Aaron Zint one of our excellent group leaders on Monday night wrote the following blog post. Here it is:
You don’t know what you don’t know
…until you’ve spent at least 6 months in men’s group. I spent ages 7 to 16 looking at porn and/or masturbating every other day. I met Jesus and spent ages 16 to 24 trying not to think about the images I’d seen the previous 10 years, and about once a month adding new ones. Every time I messed up, I’d confess to a friend, vow never to do it again, pray, try to fix whatever I thought was broken and feel good until a month later when the engines started revving again. I’d try really hard not to turn on HBO or click on that thumbnail on Youtube, but once my heart started beating out of my chest with the possibility of “just one look”, I’d be done for.
I was so frustrated and discouraged that I messed up yet again! I even had a really good God encounter in between my failures. What was going on?
The truth is, I just didn’t know what I didn’t know. Here are a few things I’ve learned and am still learning in the 2 and half years I’ve been in men’s group:
Purity is not a line I can cross, it’s a direction I’m heading
What took me years and years to get into i.e. porn, masturbation, fantasizing, cannot be turned off with one meet at a counselor, prayer session or conversation. I am relearning how to do drive, not just fixing a flat.
This is a marathon, not a sprint. Instead of looking for the finish line, learn to enjoy the burning in your lungs and heart. You’re building endurance that will last a lifetime. Don’t give up.
It’s relationships that have hurt me and it’s relationships that will heal me. I need other men who will remind me of who I am, pray over me, prophesy over me and listen to me. And I need to do the same for them.
You can never fully receive love until you’ve shared that one thing, or for me those ten things, you swore you’d never tell anyone. Otherwise you’ll counteract every affirmation and act of love with, “But if they only knew…” Get honest; get vulnerable; get naked(ie let yourself be known).
I use passivity to protect myself from disappointment and rejection. If I only kind of, sort of pursue my wife, then she can only kind of, sort of reject me.
Stop being stupid with the small things. If YouTube or drinking or Facebook or Rated R movies or driving down that one street are all places you find yourself just before you mess up, then make a smart decision and don’t get near them. It doesn’t have to be forever. Just until you can handle that level of freedom.
The battle is usually lost way before you click on that link or step into that hotel room. Learn to meet your needs as they arise or before they are found wanting. Call one of your guys and ask for help when you’re sad, hurt, angry or afraid, not just when you’re horny.
Freedom is possible.
A lot of this was plagiarized from the words of Mark Peterson, Casey Bishop, Eli Leedy, Matt Murray, Josh Riddle, Blair Reynolds, Roger Gaskin, Russell Willingham, Graham Morris and Andy Flaherty. The rest I learned through trial by combat.