“Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (I Cor. 6:18-20)
The Apostle Paul in the above passage admonishes the believer to at all costs flee from sexual immorality. In an age where all manner of sexual perversion has inundated our society and where access to sexually explicit material can be had from your cell phone to the internet to movies, fleeing sexually immoral behavior and its rabid hold on many even within the church is admittedly difficult. How are we supposed to flee something that is seemingly everywhere around us?
Counselor, author, and sexual addiction expert Dr. Douglas Weiss, in his book Clean: A Proven Plan for Men Committed to Sexual Integrity presents a number of helpful steps focused specifically on helping men address addiction to sin through a sound and tested biblically focused model.
Weiss begins his book with some rather disturbing statistics concerning the vast influence and hold pornography and sexually explicit materials has on adults and teenagers, male and female alike. Perhaps most disturbing are the statistics regarding the influence of pornography on church leaders. While such statistics are rather disheartening, facing the facts of the matter is one of the first steps to identify the problem. As Weiss correctly notes, not facing this harmful and destructive issue could cause Christian men to “grow coldhearted and believe that viewing pornography is not even a sin.”
A tactic often utilized by Satan is the temptation of sexual sin. Weiss appropriately avers a number of examples presented in Scripture where the response of the one tempted had a direct impact on their life. He notes the response of Joseph to sexual temptation, namely Joseph literally fleeing from Potipher’s wife comparing that with the life of Samson, a man who more often than not, chose to succumb to the wiles of sexual immorality. Thus, understanding the grave impact sexual sin can have on your life is vital. This is not something to treat lightly. Weiss aptly notes “God does not tolerate sexual sin. He never has and he never will…Tolerance of this type of sin in our lives and in the local church is unacceptable.”
Building upon the reality of this war of sexual immorality that is being waged on men, Weiss reminds the believer that God has provided us with weapons to fight back in order to regain the spiritual ground so many have given up in this area of their life. He rightly avers that we “need to aim our protective gear and weapons against the enemy’s plan for our lives, so we don’t one day become the perpetrator of this crime of lying, cheating, and hurting those we love.” Stopping the cycle of sexual temptation and its horrific impacts on not just your own life, but the lives of everyone around you is vitally important. This battle against what Scripture calls a war fought in heavenly places (Eph. 6:12), can only be won by getting at the root of the problem through the power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives. A foundational element for rooting out the entangling snares of sexual sin is that of repentance. Identifying we have a problem and repenting of that problem involves humbling oneself before God. Weiss correctly states “If a man doesn’t humble himself before God and others during this season of sin, he will be faced with the seed of lust reaching its final fruit, death.”
Weiss provides a rather salient formula that all men should memorize: U+P=D. This stands for U (you) plus P (pornography or any other sexual sin) equals D (destruction). Essentially playing around with sexual issues such as lust, pornography, masturbation or other deviant and perverse behaviors is playing with fire. When used in its proper context and situation, fire is beneficial. For example, a campfire on a cold night provides warmth. A fire in a charcoal grill will properly cook a delicious steak. Those are examples of a fire that provides usefulness to the user within a contained environment or situation for a specific purpose. However, as Weiss notes “Fire in an uncontained situation, however, can wreak significant damage…The only containment for sex and sexual appreciation of a woman is marriage.” Thus anything outside of that proper containment is playing with fire that will rage and that will only serve to destroy many areas of one’s life to include all manner of relationships, possibly for many years in the future and many succeeding generations.
So how does one obtain freedom from sexual sin? Weiss avers the place to start, once repentance has begun is with what he calls a “clean brain.” He provides a number of practical and scientific examples that are quite fascinating in regards to how the brain is wired and more specifically how what we view or focus on cements itself into our brain. A rather helpful example Weiss provides is this: “Step one: you create a high chemical reward when you release sexually. Step two: you bond or connect to that image or person. The bond is long term, not just immediate. Step three: your body stores this bond, and you are attracted to that person and image in reality or fantasy. You create a landmine. Step four: your environment or fantasy world can recreate this landmine and, whamo, you are flooded with feelings towards an innocent person or image.” This is why sexual immorality has such a significant impact on so many people, especially considering the flood of sexually perverse imagery that floods our eyes on a daily basis.
Weiss provides some rather interesting tips he has found successful in his experience as a counselor for obtaining a clean brain including placing a rubber band on your wrist and snapping it against your skin every time you are tempted with sexually improper behavior. Another is what he calls “Braindar” or using your brain in the opposite manner it has been trained, namely looking the opposite direction when sexual temptation is calling or rather yelling out your name. Yet another tip is the “brain covenant” in keeping with 2 Cor. 10:5. This involves covenanting with God to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Taking every thought captive also must translate into our physical bodies coming under the Lordship of Christ as well. The Apostle Paul, in Weiss reminds the reader there are three owners of our sexuality, God, your wife, and yourself. God having ownership means that as the Apostle Paul notes in Romans 12:1 reminds us that we are, “in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship.” This includes our sexual organs as after all they are part of our body and part of what is to be continually offered up to God as a living sacrifice. For those who are married, those two words “I Do” mean you made a commitment to your wife, a covenant relationship, a marriage bond of loyalty and sexual fidelity. Many married men perhaps forget something Weiss aptly notes and that is “Your wife owns your sexuality. She has authority over this area, and that is God’s way of protecting and providing for you sexually.” This begs the question as to what single men should. Since they do not have a wife to protect them, does that get them off the proverbial hook? In no way, shape, or form! Weiss brilliantly reminds the reader “No person is single if he or she is a Christian. You are married to Christ. Your spiritual Facebook status is married without a spouse. Single denotes an idea of freedom that slaves to Christ do not have. You will most likely be married one day. Honor your future wife with your life.”
The Apostle Paul notes in Galatians 5:16-25 of the importance of not walking in the flesh and of the need to walk in the Spirit. One aspect of our sinful nature is that of sexual immorality. Notice, however, which fruit of the Spirit is the opposite of sexual immorality or lust. It is the fruit of love. Lust and love are polar opposites and cannot truly exist in the same setting. A vital tip Weiss provides for moving from an attitude of lust to that of love is the need to view members of the opposite sex in an appropriate relational construct. He comments “It is doubtful you will lust after your mom or your sisters. You see them as complete, three-dimensional people. You see them as mothers, sisters, believers, parents, and so on. You see them in a relational context.” This is vitally important. When you are tempted to lust after another woman, view them as a sister in the Lord and focus on praying for that person. This essentially puts the spiritual brakes on lust instead moving you into exercising righteousness and growing the fruit of the Spirit in your life instead of allowing a root of lust to grow.
A final important element on the road to becoming clean in the area of sexual addiction is the need for accountability. Those suffering from sexual sin need people to keep them accountable. The Christian walk was never meant to be lived in a Lone Ranger approach as God created us to live in community with fellow believers. Other forms of accountability, especially in an age where sexually explicit material is available on anything from computers to cell phones, installing software such as <a href=”http://www.covenanteyes.com/”> Covenant Eyes</a> may be appropriate. Weiss comments “As silly as it sounds, I like Covenant Eyes’ little icon that pops up on my computer and phone. I haven’t looked at porn for more than twenty-five years, but that icon reminds me that God is watching.”
Clean by Dr. Douglas Weiss is an excellent book for anyone either facing issues in their life with sexual addiction or those who have family members or friends struggling with this most deviant of sins. He provides a plethora of biblical counsel based on years of both personal and professional experience that will assist the reader in understanding how to identify this issue within their own life or the life of someone they care for and more importantly, through the power of God ways to slay this dragon. God is calling His people to holiness, and Clean by Dr. Doug Weiss is a powerful tool and a wonderful book on the subject of sexual integrity.
I received this for free from Thomas Nelson Publishers via BookSneeze for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”