“So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.” — Luke 8:39
When I was young and very impressionable I was introduced to porn. The time was somewhere in the Sixties. My older cousin always had a different mag. each and every week of that summer. He gave me some to keep. The images I seen were captivating. I seen things that grown men have never seen. I know now that some of the images were illegal. Little did I know at the time how they would infect my whole life.
I grew up with an alcoholic father and an a very loving but sickly mother. She loved the Lord and spoke of his love often and tried to teach me. My dad was a sailor in world war 2. He cursed like one too. When I was around other boys I could impress them with my adult vocabulary.
When I was 11 my mother took very ill and had to be hospitalized until I was 16. I remember shaking my little fist at God for taking my mother away from me. My heart was broken to pieces I can recall crying for days. I lived with my grandmother and different relatives for years never feeling like I belonged anywhere.
My grandmother took me to church and spoke the living word into me. I accepted Christ and felt the call of God in my life. I loved church, until the church kicked out the preacher that I loved. He kept me for a few weeks while my grandmother was in the Hospital. I remember saying I wont go to that church anymore. I was true to my word for many years to come.
I was addicted to cigarettes by 16 years of age. Back in the day it was very cool to smoke. I fell in love at 18. After seeing her home several of us guys would go the star-view late XXX show. I married her one month before my 19th birthday. She was 16 years old. I carried her to view XXX shows. She did not seemed to mind. In my frame of mind then I saw nothing wrong with it. I went through hell for one and half years, our marriage was a nightmare. I loved her so much, she was my first sexual partner. She tore my heart up and stomped on it. It seemed to me at the time my whole life was going to be just one disappointment after another.
I was back in the dating scene again. I went to a bluegrass concert one night and met this girl. I did not know it at the time but this girl had a fire that I could not handle. She was good for my sex drive but not for my heart. I met some of her neighbors and they had party and asked me if I smoked pot. I said sure but I had never even seen the stuff before. I did not even drink beer or wine. I thought of dad and his friends when someone mentioned drinking and I said no thanks. I wish I had not gone down that road. It would lead to more heartache. I loved smoking pot and it lead to different and more powerful drugs. I also developed a taste for alcohol.
In the next several years I lost everything I had twice and paid for two abortions. I remember crying to the Lord in my bed for forgiveness. The next day I continued on as nothing happened. I remember asking for forgiveness many a night. I went back to the church of my youth and when I heard the word preached I melted. It sounded like peace to my battered soul. I accepted the word readily. The entire church came and shook my hand and welcomed me back. One week later I was back to my old self and did not look back.
My Mom died in the hospital that she had returned to several years earlier. The family was at the funeral home and I was riding around with a friend. I don’t really remember why. I was so messed up in my head. I regret so much in my life. This hurts so bad to recall these events.
I moved back in with my granny for a while. I got a new job at the local factory were I’m still employed. I cried out in despair one lonely night on the factory floor. Dear God send me someone that will love me more than I love them. I said that because I thought my love was so much larger than anyone else could give. I was tired of being left alone.
Time passed and I meet this girl at a dance club. She was attracted to me right off the bat. It wasn’t long before I had more women than I could handle. I thank God I chose the one he had for me because looking back the others were substitutes that were placed by the enemy. We were married several years later. I still was addicted to porn and tried to get her into it. She did not want any part of it.
A few years later we were building a house and were staying with her dad to save money until our house was ready. My wife was also pregnant at the time. My friends at work planned a water skiing trip and I wanted to go. We put the two boats into the cape fear and was skiing down the river toward the ocean. This day trip turned out be an overnighter. We found ourselves docked at the Carolina beach inter coastal waterway. We hit the bars and later that night the guys were paring up with ladies to spend the night. God began to speak to my heart. He told me to grow up and become a man. Your wife and child are back at home worried about you. I called her and told her my situation. Her and my father-in law drove a hour and half to get me.
My first daughter was born and I looked at her little body under the warming light at the hospital. I was afraid. I was in love. I didn’t know how to be a dad. I didn’t want to follow my dad’s example. Dear God help me. My wife had postpartum depression or something because she became very hard to get along with. It was to the point that we were discussing separating.
Back at work I was being invited to church almost daily. Finally, I went to a play. I did not know what to expect. I went in and saw that the stage was set up like heaven. The church was packed. The scene began with people coming forth after death to the judgment, some where accepted, some where dragged off to outer darkness. There came a man who died of a lung disorder walking up to the gates. The Holy spirit was upon this man. He mimicked my mothers movements exactly, her pausing to catch her breath, the way she carried herself. I did not see him. “I saw mama.” When she walked through those gates and threw that respirator down and lifted her hands in praise and began jump and shout. What can I say about that?
I began to weep uncontrollable. The hard crust of my heart was breaking. I did not go to the altar that night because I didn’t feel good enough. I felt like trash and I didn’t belong in church. I had gone too far away from God to go back now. I went back to that church a few Sundays later. The preacher gave the gospel and gave an altar call. I felt like I was standing waist deep in the surf and could feel the current pulling me harder and harder. I refused to go up. I felt like there was this great deep canyon between me and the other side and there was no way that I could get there. I kept going back to the services and rejecting that call. One night before service I said to my wife. I am going to the altar tonight. The word was preached and the invitation was given and I felt nothing. I came home discouraged. I felt like God had given up on me.
I prayed that night. God I want you back in my life. I’ve made a mess of it. Teach me how to be a good husband and a good father to my daughter because I don’t know how. I remembered my aunt fasting before. I told God I would fast to show him I wanted Him back in my life. The next morning I woke up, I fixed my coffee and ate five cinnamon rolls of breakfast. My mind went back to my prayer after I ate. I got so mad at myself. I said OK you will not eat or drink until God says you can. It was a HOT spring day. We had no air conditioning in the plant. After my eight hours was up my mouth was so dry I could not even talk. I went behind #13 mold press and bowed my head and said “Lord I’m thirsty”. I had a close encounter with an Almighty God. I felt the loving arms like that of a Father I never knew wrap His arms around me and held me close. I felt the assurance of His love for me. He wanted me back. I ran to the water fountain and drank my fill. The story is not quite over yet. I went home and called every preacher. I could not get anyone. I remembered my cousin. He was an associate pastor or something. He said we are having revival at our church this week and I will come and get you. Man I thought I would burst. I wanted to make a public confession or have a preacher to pray with me now.
I went into this church and things were different here than other churches I had attended. It seemed louder and when the music started to play everyone was singing and lifting up hands and actually worshiping God. Wow! I felt God all over me. The speaker began to speak on sin. He was really coming down hard on everything. He said go home and throw your TV out the door. My heart began to sink. I thought I cant do this. The speaker finished and he began the altar call. The music played softly and tenderly will you come home. I could hear the enemy telling me just turn and walk out like you did before and forget this foolishness once and for all. The pull of the Holy spirit was so strong I felt as if I was swaying. I heard laughter in my head saying you can’t do it. I remember the words my granny used to say “devil you’re a liar!” I said exactly that. The chains were broken. I broke for the altar. My cousin met me there. I could not hold back the tears. It was if the tears were my confession to God and my total surrender to his will. My life has never been the same. I came home and my wife was holding our infant in her arms. I led my wife to the Lord that night. The next day I burnt my collections of Penthouse and Hustler and my videos. I also burnt my pot and everything else I thought was not of God.
That was almost eighteen years ago. My children of 17 and 15 will never see that old man for now I am a new Creature. They are both active in church. My wife is a Sunday school teacher and youth leader today. I have served as a teacher and on the board. Through the strength of Christ I quit smoking in 1994, something I tried to get rid myself of for years. God has blessed me with a family where Christ is in the center.
I joined FIC in Oct. 2005 because of some recent falls and lusting issues. When I think of where God brought me from I cant imagine how I would go back even for a look but I did. God is faithful when I am not. He loves me even when I don’t love myself. Thank you Father for your grace and mercy.
Winning the battle in Jesus,
Many times this group has been like my family. The healthier family that I didn’t really have growing up. On this journey of healing I have been through a lot. This group has been there for me when I didn’t know where else to turn. The guys in this group have prayed for me when I was dealing with some of the most difficult things in my life. This group has been there to give me gentle advice when faced with a crisis. It has been a place to encourage others. At one time I thought I was all alone, that no one else did the things I was doing. Since becoming a part of this group, I have not felt so alone in my addiction. I have come to realize that other sincere believers also face the same demons/problems that I do. At times I hear the solution, and often that will give me the strength and encouragement to be sexually sober for one more day. Still other times this group has helped to pull me back when I have gone astray or forgotten that Christ must be my focus, not just stopping this addiction.
Tony (the moderator of this group) has blessed, encouraged, admonished and challenged me for the last several years. This was the first and really is the only group where I can share my heart, and not have to pull punches about my spiritual beliefs. By being in this group I have learned so much from so many. I learn from the new guy who comes in hurting, broken, confused, for I am that man also. I learn from the one who gets his first week of abstinence, or first month, or a small victory by saying no in an area where previously that was not possible. I have seen some heal instantaneously, others have made progress. We are about as real a group of guys as you can get. There is support here, both on the general forum and from the many personal e-mails that are never read on the open group. This group is a daily life saver. So to the new man who’s checking this site out, this can be the door that God uses to help you walk away from the behaviors that brought you here, but more than that, this too is the body of Christ.
We are the wounded, brave souls who have dared to join hands in the most difficult battle of our lives. We are warriors trying daily to fight the good fight. So yes there is help here, keep coming back, get involved and watch the miracles happen.
Bless every man here especially those who have just joined us,
As every day goes by, I’m presented with a girl walking down the street, a television show with women, my wife (gorgeous!!!), and other things that remind me of what I have stopped doing (sex with self or someone other than my spouse). Each of these “temptations” is real and resistible. I know. I’ve resisted them for 34 days now. I feel like I’m starting to grow from where I left off at 15. A guy is supposed to learn to deal with these temptations and say “no.” We are supposed to say, I’m not going to accept anything but the REAL thing with the RIGHT woman (the wife – not girlfriend, not one-night-stand, not mast., etc.). None of those are properly fulfilling. The more temptation I resist, the stronger I am, and the more confident I am in the ability to resist – as long as I have God, which I think is going to be what, an eternity now? So I think I’m covered.
I used to not believe this from other recovering addicts. But it is true. It DOES get easier!
And if you are married, guess what? The sex with your WIFE gets incredible! You won’t NEED or WANT m once you get to this point. Only the BEST for me man. None of that meaningless unfulfilling stuff for me any more.
I would have never believed that before, but holy cow, it is true!
I don’t know if this will help, but I will share my experience.
The death of Jesus didn’t connect for me on a real level for quite a number of years after I became a Christian. The thing that turned it around for me was the day that I finally understood sin.
I had thought of my sexual addiction as a little wart on my soul. I figured that if I could just get it removed, I would be able to move on with life. As the years went by and I didn’t change, however, I began to be shaken to the core of my being.
Then one day God opened my eyes to see how much He hated sin. As I realized my filthiness before Him, I knew that I had more than a little wart to remove. My sin was like a cancerous tumor woven and knotted through the fabric of my heart. It couldn’t be removed with a simple little operation. In terms of my human ability, it was who I was, and I was incapable of changing myself. If I had to stop sinning before being acceptable to God, I was going to go to hell.
That’s when the death of Jesus made sense to me. I realized that all of us are so messed up and rebellious against God that we need something drastic to save us. We need the death of God’s Son.
Up until that day, I had thought it was nice that Jesus died for us, but not necessary. I figured that God could forgive us because He was a nice guy.
I greatly underestimated the seriousness of sin. Once I saw God’s hatred for it and our bondage to it, I knew that we needed something incredibly powerful to separate us from it.
The death of Jesus brought that power. First, it provides a way for us to be acceptable to Him in spite of our ongoing weakness. That’s what His shed blood is about. At the same time, it opens the door for the Holy Spirit to come in and to transform us into something we could never be on our own.
The day I understood that I NEEDED Jesus to die for me was a turning point in my life. Since that day, I have had very little problem with condemnation. I know that I could never be good enough to be acceptable to God. Only Christ’s blood could make me clean, and only His power can change me.
My story begins at the age of 7. I was all boy. Full of life, fun, and no worries. I was secure, loved, and no clue what sex meant. But that changed when I was sexually abused three times. At that point in my life I was introduced to pornography and I had no idea what those pictures meant. This episode in my life created a lot of unwanted changes. It opened a Pandora’s Box, if you will, of problems.
I lost my security, trust, and natural comfort around people. I began to M.., gain weight, and lose confidence in myself. Many friends that I had made in kindergarten and first grade were no longer friends. I shut myself off from the rest of the world for fear of being hurt again.
Being a preacher’s kid didn’t make it any easier. I had no close friends at church and the friends I had in school weren’t close. Becoming a teenager was very awkward. Being overweight and out of shape (I didn’t take any athletics) put me on the outside of the “popular” circle of people in jr. high and high school. However, I still made friends but I never let anyone get close. While in jr. high and high school, I fantasized continually about women and M’ed every chance I could get. Being isolated in a church that was legalistic and having a dad who believed dancing was wrong – I didn’t even get to go to my senior prom – I had little social interaction with other teenagers and became more and more isolated growing up.
After I graduated high school and into my first years of college, I purchased a popular men’s magazine that was pornographic. Although I had been exposed to this magazine when I was 7 years old, this time I understood what I was getting myself exactly into. I was 21 at the time, and, boy did it hit a nerve. It was like throwing gasoline into a raging fire. From that point, I began my descent into a wilderness. At 22, my father was fired from my church, adding to that my entrance into grad school and the discovery of the internet, and I was a prime candidate for sexual addiction.
From 24 up until two years ago, my addiction fully blossomed and grew out of control. I discovered the Internet when I was in grad school and instantly became hooked. I would spend hours upon hours filling my head with images. Also, at 24 I begin to experiment with gay pornography. As a result, I became deeply depressed and eventually at 26 attempted to kill myself. After my suicide attempt was unsuccessful (thank you Jesus!!) I became deeper involved in pornography on the Internet and discovered chat rooms which led to 1-900 calls and a burgeoning debt. Financially, I was just getting by.
After grad school, the addiction continued to grow with hours spent on the Internet and hundreds of dollars (truthfully, probably thousands) spent on 1-900 calls. At this time I was working in a highly stressful management job and had little time for friends and I sure didn’t want to date anyone for fear of being discovered. All the while, I attended church 3 times a week and very cleverly hid my addiction from everyone, except God. No one knew. Between the ages of 26 and my present age of 34 (soon to be 35), I had three sinful and wicked physical encounters with other men, including one just last November. I was in bondage.
At the age of 32, I started counselling, first with Dr. Weiss in Colorado Springs and then with a local counsellor. This lasted for nearly two years up until September 2003 when I could no longer afford the costs. Yet, I was able to deal with some issues that my addiction was feeding off of, but not all. This past year, I have been growing albeit at a slow pace. I still have my days when I act out, however, I am beginning to count the sober days.
Today, I am in the process of moving on. When I hit 35 on February 4, I will have approximately – God willing – between 12,460 and 16,425 days left on this earth. (of course, if I live to be between 70 and 80). I am looking for a new job in a town where I have supportive friends and a Christian family. Right now, I suffer this addiction primarily alone, except for this group and the men I have met here, including Scotty, Chris, Brian, and others… (you know who you are). When I turn 35, on Feb. 5, I want to begin the 90 days of purity. This will be my one birthday wish… To be sober and form relationships. Right now, my relationships are few and far between. That has to change.
I became a Christian at the age of 12, so that makes me 22 in Christian years. I desire that the rest of my life be under His wings, not in rebellion as I have been for the last 10 years. I hope that my story will help others in this group to come to grips with this problem. There is only one starting point: God. And, once you surrender to Him, every day, you begin to live healthy. This is my goal. To live every day of my life healthy and in the approval of my Savior, King and Lord, Jesus Christ.
God Bless You,