Erroneous Entitlement Endeavors

( Noah Filipiak does such a great job writing this piece that I feel compelled to share it ! )

Porn is Not Your Problem. Entitlement Is.

The greatest enemy of your marriage is not pornography. It is not lust. It is not fantasy.

It is entitlement.

PORN ISN’T YOUR PROBLEM

My wife and I were both virgins when we got married. My church upbringing and sexual purity books I read in college told me that if I saved myself sexually until marriage, God would bless my marriage and specifically, my sex life. (Another way of saying “bless” would be: “everything you desire,” a la Psalm 37:4.)

A deal was struck with God: I do my part. He does his.

This is entitlement: the feeling that I deserve something, that I’ve earned something. And if God doesn’t do his part, then I can take things into my own hands.

A lot of Christians are unintentionally raised to think God owes them something if they do things His way. It’s how a lot of our spiritual life is motivated and why we feel so much heartbreak when our prayers don’t get answered. When God lets us down.

The irony of this is that the foundational step to receiving the gospel of Jesus is to admit I deserve nothing. In fact, to be more precise, I deserve hell. Apart from Jesus’ saving work on my behalf, I am a rebellious sinner who deserves to be in hell this very moment.

I’m not using hell as a doom-and-gloom threat here. I’m using it to show how far we really are from God’s holy standard and that realizing this causes a drastic change in our posture toward our spouses.

Entitlement says I am worthy.

The gospel says I am unworthy.

These are two very different postures.

The False Cure of “Kickback Love”

At the root of almost all marriage problems are unmet expectations. And sadly, the foundation of most of the popular marriage books and counseling strategies out there only reinforce the entitlement we feel toward having these expectations met. These books sell in droves because we typically see instantaneous results, thinking we’ve finally figured out the formula to get our spouse to do what we want. But these results seldom last and by nature do more harm than good in the long run.

Some marriage books will go as far as calling the expectations we have for our spouse “needs.”

How many times have you read a marriage book with your spouse or gone to counseling together, only to be disillusioned and frustrated later? Only to feel like you are the good spouse? You are the one doing what the marriage books say when your spouse seems unchanged.

These marriage strategies are based on “kickback love”: I want my spouse to fulfill my “needs,” so I figure out what my spouse wants me to do for them. I don’t do it for them because I want to serve them, I do it because if I do, it will soften them up and then they’ll do for me what I want.

The ultimate motivation in this approach is selfishness. Ironic, sad and sobering that 1 Corinthians 13:5 tells us that love is not self-seeking, yet this strategy of selfishness is the go-to fix for today’s marriages.

As soon as I expect a kickback, I build a scoreboard. I’m doing my part, but my spouse isn’t doing theirs. What gives?

And if these are needs that my spouse is depriving me of, then I have no choice but to look to get these needs met elsewhere. In fact, it’s like my spouse pushed me to it.

Mercy is the True Cure

“Mercy” is something you don’t deserve. It is completely unmerited.

As Christians, we have incredible worth as sons and daughters of God. But who supplies this worth? God does. Are we worthy of this apart from God’s grace? No.

And how unworthy are we? Well, how big is the divide between us and our Holy Almighty God?

That’s how unworthy we are.

If there were a scoreboard in our marriage, our side would light up as negative-infinity.

If I realize I’m a sinner and that I deserve hell, but that Jesus gave me life instead, it should change everything about the way I view my marriage.

It’s okay to pray for your spouse to change. But the prayer you really need to focus on is that you will change. Pray that you will realize that your spouse will never be able to meet your needs, no matter how smooth or rocky your marriage is. To think otherwise is to make your spouse into a god, which will have disastrous results. Only God can meet your needs!

Your spouse may never change.

If you’re living entitled, you’ll leave. Or you’ll shake your fists at God. Or you’ll continue living in the prison of a marriage you wish you could get out of because you deserve better.

But has God still been merciful to you?

If you have the mercy of the gospel, you’ll realize all of your needs have already been met in Jesus and whether single, happily married, or unhappily married, there is nothing more on earth you could possibly need than this mercy.

In fact, you’ll realize that everything you already have is a mercy you don’t deserve. When you deserve hell in this moment, you become a lot of appreciative of the coffee you’re drinking and the chair you’re sitting in. Even bad coffee is better than hell! In fact, that coffee and that chair are unimaginable gifts for people like us, people who deserve hell but have been given so much mercy instead.

But it’s not only the coffee and the chair.

It’s also your spouse.

Your spouse is a gift of mercy from God that you don’t deserve.

Treat them as such.

And be freed from the endless treadmill of unmet expectations.

The question isn’t if your spouse will change or not, the question is, will you allow the mercies of Jesus to change you?

Noah Filipiak

STOP STINKIN THINKIN !

STOP STINKIN THINKIN !

( written by my friend John Doyel…)

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Rom. 8:2

The reason there is now no condemnation, nor will there ever be any more condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus is because the condemnation of God against all the sins of the world was poured out on Jesus at the Cross. He took our condemnation upon himself and was our substitute so that we, who are in Christ, would be free from all condemnation.

The reason that no condemnation continues today and for the rest of our lives is that this “law of the Spirit of life” has (notice this is in the past tense – in the Greek – aorist tense – one and done) set me free from the law of sin and death. So I have been set free and I remain free forever from the law of sin and death.

So, why do I keep struggling and feeling like I cannot stop this behavior and have this addiction to sexual sin? You have been deceived and been trained to think that way. You sinful choices have conditioned you to think you cannot be free. Like an elephant is trained as a baby to think it cannot break the chain around it’s foot because it could not do so when it was little … it continues to believe that as an adult so it does not even try.

So, either the word of God is wrong – and you are not free and can never be free. Or you are deceived by sin and are convinced you cannot be free and so you eventually give in and use it as an excuse to sin. Here is a clue – the word of God is not wrong.

Here is the mental picture that I believe is biblical. Before we knew Christ as our Savior – we were locked in jail imprisoned to our flesh. God poured our His condemnation on Jesus at the Cross and when we believed in Him we were set free and got out of jail.

Somewhere along the line we returned to our sexual sins and choose to go back into jail. The difference now is that there is no lock. We remain imprisoned to this sin because we choose it. Everyday the door is open and Jesus invites us to come out and walk with Him, being filled with the Spirit and walking in the Spirit.

We get distracted … we feel stress, pressure, anger or whatever takes our eyes off of Jesus – and we run back to the jail cell for some porn and masturbation, or back to an adulterous relationship.

We have trained ourselves to believe that the escape of sex is the solution to our immediate problems when it only adds to them. Thus the downward cycle of addiction.

This weekend try this please … when you first start to feel tempted, or stressed or angry or lonely – whatever your triggers are – call out to Jesus, ask for the power of the Spirit to fill you and call a brother in Christ. That is making the choice to not go back to prison for another helping of vomit!

You must choose to stay free everyday and even multiple times a day!

Standing Strong In the Strength of His Might

John Doyel

PORNOGRAPHY ADDICTION – my relationship with a screen

PORNOGRAPHY ADDICTION – my relationship with a screen

This is from treymorgan.net……

(The following is a post I asked my friend Daniel to write about his battle with pornography).

“My marriage almost ended four years ago when my wife found out that I was looking at porn — lots of it — and had been doing so since before we met, while we were dating, and all through our first five years of marriage. Caught you a little off guard there with the “p-word?” Make you cringe a little? Sorry about that, but bear with me. It’ll be worth it.

When my wife found out about my use of porn, she recoiled in disgust. At the same time, learning about my use of porn helped her begin to finally make sense of some troubling aspects of our relationship: the disconnection, my inability to “finish,” and my lack of interest in working on and being proactive in our marriage. We’d pretty much become roommates, mostly because of how I related to her.

I had to stop rationalizing about my behavior and begin to see how disconnected I’d become. It helped me to understand that it wasn’t possible for me to look at all that porn and also have an intimate relationship with my beautiful wife. I had to choose.

Picture two dressers in the middle of a room. One has all the drawers open, the other only one. The drawers represent the thoughts being processed by two individuals at any one time — a male and a female. Can you guess which is which? Women can process multiple thoughts at once, in contrast, guys open one drawer and then close it when they move from one thought to another. So it’s no surprise that when porn is involved in a marriage there’s a distraction and disconnect, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

The moment my wife found out about the porn, the truth set in. The little bit of trust that we had at the time, trust that had been built over the course of years and years, was gone in a few minutes. Just like that, gone.

Having a partner who’s addicted to porn and sexually compulsive behavior is the worst betrayal a woman can encounter. With alcohol and drugs there isn’t a direct correlation to the woman, but with porn and sex it’s different. The wife sees it as a full on assault to her physical nature. She starts asking herself questions like, “Am I no longer attractive to him?” Women have enough of an issue with body image, especially with the culture we live in. The realization that your husband is spending hours looking at naked women having sex can be earth shattering. A wife’s self-esteem can take a major hit, even though it rarely actually has anything to do with her. I know that’s hard to believe, but I also know that it’s true.

Porn use often leads to acting out sexually in other ways as well. It did for me and eventually my wife discovered these too. The bottom dropped out. I ended up standing in my living room with my wife telling me, well actually yelling at me, that the marriage was over, that she would be filing for divorce in a few weeks. Mind you these were not idle threats of anger and hurt, but rather a declaration of war, one that I was going to lose. As an addict I tended to think that I had everything covered and together, but nothing was further from the truth. Very quickly that false reality came crashing down. I had two options, accept that my marriage was over or try to get REAL help before I lost everything. With grace I chose the later.

Somehow I convinced my wife to give me a month to show her I could change. She miraculously agreed. I started with a local family therapist and after telling him what I struggled with, he told me he dealt with the same thing and had yet to beat it. Wow. I realized that the “family doctor” wasn’t going to work, and what I need was a “spine surgeon,” a specialist who had precise and skillful approaches to dealing with and getting rid of this affliction in my life. Nothing against the family therapist, but I’d been dealing with this since I was eight; yes eight years old, and like I said I needed a specialist.

God willing I found George Collins at Compulsion Solutions and started what would be a one year journey towards recovery. My wife saw changes in the first month and gave me another month, and then another and so on for a year. The most rewarding part of my entire journey came after about seven months of treatment when my wife told me she felt like we were actually married for the first time in five years. The joy, oh the joy I felt was beyond anything I can describe to you.

My marriage, yes MY marriage is incredible. We just celebrated nine years and my beautiful bride and I are doing amazing, but let me tell you what’s really changed, our intimacy.

Porn inevitably rewires the brain and your view of intimacy. Sexually compulsive people focus on the act of sex, and suppress or altogether ignore the emotional side of sex. You’ve probably heard the saying “foreplay starts outside the bedroom.” That’s not the case with porn. There isn’t a nice date night, or long intimate and engaging talks. It’s just straight to the act of sex. What does this tell your brain? Why do wives feel so unfulfilled after having sex with their porn viewing husbands? I can tell you, because I’ve been that person, the sex is devoid of any real intimacy. A lot of guys that deal with this type of compulsive behavior actually have no idea what real intimacy is. I didn’t.

To have a relationship that is more than sex, understanding that intimacy is not defined as sex, brings you to a level or connection you’ve never thought possible. It’s the design that was intended for us by our creator. A connection so deep and built on all the right things. Any married couple can have sex, most do, but to be vulnerable, opening yourself to be totally discovered by another human being that you’re completely dedicated to is the dipping of your toe into the sea of true relational pleasure. The potentials and possibilities of your marriage relationship are endless and limitless, just as your relationship with our Father is.

I’ll bottom line it for you: If porn is present in your marriage, it won’t survive, not long term anyway. It’s like termites to the structure of a house, slowly and quietly eating away the beams until one day it completely collapses and you’re standing there wondering what happened.

I’m now a full time counselor with Compulsion Solutions and have dedicated my life to getting others free of sexually compulsive behavior. If it’s something that is present in your relationship, I encourage you to free yourself from it. There’s so much more waiting for you”.

 

Letters Home

This is a copy of a letter written from a daughter to a father…

It touched my heart so I want to share it here –

 

” Dear Dad,

I want to let you know first of all that I love you and forgive you for what this has done in my life. I also wanted to let you know exactly what your porn use has done to my life. You may think that this affects only you, or even your and mom’s relationships. But it has had a profound impact on me and all of my siblings as well.

I found your porn on the computer somewhere around the age of 12 or so, just when I was starting to become a young woman. First of all, it seemed very hypocritical to me that you were trying to teach me the value of what to let into my mind in terms of movies, yet here you were entertaining your mind with this junk on a regular basis. Your talks to me about being careful with what I watched meant virtually nothing.

Because of pornography, I was aware that mom was not the only woman you were looking at. I became acutely aware of your wandering eye when we were out and about. This taught me that all men have a wandering eye and can’t be trusted. I learned to distrust and even dislike men for the way they perceived women in this way.

As far as modesty goes, you tried to talk with me about how my dress affects those around me and how I should value myself for what I am on the inside. Your actions however told me that I would only ever truly be beautiful and accepted if I looked like the women on magazine covers or in porn. Your talks with me meant nothing and in fact, just made me angry.

As I grew older, I only had this message reinforced by the culture we live in. That beauty is something that can only be achieved if you look like “them”. I also learned to trust you less and less as what you told me didn’t line up with what you did. I wondered more and more if I would ever find a man who would accept me and love me for me and not just a pretty face.

When I had friends over, I wondered how you perceived them. Did you see them as my friends, or did you see them as a pretty face in one of your fantasies? No girl should ever have to wonder that about the man who is supposed to be protecting her and other women in her life.

I did meet a man. One of the first things I asked him about was his struggle with pornography. I’m thankful to God that it is something that hasn’t had a grip on his life. We still have had struggles because of the deep-rooted distrust in my heart for men. Yes, your porn watching has affected my relationship with my husband years later.

If I could tell you one thing, it would be this: Porn didn’t just affect your life; it affected everyone around you in ways I don’t think you can ever realize. It still affects me to this day as I realize the hold that it has on our society. I dread the day when I have to talk with my sweet little boy about pornography and its far-reaching greedy hands. When I tell him about how pornography, like most sins, affects far more than just us.

Like, I said, I have forgiven you. I am so thankful for the work that God has done in my life in this area. It is an area that I still struggle with from time to time, but I am thankful for God’s grace and also my husband’s. I do pray that you are past this and that the many men who struggle with this will have their eyes opened.

Love, Your Daughter”

I trust that the words of this letter are causing you to think and reflect on whichever aspect you relate to…

Whether you are the father who is struggling with an addiction, a wife who is struggling to keep a porn polluted marriage together, a daughter who finds her life forever effected or maybe these roles are reversed in your own situation –

…remember, you CAN be successful in your pursuit for purity and God wants to help you !

Marriages CAN be restored ! Families CAN thrive ! Lives CAN be made whole !

Please contact us –

The Flow

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/07/health/07brain.html

This study shows that when the Holy Ghost speaks through us – we are conduits…the portion of the brain controlling speech is not engaged. We should pray to be conduits and seek to remove any blockage of The Flow of the Spirit through us.

As we know – pornography is rampant in every demographic and desires to be a destroyer of both saved and unsaved alike. I encourage you to become familiar with HeSetMeFree.org and to be sensitive to those around you…understanding that as many as 70% of men, 40% of women and even 50% of ministers struggle with this problem.

We are standing against this giant on the battlefield and we WILL be victorious ! If you or anyone you know needs support or direction – please speak up – don’t let shame keep anyone bound because by its nature it secludes and destroys its victim…remember, we are only as sick as our secrets !

These two topics connect as the use of pornography and self gratification releases natural physical chemicals that cause us to become addicted – the act creates ruts in our physical brain. Those ruts will impede the path that the Holy Ghost wants to take through our thought process !

I want HIM to flow through every part of my life !

Community Accountability

__________________________________________________________________

I endeavor to consistently educate myself concerning pornography and the many ways our adversary uses it to destroy the lives of people. Statistics change and demographics seem to vary but there are some things that will always be the same…the devil is out to steal, kill and destroy ! There are many tactics used in waging warfare and so it is with the WAR against pornography…I want to take a minute tonight and address one part of our campaign for purity –

ACCOUNTABILITY….accountability is partly described as “responsibility” and is, if done correctly, well described by a good friend of mine as “holding a mans feet to the fire” .
We live in a society of people who are quick to point fingers and blame others…Moms fault, Dads fault, school teachers fault, religious leaders fault – anyone but my own.
This attitude, accompanied by its treacherous twin, “entitlement mentality” can quickly cause people to embrace an erroneous thought that they have a “right” to indulge and the belief that its not their fault – after all, they were created this way !
As a young man I learned a saying; “if it is to be, its up to me”…
I have endeavored to teach my sons this principle and I urge you to find a place in your life to reflect on this thought…
Take a good long look in the mirror, look yourself directly in the eyes and be honest with yourself about what you see…

Let us briefly glance at three areas of accountability that we must have actively involved in our lives :
– peer
– spouse/family
– personal by relationship with God

…as we finish with the last area of accountability I compel you to take some time looking into the mirror of Gods Word.

Many people have the concept that they can overcome pornography on their own, without help and each time they fall they are certain will be the last time…ever..
Anyone who has struggled with sexual sins for any length of time know that the moment after you have “given in” you can, with utmost confidence and conviction, promise that you will never
fall for that again (…again).

When we fall for the idea that we can beat porn addiction by ourselves we will remain frustrated in our pursuit for purity.
Simply put – WE NEED EACH OTHER !
Accountability MUST be more than just a programmed and programmable activity…
it has GOT to become a lifestyle !

Enter peers…James 5:16 of the King James Version of the Holy Bible says to “confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that ye may be healed”.
There are two steps mentioned here and both of them involve you talking to another…
First, you must find trustworthy peers that you can bare this secret to – because we are only as “sick as our secrets”.
These peers must also be people that you are not going to lie to.
The sickness will never heal until it is uncovered and treated in our lives.

Enter family…I have a wife and two kids and there is never a moment that they cannot immediately have my phone or device to do something with it.
My sons pick and retain my access code for the restrictions on my phone and even get to see what apps I download or delete.
If I will model good accountability in front of and with them – they will learn and run with the concept !
My wife has all of my passwords for everything that I own and free access to my messaging and phone records ( which should never be deleted without her looking at them first ).

Enter God…HE is, omni-present, an ever-present God…
HIS Word is the final word on any subject and I desire to please HIM in all that I do..
Being accountable to God is only logical, right ?
Then why do we find it so easy to sin – knowing that HE is seeing and watching all that we do ?
Its time that we rethink our relationship with GOD !
If we will seek HIM early, pray for the strength that we need and then remain mindful of HIM ~ if we will fall in love with HIM and love HIM with our whole heart, mind, soul and strength ~ if we will truly love HIM, we will seek to please HIM.

When we engage these areas in our lives and open ourselves to scrutiny and accountability from each area, we are surrounding ourselves and living a lifestyle of accountability.

Instead of picking one lone person to be accountable to, being accountable all across the board will provide more security and likelihood of catching a problem before it becomes a problem !
Its important that each person doesn’t assume the others are watching you – expand your base until you have enough people involved in your ” accountability portfolio ” that you are well covered.
Never give anyone any reason to be uncomfortable in asking you questions and never grumble !

There are many resource available on this topic and I will post a couple at the end of this post…
They are more thorough in execution but I felt God directed me to review MY personal approach to accountability and I find that a community accountability is a much more effective plan than a single individual trying to keep tabs on me !
CovenantEyes:
http://t.co/MkwPjzNZMp/s/PcgJ

http://www.challies.com/articles/how-to-make-accountability-work?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_content=3634952
http://www.challies.com/articles/how-to-make-accountability-work?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_content=3634952

These are just two to get you started on your way…take the time to research the most effective accountability system for your needs and employ that plan immediately !

Good decisions made today make good decisions tomorrow feel natural !

Time to Mobilize

Some see the state of what is needed around them and shrink back because the apparent enormity of effort necessary to straighten things out seems so far beyond our independent capacity.   Be of good cheer for I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.  Yes that includes you.

If the previous statement is true how much more the compounding affect of us working together!  We can annihilate these issues that are destroying our children, our families, and is attempting to destroy the Kingdom of God.  It is time to mobilize now and press forward to the expected end God has for us.

Join with us in praying for the destruction of the Pornography industry and all associated industries as well as the purification of the minds affected.  This would be a global prayer and we are calling you to bind with us in this endeavor.  I am confident in the membership of this websites ability to bring these things to pass through the Holy Ghost.

In Jesus Name we are overcoming and we shall be Victorious.

Reality or Illusion

I am faced with an incredible dilemma today.  Do I continue to allow Illusion into my life or do I only allow Reality.  Illusion often paints a rosier picture and is so appealing and is much to be desired.  Illusion rarely is pungent to my senses and often leaves me in a state of euphoria!  The problem is the Illusion is destroying me!  It is starving me to death.  It is decapitating my thoughts and all of my sensory perception to the point that I almost cannot sense what is real any more.  Reality you are just so mundane!

Do you find yourself thinking some of these very thoughts.  It is true that Illusion often outshines Reality as far as Grandeur goes, but what does that matter?

Reality states that we must do everything and take every step we can to protect those around us that we love.  That requires us to live in the Reality of understanding the toll that Sex and Porn Addiction is taking on those very ones we have been assigned to protect.  I have been reminded so very much lately that it there is an intense battle to keep up the Illusion and ignore the Reality.

Reality will not allow you to get caught up in the Illusion of mindless discussions of things that don’t matter while confronting us with the questions of the day that demand answers:

1.  Illusion says have you seen the latest dresses or fashion at the expense of asking have you had impure thoughts about the models displaying those dresses or fashions.

2. Illusion says did you see the Football game at the expense of asking the question of did you lust after the cheerleaders or the players depending on whether you are Man or Woman.

3.  Illusion asks whether you have seen the latest Television drama at the expense of asking how much time have you spent reading your Bible or meditating in prayer.

You see Illusion seems to be much more pleasing to the Senses at the expense of keeping yourself Pure in the eyes of Reality.

You must ask hard questions to become and stay Real:

1.  Have you viewed pornography today?

2. Have you had sexually impure thoughts today?

3. Have you masturbated today?

4. Have you spent time in prayer today?

5. Have you read your Bible today?

These are just a few of the questions to be asked.  If you don’t ask these hard questions you will continue to live in an Illusion and you will die the slow death of the malnourishment of the world of Illusion.

Take time today to push back from those things that appear to be comforting and take a hold of those things that will sustain you and please begin to ask Hard Questions and show those you love that you really do love them.

Everything depends on your Next Action

What would we do if we took the approach described in the title of this post?  How would we change our daily interactions and how would we measure our daily success?

When facing the challenges we have to deal with in society most people would prefer not to confront the reality they are facing.  Some do confront these challenges and my hat is off to those that have the courage to do so.

I believe it was Rosa Parks that stated that Confidence will diminish fear.  The only way to have confidence is to educate yourself and confront your lack of education.  I encourage you to do so today.

Please enjoy the article from Focus on the Family that is linked below:

Porn Proof Your Marriage

Condoning What We Don’t Understand

It has become common within Christian ranks to approve of masturbation as long as lust or pornography is not involved.  After all it is technically not sex and there is no perversion in the mind, so what can be harmful?  Fornication is sin whether with yourself or someone else and masturbation is fornicating with yourself.  We must give a proper definition of what is right or wrong when dealing with Sexual Addictions.

A young person and adult alike has to know what the specific barriers and boundaries are when trying to extricate themselves from this Abyss of Despair!  When we as Christian Leaders allow a definition into our vernacular that originates from somewhere other than the Word of God we are at risk of furthering the problem and entangling those coming out even further.  We must not give sanctity to something because it is convenient.

The new buzz word in schools is that Pornography/Sexual addiction is the new drug.  How convenient that we can allow this addiction because after all it isn’t cocaine, heroin or meth!  It won’t land them in jail and they are sexual beings after all.  That is like saying go ahead pull the trigger I only loaded the gun with BB’s.    This problem is a Sin Problem and it must be dealt with totally and without exception.

Again MOM, DAD, PASTOR, YOUTH PASTOR, ELDER, TRUSTEE, MINISTER, LEADER the amount of people under you leadership suffering from all or some of these issues is GREATER THAN 50 PERCENT.   How effective is your next Sermon or Motivational Speech or Word of Encouragement going to be if you don’t recognize and define what is going on around you?