I pick up the phone and as the unexplained sobs abate I hear the story of a man’s life, marriage and family being shattered by his secret, sexual, sin exploding to the surface.
Too many times, too many very good men, blindsided women, and innocent families butchered.
In every case, it’s what Chesterton is hitting on: beneath all sexual sin is the quest for something totally non-sexual. Ultimately it’s a search for the exhilaration that we were designed for, crave deeply and only find in God.
Beneath all sexual sin is the quest for something totally non-sexual.
“We need an approach to struggles with lust, porn, and sexual addiction which honor the brokenness in our lives, yet point us toward wholeness in Christ. We need an approach which reminds us of our heart’s deepest desire–something more fulfilling than sexual gratification.” – Michael Cusick
I, we couldn’t agree more with Michael on the approach to freedom from sexual sin that deals with the deeper questions and issues of a man’s heart and the gratification we’re most deeply pursuing.
Another excerpt from Michael Cusick:
“… A man’s sexual appetite is a barometer for what’s going on inside his heart. Your sex drive consists of more than testosterone and the buildup of seminal fluid pressing for biological release, more than being visually stimulated and feeling aroused. Sexual arousal is an accumulation of your experiences, deep needs, and unconscious beliefs. Your heart shares a deep connection to your body parts. The way you are sexually aroused reflects what’s happening deep in your soul, beyond your sexual organs. Indeed, sex is as much spiritual mystery as it is physical fact. The reality is that your heart needs something, and porn promises to meet that need." (“Surfing For God: Discovering the Divine Desire Beneath Sexual Struggle”, pg. 15-16)
Michael, a good friend and Ransomed Heart ally, just released a book titled, “Surfing For God: Discovering the Divine Desire Beneath Sexual Struggle.” I just read it and want to recommend it to every man and the women in a man’s life. I couldn’t give it higher praise.
“What makes pornography so addictive,’ wrote John Eldredge, ‘is that more than anything else in a man’s life, it makes him feel like a man without ever requiring a thing of him.’ The allure of porn is that— contrary to a woman in real life—it makes us feel like men, and it never rolls its eyes at us or rolls over in bed. Porn never reminds us of our failures, flaws, or shortcomings. It doesn’t evaluate our appearances or performances, our net worths or credentials. Porn doesn’t tell us to clip our toenails or put the toilet seat down. Porn doesn’t care if we are sullen, irritable, overweight, selfish—even undesirable. Porn’s only requirement of a man is a pulse—and maybe the click of a mouse.
Struggles with porn confirm our suspicions that we do not have what it takes to be a man. Somewhere deep inside we believe that we lack the strength to relate to a real woman… Pornography knows men’s weakness. It speaks to that weakness, softly . . .. But for most men, it starts with the soft voice that speaks to our deepest fear: That we aren’t man enough.”
So in the absence of felt strength, we turn to porn as if it were steroids for our soul. In our minds, porn makes us bigger, stronger, and more desirable. We get our fix and affirm our manhood. The seductive images reliably tell us that we are the man. But as we do with real steroids, we risk porn’s damaging side effects and possible public disgrace. Without this drug, we become just another guy and wonder if we make the cut. C. S. Lewis understood this when he wrote that every time a man masturbates, he chips away at his manhood.
Porn gives us permission to avoid asking the hard questions about our masculine souls. Why do I feel weak in the presence of a particular woman? Why is so much at stake when I relate to her? Why do I feel I have so little to offer? But when we scrape together the courage to face these questions, we discover life-changing truths about ourselves that can set us free. Truths that will lead us to something better than porn." (“Surfing For God: Discovering the Divine Desire Beneath Sexual Struggle”, pg. 18,19)
I’ve walked with men and their families back into freedom, hope, clarity, healing and redemption. It isn’t easy, but it is available. Michael’s book, “Surfing For God: Discovering the Divine Desire Beneath Sexual Struggle” will pave the way.