Posts Tagged ‘sexual impurity’

… are a lot like this.

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. – 1 Corinthians 10:13

How many times have I heard this…”God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” I call bullshit. I even repeated that axiom over and over. I said it to other people. I prayed it. I thanked Him for not giving me more than I could handle, all the while not being able to handle all I experienced. Burying the pain and heartache and loneliness as deep as I could drive it. I couldn’t handle it. Well, I couldn’t handle it in a healthy and honest way.

I can point to so many instances in my life that were more than I could handle. The death of my best friend. The complete isolation and abandonment of being passed off to my aunt and uncle. The shame of being sexually abused. The unending self loathing that came with hiding my violations of our marriage vows. The impact on my wife of my disclosing my lifetime of manipulation and lying. I couldn’t handle or bear any of those. Not in any way that was honoring to God or myself or my marriage or my family.

I didn’t trust God. If he truly wasn’t going to give me more than I could handle, then why did He give me more than I could handle? What happened to that loving caring Savior that was supposed to take those things away from me? Why did I continually experience overwhelming hardships under which I would crumble over and over? I didn’t get it. I didn’t understand why…I claimed to be a Christian. Wasn’t He supposed to provide us special protection? The sin and shame and self loathing was supposed to be for those who didn’t believe.

After I entered into what I call recovery, I started working through a 12 step program through a men’s support and recovery group called Castimonia. I got a sponsor, someone I knew. I disclosed my sexual sin to my wife and somehow was still married. I wrote and read what’s called a first step to my recovery group. This was my entire history of isolation, shame, sexual sin, lying and manipulation. And yet, men told me that they could identify with my story. They had similar experiences and were thankful of the reminders and were there for support. I was thankful for the support, but I can honestly say I didn’t see God in my recovery. I saw the support of other people, I saw the community and relationships with other men through my recovery group. I just didn’t understand why God had allowed all this to continue. He was supposed to not let me experience more than I could bear.

I read step three, “We turned our life and will over to the care of God as we understood God.” And that’s when my real recovery began. That realization. I had not turned my will over to Him. Ever. I had given Him my salvation as I understood it. I figured I had the rest. I didn’t trust God. Not with anything more than after this life. This life was mine. And what I had always thought was true. I couldn’t bear all this myself. See, I missed that last part of 1 Corinthians. He will provide a way out of temptation. For me, I had to first trust that. Trust that He would provide a way. And depend on Him. How many times had I missed that way out?

You will never go where God is not. Envision the next few hours of your life. Where will you find yourself? In a school? God indwells the classroom. On the highways? His presence lingers among the traffic. In the hospital operating room, the executive boardroom, the in-laws’ living room, the funeral home? God will be there. “He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27).

Each of us. God does not play favorites. From the masses on the city avenues to the isolated villagers in valleys and jungles, all people can enjoy God’s presence. But many don’t. They plod through life as if there were no God to love them. As if their only strength was their own. As if the only solution comes from within, not above. They live Godless lives.

But there are Josephs among us: people who sense, see, and hear the presence of God. People who pursue God as Moses did. When suddenly tasked with the care of two million ex-slaves, the liberator began to wonder, How am I going to provide for these people? How will we defend ourselves against enemies? How can we survive? Moses needed supplies, managers, equipment, and experience. But when Moses prayed for help, he declared, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here” (Ex. 33:15).

Moses preferred to go nowhere with God than anywhere without him.

Do likewise. Make God’s presence your passion. How? Be more sponge and less rock. Place a rock in the ocean, and what happens? Its surface gets wet. The exterior may change color, but the interior remains untouched. Yet place a sponge in the ocean, and notice the change. It absorbs the water. The ocean penetrates every pore and alters the essence of the sponge.

God surrounds us in the same way the Pacific surrounds an ocean floor pebble. He is everywhere – above, below, on all sides. We choose our response – rock or sponge? Resist or receive? Everything within you says harden the heart. Run from God; resist God; blame God. But be careful. Hard hearts never heal. Spongy ones do. Open every pore of your soul to God’s presence.

Today’s devotional is drawn from Max Lucado’s Second Chances.

One year. Twelve steps. A spiritual awakening.

My timing is terrible or perfect. Depends on your perspective. My journey through recovery landed at step 12 at the end of one year. Step 12, regardless of your flavor of recovery, is the culmination of a harrowing adventure of self discovery for most. For me, it has been truly as described. A spiritual awakening. And having experienced that awakening, it is now my charge to revisit these steps and to carry this message to others. To show the path that was shown to me.

My year hasn’t been smooth or simple or straight or calm or soothing or any other serene type words. Quite the opposite. It has looked like one of my earlier titles for a post – a rollercoaster. Lots of ups and downs. I remember clearly my step one, where I had to read my litany of sexual sins to a room full of people I didn’t know that well, while I sobbed under the weight of my shame. I can’t understate the importance of working step three, where I finally realized that I had turned my life and salvation over to God but never my will. I hadn’t ever truly believed that I could trust my secrets to Him and that He wouldn’t abandon me too. Ups and downs.

Completing a searching and fearless moral inventory in step four was way more suffocating than I imagined. But foundational. I review that list as my list. My flaws. The ones He imparted to me. Some are gone. Some are ingrained. All are there because of how He made me. And I am aware of them all. I know they are there and can only be endured by His strength, not mine. This realization gave me the courage to complete step five, to share my flaws with someone else. Someone not in recovery, who didn’t know my stains. Scary and valuable.

Through these flaws I see into the struggles of others. I can carry this message to others because my flaws are still here. Reviewing these flaws in light of step six, being entirely ready for God to remove them, for me meant truly being ready for God to bear them, for Him to have dominion over all of me. And using them for the difficult work to come. Amends.

Having a clear understanding of my defects of character has made it clear to me how I have hurt and damaged others. This awareness allowed me to identify those I had harmed, shaped my heart to become willing to make amends, and then actually following through. Seeking out a daily living amends to my wife. Constantly staying close to the pain and the brokenness my years of betrayal have caused her and building some stability with her, one moment by one moment. Spelling out in detail the years of absence and abandonment I caused to my boys and listening as they poured out their hurt from my lack of connection. And seeing the gift of time…the opportunity God has given me to make amends to them.

Today having an actual relationship with God. One where I listen and talk. Give and take. Understand and seek understanding. This year has been a true spiritual awakening. Gradual. Time consuming. Unending. And ready for the next step.

Doug discusses the awkwardness of relationship when someone is going through a difficult time, and he gives some tips on how to live in the awkward parts of people’s storms of life.

Being aware of emotions and finding relationship and connection is vital in recovery, so we are looking for ways to break the cycle of addiction to find meaning and peace.

For more information, please email us at


Here is some information on the retreat.  I pray that the Lord uses this retreat to help men in their sexual purity journey.  The link to register for the retreat will be available later this Summer.

Friday, November 3rd – Sunday, November 5th

Castimonia’s Paratus Retreat is a retreat for any man who struggles with any type of sexual purity.  Paratus is Latin for equipped.

If you are wondering about whether to attend this retreat, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you fully equipped for the spiritual battle that is raging around us right now?
  • Are you a man who strives for biblical sexual purity?
  • Are you a man who struggles with maintaining that sexual purity?
  • Do you want a circle of brothers helping you in your sexual purity journey?

Join us for a weekend dedicated to equipping adult men of all ages, all walks of life, and various levels of struggle with the tools necessary to wage this spiritual battle and emerge on the other side as the sexually pure men that God intended us to be.

At the retreat, we will discuss strategies for equipping ourselves with tactics necessary for battling the enemy. We will discover the true meaning of brotherhood and fellowship. The leaders of the retreat will set the example of vulnerability and accountability. We hope to pave the way for all men to be fully equipped to wage war against Satan’s tempting assaults and emerge VICTORIOUS.

Early Bird Registration up until September 15 – $175

Regular Registration after September 15 – November 1st – $200

What is Celibacy? 

Celibacy can be a choice in life, or a condition imposed by circumstances 
While attending a Marriage Weekend, Frank and his wife Ann listened to the instructor declare, “It is essential that husbands and wives know the things that are important to each other.” 

He then addressed the men. 

“Can you name and describe your wife’s favorite flower?” 
Frank leaned over, touched Ann’s arm gently, and whispered, 
“Gold Medal-All-Purpose, isn’t it?” 


And thus began Frank’s life of celibacy.