5 Reasons Your Husband May Be Lying To You

5-reasons-lying-to-youOver the years I’ve come to recognize a few things that are pretty consistent when it comes to those who struggle with porn addiction (specifically men, for the purposes of this post). Things that I know not only from helping those who are addicted, but also from what I saw and did myself when I was addicted.

One of those things is this: pornography addiction makes men liars. (Tweet This!)

Now, please do not take this as a statement of condemnation. Remember, I’m talking from personal experience here.

But it is true. Pornography addiction has the ability to turn honest men into some of the worst liars. By its very nature, porn addiction needs secrecy and shame to breathe and thrive.

Unfortunately, the ones who get lied to the most are usually the ones closest to us: our families.

More specifically, our wives.

When couples come to us after uncovering porn use, the pollution of hurt and distrust can be thicker than the smog levels on a hot day in Los Angeles.

There are so many questions, but one of the biggest is: Why did he lie to me?

There are many reasons. I want to give you five.

And please realize that these aren’t “excuses,” nor do they make the lying okay; they’re just legitimate reasons that might help you deal with the pain.

Reason #1: Fear of looking weak.
Fact: Most men don’t like looking weak. We don’t. And we especially don’t want to look weak in front of our wives.

However, there is a common misconception out there that people who struggle with porn have some sort of inherent moral weakness. That basically there is a flaw in their character or DNA that keeps them from abstaining, because “if they weren’t weak, they would just NOT LOOK like the rest of us.”

However, this belief is a lie in and of itself and men who struggle with porn need to realize that. Yes, we are weak – but so is everyone else. Men who use porn aren’t suffering from some sort of special weakness.

Reason #2: Fear of loss.
Hey, this is a legitimate concern. Men (especially Christian men) realize that when they come clean, they are taking a big risk. A risk that their “betrayal” may cost them everything they love.

But men, if this is you, realize it’s always better for your porn use to be “brought” not “caught.” Getting caught with your hands in the perverbial cookie jar is far more devastating to your spouse than finding out through humble and sincere repentance.

Reason #3: Fear of hurting or disappointing those we love.
This reason is unique because it is in many ways selflessly motivated. I’ve been there. Husbands don’t want to hurt their wives (unless they are just awful husbands, but that’s a whole different topic). They also don’t want to disappoint their wives and, let’s be honest, admitting porn use is hurtful and disappointing.

Men, while your motivation is altruistic (but ultimately self-serving), realize that your lies are even more painful and disappointing. Be honest and give your wife what she deserves.

Reason #4: Fear of looking like the “creepy” guy.
Again, another myth: that only creepy guys look at porn. Men don’t want to be “that guy,” especially in front of their spouse.

However guys, this is your opportunity to shed light on the truth. Regular guys look at porn. (Tweet This!) You don’t have to be a creep to do it. Be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

Reason #5: Fear of getting our butt kicked.
This reason is by far the most regrettable. Unfortunately there are many men out there who lie because they just aren’t ready to stop. They don’t want to get their butt kicked and be forced to deal with their issues.

Guys, if this is you, there’s not much I can say that hasn’t been said already. You need to want freedom to find freedom. (Tweet This!) If you want porn, then most likely you will keep lying about it to your wife. And when your wife finds out, don’t be surprised when she decides it’s time to leave.

There are plenty of other reasons men lie about their addiction, but I believe these five are the most common.

Spouses, hopefully this gives you some insight.
Hopefully this will help with your healing in some way.

And guys, I know you have your reasons.
I know the idea of telling your spouse the truth is scary as crap.

But I assure you it’s the best way.

Because at the end of the day, dishonesty sucks. And being on the other end of that dishonesty sucks even more. Even if you have your reasons.


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Great Sexy Adult retreats

Where do London escorts go on holiday? Hedonism II in Jamaica of course! You may never have heard of this place but Hedonism II is one of the world’s top resorts. It is a seriously sexy holiday location, and if you fancy some sexy funny on your holiday, Hedonism II is the place to go. A lot of my London escorts friends go here once a year, and they seem to have a great time. They come home with an allover tan, and a great big smile on their faces. This is the kind of place where anything goes, and most of my friends just love it for that.Hedonistic HolidaysSo, what happens on a hedonistic holiday. My London escorts friends sometimes go there to enjoy great sex but they also say the service is great. You don’t have to worry about room service waking you up in the morning, and you can sleep as late as you like.

If you don’t want to have breakfast before ten, you don’t have to and you can even start your day off with a bottle of champagne on the beach.Most of my London escorts friends say that they never wear a bikini when they visit the resort. Okay some of the London escorts were keen to point out that you can’t eat dinner in the nude but you can wear your shorts. It sounds pretty nice actually but is it true that the resort has playrooms? Yes, said Sue, one of the charlotteaction.org escorts in London, the resort does have playroom with really sex furniture and you can use them as much as you like. All you need to is to reserve one for your private use at the reception, and you can play away until your heart is content.Another one of London escorts were keen to point out that the top suites had ceilings mirrors and mirrors at the back of the bed. Apparently it sounds like this might be the perfect resort for some sexy adult fun, if you are looking for that. The beach is a gift from the gods said another one of the London escorts.

First off it is absolutely beautiful and on top of that, you don’t need to worry about wearing a bikini. Once again anything goes, and you can mix and match with others as Hedonism II like to call it.The resorts is mainly used by Americans but more Brits find it every year. Quite a few of the London escorts said that they had recommended it to their dates, and they knew that some of their dates had booked and even been joined by London escorts. It sounds like it might be the perfect holiday if you want to enjoy some serious adult fun, and perhaps meet like minded people from the rest of the world. The resorts also lays on special events such as swingers’ holidays and porn star parties. Many people who visit the resort are regulars, and just keep coming back time and time again for some serious adult fun.

3 Reasons Beautiful Couples Cheat

3-reasons-beautiful-cheatSomeone once told me something to think about: “The finest person in the world is somewhere getting on their spouse’s last nerve.”

I mean, think about it. It seems that pretty much every day, we’re hearing about a celebrity break-up or divorce—and a lot of those people are beautiful.

Why? Because looks aren’t everything. So no matter how attractive you are, that’s not enough to get a person, keep a person, or prevent that person from cheating. In fact, as a marriage life coach, I deal with my fair share of couples who love one another and still have experienced infidelity.

The reasons why are not as black-and-white as you might think. Here are three:

1) One or both people feel taken for granted. Although some may want to assume that men cheat more than women, there are actually studies which indicate as much as 50 percent of wives will cheat at some point in their marriage. And whenever I ask either the husband or the wife why they did it, the answers oftentimes lead to the same point: The husband feels like the wife barks demands or complains all of the time about what he’s not doing or should be doing more of rather than acknowledging his actual efforts. The wife doesn’t feel like her man is putting in the same kind of effort to “keep her” as he did to get her. There’s no dating. There are no compliments. There is no good or lasting foreplay.

Bottom line: the “potential cheater” starts to feel taken for granted, which leaves a void they want to fill. If that doesn’t happen inside the home, they start to look elsewhere.

Just because your spouse promised to “love, honor and cherish” you until death (marriage is supposed to be until death; you can read a good piece on that here), that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t acknowledge and appreciate the fact that each day they make a choice to stay with you. No one wants to be taken for granted. (Tweet This!) If you know you’re guilty of doing that, take this as a heads-up that something needs to change. Soon.

2) The sex sucks. I thought about putting this another way, but some folks need to hear it just like that. This is another complaint that I hear from husbands and wives alike. Husbands tend to complain about a lack of consistency and wives tend to complain about the monotony of the experience. When it comes to how often a couple should have sex, it depends on the couple. I’ll say this, though: No matter how long someone’s been married to you, they’ll never like rejection. So, if you’re always brushing your spouse off or acting like something is wrong with them for wanting to have sex with you more than once or twice a month, that could cause them to develop an emotional wall first and a curiosity about cheating second.

At the same time, if sex is always about what you want or how you like it, if there is no romance or fulfilling foreplay…if everything is about “getting to the end” without enjoying the journey, that can cause someone to become bored. Then resentful. And then thinking about things that they’ve probably never thought about before. And when you think long enough, you start to dwell on those thoughts, and when you dwell on something long enough, it’s not too long until you are tempted (really tempted) to act.

3) There is a lost connection. One of my favorite relationship quotes is “People change and forget to tell one another.” That’s how couples can be married for 30-40 years and wake up one day and feel like they no longer know their spouse. If you’re not listening to your spouse, if you’re not paying attention to their love languages, if there is no prayer and devotional time—in short, if you’re not making one another a top priority, there will start to be a disconnect. It’s the ideal breeding ground for an emotional affair and oftentimes that can be far more destructive than a “hit it and quit it” physical affair. Why? Because emotional affairs tend to create really powerful connections.

Yeah, beautiful people can sho ‘nuff have affairs. One of the best things that you can do to avoid one yourself is to be more proactive than reactive in your relationship. Think about the things that I’ve shared, discuss them with your spouse and be open to their feedback.

Any counselor worth their time and money will tell you that rarely is an affair simply about some horny person who can’t control themselves. (Tweet This!) It’s about needs going unmet. And then getting to the point of being desperate enough to find a way to get them met. Sadly, even if it means having an affair.


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A Romantic Getaway; Fun And Romance For Adults

As an a adult, it is not unusual for love and romance, two important factors for maintaining a relationship, to fall to the wayside as you deal with everything from paying bills to working and raising children. However, it is possible to have fun in love to ensure the spark that brought the two of you together remains bright. Here are a few ideas designed to bring excitement and romance back into your relationship, regardless of what type of situation you are in.

Take a Romantic Getaway without the Kids

Even if you are on a strict budget, you can take an amazing trip. It just takes some creativity. For example, the beach offers the opportunity for fun in the sun, picturesque views, great meals, and more. In the offseason, you can usually find great deals, especially if you have time to sneak away during the week. You can go anywhere from the Outer Banks of North Carolina to Tybee Island off the coast of Georgia, California’s Catalina Island or St. Michaels, Maryland.

If you prefer stunning views of the mountains, why not book a cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains? Gatlinburg, Tennessee and Asheville, NC are great options. You can also head to the Wichita Mountains in Oklahoma or the Rocky Mountains, which run through six states and have a number of cabins to choose from. Cabins are ideal because they tend to be somewhat isolated, yet have everything you could possibly need including a Jacuzzi and/ or hot tub.

Take a Romantic Getaway with the Kids

The truth is that it can be hard to get away without the kids, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t have fun in love. More and more places are offering onsite babysitters. This can be well worth any added cost because they usually have an arsenal of age appropriate entertainment options that will keep your children happy, while you and your partner get time alone, which will keep you both happy.

If you can’t find an affordable vacation spot that offers onsite babysitting, you still have an option. Before you arrive call the place you will be staying and speak with a manager, concierge, etc. to find out if they have kids. If they do, ask if they have a babysitter they would recommend. If so, call them and see if they can sit with your children a couple of times during your stay.

If you are hoping to have some fun time without the kids while on vacation, be sure to book a family suite or a hotel with connecting rooms. If you are heading to the beach, opt for a beachfront room with a balcony. It’s the perfect place for the two of you to relax after the kids go to sleep. If you are planning a trip to the mountains, look for a place that offers in room fireplaces and/ or Jacuzzis to up the romance factor.

Don’t let the romantic spark in your relationship die out. Utilize the ideas above to ensure the flame continues to burn.

Visit at cityofeve.com for more ideas.

3 Ways To Have Animalistic Pleasure With… Your Spouse?

3_Ways_to_Have_Animalistic_Pleasure_with…_Your_Spouse_#1 copyWho is happier: the promiscuous lover, jumping from bed to bed with the frequency of a character from an ABC sitcom, or the monogamous person who only has sex with one partner?

I guess that depends what you mean by “happy.”

Believe it or not, scholars have actually researched “happiness,” specifically comparing the promiscuous to the monogamous. I talked about this a lot in my book Sex Matters.

That’s why this Psychology Today article particularly intrigued me. In this candid (and almost uncomfortable) article, Mark White, Ph.D., offers some honest insight into perceived “happiness.” He begins the article declaring, “it doesn’t take much to see that monogamy and promiscuity can each give a person happiness, albeit likely two different kinds”:

Promiscuity- thrill of the momen
Promiscuity, or “non-monogamy” as he calls it, brings “excitement of variety, the thrill of the unknown, and the pure physical bliss of sex, untethered by any emotional attachment or anxiety.”

Monogamy- longer lasting fulfillment
On the other hand, monogamy provides “a deeper, longer-lasting, and more fulfilling type of happiness that enhances any other aspects of one’s life.”

Which sounds better?

What if you didn’t have to choose?

Dr. White’s conclusion surprised me. In short, he suggested… why not get the best of both worlds and just have promiscuous thrill with your monogamous spouse? His exact words:

Of course, the ideal would be to find the more hedonic, animalistic pleasure with his or her spouse or partner instead of looking for it outside the marriage or relationship, and to a certain extent that can be done. (Psychology Today, 3/12/11)

As a person married to the same woman for close to 25 years, this made me almost stand up and cheer! I love when Biblical truth is revealed from the most unlikely sources.

So let’s look at three ways we can find animalistic pleasure with our spouses:

1) The “ideal” sex is good sex within a marriage. Note, not just sex within marriage, but good sex within marriage. Let’s be honest. Who wants boring sex? Dr. White seems to be endorsing kinky, wild, unrestrained, bed-breaking sex … all within the context of marriage. Even if you don’t agree with his wording, don’t disregard his insight. You can have hot sex in marriage.

Newsflash: It ain’t sin to have really passionate, uninhibited sex with your spouse (Tweet This!), enjoying each other to the fullest! Hot sex doesn’t require sin! Good sex doesn’t flow from porn! Bed-breaking sex doesn’t necessitate multiple partners! God designed you with all the pleasure sensors you need, just the two of you.

2) The more you lust after others, the less likely it becomes that the person lying next to you will meet your needs. Dr. White says it plainly. If the thrill of sex comes to you from that variety of the unknown, then you might be disappointed with the same ol’ thing. That’s an uncomfortable fact to think about, but I think it brings up an interesting observation: people who “look around” will only be as happy as the next big conquest. In other words, their happiness is contingent on happenings to happen. If these happenings don’t happen … no happiness. It’s a sad existence. The grass ain’t greener next door; fertilize your own lawn. (Tweet This!)

3) Monogamous relationships run the risk of becoming boring only when we stop putting effort into them. Dr. White admits the “ideal” would be to have hot sex in marriage. Then why does marital sex get such a bad rap? This stigma doesn’t reveal a design flaw in monogamy; I think it reveals our inherent selfishness and laziness. Satan loves this. He loves it when spouses are no longer creative and romantic, because when married couples stop putting effort into meeting each other’s needs… affairs become appealing. And that’s too bad.

Long story short: look to one another and you’ll discover the most satisfying sex you could ever have is with the person you’re already married to.


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Six Keys to Bed-Breaking Sex

Six Keys to Bed Breaking Sex - blogOne of my proudest moments in marriage was the night when my wife, Ashley, and I broke our bed while making love. Yes, you read that right: we had bed-breaking sex!

Now, the bed was really old and pretty fragile. On top of that, the bed was small and I was overweight at the time, so sheer gravity was working against the antique frame below. Still, we broke the bed during sex, and I think we can all agree, that’s pretty awesome!

I strongly believe more couples should be having “Bed-Breaking Sex.”

When you and your spouse improve your sex life, you’ll simultaneously improve your marriage. (Tweet This!) It’s as simple as that. It takes a lot more than a great sex life to build a great marriage, but it’s nearly impossible to build a great marriage without it!

As I’ve interacted with couples from all over, I’ve discovered that there seems to be an epidemic of unfulfilling sex (or sometimes no sex at all) happening in modern marriages. This tragic neglect or misunderstanding of sexuality has the potential to wreck a marriage. Don’t let that happen!

So how can you get bed-breaking sex? Every couple is different and there is rarely a “one-size-fits-all” approach to anything, but I’m convinced that these six basic principles would instantly improve the sexual fulfillment in most marriages. Give them a try! This is the kind of “homework” you’ll actually enjoy. (Tweet This!)

In addition to these six tips below, you should check out our new video series, “Best Sex Life Now,” on strengthening sex, intimacy and communication in marriage. It’s the most comprehensive resource we’ve ever had a hand in creating, and we believe this resource could revolutionize your sex life and other aspects of your marriage as well.

These first three apply BEFORE sex:

1. Make foreplay an all-day event.
Foreplay shouldn’t start thirty seconds before you plan to have intercourse (I’m talking to my fellow men out there on this one)! Find ways to flirt with each other throughout the day. Send flirtatious and/or thoughtful text messages to let your spouse know they’re on your mind. Those consistent little acts will help set the mood for romance later.

2. Tell your secrets.
One of the biggest barriers to true intimacy in marriage is a lack of trust. Your spouse needs to feel completely safe and secure with you to fully engage in sexual intimacy. Secrecy is an enemy of intimacy, so make sure you’re communicating consistently, openly, and honestly at all times. Your transparency will create trust and that trust will ultimately create better sex (and a better marriage).

3. Serve each other.
You should serve each other throughout the day so that your spouse’s mind can be freed up to enjoy the moment. Husband, this might mean washing the dishes or folding laundry. Wives, this might mean giving your husbands a back rub to help him relax. Find ways to serve each other and you’ll be building a bond of intimacy before you even get to bed.

These next three apply DURING sex:

4. Tell your spouse what you like (and what you don’t like).
Your spouse is not a mind reader. Be open and honest about what feels good and what makes you uncomfortable. Communication is vital to a mutually pleasurable experience.

5. Have fun!
If you’re not having fun while you’re having sex, then you’re doing something wrong! Bring your sense of humor. Be playful. Be adventurous. If it always feels like work, then talk to your spouse about the issues that might be holding you both back.

6. Be mentally monogamous.
Don’t bring outside “fantasy” into your bedroom. Both your body and your mind have to be fully present in the moment, so don’t allow porn or erotic romance novels to put images in your mind that will create fantasies that don’t involve your spouse. True intimacy requires monogamy (both physically and mentally).

 

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Accountability: Burden or Blessing?

Accountability---Burden-or-Blessing-blogI once had a conversation with Craig Gross about the word “accountability,” mainly because he wrote a book with Adam Palmer on the subject a few years ago called Open. It was about the benefits of vulnerability and placing yourself in relationship with people who could speak the truth to you when you needed to hear it the most.

During this conversation, I shared the results of a quick, unscientific poll, where I asked several people, all Christians, what came to mind (and what they felt) as soon as they heard the word “accountability.” Most of the answers were something akin to, “It means you give someone permission to condemn you or tell you when you screw up.

None of the people I asked had much to say that was positive about their experience of the word, and though I realize it was a pretty small sample group, the point they made was a legitimate one. “Accountability” as it has been used (and abused) in the Christian Church seems to be more of a problem word than anything else – but we still insist on using it, especially as it pertains to porn/sex addiction. Why?

Craig’s answer was simple: he said that the word had been “hijacked.”

I agree – the term had been co-opted by some sort of religious element in the church and was usually experienced as some sort of license to condemn. But Craig felt a need to redeem the word – which is a difficult task because of how fast culture shifts. But if we are to redeem that word, we have to start in this space of porn/sex addiction – the place where accountability is needed most.

We all know that the best element of this idea is this: a trusted friend comes to you when they see you struggle. They do this bearing unconditional love, vulnerability, and honesty without judgment. They respect your sovereignty, but also honor the trust you’ve placed in them and their perspective, so they aren’t afraid to bring it. We all know that this type of relationship is a sacred thing, and is usually built over many years of walking in the trenches together. It can’t be manufactured artificially. The great philosopher Martin Buber called this the I-Thou relationship – the type of relationship where a presence exists between two people that is inhabited by what Buber called the “Eternal Thou.” My reading of Buber puts the resurrected Christ in that space. Where grace abounds between two people, we see redemption and new creation.

Buber also talked about the other kind of, and more common, relationship being an I-It relationship. Buber said we “It” each other all the time, meaning the other person is never actually met; they instead become an object merely existing to confirm the assumptions and beliefs you already hold. When we exist in an I-It relationship, we are simply having conversations with ourselves, with a subconscious goal to remain unchanged. This type of relationship is characterized by the presence of condemnation and judgment. It is the type of “accountability” that most people fear. It feels like the opposite of love.

This is why, for accountability to work as an effective tool of transformation, it must be more about releasing someone than holding them to the fire. If a friend asks me for accountability and I receive that as some sort of mandate to drive him to a certain reading of scripture or some sort of moral conception of “purity” at all costs, then I have entered into an I-It relationship with my friend. I’m determined to make my friend an extension of myself and my own need to be in control.

But if I’m willing to sit in the tension of struggle, listen to my friend without judgment, and speak life from a spirit that transcends simple moral check-boxes – it is then that love is allowed to do what love does: illuminate the soul. No one in the world can deny the true experience of love when it is encountered. (Tweet This!) And for accountability to be a blessing and not a burden, it must be undertaken with this type of presence. It is then that the “Eternal Thou” dwells in the space between us.

It is not our jobs to carry each other’s baggage or to shame each other into grunting out some sort of new wave of self-control. It is our job to be present and be the embodiment of the truth that nothing, and I mean NOTHING, can separate us from the love of God. (Tweet This!)


If you have struggled with toxic accountability in the past and would like to know more about what life-giving, healthy accountability looks like sign up for a free video preview of our new course Open – What Happens When You Get Real, Get Honest, and Get Accountable.

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The 2 Questions You Need to Ask about your Accountability Group

X3-the-2-question-v2-2My first experience with an accountability group was over 20 years ago in my middle-school youth group. Three of us guys would get together with the youth pastor for a weekly “check-in.” Typically, my end of the conversation would go something like this:

I had a decent week. Maybe I looked down that girl’s shirt a little longer than I should have, but it was really nothing. I’m fine. It’s all good. Let’s go play Nintendo.”

In retrospect, I can see now what we were calling an accountability group was really nothing more than a handful of guys going through a pre-planned script so we could check another item off our spiritual to-do list for the week.

We wanted to get through the boring accountability part as quickly as possible and then move on to what we we’re really there for: MarioKart.

I have a feeling my middle-school experience probably wasn’t that far off from what many of you picture when you hear the term “accountability group.” And if I’m correct in that assumption, then it’s probably safe to say most of you aren’t all that passionate about the thought of being in accountability group at all.

To be honest, I wouldn’t be excited about a group like that either.

But what if that’s not actually what an accountability group is supposed to look like?

What if there’s a deeper, more meaningful, and significantly more beneficial model of accountability available to us?

I believe there is, and it’s found in the teachings of Jesus.

Instead of a mindless routine, your group can become a life-giving time of healing and connection, but in order to experience this type of group, you will need to consider the following questions:

1.  Does my accountability group encourage me to live in the light?

If we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7).

In my early encounters with accountability, I was never comfortable enough with the other guys to truly be honest about my struggles. I would tell them just enough to sound like I was being open and honest, but in reality I was hiding what went on in the darkest corners of my internal reality.

I had things I’d vowed to never bring into the light, as did the other guys in the group as well.

Sure, we all liked hanging out together, but none of us actually trusted each other enough to bring our junk into the light (Tweet This!) where it could be dealt with. We were all secretly afraid that if the other guys found out what we really did when no one was looking, they would reject us.

What we didn’t realize though, was sin behaves much like a cockroach—it thrives while it’s hiding in the dark. But once you expose it to the light, it runs away. In the same way, if you bring your sin into the light, it will lose its power over you.

2.  Does my accountability group encourage me to confess my sins?

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results (James 5:16).

If “walking in the light” is the practice of exposing the hidden areas of your life to the community and council of trusted friends, “confession” is the practice of refusing to allow those areas to become hidden again.

For example, let’s say you’ve been struggling with pornography for many years. Like many who struggle, you’ve kept it hidden from everyone. Being honest about the scope of your struggle would be bringing it into the light, and the continual act of talking about and praying over your daily struggles would be confession.

x3groups-30 days-$1-select-groupsOne important thing to recognize though, is that confessing your sin is even more beneficial when you do it proactively. (Tweet This!) In other words, you can confess your sin before you commit it. This is one of the key distinguishers between a healthy accountability group and a lifeless one.

Rather than waiting to confess your sin until your next meeting when you “check-in” about the past week, pick up your phone and text a group member while you’re sitting in front of your computer and thinking about clicking on a link. Just a simple text such as I’m thinking about clicking on something I shouldn’t. Check in with me later to make sure I’m okay… will bring that sin into the light and break it’s power over you while it’s still only a temptation.

The other benefit of this proactive confession is when you check in at your next group meeting, you’ll be able to share how walking in the light led to a victory rather than only sharing defeats. Your modeling of biblical accountability will not only help you in your own journey to freedom, but it will encourage the others in the group as well.

I often wonder how things would have been different in my life if I’d found a safe place to experience biblical accountability at a younger age. Perhaps I wouldn’t have spent so many years hiding the shame of my addiction and isolating myself from one of the greatest resources God has given us for healing.

What I do know though, is it’s never too late to start being honest. (Tweet This!) Find an accountability group that offers you the opportunity to bring your sin into the light, confess your struggles, and pray for one another so that you may be healed.

Opening up that first time will take a tremendous amount of courage, but let me assure you once you do so, “checking-in” with your true accountability partners will become one of the best parts of your week.


Having trouble finding the type of accountability group Steven talks about? A group where you can be as honest and open as you want to be? Join an X3group today and find out what it’s like to live in the freedom of grace and truth. There are groups for men, women , and spouses meeting daily throughout the week.

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An Open Letter: Unveiled Wife

An_open_letter_Unveiled_Wife_-_Book_Review_-_xxxchurchOur friend Jennifer Smith of UnveiledWife.com has just written and published her story in a book titled The Unveiled Wife. Jennifer takes her book to a whole new level. Here at XXXchurch, we talk about porn addiction and how we see the destruction play out in the addicts’ lives (especially their marriages) time and time again, but rarely do we see wives of these men talk about themselves, their role in the battle, and how they play a huge part in the recovery process.

I’ve been there. The scorned wife of a man I loved more than anyone on the planet. A man I moved my entire life and career for, only to be left in the dust of his pornography obsession. I grew angry, bitter, resentful, and became filled with regret. I wish a book like this had been available to me in the height of that season of my life! Yes, I was finally able to work through the process and find healing, but it was long, it was difficult, and much of it was alone.

Jennifer’s bold and courageous decision to put her story out there for the world is going to heal a multitude of women if they will allow her story to get into their hearts and merge with their own. Jennifer is so transparent about her own struggles and the things she battled that it leaves one wanting to keep reading! It’s difficult to put the book down because of how much it resonates with the reader.

Jennifer writes about how she and her husband’s struggles with intimacy caused her to feel insecure about herself, and how that led to her lack of willingness to be available sexually to her husband. She also shares some very bold and what some would consider shocking things she kept hidden about herself. Jennifer shares that, in her suffering, God pursued her and carried her to a safe and intimate place with Him. (Tweet This!) As she drew closer to God and allowed Him to show her things about herself that needed attention and change, she learned a few important things about marriage and she shares those things in this book.

We recommend this resource to anyone whose marriage has been affected by pornography addiction.


For more on Jennifer and her story watch this video brought to you by Best Sex Life Now.

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What Russell Brand Showed Me About Porn

If you’ve been following us on Facebook or Twitter, then you may have seen this video of actor and comedian Russell Brand talking about porn. You probably have your own preconceived views of Brand, but whatever you make of what he says, you can’t deny that he talks about these issues openly and without fear.

What struck me about this clip from his daily YouTube show “The Trews” was how he talked about his own experiences with porn, remarking on how he had been obsessed with it as a teenager and also how he treated women as trophies. He was not afraid to be honest about how he has mistreated sex in the past for his own pleasure. He wasn’t afraid to be real.

Oh how we could do with more Russell Brands in the church!

I asked myself, how is he able to do this?
How can he be so forthright?
Is he not afraid of what people will say?

Then I realized something. Brand doesn’t fit neatly into the church, and his faith probably pushes on the boundaries of what many would consider normal. Still, I believe he has a deep spirituality that is connected to God and everything that Jesus stood for, even if he would not necessarily describe it always in those terms.

But although he may have his critics, he doesn’t have to fear the backlash or shame that openness can provoke in fellow Christians.

When we go to talk about these issues, a lot of times we are closed down or at the very least feel compelled to describe sex and porn in terms that don’t really scratch the surface of what’s going on. We’ll talk about all the ways it is considered sin, but we won’t have the important conversations which us allow us to connect deeply to our own sexuality and subsequently, with God.

Brand seems to dwell in a freedom that comes from not worrying what people think, and that allows him to live fully aware of his own demons and addictions. We can find hope and a fullness of life too, if we get on board with this same idea.

Here is how I think Brand does it and how we can join him: he acknowledges all parts of himself and the power they have to shape who he is. Even the ugly parts. And without the fear of being judged.

Let’s delve deeper into what this means.

At one point in the video, he describes how porn isn’t healthy and acknowledges that viewing porn prevents us from connecting with the world. I take this to mean with God and other people, and perhaps most commonly overlooked, ourselves.

Brand uses the word “dominion” when describing how we could just overcome porn by having dominion over ourselves. Rather than this being a seedy sort of BDSM idea, though, in this case it describes all the ways we piece together the good and wonderful parts of us that have been suppressed due to porn. Bringing to light all the pain we sweep aside because we are afraid of it.

When we repeatedly view porn we’re not just becoming disconnected from God but from ourselves.

When we are afraid of even talking about porn, then we are left stuck in a place where we can’t address much of the real pain that we carry that drives us further and further into porn’s dominion.

Anyone who has ever struggled with porn (or any addiction for that manner) will know this feeling all too well. The feeling of knowing this is the last thing that you want to be doing but never being able to stop. After the event, feeling shame and guilt and an awareness of the pain you live in. Of asking yourself, how did that just happen? Where did the time go? Why do I keep doing this to myself?

But this awareness of our pain is a gift. (Tweet This!)

Not because it shows us how much we need saved or forgiven, but because of this simple notion: if we can become more conscious of shame and guilt, perhaps it is possible to find freedom by becoming more conscious and aware of the possibilities that life offers, too.

Can we use this consciousness to become whole again rather than more and more isolated from ourselves?

When you engage in porn there are two versions of you at play. There is the “addiction has taken over, porn viewing” You and the “Spirit-filled, conscious, and connected to God and the world” You. Most of the time this Connected You gets suffocated and stifled by the Addicted You.

My friend Seth showed me a way of meditating which involved actively connecting these two parts again. I would take on the role of “The Watcher,” observing myself as I engaged with my triggers and then, when the time was right, stepping in to take control, comfort, and offer wisdom to the Addicted Me.

By taking on the role of the Spirit-filled “Watcher” and visualizing and verbally comforting and offering grace and love to the Addicted You, the part which comes from God’s Love is able to gently lead you back to where you were created to be the whole time.

It doesn’t simply shut up the addict in you, it redeems it.

By utilizing this practice, I began to learn how to connect the true side of me – the side that was always meant to be – to that side of me that takes over when porn starts shouting at me to feed it.

If this all sounds a little too out there or new age-y, I get it. It was completely strange to me also! But as I began to engage in this work, I realized there was so much I was unconscious of about myself and God. Sure, I may not have looked at porn in years, but in some ways I have only begun to scratch the surface of what freedom truly looks like. (Tweet This!)

It is time for us all to put aside the fear we have of talking about porn and sex and those parts we don’t like to bring with us to church on a Sunday morning. This fear is only holding us back and giving us an excuse to keep hiding behind shame and guilt.

So, I invite you to face every part of you – even the parts that terrify you – because that is where you will find the answers you may be seeking.

And it is there in the end, where shame and guilt are no match for Love. (Tweet This!)


For more discussion on porn and Fifty Shades of Grey (the movie that prompted Brand’s video) check out this week’s episode of Craig’s Car Ride below or get it on iTunes.

 

Paul Robinson is a writer who isn’t afraid to poke some of the boxes of church culture especially in the areas of sexuality, creativity, satire and peace and reconciliation. He’s also spent the last several years blogging content for XXXchurch.com and acting as an X3group leader. Originally from Northern Ireland he now lives in Detroit with his wife Brittany managing to successfully switch to driving on the right side of the road but drawing the line at calling ‘football’, ‘soccer’. You can follow Paul on Twitter or his personal blog.

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