Posts Tagged ‘porn’

Can I borrow your laptop?

Suppose, on the spot, I asked to borrow your laptop for the evening. Would you let me? Or upon my request, would you begin to mentally scroll through the web history?  Would you kind of hem-haw around to buy time to go erase your web history before you loaned it (by the way, that actually hides nothing)?

Or how about this one…. What if you die tonight?  And your wife, or kids, or friends, or parents, later surf your computer to reminisce about you and probe to discover what interested you and brought you joy? What would they discover?

I think about that a lot with my own laptop. But I was especially confronted with the thought when I ran across a New York Times article about Osama bin Laden’s porn stash on his computers. Dr. Albert Mohler has a great blog about the hypocrisy of Osama bin Laden in relation to the porn stash discovery. Read here.

The thought of what a friend, staff, my sons, my wife, or volunteer(s) at my church could find on my laptop holds me greatly accountable when temptation comes over me. Christie has free access to my computer, as does my administrative staff, and volunteer tech guys at my church. Of course, accountability is only a band-aid because I could secretly access another computer. More than accountability, I long to worship the Lord Jesus with my eyes, love Him with all my heart, and do the same with my wife, kids, and church family.

Do you?

How’s your heart? Do you give family and friends free access to your computer? If not, what are you hiding? I encourage you to go ahead and confess and repent to the Lord what’s on your computer. And then, confess and repent to your wife and/or friends.

It’s better to expose the stash now, rather than the stash expose you later.

Should a woman be her husband’s accountability partner?

The below is a blog from my friend, Luke Gilkerson. Luke is the general editor and primary author of Breaking Free, the corporate weblog of Covenant Eyes.

I highly recommend the Covenant Eyes and the Breaking Free blog! Awesome stuff.

Stellar article below! Be sure in click on the link to the resources and authors. Great material out there.

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With the advent of movements like Promise Keepers, accountability has been a buzzword in male Christian community. Men are regularly encouraged by friends, pastors, and mentors to find good accountability partners in their struggle against lust, masturbation, and pornography. But often women will ask me this question: Should I be my husband’s accountability partner in these areas?

Sometimes a husband believes his wife would make an ideal accountability partner. After all, she is around him all the time and knows him in ways no one else does. She is his confidant, friend, lover, and soul-mate. Why not throw “accountability partner” into the mix?

The Pain of Knowing

Our answer to this question centers on the definition of an “accountability partner.” What is accountability, really? Recently I asked Joe Dallas this question. Joe is the author of The Game Plan: The Men’s 30-Day Strategy for Attaining Sexual Integrity and speaks widely on the subject of sexual brokenness. He said,

“I don’t personally believe in a wife being a husband’s accountability partner, but I do believe a husband is accountable to his wife—and that’s not a contradiction in terms. An accountability partner on a week basis asks you: ‘Did you look at pornography? Did you masturbate? Did you flirt? Did you allow yourself to entertain unclean thoughts? Did you handle your sexuality well this week?’ If the wife is the one asking those questions, the husband is going to be imposing on his wife unnecessary pain and detail.”

I asked Amy Smalley the same question. Amy and her husband regularly counsel couples through their Marriage Restoration Intensive programs. She believes when a husband exclusively looks to his wife to confess his sexual struggles, this only serves to trigger a myriad of false beliefs in her: I’m not satisfying enough, I’m not pretty enough, I’m not good enough for him, etc. Amy said,

“The reason why it’s not best for her to be the accountability partner is because that directly affects her. There’s a message: when my husband views pornography, whether he does it intentionally or not, he will say, ‘Oh, it has nothing to do with you’—you can say that, but that’s not how she feels. She feels like, ‘This has a direct reflection on me.’”

Fred Stoeker, co-author of Every Man’s Battle, gave me the same answer. He believes the sort of raw details discussed in accountability conversations could be very hurtful to a marriage: “The wife is going to be shocked how many times he stumbles as he tries to win this battle, and it will begin to dishearten her. . . . It will actually hurt the relationship instead of strengthen it.”

While Fred knows of some wives who are able to not be disheartened by their husband’s temptations and sins, he says it is a rare thing.

The Need to Trust

That being said, healthy marriages must be built on honesty and transparency. Jesus, the bridegroom of the church, was pleased to reveal to us everything His Father taught Him (John 15:15). Jesus has given to us His own Spirit who shares with us “the deep things” of God’s heart (1 Corinthians 2:10-12). Husbands, we must follow our Master’s example. We must be open and honest as we share our hearts with our wives.

Joe Dallas mentioned this issue in my conversation with him. While a husband does not need to belabor his wife with intricate details of his sexual struggles, a man should volunteer information to his wife about how he is doing in the fight to stay pure. If there has been a breach of trust in the past, or if he has given into habitual lust, she needs to see the fruit of repentance in her husband. She needs a window to peer into his soul so she can see his diligent faithfulness to her. Trust is built only when he builds a track record of trustworthiness.

In my conversation with Dr. Mark Laaser, he affirmed, “The husband is accountable to the wife to stay sexually pure,” but then quickly added, “but I don’t think the wife should be a part of his network such that she’s engaged at the same level other men are going to be. . . He should have a network of men he is able to call.”

Couples need to dialogue about what sort of details she needs to hear and what details should be reserved for other guys who are helping him in his struggle.

The “Need” to Know

Dr. Laaser also pointed out the slippery slope of spousal accountability. Women have often found “they sometimes get into controlling their husband’s behavior.” Amy Smalley was also very attuned to this tendency in women—when the need to build trust turns into an obsessive curiosity. These obsessive thoughts often feed unforgiveness or a desire to control or manipulate. Joe Dallas told me when a wife is engaged in accountability on a deep level with her husband “it puts the wife in a rather maternal position with a husband,” which he thinks is very unhealthy for a marriage.

What is the difference between helpful honesty that encourages trust and unhelpful probing that leads to tension? The difference is in the heart of the wife. Amy Smalley says this is a matter of serious prayer: God, reveal my motives. Tell me when want to know so I can be confident in my husband’s repentance and when just want to feed my bitterness or control him in some way.

The Need for Male Community

When the struggle is with Internet pornography, many people have made use of accountability software, such as Covenant Eyes. When all of your Internet activity is monitored and detailed reports are sent to others who have agreed to stand with you in fight for purity, this makes an enormous difference in how we use the Web.

I work for Covenant Eyes, and recently we surveyed some of our members and found that about 30% of them have their accountability reports emailed to their wives. For many couples this is a token of real transparency and honesty, as if to say, “My life is completely open to you. I have no secrets. I love you.”

Still, many guys have the same report emailed to other men in their accountability network. These are the men who hear the nitty-gritty details: the lustful glances, the fantasies, and the temptations we face on a regular basis in our sex-saturated world. This is the brotherhood that encourages us to flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace in our world and our relationships (2 Timothy 2:22).

In my conversation with Amy Smalley she said how assuring this can be for a wife, to know her husband is meeting regularly with another guy or a group of men who are engaged in the battle with him. It is freeing to a woman when she knows and trusts the men who surround her husband with encouragement, prayer, and correction. Amy’s message to husbands is for them to find accountability among other brothers:

“Covenant Eyes is a great way for men to be accountable to other men. That way, first of all, there’s some compassion there, because it’s another man who’s hard-wired the same way that you are. And two, it someone that you feel has a connection and that will love you no matter what but really kick you in the pants when you need to, and talk to you the way a man needs to talk to another man.”

If you want to listen to these conversations, please listen to our podcast on the Covenant Eyes blog.

Luke Gilkerson is the general editor and primary author of Breaking Free, the corporate weblog of Covenant Eyes. Luke has a degree in Philosophy and Religious Studies from Bowling Green State University and is currently working on his Master of Arts in Religion from Reformed Theological Seminary. Before working at Covenant Eyes he spent six years as a Campus Minister. He lives in Michigan with his wife Trisha and two sons.

Worst April Fool’s Ever (& Sexual Temptation)

Happy April Fool’s day. I’ve learned the hard way that people actually take this day seriously. Below, is the intro section of a chapter I wrote in my 13 Ways book.  It is fitting for today. I left the bit of application at the end of it for context too.  Feel the pain…

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It happened on April Fool’s day my eighth grade year of Middle school.   Before school most of my friends would hang out by the outside doors of the gym.  As I was walking toward my posse they were all chuckling and looking at me. My first thought was “zip up.” But all was well there.  I walked up to them and said, “What’s up? What’s so funny?”  My best friend at the time, Lance, pulled out from behind his back an egg.  He slammed it onto my head.  I stood in shock.  I leaned my head over to catch the egg goop as it ran off my head.  But there was no goop.  Lance had pulled a glorious April Fool’s joke on me. The egg was boiled.

Once I shook off my instinct to pummel him I laughed and thought it was the funniest thing ever.  Then he took out another egg.  I was putty in his hands. I said, “Let me get somebody.” He gladly handed the egg over.

I was waiting for my other friends to come by. But none ever showed.  The first warning bell rang.  I didn’t want to miss out on the prank. I had to pull it on somebody pronto.  Most everyone had made their way to class except for me, Lance, and three or four of our friends.  The last kid to walk toward the door was a sixth grader hobbling on crutches and barely hanging on to his books under his arms.

I walked up to him and said, “Hey, would you like an egg?” Then I slammed the egg on top of his head just like Lance did me.  Problem:  This was a raw egg.

As the egg yoke ran down his face he looked at me in horror. I was speechless. I spun around and Lance was foaming at the mouth he was laughing so hard. My friends had taken off running trying to contain themselves.  I chased Lance around the building as the final bell rang.

Out of breath I decided to simply go surrender myself to the Principal and accept my fate. Consequences were inevitable. I walked into his office and confessed the whole thing.  As my story unfolded it was all my Principal could do to suppress his laughter.

Surprisingly the kid had yet to come to the office. I had a hunch he was in the hall bathroom by the office. Sure enough there he stood propped on his crutches swishing water over his face and head.  I felt so ashamed.  You should have seen me wetting paper towels and helping him clean egg off his face while he slapped at my hand as if it were a gnat.  I rambled on about how Lance had set me up, that he (the kid) was my last chance to pull the prank, and so forth. I told him I’d be his body guard the rest of the year.   He looked at me with fire in his eyes. You couldn’t blame him.

Unfortunately, I am still just as gullible.  Pranks pulled on me aren’t a difficult task. Actually I think fewer pranks are pulled on me now because it’s just plain boring. I’m too gullible, too easy a target.

It’s one thing to be an easy target for innocent pranks. It is an entirely different issue to be gullible in sexual temptation.  Upon further thought, gullible may be too soft a word.  Naïve is more like it.  To commend your emotions and issues to a woman outside of your marriage is a travesty. To entrust your heart and purity to just any woman before marriage can bring brokenness and regret.  It’s plain naïve.

Don’t be gullible.

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If you find I haven’t written on this blog in a while, check out www.jarrodjones.com.  Thank you for checking out this site. I have gotten so many comments lately (and suddenly!) I bless the Lord for how He uses this site although I haven’t blogged on the site in a while. Now that I’ve discovered that it’s ministering powerfully to many of you, I will try and do better.

Thank you so much for your encouragement!

Much love and power in Christ!

Follow me on Twitter at @jarrodjones

Video blog: “More to be said: Beetles”

Post 700 Club Interview

Ignoring the obvious

In a recent interview with the TODAYs Matt Lauer, Eliot Spitzer shared about his ongoing sexual fling with a high-price call girl ($4300 a session) and the trauma of his exposure.

In the interview Lauer asked if he ever thought about eventually getting caught.  Spitzer replied,  “Getting caught… ‘crossed my mind, but like many things in life, you ignore the obvious at a certain moment because you simply don’t want to confront it.’”

Did you catch it? He said, “[L]ike many things in life, you ignore the obvious…”.  Interestingly how Proverbs 7 deals with that very truth. Indeed, a whole chapter out of the 13 Ways book deals with “ignoring the obvious.”

King Solomon states, “Then out came a woman to meet him, dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent…. WIth persuasive words she led him astray and she seduced him with her smooth talk.  All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter…little knowing it would cost him his life”
(Proverbs 7:10, 21-23).

In the interview Spitzer continues, ‘This is something that has caused excruciating pain to [my wife] and my daughters…. It’s something that I carry with me every day because of the pain I’ve caused. And so I’ve tried to balance: The obligation to speak is vast but also the pain to my family has been enormous.’

Spitzer ignored the obvious. And it cost him dearly.

Evaluate your life. What sin are you ignoring?  Chances are that anyone reading this blog is not spending $4300 on a call girl. Chances are that he or she is probably spending time, and potentially money, on pornography. Porn is “loud and defiant” in its display.  It’s intent—or the producers and porn CEO’s intent— is to seduce you and addict you and get your money. And all the while it is leading you like an ox to the slaughter.

In the words of Eliot Spitzer, sexual sin can bring excrucitating pain to your family.

And it can ruin your life.

Porn Addict Pastor Admits Struggle on CNN

My friend, Ed Howell, passed this on to me this morning. Very interesting. And very encouraging that this pastor came forward about his addiction. Hope you find some encouragement and/or hope through it. Would love to know your thoughts. Also, I haven’t read his book but when I do I’ll share my thoughts on it. If/when any of you read it I would like to know your thoughts.

Embedded video from CNN Video

Porn and Glory

In Isaiah 6, Isaiah saw an epic vision of God.  His response? “Woe is me, for I am ruined! I am a man of unclean lips and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King” (Isaiah 6:5)

He saw God’s greatness and was gloriously ruined.  Upon beholding God his first awareness was his uncleanness.  He was impure.  He spoke of his lips.  So can we.  In terms of porn, one could declare “I am a man of unclean eyes, and I live among a people of unclean eyes.” But that which moves us to such confession and repentance is having a grand vision of God.

In the fleeing and fighting of sexual temptation, we must pray for eyes to see the King, and a brokenness and reverence before Him. Pastor and Author, Gordon MacDonald, publicly admitted to adultery in 1987.  I recently read a quote by him that is fitting. He said, “The most costly sins I have committed came at a time when I briefly suspended my reverence for God.  In such a moment I quietly (and insanely) concluded that God didn’t care and most likely wouldn’t intervene were I to risk the violation of one of His commandments.”

Grab a Bible, or click here, and read Isaiah 6:1-8.  Meditate on the sights and sounds of Isaiah’s encounter. Why did God put Isaiah 6 in your life today? Do you respect and revere Him?  Why or why not?  What must you do, or better yet what must God do in you?  How does having a grand vision of God and reverence for Him empower you to conquer sexual sin?

By the way, note Isaiah 6:6-8 especially.  He’s a great God of grace in the Old Testament too.

Interview with Dr. Richard Land

The below is a second part interview that I did with Dr. Richard Land, host of For Faith and Family. He asks great questions. I thought it might be helpful and profitable to share. By the way, Dr. Land is no light weight. He is the President of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. In 2005, Dr. Land was featured in Time Magazine as one of The Twenty-five Most Influential Evangelicals in America.

Click below to listen:

INTERVIEW WITH DR. LAND

Cliff Notes

I have run across a few book reviews of 13 Ways lately. They are all positive, thankfully.  I wanted to share this particular book review because it captures the essence of the book and its chapters.  If you haven’t read the book yet this review will give you a great cliff notes peek.  I hope it will encourage you to get the free download of the book and read it.

13 Ways to Ruin Your Life with Lust

A blog and book review by Luke Gilkerson.  For more check out Breaking Free.

13-ways-to-ruin-your-life

If you are looking for a good book to give away for FREE to those who struggle with the sins of lust and pornography, you’ll want to pick up Jarrod Jones’ 13 Ways to Ruin Your Life. You can download it from his website.

Using Proverbs 7 as the backbone of his book, Jarrod unpacks 13 key points we can learn from the life of the “fool” who found himself lying in the arms of a prostitute.

Jarrod’s simple, candid approach to this subject is refreshing and powerful. He writes from a place of wisdom and experience, confessing his own sins and blunders along the road to living in purity. He gives 13 sure-fire ways to ruin your life in sexual sin:

1. Be Unresolved (Proverbs 7:7)

Too many men today, like the foolish man in Proverbs 7, lack resolve. Jarrod says that resolve is “sticking the flag into the soil of your heart and not looking back. It’s driving home a vow to God to stay committed to your intended purpose” (13 Ways, p.13). Jarrod writes of the resolve of King David who said that he would walk within his house in the integrity of his heart and set no worthless thing before his eyes (Psalm 101). He calls men to clean out private places where they have let sin get a foothold and nurse a holy hatred of lust.

2. Flirt With Temptation (Proverbs 7:8)

Too many men have the attitude that they can “look at the menu” as much as they want, as long as they don’t order anything. Jarrod exposes the ignorance of this attitude with shrewd accuracy. He talks about how the “innocent” looks and playful conversations can lead to bigger problems way too easily, how single men and women live on a razor’s edge of how far is too far. He calls men away from their flirtations with “emotional adultery” and “anything-but-intercourse” boundary lines Christians often set.

3. Feel You’re In Control (Proverbs 7:12,25)

Many men feel they can tame the beast of lust, not considering the enemy they fight. You don’t have to go looking for pornography and lustful images—they will find you. Temptations to sexual immorality are aggressive, accessible, available, and appealing. We can never choose to go toe-to-toe with them and expect to come through them: to choose this is prideful, foolish, and unbiblical. Jarrod talks about how to take God’s way of escape from these temptations.

4. Believe No One Will Know (Proverbs 7:18-20)

The fool of Proverbs 7 believes no one will catch him in his act of adultery—another foolish attitude of someone who constantly gives into porn. Jarrod warns his readers that instead of letting their sin be exposed to others in shame,to live lives of confession, exposing their sin to trusted friends, pastors, or mentors.

5. Take Just One More Look (Proverbs 7:22-23)

Jarrod writes, “The crystal-meth of sexual obsession is Internet sex” (13 Ways, p.45). He talks about the escalation of sexual addiction today due to the prevalence of pornography online, and he explains some of the hormonal reasons behind addiction. Drawing on his own experience with addiction to cigarettes, he shares how God breaks a person of their addictions, and shares about the power of accountability in a person’s life. Ultimately he points his readers to the cross of Christ (Romans 6) as the way to slay the power of sin slavery:

“When the ‘one more look’ drags you toward the sexual sin, take ten long looks at the cross of Jesus. Think about Jesus’ stunning sacrifice, His great love, His awesome freedom, and His gripping grace gifted to you when He saved you by His death on the cross. You are free from addiction and free from struggle and free from sin because He beat it all on the cross. You are no longer a slave to your lusts. You are a son of His love and glory. So embrace the truth and live it by constant repentance and faith.”

6. Act Without Thinking (Proverbs 7:22)

The man of Proverbs 7 is impulsive, which is what leads him to follow the prostitute without thinking. Jarrod calls us to take a serious inventory of our lives, to really think about what we are doing and how we might be crossing the line. When an impulsive heart meets with pornography or with an all-too-vulnerable friendship with someone of the opposite sex, this is the first step on the road to immorality. Jarrod reminds us that we will not stumble into purity or trip into godliness. We must aim for it.

7. Think You’re the Exception (Proverbs 7:26-27)

Men who think that they are somehow different than all other men are either guilty of incredible pride or incredible ignorance (or both). Sexual sin is a road to spiritual death: no exceptions. Jarrod gives his readers another perspective: You don’t want to be the exception. Being the exception means that God never brings your sins to light, never brings you to conviction, and thus never leads to repentance. He speaks to those who feel they are “just in a season” of weakness to be honest with themselves and with God, to admit their selfishness and seek God’s mercy.

8. Learn By Experience (Proverbs 7:1-2)

The fool learned by experience: don’t touch the fire or you will get burned. The very reason why Proverbs 7 was written was so that we never need to learn this lesson by experience. We, all too often, want to learn by experience, even if we are told by wiser people not to do it. Jarrod encourages his readers to take Solomon’s warnings to heart.

9. Live in Denial (Proverbs 7:9,21,25-26)

We all have the tendency to rationalize sin. Jarrod talks about the vulnerable moments when we are likely to want to rationalize: when we are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. He gives practical tips about these moments of vulnerability.

10. Deny the Obvious (Proverbs 7:10,13,16)

There are many red flags about the woman in Proverbs 7: she is aggressive, manipulative, scandalous, and seductive. Jarrod powerfully warns his male readers about not getting emotionally or physically involved with certain kinds of women. He teaches men how to handle seductive clothing, sensualized media, and a woman’s sexual advances.

11. Be Gullible (Proverbs 7:13-18)

This chapter is all about not being emotionally gullible or naïve when it comes to getting close to women. Jarrod pokes holes in those seemingly unimportant conversations that can eventually lead to sin. Whether you are single or married, this chapter speaks specifically to your situation. He sets some great boundaries for married men and some great standards for single guys.

12. Make Excuses (Proverbs 7:13,15)

Until we learn to stop making excuses for our sin, we will never find the freedom we want from sin. The man of Proverbs 7 could have easily tried making excuses for himself about how this seductive woman preyed upon him, but in the end he was to blame for his own actions. Jarrod prepares his readers for those difficult confrontations with seductive people and situations. Instead of playing the victim of sexual temptation, Jarrod talks about rejecting all attempts to excuse our sin.

13. Get Hardened to God’s Truth (Proverbs 7:1)

Jarrod reminds us that the book of Proverbs is words of wisdom written by Solomon to his son, but Solomon himself did not deed his own God-given wisdom. In this last chapter, Jarrod warns us about how easily we can become hardened to God’s words and not obey them. He talks about reading, studying, meditating on, and memorizing the Word of God with diligence.

Overall Jarrod’s book is entertaining, refreshing, hard-hitting, cross-centered, and extremely practical. I wholeheartedly recommend it to any Christian man.

For more book reviews on different topics by Luke Gilkerson, click here.

Also, check out www.convenanteyes.com.  Breaking Free is a blog post of Covenant Eyes.