Fifteenth Chapter – Resources

07/30/2008

One of the dangers in dealing with books in the “self help” field is that many are written the same way psychology textbooks are written: in other words, with lots of anecdotal evidence. The problem here is that if someone is addicted to porn, those stories may just feed their addiction. There was a Christian book for teens written in the mid ‘90s and I’m sure the author’s intention was to warn girls particularly of the dangers of messing around sexually. But for guys reading, it was more of a “how to” manual on seduction. It was re-released a few years ago, but quickly pulled out of print.

In fact, I’m not sure that a good book or resource on the subject of pornography is the answer. What might be better is a book written by a young person on the pain and hurt they went through after their parents broke up. Or an article on the link between pornography addiction and divorce and how many wish they had never left their original partner – or fell into habits that caused their partner to leave them.

Which brings us to Porn Nation by Michael Leahy. This book was released after most of the manuscript for this had already been written. Think of it as this book on steroids. There’s a lot more depth here that can only result from Michael’s ten long years spent as a sex addict. If you want to read more along these lines, this is the title to read next.

Then there’s the Every Man series by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker , which includes Every Man’s Battle, Every Young Man’s Battle, Every Woman’s Battle, Every Young Woman’s Battle, Preparing Your Son For Every Man’s Battle, and Preparing Your Daughter for Every Woman’s Battle, along with several related books such as Every Heart Restored, Every Man’s Marriage and study guides for groups or individuals (and a couple of titles that are available as DVDs). These books deal with the fundamental situation that perplexes us as human beings: We were created with certain desires which mean that we are prone to certain types of temptation. But these books contain the anecdotal approach I mentioned above, and may not be the best choice to recommend to someone who is in the middle of the battle; unless they have demonstrated a strong desire to break free.

Speaking of breaking free, I can’t omit to mention the work done over the years by Neil Anderson. Victory Over The Darkness and The Bondage Breaker are two of his signature titles, and often recommended in a variety of situations. I know many people who have read both.

James Dobson is considered a key spokesperson for Christian family issues. While I haven’t read his books – he is somewhat ubiquitous on radio – I can personally recommend his video curriculum series Bringing Up Boys which was also released a while ago on home DVD. It deals with the unique challenges of raising boys and the importance of having fathers who are not only strong physically, mentally, socially or emotionally, but are also strong spiritually.

I mentioned “accountability software” earlier. You need to have a willing and responsible partner to do this; someone who is committed to the highest goals for the one being monitored. Two pastors I know well use Covenant Eyes, which you can find online.

We also discussed the sexual confusion that can result when men cross the gender line and start looking at same-sex sites. Joe Dallas is probably the foremost Christian writer on this subject, and has too many titles to list here.

If you know someone who has entered into all this more deeply and is involved in the porn industry itself, you should check out Craig Gross and his ministry XXXChurch. His book Dirty Little Secret tells the story of his ministry to those who actually make the movies; it’s not generally recommended for everyone going through addiction (rather, see the list below) but it details how some people are committed to dealing with this challenge at its source.

Finally, I can’t leave this without mentioning the importance of local Christian counselors. Even medium sized towns have access to a professional and caring Christian counselor. There are also pastors who are prepared to walk you through this issue, if you and your spouse (or son, brother, father, etc.) are willing to do whatever it takes to break the destructive habits. Even if the person dealing with addiction doesn’t initially want to go, you might want to by yourself; and again, if you’re the person with the addiction who is reading this, you could go alone or with your wife, girlfriend, sister, etc. if they are willing.

Which brings me to mention again the program Celebrate Recovery which originated with Rick Warren’s church in Saddleback, CA. I am most impressed with the detail in which volunteers go through the program before it is launched in local communities. It deals with all manner of addictions, as well as the hurts and hang-ups that often follow us. People often bring someone with them for support. You shouldn’t have to travel far to find a church that is hosting a CR group.

Here are some resources that I haven’t checked out personally, but I think are worth knowing about because I know the companies who released these titles. As someone who works in the Christian publishing industry, I’ve tried to limit this to publishers I really trust, and to titles written in the last five years. This meant eliminating some good books, but as internet technology changes and society shifts, I think that on this subject, apart from the Bible itself, you need to be reading materials that are less than five years old.

Pure Desire: How One Man’s Triumph Can Help Others Break Free From Sexual Temptation – Ted Roberts

Winning The Battle Within: Realistic Steps to Overcoming Sexual Strongholds
– Neil Anderson

Breaking Everyday Addictions: Finding Freedom from the Things that Trip Us Up
– David Hawkins

Last Addiction: Own Your Desire, Live Beyond Recover, Find Lasting Freedom – Sharon Hersh

Desire and Deceit:  The Real Cost of the New Sexual Tolerance
– R. Albert Mohler

Virtual Integrity: Navigating The Brave New Web – Daniel Lorhmann

When Good Men Are Tempted
(revised) – William Perkins

Sex, Food and God: Breaking Free from Temptations, Compulsions and Addictions – David Eckman

Think Before You Look: 40 Powerful Reasons to Avoid Pornography – Daniel Henderson

I Surrender All: Rebuilding a Marriage Broken by Pornography – Clay Crosse, Renee Crosse (biographical)

Healing Wounds of Sexual Addiction – Mark R. Laaser

The Anatomy of Seduction
– Jack Hayford

– this list is in addition to the books mentioned above

But after you’ve read some of the books – or even all of them – remember, the best resource in this battle is only a prayer away.


Advertisements

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: