In this Issue:
** Fighting the Pull
** Wives, There is Hope!
** We’re Missing the Point
** Newsletter Archives
** Mike Genung’s Books ** Quick Links
** Final Words
Fighting the Pull
By Mike Genung
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
In an effort to keep our home free of sexually charged media, we had turned off all incoming TV channels years ago. After discussing it with my wife, we decided to give Netflix’s streaming movie service a try. One night, alone, while surfing through the selections, the name of a movie popped up that was blatantly sexual. I resisted the temptation to open the dialogue box that would offer a description of the movie and went to bed.
But the battle had just begun.
The name of that movie kept turning over in my mind—or was I cooperating with the temptation? I would pray and ask God for peace one moment, but then the name would roll back in the next.
My flesh was screaming. Everything inside of me wanted to get up, turn the TV on, and peak at the movie description—I wouldn’t actually watch the movie, of course. That would be going too far.
This went on for hours. The temptation would hit, I’d pray, try to fall asleep, toss and turn, and then repeat the cycle.
While praying, I started reminding myself of several truths.
No matter how intense the battle got, I didn’t have to get up. Nothing was forcing me to walk out of the room or turn the TV on. I still had a choice.
I also knew that getting up would mean losing ground to temptation and the first battle would be lost. Once lust had its foot in the door, the second battle would be harder. No matter what thoughts spun around in my head, I decided that all I needed to do was focus on staying in bed.
We are encouraged to “stand firm” twice in Ephesians six. Sometimes driving our stake in the ground and saying “No! I’m not going anywhere,” is all we need to make it through. The battle may not end immediately, but now we have something firm to hold onto as we’re battered by the enemy.
Next, the Lord reminded me that I would have to tell a lot of people if I blew it. I’d have to start with my wife, then my accountability partners, then open up with those the Lord has allowed me to minister to in this arena. It would be a long walk of shame. Then God brought 1 Corinthians 9:27 to mind:
“…but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”
I didn’t want to be “disqualified” from helping others—another stake to hold onto.
The name of the movie still fluttered in my mind for another day, until, in a quiet moment with the Lord, I remembered that my relationship with Him brought me life, love, and peace, as opposed to the fleeting pleasure, guilt, and shame of a porn binge. I confessed my part in cooperating with the temptation to the Lord (while I had been fighting the name of the movie, I hadn’t driven it off), then drove the final stake through the heart of the vampire: “I want Jesus, not sexual sin.”
Excerpt from 100 Days on the Road to Grace; A Devotional for the Sexually Broken
Wives, There is Hope!
Those of us who are wives recovering from our husband’s sexual sin are in different places in our marriages and healing journeys. To those of you who are still married and are holding onto the hope of a miraculous healing in your marriage, I would like to say a few things.
Is there really a chance that your heart can heal and your brokenness be redeemed? Is there any reason to believe that your husband could really be devoted to you rather than his promiscuous fantasies? Will you ever truly be able to trust him again?
To all of these questions, and many more, I answer a resounding YES!
For those of you who don’t know me very well, I’ve been married for almost 37 years to a man (Dan) who has been a porn addict for 30+ of those years. We have ridden the roller coaster of supposed recovery for many decades, each “high” time only to hit another wall of deception, lies and disclosure. This past February I left for the fourth and last time. After five long weeks of living out of boxes and other people’s homes, God led me to return home with no guarantees. I had to trust Him above what my earthly eyes, and my broken heart, could see.
But… this time has been different. Those five weeks God was at work, preparing both of our hearts for what seemed to be an impossible task: make our marriage thrive. See, we were never meant to just survive, we were meant to thrive!
Read the rest here
Linda is one of the group leaders of our wives phone support groups
We’re Missing the Point
By Mike Genung
Since the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage, Christians have been in turmoil. Church and para-church leaders published blog posts and videos giving their take on how we should respond; social media is a mess. Most of what I’ve read could be summed up as “stand up for traditional marriage and be nice to people outside the church.”
We’re missing the point of what God is saying to us.
For the past 15 years, there have been many warnings shot over the church’s bow: the divorce rate is the same among Christians as unbelievers, two thirds of Christian men are viewing pornography, churches are closing, giving is down, and the number of people who identify themselves as believers in Christ is declining. As a father of four, one of the most frightening of these warnings is that 75% of our youth are leaving the church at age 18; we’re losing the next generation.
For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God… 1 Peter 4:17
After years of warnings, I believe the Supreme Court’s decision was a cannonball blast that hit dead center in the hull; an act of God’s judgment against His people. (The world is celebrating; they haven’t been hit… yet). It was as if He was saying, “You’re not who you think you are, examine yourselves and who you’ve become. You’re corrupt, and have lost your way.”
The church has a major blind spot when it comes to facing its sin. When the president of Chik-fil-a was verbally assaulted for his views on homosexuality, the Christian social media and blog world went wild. Hundreds of thousands showed their support by lining up at Chik-fil-a, giving them a record sales day. When Phil Robertson got fired from Duck Dynasty, Christian social media and the blog world once again went wild; a massive letter writing campaign ensued, with the result that Phil Robertson was reinstated.
But mention that the church is corrupt with sexual sin, or 75% of our youth are taking the exits… and everyone checks out.
Josh McDowell said that porn is undermining the church far more than gay marriage; porn destroys pastors, church members, marriages and families. One professor at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary called pornography “the greatest moral crisis in the church today, above issues of divorce and homosexuality “ He concluded: “Christians can rail against homosexuality but then go to the computer and feed their addiction to porn.”
Why is it that no one is putting it together that lukewarm men create a lukewarm church, and a lukewarm church cannot fulfill its Biblical mandate to be the salt that preserves the nation? Why is it that no one is standing up and calling the American church of 2015 corrupt?
Read the rest of the article here
You can read this and previous editions of the Blazing Grace Newsletter online at the archives.
July 2015: The Things That Drive Me Crazy
June 2015: 30 Tips for Recovery and Healing for Men and Their Wives
May 2015: New Video: Porn, The Church, and What to Do About It
April 2015: New Video
March 2015: Why the Words Doctrine and Theology Make Me Cringe
February 2015: The Snake
January 2015: Rebuilding Trust
December 2014: Getting Your Life Back
October 2014: How’s Your Love Meter?
August 2014: Where is Your Heart?