Why Do We Have Edgy Days?

by Jeff Fisher on August 28, 2016

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 I recently had one of those “edgy” days.  A day where every girl looks pretty to me.  A day where I feel sexual, and I have a highened awareness of triggery things.  A day when I’m thinking more with the “nether regions” of my body, rather than my brain.

Ever get like that?

There are five things I’ve identified from my own life and from my friends in recovery that may be contributing to my having an edgy day.  I’ll talk about 3 of them today, and the other 2 tomorrow, along with some Top Tips for dealing with edgy days:

1.  GUYS HAVE A (SEXUAL) CYCLE TOO

We all know that women have a cycle when it comes to there bodies and their hormones.  Guys seem to have a cycle too.  Dr. Mark Laaser says that its every 3 days for guys.  Arterburn & Stoeker in Every Man’s Battle talk about a 48 hour cycle.

I’ve notice that there are two types of guys who seem to have a sexual cycle that’s much smaller:

  1.  Guys who still have a lot of lust they’re dealing with 
  2. Guys that are newer to recovery

Some guys have dealt with the affairs and with the porn, but they are giving in regularly to the battle of the mind and the eyes.

The guy who’s newer to recovery is still going through major withdrawals.  His battles for purity are deep, and right at the forefront.  He’s spending  lot of energy fighting off triggers and temptation.

For the single guy, it means you being aware of your own sexual cycle and reaching out to healthy relationships when things get edgy for you.  It means you pouring yourself in productive directions instead of letting the lust flow overwhelm you.

For the married guy, this doesn’t mean that you need to have or should have sexual every 2 days (even though you’d like too).  I does mean that he needs to be aware of his own cycles and the physical buildup in his body.  It is a factor and we need to consider that it may be part of our “edgy” day.

It’s not good for our wives to give us sexuality whenever we want either.  We guys need to learn self-control, the importance of serving our wives, and most importantly, that sex is not our #1 need.  Most wives have different drives too.  It’s not just about us, we need to learn to communicate with our wives about their needs.

2.  DYSFUNCTION IN OUR MARRIAGES
We probably have a lot of work to do in helping the sexual component of our marriages find equilibrium again.  I’m betting that the spouse who has the lust and sexual addiction problems has done some emotional damage to the other spouse.  Our marriages have probably been very self-serving for us.  I think it’s important to find a counselor to help you both work on this.

My wife and I have found that our 12 years of sexual dysfunction was way beyond our ability to figure out.  We didn’t even know where to start.  It has taken many counseling sessions for us to get back on the same page.  Another discovery for Marsha and me is that we both have issues and backgrounds that have contributed to our dysfunction.  It’s not just my lust-driven desires.  It’s a complicated web of issues and ways of coping with our differences.  Our counselors have been very helpful as we have sought to unpack all of this.

3.  OUR STRESS LEVELS
Another major factor in my edgy days is stress.  Let’s face it, when you are stressed out, you are going to have a harder time focusing on your purity.  I’ve notice that when my days are busy and I have a big load at work, my body starts looking for a break.  I’m thinking less about where my eyes are looking, and I slip into my old patterns for looking for sexual stimulation.  Sexual stimulation used to be my big escape and stress reliever.  The more stress I used to have, the more I would want to act out sexually.

There are other emotions and needs that may cause you to have edgy days.  The HALTS acronym has been very helpful to me.  These are some times when I feel more edgy and things are more triggery for me:

 H – Hungry

A – Angry

L – Lonely

T – Tired

S – Stressed, Sick, Scared

When our stress or our needs are being neglected, we’re going to have more struggles.  When you start feeling edgy, you have to start asking yourself:

  • What’s going on underneath the surface?
  • What’s my heart look like?
  • What am I feeling?
  • What are my needs?
  • What stresses or emotions am I dealing with right now?”

MORE TOMORROW ON EDGY DAYS
On tomorrow’s blog I’ll share 2 more reasons why we have edgy days and some Top Tips on “How to Deal With Edgy Days”.

FEEDBACK
Q:  What are some other reasons we have edgy days that I’m leaving out?

How Movies and Cartoons Sexualized Me

by Jeff Fisher on August 26, 2016

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** This is a reprint from a July 6, 2009 post

I’m shocked how sexualized many of the movies and shows were that I loved watching as a kid.

** Sometime names of movies or links can be triggery, so I’m not going to name any of them.

moviesA FAVORITE CHILDHOOD MOVIE
This past week, I got to thinking about a favorite movie from 1984 that I used to watch over an over as a kid.  I was getting a bit nostalgic and decided to order it from Amazon.  My wife and I sat down to watch it last night, and I was amazed how many sexual innuendos and scenes filled the movie!  I was embarrassed.   I didn’t remember  it being so bad.
No wonder I had problems with sexual addiction.

cableGETTING CABLE
When I was 12, my parents got cable.  We were so excited to be able to see the new channels, but also the movie channels.  MTV, HBO, and Cinemax were the places I would hang out.  I watched endless hours of sex-charged music videos and shows.  I was always excited for Friday and Saturday nights, because I could stay up late and watch TV.  That meant if I made it to midnight, I could see some of the really bad movies.  No wonder I had problems with sexual addiction.

RATED R MOVIES
I couldn’t wait for my uncle to come to town from California each year.  Our bonding activity with him was for my brother and I to go to a movie together with him.  Of course we picked the rated R movie that was showing.  My parents obliged.  It was exciting to go, but I saw things in some of those movies no preteen should be allowed to see.  No wonder I had problems with sexual addiction.

eyeballs_pirateEVEN CARTOONS
Sexualization also came from some of the cartoons I used to watch.  How many Looney Tunes and Popeye cartoons would draw in the voluptuous girl and show the guys making “wolf-whistles” at her?  No wonder I had problems with objectifying women.

 

TWO THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
I’m not saying don’t watch cartoons or movies.  I do want to highlight two things:

1.  Some of our sexual problems may have roots in the TV shows and movies we have watched growing up.

2.  We need to be careful what we are filling our minds and our kids’ minds with today.

Help! I’m a Minister With a Lust Problem!

by Jeff Fisher on August 24, 2016

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Lust is a common struggle with almost every guy, ministers included.  It is a common temptation that most guys deal with.  You are not alone!

It should not surprise us that ministers deal with lust, but it does.  We think that our ministers are so close to God that they are somehow “immune” to these types of temptations.

I Cor 10:31 “No temptation has overtaken you, but such as is common to man.”

THE ADDED DIMENSIONS OF MINISTRY
Being a minister does put you in a different “job category” than others.  You are entrusted with the spiritual care of others.  You are to be a mouthpiece for God’s Word.  You have the delicate, big responsibility of helping people with their soul issues.

The job of a minister can also be a job of isolation.  You have a lot of time alone.  You are on top, making decisions and many times, no one is watching.  If you are a small church pastor or church planter you know these feelings.

A minister is also out on the “front lines”.  He is more at risk because he is dealing with eternal matters.  Kinks in the armor will easily be exploited by the enemy.  Attacks to himself and his family come harder.  If there has been an unchecked history of lust, or secrets being hidden, you are incredibly vunerable.

AN ACTION PLAN
You need to get help – Lust problems will derail a minister very quickly.  It is important that you deal with your struggles aggressively, and thoroughly.  No one can do this alone.  NO ONE can do this alone.  Did you get it?  No one can deal with a lust problem alone.

Open your life to others – You can’t work on sin and struggles without talking to someone.  Find another pastor to talk to.  A denominational leader.  A counselor.  Call a ministry’s 800 number.  Email me at porntopurity@gmail.com.  Call someone.

You need to be courageous – It is a fearful thing to share your junk with someone.  You are worried about your reputation, the church, your family.  But telling the truth is the right thing.  You have to do the right thing.  You have to have faith and lean on God and others for help.

Many ministers have struggled with lust and have overcome – I am a minister who has been aggressively dealing with my lust, porn, fantasy, and masturbation problems for the last two years.  God has helped me.  He will help you.  I have met many other ministers who share our same struggles.  There is a deliverance and healing side, but you’ve got to get started.

You can’t keep the secret – Any time you keep a secret, you are living in the dark in that area of your life.  True authenticity is needed.  Walking in the Light.  Living in the truth.  You need to find a safe person to share your secret with.

God can be trusted – We preach all the time for people to trust God with their salvation, with their problems, with their struggles.  Is this any different?  God is still God for us ministers.  God will help you through this when you choose to work on it, and get the right help.  God is stronger than our lust.  He has a plan to help us navigate it.  Trust Him!

A HAND EXTENDED FROM JEFF
I have been there my fellow ministers.  I had a secret lust problem for 20 years.  I hid it and tried to go solo.  It just doesn’t work!  God had to finally pull the plug on me before I did real damage to myself, my family, and the Body of Christ.

Shoot me an email at porntopurity@gmail.com.  I’ll be a prayer support for you.  Many ministers have contacted us already with these struggles.

Go to our resource list on the right side of our blog homepage.  Or here’s a great resource list from our Porn to Purity main site:  CLICK HERE.

Be brave!  Trust God!


jeff@porntopurity.com or @porntopurity on Twitter

Understanding Sexual Sin’s Progressive Impact

by Jeff Fisher on August 22, 2016

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Our Saturday men’s group Is going through the workbook False Love right now.  False Love is written by Brad Hambrick, Pastor of Counseling at The Summit Church in Durham, NC. 

Chapter 2 of False Love has an interesting section on how sexual sin progresses through five stages (pp.26-29).

  1. IMAGE
  2. STORY
  3. RISK
  4. CONQUER
  5. ISOLATION

IMAGE – The sexual addict starts with pictures.  They seem to satisfy his curiosity and sexual desire.  But appetites begin and he starts classifying others.  Some are pretty and sexually arousing, others are not.  We begin to lust and covet.  We also become dissatisfied with the relationships we have.

STORY – Pornography is more than images.  It creates a story or fantasy for us.  The sex addict begins craving sexual scenarios.  Stories might be about being desired, having power over another, or being with a partner who is willing to do whatever he sexually desires.

Some stories are romantic.  There is a struggle to be together, a chase or a rescue.  Some addicts want to be part of a romantic story.

RISK – Eventually, the addict decide to take risks in order to be a part of the story.  Risk adds to the thrill.  The more risks a person takes the bigger the rush.  As a person’s desire increases, so does his willingness to take risks.  Many addicts become addicted to risk.

CONQUER – Sexual sin tells the addict he “must have” what he desires.  Eventually, covetousness turns into a need to take, even by force.  The addict sees sexual encounters as prizes, and people slept with as conquests.  Sexual sin enslaves the addict, but also prompts him to enslave others.

ISOLATION – The addict pursues sexual encounters to meet his needs.  He wants to feel desired, loved, important, needed, or nurtured.  But his accomplishments leave him empty and full of shame.  He will turn more and more inward and shut himself off from reality.  It’s a sear of the conscience that is very deep.

JEFF’S REFLECTIONS

I’ve never seen sin’s progression described this way.  The deeper a person gets into pornography, the more his conscience is seared, the more he devalues others and enslaves his soul.  Pornographic images seem harmless to many, but they open a very dangerous door.

It seems to me we need large doses of truth and reality to stop sexual sin’s progression.  We need God’s Word.  We need to learn there is a real person behind each pornographic image.

I don’t think I realize the impact pornography has had on me, the impressions and shadows that remain in my soul.  I have many stories I still want to experience or make my wife do.  I feel needs at time to be risky and to conquer.  I definitely feel the dissatisfaction in my own sexual life that objectification and image preference has brought.

Book Review: The Road to Grace

by Jeff Fisher on August 20, 2016

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The Road to Grace: Finding True Freedom From the Bondage of Sexual Addiction

My Introduction to Mike Genung was through the Blazing Grace Podcast and their website (www.blazinggrace.org).  Mike is a man who was set free from sexual addiction.  He came on strong, put out some tremendous programming, then stepped out of the limelight for a while.

Before taking a break, he wrote this book full of his story and insights to help you on your journey out of sexual addiction.

QUICK SUMMARY: The Road to Grace shares Mike Genung’s story of sexual addiction:  events from childhood that contributed, how he got hooked, wake-up moments, and how he found victory.  The book is full of Scripture and quotes from authorities in sexual addiction recovery.  The author shares how the 12-step groups were not a long-term solution – believing and accepting the grace of God is the only true way to find victory over sexual addiction.

225 pages, Blazing Grace Publishing

Available at www.roadtograce.net and www.blazinggrace.org

NOT JUST A STORY
The Road to Grace submerges us in many atmospheres of truth.  Mike shares his story.  He talks about the roots of his sexual addiction and how shame and isolation caused his struggles to grow.  As he tells his story he highlights key lessons learned.  He shares from other authorities in the sexual addiction field.  He will often point to Scriptures that helped him in his recovery journey.

The book will take you through a lot of topics:  root causes, childhood wounds, help with masturbation, breaking the lies you’ve believed, and a mini-study of God’s Word on grace.

THE LITTLE BOY ANALOGY
I love the Prologue and the Epilogue in The Road to Grace.  The author uses the analogy of a “Little Boy”, innocent, pure, and unstained by sexual influences slowly becoming exposed and wounded sexually.  The “Little Boy” gets older by never stops being a boy, largely because of his childhood wounds.

It’s striking and very creative.  In a few pages he is able to share key parts of his story and reminds the reader a key recovery insight:  sexual addiction often has its roots in our childhood.

These pages alone might be worth the price of the book for you.

IT’S ALL ABOUT GRACE
The major theme of the book (hence the name) is grace.  It is a thread through the book, but it is also the sole subject of three chapters.  The author believes we don’t know God because we don’t understand His love and grace.  If we did, it would have a massive effect on our sexual addiction and recovery would be long-term.

It’s a bold thesis I don’t disagree with.

ONE BOOK THAT SHOULD BE TWO BOOKS
At times, it felt The Road to Grace was trying to accomplish too much:  telling the author’s story, emphasizing grace, and sharing tips on key recovery subjects.  It’s hard to pull all of it off.  This book would make two really good books, one only on grace, another with the other lessons the author has learned.

But, getting the content of two books for the price of one, that’s not a bad thing, is it?

WHY MANY 12-STEP PROGRAMS DON’T WORK
The author spent eight years in 12-step groups.  The biggest problem is the focus on sobriety.  It doesn’t go deep enough.

“…a man was “sober” if he hadn’t masturbated or had sex with another person outside of marriage…. Even though I’d abstained from porn, masturbation, and sex outside of marriage for a year and a half, there was still a nagging emptiness inside that gnawed at me.” (44)

Another problem is the focus on self-effort.  Even though one of the 12-steps is to focus on a higher power, the fatal tragedy of many groups is their confidence in their own efforts.

“Purity and sobriety are not the same thing,” the author exhorts.  God calls us to strive toward purity which requires deeper work, and a divine renovation.

THE BIGGEST STRENGTH OF THIS BOOK
The amount of Scripture and spiritual direction you get from this book is fantastic.  It was obvious to me that the author spent a huge amount of time seeking God through His Word.  He wanted to know how to recover deeply from sexual sin and He got a heart full of God in the process.

The Road to Grace shows us that finding true freedom from the bondage of sexual addiction comes only from an intimate relationship with God.


Read Jeff’s Book Review of The Road to Grace – HERE

6 Reasons We Should Tell Our Wives About Our Sexual Struggles (Tues)

The Blessings of Masturbation & The Other Side of the Coin (Wed)

Big Recovery Tip:  Connect With the Grace of God (Thurs)

Tips For Wives of Sexual Addicts (Fri)

CONTACT
jeff@porntopurity.com

@porntopurity on Twitter

Key Questions: What Can I Do to Stop My Sexual Behaviors?

August 20, 2016

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 […]

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How to Deal With Your Loneliness

August 18, 2016

Loneliness is a big issue for many who are struggling with sexual purity.  Sexual sin is usually done in private and isolation.  We withdraw from healthy relationships and embrace porn.  We long for emotional connectedness and intimacy, but we turn to masturbation and nothing satisfying to show for it. Loneliness is part of what’s going […]

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2016 Purity – Build Your Support Team

August 14, 2016

Support, Structure, Strategy and Spiritual Life. Those are the 4 S’s of purity. I share in my book some great tips and action steps on how to build each of these four areas.  Let me give you a taste of the support chapter.  Your support team needs to fill up with three types of people: […]

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2016 Purity – Exercising Your “No” Muscle

August 12, 2016

Go to the Purity Gym.  That’s the title of chapter 5 from my book.  It’s about building strength and self-discipline in your purity journey.  If you want to have sexual purity for the long haul, you have to learn to say “No”. PRACTICE SAYING “NO” TO UNGODLINESS Saying “No” flies in the face of the […]

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2016 Purity – Build Your Internet Defense

August 10, 2016

We’re still talking about defense today.  You have to  deal with your Internet and devices if you are going to have a strong sexual purity strategy.  INTERNET DEFENSE Let’s look at several lines of defense for your Internet.  Here are two big ones. #1:  CONTENT FILTERS – This is the security software that prevents bad stuff from coming […]

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2016 Purity -Clean House

August 8, 2016

An important part of your purity DEFENSE is cleaning house. Read through this scripture slowly…     “…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”  Hebrews 12:1-2 Throw off… Eliminate… Get […]

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