Press: Battling their sex addiction

Laguna Beach-based New Life Ministries specializes in workshops to help men with a problem that can be as damaging as drug, alcohol addiction.

While many associate sex addiction with the high-profile struggles of celebrities like Tiger Woods or David Duchovny, Laguna Beach-based New Life Ministries says the issue isn’t just a problem for those in the public eye.

Instead, they say, it’s an addiction that everyday men suffer in private.

Founder of New Life Ministries Steve Arterburn said he didn’t realize the demand for sex addiction counseling until he co-authored the book, “Every Man’s Battle: Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time,” with Fred Stoeker more than 10 years ago.

With more than 3 million copies sold, Arterburn decided to start an intensive workshop to address the needs of thousands of men who claimed to be struggling with sexual addiction.

He said he heard a statistic that as many as one in three people are affected by sexual addiction.

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Choosing Change

I’m flying home from another EMB and reflecting on some of the comments I heard from the guys this weekend. Here are a couple of them:

“I’ve decided I’m going to become the man God is calling me to be”

“I’m going to pursue purity whether or not my wife stays with me”

“I’m committing to my band of brothers to walk this journey with them”

As I think about it, within each statement is a choice. The men making these claims had to choose to change. They had to decide, volitionally, to let go of their entitlement, isolation, pride and justifiable resentment. They realized that in order for life to be different, for there to be any real change this shift was necessary. What a huge reality to face! I can tell you firsthand, engaging the reality that personal change requires surrendering myself is incredibly difficult. It is even harder for someone who has a right to be angry; at the world, their spouse or even God.

For many men, the choice to change comes at too high a cost. When it could mean losing a job, a spouse, a family, a career, a business, an estate, an inheritance, a ministry, etc. some men decide against changing. “Even though I’m stuck in a miserable rut, at least I have [fill in the blank]” is how the thinking goes. In order for the scale to tip in my life, I had to come to the conclusion that nothing could be worse than being stuck in the miserable rut any longer. When God gave me the opportunity to get out, I reluctantly took it. I knew I had to be willing to lose myself to find freedom. The Message Bible says it this way, “If you grasp and cling to life on your terms, you’ll lose it, but if you let that life go, you’ll get life on God’s terms”. Isn’t that what we know will fulfill us anyway – life on God’s terms?

I hope you’ll choose change for yourself. Maybe you are one of the men who need to attend EMB –  its finally time. Or maybe you’re a spouse who has wondered for too long whether your husband has been faithful – it’s time to ask him. Perhaps you’re single and it’s finally time to surrender getting married – time to find intimate friendships. You never know, you might like who you find when you finally surrender yourself.