This weekend I had the pleasure, for the third time, of attending a retreat for men who are struggling through sexual addictions. They are men who are learning to rely on God’s grace and strength as they seek authentic change in their lives.
They are pastors, worship leaders, plumbers, carpenters, aspiring hollywood filmmakers, writers, financial planners and students.
In other words, they are real men. Ordinary men. People you interact with everyday without knowing their dark realities.
It had been 5½ years since I last attended this retreat, and like the last time I led a small group.
The power of God was evident from the very beginning.
There is nothing quite like the sound of broken and wounded men singing praise to the God of Grace. Such men know just how reliant they are Him. They know that without proficient and profuse grace, they would be without hope.
But that was only the beginning.
God touched men all weekend. He pursued men’s hearts.
Breakthrough often looks like different things in different situations. In the case of one man it was breakthrough for him to realize that he was neglecting his heart, and that was opening him up to all sorts of sexual temptation. And because he was not caring for his heart, he was falling at the slighest hint of a lustful thought; or the mere presence of an attractive woman.
These sorts of weekends are irreplaceable in the fight for purity and freedom. The intense environment of hearing from other men the pain of their stories, woven together with the redemptive story of how God has brought — and continues to bring — healing for sexual sin is breathtaking. Literally.
It is also a powerful tool God uses to capture our hearts and wake us up to the reality of what sexual sin does to us and the ones we love.