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Posts Tagged ‘purity platoon’

Another word from the Purity Platoon. We have been learning about many of the wrong ways to be men in our families — especially some of the ways that we use pornography, masturbation, and other sexual sins to avoid or replace intimacy.

Now it is time to start building healthy intimacy with our wives, including spiritual intimacy.

We are encouraged to:

  1. pray with our wives; and

  2. read the Bible with our wives.

I have to confess that I have not taken this role with my wife. It is ironic that one of the things that brought us together was that we are both believing Christians. But we don’t pray together (outside of church) and we don’t read scripture together.

I would like to see this change.

Lord Jesus:

Help my wife and I to build our “one flesh” union in you in all that we do. Please send your Holy Spirit to strengthen and encourage us to be a united couple in praying and reading your word. We thank you for your grace and the richness of your many blessing.

Amen

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KEY OBJECTIVE FOR WEEK #7:

To cleanse my house of everything unclean.

MEMORY VERSE:

We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

+ 2 Corinthians 10:5b

ASSIGNMENT FOR WEEK #7:

Do a thorough housecleaning — remove all impure materials and burn or smash them.

We are to search our house for any sources of impurity (i.e., magazines, movies, etc.) and get rid of them. This is not limited to pornography or x-rated items. It may include certain R-rated movies, women’s magazines, lingerie ads — anything that arouses lust in our hearts. We cleanse our homes of these items and afterwords we go through each room of our house with our wives and dedicate the room to purity using the following prayer:

Heavenly Father, we acknowledge that you are Lord of heaven and earth. In your sovereign power and love, You have given us all things richly to enjoy. Thank you for this place in which to live. We claim this room for our family as a place of spiritual safety and protection from all attacks of the enemy. We repent and ask your forgiveness for any pornography viewed or stored or any spiritually unclean activity done in this room. Please forgive us for defiling our house. As children of God, seated with Christ in the heavenly realm, we command every evil spirit claiming ground in this room based on the activities done here, to leave and never return. We ask You, Heavenly Father, to post guardian angels around this room to guard it from the enemy to enter and disturb Your purposes for us. We than you, Lord, for doing this, and pray in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Amen!

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Live Pure or Die

Live Pure or Die

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The fourth chapter of Luke’s gospel relates Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. The narrative concludes with these words (Luke 4:13):

Καὶ συντελέσας πάντα πειρασμὸν ὁ διάβολος ἀπέστη ἀπ᾽ αὐτοῦ ἄχρι καιροῦ.

And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

The Devil exposed Jesus to an array of temptation, and was met at every turn by Scripture, and by an unshakable reliance thereupon. Matthew relates that our Lord ordered Satan to leave (Matthew 4:10). Luke agrees that he did so… adding, “until an opportune time.”

Just mull that one over a bit. Satan had gained not a yard, not a foot; not a centimeter, not a millimeter. In Jesus, he had found no sympathetic response, no wavering, no quivering, not the least inclination to yield.

Yet when he left, it was only for a time. He would be back. He wasn’t finished. He’d try again.

+ From Dan Phillips at Pyromaniacs

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One of the tools we have been given in our Purity Platoon is the Four-Step Fire Drill — steps to take when we are confronted with sexual temptation:

STEP 1: SPEAK ALOUD

Speak aloud these words. “I will not sacrifice my purity no matter what! I will not sacrifice my purity for [name the temptation].”

STEP 2: PRAY

Pray and ask Jesus to strengthen you right now! Ask Him to give you courage to walk away from the temptation.

STEP 3: CALL

Call your Purity Partner.

STEP 4: FLEE

Flee the temptation by vacating the premises. (You should have a place identified that you can flee to for known times and places of vulnerability.

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One year ago today I posted (see below) with the question, “Have I bottomed out?”  At that time I had become distraught enough over my addiction and sexual sin to want to make a change.  But it was not as if I had done nothing prior to that — I had taken part in group therapy for sex addiction, joined an SAA group, attended an intensive three-day workshop, and been part of a small accountability group for sex addicts.  But my behavior didn’t seem to be changing.  And it seemed I had come to a fork in the road:  Either change what I was doing or stop trying altogether and admit that I was always going to be a slave to sexual sin.

I went on-line that day and searched for other answers.  I found Every Man’s Battle and learned that a workshop was being held in May.  The Battle became the focus of my hopes and prayers.

The Battle lived up to its promises and started me on the path to delivery from sexual sin.  I Joined a Purity Platoon that met through the summer and into the fall.  I experienced purity — complete freedom from pornography, masturbation, and sexual fantasy for over six months.  I connected with two other men to form the SALT Brigade.

I have not been able to stay pure.  I have acted out with pornography from time to time over the past several months.  But I think I can also say that I am no longer at the bottom.  I am not enslaved the way I was.  I can see the path to purity before me and I know it is possible to walk that path when I make good choices.  I can feel the saving love of Christ around me even when I am struggling.  I am no longer walking in total darkness.

So while I am sad and disappointed that I haven’t been completely free from pornography and masturbation, I am also grateful for the progress that I have experienced.  I am happy with who I am and where I am going.  I’m not perfect, but I can still strive for perfection with the help of the One who is perfect.

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Today I have a mix of feelings as I sit in my office reflecting on the past week.  I feel hope, gratitude, affirmed, and happy; but also I feel confused, uncertain, and anxious.

As I look back at the past week, I really wonder about where I am going in this Battle.  After years of struggling with seemingly no progress, I went through a transformative experience last summer where I was set (at least for the time) on the path to long-term sexual purity.  But lately I find myself straying from that path on an all too regular basis.  About every ten days or so I give in to lust and view pornography.

I am happy for all of the improvement in life and for the better understanding I have of the Battle — and the greater appreciation for God’s mercy.  But I am worried about slowly fading and stumbling back into my old ways.

What has happened in the past few months?  What has changed?

One thing I have been thinking about is the importance of surrender.  When I went to Every Man’s Battle last year, I knew that I had to surrender completely to the program:  no judging what was being prescribed, no picking or choosing, no second guessing.  Total surrender.

And total surrender worked.

But the Purity Platoon ran its course.  Now I am part of the SALT Brothers which is continuing to pursue the same goals.  But now I am acting as a leader.  There is no tangible person or program to surrender to.  Perhaps I need that.  I need a sponsor, mentor, leader, or other authority that I can give my obedience to as a sign of my surrender to God.  Where do I find that?

Surrender.

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Now is the time that really matters.  The honeymoon of the Battle is over, the Purity Platoon has been replaced with a Maturity Platoon, and the flesh is being tested.

Last week I acted out.  Suddenly I had a chance to see if I’ve really changed since starting the Battle.  I had a chance to see how I would respond to adversity – especially with the fundamental portions of the battle curriculum having been completed.  Would I fall back into old habits?  Or could I apply the lessons I have been learning and humbly submit myself to Christ once again?

Tuesday was the day I acted out.  Wednesday was the hardest day of all.  Wednesday I openly disclosed both here on my blog and by several phone calls to accountability partners that I had acted out.  I also shared my fear that this would not be an isolated incident.  And I acknowledged my shame.  And the urges to act out remained.  I really really wanted to view more pornography.  But I didn’t.

Wednesday I re-committed myself to being vigilent about my eyes — bouncing my eyes from looking at women, changing channels on tv when inappropriate images appeared, and avoiding channel surfing.  By Thursday I began to re-acquire a sense of the discipline and peace that I had built up through the Everyman’s Battle for Purity program.  By the weekend I had recovered.  I now know how important the eye-bouncing is and that it works — even after failure.

I have also found myself conflicted about how to move forward.  At least in the initial meetings of the Maturity Platoon I have not found the same depth of material that was presented in the Purity Platoon.  And I have a couple of brothers who have seen the success I have been experiencing and who have asked about starting a new group to go over the same lessons.  I thought about dropping the Maturity Platoon and starting a new quasi-Purity Platoon instead.

But I talked to my wife about this over the weekend (which, by the way, is a real sign of success because in the past I would have hiddent this decision from her).  She and I were able to talk about my thoughts in a safe and appropriate way.  She told me that she was afraid I might not be ready yet.  She pointed out that I have been struggling with pornography for years and while I have been pure for several months, that is still a short time.

And as I considered the matter, I realized that one of the things that has made the Every Man’s Battle a success for me was the decision early on to surrender to the process and to give up my right to judge whether it was working.  That success through submission suggests that I should follow the program through to the end regardless of whether I think the material is what I need.  In a way, the act of obedience is more important than the substance of the teaching.  So I have decided to stay with the Maturity Platoon.

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