Below is a graphic that displays various statistics of the consumption of pornography, most of which is produced in the United States.
Tomorrow, I’ll discuss why internet filters are a must for ALL families!
Four Things I Learned That Helped My Marriage
by Wood F.
Oringinally posted to The City on June 3, 2012
I’m a fella who did not get what he deserved – I got grace, forgiveness and love. Real love. I’m coming up on a very important, personal anniversary this June 15th. As I refect on these last 21 years of my life, I see some things God had done in the process of transforming me.
I’d like to share just some things, not all of them – and my sharing does not imply that I have acheived perfection in these things, just progress. Perhaps by my sharing these things, you will find something helpful that you can usetoo.
First, I learned to communicate with my wife. Nothing strikes utter fear and terror in the heart of a husband than to hear his wife say, “Honey, we have to talk”. But, I learned how to listen to her and hear more than her words – I learned to hear her heart. She learned that I am not always in touch with how I’m feeling or thinking about something, so she learned to help me get in touch with my own thoughts and feelings. It wasn’t easy to accomplish this – but, we worked at it, hard, everyday – and still do. I learned the art of communication cannot be accomplished passively.
Second, I learned that Betty is My Bride. I call her that often, in fact, as often as I can. I find it changes my attitude towards her. Calling her “my wife” just seems like I’m identifying a possession, but calling her “My Bride”, well, that’s different. I see her as a personal gift from God, like Eve was to Adam. If I ever want to know how God feels about me, I just look over at her, and there is living, breathing proof that God knows me, cares for me and loves me. I learned that when she challenges me and calls me into accountability, that I should listen to her. I find that if I’m getting defensive about something, then that usually means she is right. I don’t always respond well to that kind of chastening, but I have discovered that she sees things I often overlook. She fills in my blind spots for me and if I listen to her and heed her advice, life improves in many ways. Her challenges to me, often save me from making foolish decisions. See what a gift from God she is? She is My Bride.
Third – I learned to spend time with her. In fact, I would rather hang out with her than anyone else. I would rather sit next to her on our Love Seat, than do anything else in the whole world. That is a fact. I would rather go to a movie, eat out, watch TV, clean house, do laundry, cook, drive somewhere, go camping or pretty much anything – as long as I can do it with her. She is my best friend. I carve out moments of the evening, days of the weekends, nights of the weekdays – just to be with her. I text her, email her, call her – just to be in touch. She is priority number one.
Fourth, I learned to be her encourager. I love nothing better than finding out what she would like to learn or experiment with, and make sure she can do it. I love to brag on her talents, encourage her explorations and cheer her on when she is doing what she loves. I don’t really care if what she wants to do costs money – so what? I spend it on her and for her. If I earn extra money by doing some side jobs, I love to give it to her or spend it on her.
My basic philosophy that guides me in all this is found in Ephesians 5:25-33
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
What that Scripture tells me, is that I am to give up my life for My Bride, just like Jesus gave up His life for His Bride. I am to do all I can to make certain she knows how precious she is. I am to do all I can to make certain she knows how loved she is.
If your marriage is in need of revival – if you feel your marriage is in trouble and you are looking for a sliver of hope to hang onto, then remember these words from Isaiah 42:3a, “
A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
God wants to your marriage to be a source of peace, contentment, restoration, fulfilment, satisfaction – and so many other good things. Marrage is supposed to be a blessing. If you will surrender your will to God, and allow Him to be in charge, your marriage can be so much more than you ever thought it could be. You cannot do this apart from God.
I guess my words are meant mostly for husbands, so, fellas, get out there and love your Bride the way Jesus loves His church.
We Humbly Ask God to Remove All Our Shortcomings.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
In step 4, we listed our character defects, in step 5, we admitted them to God, to ourselves, and to another human being, and in step 6, we became entirely ready for God, not us, to remove our defects of character. Now, in step 7, we ask God to remove all of our shortcomings and we do it humbly.
So what does it mean to be humble? Of course, as an engineer, I have to list the definition so as to avoid confusion:
Adjective: Having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance.
Verb: Lower (someone) in dignity or importance: “I knew I had to humble myself to ask for His help”.
In understanding what humble really means, I was able to really submit to God by lowering my own importance well beneath that of God’s importance. In my addiction, Sexual acting out was my “god” and I was it’s only begotten son. I was the most important man in my life, I did not care about others, only about my own sexual satisfaction or own personal wants. After I hit rock bottom and I saw my powerless over sexual acting out and how crazy my life had become I began the process of becoming humble; well, actually God began that for me. I then saw how insane my behavior truly was, I needed help from my higher power, in my case God thus lowering my own importance compared to Him and to others around me. I then went on to give myself to Him on a daily basis, not always perfect, but progressing in the process of turning my life and will over to God’s care. And then I did my internal search and saw who I really had become. I listed my character defects and all my wrongs and I really knew I needed His help.
As an addict, I am too familiar with humiliation so I must distinguish between humility and humiliation. The SAA Green Book defines humility as being teachable, vulnerable, and open. I need to be open to new ways of thinking and new ways of living my life. I need to be teachable and learn these new ideas as well as emotionally vulnerable to others, asking for their help as my recovery continues. Humility, for me, is not walking up steps on my bare knees to show that I a humble worshiper, it is not dragging a 200lb+ cross on my back as I whip myself (or others whip me) with torture whips from the Roman Empire era. The latter two seem more like humiliation … to me.
Just asking for help from others is an act of humility and of being humble. Understanding that I can’t do this by myself is a wonderful gift; it feels great to know that I am not all powerful and I need help, every day. I also have come to the understanding that change occurs on God’s time, not mine. As an addict, I was used to the quick fix, the instant gratification, the quick escape. In my early recovery, I felt the same could be done for my healing; quick and easy with no pain or suffering! I was very, very wrong! I often commented how I would have entered recovery 10+ years earlier than I did and the comments I received back after many meetings was, “it’s all in God’s time, not ours.” It took me working through my own recovery to really realize that everything happens on God’s time, when God says the time is right, not when I say it is. I also need to keep in mind that I need not be concerned with the results, all I need to do is ask.
One of my favorite ways God works in my life is through other people in and outside of recovery. I often state in my weekly Bible reading group that God uses men (and women) around us to speak to us. Sometimes these people “tell it like it is” and point out to me a character defect that has risen up, which in turn allows me to be entirely ready and then humbly ask God to remove it! There are many other ways God uses people to do His work in our lives, but that is subject for another post.
It isn’t until we have looked at all these character defects and humbly asked God to remove them that we are ready to repair any harm we have done in the past. If we do not look closely at these character defects, they might come forward during our amends, things like pride, resentment, fears, etc… might interfere with our Step 8. So it is important to be in a place in our recovery where we can have these character defects removed (even just temporarily enough) so we can move forward and make the list of the persons we had harmed, without having these all too familiar character defects pop up and interfere with the recovery process.
Take what you like and leave the rest.
In today’s topic I read from the Twelve Steps for Christians and the SAA Green Book
How the mighty have fallen
I am at the top of the world; I have everything my heart desires, why must I lust after more? I see her through her bathroom window, bathing. My heart starts racing, maybe I will be able to see just a little bit of nudity if she will just come out of the water some. I stand there, waiting; it seems like hours before I catch a glimpse. Now my heart is beating out of control, I am obsessing about this woman, my thoughts are going crazy, I can’t stop thinking about her nude body in the bath. I need to stop this insane thinking; it’s been so long since I felt this tremendous lust! I can’t stop, I won’t stop, I must have this woman!
I have my personal assistant research more about the condo across from this high-rise hotel building hosting our negotiations. What is this woman’s name? How can I get in touch with her? I can’t stop thinking about her; she is in my mind all the time! I have complete power, I can pay all the money I want to get the information I need, yes, that’s exactly what I’ll do. I’ll have my assistant pay the condo management company to find out this woman’s name and information.
How long must I wait for an answer? It feels like months have gone by, but really it’s only been a couple of days, right? What day is it today? It seems I’ve lost track of time because I have been obsessing about this woman. This can’t be healthy; maybe I should visit a doctor, therapist, or a psychiatrist? No, I am way too important to ask for help, much less ask for mental help for a sexual obsession!
A-HA! At last, I have her name! But she is married, how can I possibly ask to see her if she’s married? I know, I’ll ask her to come work for me, she can be here, close to me, so I can see her every day, that will cure my obsession, just having her in my presence. What’s the worst that can possibly happen?
She’s here! She’s here! Yes, send her in. My goodness, what a beautiful site, I can’t believe my eyes, my heart is racing, she is so sexually arousing, I want to be sexual with her, but I can’t, I mean, can I or can’t I? What am I thinking? This is insane, I want to hire this girl not have sex with her, no wait, I do want to have sex with her, but how can I do this and not lose my job with some sexual harassment lawsuit and sex scandal? My brain is spinning, I can’t think straight, my lust for this woman is overpowering.
I seduce her, she falls so easily to a man with such power and prestige, she is all mine and we have sex, right there in my office. However, when we finish, I feel so empty, I changed my mind, I don’t want this woman anymore, but maybe I do, I am undecided, so I ask her to leave. She is saddened but does not argue with me.
A couple of weeks later she calls, she tells me she’s pregnant. My heart sinks, what have I done, and what can I do now? Her husband is overseas in the military, how can I possibly cover this up? I know, I’ll ask my close friend the General to get this guy back stateside; after all I am the Commander in Chief. This plan will work, it has to work!
What do you mean he doesn’t want to leave his unit? He’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime! Doesn’t he know who I am? He has to come home, he has to have sex with his wife before she starts showing. He has to be the father of this woman’s baby; I can’t get wrapped up in this type of sex scandal. Get him home, do whatever it takes.
Fine, if he won’t come back home, then I need to take care of him. Maybe if there was an accident, like a friendly-fire incident or a recon operation behind enemy lines gone wrong? Yes, that is what I will do; I’ll send his unit on a top secret mission of utmost important. He will be part of a forlorn hope!
He’s dead, I’m so sorry your husband is dead, but out of the goodness of my heart I want you to move in with me, I will take care of you and your child. This sounds so insane in my mind, what’s wrong with this line of thinking? I don’t care, she’s mine, she’s all mine! We will live happily ever after.
Again, back at this dreaded hotel, but what is this I see across the way? Who is this new woman? I see her through her bathroom window, bathing…..
The above story was adapted from 2 Samuel 11 where King David displays his lack of self-control and acts like a sex addict; obsessed and going to the extent he does in order to sexually act out, and then the even more absurd extent he goes in order to cover up his immoral sexual activities. As someone in recovery, I can relate to the insanity involved in King David’s thinking, acting out sexually, and then trying to do whatever he could to cover it up. In looking at this story and my own life, I have to constantly remember the insanity involved in the addiction, and must always believe that a power greater than myself can restore me to sanity. Fortunately for King David he repented before the Lord. However, this act of sexual immorality cost King David greatly. He lost the son he bore with Bathsheba and his immorality carried on to his sons, Absolom, Amnon, and even Soloman. Such is the tragic life of a sex addict; lives in the addiction, hits rock bottom, and then enters recovery, but not after the damage has been done.
Take what you like and leave the rest.
Evening with Ken Wells
Thursday, July 12, 2012 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
6:30 p.m. Check-in, coffee & dessert
7 – 8 p.m. Presentation
Location: The Hamill Foundation Conference Center
The Council on Alcohol & Drugs Houston
303 Jackson Hills Street
Houston, TX 77007
Contact: 281.200.9109 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Click on the Flyer to the right for more information
To register online, click the link below:
KEN WELLS is a certified professional counselor specializing in treating sexual addiction and the treatment of sexual offense behavior at Psychological Counseling Services in Scottsdale, Arizona. He served for more than 20 years as a pastor. He and his wife Eileen have three children. He’s a founding member of Interfaith Sexual Trauma Institute and serves on the executive board of New Hope Educational Foundation.
This site is intended for individuals who struggle with maintaining sexual purity. This information is posted for individuals at various stages in their recovery, year 1 to year 30+; what applies to some, may not apply others. Spouses are encouraged to read this blog with the caveat that they may not agree with, understand, or know the reason for some items posted. As always, take what you like and leave the rest.