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3 Important Characteristics of True Accountability

Last Updated: September 20, 2017

Joel Hesch
Joel Hesch

Joel Hesch is an author and founder of Proven Men Ministries, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring families and helping men break free from porn and sex addiction through a 12-week daily workbook study and accountability. After breaking free from his own 20-year addiction, Joel created “the proven path for sexual integrity.” His vision is to help 1 million people experience victory from strongholds of porn and sex addition.

Do you want to know the biggest reason why men and women stay stuck in porn and sex addiction?

Forgoing true accountability. That’s right, the biggest reason why you ride the purity roller coaster is you don’t embrace and engage in true accountability. In fact, many people haven’t a clue what authentic accountability looks like.

true accountability

Let’s face it. Men aren’t wired for accountability. For many of us, building relationships is hard and takes so much effort. In fact, we loathe the thought of asking others for help. We’d rather pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps or die trying. About the only thing worse than admitting weakness is being forced to share how we feel or confess our struggles. But without the right type of accountability, you won’t break and remain free from porn or sex addiction.

Maybe you’ve tried accountability before, but instead of helping you find freedom, it made you feel worse. Want some good news? True accountability is possible. Here’s what it looks like and how you can use it to gain or retain sexual integrity.

True accountability requires you to be real.

Most accountability partners simply ask each other to confess whether they looked at porn during the week. This drains and discourages you from being truthful. Based on guilt and shame, this type of accountability never brings about lasting change.

Instead, when you’re struggling, what you need most is encouragement from a man who understands. True accountability requires far more than asking if you’re struggling or had a setback, it means investing in each other’s lives. Yes, it includes confessing setbacks, but the goal needs to be mutually encouraging, helping, serving, building up, spurring on, and warning of dangers.

Don’t misunderstand. Accountability is hard work. It takes you way outside of your comfort zone. And, yes, you still need to share personal details regarding struggles. But you also talk about hopes, dreams, and victories. You get to know each other as brothers, or what I like to refer to as fellow proven men.

True biblical accountability requires being open and honest about life and growing deeper relationships. You earn the right to ask the hard personal questions, and simply avoiding failure is no longer the only goal. Of course, confidences must be kept, because nothing breaks down a relationship faster than gossip and betrayal.

True accountability requires you to be consistent.

For real change to take place you must be consistent in your accountability relationships with one or two trusted men. It takes time to break old habits and form new ones. In the area of sexual integrity, the battle is fierce. For a season, you may need to connect every day with one of your accountability partners for much needed encouragement.

Don’t throw in the towel when you have a setback. That’s right, setbacks are part of the process and journey. So, don’t be so consumed with counting the days since your last setback that you forget why you’re even trying in the first place. Start viewing setbacks as opportunities to grow instead of failures. You’ll never be perfect, but you can keep growing and experiencing victory along the way.

Another key to making accountability work is accepting your responsibility to find and grow your accountability relationship. That means if one accountability partner doesn’t work, you get a new one. Purpose right now to forever build healthy accountability relationships.

True accountability requires you to be intentional.

The next step is including a proven structure for your accountability relationships—one that builds sexual integrity into your life and the life of your accountability partner. It’s not enough for most men to simply talk about struggles. You need to be equipped and put a plan into place. Going through a study based on sexual integrity works for most men. Basically, each man does the study daily, and they meet weekly to discuss what they are learning. Of course, they keep in contact during the week to get or give a shot of encouragement, such as texting or using an accountability app.

It’s time to complete the circle and make accountability not only work for you, but to lead others along a proven path. Don’t simply read this article; plan to put a healthy system of accountability into place.

Accountability Resources
Looking for accountability partner resources? Proven Men offers a variety of resources, including a longer article on biblical accountability that explains why it’s vital for gaining sexual integrity and a 12-week daily workbook study for accountability partners to follow for healthy accountability.