Has someone talked to you about the importance of community recently?
How about the value of vulnerability?
I bet you’ve seen content on both subjects at least once in the last six months.
Interestingly enough – science has shown the percentage of people in this world without ANY confidants (not even one) has doubled in the last 20 years. Somehow, loneliness is on the rise.
I talk to men regularly who struggle with pornography.
Each of their stories is unique, but one thing remains the same.
The man has felt or currently feels lonely without fail.
Then I ask… what have you done about it?
The answer usually includes one of the following:
-They told a trusted leader and never followed up with them
-No one in their friend circle can be trusted with the details of their struggle
-Tried an accountability partner system and it’s not working
All of these experiences can cause a lot of frustration, but I have a particular bone to pick about the accountability partner system that is so commonly preached.
Almost every guy I talk to that is looking to get free of porn has tried a form of accountability at some point.
Here are some examples:
- A client of mine attended a workshop on freedom from lust and sexual sin. In the end, he was matched up with a stranger to be his accountability partner. They texted back and forth for about three weeks and haven’t communicated since.
- A university student asked a respected leader in his community to be his accountability partner. The arrangement? He would text him after he watched porn and ask for prayer. The leader would write back, “praying for you!” This lasted for about three months.
- A friend created a penalty system. Every time he looked at porn, he had to give a $500 donation to a charitable organization!
The upsetting part is that accountability is a good thing! When it’s done properly, it can be so helpful. But most of the systems out there are so lackluster that they usually make the problem much worse.
Here are a few common mistakes that I see a lot of men making when it comes to accountability.