The Taboo Issue
Note from the Editor
Inappropriate. Adult. X-rated. Naughty. Smutty. Dirty.

All of these are euphemisms we've brought into the conversation to soften the blow. Even the big one, "Pornography," feels like a technical term, something scienc-y enough to sterilize what's really happening. We euphemize the terms we use for the product because it adds another buffer between us and having to talk about...what people do with the product.

Having that safety gap between what we say and what's actually going on isn't necessarily a bad thing, though. We don't want to lead anyone into temptation, and we don't want to be banal.

What is wrong, though, is not talking about it at all. The fact that countless people are regularly pleasuring themselves at the expense of countless men and women whose bodies are traded for sex on the internet is a tragedy too important to be silent about.
I'm not saying you should be indecent, but you need to put the work in to find decent ways to have good conversations that lead to excellent results: repentance and the delivery of the Gospel.

Not doing so would be...inappropriate.

This month's eNewsletter is 100% guest posts - a pastor/counselor, a woman whose husband admitted his guilt and who went through the pain it caused, and a college student working to use the best tools to keep himself and his friends away from temptation. Real people, real experiences, and real conversation about the reality of porn addiction. We hope you enjoy it.

by Annabelle Woods
He has let out his nasty little secret. His burden has been put down; he feels relief and asks for forgiveness. You just got dumped on. You are in shock, angry, in disbelief, and cut to the core. Forgive? How? Do I stay? Do I go? How can I go? How far has he gone? With whom? How much do I need to know? How much can I handle? Am I safe? How could I ever trust him again? You have been traumatized.

Just what do you do?

Let the Tears Fall

They clear the heart and mind. Breathe. Slow and deep...just keep breathing.

Find Good Counsel

For me, my Pastor was my first go to, a safe haven, taking me to the Lord in prayer, helping me lay my burdens at His feet and learn to LET GO! Proverbs 3:5  "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding." 1 Peter 5:7 "Cast all your cares upon him, for he cares for you."

I also found a secular counselor to deal with depression and anxiety. Finding a Christian counselor was not enough; he/she had to know the need for the Savior as well as understand addiction and the trauma to a spouse. For those reading this, you have the blessing of Conquerors through Christ. Editor's Note: Conquerors through Christ does not offer direct professional counseling, but we are very willing and able to connect you with professional Christian counselors who understand the psychology and the Gospel.

Give Yourself Grace

Allow yourself to mourn the losses, be angry for a while, and go through the cycles of grief: Shock, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Sorrow, and Acceptance. If you find yourself stuck in Angry-ville - get help! Anger is justified, but it should not last months on end and should never be violent in any way.

[Continue reading on CtC website]

Use Them Right and Enter Light

by Chris Royce, a senior in the pre-seminary studies (pastoral track) program
at Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN

Aside from small repairs and simple fixes, my family and I have never really been a family of elite handymen or "do-it-yourselfers." Some people have great abilities when it comes to repairing appliances, fixing cars, and building things (and if you are one of these people, I must say, I envy this gift that you have) so for the most part, when something needs fixing in our house, we find the right person to do the job. When our dryer went last month, we called the dryer repair man. If the car springs a leak, we'll have it at Fleet Farm for service the next day. When we want a new piece of furniture, we simply go to the store and buy it.

Lately, though, I've been trying to become more "hands-on" around the house. One way I tried to achieve that this past summer (besides watching HGTV) was by designing and building my own bed frame. (Note: it won't be winning any awards at a fine woodworking show, but for a first endeavor into woodwork it turned out pretty nicely!) In doing this project, I learned more about different tools, how to use them, and the different purposes they served. It was vital to use the right tool and to use them properly; otherwise the project could be ruined.

Regardless of our experience or inexperience with fixing things, many of us work hard to be the "handyman" of our spiritual lives. When we have a certain pet sin, bad habit, or addiction that wages daily warfare in our hearts and consciences, we try fixing it with a DIY method. To try and make ourselves feel better about the rut we are living in, we try and talk ourselves through it. Do any of these sound familiar?
  • "I'll quit doing this tomorrow."
  • "I haven't done _____ for awhile. I've been pretty good lately, so I can treat myself this time."
  • "I'm not harming anyone, so I don't really see what the big deal is."
These lines, and many similar ones, can be summed up into one thought that serves as the "mission statement" for our struggle against sin:

"I can fix this myself. Even if I'm going to struggle with this, I will get out of this on my own someday, somehow. There's no way that I can bring someone else into this. What would they think of me? They'll think I'm disgusting - they'll be repulsed. I would let my family and closest friends down. I can't burden somebody else with my petty problems."

Friends, this is dangerous. [Continue reading on CtC website]

Top 6 Reasons to go Pro vs. Porn

by Pastor Ed Frey
People often wonder if they are addicted to a certain behavior. The big question people often ask with addictions is "when is too much...too much?" Well, here are some signs indicating when an addiction to pornography might be beyond self-help.
Should you seek professional help? Well, here may be some triggers to consider ...
  1. Out of control! You've attempted to make efforts to quit your usage, but every effort to stop or limit the use of porn is unsuccessful. The use feels like it is out of your control. You make unsuccessful efforts to quit or limit your use.
  2. Guilty as Charged! Your use of pornography is in direct conflict with your faith and conscience. You begin to sense strong feelings of guilt, shame, regret, and depression after using pornography. One of the casualties in pornography is our feelings.
  3. I've Got A Secret! Your use of pornography is a well-kept secret. You are obsessed, however, that someone might find out, so you find yourself perpetually trying to cover your tracks!
  4. Just A Little Bit More! You find that your use of pornography is consuming your time, your energy, and your thoughts. Even when you aren't using porn, you think about it often and look forward to using it again.
  5. It's All Bad! You begin to see the negative results that pornography is having on your life. You neglect basic responsibilities; you spend too much time with pornographic material and less and less time with people. You begin to spend money on pornographic material. Your appetite for other forms of pornography increases. You are willing to put yourself in compromising situations in order to satisfy your desire for porn, e.g. viewing it at work or other public locations. Work or academic performance begins to suffer.
  6. You've Got A Headache? That's Okay, I've Got Porn! You begin to lack the desire for intimate contact with your spouse. You sense emotional distance between yourself and other people. The ones you love most begin to feel neglected. Pornography begins to be the preferred method for satisfying sexual desires.

If you are caught in the sin of lust, we want to help restore you.  
If you are in need of accountability, we want to help keep you from temptation.
If you are helping bear another's burden, we want to hold you up and encourage you.

No matter who you are, we want you to know the love of Christ - the only thing that will bring you lasting peace.

Your brothers and sisters at Conquerors through Christ

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