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Air Jordans, Porn, and your Soul

walking-shoesMowing my yard is a bit of an escape. If you ask my neighbors they would probably say I should “escape” more often. But mowing does provide a weird sort of solitude for me. It’s likely related to how the mower manages to drown out the noise of life for a little while. Couple that with the physicality of doing yard work and it’s a beautiful distraction.

It is during these times of solitude and inner stillness that important thoughts, themes, or metaphors come to mind. So just a few weeks ago I was mowing my yard and had to maneuver around some unpleasant droppings my dog had just made. Truth is, it had been some time since the last thorough pick up of droppings so I had to dodge quite a few bombs. Which is precisely the reason I wear an old pair of sneakers when I mow. I’ve worn them so much for mowing that they have very attractive green stains across the toes.
Then the thought occurred to me. What if I mowed the grass in a nice pair of expensive basketball shoes? What if I wore a new pair of $225 Jordan XX9’s or some other expensive shoe named after an NBA celebrity?  Not only that, but what if I wore them without any care or concern for the dog droppings and just slogged through pile after pile of my pet’s unpleasant waste?
Wouldn’t make any sense, right? Why would you take such an expensive pair of sneakers and use them for yard work when they are meant for the basketball court? Why would anyone want to leave grass stains on such a stylish and hip brand? Our lives, our very souls are far more valuable than any famous pair of sneakers. Not only that God has in mind for us a far greater purpose. Yet, when it comes to porn it seems we have no problem at all not only walking through but wallowing in pile after pile of the crap. With little to know thought or care for the impact it has on our soul.
So here’s what I hope we’ll learn from this little parable inspired by my weekly yard work. It’s a truth we may need to confront. Continually viewing porn is like buying a pair of high-priced Air Jordans and walking in dog crap over and over. Remember, there’s always a smell, crap fills the sole (SOUL), and it (STICKS) so you can never really get rid of the (sorry, there’s just no other way to put it!) S#@%!
“you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” I Cor. 6:20

 

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7 Signs You Should Stay (post porn discovery)

Stay or go?

Stay or go?

“Should I stay or should I go…?” Those are the words to a catchy 80’s song but it’s also the question many women (and some men) grapple with in the wake of learning of their significant others secret forays with porn. In fact I was recently asked this very question by a young adult who decided it would be better to end a relationship after finding out about her boyfriend’s problem. Reflecting on things, she realized she was dealing with a lingering sense of guilt and doubt and wondered if she should have given him a chance. Based on what she told me I assured her that she made a wise decision.

So how do you know if it’s time to call it quits and move on? Do you hang around long enough for him to “wake up” while you endure an endless cycle of  his white-knuckle resistance and inevitable relapses?

Here are 7 major signs that can help you know if you should stay or go:

#1 – He’s SORRY read 2 Cor. 7:10 (NLT) this sorrow is more than just an apology. It’s a depth of sorrow that indicates a true awareness of the impact of our sin. Addicts often live with the lie that their acting out only harms them. Real sorrow rejects that excuse and realizes the broader impact.

#2 – He’s REPENTANT read Matt. 3:8 (NLT) John the baptist skewers the religious leaders by implying that their religious vigor isn’t a real indicator that their lives have changed. Instead he says, “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.” If your guy’s change is the real deal you’ll see it not just in words but in action.

#3 – He’s BROKEN this involves a deep remorse, regret, and an utter disgust at one’s sin. This will be visible in his face, tone, and language he speaks with. It’s marked by a deep sense of how his sin is an offense to God. The best example is king David in 2 Sam. Then David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’”

#4 – He’s seeking RECONCILIATION 2 Cor. 2:5-10 (NIV) Porn has likely fractured other relationships so this means he’s intentionally pursuing the restoration of those relationships. Calling friends up and apologizing, and demonstrating authenticity and transparency are evidence he’s serious about this.

#5 – He’s CONSISTENT Luke 16:13 (ESV) if he’s on-again, off-again with intentional practices to get better then there’s a good chance he’s not serious. When he adjusts his schedule, prioritizes his group, counseling sessions, and dates with you then you know he’s a keeper!

#6 – He’s RESILIENT Phil. 3:14 (NIV) recovery will come with some relapses, missteps, and set-backs. But your guy shouldn’t stay down long. If he wants to be with you he’ll get back up and jump back into his recovery plan. No whining, excuses, or complaining just get back up!

#7 – He’s HUMBLE Phil. 2:3 (ESV) Humility is a powerful antidote. That’s why a guy will find himself in a place of deep brokenness (see #3). Humility literally means, “lowliness of mind”. If your guy is thinking less of himself and serving you and others more then plan on putting your trust in him once again.

I’m certain I haven’t covered every positive sign but theses are pretty major indicators. Pray for clarity, discernment and decide.

 

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