March 13, 2008
My Secret (Sex) Life
A few weeks ago I published an article, My Secret Life; we are still receiving responses to that piece.
In light of the recent events pertaining to the governor of New York, and his reported involvement with prostitution and a sex ring, this article would seem to take on even more relevance.
Over the years I have had opportunity to speak and counsel with many individuals on many life issues; by far sex is singularly the most central or most important topic and difficulty that individuals and families have to deal with. The others being money, power, and interpersonal relationships. Adjuncts to those are frequently drugs and excessive drinking.
I have seen what unbridled sex can do. The governor of New York put his reputation, family, and career on the line for a few moments of pleasure. In pursuing this selfish gratification, he broke his covenant with his wife, and three daughters, and his constituency; the result: disaster.
The lie lived in the practice of a secret sex life can destroy an individual and/or a family. The fallout to those who trusted him in this betraya, including personal pain, hurt, shock, disappointment, and anger, take many years to heal, if ever. It takes years to rebuild the “bridge of trust.”
The root causes are many, and I don’t expect that one singular e-mail will resolve this issue. But with God’s help, loyal friends, and counsel, I do believe true love can conquer lust. It is a struggle and literally a real battle, but it can be done.
“Do not let sin control the way you live; (and it is sin) do not let any part of your body become a tool of wickedness, to be used for sinning. Instead, give yourself completely to God. Use your whole body as a tool to do what is right for God. Sin is no longer your master; (“You’re gonna serve somebody!”) you are no longer a slave to what enslaves you. Instead you are free by God’s unmerited favor –His grace!” (Romans 6.11-14)
Below, find one of those responses to my article sent to me from a man, a pastor, who has struggled with personal sex issues for many years. Pornography was the “dead man strapped to his back.” I asked for permission to use this and edited out all personal names and references.
This is not a one time discussion; we will follow up. We’re here, and your responses will be held in strict confidentiality. No stones will be thrown!
“If the Son sets you free, you are free indeed!”
P.S. Even as I write, I have received instant porn messages that have somehow made it through out Internet Media firewall and Spam filters. Hit the delete key without opening!
Contact Scott Ross
I wrote to you recently to commend you for your remarkable transparency in your Secret Life article.
Following your good example, I would like to share with you a quick note I forwarded to my awesome friend this morning regarding my “porn struggle.”
As a little backdrop: in 1999 at the age of 41 and about 18 years of marriage to a good, godly, pretty, and romantic woman, I nonetheless began to fail in the area of watching porn—either scrambled on the channels I don't technically pay for—or on the Internet. This has been occasional, never daily, but still a stronghold—and undiluted "Kryptonite" in terms of my soul's health, spiritual and ministerial vitality.
For me, my failures have occurred 99% of the time during moments of depression. Nehemiah (in Nehemiah 8:10) said so poignantly, "The joy of the Lord is my strength." This has been confirmed over and over in my life that when the Joy of the Lord is not dominant in my life, my strength over temptation is at its weakest.
The point is that as men (and women) of God we need transparent, consistent accountability with one another. Satan knows perfectly well that God is loving, omnipotent, fully able, willing, and anxious to deliver His children . . . yet Satan revels in his knowledge that our "secret sins" all but guarantee that God's presence and power at those moments will not be something he need worry about—for we are running and hiding from God at those times.
(Those who have succumbed to) "feelings/temptations" that could have been shared/confessed/counseled long before their good and righteous impediments to acting on them were removed.
Perhaps they did not have accountability in life with other(s) in this area, and probably had a stronghold of pride.
Recently I told (my wife) that in an attempt to be holy, and so that I would be prayed for, and strengthened/encouraged by my brothers, I have shared my temptation/pain with "Porn" with lots of brothers over the last few years.
Then I asked my wife, "Do you know how many of these men after learning about this followed-up with me even once to see how that struggle was going?"
She said, "I don't know."
I said, "ZERO!!!" . . . . Except for (one friend) who constantly checks in and keeps me accountable.
How thankful I am to having this in place . . . it also reveals how easily this could have not occurred in my life; and so I hope it is an encouragement to you and those you influence, to all of us, to become better at follow-up and carrying one another's burdens (Galatians 6:2).
I really appreciate you, Scott!!!!
I love you, bro!!!
At the age of 27 I casually entered into a relationship that became a six-year adulterous affair which nearly destroyed
me. When I saw the film Fatal Attraction, I thought my life had been documented on film. It was very much like that. I will spare you the details, but let me get to the bottom line with a front-row eye-witness account of what this was like and the spiritual implications:
- In an ungodly adulterous relationship, the couple is not alone; it is not just the two of them; Satan is in it with them, making every meeting a "threesome."
- There is nothing romantic about this tragic and cruel event. The adulterous couple can be driven by demons to say and do things they previously could not imagine themselves doing.
- Unholy, supernatural, and cruel activities can occur as the demons are given free reign to torment the couple who has forfeited their Godly protection by their adultery and fornication.
- Because the adulterers have given up their position of safety in Christ, they are isolated and cutoff from help by Satan and his demons. Unless they gain insight to cry out to Jesus to save them, they are fair game for the devil and his legions.
- As Satan gains control of the relationship by the "consenting adults," the individuals lose their freedom and ability to break out of the bondage and addiction by themselves. Only Jesus Christ can save them and liberate them from this living hell.
In a charismatic revival service I reached out to Jesus to save me and He did and filled me with His Holy Spirit.
The hounds of hell chased me all the way to heaven's gate, but the power of the Holy Spirit in Jesus Christ broke Satan's hold and set me free to become my Holy Father's child once more; free, clean and saved. Praise God!!!
Scott, I hope this will be helpful to someone who may now be trapped in bondage to an adulterous relationship, and needs to know that they can be set free by the Living Christ Jesus.
Do you know about XXX Church? If not, here's their Web site: http://xxxchurch.com.
Here is an article about them you will find very interesting: http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/Beliefs/story?id=2841065.
They are sort of like a Christian AA for those addicted to porn, or in the porn field. I think they are going to the desert wastelands rescuing those in bondage.
An important subject. My own theory is that a large percentage of people who have affairs do it because they have ceased to have fun, play time with their mate. Rather than fixing that, or even realizing it, they run to "play" with someone who seems to already be playful.
And you know what kills me the most, listening to Spitzer on radio and TV today? These guys merely have to "accept responsibility" and that's supposed to be enough. Eliot Spitzer, Bill Clinton.
You know that I of all people need God's grace and forgiveness, and I am as bad a sinner as any one of them, but often these offenders write a book about the amazing love and forgiveness of God, and how blessed he's been to receive it, and he has yet to make things right with his own daughters or any of the women he pursued. And he's a pastor and running a class for unmarried women.
At least Spitzer will have to step down. But to hear people talk these days about Clinton, it's as though nothing shady ever happened!
Just because God forgives us does that mean we get off scot-free (no pun intended) I don't think so. I believe, just as AA does, that we need to "make amends" when at all possible.