011: The Joys of Living in Recovery

International day for the remembrance of the slave trade and its abolition concept: Silhouette of bird flying and broken chains at autumn sunset background

Sometimes, the term “recovery” gets a bad rap. Some view it as some kind of impairment or flaw if you’re walking in recovery from an addiction. But the reality is that there’s MUCH joy that we can celebrate in recovery. This week, Frank encourages listeners to focus on the joys that one can experience as they walk away from the kind of lifestyles that kept us in bondage for years! Through brokenness, self-discovery, and hard work, joy can prevail as we become the men & women God has created us to be. Enjoy the podcast!

If you and your spouse are struggling and would like help on your journey, please feel free to contact us! Or, if you’re a wife and need some extra help from another wife who’s walked through what you have, head on over to the “Support for Wives” section and shoot Tracey a a message by filling out the contact form. All communication is strictly confidential.

193: Leaving Shame Behind


Shame is all to common among men & women in addiction. This week, we talk about the power of shame in our lives. But guess what? You don’t have to live with shame! Find out one of the most powerful disciplines you can begin building in to your life to help you combat shame & condemnation.

Show Notes:

  • Resource: Covenant Eyes – Get your first month free! Click here!
  • Final Thought of the Week: “Your future is on the other side of a battle. Your destiny is on the other side of a conflict. And the only way to win the conflict is by using what God has said over your life.” – Bill Johnson

If you and your spouse are struggling and would like help on your journey, please feel free to contact us! Or, if you’re a wife and need some extra help from another wife who’s walked through what you have, head on over to the “Support for Wives” section and shoot Tracey a a message by filling out the contact form. All communication is strictly confidential.

Recovery Is Worth The Journey


As men, we’re built with some strong inherent tendencies like accomplishing, achieving, and conquering all that is before us in life.  Like a mighty warrior galloping into battle against enemy forces, we fix our eyes on one thing: complete and total victory.  I believe we as men live for conquering.

Now, meet the man who has dealt with a sexual addiction for years in his life.  In his attempts to “conquer” this addiction on his own, he runs into walls – time and time again.  Believe it or not, his story is very typical.  Many men in his same shoes simply expect to sweep porn, masturbation, and fantasy under the rug.  And some even try to pretend they don’t have a problem at all.

Perhaps you’ve been one of those men.  There’s good news and bad news.  Which do you want first? Let’s get the bad news out of the way first: Sexual addictions are some of the toughest addictions to kick and achieve sobriety over a lifetime.  The good news? Healing and sobriety are possible and thousands of men are finding freedom every day because they have learned the right perspectives on how to fight not only today but also tomorrow, next month, and even next year.

As we enter a new year, what are some perspectives we need to have in order to find the freedom we so desperately long for? I’ve categorized these perspectives according to three places in our recovery journeys: The short-term, the in-between, and the long-term.

1. The Short-term – This is the “here and now” of recovery. I believe that the starting place in recovery from sex addiction is coming to a place of brokenness.  Acknowledging inward pain and also the pain you’ve caused others because of your addiction is critical.  Simply wanting to stop using porn is not enough.  Your actions must begin to reflect your desires for purity.  Find a counselor, support group, and safe people who can walk with you through your addiction.  These need to be people who will stick with you through those first few days, weeks, and months coming out of your addiction.

2. The In-between – This is the day to day journey that bridges the short-term and the long-term places in recovery.  Are you learning what triggers you towards using porn and acting out? Stress? Anxiety? Anger? Loneliness? What is the source of the pain inside of you? It’s so important to learn about the “whys” and “whats” that have driven you to sexual addiction.  Until you start digging up what’s underneath the surface, it will be virtually impossible to heal.

3. The Long-term – This is the place in the recovery journey that so many struggle to get to.  It’s not because of their lack of sincerity, but because of their lack of action.  Having systems in place like filtering software on all your devices will save you from temptations that come your way.  While the season of seeing a counselor and attending a support group may have ended, consider this: Are you in continual communication with an accountability partner who is helping you commit to purity? In the long-term leg of the journey, perseverance will become your best friend in sexual recovery.

Like many trips I’ve taken for business or pleasure, it takes time to get where you want to go.  And as I think back on my favorite places to travel to, many of them were pretty long trips.  But the hours of travel make the destination totally worth it.  The same can be said for sexual recovery.  Commit to the journey and don’t give up!

Defend the City: A Call to Single Men


If you are a single guy, let the words in this article soak in deep within you. And please share with every single guy you know! Even as a married man, I was incredibly challenged by this article! This post was originally found on Desiring God. Enjoy!

When Solomon saw a man without sexual self-control, he saw an enemy army and a pillaged city. He saw broken windows and unhinged doors. He saw the stronghold taken and the people defenseless. Or in his words:

A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. (Proverbs 25:28)

In the modern West, no city has walls; you don’t need to knock at a gate to enter Boston. But in Israel’s ancient Near East, where nations warred for land and survival, walls could make the difference between a flourishing city and a ravaged one. When Babylon breached Jerusalem’s walls, the city that was once “the joy of all the earth” (Psalm 48:2) became a widow and a slave (Lamentations 1:1).

So it is with us in the war against sexual sin. You are a city under siege. The armies of lust are at the gate, with seething hatred in their hearts and satin lies on their tongues. They seek to steal your contentment by making you grasp for phantom pleasures. They yearn to kill your manhood by rendering you incapable of cherishing a woman who is not airbrushed or imaginary. And they long to destroy your very soul by leaving you more in love with lust than with Jesus (1 Peter 2:11).

None of this happens overnight, of course. But over time, as we consistently throw a rope to these “deceitful desires” (Ephesians 4:22) and allow them to climb into our city, the walls crumble under their feet.

A City Without Walls

We haven’t yet grasped the nature of the fight against lust if we think only in terms of individual skirmishes. Each act of disobedience certainly has its consequences; we all know the sting of immediate guilt, regret, and self-reproach. But no single battle destroys your city — no one failure robs your contentment, your manhood, and your soul. That only happens in stages, as habitual defeats gradually weaken your defenses and silence the sound of your war cries.

Yesterday’s loss will not subject a man to the tyranny of lust, but weeks and months and years of losses will (Galatians 6:8). That’s because sin has a subtle soul-twisting quality. Each time we follow the phantom of lust into the caves of our imagination, our eyes become more accustomed to the darkness, and we find the light less welcome. This morbid curving of the soul is what C.S. Lewis called “the real evil of masturbation”:

For me the real evil of masturbation would be that it takes an appetite which, in lawful use, leads the individual out of himself to complete (and correct) his own personality in that of another (and finally in children and even grandchildren) and turns it back: sends the man back into the prison of himself, there to keep a harem of imaginary brides. . . . Among those shadowy brides he is always adored, always the perfect lover: no demand is made on his unselfishness, no mortification ever imposed on his vanity. In the end, they become merely the medium through which he increasingly adores himself. (The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, 758)

If we allow ourselves to habitually conjure up that imaginary harem, we will gradually become men who choose imagination over reality, men who find contentment as elusive as a shadow, men who have lost the ability to love a real woman. Or, to return to our image from Solomon, we will gradually become a city without walls. A city where lust roams at will, a city where no woman feels safe, a city that is flirting with total destruction (Matthew 5:29–30).

I know how tempting it is for single men to seek refuge in the thought that marriage will end this warfare. But marriage, as much as it may bolster a man’s sexual self-control (1 Corinthians 7:8–9), cannot make a persistently lustful man pure. Saying “I do” cannot rebuild the walls he has demolished through a thousand clicks, fantasies, and double takes. Men who have laid down their weapons during singleness should not be surprised when months, weeks, or even days into marriage they find lust inside the city gates.

A City with Barricades

So Satan and the armies of lust are laying siege to your city. The destroyer who turned a garden into a wasteland would smile to see your citadel collapse into ruins.

But the Holy Spirit is on a counter mission to defend your city — to raise the battlements, to post the guards, and to fortify the gates. He burns with zeal to make your city a home of righteousness, where a woman walks safely and where the noise of songs and dancing rumbles through the streets. The Holy Spirit’s presence transforms your city into a temple of the living God (1 Corinthians 6:19), and he is jealous to make it holy.

If habitual sin twists our souls and tears down our walls, habitual righteousness beautifies our souls and builds our walls. Every time you say no to lust by the power of God’s Spirit, you are not simply denying yourself; you’re building. You are not simply beating off the hordes of enemy armies; you’re setting stone on top of stone until the walls become impenetrable.

Every time you lower the sword of God’s promises on the leering head of lust (Ephesians 6:17), you are turning outward toward other people instead of inward toward yourself. You are banishing those shadowy brides and preparing to welcome a flesh-and-blood wife. And most importantly, you are sharpening your sight of God’s beauty — the only sight that will flood you with pleasure upon pleasure forever (Matthew 5:8).

In other words, you’re becoming more like Jesus, the man who faced the rage of enemy armies but never once let a soldier through the gates. Jesus was a walking fortress of a man — a city of contentment and manhood and sexual wholeness. Within his walls lives everything good. And one day soon, he will welcome us in as his bride, and we will revel in the strength of his steadfast love (Revelation 19:6–8).

Until that day, men, let’s fight with everything we have to become more like him.

He Died for This

Maybe you read this and think it’s too late. You’ve already dismantled the walls of your city. Lust has taken up its residence inside you, and you feel beaten, shackled, enslaved. If that’s you, hear Jesus’s word to every sinner, sexual or otherwise: “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). Jesus died to seek and save people like you — the lost, the sexually defiled, the one who has no self-control, the city without walls.

And Jesus also died so that you might take up a sword and raise the resistance. He died so that you might “renounce ungodliness and worldly passions” and live a “self-controlled, upright, and godly [life] in the present age” (Titus 2:12). He died so that, by the power of his Holy Spirit, you might build some walls, raise some barricades, and defend the city.

 is a seminary student at Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis and a content strategist for desiringGod.org.