I’ve wrestled with myself for a year now over whether or not to share this explicitly. Well, I guess I’ve come to the point where I feel I can be totally open about my struggles as a broken, sinful person. It may be easier to write this as a blog then to tell people face to face, or even over social media such as whatsapp or FB messenger, after all, those are instant and people can respond within seconds. I think the fact that this is just out there for people to read or not, makes it easier than having personal conversations with people about it. Those have always been hardest for me as I have dealt with shame and regret many times in the past (as is normal with habitual sin). But I believe I am past that now, I have not had a problem opening up to several close friends in the past year or so that I never would have before, especially when this beast was at its worst.
The struggle that I have had since I was in middle school (I only say that because I don’t remember at what age it started) is that of lust, specifically pornography. High school and the few years after were the worst for me, action-wise. At the peak of my addiction I watched pornography up to three times a day: a full-blown addiction. I tried accountability partners, internet monitoring software, etc. but the whisper of my idol would always convince me to find a way around the roadblocks (albeit weak) I had set up to block it off from my heart. You see, lust is a problem of the heart. In essence, I wanted something that God created for his glory, his goodness, but I wanted it in a way that was glorifying to my own flesh. That’s what sexual sin is, it’s the belief that God’s way is not ultimately good, and willingness to break that and use it for your own selfish desires. Selfishness.. now that’s something I’ve struggled with my whole life, and I don’t think I’m the only one who has. Anyway, throughout high school this selfishness of the heart and flesh ruled my life. It seeped into my thought life, changing the way I viewed girls/women around me; my sisters in Christ. When it called, I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) say no, I gave in time and time again.
Years go by, I go through my first relationship and because of pornography, I mess it up and things go south. I get called to mission work in a foreign country away from my friends and family (the first time). I come back go the states and get a job working for my church. Things haven’t changed. I am still dealing with this issue. It’s not as tough as it was in high school but I’m still struggling. I am slowly getting better at saying no, at resisting the pull of my idol. Two years pass, I get the call to live in Haiti for a longer period of time. I move, I start working for FFP in Haiti. I am now a full-time missionary… lust is still at my doorstep. If I’m honest, this will always be a struggle for me. The choice is mine whether or not to let if overcome me and become an addiction again or not. The thing that is different now, is that I am not relying on my own strength to beat this thing that is much more powerful than I am. I am weak. I am in need of something outside myself to bead this. And this is partly why I have decided to share this. As a step towards victory, I know that where there is light, darkness cannot thrive. (John 1:5)
I am not perfect. I still am weak in my flesh. I still need grace daily. My plea to you is that you would be in prayer for me. That I would walk in the reality that I am a child of the Light, that in me there should not even be a hint of immorality. (Ephesians 5:3) I am also trying to prepare myself for marriage, and this kind of thing cannot be left to run rampant in the life of a man who wishes to love a wife. Please feel free to message me if you have questions, I am an open book. God has taught me alot about being open in the past year or so. I have learned much about myself and my own struggles and how God intends to slowly change me, to slowly mold that stubborn clay. As I daily give myself to Christ and what he has for me instead of my own selfish desires and lusts, I know that there is hope even for a sinner like me.
I hope I didn’t offend anyone with my honest; after all it’s not something that people want to talk about. I only wish that you life holy hands in prayer for me as I struggle with myself and with this temptation that is ever before me. The road to righteousness is marked by struggle. The sanctification of Ben Henrie in still in progress, “loading” as you could say.
I am not giving up
This is the year I totally break free
Thanks for listening,
This has been your host, Ben Henrie.
You have been reading advenuresofben.