Hello Parkway Family -
I am sending this email as a follow-up to something unprecedented in our life together as a family. Today we initiated a conversation and invited all of our men on a healing path in a way we have never done before. It is because we believe this issue is so large and so destructive that we felt it necessary to take drastic measures.
The issue is pornography. It has gone from being something you have to seek out to being something you have to deliberately avoid. Along with its increased availability is its increased influence on our lives.
Rather than talking about this in general terms in a discussion about morality - for Paul in all his letters to churches discusses the need for Christians to avoid
porneia - we have decided to take this issue head on. The amount of men in America who view pornography is staggering, with estimates that even two thirds of men in church are involved. It is past time for us to speak up.
This morning we began.
We are asking every man at Parkway Christian Center to engage in a 5-week study of information and accountability as we learn together how to be men of integrity regarding our sexuality. For some of us it will be a journey back to purity and wholeness while for others it will be strengthening other men in our mutual journey. Either way this journey is for every man in our church.
The price that is paid because of how pornography creates addictive patterns in men's brains to how it changes their view of women and how it changes their behavior in and out of marriage is extremely high. Ladies we know that you have felt the pain of this and many of you know full well the importance of getting this information and paths to healing in front of our men.
Ladies, there is a great deal of shame and addiction connected with this issue, especially among Christian men who know what they should be doing but have found themselves trapped by something that seems to have a grip on them they cannot break. This is partly why we are asking all men to be involved in these study/accountability groups regardless of their current or past failures. As one author titled his work in this area, this is "Every Man's Battle."
Because of the shame and addiction and our strong desire for men to seek out help, we are asking that you pray but not pry regarding your husband or son's involvement in these groups. It is our firm conviction that these issues will be best discussed by men after at least 6 months of accountable success. We want men to confess more than "I have a problem." We want them to be able to confess "I have a problem and here is what I am doing and why" so that you can be a part of the healing process rather than risk being a part of the shaming process.
We are convinced that the Spirit of God within us is great enough to respond to this issue and that every man in our church family can be free of addiction and shame. Today we have taken the first step toward that freedom.