My story really begins just before I entered 3rd grade. I routinely isolated myself, playing with toys in my bedroom behind closed doors. This distance created a “safety zone” for me where I was generally not bothered, told what to do, or reminded of my mistakes. I felt safe… not judged, belittled, or made to feel guilty. I was in charge, at least for a while.
I grew up in a “rules-oriented” family with strict discipline and pretty harsh punishment. I respected my dad, but didn’t really love him, no matter how hard I tried. He made my expression of love nearly impossible. Looking back, I can now see that playing alone with my toys and spending time taking things apart like baseballs, golf balls, D-cell batteries, and of course, my train engine, was the way I self-medicated the pain of lost love between Dad and me.
When I was fifteen, growth hormones hijacked my body. I soon discovered “Girly Magazines” which made me feel good and soon replaced what my toys used to do for me. My relationship with my dad further deteriorated and as soon as I graduated from high school, I left home and traveled all over the world. Travel provided me with many new and exotic and forbidden experiences, especially with women.
I was married in 1980, but as wonderful as my wife was, our union did not stop my sexual addiction. Thirty-seven years later, I heard about 423 Communities International during a men’s retreat at my church. I knew 423 Men was where I needed to be. I had spent thirty-one years, since becoming a believer in Jesus, pleading with God to take away my wrong sexual practices. Praying, bargaining, and crying out to God had not changed a single thing…I kept coming back for more of my sin, and sadly, hating it less. I truly felt there was no hope this side of Heaven.
Then I joined 423 Men and eventually became a leader in this recovery program. I have been active in my 423 Men group for nearly two years, and I am so thankful for my new community accountability and acceptance. I still have a long way to go on my journey of healing, but now, for the first time in my life, I have hope!
Would you like to join a group of men, women, or young people fighting against pornography and the spirit of porneia? Join a 423 Communities group today.