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A Strategy For Recovery: Build a Good Offense

January 21, 2010

A good offensive strategy is critical to finding sexual purity and health in your sexuality.   

Moving toward sexual purity requires us to rethink our strategy.  What we have done before didn’t work.  We need think differently about how we get strong in our quest for healthy sexuality and in our sexual addiction recovery. 

When part of our lives is broken, we have to go deeper and get better help.  We have to approach our purity differently.  We also have to find the right balance in our strategy. 

Yesterday’s blog “A Strategy For Recovery:  Build a Good Defense” I compared our strategy to that of a good football team.  A successful team has a strong defense and a strong offense.  Most men in sexual recovery work on their defense, but neglect offense.   

Offense = measures you take to strengthen your inner man (heart) 

Defense = measures you take to protect yourself from acting out sexually  

Here are some things you can do to strengthen your insides.   

1.  Relationships with other men – We need healthy relationships to succeed as a man, and to succeed in our sexuality.  We have spent many years pouring our energy into lustful things.  We are grossly deficient in healthy relationships and need other men to lean on when we have struggles.  Pouring into other guys keeps us from selfishness.   

2.  Relationship with your spouse – Pouring into our spouse also keeps us from selfishness.  Our spouses have probably been objects of our lust.  We need to learn to serve them.  We also need to realize the greatest ally and supporter God has given us is our spouse.   

3.  Healthy outlets for your passions and creativity – We are passionate, creative people.  We have spent a lot of time, energy, and money on our lustful habits.  We need to find healthy places for that energy.  Take up a hobby.  Build something.  Go to the gym.  Learning to pour yourself in healthy directions when you feel edgy and triggery is a huge step.  We have to learn to think differently with our creativity.   

4.  Healthy habits to keep you busy – We have developed bad habits and reinforced them.  We need to stop our bad habits (defensive), and replace them with good ones (offensive).  The TV vegging has to give up its throne.  Chilling out on YouTube needs to be replaced by a healthier habit.  Get busy with something different.  Fill your day with something that doesn’t make you feel triggery or lead you down a wrong path. 

 5.  Work on your wounds – Our hearts need God’s healing.  We all have hurts in our past and damage that was done.  Our wounds might be deep anger, disappointment, resentment, negative messages, grief or abuse.  Deeper healing helps us grow strong on the inside.  Face the pain with a counselor, or a pastor.  Bring your wounds to God and let Him heal you and teach you His truth.   

6.  Support Group – Groups are both defensive and offensive.  They can help you with roadblocks, but they can also help you explore the deeper stuff.  They can hear things and see things in your life that you cannot.  No one can do recovery on his own.  He needs other men to challenge him and help him work through issues.   

7.  Help others with their struggles – Internally, we have been very selfish in our addiction.  We have to learn to focus on and care for others in our recovery.  Reversing the flow from selfish to serving is huge for our sexual health. 

8.  Prayer and the Word of God Washing You – Nothing changes your inside more than the power of God and the power of His Word.  You have to open your life up to His Word.  We have believed lies about our identity and about sexuality.  We need God’s Truth to correct us from the inside out.   

9.  Way of getting your feelings out – Sexual addicts are great at internalizing their feelings.  They like to be alone, in control, and open up to very few people.  Recovery means you are learning to share your feelings.  You need someone to talk to.  You need to learn how to talk to God.  You may need a journal or notebook to help you with this area.   

Whether we realize it or not, we were pouring our feelings into our computers, DVDS, and magazines.  We were medicating our pain with sexual pleasure.   

10.  Read recovery materials – People successful in recovery are reading books and articles.  They are seeking guidance and mentorship.   Anything by Dr. Doug Weiss or Dr. Mark Laaser is a good place to start.   

I have discovered quite a few podcasts on I-Tunes.  Click HERE for a really good list of podcasts on sexual purity and sexual recovery.   

11.  Hearing and sharing stories – God uses the stories of others to give us hope, encouragement, challenge, and tips.  We realize we are not alone in our struggles.  We gain more confidence in being able to talk about our story.  Group is a great place to hear the stories of others and practice sharing yours.  

Sharing your story becomes a way that you learn to serve and help others.   

I hope that you have some good thoughts now on developing your own defense and offense.  I am learning a lot from the guys in my recovery group.  My mentors, counselors are teaching me how to develop and tweak my strategies.   

One last thing… 

Some will focus so much on offense that they neglect defense.  We can get so wrapped up in ourselves, our heart condition, and our relationships, that we forget to set up the necessary roadblocks.   

The worst offenders are the hyper-spiritual people.  To them, sexual purity can be fixed by reading their bible more, fasting, and memorizing more verses.  They think that reading the works of Jonathan Edwards and C.S. Lewis are some magical key to being a super-Christian.   

I agree that God needs to be larger in our life and that we must rid ourselves of spiritual idols.  But we can’t be spiritual enough on our own to overcome sexual sin.  The super-spiritual seem to think it all depends on them.   

God uses others in our recovery.  We need skilled hands (pastors, counselors, mentors).  Sexual purity is not up to us alone.  We need to confess to others, submit to others, serve others, bear one another’s burdens.

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