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Abstinence Contract: Are you kidding me?

June 14, 2011

The response from the blog I wrote on pornography was overwhelming. It was amazing how many people read that blog, and then forwarded it to their friends. It even made the Metro Christian Living –June Edition (Thanks Marilyn). Over the last two weeks more readers have read that article than any other I have written. I am humbled. One of the best things that came from it for me as a counselor was the introduction to a book by a couple of good friends titled Healing the Wounds of Sexual Addiction by Dr. Mark R. Laaser. It was recommended by a great friend that has overcome his own sexual demons, and is now helping others with their struggles. Love you brother!

There is one section in the book called the Five Components of Treatment, and the first step is an Abstinence Contract. Now being a counselor, I am familiar with using contracts to project the importance of certain behaviors that need to be eliminated, replaced, or increased. The first step for this contract was to refrain from all sexual activity (intercourse, pornography, masturbation etc…) for 90 days. I decided if I was going to recommend this book for my clients then I should try to do this as well, I don’t like people who say, “Do as I say, not as I do.” I have fasted from food for forty days and I don’t watch TV, so I figured I could do this no problem.

Now comes the funny part, I asked my wife if beginning June 1, 2011  we could abstain from sex for 90 days, because I felt it was important to understand what I am asking my clients to do. She laughed in my face! I don’t mean a snicker; I mean a whole-hearted belly laugh. She said that she felt like she could do it no problem, but she didn’t feel that I could. Not something you want to hear from your wife. She told me she didn’t think we had been without sex in our relationship for over 90 days in 27 years of marriage.

It is funny, but it is also sad. As men we think that through sex we can somehow feel better, feel loved, and affirmed as real men by the conquests of our sexual lives. Real sex is much more about intimacy and being known than neurochemistry and release. I am on day fourteen of my abstinence (self-inflicted celibacy) contract, so if I seem a little grumpy on the phone, short in an email, or somewhat abusive in my writing please forgive me.

I am just a man trying to reclaim the true sexuality that God has given me!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Cooper permalink
    June 14, 2011 10:32 pm

    That’s awesome, Mac! YOU are the man, my friend. You are clearly making a difference.
    Rock On!

    • June 15, 2011 7:25 am

      Thanks Coop! Sex and the ridiculous messages we get from it are killing men out there. Pornography is rampant in my counseling practice, retreats and deer camps. We have to start talking about it. Love you brother!

  2. Jorge Liceaga permalink
    June 16, 2011 7:48 am

    Mike, I’ve done the 90 days and there is something remarkable that happens. Remember these two words, “minimal arousal.” I’ll be praying that our Lord and Master will reveal something wonderfully startling in your experience. Tell your wife she has extraordinary comedic talent. That was funny!

    • June 16, 2011 7:54 am

      Jorge, I have already seen tremedous benefits with my wife. She even said this morning that she is realizing that I really do just like being with her without wanting to have sex. I told her this morning she was sexy and it seemed to have more meaning because she knows I have no alterior motives. Thanks for the advice. You don’t realize how sexualized the world is until you are trying to avoid it. Love you brother; the fruit has already been amazing.

  3. June 17, 2011 6:08 pm

    Wow, I don’t think I have the guts to even try, My hat’s off to you! It’s great you can openly share this experience with us. Looking foward to hearing how it all turns out. You are so right, pornography and sexual addictions are far more rampant than most realize. It has really become apparant over the last year as I have spent more time working with other men.

    • June 18, 2011 4:17 pm

      Thanks David. I am really pushing my discipline limits lately to better explore life in Christ. Love you brother!

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