“Yes, We Need to Talk About That”
ACKNOWLEDGE the breadth and impact of my sin.
“I am beginning to see the extent and impact of my sexual sin. It is bigger than I wanted to admit [describe] and still may be bigger than I realize. Apart from God’s grace, I am a lustful person. I acknowledge that there is no safety and no freedom in minimizing my sin [describe]. Before I can truly understand the greatness of Jesus I must acknowledge the magnitude of what His death and resurrection has conquered on my behalf and in my life.”
Memorize: 2 Peter 2:17-19 (ESV), “These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:
- “Waterless springs” – The theme of this passage is “sin makes empty promises be long to believe.”
- “Entice” – For something to be enticing it must initially present itself as innocent (or at least safe) and good.
- “Live in error” – We do not fall into sexual sin when we are living wisely. Sexual sin begins with folly before lust.
- “Promise them freedom” – What freedom did your sexual sin promise you that you were willing to believe its lies?
- “To that he is enslaved” – Regardless of your view of addiction, we are a slave to any sin we will not forsake.
“Pornography has unique power to damage a marriage because it is ultimately about self, not union. Indulging in pornography is a form of psychological isolation, a withdrawal into a tiny world of self-gratification. It is a kind of sexual expression that makes your appetites much larger even as your world gets much smaller (p. 26).” Tim Challies in Sexual Detox
“A sex addict, however, uses fantasy to move toward the unreal world of false intimacy rather than toward the real world of accomplishment and intimate, but sometimes painful, relationships… All sexual involvement begins in the mind… Sexual fantasy is a worship of self (p. 38).” Harry Schaumburg in False Intimacy
“But what you’re doing is stealing. The impure thought life is the life of a thief. You’re stealing images that aren’t yours. When you had premarital sex, you touched someone who didn’t belong to you… It’s just like walking down Main Street behind someone who drops a one-hundred-dollar bill out of his pocket, and you pick it up. That money isn’t yours—even if he didn’t know he lost it (p. 72).” Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker in Everyman’s Battle
“How can a real woman – with pores and her own breasts and even sexual needs of her own… possibly compete with a cyber-vision of perfection, downloadable and extinguishable at will, who comes, so to speak, utterly submissive and tailored to the consumer’s least specification?… Today, real naked women are just bad porn.” Naomi Wolf in “The Porn Myth” in New York Magazine (October 20, 2003)
“I recommend a two-stage confession: An initial, honest disclosure of the facts, followed by a reflective, thorough, God-centered confession. This approach recognizes the importance of an immediate acknowledgement to your spouse and pastor or counselor. It also recognizes that a more thorough and careful repentance is needed (p. 8)… Come clean completely. She may or may not forgive you. But if she later discovers you have held back or minimized important facts, the odds of her forgiving and trusting you severely diminish. If the adultery itself does not end the marriage, your half-truths may kill it (p. 9).” Robert Jones in After Adultery