Posted on February 20, 2013 at 5:31 pm.
by Dave Brown
The encouragement and accountability provided by a Christian community or support group is indispensable in the road to breaking free of addiction or struggle. Sexual integrity groups, Faithful and True Groups (Mark Laaser), Pure Desire Groups (Ted & Diane Roberts), Samson Society Groups (Nate Larkin), or others provide a safe place for individuals to bring their wounds, sin, and shame into a caring and compassionate community. Such groups eliminate the isolation and secrecy that are the lifeblood of addiction, and provide the acceptance, understanding, structure, and truthfulness the addicted individual requires. “We’re only as sick as our secrets,” as it has been said, and converting secrecy into transparency is fundamental to the journey out of bondage.
Counselor Doug Weiss says “I have never met anyone who has experienced sexual addiction recovery alone. When you are accountable, sobriety is a much greater goal than just being abstinent.”
Dr. Mark Laaser believes in the power of an authentic community group that focuses on heart issues, wounds, and behaviors. “One guy (one accountability partner) is not enough. What if that guy is sick, or not at home, or not in a good mood that day? Plus, it’s tough to fool 10 guys.” The same principle would hold for women’s or teen support.
There has to be a ruthlessness about truly facing core issues of heart level attractions and severing those by the Grace of God. We need community both in a small group and with your local congregation. We are to live lives in confession, contrition, and community as believers in Christ who seek His transforming power. The Christian life will always have themes of genuine faith and authentic repentance at the core. That will then be worked out in imperfect but growing lives of individual purity (I John 3:3) and a deep concern for the hurts, afflictions, and injustices done to others (sexually, and in other areas – Isaiah 42:3).
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
Dave Brown serves as pureHOPE’s Director of Counseling and Support. He is a licensed social worker, and earned his M.Div. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and his MSW from Loyola University in Chicago. Dave can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.