong way.  Our sin nature controls us.

3.  Chemical Problem – Addiction feeds off the chemical highs.  We have caused the chemicals in our brains to go crazy when we look at porn, fantasize, masturbate and have sex.  Our brains crave more and more.

4.  Learned Behavior Problem – We have conditioned ourselves to act out in unhealthy ways.  And we’ve probably been doing it for decades.  The paths of sexual behavior are “well worn” paths.  It makes charting new paths extremely difficult.

5.  Emotional Problem – We have emotional needs and hurts that we are trying to medicate with lust, masturbation, and porn.  They are an undercurrent that feeds our addiction.

A FOUR-PART SOLUTION
If we are to be freed from sexual sin, we must open give up our efforts to try and fix ourselves.  We must surrender to God’s help and the help of others.

question-mark1.  God - God is the only one who can get down into our hearts and work on the deep stuff is Christ.

2.  Support Group - A healthy support group is not just an addiction group.  It could be a combination of your family, your friends, your wife, or your pastor.  These are your cheerleaders, your encouragers.

3.  Wise People - Different from our support group, these are the people that can give us the insight we need about ourselves to work on the deeper stuff.  They can help identify blindspots and weaknesses.

4.  My Part - We do have a part, it’s just different.  It involves surrender to God, submission to others, and a commitment to the process.  These must all be done on a daily basis.

 


BobNewhartBOB NEWHART’S “STOP IT” ROUTINE
Here’s a great comedy bit that Bob Newhart did called “Stop It!”  Enjoy a good laugh today:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYLMTvxOaeE&feature=PlayList&p=6B68C3EC0F5CF992&index=0

 

 

 

 

 

GET HELP FOR YOUR PURITY JOURNEY

snapshot2Jeff Fisher helps guys with their purity journeys through:

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

www.puritycoaching.com
jeff@puritycoaching.com

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Can I Ever Have a Clean Mind?

by Jeff Fisher on February 21, 2014

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This question came from a listener to my Top Tips For Sexual Purity Podcast (I-Tunes).  I’m sure many of you wonder if your mind will ever get clean? 

Q:  I’m worried the pornographic images I’ve looked at will never go away and will affect me and my marriage in the future.  What do you think?   Can I have a clean mind?

Some guys are able to heal deeply from the images and objectifying.  The more you let the Lord heal past wounds and hurts the better it will be.  Building sobriety from porn and masturbation will help a lot.  And when you start to move from selfishness to serving others, loving others, connecting with others it will help too.  As you head God’s direction, repent, and walk in righteousness He will ignite your passion for the things that are on His heart.

I can’t say that the porn you have viewed and sexual boundaries you have crossed won’t affect the future thinking.  Of course it has some bearing.  But if you are aware of your tendencies, get wise help, and have a good purity strategy, you will have a strong footing in life.

It’s not much different from a person who has anger, unforgiveness and bitterness or wounded relationships.  Of course that’s going to affect their relationships.  Of course it will bleed into marriage, and can cause great damage.  What’s really bad is when a person is pushing their anger and unforgiveness down, hoping it will go away.  It has to be brought to the surface, surrendered to the Lord our Healer, and the person has to walk in love, thankfulness, and forgiveness.  Does that make sense?  Your struggles with porn affect a different part of your heart, but it’s no different.

Top tips for working toward a clean mind:

  • Read Scripture everyday and soak in it.
  • Turn hard into praise and worship music.  Let God wash your mind.
  • Journal your thoughts and feelings God.
  • Get help from a counselor working on the hurts in your heart.
  • Cut out the visual content that’s tripping you up (sites, channels, magazines, etc.)
  • Tap the creativity of your mind with a new hobby or project.

GET HELP FOR YOUR PURITY JOURNEY

snapshot2Jeff Fisher helps guys with their purity journeys through:

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

www.puritycoaching.com
jeff@puritycoaching.com

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Facebook Page

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Do You Really Believe You Can Be Free?

by Jeff Fisher on February 14, 2014

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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.”

THREE HONEST RESPONSES
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.

GET HELP FOR YOUR PURITY JOURNEY

snapshot2Jeff Fisher helps guys with their purity journeys through:

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

www.puritycoaching.com
jeff@puritycoaching.com

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How To Stop Masturbating

by Jeff Fisher on February 7, 2014

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BrokenChains-1-1The last two days we talked about masturbation.  Is it OK?  Will we burn in Hell if we do it?  Can we still honor God and be masturbators?  Is masturbation addictive?

Check out the previous blog posts:
“Can I Masturbate and Be OK?   Part I”

“Can I Masturbate and Be OK?  Part II”

Many of us want to stop masturbating.  We consider it important to our pursuit of sexual purity.  Here are some things I think will be helpful in dealing with masturbation, but also with the stuff underneath.

 

UndercurrentFIND HEALTHY OUTLETS FOR YOUR ENERGY AND PASSION – People who masturbate regularly are really energetic, creative, and passionate people. They have a lot to offer. Find some other pursuits that challenge you. Pour your life in directions that will help you and others.

DEAL WITH THE UNDERCURRENT – If there is a key to stopping masturbation this is probably it. Masturbation is not really about the behavior. It’s about medicating pain that runs deep in your. It’s about trying to meet the unmet needs in your life. You many need a counselor to help you unpack what’s going on underneath the surface.

YOU NEED A BUDDY TO TALK TO – Find someone you can talk to about your struggles. Most people have had varied problems with masturbating, they just don’t want to talk about it. Find someone you can trust and that will keep confidence. This person may have to be a counselor or a minister.

FIND A WAY TO DEAL WITH YOUR ALONE TIME – Alone time and boredom can lead to masturbation. Try to stay busy. Fill up your calendar. Go to bed tired.

DEVELOP A STRATEGY FOR YOUR TV AND COMPUTER – These are some outlets that trip up a lot of guys and gals. We get home and “veg” out in front of the TV and watch tempting stuff. We look to our computers out of boredom and for entertainment, and begin clicking. Consider a program like Covenant Eyes for your computer. Consider some filtering for your TV or a password. Restrict the tempting sources.

journalGET A NOTEBOOK AND WRITE OUT YOUR FRUSTRATIONS, FEELINGS, AND GOALS – This may sound crazy, but a notebook or a blog is a healthy outlet to get your “stuff” out. Write out your anger. Write out your feelings. Talk it out to yourself.

REALIZE STOPPING WILL TAKE TIME – You become addicted to masturbation overnight. It developed gradually and soon had a strong hold on your life. Freedom from masturbation is accomplished my many, many people. It can be done, but it will take some time. Time to have successes. Time to develop strength. Time to develop healthy habits.

TURN TOendurance GOD IN PRAYER – God is really the only one who can get to your heart. Surrender this intense struggle to Him. You probably have prayed that your masturbation would go away. A better prayer might be, “God, help me have a change of heart. Help me deal with the deep stuff. Help me find better outlets. Help me find a way to talk my stuff out with someone.”

OTHER RANDOM THOUGHTS FROM JEFF
Hey guys, you’re are not alone!  This such a common struggle for teens adults, men, & women.
Don’t beat yourself up when you slip. Just pour into the healthy things once again. It takes time.
A good counselor can be very helpful. There are some counselors that deal specifically with sexual issues. Definitely worth the time & money.

GET HELP FOR YOUR PURITY JOURNEY

snapshot2Jeff Fisher helps guys with their purity journeys through:

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

www.puritycoaching.com
jeff@puritycoaching.com

Twitter Page
Facebook Page

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Is It OK to Masturbate?

January 24, 2014

We look at the big question: Is it OK to masturbate?

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I Struggle With Looking at Women

September 8, 2013

On our Porn to Purity website, I posted a weeklong series of articles on objectifying women and ways to work on it.  I think they are very helpful. Here are the links: Objectfication:  Why we do it and why it’s a problem Objectfication:  Common excuses and danger zones Objectfication:  How to work on it and […]

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Basic Purity Tips – Football Style

August 20, 2013

Purity isn’t just sexual purity.  There’s a broader definition for us as Christian men.  We don’t want to allow anything into our heart, mind, soul, or body that twists God’s creation.  We don’t want to be drawn or attached to anything that steals us away from glorifying God. Ps. 101:3 “I will set my eyes […]

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How to Build Your Personal Purity Plan – #2 Your Eyes

August 19, 2013

No sexual purity plan will succeed without a plan for our eyes.  We are too visual and our eyes have had too much practice looking in wrong places.  We can’t leave our eyes alone and succeed in purity. On this series of blogs I’m sharing 4 essential parts of our personal purity plan that we […]

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How to Build Your Personal Purity Plan – #1 Your Body

August 18, 2013

I recently had a chance to talk with a group of 11th graders at our church about purity.  We talked about God’s standard for sexual purity using I Cor. 6:13-20 & the monster passage in Ephesians 5:3. Knowing what God’s Word says about purity is very important. Believing God’s Word is even more important.  We […]

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Objectifying Your Wife

August 17, 2013

One of our podcast listeners had a question about objectification.  He mentioned that he was objectifying his wife and wondered what thoughts I had on the topic. Objectification is when we see women as objects, not people.  The value we place on women is there value as a sexual object to us.  They are there […]

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