"So what now?" 3 words that I heard, repeating over and over in my head, bouncing back and forth around the room, and staring me right in the face. They wouldn't move, no matter how hard I tried to escape them. How in the world did I get here, or better yet how in the world have I allowed myself to stay here? I allowed myself to believe the lie, and now it wasn't just affecting me, but the very ones I love.
I grew up as the church kid, Mr. Polished, the kid who could do no wrong in the eyes of others. My parents were the models for the blueprint to having a God fearing marriage, while raising children in the way they should go. If there was a book for that class, my parents probably could've made a killing. I'm pretty sure one of the chapters in that book would be called "Guarded". See I was guarded by the always surrounding bubble of parental protection that was built around me unintentionally and maybe intentionally sometimes by my parents. This bubble provided protection, and prevented me from getting into the filth of this world that could end up contaminating me. But there were times, that there was only so much the bubble could do.
I remember the first time being introduced to the lie called lust. It was at a birthday party sleepover, 5th grade boys with hormones raging through their bodies and not even understanding why girls were becoming more and more interesting than before. We were all playing NBA Live, and it was past our bed times and I over heard someone talk about a movie that they had. Me being Mr. Polished, I figured it was a legit movie that had just came out, but little did I know this would be one of the movies that would change my life forever. I remember seeing a black woman on the screen, she didn't look like the girls at my school because 1 she was a woman, and 2 she didn't have any clothes on. Her body was shaped like I had never seen before and she was with man doing something that I had only heard about, they were having sex. The more I watched, the more I became nervous that the parents of the house were going to come out and catch us, but the more I watched the more I became intrigued, intrigued with the lie called lust.
This night sparked a fire that would take a lot more than a fire extinguisher to put out. I started searching for more of these movies called porn, anything that looked like it I wanted to feed my young hormonal appetite to appease this new found desire inside me. From playboy magazines that created perverse imaginations in my mind, to staying up late to sneak to watch "Bet Uncut". The older I became the more I believed the lie, the lie that said ah this is normal for boys, masturbation isn't a sin you haven't seen it in the bible, I mean at least you're not doing the real thing, and most of all....no one will ever find out. For years and years no one knew, it was my secret, a secret that I had developed a genuine relationship. It sounds sick typing it now, but how many of us have secrets that have become our best friends. This friend was a liar though, always promising me hope and feelings of satisfaction to only leave me every time with guilt, shame, embarrassment, and it's cousin perverseness which was played on repeat.
Flash forward to college, my freshmen year. I always said I wanted to meet my wife here. So my original intentions with any girl that checked off the boxes with my visual eye was to try to make her my girlfriend so I would be set for my future (shaking my head as I type this). Everything I was taught before coming to college was to treat women with respect, you know the chivalry isn't dead chapter in the "How to Be A Real Man" book. I guess that's been edited out though in today's copies. But every girl I would try to pursue would either tell me you're just so nice, give me the run around, or if we ended up hanging out they would quickly find out that sex wasn't an option. No matter how much porn I watched in private, I wanted to project this perfect image in public that I was waiting on marriage for the right one. Little did I realize, I had plenty of soul ties already connected to my heart, by just watching figures on a screen and the pages of magazines.
"Little did I realize, I had plenty of soul ties already connected to my heart, by just watching figures on a screen and the pages of magazines."
"Why you waiting for marriage?" "What if you wait until marriage and don't know what you're doing when it comes time to have sex." "Man I'm tired of people asking if I'm a virgin." "Dang you're missing out". "You know what I'm just gonna...." It was a Friday night my sophomore year, I was on my way back from my dorm and I had condoms in my pocket. Wait what? No stop what are you doing Austin?!! I was on my way to lose something I had fought so hard to keep, but because I was tired of being the one left out and ran over, that night I chose to believe the lie lust was telling me. My purity used to be precious, but with the wrong perspective it went from being precious to a problem all because of the lie lust was telling me. A short lived night, with lifetime ramifications. My virginity was no longer mine at 19. I didn't care about being a gentleman anymore I mean only if it made me look morally right, after all girls didn't want the nice guy right? From my sophomore year to my first semester of senior year I continued to live the lie that lust was telling me. I destroyed good friendships, lived in deception and manipulation all while helping add to testimonies for women who wanted to believe that good guys existed, but I added the fuel that men just wanted one thing. I created a hard casing around my heart, a numbness for respect for women but an even greater numbness for a respect for myself. My identity was found in who I could get next, and how I could keep my image maintained while yet believing the lie that lust was telling me.
The lie lust told me, getting married will help fix your "issue". After all once you get married you can have sex whenever you want, it'll be great and it'll finally satisfy the appetite that's been growing on the inside of you the last half of your life. But no one told me that the feelings and temptations from the seeds in previous years still had a residue leftover from the roots that remained in the field of my heart. Well maybe they did, but I was too distracted by my desires to even try to listen anymore. See you would think someone who has a relationship with God, is heavily involved in ministry, married, their first child on the way and has what you may think you want would never be going through anything like this. But the lie you're believing is the lie that the world is duplicating and passing out. The lie that says hey I'll never be perfect, or I'll always deal with this. So instead we use our excuses of imperfection to have no accountability for actions that are increasingly growing in the dark instead of exposing light on our sin and having repentant hearts so that God can truly restore the brokenness from within. We try to sing over it, shout over it, eat over it, drink over it, smoke over it, shop over it, and filter over it with social media. But until we deal with "It", "It" will always deal with us, and the truth is no matter how many filters you try to cover lust with, it will always be there waiting.
"So what now?" These 3 words were ones that stood over me, stared me in my face, and even heavier they were coming from my wife. The woman who I had been in a relationship with for almost 5 years, who was asking me these 3 words after I had received a prophetic word earlier that day from someone who was from Africa. Long story short, a church I preached at the beginning of 2018 brought in someone for a service, and while they were ministering God dropped my name in his spirit. I had never met the man a day in my life but the words that he shared with my through the FaceTime rocked me to my very core as if God himself was exposing the very thing I tried to keep buried. I saw it as a blessing, a warning, but also a sign that said how much does God really love Austin and Brea to have a complete stranger deliver the word of the Lord concerning our future. It was a great word but a tough one, one that implied the need to stay focus from the distractions of the very thing that had/has caused me to fall in my past before....lust.
I write these words today hoping that the right person reads them, but not to just read another blog for publicity sake, but truly for the sake of their very soul. To warn you that it's not to late to stop now, to eradicate your chains that's keeping you bound in the very things you fought with at the age of 16, or so you won't keep fighting them at the age of 37. Lust is a raging fire that is destroying the lives of men, women, children, families, pastors, millionaires, and minds and souls throughout America. Lust doesn't care what race you are, what your political affiliations are, how much money you make or not, or your sexual orientation. It runs through the bloodlines of generations, yet someway and somehow it continues because no one is willing to talk about it, or do anything about it. I remember a recent trip with my father that helped shed so much light on the very thing that I find myself fighting at times. The truth is a lot of curses that we fight aren't even ours. It's from the generations before us that were never dealt with so that were passed on to us.
Well today that can end, but only if you want it, and only if you realize you can not do this in your own strength (press repeat on that twice). I beg you must have the hard conversation with your spouse, have the hard conversation with your parents, trusted family member, or even a spiritual leader in who can truly hold you accountable. If we never talk about it, this disease will kill more people than diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and even HIV. The disease of lust does more than just affecting the body, but it literally affects every area of your life. I write this to help bring a generation, a people, particularly men, to help them out of the very thing that's keeping us bound and delayed from destiny. I believe it's time we stop believing the lies that lust keeps telling us, allowing the lies to destroy the very things that were supposed to be blessings. The truth from these lies is found with a new identity in Jesus Christ, the very man who knows us so well yet He still loves us so much. Today is an opportunity to begin the process of breaking the cycle, but it's your choice if it stops with you or if you press repeat of the lie...the lie that lust continues to tell us.