Posts Tagged ‘meeting’

So now I am making amends. I didn’t expect this to happen this way. I don’t know what I expected. I guess I expected the big emotional scene. The one you see on TV and the movies. I tearfully lay out my shortcomings and take responsibility for my past and how I caused such damage to each and every person I hurt. We both cry and talk about how much we love each other and that things will be different and the past is the past and we have a bright new future to look forward to together. That’s not how it has gone for me. Or for the people I have on my list.

As I mentioned before, I have three different categories. First is my wife. Her amends are different and special. Quite honestly, her amends are up to her. I came to her to lay bare my character flaws, the ways that I recognized that I had damaged her, and to listen to how she felt based upon how I had hurt her. There was no tearful scene that led to a shared view of a hopeful new day. She was honest with her hurt, the damage she felt from me, and the destruction that my acting out had caused to her personally and to our marriage. She was clear about the end of her trust in me and in other people because of me. She said she didn’t know if she could forgive me. She also said she was guarded about telling me she loved me and that she was hopeful for the future because she didn’t know if I would stay in recovery. Amends with my wife is a day to day undertaking. Not something that is immediate or instant.

Second is those that I make amends with face to face. My family including my kids, my friends, my parents. People that I have hurt that are still in my life and will most likely stay in my life. I met with my kids and talked them through what I had done, how I had not been engaged and had not been the father God called me to be or the man I should be as an example to them. I asked them how my behavior had impacted them. They told me that my absence impacted them. That even when I was here, it was obvious that I was distracted or didn’t have time for them. One of my kids told me that this version of me now was different, that it was obvious I was trying to change and that he hoped I would stay this way. I met face to face with my close friends who are not in recovery but are my accountability partners. I saw the impact of my lies and my manipulation on them and the struggle they have to remain in my life, that its only through Christ acting through them that they can be here with me in accountability. I didn’t see before the damage I had done to them.

Finally, there are those that I can’t see face to face. People that aren’t reachable in person. Former bosses that I had to send a letter or email to apologize for my previous behavior, to ask how that impacted them, and to ask forgiveness for the man I was and the selfishness and behavior that impacted them. One former boss told me that he appreciated my candor and that he was thankful that I was seeking to improve my life. Several didn’t respond. There are also those letters that I can’t and won’t send. The ones that I wrote to former affair partners. I apologized for my part in manipulating them to meet my own selfish needs. Then I shredded those letters.

I didn’t expect amends to be this way. I didn’t expect this depth of feeling. I didn’t expect to see this depth of damage in all those around me.

Turning my life over to God was something I thought I did a long time ago. It’s the combination of turning my life AND will over to God that I missed…and am struggling with now.

Proverbs 9:8 –“Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you.”

What is your normal reaction when conflict occurs in a new relationship? Are you comfortable addressing the issue? Or, do you stuff the issue out of fear or a desire to preserve the peace? Honesty is the best policy for two important reasons:

  1. Being honest helps resolve the hurt or the conflict.
  2. When you are honest, how the other person responds tells you whether a satisfactory relationship is possible.

If you are hurt in some way, bring it up. Don’t harbor bitter feelings. Or, if there is something that the other person has done that you do not like, or goes against your values, or is wrong, it must be discussed. If you don’t, then you are building a relationship based on a false sense of security and closeness. And it is possible that your feelings will be confused by hurt and fear. A lot is lost in not finding out who the other person is and where the relationship could really go, if one or both people are not facing hurt and conflict directly. In reality, a conflict-free relationship is probably a shallow relationship.

Second, you need to find out if the person you are with is capable of dealing with conflict and hurt directly. The Bible and all relationship research is very clear on this issue: people who can handle confrontation and feedback are the ones who can make relationships work. You must find out, sooner rather than later, if the person you are with is someone you can talk to. If you get serious with someone who cannot take feedback about hurt or conflict, then you are headed for a lifetime of aloneness, resentment, and perhaps even abuse.

Proverbs puts it well about a person who cannot take confrontation: “Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you” (Proverbs 9:8). “A mocker resents correction; he will not consult the wise” (Proverbs 15:12).

Whether you’re dating someone, starting a new friendship, or building a business alliance, you need to know if you are in a relationship with someone who is going to be defensive when you bring up hurt or conflict, or if you are with someone who is going to be able to listen, learn, and respond. If you do not deal with conflict early on, and the relationship gets serious, then you have bought yourself a world of trouble.

Honesty over hurt and conflict creates intimacy, and it also divides people into the wise and the foolish. But being honest is totally up to you. You cannot control what the other person does. However, you can decide what kind of person you are going to be. As a result, you will also be deciding what kind of person you are going to be with.

Today’s content is drawn from Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. Copyright 2014 by Zondervan; all rights reserved. Visit for more information.

Life in recovery is a Rollercoaster. The ups and downs are intense, terrifying, and rewarding.

I am humbled to announce the  publishing of our ministry’s second book:

Battle Plan
Weapons & Armor in the Fight for Sexual Purity


Authored by Servants of Christ
Edition: First Edition

Castimonia is Latin for “moral purity” something every man should strive for.

Castimonia is a Christ-centered 12-Step Support and Recovery program for sexual impurity or sexual addiction with the goal to achieve a Biblically-based sexual purity. We share our experience, strength, and hope with each other so that we may achieve sexual purity and help others overcome sexual impurity or compulsive sexual behaviors.

This book is used for helping men in the Castimonia program fight for their sexual purity with various weapons (proactive tools) and armor (reactive tools). The copyright to this book belongs to Armaturam, LLC and all material in this book is being used by permission of the copyright holder.  

Many thanks to Alcoholics Anonymous and Sex Addicts Anonymous for paving the way in the 12-Step world as well as the countless men in recovery and the therapists that have helped facilitate God’s healing of their wounds.  Most importantly, thank you to the patient spouses who have put up with our issues long enough to make this ministry and book possible.

Original Publication Date: March 30, 2017

5″ x 8″ (12.7 x 20.32 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
136 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1536886634
ISBN-10: 1536886637
Related Categories: Self-Help / Twelve-Step Programs

The book can be purchased at any Castimonia meeting  or via the Create Space store. 

If you are a man struggling with Sexual Purity and would like to purchase a copy of the book for the same amount as sold at Castimonia meetings ($12) please contact the publisher, Armaturam, LLC for a discount rate:

I love meetings. I hear stuff that I just don’t believe at first. Ok, I know this is a goofy path for a journal entry but hang with me. I believe and the Bible is clear that God reveals Himself to us in many ways including reading His word, prayer, being still and shutting up and listening, worship, and even yes even other people. That includes recovery meetings. See, God LOVES revealing himself to me in recovery meetings. Only, I am too thick to see Him coming most of the time.

So I am going to shamelessly steal this incredible share that a friend of mine used recently in the Thursday night group. Yes, you know who you are. He announced very proudly that tonight his topic would be on shame. I seriously felt the air leave the room. If it was a larger group, you would have audibly heard the collective “ughhhhhh.” Sorry my friend, maybe it was just me but I think we all felt it.

I seriously considered just mentally checking out. I steadied myself for another reminder that shame meant I thought “I am bad” and guilt meant I healthily thought “I did bad things.” So moral of the story, feel guilt not shame. Blah blah blah, right? Only my friend is way smarter than me so of course that isn’t what he said at all.

His opening statement was that shame is an emotion from God but can be completely self centered and hinder recovery. What did he just say? Ok, I am awake now. He said that allowing ourselves to wallow (his words, not mine!) in our shame was another form of justification for our actions. Ok, so that is a bit harsh, don’t you think? I mean, come on. I thought we are supposed to feel sorry for guys stuck in shame because they are wrongly focused on thinking they are a bad person, not in the right area of guilt where they remember God’s salvation and redemption and that they have done bad things. Only…that isn’t what he was saying. He was saying that staying in shame is a cop-out, basically.

Ok, I am really paying attention now. Keep going. So my friend said there are three ways of recognizing that we are stuck in shame in our own lives. Three warning signs that we are in shame and that staying there is selfish.

  1. We are acting out of fear because we are afraid to expose our true self and need to hide. Yikes, that hurt. Definitely a cop out I take
  2. We are blaming and refusing to admit the truth. Basically, I let myself off the hook by setting such a low standard. Obviously, I suck so therefore I can’t expect to be much better. Yep, definitely a technique I have used.
  3. We disconnect and don’t feel or experience our emotions. This robs us from feeling compassion for those we have hurt. Yeah, emotional avoidance. I rock at that.

So shame is selfish. Yeah, I guess it is. So what do I do about it? Community. Community is the key. Being able to walk into my groups, share my garbage, and still be loved. Wow, what an antidote for shame. I love the quote he closed the share with and dropped the mic, so I will steal it (again, sorry my friend!): “As long as I am conditionally known, I will be conditionally loved.”

Doug discusses his character defect of Abandonment and how it can feel all-consuming at times. He discusses illustrations that point out the negative aspects of abandonment that can creep in without being aware.

He also discusses practical ways to overcome fear and abandonment by being healthy emotionally and vulnerable in relationship.

Please email us with any comments and/or questions at, and remember that you are not alone!