We Don't Talk About That Here (Part I)
By Carlos Santiago
We men have the ability to talk for hours without revealing a single intimate detail about our lives.
We’ll talk about sports, work, politics, anything really—as long as the conversation stays superficial.
This dynamic was on full display at a men’s retreat I attended one year. We spent hours analyzing the sermons, commenting on delivery, and attempting to outdo each other with our insight. Intellectually, we were having a great time, but I hadn’t yet experienced any of the profound moments you expect to find when going on a retreat.
I feared we would spend the entire time debating the nuances of biblical facts and return home with little to show for our time together.
In a moment of clarity (or insanity), I decided to violate this unwritten code and drop a grenade in the room of Christian leaders.
“I told my wife I was struggling with porn.”
I watched in slow motion as the blast wave of my confession made its way across the room. One by one, the men broke eye contact with me. But as I continued, they slowly leaned in to hear more.
I didn’t hold anything back. When I was done, no one said a word. Finally, the most respected member of the group spoke up.
“My struggle began when I was 13,” he said. “My wife still doesn’t know.”
One hundred percent of the men in the room had their own story. While the details were different, they all had at least one thing in common: all had been struggling in solitude.
James 5:16 teaches, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”
In an attempt to deflect attention from their own failures, these men could have condemned me.
They could have lectured me on purity or quoted Bible verses.
They could have simply said nothing, and lead me to falsely believe I was the only one to have that particular struggle.
But they didn’t.
Because of their courage, we were able to support each other. Confession provided a way of escape, and the support of others provided the ability to endure it.
The good stuff: Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. (James 5:16)
Action points: Are you struggling with porn or another hidden sin? You aren’t alone. Confess your sin before God. Then find a mature believer you can trust to lean on for accountability.
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