Tag Archive: masturbation

i don’t, as a rule, share anonymous posts… however, this IS my blog and so i make up the rules and figured this one deserved an exception.

It is a post from a friend of mine who scribed a very different angled approach to the whole masturbation/pornography struggle that so many of us have or had and i thought it might be helpful, or at the very least, interesting:

Three Quick Awkward Memories:

1. In my teens my Dad used to stand in front of the TV when any potential nudity potentially happened to appear. This was very frustrating, and also had the effect, of course, of feeding my curiosity (in the days before the Instant Lust Gratification Finder known as the Internet). And the effect of making me think that it was inherently wrong/naughty/sinful to be even wanting to look at women’s bodies. And finally the effect of causing me to develop my very own DIY secret nudity search antennae. I don’t doubt that my Dad wanted the best for me though.

2. As a committed, born again christian at bible college I made a very public and tearful confession during a 3 day period of prayer and fasting. I had visited a blue cinema and watched what would now be described as a soft porn movie. After my confession a few guys came up to me (privately) and said how fantastic it was that I had confessed and how it had helped them. Personally I didn’t feel great after my confession. Just a little bit empty and embarrassed. However, I believed very much in openness and honesty, and I didn’t want to live a lie.

3. Later as a married man I confessed to my wife and to the man who married us, that I had fantasised about his daughter.

I’m only telling you this stuff to demonstrate that I am a fully qualified male, pornographic/masturbation struggler. It hopefully makes the rest of what I say make sense. For my part I don’t recommend revealing this sort of information publicly as a rule, unless you’ve got a fairly healthy sense of who you are. And even then…if you feel the need to talk about this kinda thing better do it with people who(m)  you know and trust. Confession can sometimes be a way of beating yourself with a very big stick.  Maybe I’m still doing that. I’m not 100% sure.

And now, here is a letter I found recently, sent from God to my younger self. I regret not reading it at the time.

Dear Hector (Name invented for anonymity)

You want to serve me with all your heart and soul, and you believe that I love you completely and forgive you totally. But it’s not always easy for you to get beyond the “what you want and believe” to the “who you are and what you do”. I want to tell you what I think. Because seeing yourself the way I see you can only help things, right?

Firstly, I can tell you that I am interested in the means AND the ends. In the ongoing process of you becoming the best, most complete Hector that you can become. And it is not in your knowledge right now to know who that person is.

Secondly, I think we can agree that I made sex AND I know your future. Some good news is that you are going to have a great wife (though it won’t ALWAYS be clear to you  how great she is). And you will have some great sex. And some good sex. And some sex. This will be an important part of your life. But only a PART of your life.

Thirdly, you are going to continue to struggle with Sex and the Art of Loving. You will separate sex and love in your mind far too often. You will not know a once and for all “victory” in this area (can you live with that possibility?). You will continue to WASTE time (yes, wasting time is the most serious of your offences in this matter) on bad habits. Habits that do nothing for you other than act as a kind of unnecessary release valve despite there being other, more satisfying, less self-hatred inducing, release valves available. And this waste of time will hurt YOU far more than anyone else.

But, and this is a HUGE but. You believe I’ve forgiven you right? Well, as it happens, I really have. Not only for the mess ups you’ve already made, but for all the ones you’re going to make. So that “Worst Of” video you’ve got running in your head, the one about what’s happening inside your head, the one that Me, You, And Everybody Else is going to watch come The Day. It’s NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Because I love you like the best dad or mum you could imagine. I spend the vast majority of my time getting excited about all the good things you’ve done. Or try to do. I spend a tiny bit of time getting mildly frustrated that you spend a bot too much of your time either: 1. Wasting your time searching for tiredness/anger/sadness/stress relieving unsatisfactory orgasmic “fixes”, then 2. Wasting your time worrying about it, and 3. Wasting your time talking about it.

And now  I’ve wasted enough time talking about it too. But I care, so it was necessary. Now clear off, relax, and get on with:

trying to make the world a better place; being honest; making people laugh; making them groan; making ‘em think; making music; being creative with words; being generous; loving that great wife you’re going to be getting; wearing your heart on your sleeve with your future kids; appreciating other people and nature and good things; crying at bad things; saying sorry when you hurt people you love; taking responsibility for your actions; dreaming of a better way; speaking out for justice; protecting the weak and the vulnerable; being weak and vulnerable; being strong; pursuing truth; being a peacemaker; turning the other cheek; loving your neighbour…

…as you love yourself. I could go on. Really, I could. But for now I think that’s enough.

Lots of Love from

The One who loves you far BETTER than you love yourself.


Taboo Topics is a series dedicated to sharing stories from real live people [mostly who i know] on real life issues, situations or experiences that are seldom spoken about for various reasons. So far the topics that have been addressed [with links to all the stories] are the following:



Eating Disorders


Losing a Baby

Pornography and Masturbation


I hope these will be of encouragement to you and to friends and family who you know who have been through similar things – please feel free to share the stories or send links to people who you think might appreciate them.

love brett “fish” [brettfish@hotmail.com]

i want to take a moment to honor Catherine on this and am so super amped that she shared this story and know it has taken A LOT for her to do so – but both pornography and especially masturbation have largely been seen as a guy issue for so long and it was at a summer camp a bunch of years ago that i really got to see the depth of the problem and how it affects a lot of girls and young women as well – this story is so much needed and it is not without cost that Catherine shares this. but God is faithful and we trust that He will use this story to help bring release and freedom [or at least start you on the journey of it] for a number of women. thank you Catherine:

‘It was Summer Camp Justified and my first time ever at one of the BYSA organised camps down in hot-as-hell Kimberly. Looking back I know it was actually hot-as-heaven; God did some heavy refining that week in late 2008. My entire youth group had gone, and when I mean entire youth group… I mean all 8 or 9 of us. We were small but close-knit, and all of us were good friends. It was and is to this day the most amazing thing that I have ever been to. And I’ve been to my fair share of Passion conferences and Hillsong concerts!

I remember sitting as a group trying to decide whether we’d go to the mission outreach or one of the talks: Pornography and Masturbation (Brett Anderson). I was shocked to my core – who on earth talks about that sort of stuff?! Not once had I ever heard a sermon on it, read a Christian book about it and much less gone to a talk about it. I was desperate and determined to go.

You see – I had – at that stage, been struggling with pornography and masturbation since I cant even remember when. I can’t remember when it started or what started it exactly but I know that as the years went by, the burden got heavier until, at Justified, I was literally crawling and dragging myself through life with it. I wanted answers. I wanted to know for once and for all what was right and what was wrong.

Nobody knew – nobody even suspected – what I was hiding in the dark place in my soul. The part I couldn’t bear to shed any light on, so embarrassed and so ashamed I was of it. Men struggled with this I knew. This was and is the big lie: that men are the only ones who struggle with deep and dark temptations.

I wanted to go alone to the Pornography talk, so that I could hide in the audience with my guilt and my shame, without anyone being the wiser. My whole group came along. I have never been more vulnerable and fearful – like a deer in the headlights. I was certain someone would connect the talk to me and the box would be opened; all my darkest secrets and fears would come out. I believed my friends would turn against me if they knew the kind of person that I was and tell the whole world about my shame.

If anyone ever wondered how I came to be friends with Brett, it’s not because I met him after the Pornography talk. It’s because I facebook stalked both him and Bruce after the camp because they had impacted my life so very deeply. Brett’s talk on Pornography and Masturbation answered so many questions for me. But more startling to me than anything else was when other young women climbed onto stage – IN FRONT OF EVERYONE – and revealed their inner struggles, so similar to mine.

And then we were all sent outside to unload our burdens with our youth groups. Uh-oh. The last thing I wanted to do was reveal to my friends the shame I was hiding. I listened to each person unlock their secret pain and share it with everyone. Most were shocking and surprising. I soon began to realise that everyone was carrying a heavy burden. I was at war within myself: on the one hand I feared to share my guilt and humiliation, and on the other hand I was burning to unload the burden and shed some light onto a very dark place.

God’s will won out in the end and I tearfully – and quite incoherently – unlocked that secret place inside my soul, and set the truth free. It was the most frightening thing I’ve ever had to do in my life but it was also the first time I have ever felt so light and so unburdened – so free.

I have struggled with Pornography and Masturbation for years. Literature was and still is my greatest downfall. I’ve always loved books and I’ve always loved reading, but it has been both a blessing and a curse. I used to filch through my mom’s fiction, looking for trouble. I learned to do it when no one was at home and could catch me. Eventually that took too long and I turned to the internet – truly the most treacherous place for the unwary – and discovered a trove of spots where I could look for more trouble. I covered my tracks; deleted all my browsing history. Then came internet access through your mobile…. Still I carried on. I realised in the very beginning how much of what I read and saw and did, disgusted me. I loathed it but was swept up in a current of morbid fascination and uncontrollable temptation. All the time I questioned whether what I was doing was wrong, but I knew deep in my soul that it was, and I loathed and hated myself for it. I prayed constantly for God to take this burden away from me; I begged Him to set me free from the chains and bondage that had ensnared me.

Sometimes I had brief periods of respite where I was not hounded by this terrible burden. But more often than not I was watching myself fall almost everyday. With regards to Masturbation, I can barely talk about it and cannot say the word without such disgust and contempt for myself. The word itself is truly a horrible and ugly combination of vowels and consonants. A truly fitting word for the act itself. The pornography was always a means to that end. It was never really about the pornography except that it was a direct route to masturbation. If pornography is the chains, masturbation is the heavy-duty lock. It ensnares so thoroughly and so completely that you cannot see the tunnel much less the light at the end of it. I was addicted; the same way a druggie is addicted to cocaine – but knows it’ll kill them.

After summer camp I was determined to put an end to this: I never again wanted to be imprisoned. I stayed away from books except those from the local Christian book store. I never went near the internet unless someone was in the house and I knew I could get caught. I put safe-search on google and instructed my sister to lock it. I took the browsing option off my phone. I knew it wouldn’t be enough so I decided to get an accountability partner. Someone I knew struggled with the same thing. It was the worst decision I ever made. Or maybe it was the person. But they did not hold me accountable or help me in my struggles, despite promising to do so. A year after summer camp and a year after having stayed clean, I fell again.

The devastation was acute. I wanted so desperately to be free from this but it had ensnared me again: was I never going to be free?? A year of severe depression followed and I had never felt further from God. I felt that I’d been left in a black pit to rot and die and that He didn’t care about me and didn’t want to save me. I finally found my way out again and back to the God who had never abandoned me. I knew it would require daily prayer and daily perseverance. I knew what I was up against.

Its been 4 years since Justified and I still struggle. I met a wonderful man and now I have someone to struggle with, someone who holds me accountable better than anyone has. We decided straight from the word go that we would wait and remain pure until marriage. A decision that’s been incredibly difficult but one that we have stuck to despite the struggles. There is nothing perfect or easy about this life. Pornography and Masturbation are things I have to fight with on a daily basis and it never gets easier. I still carry the shame and the guilt and hope that one day God will remove it completely from my shoulders. I have no certain answers to the pain and the struggle against Pornography except these three: God’s love, God’s grace and God’s forgiveness.

There is no quick solution or easy-fix I’ve found. I know all about refinement – I’m a jeweller who works with precious metals stones – and it’s no quick process. Refinement is a long and arduous process: the bad must be burnt away from the good or forcibly separated through a series of long, costly and complicated procedures. It is the same with a diamond (my life is full of these ironies), the good must be cut away from the raw; polished until it’s the best it can be. There will still always be flaws and inclusions, but it will be what it was intended to be right from the beginning: something beautiful that shines.

I foresee future battles and pain – God is not done with me yet, he is still busy refining me through my personal struggle. But I hope that my testimony may be able to set more women free from this struggle so that they may begin their own journeys toward healing and a possible victory over this enemy: Pornography and Masturbation.’


Firstly, I want to thank Brett for giving me a podium and his trust. Secondly, I want to thank you for your courage to read anything about the struggles people face with porn and masturbation.

This is not a really short story, but perhaps it is a familiar one. I pray that it is as helpful to you to read it as it was for me to write it.

I was introduced to masturbation before I was introduced to porn. When I was in 7th grade, I played in the school band and one of the older kids- he sat next to me because we played the same odd instrument- brought it up. I didn’t know what he was talking about, but as we usually do in 7th grade, I acted like I did. That night, I went home and tried out what he was talking about. I was hooked. After awhile, I realized visual aids helped the experience along, and I descended into porn addiction.

This was back in the “pay per minutes used” AOL internet days, and I learned quickly where the best and fastest places were to look for porn. The family computer was in my dad’s study (he was a pastor), so I also had to be sly with my surfing- deleting my browsing history (that smile of yours is the smile of recognition, my friend), having multiple screens open, etc. I got really good at hiding my tracks. Too good.

Things continued along these lines for all of high school- I went to a couple of different Christian high schools, where the topic of porn and especially masturbation were never, never discussed in class. I don’t know why. So many of us were looking for direction, wondering what the Bible really had to say about it, who it was really hurting, whether the authority figures in our lives had ever had to deal with these urges in pre-internet times… we never got answers.

When I went to college, things changed. People accepted porn and masturbation as natural, good, normal, and all those other modifiers that made you feel like everything was okay. I went to a large public institution, and they had high-speed internet plugged into every dorm room. It was the worst possible situation for a guy who still didn’t understand the toll porn can take. I would watch tons of it, to the detriment of any social connections I could make. It led me to make the worst decision in my life- sleeping with my girlfriend- because of the enormous pressure and acceptance exerted in the setting I was in. I don’t exactly blame college; I blame my own weak walk with the Lord, my reliance on other structures instead of His will for me.

I left college after that first year, running from myself as much as running to God. I joined an international ministry where I thought I would be safe. I was wrong. While leaving a situation is a good idea in most cases, you can’t very well leave your body or mind behind somewhere. I brought my problems with me. I thought that maybe, if I just had a girlfriend, or if I just got married, this issue would go away. I was looking for the cure in every place I could except through confession, forgiveness, and repentance.

I’d like to say that I found the courage one day to confess my problem. Truth is, I ran from every opportunity to do so. Only slowly- through the working of God and His people present in my life- did I begin to let others know that I was in trouble. I couldn’t say it straight out, but I beat around the bush and dropped enough hints to find out something amazing: I was not alone. Some others in my same boat found the courage to open up to me about their problems, and that allowed me to feel safe enough to let mine out too. It turns out that it is like every other addiction- if you bring it to the light of day, get some outside help and support, and work actively against it, you CAN overcome it and find happiness without it. Porn addiction, sex addiction, these can only be overcome when you stop fighting them alone. God will help you; but He will use His own method to do so. We all want this sin burned out of our lives instantly, never to return. For a few- a small group of people- it happens that way. For the rest of us, the healing process is a journey fraught with fear, peril, vulnerability, and yes- consequences. Don’t tell me your porn addiction hasn’t cost you something. You know the price, mentally and spiritually, that you’ve been paying. You know the relationships you’ve affected, the lies you’ve had to tell others. You know the fear of exposure. I did, and I do.

Some of you know me and will be hearing about this for the first time. The journey is a part of me, of who I am, and it has given me a greater ability to love sinners and accept all kinds of people who I used to judge. I’m still afraid, of course; I’m afraid of what confessing this will do to my reputation. I’m afraid of saying something wrong and hurting someone’s walk and chances for freedom instead of helping them. I’m afraid you’ll not relate to this in some way, and that you’ll dismiss me as a freak. But more than my fear, I am hopeful. I hope that you hear my heart. I hope you know that I am not cured; I am rehabilitated, and it is a daily fight. I hope you see God’s love in my journey. And I hope, most of all, that you feel the courage to confess your sins and confront them with help from your peers and mentors in Christ. God bless you.


the next topic that i will be dealing with [and starting with my own story] is that of PORNOGRAPHY and MASTURBATION which are often closely linked together.

the idea of Taboo Topics is to take a topic that is very real [and often raw and painful, perhaps embarrassing or just difficult to speak about] but which no one, for various reasons, is speaking a lot about and to invite people who have had experience in that area to share their stories and perhaps offer some encouragement or advice to others who have experienced or are currently dealing with the same thing.

a lot of people suffer or struggle in silence and because no-one is speaking/writing about these things it can feel like you are along in it and are the only one and that no-one else can even begin to understand or appreciate what you are going through. and while each situation is different i think that often someone who has gone through the same type of situation is a lot more able to speak life, truth and encouragement or else able to simply cry/scream/wail in a language you completely understand.

so these are real stories of real people and for the most part people who have been brave enough to share their names and contact details [or are largely open to you being linked to them via me]

PORNOGRAPHY and MASTURBATION is a tricky one. as the saying goes, 92% of guys admit to masturbating, and the other 8% are lying. both masturbation and pornography have been seen as guy issues, often making women feel extremely alienated or like freaks if they are caught up in it, it almost being okay if a guy struggles with it cos that is expected, but surely no women do. i hope we will have some stories here in time that will show differently. the idea of Taboo Topics is not to definitively answer some of the issues we are facing – different people have had different journeys with different issues and so some peoples stories might be wildly different while some may even contradict in their advice or suggestion given. the idea is largely to share that you are not alone in your struggle – someone else has gone through this and a whole bunch of people have discovered freedom and forgiveness and rediscovered or are rediscovering sexual purity. another element with this particular one is that society and the church may have different viewpoints on this – it is important i think to remember that we live in a sex-saturated society that visually/orally/socially puts huge focus and emphasis on sex as the be all and end all and so what is considered ‘normal’ and ‘necessary’ comes with that starting point in mind. my hope is that whatever advice/suggestion/viewpoint people share you will test against scripture and trust that the Holy Spirit will guide you to all Truth and wholeness.

but the biggest thing to know is there is nothing that you have done that will make God love you any less [just as there is nothing you can do that can make Him love you any more] – there is freedom in Jesus and hopefully these stories will help some of you on your journey to get there:

to read about my story [brett “Fish” anderson] click here

to read the reblogged story of Bek Curtis, click here

to read the story of Catherine Rogers, click here

to read the story of Jaco Hall, click here

to read the story of Steve Heineman click here

to read the story from the point of view of the wife who married a Porn and Sex addict, click here

a very different – but helpful – take on the whole Pornography/Masturbation theme and the video you run over and over in your head


this may be one of the tabooist topics [especially in the church, not a lot of sermons preached on this in my experience] and it’s time to bring it into the light.

i have a story to share and i am hoping that this will help people towards a journey of healing, restoration, self-forgiveness, hope and sexual purity.

i do wish my story went something like this – i used to struggle with pornography and masturbation and then i became a Christ-follower and God took all that junk away from me and healed me up inside and made me well… that would be a good story… sadly, though, it is not mine.

BUT during the height of my struggles with pornography/masturbation [and believe me, they were struggles] which went on for years [i would say on and off to differing degrees for close to 15 years] i was a youth pastor at two different churches and so it was often a case of mess up hectically again Saturday nite [if i mention late nite e-tv and you smile knowingly, you have maybe caught yourself out] and then go to church to preach a sermon or be part of the worship team or lead a bunch of young people towards ‘being good Christian young people’

so add feelings of incredible failure, unworthiness and hypocrisy to the mix. anyone relating yet?

for me it was usually a tv thing which is weird cos i guess i had a lot of access via computer and occasionally would stumble on a page i shouldn’t be on but i guess the internet stuff was always just a little too hectic or in my face for me and so my struggles would generally be late nite, flipping through the channels [all four we had and when late nite e-tv was one of them it was a recipe for failure] and then inevitably getting stuck on some ridiculous porn movie for ten, twenty minutes or longer leading to inevitable masturbation to relieve the sexual tension built up and then guilt, anger at myself, pleading to God to take this thing away [after years of struggling i would at times refer to it as ‘the porn in my flesh’ cos it certainly didn’t seem like anything God was interested in removing from me by clicking His God fingers which i desperately wanted to be the case]

what was interesting for me [and i doubt this is the case for everyone] is that it never felt like the porn did anything for me – i certainly didn’t enjoy it – it always disgusted me rather than turned me on. for me it always, or for the most part at least, seemed to be about the curiosity aspect [as if there was ever going to be a good porn story script or premise but i kept telling myself that’s why i watched – and we know how curiosity treated the cat] “Let me just see what happens here and the moment it gets dodgy I’ll turn it off” and so on.

then there was a time when i would have a couple of weeks success and the enemy would change his tactic and i literally would turn on the tv late nite saturday with the attitude of ‘I have beaten this thing. Let me show it how strong I am so I am going to turn on the dodgy channel and the moment it gets dodgy I will turn it off to show it who is boss.” Inevitably it turned out to be boss and i would revert back to the porn struggle which replaced the pride struggle once more.

John 10.10 “The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy, but I [Jesus] have come that you may have life to the full.”

i was living out that verse – i was having innocence and purity and reputation [at least between me and God cos not too many other people knew] stolen, my soul was being destroyed week by week and i was heading towards all sorts of deaths… the enemy is a liar and will use whatever tactic he knows will work in you – when porn lost strength he switched to pride and took me down that way

and of course maybe the biggest part of it all was that i was fighting this fight all by myself. i was a good christian youth leader – i couldn’t be struggling with pornography and masturbation, right? it’s not the kind of thing that comes up naturally in conversations – “So, who is struggling a bit with the old porn then?” and i already felt dirty and disgusted with myself and like a complete failure week after week after week, why would i possibly share that with someone else?

at the height of my addiction to masturbation i could not go a day without doing it [at least in my head] and yet there were two of the strangest things that happened – the first was that for some reason i saw Sunday as a holy day and so i never masturbated on a Sunday [bizarre that i held that belief for so long and yet didn’t see the glaring contradiction that something i ‘couldn’t stop’ i was able to stop for one day a week…] bizarre… and then in 1994 i went on a youth ministry music and drama team for a year and after a couple of months of struggling daily with msaturbation before i left for team, i went for a complete year without masturbating once…

came home, feeling victorious and pretty much got almost straight back into it. and all the guilt, anger, frustration, crying out to God etc continued…

the struggles with pornography were not as intense as the struggles with masturbation and so they pretty much came and went and because it was generally tv related was a little easier to control than if it was computer related i imagine… and despite not getting absolute victory over it i was able to identify some weak spots and put things in place to make it less likely that i would fall

one was the obvious reality of knowing when the porn was going to be happening and so moving away from the habit of arriving home late at night and switching on the tv to going straight to my room or avoiding turning on the tv at all late in the evening. i was living at my folks home at the time and so leaving the lounge door opening rather than closing it made me less likely to get caught up in it [having your folks walk in while you are watching porn a very strong deterrent.] also another eye opener and truth to people stuck in a “i can’t control this” mentality – that is a weird thing to say because you manage to control it when you are hanging out with your parents or in a busy restaurant or on the bus for example…

the devil maintains his stronghold on people in this area using a lot of subtle lies and half-truths – you are the only one caught up in this, you can’t stop it, the pride of thinking you are able to be in control and so testing that control, the curiosity aspect, the lies of the stuff of pornography being equivalent to the stuff of sex you will find in marriage one day… and more…

possibly the best piece of advice or mentoring i got from a good friend of mine, Craig Duvel, who i spoke to one baptist summer camp about this stuff [at least i think i spoke about this stuff, pretty sure i did] was to “keep a short account with God” – like a bar tab, the smaller it is, the easier it is to settle… so the more we sin and don’t put things right with God, the easier it is to keep on sinning because “ah well i’ve messed up so much anyways what is one more time?” and so what Craig told me, which helped a lot, was that sometimes he will get up at 3am and go downstairs and get on his face and make right with God when he has done something the night before – deal with it immediately with God [and then quickly with people if your sin requires you to go and make right with someone] even if that makes you feel like a complete hypocrite…

so messing up late nite saturday, it still made sense to make right with God afterwards so that i started the new day fresh and able to go and do the things of church and so on and not allow the mess-ups to build up and overwhelm me. despite the fact of knowing that i had stuffed up 99 times before not having to live with the belief that it means i have to stuff up the 100th time.

another thing i put into place with another friend of mine years later when he was struggling with stuff was to make a text message accountability [i did this with a friend of mine who was tempted to cut herself and never did hopefully partially as a result and another friend of mine with drinking stuff so a good all-round principle of friends helping friends] with the idea that any time he was tempted to masturbate he would send me a text [well it worked both ways but i don’t think i was struggling as much when that happened] and i would text back to let him know i was praying for him and that he could beat it – this is a really great thing to have in place as often just the action of interrupting the temptation to write the text was what was needed to prevent the action – it does require you being able to find someone who you can share your junk with who will love you and not judge you and be available/willing to do such a thing – but i think this can be a great help.

i believe that one of the biggest principles is getting it into the light – they say a problem shared is a problem halved and with masturbation or pornography this is indeed true as just being able to share with someone that you are struggling with one of those things takes away the enemy’s hold over you in the “if they knew what you were like they would be so disgusted” department- walk the journey with someone else. it is a tough scary thing to share the first time and you really need to pick your person well [hoping that a best friend or a youth pastor or an accountability person or cell leader might be that person] so that the sharing of it doesn’t become an added burden to you.

while i am on this, let me share a great link which is helpful in so many different areas – we stumbled upon this site called ‘i am second’ which has testimonies from a bunch of different people and this one by a guy called Nate Larkin, despite being on sex addiction, resonates with a lot of the pornography/masturbation struggle [http://www.iamsecond.com/seconds/nate-larkin]

so i have some principles and tips and advice for those who are struggling with this thing – i wish i had the formula of how to stop but after years of struggling [and not quite sure why God allowed me to struggle so long without just removing it from me cos i so desperately prayed and cried out for that on occasions too numerous to count, EXCEPT maybe because he knew that me speaking out about it some day would hopefully help others start their journey towards freedom and give me the credibility as someone who knows too well the depths to which it takes you, and if that is the case then i am okay with that for sure] i had a personal miracle – i had struggled with both pornography and masturbation through the few relationships i had had with girls and sometimes being in a relationship made it easier to not struggle and at other times it didn’t [living with a no-sex-before-marriage Christ-following frame of reference while engaging in relationship activities designed to lead one towards sex in terms of intimacy and closeness didn’t help a lot] but then i met Valerie [my future wife to be] and God pretty much instantly took it all away which i am profoundly grateful for.

and then i got to stand in front of close to 1000 people at baptist summer camp [times two camps] and share about my struggles and saw some other brave leaders alongside me [some who i am hoping will add their stories to mine here] sharing about their struggles with the same things, in different ways… and then witnessing God bring about such release and hope and promise of a new journey and freedom from these two things which are incredibly destructive forces. it is never a fun moment to stand in front of people and share about your biggest failures and the things that bring you embarrassment and shame. but i have been able to do so as Jesus has freed me from that shame and the enemy does not have those holds over me that he did before.

so there it is. my name is brett “fish” anderson and i have struggled with pornography and masturbation. and been freed from the grip of both over my life. there is hope and freedom in Jesus Christ. there is strength in being able to bring your darkness/struggle into the light and in the support of a loving friend or community.

if you are a pastor, small group or youth leader, or even a parent [altho that might be a trickier one – sitting down with your kids and asking about their struggles with porn or even revealing yours might not necessarily be the best way to go – altho if you can create space for them to speak and share and for you to be able to share your brokenness or point them to others who can and will that might work] reading this then i urge you to take the ‘Taboo’ out of this topic.

if i am feeling like an incredible sinner or hypocrite, if i am unclean and disgusting because of the hold pornography or masturbation has over me then your messages of who God is and what i need to be doing as a Christian and so on can become meaningless – create spaces for your people to deal with their junk, in open and honest forums – they may be messy/awkard/embarrassing conversations or meetings to chair, but the reward and fruit of doing them will be such incredible freedom that you could revolutionise the life of your youth group, or church or small group.

i have seldom heard pastors or youth leaders deal with this topic directly and yet it has such a hold over so many people – it is time to get the stories out and let the healing begin

the thief comes to steal and kill and destroy, but I [Jesus] have come that you might have LIFE TO THE FULL!


anyone who knows me even slightly well will know that one of my top three life-changing books is “The Irresistible Revolution” by shane claiborne who is one of my real life heroes – i met him briefly a couple of years ago when he was in J Bay speaking at an international Christian surf conference and got to chat to him for a bit and interview him for two magazine articles i was writing. i have visited ‘the simple way’ which is the community that he started in Philadelphia and his writing was partly responsible for my decision to move into Kayamandi township for a year and a half before i married the beautiful Val. In fact we are currently looking at a possible opportunity of hanging out in that community (now called ‘Village House’) as the next thing we do…

so we were looking around on the simple way site [thesimpleway.org] and came across this article where shane speaks out on the ’emerging church’ – i have generally had issues with people who speak against the emerging church as i believe it is such a broad definition that covers such a range of different ideas and ideologies but i really think shane nails it here in definition and response… and of course i loved the metaphor – here is that paragraph but go and read the rest of the article as well:

from ‘The Emerging Church Brand: The Good, the Bad, and the Messy’ by shane claiborne

“Eventually, books and brands began identifying as “emerging church” or “emergent.” So it got a little messy. In my opinion, “the movement” became a bit narcissistic, and often became little more than theological masturbation: feels good but doesn’t give birth to much. It’s one thing to talk about theology. It’s another thing to talk about talking about theology. There is some sloppy theology out there. Some “emerging church” folks have repeated some of the mistakes of fundamentalism (only with more tattoos), and others have repeated the mistakes of liberalism (only with more wit). Meanwhile, there are many folks who seem to know exactly what “emerging church” is and think it is the anti-Christ. However, neither of these, I am convinced, represents the silent majority of young evangelicals of all colors of skin who love Jesus with all that they are and are not willing to use our faith as simply a ticket to heaven and ignore the hells of the world around us. There is a new evangelicalism that loves Jesus and wants to change the world.”

you can read the rest of his article here

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