Here we go again.
Hurricane Dorian is wreaking havoc already, and it’s still days from making landfall. I have lived in Florida nearly all of my adult life.
As such, I am accustomed to dealing with hurricanes.
By saying that I am accustomed to dealing with hurricanes, I don’t mean to imply that I know how to handle them. Instead, I mean that expecting them, preparing for them, and doing my best to endure them is now a matter of habit.
Indeed, activities I used to give considerable forethought, are now second nature. For example, without much thought, I have already taken the following steps to get ready:
- Stocked up on our water supply (did this weeks ago). Always drives my family crazy that I have cases of water bottles stacked in our closet that I will not allow anyone to drink until well into October.
- Exchanged empty propane tanks for full ones.
- Gas up our vehicles.
- Check generator, extension cords, weather radio, and batteries.
- Locate flashlights and candles.
- Replenish aluminum shutter supplies and (this year) try to find folks to attach them.
Well, you get the idea. Now, years into this thing, I pretty much do these things by habit.
Hurricanes and Habits
During this year’s preparations for our annual storm-season, I’ve been impressed by and meditating on a recurring thought:
“Developing healthy habits help us fight some of life’s biggest storms.”
One of the most significant storms many readers of DisruptusRenovatus face is the storm of porn addiction or sexually compulsive patterns and behaviors. I hear from people, mainly men, who regularly face this storm. For every person I hear from, there are hundreds more in a perpetual state of fear that keeps them locked into a deadly cone of silence.
Some of us haven’t faced the storm in years, but others face it every season of life.
No matter how often you face the storm, there are habits that help you prepare to withstand it! There are three healthy habits I’ve developed that continue to guide me on my long journey home. I don’t think about them as much as I once did.
I don’t neglect them either.
Healthy Habits for the Long Journey Home
If anyone of these three habits is not in place, then I will find myself unprepared when the storm winds of porn addiction begin to blow.
These healthy habits are:
The Habit of Containment
One of my initial steps into freedom was the step of containment. By this, I mean that I submitted myself to boundaries in which I happily chose to live. I think of them as basic guide rails that help keep me driving down the center of the road.
Practicing the habit of containment means (among other things) that I keep blockers and software protections on all of my devices. Early on, it meant that I gave Melissa a detailed account of how I spent my day and how I was using my time.
This habit is one I always cultivate and nurture. I am wise enough to know that I cannot live well without practicing healthy containment.
None of us can.
If we choose, for example, to run wildly on the road – in and out of traffic – we will eventually be run down by a vehicle.
Containment can indeed become unhealthy. It’s harmful when it’s the habit one which you and your loved one rely. You need to watch that, but on the whole, the risk is worth the return.
The Habit of Companionship
The second habit, companionship, is NOT to be confused with accountability groups. Accountability groups and small groups are usually filled with folks who hide or preach. Such experiences are unhealthy for those trying to weather the storm of pornography.
Too often we get into a group where there is one person who believes that everything he or she has “heard from the Lord” (don’t you love that one?!?!) should be shared with everyone around them. Rather than taking that into themselves and shutting their mouths for a second, they shovel it all over everyone else.
This sounds harsh, but it’s true: the person who always has to give some godly insight cares more about their image than your wholeness. They need help and they are toxic. Get away from them, fast.
Find a companion; someone who listens well, loves deeply, and preaches rarely!
I would say that those three qualities are what I look for in someone to companion me on this long journey home. To companion is to keep-company-with another as we travel together toward home. If you don’t have a companion, then you are missing a vital life-giving presence as you seek to weather this storm!
The Habit of Commitment
The third habit I have developed is the habit of commitment. I am not talking about a commitment to be against porn. Instead, you need a commitment to be FOR something! Anyone can be against something. To be only against something is the very definition of weakness and cowardice. It takes strength, honor, and dignity to be FOR something!
In my life, I’ve sought to practice the habit of being FOR love! Love is the antidote to porn. I have found that commitment to love – to love deeply – my God, wife, children, neighbors, the stranger, personal mission/vocation, etc. is the ONE commitment that pulls me back and prevents me from further exploring the false vision of porn.
When I nurture this kind of commitment to love, the pull of porn becomes far less powerful!
Hurricanes and Healthy Habits for the Long Journey Home
In a day or so we will know just how close Dorian is going to come to crashing into our life.
If I waited until then to get ready, I’d be too late.
It’s the same with porn. Don’t wait until it’s on top of you, and life is whirling around you.
Take action now.
Develop healthy habits.
After all, it is a LONG journey home!
Disrupting to Renew!