Recovery is long, hard, painful, and comes with a lot of uncertainties. It brings up a lot of old wounds, some that seem to never go away and some we will never tell anyone about. There are many layers to the recovery process and, whether you are the betrayed spouse or the one struggling with unwanted sexual behavior, each layer can be even more painful. And oftentimes in the recovery process, we can get to the point where giving up would be the easiest thing to do.
I love this quote by Lance Armstrong.
Lance is spot on here. In the moment, quitting would be easier, but the pain will always be there. It’s like trying to outrun our problems; they just keep pace with us. It doesn’t matter how far or how fast we run, if we don’t face our problems head on they will always be right behind us.
Coming into the recovery process, we all have a lot of questions. Oftentimes, the biggest questions are “Where do I start?” and “What do I need?” If we think of the recovery process as a job, which in some ways it is, it takes a lot of work and commitment to complete the job. And just like any job, the recovery process uses many tools. Today I wanted to focus on what I feel is one of the biggest tools available to you: the Bible.
What I love about Pure Desire Ministries is our holistic approach. Science backed by Scripture and Scripture backed by science. As you begin the healing process in your group, the Word of God is used in the journals and sprinkled throughout the workbooks, as well as in many of the books we recommend.
See, the Bible isn’t just a collection of stories to pull out and read when we are bored and looking for something to do. It is the most important tool we have in life and in our recovery. Think of the Bible as a car: fully loaded with everything you need to get you from point A to point B. Now what happens if you never check the oil, never check the air in your tires, and really never open the hood? Well, when we neglect the things we need to do to keep our car on the road, it breaks down on us. And the same thing happens with our relationship with Christ. The Bible is our owner’s manual for life. It is the one tool we can’t go without. Sadly, for so many of us, we neglect the one tool that has all the answers.
Don’t get me wrong here; I am not saying we need to read the Bible more and pray more. This is a decision only you can make. What I am saying is that, in the recovery process, science alone won’t get you healed. It’s the Word of God that can speak deep into our souls and repair all the unwanted stuff we have been holding on to for years. The science behind recovery is great, but when paired with Scripture, real healing begins to take place.
Early on in my healing process, I was able to see this play out firsthand, while I was on probation and attending court-ordered treatment. I saw so many guys get busted again for re-offending. Though the material we were using in treatment was great, it was missing a key piece: the spiritual connection! I am so thankful for Pure Desire Ministries and that it is built on a biblical foundation. It literally saved my life. In our Pure Desire group material, you will often find Scripture throughout. One piece that is so important is the Sword Drill in the Seven Pillars of Freedom Journal. If you look at how worship is used to usher you in the presence of God to where you can receive the Word at church, I feel these Sword Drills along with a daily devotional and Scripture in the homework will do the same thing for us. It will help usher us into a place of recovery, where we are able to receive the healing that God has for us.
I love this verse because it answers so many questions for me! Although we have things in our life that are good and true, oftentimes they don’t mean much; yet if paired with God, the impact will produce eternal gifts. This is so true in my life! The gifts I have experienced from being involved with Pure Desire for over 25 years continue to bear fruit, as I made the decision to walk in His Word and recover every day. The greatest gift we were ever given was His Son, Jesus. The tools available to us through His Word will be forever etched in our lives if we choose.
When the recovery work is tough, and it is tough at times, I often find myself turning to this song. It helps me take the focus off what is going on around me and focus on Him. My story is simple really: without God there would have been no Dr. Ted and Diane Roberts, and no Pure Desire Ministries. I would have been sentenced to prison for 49 years. And I would have been unable to help thousands of men and women around the world who are struggling. Every day, I thank God that we (Pure Desire) are here for you.
Take a moment to listen to this song and let the Holy Spirit begin to guide you in your recovery journey.
The views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are those of the author alone and do not reflect an official position of Pure Desire Ministries, except where expressly stated.
Rich is the Associate Director of Men’s Groups for Pure Desire and is a certified Pastoral Sex Addiction Professional (PSAP) through the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP). He has been involved with Pure Desire for over 20 years and is a foundational piece to helping churches start a Pure Desire group ministry. Rich is also the author of The Silent Battle: One Man’s Fight for Freedom.