God’s Protection

God is protecting you from yourself.

Have you ever considered what temptations, trials or tribulations God has already protected you from? Ones you never even felt or experienced. Have you reflected on the ones where He delivered you from the very midst? How many times has He saved you from yourself? These unseen instances are probably too great to count. The visible instances are often easy to forget. Yet we cannot underestimate His sovereignty. We cannot overestimate His love. We have His word that we’re protected. By His outstretched arm and mighty hand He protects His people. It may not seem like it today, but He is busy at the work of protecting you. That is not to say he won’t keep us from harm or even death, but it is to say his sovereignty is implicit in it.

Instead of spending time asking questions about why He won’t deliver you from your sin or circumstance, reframe your perspective and attempt to see where He is already saving you from the magnitude of it.
When I reflect on my sexual addiction and all the damage I did, I can also see how much worse it could have been. There were so many opportunities for me to blow up my life with more magnitude and collateral damage and God was faithful to protect me. From myself. In a sense, he let me enter into painful circumstances to avoid even more painful circumstances.

Perhaps even today God is protecting us from ourselves. Let us be thankful.

Here are a few verses to investigate around this subject:

2 Sam 22:31, Psalm 46:1, Psalm 62:7, Exodus 33:19-23, Psalm 136:12

80/20 Rule

There are several consistent themes among men struggling with sexual integrity issues. One of those is the 80/20 rule. It’s probably not the 80/20 rule you’re familiar with though.

In order to save face, self preserve and hold on to some semblance of integrity or merit we’ll acknowledge 80% of our wrong and die on the hill of the other 20%. As if 80% depravity isn’t enough.

Let me explain how this shows up. A husband will acknowledge his sexual sin and how this issue has devastated his life. He’ll confirm that it’s killed intimacy in his marriage and concede that it has hurt his relationships. Then when we start to talk about how this issue permeates every area of life, he’ll begin to push back. “Well, my sin has affected a lot of my life, but I’ve NEVER let it impact my work/business/kids/finances/ministry/etc.” In other words, it has impacted 80% of my life, but not this little 20% over here.

Here’s another one: A wife, after her husband’s disclosure, will talk about how hurt she is and how it feels like the entire marriage is a sham. In her pain, it feels as if there has never been a good day, never anything worth recounting, and that everything is a lie. A husband, trying to reserve some sense of righteousness or morality will agree with his wife, and follow his agreement with a “but”. It usually sounds like this: “I agree with what she’s saying, but,we just don’t see things from the same perspective. It wasn’t all bad. I didn’t do everything she’s saying I did. Most of it, but not all of it”.

Seriously?  It’s like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic! You hit an iceberg by acting out sexually and violating your marriage vows, the marital ship is sinking, but you can sure be proud of that deck!

I want to say 3 things about this and wrap up.

1 – Most men do this out of shame. They already feel like an unlovable monster on the inside, so surrendering to the notion that it’s all bad, that everything is tainted, that there truly is no good left in them is scary. It feels like a loss of identity (even though the identity is dysfunctional) and losing ourselves is incredibly painful. It’s also required for change. We cannot continue to be who we’ve been, but instead must become who God is calling us to be. That requires that we surrender who we think we are.

2 – This 80/20 rule is very, very hurtful to wives. It minimizes their pain, belittles their emotions and negates their sharing. If you hold on to the 20%, it feels to a wife as if you’ve rejected the other 80. Wives begin to feel like anything they say will be met with your stubborn resistance and they start to wall off. This is the worst thing that can happen for healing. A wife needs to be able to express her pain without fear of rejection and without feeling like her husband is going to find some loophole in what she’s saying where he can interject his pride. Which leads to number three.

3 – It’s just plain selfish, arrogant, pride. It reeks of entitlement.

If you aren’t willing to surrender yourself and own 100% rather than 80,  it’s going to be a long, cold swim while you watch the stern go under. But, hey, at least you’ll always have the image of that pretty deck to hold on to.

 

 

Steve Arterburn Responds to Carl’s Jr. Ad Critics

Since my blog on Monday regarding the Carl’s Jr. Ad on the Oscars, I have had push back from some people.

Obviously those that have attacked me and our ministry regarding  my comments have not walked in our shoes.

We have helped over 15,000 men deal with sexual integrity issues over the last ten years.

In addition my book “Every Mans Battle” has sold over 4 million copies. This book dealing with men’s sexual temptations presents a practical, detailed plan for any man who desires sexual purity.

Judge for yourself! Are we as a society to close our eyes and stand back and not voice our concerns?  Let me hear your thoughts.

Here are two previously released videos…

A “behind the scenes” look into an Every Man’s Battle workshop

NBC4 gained exclusive access to a sex addiction treatment program operated by Laguna Beach-based New Life Ministries designed to help men who claim that sexual obsession is ruining their lives

Los Angeles, Channel 4 (KNBC) News , story on Every Man’s Battle:

If you are interested in finding out more about Every Man’s Battle Workshop, please call 800-639-5433.

Read the full article here