Eight Lies Men Believe About Pornography

Eight Lies Men Believe About Pornography  2

Lie #1: Sex is a biological need.

The Truth: A man can desire sex, but he does not require it to be happy and fulfilled; he has no deep and uncontrollable hunger that is inevitably going to drive him to sin.2 (Jesus, fully man, was tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. It was not a biological need.)

Lie #2: Life is about sex

The Truth: When sex is one blessing among many, a man may greatly desire sex but still live a full and joyful life without it.2

Lie #3: Marriage makes the problem go away.

The Truth: Marriage is not the answer, because lack of sex is not the problem. The problem is lust, and lust is never satisfied.2

Lie #4: It is only a matter of time before I fall.

The Truth: Men can say no to this sin today, or this hour and they will have that same capacity tomorrow or the next hour.2 God says: “I expect more failure from you than you expect from yourself.”1 But He also says “My lovingkindness is fresh and new every morning.”

Lie #5: It’s not really hurting anyone.

The Truth: It hurts the women involved by treating them as if they are merely bodies with no souls. It hurts your real relationships with the actual women in your life, even if you think you are hiding it from them. It hurts you: this sin wages war against a man’s soul and deadens him to the joy of true intimacy.2

Lie #6: Pornography is better than dealing with real women.

The Truth: Pornography is a mockery of relationships, a hallucination with only a passing                similarity to real intimacy.2

Lie #7: God will not forgive me.

The Truth: If we weren’t sinners and didn’t need pardon more than bread, we’d have no way of knowing how deep God’s love is.  The first step begins with accepting where you are and exposing your poverty, frailty, and emptiness to the love God has for you.1

Lie #8: God has not provided what I really need regarding sex.

The Truth: God is the Good Shepherd who always gives the good things we truly need. When a man can see that he has been accusing God of holding out on him, the gospel of God’s precious gift of grace and forgiveness will lead much more naturally to a refreshing repentance.2

Sources:

1 The Ragamuffin Gospel,  Manning, Brennan (2005). Colorado Springs: Multnomah.

2 Exposing the Lies of Pornography and Counseling the Men Who Believe Them, Groves, J. Alasdair (2013). The Journal of Biblical Counseling 27:1, pgs. 7-25.

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The Danger of Anxiety

The Danger of Anxiety

 

Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.

After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

I Peter 5:6-10 NASB

When you are anxious, remember God ____________ for you.

Satan desires to ______________you.

God will __________________, __________________, ________________ and, _______________ you.

It is critical to be aware that when you are anxious or scared, when things are going wrong, God cares deeply for you. He has a plan to bring good from it. But you also need to be aware that Satan is watching, and he is against you. He like a roaring lion, prowling around, waiting to pounce on someone who is anxious. He can take anxiety and run with it, so that, in the end you (and your relationships) are destroyed.

God has a plan to do something much bigger than you ever imagined. While He is working behind the scenes, He expects you to be aware of this spiritual battle and stay alert and future-focused. You are to resist the temptation to react with anger, self-protection and impatience. You are to focus on what He is doing in and through you, rather than focus on your circumstances. He wants you to be firm in your faith, which means  that you trust that He is doing something greater than you can see at the moment. His ultimate plan is to perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you in Him.

What does it mean to trust God when you are feeling anxious?

________________________________________________________________

 

How will you do this in your present circumstance? Try writing it out as a prayer.

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May God Himself, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you!

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Psalm 55: Hope for the Abused

In my counseling practice, I deal with the effects of sexual, emotional and physical abuse in my clients’ lives. People who have been abused, especially as children, frequently develop coping strategies that are unhealthy and keep them stuck in dysfunctional patterns:

  • The fear of feeling emotions
  • Intrusive thoughts and flashbacks
  • The inability to connect with and trust others
  • The desire to avoid memories and feelings about the abuse
  • The inability to regulate emotions
  • The unwillingness to be accountable to and trust God

Psalm 55 is a beautiful picture of God’s plan for healing.

Psalm 55: Hope for the Abused

MY PRAYER OF COMPLAINT

1)      Give ear to my prayer, O God; and do not hide Yourself from my supplication.

2)      Give heed to me and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and am surely distracted,

3)      Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the pressure of the wicked; for they bring down trouble upon me and in anger they bear a grudge against me.

MY ANGUISH

4)      My heart is in anguish within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me.

5)      Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me.

MY DESIRE TO AVOID

6)      I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.

7)      “Behold, I would wander far away, I would lodge in the wilderness.

8)      “I would hasten to my place of refuge from the stormy wind and tempest.”

MY DESIRE FOR JUSTICE

9)      Confuse, O Lord, divide their tongues, for I have seen violence and strife in the city.

10)   Day and night they go around her upon her walls, and iniquity and mischief are in her midst.

11)   Destruction is in her midst; oppression and deceit do not depart from her streets.

MY ABUSE/BETRAYAL/DECEPTION

12)   For it is not an enemy who reproaches me, then I could bear it; nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me, then I could hide myself from him.

13)   But it is you, a man my equal, my companion and my familiar friend;

14)   We who had sweet fellowship together walked in the house of God in the throng.

15)   Let death come deceitfully upon them; let them go down alive to Sheol, for evil is in their dwelling, in their midst.

MY ACCOUNTABILITY TO GOD/HIS FAITHFULNESS TO ME

16)   As for me, I shall call upon God, and THE LORD WILL save me.

17)   Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur, and HE WILL hear my voice.

18)   HE WILL redeem my soul in peace from the battle which is against me, for they are many who strive with me.

19)   GOD WILL hear and answer them—even the one who sit enthroned from of old—with whom there is no change,

MY PERPETRATOR

And who do not fear God.

20)   He has put forth his hands against those who were at peace with him; he has violated his covenant.

21)   His speech was smoother than butter, but his heart was war; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords.

MY PROTECTION AND COMFORT

22)   Cast your burden upon the Lord and HE WILL sustain you; HE WILL never allow the righteous to be shaken.

MY GOD WILL BRING VENGEANCE

23)   But YOU, O GOD WILL bring them down to the pit of destruction; men of bloodshed and deceit will not live out half their days.

MY RESPONSIBILITY

But I will trust in You.

If you know someone who struggles with the long-term effects of abuse, I would love to talk with them. God desires our wholeness and healing as we learn to place our trust in Him. You can reach me at (316) 313.2843 or at brookeseager@yahoo.com.

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I have a confession to make

I have never read through the Bible in a systematic way. Until now. Since January 1, I’ve been using the M’Cheyne Bible reading plan…and it works!

When you read bits and pieces of the Bible, it’s difficult to get a sense of the big picture. God seems angry, vengeful and impudent. What do all these separate stories, kings and kingdoms have to do with the Gospel? But there is something unique about reading the entire Bible. Everything begins to fit together into one cohesive whole.

What amazes me is the sovereignty and omnipotence of God. Evil rulers like Pharoah and Nebuchadnezzar and Pilate are mere pawns in his hands to accomplish His purposes throughout history. Evil spirits bow down to His sovereignty and obey His commands as when He used them to torment King Saul and to cause Judas to betray His beloved Son, Jesus. It was all under His control. Not a moment has gone by that evil has had free reign!

The other amazing thing that I see in this big picture is the love of God and the incredible lengths to which He goes to bring people to Himself.

The Lord will not abandon His people on account of His great name, because the Lord has been pleased to make you a people for Himself. (I Samuel 12:22)

Throughout history, God has literally moved heaven and earth to make a people for Himself, who will honor Him as Lord of all. He is utterly committed to this purpose.

In my therapy practice, I work with people who have been deeply damaged by wicked people. I see the devastating effects of being sinned against, and the deep holes we get ourselves into because of our own sin and determination to fix things our own way. It’s hard to understand why some of us have to experience so much darkness. I think the answer is in understanding what God’s bigger purpose is in our lives. How has He used this darkness to bring us to Him? How has He stripped away the wrong ideas we’ve had about our sovereign and loving God? Some of these questions won’t have answers in this lifetime.

Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! (Romans 11:33)

So what is the relevance to your life today? The relevance to you is that God is highly invested in you. He brings adversity; He uses sinful people; He has a bigger plan than you can likely see right now. He knows the most wonderful thing for you is to know Him and trust Him and walk with Him and know that He is God. And through this, He is pleased. Through this He is glorified.

To access the M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan:

http://57d0f6fc0f0498f7ba16-ac0f47ad706d4fed224e0611043b9577.r39.cf2.rackcdn.com/uploaded/m/0e1423993_mcheyne-bible-reading-plan.pdf

OR, check out the page on this blog site: Bible Reading Plan

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A Letter to Self

(Courtesy of Brennan Manning)

Good morning, impostor. Surely you are surprised by the cordial greeting… Let me begin by admitting that I have been unreasonable, ungrateful, and unbalanced in my appraisal of you. (Of course, you are aware, puff of smoke, that in addressing you, I am talking to myself. You are not some isolated, impersonal entity living on an asteroid but a real part of me.)

I come to you today not with a rod in hand but with an olive branch. When I was a little shaver and first knew that no one was there for me, you intervened and showed me where to hide…

At that moment in time, you were invaluable. Without your intervention I would have been overwhelmed by dread and paralyzed by fear. You were there for me and played a crucial, protective role in my development. Thank you.

When I was four years old, you taught me how to build a cottage. Remember the game? I would crawl under the covers from the head of the bed to the footrest and pull the sheets, blanket, and pillow over me–actually believing that no on could find me. I felt safe. I’m still amazed at how effectively it worked. My mind would think happy thoughts, and I would spontaneously smile and start to laugh under the covers. We built that cottage together because the world we inhabited was not a friendly place.

But in the construction process you taught me how to hide my real self from everyone and initiated a lifelong process of concealment, containment, and withdrawal. But then your malevolent side appeared and you started lying to me. “Brennan,” you whispered, “if you persist in this follow of being yourself, your few long-suffering friends will hit the bricks, leaving you all alone. Stuff your feelings, shut down your memories, withhold your opinions, and develop social graces so you’ll fit in wherever you are.”

And so, the elaborate game of pretense and deception began. Because it worked I raised no objection. As the years rolled by, you-I got strokes from a variety of sources. We were elated and concluded the game must go on.

But you needed someone to bridle you and rein you in. I had neither the perception nor the courage to tame you, so you continued to rumble like Sherman through Atlanta, gathering momentum along the way. Your appetite for attention and affirmation became insatiable. I never confronted you with the lie because I was deceived myself.

The bottom line, my pampered playmate, is that you are both needy and selfish. You need care, love, and a safe dwelling place… my gift is to take you where, unknowingly, you have longed to be–into the presence of Jesus. Your days of running riot are history. From now on, you slow down, slow very down.

In His presence, I notice that you have already begun to shrink. Wanna know somethin’ little guy? You’re much more attractive that way. I am nicknaming you “Pee-Wee.” Naturally, you are not going to roll over suddenly and die. I know you will get disgruntled at times and start to act out, but the longer you spend time in the presence of Jesus, the more accustomed you grow to His face, the less adulation you will need because you will have discovered for yourself that He is Enough. And in the Presence, you will delight in the discovery of what it means to live by grace and not by performance.

Your friend,                                                                                                                                   Brennan

From: Abba’s Child, Manning, Brennan (1994). Colorado Springs: NavPress.

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Biblical Wisdom = Good Therapy

Earlier this week, John Piper tweeted:

“Thanksgiving is the dethroning of a god and turning it into a gift.”

Not only is this biblical wisdom, but very effective from a therapist’s point of view. Stay tuned for more on this awesome concept…

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The Nature of Endurance

We all live in an “instant” society. Instant breakfast… microwaved dinners. If email is too slow, just IM or text. Most of us wouldn’t be able to tolerate the slow speed of a dial-up Internet connection any more (if you even remember those days!). 3G is too slow for all we want to do on our smart phones—we need 4G. If the speed limit is 75, most of us will be going 79. Chances are, if this blog is too long, you won’t read it! We’re all in a big hurry.

In contrast to going through life in a hurry, God talks about endurance.

             “You have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.” Hebrews 10:36.

Webster¹ uses the example of a marathon runner having endurance. It defines endurance as:

             “the ability to withstand hardship or adversity; especially: the ability to sustain a prolonged stressful effort or activity.”

The point is time. God is in no hurry. His perspective is eternal, and I believe He wants our perspective to become eternal as well. Often He accomplishes His purposes through the difficult things that seem to go on and on.

When we trust God day after day, when nothing seems to change; when we learn through hardship that He is faithful and can be trusted, we are doing the will of God. And what is this promise Hebrews says we receive? A deeper, richer, more vibrant, more real relationship with the God of all eternity.

So I challenge you today, to slow down, to let God speak to you, to listen, to trust, and to endure. God is in this with you for the long haul.

¹ 7/22/13 http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary

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