We are an ordinary group of Christian men in a family. We desired to build godly homes, have strong marriages and raise great children. That’s never easy, but anyone watching could tell that we worked at it seriously. Everyone seemed to be on track.
But there were some dark secrets involving a topic that never—ever—came up: pornography.
Who wants to bring up a subject that is only going to make everyone feel awkward? Like too many fathers, I (Mark) assumed my sons had no problem because there were no clues.
Although I didn’t know, their spouses knew. In shame and sorrow and fear, those couples kept up appearances while guarding secrets they assumed no one else ever experienced.
An unexpected discovery brought the issue into the light. I didn’t know what to do because the strategies everybody recommended (accountability, internet filters, and “just stop it”) had never worked very effectively for men I had tried to help in the past. I finally proposed an unlikely idea to my sons: Let’s band together to help each other pursue purity with honesty and transparency, and defeat pornography in our family for generations to come. That was in 2004.
Over time we discovered some keys to overcoming the grip of impure sexual desire and breaking the cycles of repeated failure. They were different than the standard advice we had heard or read about. What we discovered turned out to be powerful and effective. It has changed every one of us.
We’ve been a Band of Brothers ever since 2004, and we’re committed for our lifetimes. Within a year of starting, and after some setbacks, we saw old, recurring patterns of failure broken. Purity has brought new freedom, confidence and motivation to be spiritual leaders in our homes—without secret hypocrisy. The greatest beneficiaries? Our wives and children.
The strategy that worked so effectively for us is something we haven’t found other Christian men talking about. And that’s a concern. If our family is any indication, many Christian families are struggling in isolation with terrible secrets and don’t know where to turn.
That’s why, in 2010, we started to share this new strategy with other Christian men through seminars. This story of an ordinary father and three sons banding together for the sake of future generations is unique and motivating. Other ordinary Christian men can learn from our experience. The most important elements of this strategy apply to any men who want to overcome the grip of pornography and lust, not just those with Christian family members.
The description of what we did and how it worked will encourage you that the tide of battle can be turned when you band together with faithful men and develop an offensive strategy.