At 83 pages, Sexual Detox: A guide for men who are sick of porn is another helpful installation in the line of books from Cruciform Press. In this book the popular Christian blogger Tim Challies (www.challies.com) lays out the problem and then makes his contribution to the discussion of how to be rid of this terrible sin.
Challies points out the scary reality that many of the children being raised now will learn of sex not from their parents but from the internet, outside of their parents supervision and control. As of 2006 70% of men 18 - 34 have viewed pornography online. 1 in 3 viewers of pornography on the internet are women. Needless to say this issue is one that must be tackled head on.
Challies lays out the reality, "I want you to hate and fear the realities of pornography as you ought to hate and fear the sin itself. I want you to know that you cannot be a loving husband, an effective husband, or a godly man as long as your mind is filled with the lies of pornography." (p 19)
Pornography is ultimately about self, ourselves and our self gratification. It is clearly focused on the sexual pleasure of the person viewing it. This is a total perversion of what sex is about. Sex is not meant for self gratification but for the gratification of another, namely your spouse. So when we allow pornography into our lives, we allow the pornographer's to shape our sex lives. "To give yourself over to pornography is to have your whole perception of sexuality altered, shaped by professional pornographers." (p 25)
Challies helpfully points out that the external act is merely an expression of the internal reality. So he says, "you need to replace lies with truth, and unholy practice with a holy one." (p 27) He then says that sex is a good gift from God and must be viewed that way if one is to be free from pornography. Often times in modern Christianity sex is viewed as dirty and something that must not be talked about, this view of sex has ultimately proven to be unhelpful and has hindered the discussion rather than help it.
Throughout the remainder of the book Challies lays out steps to what he calls "Sexual Detox". He starts in the bedroom by laying out a proper view of what sex is, and encourages men to ask a series of questions. The most convicting of these questions being "Can you thank God for this?" This question is not only good for sexual sin but can be applied to sin in general. Understanding this is key, if we are to do everything with thankfulness to God then that makes sin in any area very difficult.
Challies then moves onto detox for your soul. This is where he really shines, many times in books like this the author proceeds to make a long list of things like add an internet filter to your computer or join an accountability group. But Challies starts by showing that this is a gospel issue that must have feet. He says, "Standing firm in the gospel and relying the grace and power of God to make our efforts effective, we must put off that which is of the flesh and in its place put on that which is of the Spirit."(p 70) He then moves to the very practical, "You need to stop looking at pornography. And you need to stop masturbating. Right now. As in, this instant. Not tomorrow. Today." (p 70)
Sexual Detox is a helpful tool to have for any man who struggles with pornography or any man who helps others who fight with pornography.
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