We were recently contacted by a gentleman who is working hard to get the Conquer Series into churches because of the way it has impacted his life. He wrote this story for a local church who were considering starting a Conquer Group. He has granted us permission to share it with you in the hope that it will help other churches confront this issue. Will you share this with your Church leadership?
“Come unto me all who are weary and heavy laden and will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28.
I needed rest.
You know me.
I am in the pew,
at the fellowships,
in the small groups,
on the praise team,
in the band,
In the choir,
at the deacon’s meeting,
…Even behind the pulpit……..silently, secretly suffering because my shame and guilt would NOT allow the risk of my sharing the dark secret of my lust and sexual brokenness—My Shattered Christianity—with anyone in the church.
I know this is true …….because I lived it!
This is my story where my Shattered Christianity has given way to a message of hope, healing, restoration, and rest.
For years AFTER ACCEPTING CHRIST, my relationship with Him was distanced and continually shattered by my continual lack of sexual integrity and complete Followship.
I was exposed to porn early in my life, and at first simply gravitated to it, but gradually, insidiously, it became an integral, accepted part of my life—even as a Christian.
I always knew I was eternally secure in my salvation, but my daily walk with Christ was constantly sidetracked, and I often found myself desperately defeated and ineffective as a Christian witness and Follower of Christ.
That all changed 8 years ago, under conviction from God, when I shared with my wife of 30 years, the double life I was living as a Christian–in covenant marriage to her and under Christ—while at the same time viewing porn and allowing masturbation to create a false underworld of fantasy and control. My Shattered Christianity became obvious, evident—and exposed!
I was actively, consistently involved in all aspects of Christian life and secure in my final destination being saved at age 9, but I was missing out on Christ’s fullest daily abundance for me most of the years after. I am now convinced that satan was so satisfied, that he pretty much left me to myself for self-guilt, self-shame, and self-defeat.
After admitting the bombshell of my double life, my wife and I immediately sought out safe Christians and places to discuss and work through all the broken places I had created in our relationship.
Even in her pain, my grace-filled wife determined she was staying committed, wanted me to stay, and together for us to grow deeper in Christ and closer to each other.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 NASB
We started our seeking, after much prayer, with limited, anonymous Christian sources online and followed up with ANYONE who would just listen and walk with us.
One of the most frustrating experiences I had was the lack of meaningful help from our church and the Christian Community….those who didn’t intentionally avoid me, didn’t really know how to handle my persistent search for healing, and were definitely uncomfortable with my brokenness and any conversation related to it.
A huge disappointment we encountered was after sharing our heart to stay together and begin to grow together in Christ—and then not to have the compassionate, continuing support of other fellow brothers and sisters in our church “family” to walk with us through the painful points of healing and restoration. We felt pushed away, dismissed, ostracized and abandoned.
I also share with you the heart-wrenching journey my wife has had, and is still having, trying to find other Christian women/wives who share her commitment to covenant marriage in spite of their husbands betrayal….physically and/or mentally, in a confidential and supportive Christian setting.
She has been hurt on a personal level by the continuing lack of easily identifiable, confidential, available support in the overall Christian community for wives who have experienced this type of betrayal—-especially since we have come to know the growing, staggering statistics of this situation permeating the church!
For those who have already written me off as a radical sexual sinner, I will tell you that I actually didn’t cross the “flesh” barrier…..
I didn’t act out my fantasies physically with another person.
I didn’t participate in phone sex.
I didn’t go to online chat forums.
This was all “just” private infidelity—fantasy in my head and heart (thought-life) with porn and masturbation. Sadly, I have come to know that a MAJORITY of Christian men in our current society have this same attitude and thought-life infidelity.
I have come to realize this has just as deep and devastating an impact on my covenant relationship with my wife as if I had physically sought out prostitutes or an adulterous partner.
For years I convinced myself that this was “my private life” and that I was hurting no one else. In fact, I was so secure in this, that in the many heated arguments through the years with my wife, every time she brought up the idea that there was someone else besides her, I would confidently answer—“there is no one else!” I came to understand that indeed—-THERE WAS SOMEONE, MANY SOMEONES—in my head, and therefore in our bed.
I am humbly sharing this with you because I know the power of The Conquer Series and am SO THANKFUL for the courage that Highland is showing by intentionally offering a place to begin courageous conversations about sexual brokenness, and to grow deep, honest discipleship relationships with men seeking help from these ensnaring, life-robbing strongholds that shatter their Christianity.
I pray that you will be open to God expanding the open door to sexual brokenness in all forms, to men of all ages, single and married (and their wives) seeking to grow their sexual integrity through Christ and with other Christians so they can be released from their shattered defeat—-to truly Love the Lost!!
I am convinced that conversations and discipleship in this one area will free our Christian community to become more fully devoted Followers of Christ and offer Shattered Christians compassionate shelter to safely share their silent struggles and exponentially expand the effectiveness of their witness to a lost world.
“And Jesus answered, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”” Luke 10:27 NASB
I am still a work in progress, but my Christianity is no longer in a daily shattered state. Through daily honesty and surrender, I am experiencing the hope and rest–physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually—that comes from receiving more of Christ’s full abundance and grace….. helping others do the same and loving my neighbor better as My Shattered Mess, becomes His Amazing Message.
I’ll be glad to talk to any of you confidentially more about my story and of growing the safe, Christian community of active discipleship.
Restored and Resting.
Please take a moment to share this letter with your church leadership. If you are a Pastor or Church Leader, and are in need of resources that speak into your churches sexual brokenness, please call us on 561 681 9990. You can also order your review copy of the Conquer Series DVD set with a 14 day money back guarantee at KingdomWorks.com.