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Bless The Boy Within You (LIVE)

live episodes Sep 14, 2020

 
 

 

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Welcome to today's live episode. I will tell you some good news. The good news is Husband Material Academy is now open. We already have 30 guys who have signed up which I am thrilled about, and this new opportunity will be open until September 21st. So tell your friends, think about joining, it's $19 a month right now. And then later on it'll be $97 a month and that opportunity will never be coming back. What I want you to do is to build something with me that will lead thousands of men to freedom. So you can do that by going to "joinHMA.com", if you haven't already, and today, I want to give you a sneak preview. A sneak preview of what HMA will be like. I'm really excited about this. Here's how it's going to work. I am going to give you a summary today, or at least a snippet of week three of the Husband Material Academy video training center, and it's called bless the boy within you. So what do I mean by that? Well, if you were at the live class on Tuesday night, you will know that porn is a predator that not only exploits young girls and turns them into porn performers, the porn industry also exploits young boys, that's you and me, and turns us into lifelong consumers. So in the words of Jay Stringer, porn is actually a form of sexual abuse. It's a sexual abuser that takes advantage of what your heart is hungry for. Porn didn't come into our lives as a problem. It came in as a solution for the problems that the boy was facing. It arrived in a way that was subtle, soft, and seductive. And when we were very young, 10, 12, maybe younger, and we didn't know any better porn offered something to our hearts. And so that is why we start not with the problem, but with the person, with the boy within you.

So I want to start this episode with a question. What does porn offer to your heart or more accurately, what does it promise your heart? Because it only offers a cheap substitute for the real thing. If you've been with us this week and you've been learning about trauma and attraction and everything we've been talking about, what does porn offer to your heart? What does it promise to your heart? Porn offers connection. Porn offers an escape that offers comfort. It offers a temporary escape, a release. Offers a fantasy of love and attention. Porn says everything's going to be all right, offers that reassurance, that soothing, nurturing, or at least it promises these things. Guys, can you see how good everything you've written is and how much we need these things as human beings and especially in those crucial childhood years. Connection, comfort, relief, love, attention, reassurance. I hope you can see the beauty of his heart. Of your heart.

I like to call the little boy within me, little drew. Some of my clients call themselves by a similar name when they're relating to their younger selves. So I want you to take a moment and remember little Rick, little Justin, little Dan, little Todd. Healing starts with him. Whether you know it or not, he's the one who has been struggling with porn. It's not the mature adult. Strong 30, 40, 50, year old version of yourself who is attracted to these things. No, it's a much younger place within us. That's coming up. So here's why this is so important. Because these things are good. They're good. And our approach to freedom from porn needs to start here. And I believe the primary reason for that is because of the gospel. The gospel does not start with the fall. The gospel does not start with Genesis three, the gospel doesn't start with brokenness and evil and sin and spiritual darkness and depravity. And yet so many of our addiction recovery programs start there, right? The 12 step approach starts with power, right? I need a higher power. I'm powerless. Okay. The sexual addiction approach often starts with trauma. Whereas the 12 step approach starts with kind of the sins. I've committed that I'm powerless over. When you deal with trauma, you think, okay, well, what has been done to me, the sins that have been committed against me and both of those programs can be powerful. And yet they're not getting to the core, which is that it starts with something good and beautiful. Our sexuality is good and beautiful. And the gospel begins with goodness, beauty order, not chaos, not evil. It begins with this Creator who had this wild and crazy idea to make us as sexual people, to make us with this hunger, for connection and love and attention and pleasure and what we were created for.

And so what I love about a story-centered approach, which is what I've learned from Jay Stringer, Adam Young, the Allinder Center, is that to me, it seems to fit the shape of the gospel, which begins with something wild, beautiful, glorious, basically God. And it begins with Him and He created us. And when we were very young, all of the roots and all of the, all of the origins of our struggle with porn were formed. So that's why we are starting with blessing because underneath every unwanted sexual behavior, there's a desire, which must be blessed. There's a little boy who has been cursed. And sometimes what we do with the purity culture approach is we try to ignore the little boy, right? I think I'm just ignoring sexual sin and temptation. Actually, I'm ignoring this boy within me. Who's screaming for help. We try to overpower our temptations, not realizing that we're suppressing and repressing and oppressing this little boy who's, who's saying help me. Like, I need an older brother. I need a father. I need a way out of this. And so rather than ignoring or avoiding or attacking him, today, we're going to do a little exercise, a guided meditation. And if you've been through the sexual fantasy framework, a free video course I did with Jay Stringer. You've already had a taste of this where Jay invited us to find a photo of ourselves at a young age. And to spend some time with it.

You don't need to have a photo today. What I want you to do is just to close your eyes. If you're able and imagine yourself as a boy, for me, it would be little Drew. And I want you to take a few deep breaths. And imagine him in your mind. How old is he? What does he look like? What do you notice about him? What expression is on his face? As you continue to notice what's going on for him? Where's he located? Is he at school, in a classroom? Is he at home alone? If he's in some kind of room, I invite you to knock on the door. If he's in class, ask the teacher for permission to bring him out. He's in his room. See if he opens the door. And when he approaches you say hello. How does he react? Does he trust you? Does he feel safe with you? If so, invite him to go for a walk. Be present, no agenda, go for a walk with the little guy and see what happens. If you can find a good place to sit, maybe a bench or a table at a playground and sit down with him. Just listen, no need to speak, no need to fill the space. Look into his eyes. What do you see? Listen to his heart. What do you hear? If you need to, you can pause the recording. If you're listening to this afterward and spend some time in conversation, ask him, what do you enjoy? What makes you feel good? What do you really want? Ask him, what are you afraid of? And at the end of your time together, whenever you're ready, ask him for permission. Give him a hug. If the answer is yes, you know what to do. Savor this moment, squeeze him tight. You might also ask him, is there anything else you want me to know? What do you need from me? And at the end you can say, thank you. Appreciate him. Bless him. Thank you for this time. We got to spend together. Let him know how much it meant to you. You can walk him back to his room, his house, his class, wherever you found him. And that's it.

This is a real question I want to ask you now, which if you're here with us live, you can answer. How do you feel about this kid? You just got to spend some time with the boy within you. How do you feel toward him? Rick says, I love him and I want to give him what he needs. Steve says he needed a friend. And Resse said I love him. He's awesome. Yes he is. That's where the gospel begins. Goodness beauty. Yes, there's sin. Yes, there's brokenness. Then there's redemption and there's restoration of that original goodness. Like God is putting us back together so that every part of us, 5 years old, 10 years old, 20 years old, 40 years old, become one integrated beloved son in whom he is well-pleased. Ryan says, I want to help him and guide him. Glenn says, I feel like the big brother he never had. That's exactly right. That's exactly right. That's what this exercise is all about. And boy that resonates with me. One of my longings, one of the longings of the boy within me as for an older brother who would be there, right? Just to be present, not needing to slap a spiritual truth onto my pain, but to be with me, to show me, to take me for a walk, right? Give me a break from the grind, schoolwork, or chores and everything and whatever was going on in my family. That's so much of what this healing process involves becoming the brother or the father that you never had. John says, I can't find him sometimes. Meaning the boy within you. Yeah. He's probably running away. Maybe he has some practice hiding. Wonder what he's hiding from. Justin says, I feel full of compassion and sad that he didn't seem as happy and sure of himself as he could be. Sadness. Brandon says, I found it hard to connect to him. He locked himself in the bedroom, not wanting to come out. He doesn't trust me. I feel like I had to break the door to meet him. It's really well-named. And in fact, if we're honest, the boy within us, he often has very good reasons to be suspicious, not to trust this older brother. We've been pushing him down for years. We've been trying to control his behavior. You know, if we've been, if we've cared more about the rules than relationship with him, if we've focused so much on everything else, right? Work responsibilities, dating marriage, just surviving. Instead of being present to the boy within us, especially if he has gone through trauma, Bandon, mint, abuse, neglect, like we actually need to learn to honor him. Even if that means allowing him to stay in that room, locked can actually build trust. So that maybe next time he feels safe enough to open the door. If we break down the door, once again, we violate trust. If we want to build trust, we need to move at a pace that he's comfortable with. I mean, just think about it, right? If you're a camp counselor and you have a kid who's locking himself in the cabin, maybe he needs some space. With any child, whether it's your own son or a nephew or just someone you're in charge of right. You instinctively know that gentleness, compassion, curiosity for what's going on with him are really the basic building blocks of being able to really help. So it's going to take some time. It's gonna take some work. For some of us, it's easier. It's more natural, especially if we've had some practice and for others of us, this is brand new. This is different. And I think this changes everything. My friends you're entering into the heart of God, heart of compassion. And you'll notice that in your body, when you do this work, there's a softening. There's kind of a relaxation that takes place. Whereas, what triggers us into porn is, is more of a fear response. It's tense, it's, it's agitating. Um, you know, anger, anxiety can trigger us. And then we often have this shut down of zoning out, spacing out, leaving my body. I'm not even present. These kinds of ends of meditations can be grounding. It can be centering. They can bring you to a place of focus and also feeling calm at the same time. And you'll notice that it's, it's a completely different kind of kind of state in which you're not having to fight this battle against porn. No, you're blessing the boy within you.

Here's another question. How do you imagine God feels about this boy? The little you. Ryan says, God loves him unconditionally. Amen. Justin says, God is heartbroken. He's the father of all compassion. Todd says, God has a gentle tenderness. Henry says, God loves him and anticipates the man he will grow into. Absolutely. Stephen says, God has so much compassion to the boy. Yes and amen. More than I do, which is why we're all still growing in this. Learning to receive that love rather than resistant. Brandon says love. Steve says he wants to see him trust Him for his needs. Yeah. He wants to be close to Him, right? To move toward Him. This is a critical skill. In order to receive the love of God rather than resist it, we need to gain some self-awareness and realize where exactly I need that love. Who is it really who needs that love. He loved this boy enough to create him, to sustain him, to pursue him. Even when he runs far, far away. Can you see that this is how God feels about you now. Can you receive that? We have two options here. Two options, resist or receive. Sometimes we resist the love of God by trying very, very hard and by performing and maybe even by succeeding in avoiding, and maybe even eliminating our unwanted sexual behavior, but it's a surface level solution and it's not going to last until you receive. And so this is, this is where our journey begins. And I actually, want to make it very practical for you. I mean, beyond simply doing this kind of exercise and, and having a little bit more self-awareness and self-compassion, there are some very practical things you can do now that you have this perspective, blessing the boy with you completely revolutionizes the concept of self care.

Some of you guys are like, yeah, I hear you talking about self care and maybe you do it a little bit, but it's not really working. Let me reframe it in a way that might help based on this way of thinking that I'm telling you about where we begin with blessing, we begin with goodness, just like the gospel. If you could have a day together with this kid, the little you, the boy, what would you do together? Where you live right now? Where would you go with him? What excursion or outing or activity would absolutely delight the boy within you? What can you do to give him the best day ever. Just brainstorm for a little bit. How would you connect with him? What could you create with him? What would help him to feel safe and supported? How could you challenge him in a way that he might receive maybe a risk you could take with him that would feel appropriate? I really, really want to hear what's coming up for you. What kind of activity you would want to do in the meditation? You went for a while. Well, if you had more time, what would you do, frankly? Your answer to this question is exactly what self-care will look like in your unique situation. From one of my clients, it was building legos. For another guy it's woodworking. For somebody else, it's playing music, making music. For me, it's running. What would you do? And Resse said, I'd take them for a picnic at the park. Steve says, I take him skeet shooting because my dad never took me. Bingo. That's exactly the kind of self-care which is going to speak to your heart. Now it's a risk, right? Because if it doesn't work out, you can be disappointed. If you stay connected though, to his heart, it could also become a healing experience. I mean, just think about this through the lens of the gospel, right? There was goodness, there was a curse and the whole work of God in the world through Jesus and by the power of his spirit is to reverse the curse in every place.

One of my favorite verses lately from Zephaniah in certain translations is Zephaniah chapter 3, verse 19. It says I will bring them praise and honor in every place where they were put to shame. We have an opportunity to do that by blessing the boy within us because as you build trust and you discover where he was put to shame, then you will know exactly where the kindness of God will invite you to bring praise and honor to that very place. Daniel says I would play sports with him. Rick says, I'd let him be himself with no expectations. I'd love to go camping with him. Just the two of us. My friend, you can do that now. Plan that trip. Go. Do it. Maybe with a friend, maybe just by yourself. Treat it as that day with the 12 year old, the eight year old that you never had. Brandon says, I go grab ice cream, teach him how to draw. Go to the museum, watch him play the violin. Join him when he watches TV, spend quality time, because I want to not because I have to, this seems like such a redemptive reversal of what his life must have been like. Glen says, I would take them on activities involving risk-taking and adventure and activities that connect him to other boys. Now, this is crucial. You don't have to do this whole self-care thing by yourself. You can bring others into it. Find a friend who you feel safe with. Join a group where you could potentially belong and be present to the boy within you, who is going to have some emotions about this. And ultimately guys, when you get triggered to use porn and porn is offering something to your heart, don't push yourself away, invite him in, be present to him. Bless the boy within you. Look into his eyes, listen to his heart, see what happens, see what God will do. And you know what a verse just came to mind. Jesus said, when you receive one of these little ones, these little children, I think you said you received me. Am I getting that right? Didn't Jesus said something like that? It just came to me in that moment. Wow. Brandon is saying. I think I managed to convince the boy within me to open the door with these activities. That is a victory my friend. One crack in the door is a huge step forward in the long run. Each day, crack the door, maybe a little wider. Every day you'll learn more. Every day you'll love better. You'll receive redemption. Maybe what's in the way for so many of us comes to receiving. The love of Jesus is that we have these younger places in our hearts that we're not really attuned to. we're not really aware of. And those are the places where we need them the most. And those are the places where we don't have a lot of experience, we don't have a lot of competence or confidence.

Yet my friends, HMA will be all about going back in time so you can move forward to bring healing to every part, which is good and broken, which is beautiful and battered, betrayed. My friends this is how we grow up into sexually healthy men of God. If you want to become a man first, you have to be a boy. And we have an opportunity to partner with God and grow up. So my friends, when it comes to a freedom from porn, this is a different paradigm. We're beginning with your goodness, your beauty, the image of God within you, the strength, the courage, the kindness, the desire, which has been there all along. Porn took advantage of it. Purity culture completely ignored it or attacked it. What I want to do in this community and for the rest of my life is basically be a part of blessing the young boy within my heart, within your heart and together becoming the men of God we were created to be. And always remember, you are God's beloved son, in you He's well-pleased.

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