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Porn addiction, what can the church do?

According to a new study by Barna Group, use of pornography within the church nearly mirrors secular statistics. Aaron Reinicke of Reinicke Counseling Associates, himself a former porn addict, said the church can better address the issue of pornography within its walls in a number of ways.

  • Educate parents and teens on healthy sexuality as a beautiful creation of God for marriage. The best sex educators for kids are informed and shame-free parents who can give accurate relational and sexual information. Parents need to proactively use teaching moments all through the growing up years of our children to share the beauty of God’s plan for sexuality.

When our kids are open to talk with us about their relationships or they have questions about sexuality, we have to see it as an opportunity to listen well and lovingly offer a bit of perspective, not unload a sermon on them.

With older teens parents might take the risk of sharing the pain from their own past poor sexual choices and offer ideas on how to handle the situation differently. Don’t forget to share about God’s grace and forgiveness that was experienced for those mistakes. He was trying to protect his child from harm all along.

Reinicke Counseling Associates offers a workshop for parents and teens entitled “The Online Sexual Minefield” to coach parents on this relational approach to sex education, as well as the latest information and strategies for dealing with dangers in the cyber world we live in today.

  • Church leaders can have compassion for men who come to them confessing their porn struggle. All of us as Christians need to understand how the brain can become hijacked and addicted to porn.

As with any addition, a person needs a lot of help to quit. It can’t be done alone. It’s not as easy as just stopping it because we understand that it’s wrong. Besides professional counseling, Christian sexual integrity support groups are offered at churches around the county. (www.UnleashedSanDiego.com)

Church leaders can download RCA’s handouts about sexual addiction recovery to give hope to men who come for help.

  • The church can help wives who discover their godly husband has been using porn. She is shocked, angry, ashamed, and often feels deeply betrayed not only by the discovery, but also by the cover-up lies her husband told her over the years. She sensed something was wrong, but he denied it and made her feel like the problem person. The wife can seek help for herself even if her husband is not yet ready to seek treatment. Pastors and ministry leaders can download RCA’s handouts explaining the initial steps in recovery—for both the porn user and the spouse. The center also offers both individual and group counseling for spouses of sex addicts.
  • Start a support group at your own church. First talk to your church leadership and share your own recovery story. Next, attend a successful group elsewhere for six months and be mentored by the group leaders there. Attend some of the group leader training provided by RCA. Then approach church leadership about the possibility of starting a group at your church. Many of the Christian sexual integrity recovery groups presently offered around the county started just this way.
  • Church leaders can schedule a one-hour Steps to Freedom training with their pastors and ministry leaders on how to effectively help porn users and their spouses who seek help while in crisis.
  • The church can refer people in need to expert help. RCA’s website has helpful articles for both the porn user and their spouse. There are also Christian support groups for recovery from porn in churches throughout the county. Click here for a current list of Christian Support Groups for Men and Women. Groups are available for both male and female addicts, as well as spouses.

In addition to materials and resources, RCA also offers a variety of specialized classes.

Learn more at www.rcacounseling.com.

• Related story: Breaking the chains of addiction to porn

Dragon Parable: Ensnared by an evil dragon, a prince finally finds freedom. From the book “Parables for Personal Growth” by psychologist Dr. Melinda Reinicke. www.rcacounseling.com.

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