Tag Archives: Recovery

Six Things To NEVER Do If Your Child Looks At Porn

If you discover your child is looking at pornography:

  1. DO NOT PANIC

This moment is not about you. Put your feelings (i.e. fear, anger, disappointment, etc.) aside and focus on your child. Show your child that you love, support, understand, and want to help. Unfortunately, porn is common among teens. One study found that 93% of boys and 62% of girls were exposed to pornography before age 18. (1)

  1. DO NOT IGNORE

As an adult, I learned that my parent’s knew I was looking at their pornography. They never mentioned it to me because “boys will be boys.” Oh how I wish they had helped me. I suffered under this addiction for thirty-five years!

  1. DO NOT ASK FOR (OR EXPECT) A CONFESSION

Only 22% of adults confessed when confronted by their spouse even with evidence. (2) Do you think your child or teenager is more likely to confess than these adults?

Instead of asking “Did you …?”, say “I discovered …” in a matter of fact tone. Remember we set aside feelings of fear, anger, and disappointment?

  1. DO NOT INTERROGATE

Avoid asking “why”. Use concrete questions: When did this start? How often have you looked at porn in the last month? How do you access the pornography? What can I do to help you stop?

Then Listen. Validate their feelings even if positive. “I could see how that would be exciting for you.” Validation just means you understand not necessarily agree.

  1. DO NOT MAINTAIN THE STATUS QUO

Your child’s promise to never do it again is not enough. Believe their sincerity but don’t believe in their self-control. Do whatever you can to block your child’s access to porn. You don’t let the alcoholic keep going to the bar.

  1. DO NOT GO IT ALONE

Remember that fear, anger and disappointment you set aside? You need someone to express your feelings. Your child likely needs the same support. Call us (972-342-0753 or 214-415-4555) or email us here at Noble Choices. This is our specialty. We want to help.

(1) Chlara, S., Wolak, J., & Finkelhor, D. (2008). The nature and dynamics of Internet pornography exposure for youth. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 691-693.

(2) Steffens, B., & Means, M. (2010). Your Sexually Addicted Spouse. Far Hills, NJ: New Horizon Press.

Eight Reasons Sexual Harassment is not Reported

By Angela Tooley

I’ve always loved Rosie the Riveter. Rosie represents the empowerment of women in the World War II work force. She is tough and ready to meet the challenge of that time.

Today females are being challenged to find empowerment in another arena – defending themselves from sexual harassment. Harassing behavior exists from bullying to physical violation. Decades ago numerous costly lawsuits changed the workplace and gave young women like myself a voice to speak against such harassment.

I wonder what has changed?

Why does it seem like that females are defenseless against this dehumanizing attack?

  1. Pornography normalizes this behavior by the perpetrator.
  2. Pornography normalizes the acceptance and the conformity of the victims.
  3. Women feel they have to put up with this to advance their careers due to the glass ceiling of unequal pay and/or opportunities as men.
  4. Women want to avoid embarrassment.
  5. Women do not want to jeopardize their reputation.
  6. Women don’t think anyone will believe them.
  7. Women don’t believe it will do any good.
  8. Women, especially young ladies who have grown up with pornography may not have ever realized that they can so no to unwanted advances.

Those who have already come forward have been truly brave. Those who still need to come forward will need support.

For anyone reading this who has been a victim, and for anyone who feels like it is too late to be helped; we pray for you every day. There is help and hope, and we would love to share that with you.

For anyone who has been the perpetrator, there is help and hope for you, too.

The daily revelations of inappropriate sexual behavior have been stunning: entertainers, executives, politicians, journalists, teachers, and clergy. Sadly, I expect the revelations to continue and to eventually hit too close to our homes.

How will you respond?

Men and women, we are all empowered to say NO and to end any acceptance of these kinds of inappropriate behaviors.

Noble Choices stands with you as we:

  • educate about today’s pornography culture
  • empower youth to do the right thing
  • foster safe environments
  • provide recovery resources

This is for all of us.

We can do it!

Pain

By Angela Tooley

Pain – it’s an inescapable part of life, yet we do everything we can to escape it or numb it. There is physical pain in our bodies – temporary or chronic. Then there is pain from our own choices and pain that comes from the choices of others.

The current opioid crisis demonstrates how far we have come in our culture in our inability to deal with pain. This crisis born of misguided notions of pain management with highly addictive forms of synthetic heroin

kills 91 people per day.

Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not unsympathetic to being in pain. I’m not unsympathetic to those who are addicted. I would like us to understand that there is something to be gained from pain. We must be willing to pay attention whether that pain is physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual.

CS Lewis called pain “God’s megaphone.” Pain gets our attention so that we may know God is present. We see this in Job’s suffering, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.” Job 42:5

Priscilla Shirer describes pain as a mysterious blessing, “it compels us to more accurately assess the wisdom or foolishness of our choices. Pain is ironically the key to being spared even worse discomfort.”

The reality of pain is that it should be confronted. The good news is that we do not have to do this alone. Our pain was never meant to be ours alone. Whether our pain is physical, mental, emotional or spiritual we have help through Christ and through each other.

This is part of our mission at Noble Choices – to come alongside others who need recovery (and we all need it). We lead Celebrate Recovery in Richardson, TX and recommend it if you live in other areas. We offer life coaching and counseling to those struggling with sexual sin in their life or the life of a loved one.

We have had to face our own pain and by God’s grace we are here to help and offer hope. There is always hope!

“we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope”  —  Romans 5:3,4

 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2017, August 30). Understanding the Epidemic. Retrieved from Opioid Overdose: https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html

Lewis, C. (1940). The Problem of Pain. United Kingdom: The Centenary Press.

Shirer, P. (2017). Awaken. Nashville: B & H Publishing Group.

Study on Porn Use

A recent study shows that porn use is worse than we thought. And we thought it was pretty bad.

The Barna Group surveyed a representative sample of U.S. adults.

Men age 18 to 30 who viewed pornography more than once a month was 75%!

It wasn’t much better for men age 31 to 49 which was 59%.

Viewing porn more than monthly was relatively the same across all income levels and education levels and specifically was:

  • 69% of Hispanic men
  • 64% of Black men
  • 49% of White men
  • 56% of non-Christian men
  • 52% of Christian men
  • 62% of non-married men
  • 40% of married men

Roughly 1 out of every 5 men either said they were addicted to pornography or were unsure.

Particularly alarming was the rate of women using pornography.

While less than 10% of women over 30 view pornography more than once a month, for women 18 to 30 it was 34%!

Income and education levels also had little differences among the rate women viewed porn more than once a month. Specifically:

  • 14% of White women
  • 12% of Hispanic women
  • 7% of Black women
  • 22% of non-Christian women
  • 10% of Christian woman

However, there is a problem among married women.

  • 19% of married women view porn more than once a month
  • compared to only 10% of non-married women.

Where do you fit in this study?

Maybe you only view pornography a few times a year or even less. Before you think you don’t have a problem, let me tell you that was the rate of my porn use. It still caused me great pain. I never could quit until I started admitting I had a problem and got help. Please do the same. The freedom and restoration of your sexuality is worth the work. Call me at 972-342-0753 or email me. I can help.

As a parent, teacher, or youth worker, what are you doing about this problem among our young adults?

Just this month, I have had three churches and one school pull back from having my pornography presentation because of resistance from their parents about addressing this topic. Their fear is that if we talk about it, the students will become more curious and therefore more likely to try it. There is not a single study that shows addressing sexual issues with young people increases their likelihood to engage in that activity. Call me at 972-342-0753 or email me or submit our online scheduling form. Let’s protect our youth.

2014 ProvenMen.org Pornography Addiction Survey (conducted by Barna Group). The survey results are located at www.provenmen.org/2014pornsurvey/pornography-use-and-addiction.

R.E.S.T. to Avoid Pornography

Young Couple at Beach at Dusk --- Image by © Royalty-Free/CorbisMy battle with pornography began in the third grade. It is a battle I still fight every day.

Every day? The rest of my life? It sounds exhausting, doesn’t it?

My Lord Jesus Christ gives me hope.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28

Sounds great, but how does that work?

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” – Mark 14:38

Notice that first word? Watch. It wasn’t just prayer. I am also to watch so that I will not fall into temptation.

Now every day in prayer, I watch for temptation. Since my desire is for Jesus’ REST, I use the word “R.E.S.T” as an acronym to help me watch.

R is for relationships. Is there anything in any of my relationships that is a problem? Wife, daughter, mother, boss, co-workers, friends, customers, etc. Any strife that disturbs my REST? The strife doesn’t have the slightest connection to pornography. However, I may turn to porn to feel better (temporarily!) instead of turning to God.

E is for emotions. Do I have any strong emotions disturbing my REST? Depression, anger, disappointment, disillusionment, anxiety, hurt, nervousness can motivate a turn to porn. I have also learned that strong positive feelings of accomplishment, excitement, and even happiness can lead me to porn as a “reward.”

S is for spiritually. How am I doing with God? Am I surrendering the battle to Him? Am I having my daily prayer time? Am I in the place of servant and He in the place of Lord? If not, I will fail in the battle against porn. He doesn’t fail.

T is for tired. Am I getting enough sleep? How am I doing physically? Hungry? Sick? Hurting? Nervous Jitters? Physical ailments disturb my REST and can take my focus off of God and allow me to turn to pornography.

Fighting pornography every day is a weary and burdensome task. Watch and pray to Jesus. He gives REST.

My Recovery Celebration

CR Summit(The Celebrate Recovery group that I attend held a special ceremony for my step study group at the completion of our nine-month study of the twelve steps. The following is the mini-testimony I shared.)

Two years ago, I wanted to do a step study for 3 reasons:

  • start a Celebrate Recovery at my church
  • enhance my non-profit ministry
  • gain experience in counseling

I would use my previous struggles of pornography and over-eating for my “issues.”

The ministry leader said, “Perfect timing because we have some step studies starting soon.” Well “starting soon” evidently meant seven months. Then a conflict with one of my graduate degree classes pushed it out a full 14 months!

However, now I was starting for three new reasons:

  • My porn issue had returned
  • My over-eating had returned
  • I was depressed

I see now that those delays were about God preparing my heart.

As we began our work on step four which is our personal inventories, my church sent my wife and I to California to attend the Celebrate Recovery Summit to prepare to start a Celebrate Recovery at our church.

At the final worship service, it all hit home. In tears I wrote the following words on a 3X5 card:

“I hurt from a father who made fun of me and expected perfection. He belittled me and my calling to be a minister. I have lived my life trying to prove him wrong. I have cared more about what others think of me instead of what God thinks of me. I have tried to stay in control of all aspects of my life to minimize my risk of being belittled. I have craved earthly titles to justify my worthiness instead of wearing the name of Jesus Christ.”

I took a nail and hammered this card to a cross.

My wife said, “You just completed step five. I am so proud of you.” I was shocked. This wasn’t about pornography, over eating, or depression. Apparently God was more interested in the deeper issues of my heart.

God used my step study brothers to drive me even deeper. Their sharing reflected an honesty and vulnerability I had never experienced with other men. I love you guys.

Let me close with my favorite scripture from the Step Study:

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!”  –  Isaiah 43:18-19