Posts Tagged ‘hardships of a youth’

EVERY YOUNG MAN’S BATTLE: STRATEGIES FOR VICTORY IN THE REAL WORLD OF SEXUAL TEMPTATION
STEPHEN ARTERBURN, FRED STOEKER AND MIKE YORKEY

What a friend taught me:

I’d heard nothing about this practice before then. My parents never talked about sex, and my two older brothers never told me about it either. I’d never had an orgasm and had no idea what one was, but my buddy seemed to know everything. I remember the night very well.

He said all I had to do was reach inside my pants and rub my penis up and down. If I kept doing that, it would feel even better and better, and then some stuff would come out, and when that happen, it would feel really good. But first I had to get my penis hard to get things started.

When you learned to masturbate, you didn’t learn to commit the unpardonable sin.

No matter how spiritually strong you start out, a life of pornography, masturbation, pre-marital foreplay, and intercourse will weaken you and leave you distant from God.

Is masturbation a sin?
If it is, why can’t I stop it?
If it isn’t, why do I feel so guilty?

Let’s get right to it, first things first. Masturbation isn’t address in the Bible, so there’s no direct, definite scripture that says the practice is right or wrong. In other words, the issue of masturbation won’t be as cut and dried as say, adultery. But the fact that adultery is a sin helps us out a great deal in defining almost all marital masturbation as sin. Jesus said:

I tell you that anyone who looks at woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:28)

If Jesus defines simply looking lustfully at a woman as adultery for the married man, certainly looking at a woman and masturbating is adultery. But what about you single guys? While the Bible is unclear about masturbation, this same scripture makes a similarly strong case against lustful looks in single men. If looking lustfully at a woman is the same as going to bed with her for married guys, looking lustfully at a woman is the same as going to bed with her for single guys. We don’t see much difference.

Some make a case that isolated instances of masturbation to relieve sexual tension are okay, if you’re married and focusing on your wife, not some supermodel, during periods of separation or illness.

Looking at it from another direction, is masturbation the only way to release sexual tension? There may be purer ways. We need to discuss all these questions.

I feel most comfortable simply calling masturbation a “sin” because its effects are exactly like the effects of any other sin in a man’s life. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it likely is a duck:

*Habitual masturbation consistently creates a distance from God.

*Jesus said that lusting after women in your heart is the same as doing it. Since most masturbation involves a lustful fantasy or pornography, we’re certain that nearly all circumstances violate Scripture.

*The pornography and fantasy that surround masturbation change the way we view women. How can that be right?

*Habitual masturbation is hard to stop. If you don’t believe it, wait till you get married and try to quit masturbating.

*Masturbation is progressive. You’re more likely to masturbate the day after you masturbate than you’re likely to do it the day after you didn’t. In other words, the pleasurable chemical reactions draw you to repeat the practice more and more. This is bondage, and God hates bondage in His sons.

Masturbation is not rare, and most have tried it at some point. They just don’t admit it or talk about it.

When they (men) go without masturbating for a month, they feel so clean and good about themselves.

“Pond the sin and shame aspect too hard, and his insecurity problems get only stronger.”

Self-condemnation only sets the cycle of masturbation into a downward spiral, causing deeper embarrassment and humiliation.

The desire to become close to somebody can also drive you quickly into the arms of women or one-sided friendships. Rather than turn to God, you truly can begin looking for love in all the wrong places, hoping for something, anything, to take that place of that loss.

For these guys, masturbation makes them feel good and takes away the loneliness–for a moment.

If you masturbate to fix your feeling of insecurity and isolation, then the masturbation just adds to your loneliness because you’re not receiving true intimacy when you do the act.

This is why many young men fighting for sexual purity seek support in a men’s Bible study group or a smaller accountability group with one or two other men. Having a safe place to discuss this tough issue often results in an honest exchange, although getting there can be awkward. (Another drawback of being a male is that we don’t verbalize our feelings very well.)

This should be a male friend, perhaps someone older and well respected in the church, a person who can encourage you in the heat of the battle.

As your intimacy with God grows , you’ll need less of that false intimacy. You’ll find Him to be your best accountability partner.

What helps bring true intimacy with God quickly? Worship. We were created to worship. Worship and praise brings intimacy with the Lord and ushers us quickly into His presence.

We can change our views and legalize them, therefore removing the shame.  But they’ll still ensnare us in addictive, binding cycles that isolate us in despair.

Men are sexual beings. Women are emotional beings.

For most young men, it’s a major victory to come to the point of asking for help. HAVE YOU DONE THAT YET?

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A short exhortation that I wrote for our prayer meeting last June 20, 2012. So here it goes…

“Experiencing Breakthrough”
Bible Verses: Judges 2:1, Isaiah 42:3, Matthew 12:20, Numbers 30:2 and James 2:10

“WHAT IS “BREAKTHROUGH?”

Experiencing breakthrough is not an easy matter, especially if we will not ask for the governing power of our Lord Jesus Christ. Besides, only God is able to bring breakthrough into our lives. So, who else are we going to rely on?

Webster’s Dictionary says that “breakthrough” means “an act or point of breaking through an obstruction (obstruct, to block or close up by an obstacle). Breaking through is an act of removing a restriction. You break through if you overcome something in your life.

Everybody wants breakthrough in their lives, right? Everybody wants to be set free from all the troubles they are experiencing. Pain and suffering are simply not on the list. Breakthrough is what we pray for.

“WHO BRINGS BREAKTHROUGH?”

God says in Judges 2:1, “The angel of the Lord went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said, ‘I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land I swore to give to your ancestors.'” Our God let the Israelites experience breakthrough by setting them free from slavery caused by the Egyptians. But then, it doesn’t end there. God is simply not done with them yet. God says, “I will never break my covenant with you.” It means that blessings are continuous. Heavens will be opened to them. They will be continually experiencing God’s overflowing blessings.

Before the Israelites experienced breakthrough from the Egyptians, they experienced pain, sufferings and all other struggles. What does it mean? Just as we are, most of the time, we only remember God and ask for breakthrough when we experience pain, trouble, struggles and suffering or when we are at the verge of giving up. We have the tendency to focus on ourselves rather than drawing near to God first. It is only because of the pain we know that there is the God who is only able to bring comfort to His people and to set them free.

“WHAT SHOULD WE DO TO EXPERIENCE BREAKTHROUGH?”

Let’s read Isaiah 42:3 and also Matthew 12:20. God says, “A bruised reed he will not break, a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness, he will forth justice.” One characteristic of God that we should always be thankful of is that He trusts us and always and expects much from us. He will bring justice. He will bring hope. He will bring peace. He has put faith in our heart that no matter what happens in our lives, we could still have the courage to trust Him knowing that He’ll rescue us. He will set us free.

The thing we should do is to realize our nothingness before God. Accept that we cannot do anything in this life unless we will call on to God for help. Let us before God with a humble heart, pray, ask the Holy Spirit to come down and encounter Him. Let us encounter the Truth. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to join you as you pray for breakthrough into your life. Have these three things in you heart: faith, love and hope (1 Corinthians 13:13). Sometimes, we just pray by mouth and by mind but with no heart. Useless! Faith is the key.

It reminds me of the song “Breakthrough by Don Moen.” Let us listen to it and pray along with it.

The verse part is the composer’s earnest prayer to God,

“Break through
Break through all my doubts
Break through
Break through all my fears
Break through
That I may worship You
Break through
Break through all my pain
Break through all my guilt and my shame
Break through like only You can do”

He is praying to God for breakthrough. He is earnestly praying. He is in need for God’s power. The chorus part is the composer’s declaration of God’s almighty power,

“You are brighter than my darkest night
Stronger than my toughest fight
Just one touch from You my King my Friend
And I’ll never be the same again”

Maybe, he is simply saying, “My God, this is my prayer. This is the cry of my heart. My declaration. You can do amazing things in my life. I claim it. I believe in You. You can turn my situation all around. To You I cling. I will never be the same again because of You.”

“ARE YOU READY TO EXPERIENCE BREAKTHROUGH?”

You know what, just believe and have a strong faith. Don’t give up and God will never give up on you. God is able to do some breakthrough in your life, in our lives.

We are all bruised reeds that Jesus refuses to give up on. The world thinks it knows what to do with you, break you off and snuff you out! But not Jesus. No matter how deeply bruised you are or put out you may feel today, you’re not beyond the reach of God’s grace. No matter what your situation is. No matter how difficult it is. No matter how hard it may become. It doesn’t matter. God is able to turn your life all around as long as you cling to Him. Come, He will treat you gently. He will make you whole again. You will experience breakthrough! God bless us all!

I wrote this one last year, February 11, 2012. I was just browsing through the pages of my old notebook then I found this. I wrote this when I was experiencing my emotional low or being down sloped. I’m okay now. I’m totally blessed actually. I guess, it is not too late to share this one. God bless us!

“You’re Singing the Wrong Anthem Again!”

Oh boy! I guess I am singing the wrong anthem again. What wrong anthem? I’m not on a flag ceremony. So what’s the use for to think that I am singing the wrong anthem?

Wrong anthem is when you are being off the beat in singing praises and thanksgiving to the Lord. You think you’re still on the melody but then in reality, you’re already not. You think you are still giving your best to the Lord everything you have in terms of physical worship, but when you take a deeper look, your heart is just empty. You think, everything’s already enough. The music inside of you is monotonous. Simply stagnant.

That is somehow a difficult situation. Letting people know that you’re okay and still on track but the truth is, you are seriously broken, wounded, thoughtless, pretending. Those things will surely affect the way you worship the Lord our God. People see you smile and always giving your best to the Lord with the ministry you are called at, but deep inside, something’s wrong.

You are calling on to God for help but it seems you’re unsatisfied. It seems you’re unanswered. You know that there will be answers for your prayers but knowing isn’t enough. You are longing for affirmations, for confirmations. You know what to do. You know what to say. You know what to think. But applying them? Difficult. You’ve reached your limitations. You’ve burnt out. Then what do you need? Second the motions?
“Go for it. I believe in you.”
“Go for it.”
“I second the motions!”
C’mon! I don’t need second the motions. I need real and sincere encouragements. I need a lot of them.

That’s it! I’m humming and humming my needs as if nobody hears me. But then I realized, “I’m singing the wrong anthem that’s why I should stop it. I just need to be still and be amazed by the fact that God hears the cry of my heart. He hears the cry of the broken.”

“Trapped”
(January 18, 2013)

I’m afraid of everything
Everything that is so true
So serene, so calm, secrets
Truest of me? It’s unreal!

Thoughts are floating in the air
Feelings are hidden deeply
Actions, they’re always controlled
Limited! Chained by motions.

You’re talking, words just fall down
Just as the air, you’re moving
You’re felt, yet nobody cares
Desperate sounds, no one hears.

Here we are, hear the unvoiced
Young people under pressure
Oh, listen! We are lighted
Yet darkness is upon us.

Darkness, gloom, chaos, free us
Our hearts, broken and shackled
Sep’rated from the real world
Lives with unclear purposes.

Pretension! Life’s a big stage
We laugh, we cry, we get mad
Battling everyone for fame
Competing for attention.

A life cycle of drama
It’s time, we need to end this
Compassion, rise up, be freed
Save the earth, rescue yourself.

Yes! We’re trapped to prepare us
For a fight, yet to unfold
We’re trapped by wrong emotions
Trapped by unsettled motives.

O, my friend! Be freed, be freed.

———————————————-

I’m still working on. I’m not yet so good on writing poems but I’m still working on it. You know, the old saying goes like, “Practice makes perfect.” I’m now interested on it. It’s something different. So, here is my second one. I hope it would sound a lot better and more dramatic than the first one. I love to hear your comments. Criticize it, please!

Naah!  What does it look like if I would write a poem?  How will people react?  I’m not good at writing poems.  I only write essays and short stories.  Other than those, none.  But then I have to.  Our teacher in Literary Criticism told us to submit our own poems then we’ll criticize them.  Oh boy!  What will I write?  Actually, I’ve already written one and I hope it would sound good.  I have no idea about it.  I hope it looks like a real poem, or not!  (I know, it’s amateur) Naah!  I don’t care.  At least I would submit something.  So here it goes.  I want you, guys, to be the first one to read and criticize.  Leave your comments and suggestions below.  PLEASE!  I would be needing them.

——————–

“THE SENSIBILITY”
(August 18, 2011)

Imagination
Fill with emotion
Full of action
And desperation

So classic
Stylistic
Fantastic
Magnific

Too much drama
Just count the babba
To skip reality
Sleep tightly

Sense the ironic
Situation
Life with ballistic
Perception

Imagination
Your own habitation
World defined your own
So alone…

——————

There you have it. My first poem ever. I hope it would not be the last. Does it make sense? You know, your sensibility. Does it have any message? I would love to hear your comments and suggestions. They would really help. Just leave them below. Chow.
(The idea and the background behind the poem, to follow…)

(An entry from my notebook.)

What is a lot important? Our heartache or God’s heartache? Instantly, we might say, “Of course, God’s heartache is more important than mine.” But let me tell you this, sometimes we’re just lying because actions speak louder than words. We have the tendency to over-react when we are hurt and not knowing that we give more importance to our feelings than God’s.

Minsan kasi, we just focus on our loss, heartaches and brokenness rather than His. We self-pity and then ask God to restore us from all the troubles we experienced, have a strong faith and get healed. Then what’s next? A cycle? Get hurt again, self-pity, ask for restoration, have faith, get restored over and over again. Don’t get me wrong. It is not difficult for God to forgive us and restore us. There’s no ill-burden for Him. The question is, “Reasonable ba yung binibigay na forgiveness and restoration ng Lord sa atin, if we ask for restoration and healing from our brokenness by such repeated actions?” ‘Cause you know why? We have a big tendency to focus only on ourselves.

The reality is, we don’t matter but He matters. We focus on His heartaches and brokenness caused by our wrong-doings and short-comings. We keep on sinning and sinning, then when we get hurt, we ask for, you know it, forgiveness and restoration. If we love God, we should know the truth and we stop sinning. We stop sinning not because we are afraid of breaking His rules but we are afraid of breaking His heart.

“Christian Brothers” by Heather Arnel Paulsen

(An Excerpt from her book Emotional Purity; chapter 15, Dating Done Differently, pg. 130)

Paul wrote some wonderful advice to Timothy (a young man) on how to treat younger women—“like sisters, in all purity” (1 Timothy 5:2). The Greek word translated “all” is pas, meaning all things individually and in their totality. A man must treat a younger woman like a sister and “in all purity”. How does a brother treat his sister? I do not have any brothers, but I know that in all family situations brothers and sisters do not pay attention to one over the other, communicating feelings of “you’re special,” nor do they step over the lines of physical intimacy. They also generally have no hidden agendas; where they stand with each other is clear. Do brothers and sisters know one another? Yes. Do they care for one another? Yes. So what is Paul talking about? Paul stated that all women with whom a man comes in contact must be treated with “all purity”. Only God can give the green light to take the relationship to another level of intimacy. And when God gives the green light, purity remains in its proper place.

(You can read chapter 1 of the book for this part)

Some of you may say Mike treated Tracy as a sister, but did he really? He set her apart, made her feel special, and without even knowing it took over her thought life. IN A PHYSICAL SENSE HE DID TREAT HER PURELY, BUT WHAT ABOUT HER EMOTIONS? He was not up-front with his intentions. If he had been, she might not have become so taken with him. Now Tracy allowed herself to become worked up with Mike, so we cannot put all the blame on him. She could have ask him to define their friendship. They had CLOSENESS but no COMMITMENT. He was taking away emotions that should have been saved for her husband.

Since the husband is the head of the wife, he is responsible for sticking his neck out and being held accountable. When an unmarried man sticks his neck out with a young lady, he is preparing himself for the role God has assigned to him IN MARRIAGE. Christ put His life on the line, with no guarantee that we would respond. What a great life lesson men can learn in taking the initiative in relationships.