Growing up in a Christian home, sex wasn’t something we talked about. For sure, I had that infamous “sex talk,” but it wasn’t with my dad, it was with my mom. WOW… that was awkward. The expectation in our life was to do right and stay within the boundaries of purity. Beyond that, there weren’t environments that these conversations would take place in the context of my Christian walk. It was expected that I would know the rules and obey.
Since Teri and I launched The Novus Project, we have received great feedback from people on this subject matter. Just this past week, I have had numerous conversations with people who stated, “thank you for being willing to talk about this.” If you’ve read our past blog entries, you know that my pornography addiction wasn’t about sex, it was about the deep wounds that I carried within that I didn’t know how to deal with. These wounds had been deep in my life since I was a child–wounds that happened even within the context of a Christian home. There were weaknesses, confusion and brokenness that I didn’t want people to know about, so I learned to isolate from people and then medicate through the drug of pornography. This coping process took place for many years, which in turn reformatted the way I operated in all aspects of my life, especially when it came to stress, fear or rejection.
The bottom line is that there is an epidemic that we are facing in our nation today, and it is playing out in many lives, just like my story above. How do I know? Because Teri and I rarely go a day without someone saying that they are secretly struggling with the same issue, that a family member is in great need of hope but won’t step forward and receive it, that a marriage is or has been ripped apart, or that they too went through what we have and are thankful for the grace of God to have gotten them through to the other side. That’s a whole lot of life happening all around us that we never even knew was going on.
The other question we get frequently is, “why don’t we as believer’s talk about what’s really going on inside?” Honestly, that is a great question, and one that I will leave you pondering and praying through. I know that the answer is simple, but extremely complex in how it’s lived out. The reality, however, is that if we don’t somehow find a way to vulnerably and honestly approach relationship within the four walls of the church, then stories like ours will continue to replay for generations to come.
Why are we talking about this? Because there are people, and families who are on the side of the road hemorrhaging from this epidemic and we can’t just walk by them any longer and nor should anyone. In our world today, we have the responsibility to step outside our familiar and comfortable pathway, and be willing to invest in the messy and often scary place of real life relationships. A tangible expression of the gospel of Jesus Christ lived out before our eyes.
Here are few things that we have incorporated into our lives to create an environment of transparency and honesty:
- We allow a small community of safe people to journey with us in the good times and the hard times.
- In our home we speak openly of the grace of God and use language of gratitude toward our Savior for what He has done and our opportunity to live in right relationship with Him as our greatest worship.
- We intentionally create moments of honesty and confession.
- We don’t put off important conversations that need to take place in hopes that, “it will just go away.”
- As parents, we aren’t afraid to say, ” I’m sorry,” and ask for forgiveness with each other and with our children.
What are some ways that you have created an environment of transparency and honesty in your life?