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Posted by on Feb 11, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

Can Struggling with Porn Just Be My “Lot in Life?”

Hey, it’s Craig. This week, I’m talking about a couple of “frequently asked questions” I often receive: “Is watching porn just my lot in life? Am I always going to struggle? Am I always going to be addicted?”

I get it. If you’re struggling with porn today, it’s very defeating. The Bible says that sin clouds our vision from seeing Christ clearly. You feel shame and guilt and – like our “first parents” in the garden – it makes you want to hide. You don’t want to get caught, and you’re walking around with fig leaves trying to cover up your embarrassment. Rather than seeking the Lord for new clothes, you resort to thinking, “I’m always going to be like this.”

You haven’t dealt with the pain that’s exists beneath the problem. So if you’re asking me, “Hey, am I always gonna struggle…?”

Yeah, you’re going to struggle unless you make some changes in your life. And today’s the day to make them.

It might not look like you can get unstuck, but 80% is just your mindset. Like, “You know what? I’m not going to look at porn again. I’m not going to keep having sex with my girlfriend. I’m not going to keep doing whatever I know is dragging me down.”

Don’t use your circumstances as an excuse. Don’t say, “I’m always going to look at porn. I’m always going to end up doing the wrong thing.”

No. We can practice self-control. We can be disciplined. We can create new habits in life. We can involve ourselves in communities that support us.

I’m tired of grown-ass men with no friends. And porn will do that to you. 

You haven’t let anybody in because you’re embarrassed. You’re ashamed. You need a friend – whether that’s finding a community at your church or joining AA or signing up for our Small Groups Online…

You need a friend.

A friend won’t say to you, “Oh yeah, it just sucks to be you, man. You’re always going to be broke. You’re always going to be poor. You’re always going to be fat. You’re always going to be an addict.”

No. Friends will encourage you and understand you.

Start looking people in the eyes. Start asking your friends to come alongside you in your times of need. There is no shame in that. 

Stop telling yourself it’s your lot in life. Start believing that there’s actually something better waiting for you around the corner. I promise you: there is.

MY FAVORITE QUOTES FROM THIS PODCAST EPISODE

  • There’s a better life for you than the one you’re living.
  • Do you think Tom Brady walks around thinking, “I’m always going to lose” just because he’s lost some games? 80% is your mindset.
  • Instead of a defeated mentality, every time whatever you’re dealing with happens, ask yourself, “What do I need to do to change?”
  • We can practice self-control. We can be disciplined. We can create new habits in our life. We can get involved in communities that support us.
  • I’m tired of grown-ass men with no friends. Porn will do that to you.
  • When you find community that understands you – and gets you and encourages you – they will tell you to stop asking if porn is just always going to be your lot in life.
  • It’s worth it to find a friend.
  • Get out of your house – away from the screen, away from the phone – and go get around people who are going to bring life to you. They’re going to speak truth to you, and they’re going to be there in the good and the bad. Get some accountability.

 

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Posted by on Feb 4, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

Can I Change?

Hey, Craig here. You might have come to xxxchurch because you’re feel frustrated with yourself, you’re feeling sad and defeated because you haven’t been able to beat your porn or sex addiction. Maybe you feel like you’ll never be able to stop.

In today’s Whiteboard Session, Steven Luff, a licensed MFT (Marriage and Family Therapist) in the state of CA, co-author of Pure Eyes: a Man’s Guide to Sexual Integrity and creator of the X3Pure on-line recovery program, answers the question, “Can I change?”

And really the question isn’t can I change but instead am I willing to change? Change takes work. You can’t think that you’re going to be in the same environment doing the exact same things and your life is going to be different.

Our brains are wired so that when we get hurt by something our brain tells us to stay away from that thing. We become conditioned to respond in a certain way when we encounter grief or pain or loss. It can be really hard to make a new pathway in the brain.

But it is possible.

What are you willing to do to change your life? What are you willing to do to rewire the circuitry in your brain? Some you inherited and some you co-created because you started to turn to porn, sex, masturbation, those sorts of things to manage your fear, grief loss, or the fact that you  can’t seek things that you really want to seek in your life.

If we continue to respond to our environment the same way we’ve always been responding to our environment, those pathways that have wired a certain way because of fear or loss or grief, they’re just going to keep firing that way.

In the video, Steven had this great metaphor of your brain as a river: 

Your brain is going to find the easiest path and it’s going to be very, very hard to divert a river into a different path. It can happen, it can be done, but it’s going to take time. And then the river is going to have to be a trickle and then stream and then bigger and bigger until our brain creates a new pathway.

The river doesn’t want to change the channel that it’s going down because it’s got a lot of energy and a lot of motion going in one way. If you try to divert it, it’s going to fight whatever it is that’s diverting it. It’s going to resist because they liked going the path of least resistance. But eventually it’s going to find new new ground and it’s going to run a new territory.

It is possible to change. It is possible to rewire your brain. But it’s going to take a lot of work.

Don’t miss the 6 things Steven lists at the end of the video to start the process of rewiring your brain!

MY FAVORITE QUOTES FROM THIS PODCAST EPISODE

  • You cannot heal in the same emotional environment that made you sick.
  • Change takes work. You can’t think that you’re going to be in the same environment doing the exact same things and your life is going to be different. You have to change the entire way in which you’re functioning.
  • So when I say, can I change? This is complicated. It took millions of years of evolution, depending on your theology, for us to end up a human being. And we didn’t pick our parents, we didn’t pick where we were born. We didn’t pick whether or not our childhood experiences a overly sensitized our fear circuit or our grief or loss circuit.
  • Our mind is made up of cells. If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. And what fires together wires together.
  • Dopamine is a primary neuro-chemical that makes us feel good, but it makes us feel good so that we continue to do things that feel good and the things that will keep us safe and help us procreate. So the brain wires in a way to help us survive.
  • Start paying attention to your environment. You might start thinking, “Oh wow. The way I relate to my spouse is the same way I related to my mom and I don’t want to relate that way. I would like to start to relate different and I’m going to communicate with my spouse about these things and to start to make different choices about how I manage my emotions.”
  • Change is not easy and it’s not perfect. Change is sloppy. There’s loss in change, there’s confusion in change. But the more you fall apart, the more you’re falling together.
  • You can’t do this alone because compulsive masturbation and porn is a way of fixing your problems without having to take the risk of relationship.
  •  We are neurologically designed to be in relationship, which means that if relationship was troubled or broken in our childhood, the way to fix the way the brain was wired is to start to have new relationships that are adaptive, that are unconditionally loving and supportive like support groups.
  • Another way to change is abstinence. Um, if you want to change, man, you got to stop whatever it is your compulsive behavior is. Sorry.
  • If you don’t get healthy opinions, you’re going to remain lost and confused about what direction to head.
  •  If you can get disciplined about exercise, you can get disciplined about going to therapy. Make a commitment, make a plan.


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Posted by on Jan 28, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

How Do I Get Over the Pain & Resentment Caused by Divorce?

Hey, it’s Craig (obviously). This week, we’re talking about divorce. A glaring, recurring question often asked of us is, “Just how do I get through the pain and the trauma of my divorce or the resentment caused from the divorce?” How do I move on from that?

Personally, I can’t put myself in your shoes on this one, but I’ve had a lot of close friends who have experienced divorce and the heartache it brings – not just for them and their spouses, but for their kids, their families, and their friends.

I’ve seen the ups and downs. I’ve also seen plenty of people who seem to expect them to just “get over it” and move on. 

From divorce flows deep pain… and perhaps especially within the church. Within many a congregation, divorcees may as well have been stricken with the plague. You don’t fit in because you’re not married… but you’re not exactly single, either.

I wanted you to hear from my friend Dave because I watched him go through a divorce. I’ve seen him on his best days and I’ve seen him on his worst days.

I know that it’s a process. I know this stuff takes time. But if you never take the time to figure out where and why you are experiencing resentment, you’ll never be able to heal from it. 

(And stay tuned – next month, we’re going to build upon all that we’ve been discussing as we tackle how you can work toward healing from the wounds of resentment, and break free from the addiction that it often fuels.)

MY FAVORITE QUOTES FROM THIS PODCAST EPISODE

  • There’s a lot of pain — deep pain — that flows from divorce… and perhaps especially within the church. Within many a congregation, divorcees may as well have been stricken with the plague.
  • I know that it’s a process and I think this stuff takes time. But if you never take the time to figure out where you have resentment, you’ll never be able to heal from it.
  • Resentment is at the core of whatever pain people are trying to escape from. If we can deal with unforgiveness, we can experience breakthrough in many areas of our lives.
  • Are we going to hold onto resentment and allow it to eat us up… or can we forgive?
  • You have to be honest about what’s real inside of you. We all have to start there. Otherwise, we’ll keep holding onto (or suppressing) our pain, and others will not understand why we’re so angry, or why we react the way that we react (and likely, neither will we).
  • It’s important for me to spend the time that needs to be spent. Do the journaling. Go to therapy. Connect the dots… and choose to forgive.
  • Sometimes, I need to forgive myself. I recognize I’m angry at or disappointed in myself. All right, well I can sit in that and feel like crap, or I can actually just forgive myself and move forward.
  • Awareness is a powerful and freeing thing. How are you thinking? How are you feeling toward others? That’s 80% of the healing process, right there.

 

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Posted by on Jan 24, 2019 in dating, Uncategorized |

Not seeing my Bloomsbury escort girlfriend for one and a half year is hard on me.

It’s really hard to have a life without my Bloomsbury escort. Now that she has been gone for a very long time I feel incomplete and do not know what to do with my life. I knew that we have made the right decision financially but this sacrifice is a lot of me. I do not worry about my Bloomsbury escort much because she is the kind of girl that I can fully trust with all of my heart. But with her being gone I have to take care of myself alone. There is still a year that is remaining in this Bloomsbury escort of https://charlotteaction.org/bloomsbury-escorts nd it makes me sad but it is the thing that I have to do to keep my relationship with her alive. I know that there are still a lot of things that we should worry about but it’s alright. The truth is that the more I think about my future with this Bloomsbury escort the more I find myself really happy. I believe that in the cure things could still change between the both of us and it is quite terrifying. But I am quite certain that we can still survive this no matter what. There is a great thing that I want to do in life and for me to be able to do that is important. But without my Bloomsbury escort I do my think that it would be possible for me to continue with my work without having any problem. I believe that being with this woman has been a good and fun journey and I want to keep it that way. There is no reason why o should rush things with her at all. If our love is true than I am sure that we should be able to survive without seeing each other for a year. But I promised my Bloomsbury escort that after her work I will not let her go again. Not seeing her for one and a half years is not acceptable anymore. I will work two jobs at the same time if I have to in order to be with this Bloomsbury escort. There’s still so much more that I want to do with her and in older for me to do that I should still work hard in order to make her happy. having a long distance relationship is really hard for couples, even I barely make our relationship work but as long as me and this Bloomsbury escort is always reminding each other of our love then I do not doubt that we will always be together no matter what. I believe we can do it if we just fight really hard and do no ever forget that we have to work hard all the time. It’s the one thing that I want to do with my life and it is what I am aspiring for no matter what may happen to me in the future.

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Posted by on Jan 21, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

Why Do I Look At Porn When Times Get Tough?

This month we’re talking about resentment and here’s another question that comes up: “Why do I look at porn when times get tough?”

Let’s say something bad happens to you: you get fired, you have a fight with your wife, the list goes on and on.

For lots of people, emotional or physical pain is a trigger. It doesn’t cause you to look at porn but it’s a trigger. It’s like when your stomach growls or you rub your eyes; your body wants something and it gives you a desire for something, whether that’s food or sleep or porn.

To figure out why you can’t break the habit of looking at porn when you’re in pain, you have to find the root cause. You’re going to have to dig deep.

You need to learn what your triggers are because hard times come to us all and we need to know how to deal with them in a healthy way.

Today I wanted to introduce you to my friend Brandon. In this video, Brandon shares how he has learned to not only deal with the pain in his life but how to get to the root and help others, too.

MY FAVORITE QUOTES FROM THIS PODCAST EPISODE

  • You have to learn how you’re going to respond in those tough times because those times are going to hit you.
  • What we don’t want to do is keep excusing your behavior  but help you actually get to the root and deal with it.
  • At some point you either have to face the pain or you’ll be crushed by the weight of it. God’s grace and mercy in my own life as a has has been something I can’t even put to words because it’s allowed me to say I’m not alone.
  • I know I can go to Jesus and he says, “I know you, I created you. I love you. I’ve shaped you. I’ll hold your hand through this. I’ll walk through it with you.”
  • Not only will he cut his hands off for me rather than using them to hurt me, but he hung them on a cross to save me. And when I think about that, when I meditate on that, when I look at that, I think there’s nothing that I can’t face and deal with whether it’s been done to me or whether I’ve done it to someone else.
  • When we enter into the process of healing, whether it’s through a therapist or through a pastoral counseling or through friendships, you can only deal with what you can deal with. You can only deal with so much pain at a time at a certain time, so it’s like a layer of an onion.
  • I think that this is where Christian community becomes so important. The question of what next? What do we do?
  • We don’t do a good job of really walking with people through life. We do a good job of saying, “I want to be there with you. I want to care for you. I’ll pray for you.” But really what does it mean to walk in the trenches with someone?
  • I think you have to come to the realization that you are going to solve it or die trying. You’re going to address it or die trying. You’re gonna go find help or you’re going to die trying. There’s no way around it.
  • Joseph says that when he was thrown into slavery, he tells his brothers, “that which you intended for evil, God intended for good.” I think that’s what’s been true in my life.


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