Battles We Fight

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?

by Jeff Fisher on January 24, 2014

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Masturbation is one of those hushed words in many church and family circles.  We don’t talk about it, we struggle with it, we are confused by it, yet we have important questions about it.

THE BIGGEST QUESTION:  Is it OK to masturbate?

I found an interesting article on www.restoringsexualpurity.org about masturbation.  Dr.  Harry W. Schaumburg shares some things to consider:
CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ARTICLE
 
Dr. Shaumburg comes to these conclusions in his article that are worth looking at.

 

  • Sex is a part of a personal relationship with another person; masturbation is non-relational.
  • Sex is to be exclusive; masturbation typically involves sexually impure thoughts.
  • Sex is to be special and intimate; masturbation is frequent and shallow.
  • Sex is to be fruitful (productive) in that man is designed to enter a woman and to create, both at a relational and reproductive level; masturbation treats sex like a commodity to be consumed.
  • Sex is to take place within the context of selfless love; masturbation is designed to satisfy oneself.
  • Sex is multi-dimensional; masturbation separates the physical from everything else.
  • Sex is to be complementary; masturbation is non-unitive.

NOW WHAT DO I DO?
Many people spend a lot of energy building a case against masturbation.  That’s fine and it’s important.  But for those of us who want to be better and sexual pure… what do we do now?  Here are some tips to begin to break away from masturbation.

1.  Clean house – sometimes that stuff we have lying around the house (magazines, videos, music)  encourage lustful behavior.

2.  Find several healthy outlets for stress and emotions – Substitute a bad habit with a good habit.  Get to the gym, work outside, get busy with a project, go hang out with some buddies.  The TV and computer are probably not healthy outlets…find something else to relieve stress.

3.  You gotta talk to someone – A pastor, a Christian friend, a counselor…  If you really want to stop this, it needs to stop being a secret.

4.  Surrender to God – You may have done this time and time again, but you gotta let go and let God help you with the struggle.  Masturbation is a learned habit.  We are not powerful enough to stop it.  Invite God’s presence and power.
There are many other things that will help like being part of a recovery group, reading recovery material, listening to recovery podcasts, but I want to give you one more big one…

5.  Get a notebook and write out your feelings and needs – Masturbation is a symptom of the undercurrent of emotions and unmet needs you have.  A notebook helps you talk it out, pray it out, vent it out.  Give it a try.  You’re not a sissy!  Get a notebook and work it out!

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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I Struggle With Looking at Women

by Jeff Fisher on September 8, 2013

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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 get healthy

The Problem With Eye Candy
Just the Pretty Girls
What’s Her Name?

Since posting the series I have a few other thoughts about finding freedom from objectifying women:

1.  It’s a harder battle to fight than your body battles – With our bodies, we stop doing behaviors, we don’t go bad places, and we put up roadblocks.  Our minds are wild.  We are not used to having controlled minds.  We may have lusted and objectified women for decades.  When we are working on pure thinking we are literally rewiring our brains.  That’s hard!

2.  The healthier you get, the better this gets – Overall, the longer you are sober, and the longer you stay engaged in your recovery, your objectification struggles will get better.  Recovery is not about stopping masturbating or stopping looking at porn… it’s about getting healthy in our sexuality.  That’s what God is cultivating in our lives – health.  Any big steps you take toward healing will help the big picture.

So, if you are taking time in counseling to work on your heart wounds, you will find that your other battles will get better.

If you’re setting up a good support structure, you will find the other battles a little easier.

If you are talking openly about your struggles, it’s all part of the bigger picture.

3.  Meditating on Scripture has helped me a lot – This is newer for me.  I am spending this year meditating each day on single purity verses.  I am letting them sink into my soul.  Here’s a handful:  Ephesians 5:3; Psalms 119:9-11; I Thess. 4:3-5; Colossians 3:1-2; Philippians 4:8

4.  I still struggle – I still look at joggers.  I still stare too long at TV commercials.  But most days I am engaged.  I usually call my accountability partner on triggery days and he and I meet once a week to go over specific struggles.  That’s helping.  But I’m still young in this recovery thing – only 4 years for me.

5.  We can have pure minds – I believe that I can have a pure mind.  I believe I can think purely because the Bible calls me to it.  I don’t believe that I will be perfect or that it will happen every day.  But I believe that if I am focused on God’s Spirit and have my mind set on things above then I cannot please my sinful nature at the same time.  I just need a lot more practice focusing on the things of God.

The main reason I say this is that many guys in recovery don’t think that a pure mind is possible. They are also the guys that don’t tend to think that freedom from masturbation is possible either.  My thought… why would God call me to a pure standard if it wasn’t possible to get there, or at least have moments where my purity is where it needs to be?

[jeff gets off his soapbox]

6.  It doesn’t permanently go away – I haven’t met a guy yet who doesn’t have struggles with looking. What I find is that it gets less intense the healthier the guy is.  I guess this shouldn’t surprise us, but it kind of does.  We have to always be engaged with our eyes and with our thinking.

7.  Got any worship music on your I-Pod? – I know several guys that throw on the worship when things are getting rough.  I don’t have a huge catalog of worship music, but I have found this to be very effective.

FEEDBACK
I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.

Twitter:  @porntopurity

Email:  jeff@porntopurity

 

Basic Purity Tips – Football Style

by Jeff Fisher on August 20, 2013

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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 before no vile thing.”

James 1:27 “Keep oneself unstained from the world.”

These verses reflect the essence of purity.

Let’s talk about the basics when it comes to purity.  These will certainly help you on your sexual purity journey, but they will also keep us out of the sketchy places that can derail our Christian walk.

Since football season is here, (oh, yeah!) it’s easy to talk in terms of defense and offense.

DEFENSIVE
Putting up roadblocks, hurdles, or extra steps between the temptation and you committing a sin.

1.  Protect your computer and mobile devices – So many guys stumble here and get hooked.  Filtering AND accountability software (Covenant Eyes, BeSecure, X3Pure) will help you.

2. Deal with your TV – Give your wife the password, block channels, set time limits & boundaries, or just get rid of your TV.  Only watching DVR programs helps too.

3.  Check your nouns (persons, places, things) – Get rid of bad nouns.  Fill your life with good nouns.  Our nouns affect our purity environment for good or bad. 

4.  Set good boundaries with women – Plan ahead of time.  Be very careful when it comes to alone time and conversation time.  Let your wife help you with this part of your strategy. 

5.  Forge accountability relationships – You don’t need to go John Wesley when it comes to accountability, but you do need other guys in your life who know you and know your story.  Build some accountability questions around the areas that you struggle in and meet weekly.

 

OFFENSIVE
Proactive.  Strengthening and conditioning of your heart, mind, body & spirit.

1.  Pour energy toward your wife – Serving our wives.  Loving our wives.  Giving up our agenda and needs to meet their needs.  These actions fill up our lives and our marriages.  Cultivate intimacy on all levels with your wife. 

Prov. 5:15Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well.”

2.  Build strong connections with others – This is another type of intimacy.  Knowing your friends them and letting them knowing you.  Go deep, spend time and connect.  Healthy relationships help us avoid unhealthy relationships.

3.  Learn more about the love of God – Any work in our relationship with God is good, of course.  But many guys don’t have a good understanding of how much God loves us.  We’re not filling our lives up with God.  We’re not worshipping Him and meditating on who He is.  Drink deeply!

Many of us focus on our defense, but have a lousy offense.  We need both.  In fact, our offense is probably more important to our purity journey than anything else.  If we’re filling up our well with good things and pouring our energies in healthy directions, we have less time for being selfish.  We have less time to worship the creation rather than the Creator.

 

GO FOR THE EXTRA POINTS

These will greatly enhance your purity strategy.

 

  1. Go Backward – The stuff inside our hearts and minds drives us.  All of us have hurts, wounds, unmet expectations and impure experiences in our past that affect how we act and what we are drawn to.  Take some time with a minister, spiritual mentor, or counselor to figure some of this out.  It is time well spent.
  2. Go Deeper – There are usually parts of our offensive or defensive strategy that are shallow.  I’m willing to bet it has to do with our relationships with others or with our wife.  Whatever part of your strategy is lacking, push yourself to a deeper level.  Get some other guys around you to help.  Work out some different muscle groups when it comes to your emotional, relational or spiritual life.

I’d love to hear your thoughts men.  jeff@porntopurity.com

If you need help with sexual purity, check out our website www.porntopurity.com.

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 have to have covered.

1. Our body

2.  Our eyes

3.  Our minds

4.  Our hearts

Yesterday, we talked about the body and how our plan has to cover the persons, places, and things… the nouns.  Our bodies need to hang around the right people, in the right places, and engaging the right things.  When we start finding problems, triggers and gaps, we know it’s time for some radical cutting or radical accountability.

Let’s talk about our eyes…

DESIGNED TO BE VISUAL
We’re all made by God visual, but guys seem to have an extra helping of visual hardwiring.  We are stimulated visually, much more than the female is.  We like to look and we look often.

It’s important to understand that it’s not wrong to be attracted to the opposite sex.  That’s our sexuality.  We are drawn to each other.  And a part of that is visual.  That’s not a bad thing.

Looking is not bad either.  We naturally look and are attracted to what we think is beautiful.

The problem is that we’ve trained out our eyes to look, look long, look longingly, and look lustfully. Most of us have conditioned ourselves for years to look and objectify.  .

BUT A GUY CAN’T HELP IT… RIGHT?
Many guys and gals think that we can’t have a strategy for our eyes.  There is so much visual stimulation in today’s world.  We can’t fight it.  It’s a part of life.  It’s a part of being a man.  That’s how we were designed.  We can’t do anything about it.

Not true!  We can have pure eyes.  We must have pure eyes.

Job 31:1 tells us that Job was able to make a covenant with his eyes not to look lustfully at a woman.  That’s possible right?

Jesus took the law to a deeper level in Matthew 5 when he talked about looking lustfully with our eyes.  He reminded us that the eyes are controlled by the heart.  He calls our eyes and our hearts to purity.

We think that having pure eyes is hard.  And you know what… it is!

HAVING PURE EYES IS HARD
Developing a strategy for pure eyes is a big challenge.  I believe it’s a battle that we can’t win without God’s help first.

1.  Make a commitment to God – Job did this.  He accepted the challenge and committed himself and his eyes to God.

2.  Surrender your eyes to God (many times) – Remind yourself in prayer to God that your eyes belong to God (just like your body).  Give them over to God every morning, every afternoon, every evening.  Give up control of your eyes and ask God to help you.

3.  Call out to him for power – Only God’s power can help you keep your eyes heading in the right direction

4.  Get some accountability -Talking to another person can’t make you have pure eyes, but it can enforce your commitment.  Your accountability buddy can help you with your strategy, pray with you, encourage you, struggle with you.  It’s always better to have another buddy with us when we’re going to places that could prove triggery to us.  I’m less likely to stare and act out if I’ve got a buddy with me.

Don’t let anyone tell you that pure eyes are easy.  You and I have had years of practice.  We have stared, lusted, objectified, and coveted with our eyes mostly without restraint.   We haven’t worked much on this, of course it’s going to be challenging.

I believe if God calls us to purity, there has to be a way to get there.

START WHERE YOU ARE
You might have a lot of eye battles or feel like you struggle all the time.  Start where you are.  You might have a lot of temptation as you’re in school, work or even church.  Just start where you are at.  God meets us where we are in our battle and will help us make progress.

GREAT THOUGHTS FROM EVERY MAN’S BATTLE
The book Every Man’s Battle gives us two helpful strategies for working on our eyes. 

1.  Bounce your eyes – Build a habit of bouncing your eyes away from tempting, triggery things.  The jogger.  The sexy girl at school.  The upskirts or panty flashes that come your way.

Bouncing takes practice.  It’s a defensive habit you have to build.

Some guys add to this the 3-second rule.  No more than a 3-second look.

2.  Starve your eyes – This is when we take the tempting people, places, and things out of the way.  Our eyes can’t feed on sexy, triggery stimulation because they are not around it.

You can’t avoid all triggery visuals.  You can only cut out the things you have control of.  You can’t control what a girl wears at the mall or at church, but you can often move somewhere else.  Don’t give your eyes fuel for lusting.

WHAT SUGGESTIONS DO YOU HAVE?
Q:  What has helped you in your eye battles?
Q:  How did you get better with your eyes?
Q:  What’s missing?  What resources do you recommend?

Leave a comment on the blog.
Email at porntopurity@gmail.com.
Tweet me @porntopurity.

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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Erections Don’t Have to Be Acted On

June 9, 2013

One of the lies we guys can believe is:  If I have an erection I need to use it. We can get into such a habit of masturbating and acting out sexually, that it almost becomes automatic.  Whether it’s an arousal that happens in public or when you wake up in the morning, we condition […]

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How to Build a Rockin’ Media Purity Strategy

May 23, 2013

Before I give you a survey of my media and my strategy, here are some key recovery principles that need to be worked when it comes to media. These paint the larger picture of recovery. These principles apply to media as well as other areas of temptation. Identify your triggers. Set up roadblocks. Have a […]

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Porn Sucks! 5 Ways Porn Disconnects Us From Our Families

May 6, 2013

Porn sucks… in many ways!  Porn is a leech draining life, energy, and passion that we could be giving our families.  Let’s get a broader understanding of how porn is affecting us and our famlies. Time Suck – Our schedules are affected.  We’re behind a computer, on our phone, or in unhealthy places.  We become […]

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I Forget We’re in a Battle

May 3, 2013

Sexual sin is the Devil’s territory. Recently, my wife started up her spouses of sexual addicts group again.  The days leading up to the relaunch were filled with frustrations and oppression.  We had headaches concerning the sale our old house.  We had several unplanned events in our schedules.  Our work was hard.  We were tired several […]

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