By: Dan Wobschall
Quite literally every decision, conflict, battle and resolution to life's situations, begin and end in the mind.
Therefore, if you and I are to walk in purity with Christ and honor our wives, children and above all else, God, don't you think we should be on a vigilant watch over what we introduce our minds and thought life to? (might be a run-on sentence, but oh well)
Here's just a couple of verses of New Testament scripture on the subject.
Mark 12:30 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."
2 Corinthians 10:5 "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
Romans 12:2 "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."
I could stop here and let us ruminate on these verses. In fact, do that. Read them over a couple of times. Digest them a bit before moving on.
The brain performs an incredible number of tasks including the following:
All of these tasks are coordinated, controlled and regulated by an organ that is about the size of a small head of cauliflower. And it does this 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and never shuts off to rest!
Understanding a small bit of the science behind the mind gives us a pretty good insight on the power of the mind. It also tells us that we need to care for this body organ quite well. So, 'take captive every thought' to protect yourself from letting creeping crud enter your mind.
Be mindful (pun intended) of what you watch, read, listen to, and think about. Everything you take in via your senses affects how you view the world around you. The avenues from which we receive information are nearly endless. From newspapers to the highest of tech methods to intake news, entertainment, music and you name it.
Old but true
As the old saying goes, accurately so, garbage in - garbage out. Out of our mouths come that which dwells in the heart and mind. What dwells in the heart in mind is what the mind receives and we feed it.
What kind of mind food are you feeding on today?
The Mind on Porn
The neural pathways of the brain are much like roads that take us to and from places, with the option of a few to choose from to make the journey. And the shortest path or most familiar roads are often what we choose. We're familiar with that road. We know it well.
So it goes, as we create pathways of thought and behavior in the mind.
Neuroscience Speaks: How Using Porn Destroys Your Willpower
Neuroscience now knows that willpower is a function of the prefrontal lobes of the brain. Scientific studies have also confirmed that using porn over and over actually reshapes these areas of the brain, literally eroding our willpower and our moral compass.
Neuroscientists call it hypofrontality. Hypofrontality is a state in which there is decreased blood flow to the prefrontal lobes of the brain. Hypofrontality is observed in schizophrenia patients, and is also observed in all manner of addictions.
What is Hypofrontality? In his book, The Porn Circuit, Sam Black explains what hypofrontality is for the porn viewer.
“Compulsiveness is a good descriptor of hypofrontality. Many porn users feel focused on getting to porn and masturbating even when a big part of them is saying, ‘Don’t do this.’ Even when negative consequences seem imminent, impulse control is too weak to battle the cravings.”
The porn-addicted brain has trouble thinking logically. When impulses and desires come from the midbrain, instead of being moderated, the brain feels these desires as compelling needs. The prefrontal region is supposed to be able to weigh consequences and situations and judiciously shut down cravings, but hypofrontality means the addict’s ability to do this is impaired.
To the addict, when the craving for porn surfaces, their whole body gears up for action. As unhindered hormones are released and neurotransmitters fire, the craving consumes them. The heart begins to race, blood pressure rises, and the addict is consumed by a single thought: “Just one more time.”
Speaking from experience
Changing my thought processes was the single hardest part of recovery from my porn addictiveness. My ability to think logically about sexual needs, desires and behaviors went out the window when the impulses were running with a head of steam.
The addictive pornography behavior cost me valuable, unretrievable time lost away from my wife and children.
What I found myself capable of thinking, watching, saying and doing on the internet is today scary and honestly sickening. Yet I did them over and over and over again, seeking relief from the very pain the behavior was bringing me.
How to break the cycle
Just how do we abandon the old pathway of thinking and build new ones? That's a huge question with multiple correct answers. See the three verses at the beginning of this post, and start there. Here are a few others:
We are and will become a product of our own self imposed mental environment. That is truth and fact. Choose wisely.
Finally, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)
Sources for this article:
When you read the bible, you realize that sexual sin issues and strongholds are NOTHING new. It is an area that will always be satan's battleground this side of heaven. He horrifically takes the beauty of what God created for GOOD and twists it and darkens it only to bring destruction. That is why, as followers of Christ, we need to hold on the the GOOD and expose the bad by speaking TRUTH about such things.
However, most churches just skim the surface and/or avoid addressing these subjects all together and the TRUTH that brings freedom is being replaced with the LIES that are holding many captive.
Unfortunately, it is so difficult for there to be transparency within the body of Christ when it comes to sexual sins and addictions. If an alter call is given for those struggling, the alter, in most churches, will remain empty. It is far too shameful and risky. WHY is that? In a world where we are bombarded with sexual images and promiscuity, it really makes NO sense!
Just walk through the halls of your local high school campus. NO fear there! Teenagers are talking about it and not even batting an eye. Young girls are becoming comfortable sending pictures of their nude bodies or "selfies" to their boyfriends. Sexting is now the "popular" was to communicate. Our young people are being trained at an early age that sexiness is what's important and brings significance to who you are. Our young boys are believing it, as well! Girls bodies are only objects to be glorified! As a senior girl in high school if you are not happy with how your are built, parents are giving the gift of boob jobs to only confirm what the world is telling them. UGH!!!! We are all buying into what the world says is important.
NO doubt, the pathway to destruction is an easy one. It starts with lust...with one look, with one selfish thought. Why arn't we talking about these things?
Where is the LIGHT that the church is called to be? Could it be that our light is being overshadowed by gray, luke-warm Christianity?
WHY isn't the church a safe place to address such things? Our young people WANT answers and guidance and WE as a whole are failing them in a huge way! WHY do we make it such a taboo subject when it is ALL around us?
These issues are REAL and they are destroying families and tearing our nation apart including "christian" homes.
Statistics prove that the majority of those addicted to porn are NOT outside the church any longer, but sitting in our church pews, leading our youth groups, teaching our children, and even preaching from our pulpits. Last I read was that 52% of the men sitting in our congregations are struggling with porn. That does NOT include all the young people who are struggling!! What? 52% is HUGE especially when you think of all of the wives, families and homes that are affected. These men are our spiritual leaders!
Yes, satan knows exactly what he is doing! It's the secret sin in our churches today! You can dress your Sunday best, speak your christianeese, attend every church service, give a great sermon, all without anyone ever knowing about the bondage that holds you captive. Sadly, even though the stats say that at least half of the men in our congregations are struggling, it seems that the church as a whole doesn't want to believe it nor address it! What's it going to take?
The TRUTH is, our men and boys are being bombarded with sexual JUNK everyday! How DOES a man live in this society and remain pure? Are they being equipped to handle the enemy's seduction or are they just being patted on the back and sent on their way as prime targets?
The silence has left ALL of us vulnerable and an open door for the enemy and his destruction to invade us to the very core. Shouldn't Pastors EVERYWHERE be speaking TRUTH about these issues and WARNING the body of Christ about these types of seductions? NOT just once a year, but continually!!! After all, let's be REAL....what do most men and yes, even "christian" men think about? What do most teenagers think about. SEX. Now days you can't avoid it with the way the world blatantly displays it!!! Our silence is allowing the dark seeds of this world to permeate and grow in the confines of our own churches and homes! Seriously, are we being courageous or cowards? Think about it!
Our culture handles it just the opposite. NO guessing what the majority boldly proclaims! They make it quite clear with no apologies! The MORE skin the better. Sex sales! THEY are not ashamed of it at all!! The bombard us with sexual images and innuendos day in and day out. It's ALL over the TV, the movies, in the media, the news, sporting events, billboards, on the internet....it is EVERYWHERE! The world is portraying a twisted, tainted, view of sexuality and they have everyone's attentions, including those who claim to be followers of Christ. They ARE influencing our hearts and we just accept it without saying a word.
The longer the church keeps silent the MORE casualties there will be in this WAR against the enemy!
How are our boys AND men going to know how to handle this kind of assault if they are not equipped? How will they learn the proper way to view women? ALL men need to be equipped BEFORE the addictions start and families are destroyed!! Isn't that what the church is for...the equipping of the saints? How about being PRO-ACTIVE instead of having to be reactive when a marriage is on the brink of divorce because of such things! Instead of practicing damage control why not educate, encourage, and speak TRUTH in hopes to HELP them avoid the minefields and the traps that satan sets for them on a DAILY basis?
This rant is long, I know and I have repeated some things over. However, it is my heart's cry to encourage Pastors, leaders and parents everywhere to be BOLD, to speak the REAL hard TRUTHS, and to expose the LIES of the enemy when it comes to sexual sin issues. Last time I checked, God takes it pretty seriously, why shouldn't we?
Let's get the conversations started! Let's talk about the MANY consequences that the world ignores! I won't go there on this rant but there are not only spiritual consequences but physical consequences, as well. UGH!!! There is a high price to be paid alright for our silence and you can be assured that our future generations will be paying for it long after we are gone if we continue to put our head in the sand. These issues are NOT going away, actually I am confident that the worst is yet to come! Then what?
The TRUTH is we need to teach AND equip with regards to these kinds of issues as boldly and unashamedly as the world portrays them! We need to take back the values that exemplify the character of CHRIST!
Sadly, instead of finding FREEDOM from such things at the alters of our churches, in community with believers...those held captive are walking away bound, wounded and fearful of being exposed. If our alters are empty because men and women are afraid to admit they are struggling (because MANY are), then something desperately needs to change! We need to create an environment of FREEDOM and HOPE where they can be REAL and transparent. Where else can a man or woman turn who desires HELP and needs deliverance and support? THEY NEED JESUS. They need the church to act and be as CHRIST intended. A place they can run to, not run from. Just sayin'. What do YOU think?
1 Cor 6:18 FLEE from sexual immorality.
Revelation 21:8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 For this is the will of God, your sanctification, that you abstain from sexual immorality, that each one of you know how to CONTROL his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the gentiles who do not know God.
Ephesians 5:5 FOR YOU CAN BE SURE OF THIS, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure or who is covetous (that is, an idolater) has no inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and God.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Dear sister, there are two relationships in which you WILL respond to, day in and day out, as you try to make sense of the pain you are experiencing. Your response to God and obviously, your response to your husband. The good news is if we recognize the first and are intentional about our perceptions, then our responses to both relationships will be what will help navigate our wounded hearts toward the healing that God has for us.
The truth is, your response towards God and your husband is a reflection of your belief in God's love for you and His promises for your life. Ouch! Did you get that? Tough stuff! I am still trying to wrap my mind around it. What I am seeing in my own life is a woman who's responses have not lined up with who she claims to be...ugh! Sounds like a heart probelm to me! Not pretty!! This revelation has really challenged me in EVERY area of my life.
It seems like on the onslaught of pain, the enemy tries to give us a dose of amnesia when it comes to WHO we KNOW our God is and WHO we are in Him. We become so consumed with our pain and every detail of our husband's choices that nothing else seems to matter. Not only are our hearts broken but our mind becomes the enemy's battleground to cause further damage. He takes advantage of every opportunity to destroy TRUTH with LIES.
What if I told you…
We gave away and distributed more than 1000 resources to individuals who were seeking freedom. We have not even scratched the surface of this struggle.
Stories came in about how men were finding freedom!
We counseled and assisted over 70 churches in helping individuals with their addiction to porn.
We worked directly with high school students on their recovery from pornography. More importantly, we saw them come to grips with their struggle and start on a path of freedom.
We were invited to share our wisdom on a global platform for parenting called the FLOW Summit. The two sessions are about having conversations on pornography and sex.
Our Plans for 2013
All of our online videos will now be FREE.
We will post every video from ALL of our resources online for free. You will see nearly 40 new videos added to the Freedom Begins Here Site
We are working on some brand new video content.
We want to impact more lives, so we will post sections of our Devotional Journal online for FREE!
We will give away more free resources in 2013 with the goal of impacting 5,000 lives.
So What Is Your Part?
Please tell anyone who is working with this issue that they can get free resources on our website. Communicate that freedom is possible!
Pray that we gain supporters so this message can continue!
Written by: Bryson Moore
Below is a post from Jeff Fisher a friend who leads another organization called Porn to Purity www.porntopurity.com. I really like his message and hope to share more of his thoughts in the future.
Recently, I’ve been going back to the gym. It’s a good habit, but it’s rough when I haven’t done it a while. My muscles have atrophied and haven’t been challenged in a while. So the last couple of days I have been sore, tired, achy.
I could help but think about my sexual purity journey and the recovery process. I have sexual purity muscles that get exercised when I dive into recovery. It is a necessary shock to my system. I want to highlight some of these areas that get a workout when we dive into sexual purity.