While “it has never been easy being a guy, today the challenges to guys who want to be holy, who want to honor God with their minds and bodies, are tougher than ever.” For this reason, Tim Challies was compelled to write his blunt little book Sexual Detox: A Guide for Guys who are Sick of Porn. This is a book I use in counseling men, and we stock in our church’s resource center. Sexual Detox has six chapters. In today’s post, I will simply introduce you to the flow of thought developed in the book. Later in the week, I hope to highlight one or two larger portions.
The book begins with a Foreword (which I always read!) written by four men in Tim’s church in Toronto, Canada. Since this book was birthed by a desire to help young men in his own local body of believers, this is a fitting way to begin the book. The Foreword explains why addressing this topic is crucial, why Tim was the right guy to write this book, and why you and I will benefit from its counsel.
Chapter One presents the reality of the problem of pornography in our culture and churches in a straightforward manner. It argues that porn is “The Monster in Disguise” because it is mocking, violent, and progressive. Chapter Two, “Pornography vs. Marriage,” explains why and how pornography distorts a man’s view of marriage, and argues against the idea that getting married is a simply solution to lust and self-gratification. Chapter Three picks up there by providing a brief theology of masturbation. After dispelling childhood rumors about masturbation, and correcting prominent Christian teachers’ approval of this “innocent” practice, Challies explains how the Bible speaks against self-gratification without specifically naming it.
Chapter Four explains how sex is a gift from God to be thoroughly enjoyed within marriage, as a means to bring God glory and strengthen the marriage union. Chapter Five, “Detox in the Bedroom,” addresses how the distortion caused by pornography impacts sex within marriage. Challies explains what sex is not and what sex is, a God-given means of serving our spouse. The final chapter is called “Detox in Your Soul.” This may be the most valuable chapter in the book because of its focus on the soul work needed to overcome the lure of pornography. Fear of God and hatred for sin are nurtured by meditating on Scripture and heeding it (Tim shares the four passages that impacted him the most as a young man). Tim exhorts men to use their “one secret weapon” to slay the monster of porn, and to make personal holiness their lifelong pursuit.
Though published seven years ago, Sexual Detox is still near the top of my list of the resources that I recommend and use when helping other men who are caught in the trap of pornography. I highly recommend it. By the way, last month Tim taught a breakout session on this topic at our church's conference on biblical sexuality. You may be interested in the free audio download.
PARENTS, check out Tim's brand new mini-book, HELP! My Kids Are Viewing Pornography.