News & Notes This Week

Effectively Parenting Teens: Leading by Example (Huffington Post)
Shamed – A Documentary (Jessica Mockett)
How YOU can help prevent child trafficking (Washington Times)
More churches offer counseling for sex addiction (KEPRTV.com)
Arkansas woman admits guilt in sex trafficking ring (kait8.com)
Good parenting ‘matters more than a good school’ (The Telegraph)
Japan’s child porn addiction (The Independent)
Does your child know he or she has an enemy? (Laura Gallier)
Thoughtful Parenting: The importance of the family dinner (Steamboat Today)
Anti-Cosmo Mission (Nicole Weider)

Rapper Shares Testimony on Overcoming Porn Addiction

Gospel hip hop artist Jahaziel stumbled upon the perverse world of porn at age six, and was addicted throughout most of his teen years.  This story is one we unfortunately hear all too often, but thanks be to God in Christ Jesus who is an all-powerful Chain-Breaker!  Jahaziel found freedom in the grace of God and through working with United Kingdom’s Safetynet to tell his story, he hopes many more men and women will find that same redemption.  Check out his testimony and the music video below:

Hope for Every Day

by Michael Baria

Throughout my recovery process, I have received opinions from every side of the aisle on whether or not my life will be victorious over sexual sin.  My favorite advisors tell me, “Yes, you can absolutely be freed once and for all.”  The ones who induce depression say, “This is something you will always struggle with.”  All of these counselors are godly, well intentioned men.  However, they each come with their own opinion on how this battle progresses.

Instead of ignoring the advice I don’t like and just magnifying what I hope to be true, what can I find in the Bible about this battle?  This is not a comprehensive analysis, but here is what I see.  First, God’s will is clearly for each of His kids to be sanctified and purified from sexual immorality.  I Thessalonians 4 tells us that God’s will is “…our sanctification, that [we] abstain from sexual immorality.”  It doesn’t say that He hopes we eventually become pure, or that maybe we pursue purity 50 percent of the time, or just more often than not.  His will, which is active now, is that we be pure.  Ok, so the next time we face temptation, what is God’s will?  That we be sanctified.  Check.

Move to I Corinthians 10:13 where Paul writes the verse that is all too familiar to men who fight this fight.  To paraphrase it, God won’t let us be tempted beyond what we can take and He always provides a way out of that temptation.  By this verse we know that every single temptation we face, ever, has a limit placed on it.  God has restricted it and nothing will ever hit us that hasn’t already passed through God’s sovereign hand for the purpose of placing barriers on it.  In that beer commercial I see or the pop-up ad or the flirtatious married girl at work, our loving Heavenly Father has already said, “Temptation, you can go no further than this, which is where my child can still resist you.”  Due to God lovingly protecting us and not pushing us beyond what we can bear, we know that every temptation is, in fact, resistible.

Let’s review.  What’s His will in every situation?  Our sanctification and avoidance of sexual sin.  What is the provision He has made so that His will can become a reality?  No temptation can push us beyond what we are capable of, so long as we are walking in His Spirit.  What a relief!  We can know that in every trial, God wants us to succeed and He has made the provision.  No situation is an automatic failure.  The only thing stopping success is me.

Am I saying you can be perfect all the time from here until you die?  I don’t know.  I can’t give a hard and fast rule about whether we always will struggle or whether I’m always victorious.  I wish God removed this like a surgeon cuts out a cancer, but until that day we still have quite a promise from Him that seems to be the next best thing.  My Father’s will is purity and He has enabled and made the provision for me.  Let’s live in that reality.  Your loving Father desires your success and has already gone ahead and made that success a possibility.  Every time.  Final victory is possible with continued vigilance.

Question: Which verses provide you with the encouragement needed to endure temptation? Click here to comment

Michael is a former college athlete and a med school graduate.  He is currently in his medical residency.

Chatting with Steve Siler

At the NRB Convention this week in Nashville, pureHOPE’s Noel Bouché caught up with Steve Siler to discuss his Somebody’s Daughter project and the doors that are opening in the church and society to discuss the social costs of pornography and the hunger for freedom and redemption.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvXcZdclXqI&rel=0]

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Laughing at Destruction

Newseek magazine’s recent article “The Sex Addiction Epidemic” addresses our nation’s “sexual obesity,” as author Mary Eberstadt has put it.  It is a sobering piece, which asserts that sexual addiction “wrecks marriages, destroys careers, and saps self-worth,” yet Americans are being diagnosed with a sexual addiction “in record numbers.”

No sooner does this article hit the wire, however, and yet another pop culture outlet is making light of addiction and pornified culture.  As our friend Luke Gilkerson of Covenant Eyes points out in this recent post, porn and the problems it creates often get a lighthearted treatment that ignores the perils and dismisses the fallout.  Rather, our society ought to be doing the hard work of addressing the costs of promiscuous and commercial sex, and specifically talking about things like 5 Ways Porn Warps the Mind.

The Newsweek article ends with this quote capturing the root of sexual addiction: “Sex is the perfect match for that. ‘I matter right now. In this moment, I am loved.’  In that sense, an entire culture, an entire nation is looking for meaning.”  We have lost the story of God’s design for the sexual union, and when the story is lost, meaninglessness and despair set in.  We need to offer people the hope that God’s story provides.

If you or someone you know is dealing with sexual addiction, help is available.  A good starting point is our confidential HelpLine (800.583.2964), where you can get connected with advice, prayer, resources, and ministries and therapists in your area.  Take the first step and reach out for help, or reach out to someone you know who is living in the shadows.  This issue is no laughing matter.

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