“Why haven’t you found accountability partners yet? Are you close to finding a sponsor?”

Each week in counseling, I am greeted with a new challenge from my counselor. I think he dreams up ways to continually make me uncomfortable.  After our joint counseling session, I didn’t know if he could top that one.  Somehow he always seems to succeed.  Accountability partners make me very uncomfortable.  I tried accountability about 20 years ago with a group of guys.  I was open and honest with them.  Well, as open and honest as I could be at the time.  Which, to be rigorously honest, wasn’t very open or honest.

Accountability partners. Who should that be?  According to my counselor, I should find guys that I can trust.  Ok, that is a given.  Also, I should find guys who are willing to ask me hard questions.  Also, not a surprise.  Oh, and preferably in recovery and don’t automatically believe what I say, and care about me enough not to take my word for anything.  Ok, now that is very confusing.  How is that supposed to work?

I think I have two guys in mind. One is a guy I know in recovery who I went to church with for several years.  I think I mentioned that I like the version of him I know now.  He isn’t trying to one up me on the arrogance scale.  I will ask him.  I will also ask a friend who isn’t in recovery who I have known for many years.  I have lied to him.  A lot.  He cares about me and my wife.  He was there when my oldest son was born.  He has supported and loved us.  He didn’t abandon me or my wife when I first announced that I was leaving her and then briefly came to my senses when she told me she still loved me and would let me come home.  I wonder how he will respond when I reveal myself as a liar and an addict to him.  I don’t know, honestly.

My counselor wanted to instruct my accountability partners on how to be accountable with me. However, first he wanted me to tell them my story, my first step.  I had written it in draft.  I made copies for them to read.  However, my counselor said that wasn’t enough.  I had to recite my story verbally to them. I started from the beginning.  I told them the parts I didn’t want to reveal even to God. I opened up my soul and exposed my shame to them. I told them about how I was broken, damaged, and then about how I inflicted pain and suffering and hurt and destruction on my wife and kids.  They didn’t even know the extent of it yet.  What I realized in revealing that was that I didn’t fully understand the depth of the hurt and damage either.  Reliving it was emotional and painful and ripped my heart into shreds and exposed my shame.

And……they supported me anyway. My friends cried with me and for me and for my family. I don’t understand why God has given me people that love me this way. I don’t love me this way.  How can anyone else? How can God? Then I heard Him….I heard God saying, “How do you not know I love you? I died for you as you are, not as you hope to be.”


We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. That is a powerful step in recovery after realizing how broken, powerless, and insane our behaviors were previously.

Jorge and Doug discuss how to “work” the step and have it “work you.” They discuss what “Higher Powers” could mean, and they seek to expand your view of God in the process.

Learn practical tips for working the step in the casual conversation as well as find resources to get help if you need them.

Email puritypodcast@castimonia.org for more information.


The Triple-A Engine of Accessibility, Affordability, & Anonymity.  No need to go into sex shops like the guy in the animated gif below!

customer


This survey is for either the addict or spouse who have experienced a therapist-facilitated clinical disclosure.  Please click on the link below to access the survey.

Dear Community,

One more time… We need your help!  Please pass along this survey to anyone you know that has experienced a facilitated disclosure.  As of right now, we only have 35 respondents – we could use many more!  We are hoping to finish data collection soon.  Here’s some information about the survey:

We all know how critical the disclosure process is, yet we have a huge shortage in research that evaluates what makes a facilitated disclosure process successful.  I, along with my co-investigators, Justin and Heidi Monuteaux, are currently conducting a study that will help inform clinicians on how to conduct disclosure sessions that are as least traumatic as possible and can lead to a foundation from which a couple can begin to heal from sex addiction.   Given this is an area with an extreme shortage of research, every person’s input could make a big difference on how clinicians are taught and trained on best practices on how to handle disclosures.  We will be asking questions about things such as how participants were prepared, how the disclosure was facilitated, the relationship with the therapist, and their thoughts and feedback on the process.

I am attaching an informational flier that you can pass out about the study that contains information about the project and the link to the survey. Anyone who has experienced a facilitated disclosure process is eligible to take the survey.  If you have experienced a disclosure yourself, we would be grateful if you (and your partner, if applicable) would participate.
Please pass the survey along to others such as friends in recovery.  We are hoping for the largest distribution possible. This study was approved by the IRB at Northwest University.

Here is the survey link…. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/disclosure-study

Thank you very much for your time and consideration. Kind Regards,

*Stefanie Carnes, PhD, LMFT, CSAT-S*
*President* *IITAP, LLC*
*Phone: 480-488-0150*
*E-Mail: stefanie@iitap.com <stefanie@iitap.com>*
*www.iitap.com*
*www.sexhelp.com*
*www.gentlepath.com*


Originally posted at: http://prevailingwordministries.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/stop-playing-with-yourself-worshipping-at-the-altar-of-lust/
by prevailing word ministries

Growing up as a kid, you hear things that made you think.

Statements like “go play with yourself” had that sexual overtone that everyone knew what it’s about. However, after a while, you find yourself doing masturbation more often than you realize. Until it becomes second nature. The muscle memory and the false pleasure of having sex with someone that isn’t there became more than just “playing with yourself.”

It turned from pleasure habit into a bondage that is no different than nicotine, cocaine, or alcohol dependency.

It’s addictive. Voyeurism and other obsessive forms of sexual immorality is not that far off. That’s because with self sexual foreplay, people that are not in control will engage anywhere.

The false pros of masturbation is no relationship with another person. No STDs. No pregnancies.

You schedule your day around it.

In 1 John 2:15-17, John, the beloved apostle of the Lamb said, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away and the lust thereof, but he that does the will of the Father abides forever.”

Lust is the law in the flesh of fallen man (male and female).

The law of lust is what’s behind masturbation.

The law of sin and death (see Romans 8:1-2) demands that lust be fulfilled, but we all know that lust is never fulfilled. It remains dissatisfied forever. Anything that is not ordained by the Lord is of the devil. The devil’s desires will always remain insatiable. Hence, the fallen state of man, these desires, unless put to death, will remain insatiable.

The corruption of flesh demands satisfaction.

The flesh demands to recharge to re-satisfy itself.

In the normal concept of sex, the reset to do it all over again is to be tempered or self controlled.

Lust is never controlled. It must be put to death.

In the last 6 years, masturbation was the most difficult thing to break. After 33 years from 1975 to 2008, a week wouldn’t go by unless I engaged in masturbation. At first, it seemed normal and innocent. Afterwards, I was hooked and developed a list of reasons to keep doing what I wanted to do. Even after marriage, I found myself engaging.

Lust after women “enhanced” this pursuit of sexual satisfaction. But satisfaction was never achieved. Even with introducing pornography in 1998, the satisfaction was never achieved.

Little did I realized that not only was I breaking God’s command about the sanctity of marriage according to Genesis 2:24, far worse, I idolized my desire to have self or solo sex.

It became my god.

The Lord God said to Moses in Exodus 20:3-6,

“You shall have no other gods before Me. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image —any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them.

For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.”

To put it as bluntly as allowed, getting off was worshipped.

At this altar of sexual immorality, I paid homage to the god of lust. The second god or idol was my sexual organ. What kept me worshipping at this altar was the dopamine. The drug of fulfillment and satisfaction.

This infatuation of getting this drug in my blood stream had me coming back for more and more every time.

All it took to get me started was touching myself sexually. Or a combination of things. Lusting after the flesh. The sexual objectification of a woman’s anatomy. At the end of the day, there’s no question what was going to happen. From 2008 to 2011, the grace of God enabled me to completely abstain from masturbation.

It was a great 3.5 years of learning how to control myself.

Dr. Mark Lasser really taught the lesson on self control. He asked the greatest question I’ve ever heard.

Can you do without sex with your wife and masturbation?

The answer is yes.

Hence, the definition of addiction recovery.

“To control, manage, or stop using a particular substance, thing, or activity.”

There are many advocates that encourage masturbation as a healthy sexual practice. This would fall under the category of “control or manage.”

However, if it is being worshipped, it must stop because God has no rivals. If God is enthroned on your heart, there can be no other gods.

In reading many books that reason with making seemingly viable excuses to continue masturbation, many men will accept these arguments and stand their ground when they are challenged.

Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”

James 1:14-15 says, “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full- grown, brings forth death.”

So the end is always death. What kind of death? Death in your relationship with the Lord. Broken fellowship with God.

It seems right to justify sin but it always end in death. You are tempted, you fall into temptation, you yield to temptation. The desire has conceived (egg – sperm unites). Sin is birthed. Death is the result.

In Matthew 26:41, Jesus said, “Watch and pray, lest you fall into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak.”

Even with watching and praying, lust was lurking within me that I feared greatly.

The urge to touch myself sexually got stronger and stronger.

Mind you, I was praying. I had an accountability partner. I was teaching the men how to overcome.

Then the moment of truth came. After a setback at an event, discouragement zapped me so bad that I fell into the trap of touching myself sexually.

From 2011 to early spring of 2014, I found myself back into “playing with myself.”

To even try to deflect how I got back into masturbation or to attempt to minimize the fall is the worst thing in the world you could do. That’s because to falsely justify sexual immorality is a deception not worth going to hell over. Even to count how many times I masturbated to give a minimal number to minimize the blow is folly.

I also found out that you can’t preach effectively to sinners if you are in sin yourself. You are disqualified.

Since returning to the streets to preach, the reason that kept me from preaching in the streets was directly tied to sexual immorality running rampant in my life. There is no anointing in sin. God never anoints what He never appoints. Sin and holiness can never mingle. God’s temple cannot be full of idols. Jesus and satan can never have communion, fellowship, or unity. Darkness cannot co-mingle with light.

Ineffective living always leads to ineffective preaching. If you cannot live to obey the commands of Jesus, you can’t win a soul to Jesus. The crucified life demands denying yourself, taking up your cross, and following the Lord. Many desire to follow the Lord, but they never deny themselves (see Mark 8:34).

You deliberately cheat or defraud yourself from achieving a false pleasure to gain the highest pleasure.

Pleasing God.

You can’t talk about taking up your cross unless you deny yourself.

In other words, you stop playing with yourself.

Most ministers are ineffective because of the refusal to deny themselves.

Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:27“But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”

Jesus said this in Matthew 5:28-30, “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.”

This is not a stretch of revelation but you and I both know that the Lord covered masturbation because it takes an eye to lust and the hand to play. There is no question about it and to fool ourselves into thinking that the Lord wasn’t talking about self sex is foolishness and deliberate deception.

As Mike Cleveland of Setting Captives Free said, this is “radical amputation.”

If you refuse to cut off anything that is leading you to masturbate, notice what Jesus said….

“…for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.”

Will a person go to hell over masturbation?

Are you willing to let masturbation rule you like a god? And are you will to risk it?

Remember what Revelation 21:8 says.

Remember also Hebrews 12:4.

“You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.”

And NO. I am not telling you that you need to butcher yourself to stop sinning.

What is it that you are willing to do to stop sinning?

How far will you go?

Are you willing to pull out the TV?

Are you willing to give up your mobile device you use to spy out flesh to masturbate off of?

Are you willing to give up your passcode to your computer to an accountability partner and or your wife?

Are you willing to get off of FB or all social media?

Are you willing to walk across the street when a hot looking woman is within your periphery?

Are you willing to look in another direction when she is trying to get your attention at the magazine stand?

Are you willing to change channels if you keep your TV?

Are you willing to get up out of bed, pray and seek God when you are sexually aroused at night?

Are you willing to call your accountability partner to get prayer in your hour of temptation?

Are you willing to pick up the phone when your accountability partner calls on you to check up on you?

Are you willing to stop being evasive when asked the tough questions?

So let’s sum this up.

1. Lust must be destroyed. In fact, lust was destroyed on the cross of Christ according to 1 John 3:8.

But is lust destroyed in you? Colossians 3:5 is the answer.

2. God has no rivals. Exodus 20-3-6.

3. Excuses seems right but frivolous justification always lead to death. Proverbs 14:12, James 1:14-15.

4. Watch and pray. Matthew 26:41.

5. Discipline yourself. 1 Corinthians 9:27.

 


Okay, so here is the scene. I am at my counselor’s office. He is in the same practice as my wife’s counselor.  My wife is there with her counselor as well.  Its about three weeks since I was found out.  Since what the experts in recovery call “discovery.”  This is our first joint counseling session.  My counselor wants to share with my wife’s counselor where we are in the counseling process.  He told me that they want to talk about our “situation” together in front of us, you know, to make sure we are all “on the same page.”

This is a potentially dangerous to my own well being situation.  My wife’s counselor originally told my wife the first time I was found out that there was more I wasn’t telling her.  That that isn’t all there was to it.  That I was not being forthcoming, you know……lying.  My wife didn’t want to hear it or deal with it.  I avoided disclosure and was able to convince everyone that was it and I was okay.  Or so I thought.

Here we are now three weeks after my wife finding out again, after that text message.  I am in real trouble.  My counselor knows things about me that I have never told anyone else.  He knows there is more to it than my wife or her counselor know.  I am sure this is going to be him telling them both the extent of my depravity.

That isn’t what is happening.  This is the most surreal experience of my life.  My counselor is laying bare the roots of my addiction.  He is stating that my issues aren’t just about sex addiction.  He believes there are love and fantasy issues along with abandonment and loneliness.  Probably even depression as well.  Who exactly is he talking about?  He hasn’t told me any of this.  How dare he say all of this without discussing with me.  He works for me!

My wife, her counselor, and my counselor are discussing treatment options, talking about next steps.  Her counselor is stating that disclosure with a polygraph is the only way my wife will consider staying married to me.  She is asking if my counselor agrees, which he does.  I want to raise my hand and say, “HELLO, I AM RIGHT HERE!”  According to the behavior of everyone in the room, I am not here.  They are all talking around me.  What is going on??

My counselor then says to my wife and her counselor that my case is very complex.  That my recovery is not an easy one.  I will require lots of therapy and psychological counseling.  At least two to three years….wait, what?  Did he just say that?  Two to three years?  Is he joking?  He hasn’t said this to me! Again, does he not know he works for ME?!

I just realized something….I am broken.  Oh God, I am broken.  God, how did you let this happen to me?  I am broken. Can I ever be whole again?  I just got it.  I just had a realization:  I am not ok. 


Nate Larkin is the founder of the “Samson Society” and the author of “Samson and the Pirate Monks” (www.natelarkin.com and www.samsonsociety.com)

He shares his powerful story as well as his involvement with the “I am Second” movement. His video testimony has taken his story to countless men that struggle in similar ways. 

He is dedicated to establishing real community for men to be able to find help.

He discusses how sex wasn’t his problem, but it was the solution that he chose for his real problem. We, as addicts, need to find ways to stop our medication choices, but more importantly, find the roots of our problems.

He suggested the use of the “R Tribe” app (http://www.rtribe.org/) for those in recovery from any condition, and he seeks to be a man that has a story of God’s radical change. That radical change is possible in all of us.

For more information, please email us at the puritypodcast@castimonia.org