Even though elementary school had some sexual talk, puberty and junior high brought about a whole new level. Sexual acts on buses and even in school happened. People were singled out and teased about masturbation. I remember hiding on the bus hoping I wouldn’t get teased. I knew it was wrong, but my sexual problems would continue off and on for the next 20+ years.
There was also the ongoing drama about who was “going out” with who. I remember “making out” with a girl on a bus trip to a basketball game in the 8th grade. I also remember feeling physically sick afterwards, much like when I saw pornography when I was around 10. God was trying to protect me, but we all have free will. I then remember breaking up with the girl the next day.
Looking back, there was so much dysfunction. I know many have had a much worse childhood with sexual abuse and many other things. Even in North Dakota, probably considered one of the more conservative and traditional states, much sin still abounds.
I believe sexual perversion has only gotten worse in America. I don’t mean to sound depressing, but all you need to do is look at a PG-13 movie from 1990 and then look at one now. Our standards as a society slowly slip away… but, Jesus!! The light of Christ shines ever brighter in the darkest places. In fact, I think we are living in such exciting times for America. The more people who are slaves, the more freedom is needed.
Jesus is truly the answer. Jesus is hope. Jesus is life. Jesus is deliverance. Jesus is freedom. Jesus is the embodiment of love in a man. Without Jesus we have nothing. He is everything and deserves our praise.
Many people talk of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible as a reflection of what God wants to do to homosexuals, prostitutes, and other people with sexual sins. However, Jesus hung out with prostitutes. He ate and drank with what society considered the worst of His day. If we are truly Christ followers, then we should be able to do the same.
If you feel like you have no hope in your struggle with sexual sin, look to Jesus. Surrender your life to Him. Learn His ways. Read His word. Do everything you can to follow Him. He really wants you to know God the Father. Jesus made a way to know Him. He loves you right where you are, and He has an amazing path for your future.
I don’t ever want to make sex sound bad. I think I felt like that growing up. It wasn’t talked about and the only thing that really got through to me was, “sex is bad… until you’re married.” The truth is that sex is a beautiful creation by God. It is a wonderful gift, that in the context of marriage, glorifies Him. I think it’s amazing that God uses the same word (yā·ḏa‘) in the Bible for sex and for knowing Him. Seriously!
Genesis 4:1 says, “Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.”
In 1 Samuel 3:7 it says, “Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, and the word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.”
Samuel was a prophet in training. He was training to know God intimately, to be able to hear God’s word for the people. God could have chosen any other word to use in these contexts, but he chose the same one. I will go more into this further in future posts, but let’s get back to 1989 and me being ten-years-old...
I remember in the fifth grade my teacher walked in right when I was copying an obscene gesture that I had seen other kids do. My teacher was furious and took me outside the room. He questioned me repeatedly where I had seen the gesture and if I knew what it meant. The only thing I could muster to reply was, “It’s really bad.”
I felt completely humiliated. My face got red-hot from embarrassment and I just wanted to get away from him. At just 10-years-old, there was already so much shame attached to the concept of sex.
Of course, I already knew about sex in a very perverted way because kids talked about it. Friends would tease each other about sex. There was no honor in it, no respect. Sex education wasn’t until 8th grade, but we already knew so much. We were only children and everything we knew about sex was what other kids talked about. It was very twisted and very harmful.
I can’t imagine having a smartphone at age 10! Just a side note to parents: Please don’t give your kids unsupervised electronic devices! It’s really sex education 101. It’s not smart, you’re putting your kids in a dangerous place. They are not protected and you can literally damage them for life. I know this sounds harsh, but it is truth.
On to the story...
I thought that sex was “really bad.” I didn’t understand the beauty of God’s creation and intention. I didn’t understand that God intended “knowing” one’s wife to be an amazing thing far beyond a physical act.
I could give you a bunch of stats that you may or may not believe on porn use. However, I’ll just give you a few. According to a survey by the Barna Group in 2016, 76% of CHRISTIAN men ages 18-24 actively seek out porn. What is heartbreaking to me, is that for most people, that’s not a surprise.
Women aren’t left out. 87% of christian women have looked at porn, and 33% of christian women under 25 look at porn at least once a month. OK, let me give you one more statistic. Only 7% of pastors say their churches have something to help people struggling with pornography.
Have we, as the church in America, just accepted this as normal? When Paul said in Galatians 5:13, “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love,” was freedom truly an option?
Well, we do have free will. Our choices are always life vs. death or freedom vs. slavery. When they are written in black and white, isn’t it obvious what the right choice is?
We are going to come back to this truth and discuss it in depth, but for now, you are called to be free! Your brothers and sisters are called to be free, your parents and children are called to be free. God has called us all to be free, so why is the majority of the church trapped in slavery with this issue? I’d love to hear your comments.
You’ve brought an idol into my holy temple!
This morning God woke me at 4:45 and began to show me the depravity I had been in. For about 1 hour, I laid in bed by my wife knowing God’s love, but slowly understanding God’s hate.
You see, God hates sin. It is detestable to Him. He is Holy. He is one of a kind. He is set apart from anything in the universe. Read Revelation 4 to just get a glimpse of what’s going on around the throne of God. There is no one like Him. He deserves more than all the glory and praise and honor we can ever give.
Before we go any further in my personal story, let’s get this out there to everyone! GOD HATES!!! He HATES idols, He HATES sin. It is detestable to HIm. He can’t, by his own nature, associate with it. I would say maybe 100% of us have them or have had them. Do you?
I brought an idol into the temple! A quick read through the ‘evil kings’ in 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings will quickly tell you that they often brought idols into the temple. They worshiped other gods. We do the same.
I set up a false image in my heart. I worshiped it, I protected it. God hated it and despised it. Instead of hiding His word in my heart, I hid deceit and lies and heartache and shame. God had given me the key, but I instead chose to live in my own prison: A self-made hell hole that no one but Jesus could get me out of.
Jesus tore the veil to the Holy of Holies, the place where God dwelt in old testament times. Jesus made it possible for our bodies to be the temple (1 Corinthians 6:19) of the Holy Spirit. Now, God can dwell in us! It’s an amazing, glorious thing and it’s possible for all of us.
But, don’t bring an idol in there. It grieves Him unbearably. And listen, pornography and other sexual issues are at the top of the list, but Christians everywhere are bringing all kinds of idols into the temple: money, cars, the American dream, retirement, Netflix, leisure, entertainment, business, and the list goes on and on.
If you think about something more than you talk to Him, you better check your heart. It is meant to be the well-spring of life and filled with the joy of the Lord.
As I cried this morning, I knew God was showing me this out of love. When I first was delivered from the web of addiction (it’s not just pornography -- so many things were tied to it), God showed me so much grace and love and FREEDOM! I needed it. I had been self-centered, self-absorbed, wallowing in my own pity for a long time.
The devil had me distracted from God’s purposes for my life. I think the enemy is pretty content with Christians doing whatever as long as they have an idol in their lives.
God showed me love and grace, and I began to have more and more healing. My wife, Mary, began to heal. My family began to heal. Today, He showed me something I couldn’t have bared then. He showed me His holiness and His hate for idols… and I’m so glad He did.
~ ~ ~
I will continue posting on Tuesdays/Fridays. Please if you have questions or need help, let me know! There is no shame for those who come to the light.
I grew up liking girls. I mean really liking girls. It was apparent to me at a very early age that girls were different than boys. I would chase them around at recess and catch them. Then I would let them go and chase them again.
One of my best friends growing up was a girl. We use to play “horses” and “store” and go sledding in the winter together. I don’t remember the age, but somewhere between ages five and seven, we got married. A friend 5 years older was the pastor officiating, and my brother and others threw leaves on us.
What we saw adults do, we did. We kissed and hugged, because that’s what married people do.
God reaffirmed something in me just this past week at a house of prayer meeting in Fletcher, NC. He told me I created you the way I did for a purpose. That purpose was not to ‘like’ girls, but to eventually marry a beautiful wife and serve her faithfully. God actually created Mary and I to perfectly compliment each other!
More than that, God created man and woman in His image! When he created man, He said something was not good. Do you understand that? Before sin ever entered the world, He said it wasn’t good for man to be alone. Women bring a part of God’s image that men just don’t have. Isn’t that a beautiful thing? God’s creation was only perfect once He made women.
Let’s keep women in a place of honor where God designed them. They are made in His image and have specific purposes that men can’t fulfill.
They are not an object to be lusted after to gratify our desires. Yes, God made men to be attracted to women, but marriage is the end result of that attraction. Sexual dysfunction is a primary focus of the devil’s plan as he seeks to steal, kill and destroy you.
And, that was exactly the enemy’s plan for my life...
Pressing my face violently into the pillow, I screamed at the top of my lungs. All the rage, shame and fear had come to a tipping point. It was time to change. It was time to beat this thing. It was time to be a man. Once again, I resolved that this would be the last time. This time was different. I was going to try harder and be better. Of course, I would eventually fail for maybe the thousandth time. And, it would bring me back to the same place again. Despair. Impending doom. A failure.
I grew up in what many would call the middle of nowhere. Binford, ND, “The Biggest Little Town,” was a whole six blocks long and filled with 200 people. My brother and I, along with other kids, would spend our summer days riding bike all over town exploring every inch. When we heard a not so regular train horn blowing, we would race to meet it and feel the ground shake as it went by.
Binford was the kind of place where the whole town would show up to a basketball game. Like many towns around there, they’d have one big summer weekend a year where there’d be a carnival of sorts, a 5K, a rodeo, a streetdance all on Saturday--oddly followed by a city-wide church service on Sunday morning in the school gym. Mom would often tell us to check in every thirty minutes, but we’d ride bike and play with our friends for hours. I’m still amazed when I go back to visit at the city’s peace and quiet. Time goes a little slower it seems.
It was a different time. It was also a childhood experience that not many have had. My parents were both teachers and would eventually both live and teach in that area for 40 years. My dad coached primarily girl’s basketball and even led them to a state championship, which was no easy feat in such a small school. My parents were very hard-working. My dad would teach and coach nine months out of the year and then work 60+ hours/week in the summer painting and shingling houses and barns.
I grew up in a trailer house, as we called it. I didn’t think it was strange, even though the ‘trailer court’ comprised of a total of four mobile homes--most of which were occupied by teachers. It was actually very convenient--half a block from church, school and the grocery store. I’m pretty sure there were times where we didn’t drive anywhere for a month.
So this was my young life, and I didn’t know much of anything else. All of that unknowingly changed one regular summer day. One of my friends had invited me over to play and he was excited to share something. I followed him upstairs, and as he dug under his parents’ bed, he pulled out a VHS tape. I knew enough to know there was a movie on it, so we went downstairs to the living room and put it in the VCR.
Miraculously, I don’t remember anything that was on that TV. What I do remember was numbly sitting and having no idea what I was looking at. I remember feeling physically sick, like I wanted to throw up. And then it was over. My friend and I took the VHS back upstairs and put it precisely the way it was under the bed. Then we went out to play like nothing happened. But, something did. It was my first exposure to pornography.
I actually didn’t even remember this story for many years. I think it traumatized me enough that I pushed it down deep and forgot about it. Through a series of events many years later, God showed me the root of where the devil got in, so to speak.
Now I don’t start with this story to gain your pity. My hope and belief is that this story will help many people not only with sex-related addictions, but also addictions of any kind. I’m not a Licensed Addictions Counselor, but I do know the Counselor Jesus spoke about with His disciples before He ascended into heaven. In fact, it’s only at the Holy Spirit’s prompting that I write this story down.
Jesus said you will be my witnesses, and I am a witness to the awesome power of God.
Hi! We're the Hoeckles.
We're a family of six living full-time in an RV. We are inviting you to join us as we live life to its fullest and empower others to do the same. Welcome to the family!