Faulty Core Beliefs

Every month at EMB we talk about faulty core beliefs. These include beliefs about ourselves such as “I’m a monster”, “I’m unlovable”, “I’m unforgivable” and “I’m worthless” to name a few. We also have faulty core beliefs about our needs and the ability and/or willingness of the people near us to meet them.

This past weekend at the workshop, while having a dialogue with the attendees about intimacy aversion, someone said, “I’ve convinced myself I am the only one who can or will meet my needs.” Guess who that automatically sidelines….

  • His wife
  • His God
  • Other healthy, safe men
  • His kids
  • His parents

Unfortunately, he expressed a core belief that most men with sexual integrity issues have. Whilst the belief is present, people (wives, friends, pastors) try desperately to get inside the walls around the guy’s heart only to be catapulted back over when real or perceived rejection is a risk. It is INCREDIBLY frustrating to wives. They get tired of being catapulted.

For me, the only way this belief was dismantled and eventually jettisoned was to begin allowing guys in. I couldn’t even let Shelley in at first. It was only a few safe men I was willing to trust. And I was skeptical and resistant even to that. But with time, I realized and experienced those guys meeting my needs. Not ultimately and with finality, but in those dire moments, they were there.

Sometimes the need was simply for perspective, that it wasn’t all lost. Sometimes it was reassurance that I wasn’t a monster, but instead a broken man. Often it was a simple reminder that God hadn’t given up on me. Every once in a while it was a hug.

If this describes you, perhaps its time to let some people in. Not another image. Not another mistress. Not another prostitute. Some people who will hate what you’re doing and love you along the way.

By the way, that’s one of the great privileges of being a part of the Every Mans Battle weekend. For a few, brave men, they will allow us (staff) access to their hearts. We can be a conduit of God, meeting their needs for the moment.

In a couple days I’ll post about another, even more detrimental faulty core belief. Stay tuned…


Defining Ourselves Differently

Its Sunday, and the Every Mans Battle workshop ended just a few hours ago. One of the guys said before he left:

“Today I choose to live as a son, no longer in the shame of my addiction but in the freedom of what Jesus has done for me.”

His perception of himself shifted this weekend. He arrived defining himself as the sum total of his bad choices. He left acknowledging that he has done a bunch of really bad things, yet that’s not who he is. Or better said; Whose he is. He was able to see that the very fact that he had done so many bad things was indicative of his need for a savior. And not just to remove guilt, but to confirm belonging. He belongs to Jesus. In Christ we find the truth that we are dearly loved and infinitely valuable.

Does all this mean he isn’t responsible for the pain he’s caused? No. Does it guarantee he’ll never do it again? No. Does it mean his marriage will be restored? Not necessarily.

But it does mean that he can stop hating himself. It does mean he can stop trying to perform his was into a deeper relationship with Jesus. And the byproduct of those 2 things alone often result in less acting out. The downward spiral is coming screeching to a halt and a new, redemptive ripple effect is beginning.

And that’s just 1 guy!

I love these weekends.