We at Living Without Lust spend a lot of time talking to men who need help. Various circumstances have led them to a crossroads with lust. They almost always come to us through people who know us and know them. That is why we focus a lot of our time building relationships with Christian leaders, therapists and pastors. We are all exposed to a common threat and must work together to help each other. Here are some examples of men we help. The names are changed and details withheld to protect their anonymity.
“Dan” came to us recently due to a porn problem which was lifelong. Working in the corporate world and now in his 50’s, Dan told us his wife had given him a week to get started in recovery. She wanted him to take action, to do things he had promised to do but never managed to follow through on. He wept as he told his story. Dan has now entered the recovering community to begin his journey into a better life. He now knows he is not alone, that many men are just like him. Opportunities for further growth in recovery await Dan and he is just beginning to realize how much his life will need to change.
“Jonathan” is a clergyman referred to us from another part of the country. In his early 40’s, he confessed that he had been watching porn since his early teens. I asked him how many people knew about his porn use. He replied, “Until two weeks ago, no one.” His wife became the first. I felt the agony of someone who felt the need to keep his painful, lonely secret to himself for so many years. Jonathan has left ministry for now but what the future holds is uncertain. What he knows is that his addiction is now front and center, calling out to be addressed. He knows that he cannot return to a life of managing this alone. We will talk again.
“Bob” was arrested earlier this year after looking at child porn on his computer. His family was devastated and overwhelmed when his secret life became exposed. He is facing criminal prosecution and likely jail time. We were able to connect him with recovering addicts in the city in which Bob lives. He is attending recovery meetings and taking life one day at a time. We were also able to refer him to legal help and therapy in his area. We shared our hope that like men we have known, Bob can recover and find purposeful living again.
Lastly, “Reggie” came to us more than six years ago. After repeated attempts to stop looking at porn and being unable to, Reggie’s wife was at her wit’s end and reached out to us in frustration and near hopelessness. We met with both Reggie and his wife, after which Reggie entered a 12 Step group we recommended. Reggie has been a faithful and sober member ever since. His personal recovery has allowed greater intimacy and emotional connection to enter their marriage. He now faces challenges in life as they come instead of retreating to a fantasy world.
None of these four men has arrived, nor are they free from all problems. But what they possess is a direction, a “future and a hope” that eluded them before. They have a recovering community to support them, one in which they also offer hope to others We will continue to help men like these four in 2021. But we cannot do this without your help.
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In the Lust-Bearer,
Living Without Lust