Originally posted at: fightthenewdrug.org

Comedian Chris Rock recently joined with other celebrities in speaking out on the life-changing harmful effects of pornography.

Rock recently divorced from his wife of 16 years, and in his recent popular standup show comedy tour “Total Blackout,” he cited porn as a big reason why. Recording wasn’t allowed at the show, but accounts from the show confirm that Rock talked about being “addicted” to porn, cheating on his wife several times while he was on tour, being 15 minutes late to everything because of his porn addiction, being unable to look people in the eye, and failing to notice normal social cues.

With counseling, he was able to overcome his addiction, but it came at a serious price—the end of a marriage that had lasted nearly two decades.

Porn’s Harms Are No Joke

Now, we know that Chris Rock is a comedian—his business is to tell jokes, to make us laugh about uncomfortable things. But that shouldn’t take away the impact of what he says, though. While we don’t know the details of his struggle or of his personal life, Rock was bold enough to lay his experiences out for all to see, and though he might not have said that porn was the reason his marriage ended, he made it clear that it was a contributing factor. And his situation would be in good company, seeing as pornography can double a marriage’s chances for ending in divorce.

We know that porn damages relationships, sometimes beyond repair. The evidence is overwhelming—just read this personal account about watching porn together, or this woman’s experience with her husband’s disinterest in sex, or this story about feelings of betrayal as a result of porn use in the relationship. The addictive nature of porn can physically change your brain, making it desire more extreme content to achieve ever-diminishing amounts of pleasure. This can lead to an increase in real-life violent and extreme acts, or to the things Rock talked about in his show—apathy, neglect, and lack of commitment.

How Relationships Suffer

They’re not physical violence, but these porn-fueled behaviors can be just as damaging to people and relationships—if you need more proof, read about how actor Terry Crews saved his marriage after years of struggle with porn, but just barely. When porn negatively affects a relationship, it’s not just a personal hobby anymore. Two people are now feeling the effects, and the fact is, porn is like a wedge that can slowly drive a relationship apart. It might not even be noticeable while it’s happening, but it can become obvious, and at that point it might be passed the point of reconciliation.

“My wife was literally like, ‘I don’t know you anymore, I’m out of here,’” said Crews of his porn addicted past.

Like Rock, Crews was only able to overcome his addiction through therapy. The difference, of course, is that Crews was able to save his marriage before it was too late, a good reminder that seeking help is a much better alternative to being ashamed and waiting until it’s too late to save a relationship.

This Growing Movement

The understanding that porn isn’t harmless personal entertainment is growing in our culture. States, organizations, and individuals are becoming more and more aware of the harmful socialmental, and physical effects of pornography, and it’s becoming more and more common to see new stories of public figures adding their two cents to the ever-expanding “Hey, maybe porn is actually a real problem” piggy bank.

These testimonials aren’t always coming from the most traditional sources, either, which just goes to show that porn negatively affects a broad cross section of people—just take a look at this short list ofcelebrities who have recently spoken out against porn. Add their names to the list of states like Utah, South Dakota, Virginia, Tennessee, and Arkansas that have declared porn a “public health crisis,” and you’ll see that this movement of education and awareness is growing every day.

We applaud Chris Rock for speaking out on porn’s effect on his life, and we hope that his experience would be a wake-up call to others who might be struggling with the same thing.


Ps 103:11-12 – For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;  as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. ESV

Today. That’s my timeline. It used to be much more long term. How do I plan for and control what happens tomorrow or a week from now or next year. How do I make sure what I want to happen happens in the future. I don’t. Not really anymore. The realization for me is to focus on today. And follow the serenity prayer. To accept the things I can’t change. The courage to act and to change the things I can. Hopefully, also the wisdom to know the difference. So that’s how I focus on each day. God, let me accept that you are in control of today, tomorrow, next week and next year. Allow me to focus on what I can change. That is my actions today.

This led me to something else. Something that I recently wrote about. I wrote that I was wrong. Also that I am wrong. I am realizing and understanding that isn’t exactly true. I wasn’t wrong. I did wrong. I am not wrong. I do wrong. Sounds like a technicality but hear me out.

This goes back to a previous discussion about shame. In my life before recovery, I had incorporated into my life that I was wrong. That I was bad. That I was sin. Through reading, through counseling, through groups I have come to understand the difference. I am not wrong or bad or sin. I did wrong, I did bad, I acted in sin. Incorporating that I am bad or wrong into my identity is against what God intends and is what kept me in that cycle of sin. You know it as shame. And its so pervasive that I have slipped back into that way of thinking subtly.

I didn’t see it. I didn’t see that I had shifted in my thinking in how I was thinking about and classifying my past. Understandably, my wife struggles seeing the good in our marriage before I entered this time I call recovery. Without recognizing it, I started doing the same. Not seeing that it wasn’t black and white: before and after recovery. I had started thinking of my life as what came before recovery and where I am now. I realize now the danger in that.

The time before I entered recovery was just that; it was the time before I entered recovery. It wasn’t that I all of a sudden transformed from “bad” to “good.” Without realizing it, that is how I started classifying my life. Only…that isn’t right. I wasn’t “bad” and I am not all of a sudden “good.” I am broken. Then and now. Only, now I fully realize that I am broken.

I was talking with a friend recently who is also in recovery. I guess the better way to say it is my friend also realizes his own brokenness. I like the way he put it. He said that he used to be able to compartmentalize his life. He would put away the parts he didn’t want to think about or deal with in their separate boxes and he would just not think about them or address them. But they were still there. Now, all those compartments are broken. All the parts of his life are there. That resonates with me. The awareness. I am aware of my flaws, my faults, the damage I have caused. I no longer hide that away in boxes. All my boxes are open.

Am I bad? Am I good? I am broken. Do I do bad things? Do I do good things? I do. Thankfully I am aware of all of them. They are part of in my brokenness who I am. So I address them. I don’t compartmentalize them or box them up. I deal with them…a day at a time.


The Lord said to [Hosea] again, “Go, show your love to a woman loved by someone else, who has been unfaithful to you.” – Hosea 3:1

God will not let you go. He has handcuffed himself to you in love. And he owns the only key. You need not win his love. You already have it. And since you can’t win it, you can’t lose it.

As evidence, consider exhibit A: the stubborn love of Hosea for Gomer. Contrary to the name, Gomer was a female, an irascible woman married to a remarkable Hosea. She had the fidelity code of a prairie jackrabbit, flirting and hopping from one lover to another. She ruined her life and shattered Hosea’s heart. Destitute, she was placed for sale in a slave market. Guess who stepped forward to buy her? Hosea, who’d never removed his wedding band. The way he treated her you would have thought she’d never loved another man. God uses this story, indeed orchestrated this drama, to illustrate his steadfast love for his fickle people.

Then God ordered [Hosea], “Start all over: Love your wife again, your wife who’s in bed with her latest boyfriend, your cheating wife. Love her the way I, God, love the Israelite people, even as they flirt and party with every god that takes their fancy.” (Hosea 3:1 MSG)

This is the love described in John 3:16. Hasaq is replaced with the Greek term agape, but the meaning is equally powerful. “God so [agapao] the world … “

Agape love. Less an affection, more a decision; less a feeling, more an action. As one linguist describes, “[Agape love is] an exercise of the Divine will in deliberate choice, made without assignable cause save that which lies in the nature of God Himself.”

Stated more simply: junkyard wrecks and showroom models share equal space in God’s garage.


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Mark 7:14–23 – “Jesus called the crowd to him and said, ‘Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.’ After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. ‘Are you so dull?’ he asked. ‘Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.’ (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.) He went on: ‘What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.’”

Jesus’ explanation reveals how boundaries help us define who we are and are not. Through them we can take ownership of all of who we are, both good and bad. It is only by taking full ownership of what is on our property and within our own boundaries that we can grow.

Mark¬ 7:14-¬23 is a great description of some of the “not so good” stuff that hangs out in our hearts. All property needs to be cleaned up every once in a while, and our hearts are no different. Jesus tells us that our hearts are in need of this kind of responsible “cleaning up.”

Every kind of growth system that works, from counseling to spiritual direction to recovery, involves looking past our outer behavior to the root causes that lie within our hearts. Sometimes, pain and hurt are to blame and sometimes, as this passage indicates, sinful attitudes and desires are the root causes. Whatever the case, God has forgiven us and that forgiveness gives us the freedom to take a real, hard look at what lies within our hearts. The reward for doing this is that we get healthy and life gets better.

That’s why we like to say that boundaries make life better!

This devotional is drawn from Boundaries, by John Townsend and Henry Cloud.


Owning My Sexual Compulsion

by james tarring cordrey

One of the great gifts to me in my journey has been my wife.

At the point in my life when my addiction finally came to light she did something crucial: she held my feet to the fire and did not withhold her anger.

She was furious, and rightly so.

In my experience, men whose wives shield them from the anger that arises when the reality of porn addiction is revealed miss out on something crucial.

They miss the opportunity to reckon with the brutal truth that what they have been a part of in acting on their sexual compulsions  has truly brought death into their marriages.

The Biblical teaching that my sin affects the body of Christ was driven home to me when i saw — in unvarnished terms — how it affected my wife.

William Paul Young, author of The Shack, once said in an interview that when his wife learned of his compulsive sexual behavior he was thankful that God had not given him “a submissive wife.”

She confronted him and pressed him. And it was good for him.

As painful as it was for me, i have to say that my wife’s fury — and i do not use that word lightly — was a true blessing.

When i tried to make excuses for my behabior, she wouldn’t have it. When i tried to blame others, she called me on it.

Her rage helped me get it. Her rage demanded something of me. Her rage treated me as an adult at a time when i was very much in the habit of acting like a boy.

i was, in classic Eldredge-esque terms, an uninitiated man.  My wife’s unfiltered ire was an essential part of my initiation — a baptism by fire, so to speak.

This many years later i can say in full agreement with William Paul Young that i too am very grateful God has not given me a “submissive wife.”

To be clear: her fury was not permission to withhold mercy, grace, and forgiveness. As we walked together through healing, she got to the place where she truly forgave me. But in the immediate aftermath of everything coming to light, the intensity of her anger was palpable.

It was also fully appropriate.

Eventually i understood that her anger was one way that God was calling me into authentic masculinity. My wife was calling me to be the man i was designed to be: a true one.

She still calls me to be a true man, which is important as i live with my compulsive tendencies.

If a man is going to be true, with a legitimate strength, he must have others who will call “bull” when he’s blowing smoke — even when he is so deceived that he actually believes the lie he is selling to the world.

During the months immediately following The Confession, as we call it in our marriage, i was forced to take ownership of my choices. i was forced to accept responsibility and stop finding excuses.

One way i took ownership was to finally stop blaming women for my addictive pattern with lust and pornography. When i was living based on my sexual compulsions, i gave myself freedom to lust on grounds it was normal for a man to sexually objectify a woman.

i was just appreciating feminine beauty, i would say to myself.

Or i would blame women by saying that i couldn’t help lusting after them because they invited it with the way they dressed. Or they invited it by being playful. Or they invited it by doing something that i considered flirtatious.

i was very creative at finding ways to absolve myself of any responsibility for my actions. It’s a practice which is very common to many men, which is shameful.

Sometimes it even gets spiritualized and turned into an instruction which is given to women in religious circles, which is especially shameful because it puts the burden of men’s lust on women under the guise of religious truth.

There is a place for a healthy conversation about styles of dress in our current age that involves good thinking on how Christians engage post-modern culture with regard to things such as fashion and the interactions between men and women, but that’s very different from men in spiritual leadership roles telling women what to wear and linking that to what it means for those women to display true, inner, feminine beauty.

The former has the potential of deepening our love for God and each other as we grow in maturity and holiness, the latter simply places on women the unbearable — and false — demand that they are the ones who must keep men pure.


I am struggling with a particular feeling. Wrongness. Not just when I am to blame. Just that I am ALWAYS the one to blame. That because of who I am and what I have done that I don’t have the right to be…well…right. Ever. Even when I am. That I am supposed to always carry my guilt and even my shame. I have written on this before. I know that shame is selfish and deflects. See, I am falling back into before. Before recovery. Was I always wrong then? When it comes down to it, did I ever do any good?

This generalization is easy to make. That because of my deception, my lies, the continual violations of my wedding vows that I couldn’t have done any good during that time. That’s what I am talking about. In a round-about way, because of what I did, did I ever08 do any good before recovery? Are the positive parts of my life limited to the time after I hit bottom? Or did I have any positive influence in my marriage, on my kids, in my job, in my church. In the difficult times, the answer is always no. No I didn’t have any positive impact anywhere. I am defined throughout most of my life by what I was doing and who I was. The only problem with that belief is…it isn’t true.

I have started making a list. I like lists. They help me put things in perspective and see reality. I have been an expert at avoiding reality and truth for so long. So I figured I would face the truth. This is kind of new for me, actually searching for and facing reality. So that is what I have done. I have made a list. A list of the things I did right. Surprisingly enough, the list has items on it. Believe me, I was more surprised than anyone. This isn’t a list I have shown anyone or made for anyone. It is for me. As a reminder.

In Romans 8:28, Paul states that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him. Yeah, I know that part. I haven’t always loved God but maybe He has used me. See, I passed over verse 26 in the past, but I see it now. Even before letting us know that God works in all things, Paul also reminds me that the Spirit helps me in my weakness. Even when I don’t know what to pray for or what to say, the Spirit is helping me in my weakness. Paul doesn’t say the Spirit only helps me in my strength. Or in my recovery or when I know I need help. He says that the Spirit helps me in my weakness.

I have a lot of weakness. A lot. And the Spirit helps me in that. He knows what I need even though I don’t. So, no. I wasn’t always wrong or bad. I didn’t spend most of my life without any good. Not because of me. But because the Spirit helped me in my weakness and still does. Then and now.