For 20-plus years, I was what Steve Arterburn would call “marginally addicted” to porn (see his book, Every Man’s Battle). I was (and still am) active in church and church leadership. But, I would, from time to time, be really tempted and look at things I knew were wrong.
Once there, I would binge for two hours or more. I would maybe do it again for two or three days; then, I would stop, repent, and would stay clean for weeks, months, or more. But the pattern was secret, and I never felt victorious; rather, I was burdened by my sin pattern.
So about four years ago, I found myself going further in looking than I had before, and with more intensity. The Holy Spirit spoke to me that this was a crisis point where I was either going to bring this to the surface and get help, or I would go further into darkness and sin where I would be in direct rebellion against God. I told my wife that I was struggling in the area of being tempted and needed help. At that time, I joined Covenant Eyes and discussed my problem with my ally.
I also began reading the blogs of Covenant Eyes guest authors and one that stated, “A LONE SHEEP IS A DEAD SHEEP,” meaning that we have to walk in community with at least a couple of people who we can really share with. I ended up going through about eight weeks of meetings and counseling by phone with this man who became a mentor to me.
I also found a second ally as well, and this has been a tremendous help. I found that only having one can lead to becoming too comfortable with some “slips,” and there is not as an acute accountability awareness. Having a second or third ally keeps the sense of accountability fresh. I now am free from that old pattern of secrecy and burden. If I cross a boundary or approach too close to one, my partners may say, “This looks a little concerning to me; let’s talk about it.”
And because I want to be like Jesus, I am open to talking about it and keeping everything on the surface. That is freedom. I encourage all who read this to get serious about doing whatever it takes to show the fruits of repentance. That is the true test of discipleship—saying “yes” to God when he lets you know it is time. He will guide you and give you freedom. It is tough to admit to all that need to know, but God himself will be with you.
Want to learn more about how Covenant Eyes can help you find freedom like Mike? Click here.