Clean is a good starter book for Christian men who struggle with sexual sin. It is also good for the church to help them understand the problem of sexual sin and learn how they can be part of the solution.
Clean is easy-to-read. It is written for the layperson, not the clinician. There are some “How-To” sections (how to confess, how to talk to your spouse, and how to create a safe environment for strugglers). I wish there were more “How-To” sections, bullet points and action lists. The book is strong on awareness, inspiration, Scripture, and a bit weak on practical takeaways.
I think some will read this book expecting “A Proven Plan For Men Committed to Sexual Integrity” to be comprehensive. Clean is not comprehensive. It’s general, on purpose. The book doesn’t try to cover every aspect of sexual addiction recovery in one swoop. The author does share some behavioral approaches to sex addiction recovery, which I think are insightful. For deeper help and therapy, he points readers to his other resources and workshops. erhaps the subtitle could be better named “A Proven Starting Point For Men Committed to Sexual Integrity”
I would put Clean near the top of my list for “first” books to read. To me, it is an “Every Man’s Battle” type of book, and maybe a little better. The author does a great job of incorporating Scripture, calling men to God’s destiny for purity and tasking the Church body to help sexual strugglers.
Interview with Dr. Weiss
I interviewed Dr. Weiss recently about Clean. Below are excerpts from the interview. Click here to listen to the full interview (25 minutes).
The concept “clean” can mean different things to sexual strugglers. What was in your mind when you think of clean?
Having a clean heart, knowing that you’re clean inside and out, honest transparent, you can see women as people. You can live the way God has designed you to live.
Statistics are a big part of the book. Why do you think statistics are so powerful?
I think statistics are a way to help the culture, religious groups, and other groups to see that they need to look at this issue—this is happening. We can choose to heal it, we can choose to ignore it or we can choose to let it grow.
If you start getting accountable and honest with one another…really walking out this relationship with another brother you can have freedom, and you can have it as long as you want it. You keep your secrets to yourself, like most guys do (and that’s why they stay stuck for decades, because they don’t break the silence), but once you do you can heal.
My feeling as I read the book is that you were painting with a broad brush. Was that intentional on your part?
I was finding in our genre of books there wasn’t an introductory resource that a church could go out and buy to plug into their ministries. Churches can assimilate [this book].
This book is filled with Scriptures. I appreciate that. One passage you say that jumped out at you is in Revelation 2, where you talk about us tolerating Jezebel. What insights can you share?
The teaching of Jezebel was that you could have Jesus and be sexually immoral. Of course no passage teaches this. God responds by saying He would put her and those who are involved with her on a “bed of suffering.” I’ve been working for sex addicts for over two decades and I’ve heard about the “bed of suffering.”
What’s really powerful is where it says “to him who overcomes I will give you authority over the nations.” You were created for a powerful destiny in Christ and the enemy sees that calling and wants to destroy it. The way he can destroy your authority is through sexuality. But if you will do the work, God says “I will give you authority over the nations.”
Chapter 6 called “Clean Brain.” I love the idea you mentioned in the chapter about “landmines.” Can you unpack this?
When you have a sexual release…you get this big rush. Now, whatever you look at (real or imaginary, in fantasy or reality), you literally glue to, hope for, crave and will want to repeat that behavior again. God designed this so that if you don’t have sex with anyone other than your wife you will be totally attached to her, no other woman will have this arousal point for you. Most of us screw this up.
Suppose you do this to tall redheads, certain body parts, a certain color of person, or a certain sexual behavior…you are now encoding a landmine that has a high attraction value to you. So, if you see this person in real life, you will be supercharged. [You struggle with landmines] not because you were designed that way, but because you created the software program for the attraction.
Some therapists take an approach of approach of exploring the wounds, family of origin, past sexual history…you don’t talk much about these in the book. Is this maybe the 201?
That’s the 201. That’s the Final Freedom, the 101 Freedom Exercises and my materials on intimacy anorexia. You can’t get everything in one book. This book is intentionally an intro to the whole genre to the church. The church needs to be the solution. She is the only plan God has on Earth to do the work….Clean is a wakeup call to the church—we’re at war.
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