Issues and Answers

Battle For Sexual Purity

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: J.D. Quinn (Host), Fred and Brenda Stroekes


Series Code: IAA

Program Code: IAA000255

00:29 Hello, welcome to Issues and Answers
00:32 Today we have two very special guests. We have Fred and Brenda
00:37 Stoeker and their ministry is Living True Ministries
00:40 and they are out of Des Moines
00:41 Iowa. First of all though we'd
00:43 like to start with a scripture
00:44 and I'm going to be taking this
00:46 scripture from Titus 2:11-14. For the grace of God that brings
00:51 salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say no
00:56 to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self
00:59 controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age while
01:03 we wait for the blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our
01:07 great God and Savior Jesus Christ who gave himself for us
01:10 to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for
01:13 himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is
01:19 good. We're going to be talking about something today that most
01:23 people, most churches avoid and that is talking about sexual
01:28 addiction. We're talking with Fred and Brenda. They are
01:32 authors and they've got lots of books and have sold over a
01:36 million copies. So what they've got to say they've put a lot of
01:40 research in and they understand it. So we're going to be talking
01:44 about sexual purity. I just want to welcome Fred, how are you
01:48 doing? It's good to see you. Brenda, my pleasure and
01:52 everything. First of all, why don't we have a definition of
01:56 sexual purity. Well sexual purity for me is
02:01 simple. At first when I began to fight the battle for sexual
02:05 purity it was hard to understand
02:06 what it means in the Bible when
02:07 it says that we are not to have
02:09 even a hint of sexual immorality
02:11 in our lives. What I came to understand what it means is that
02:14 we're not to get any kind of sexual gratification from
02:17 anything or anybody except our spouse. That's a practical one
02:22 that I think we can all understand.
02:23 Amen. You know it's some way mentioned to me we can certainly
02:28 have crumbs or we can have a banquet by participating with
02:32 what God gave us and that is our mate which is the banquet that
02:36 he gave us and it's so special to each one of us. How important
02:40 is sexual purity in a relationship?
02:43 Well in my experience it changes everything. I know when I was in
02:48 college I began to have a lot of issues with pornography. I was
02:53 chasing women very heavily, had too many girlfriends. Then when
02:57 I got married I thought all that would kind of slip away, but
03:01 what I found out is that even though I was married my eyes
03:04 weren't doing what they were supposed to be doing. I was
03:07 looking at the movies I shouldn't watch. I was maybe
03:10 lusting after the girl in the bikini, whatever it might be.
03:14 The long and the short of it is I found that it was hurting my
03:17 relationship with Brenda. What happens when we have sexual
03:20 purity in our lives is that it heals that relationship with our
03:24 wives and it also heals the relationship with God, because
03:28 I was being cut off from him because of my sin and it was
03:31 enough that it was very clear. I mean I could notice it very
03:35 clearly in my life.
03:36 I think too that when we have nothing coming into our lives by
03:41 way of whatever kind of TV
03:43 programs, movies, books,
03:44 magazines we read, when you cut
03:46 out things that have a lot of
03:48 sexual content to them, you find yourself really able to just
03:52 rejoice in the partner the Lord's given you. There is such
03:56 truth in the Bible that what the Lord has given you is more than
04:00 enough and there's real fulfillment with just that.
04:03 I mean we both remember when I began to cut all these images
04:07 out of my life and I'm talking about the joggers and maybe
04:10 the lingerie ad inserts that I would look at too long on
04:13 Sunday mornings in the department store ad inserts
04:17 in the newspaper. What I found is when I cut all those out
04:20 Brenda began looking more beautiful that anyone that I
04:23 knew and I began to be very attracted to her. Then the verse
04:27 that Solomon gave us that we're to take joy in the wife of our
04:32 youth, that became extremely easy.
04:34 So it had nothing to do with love. I mean, you loved your
04:38 wife very, very much. Oh absolutely, absolutely.
04:39 As a matter of fact, sexual sin really has very little to do
04:43 without love for our spouses. I mean, there's an addictive
04:47 quality to sexual sin that draws us back. We can still love our
04:51 wife, we can still love our kids; in fact, we can even still
04:54 love God, but we can't have the same kinds of relationships with
04:58 them, the same kind of intimacy with them with the sin in our
05:03 lives. Do you see that this is mainly a
05:04 male issue or do females also fight this battle?
05:08 Unfortunately these days women are struggling with it quite
05:12 a bit more also. By nature men are wired differently than women
05:16 are. Their eyes are going to focus in on sexual images and
05:19 things. Women are not by nature made that way, but with our
05:22 culture today and so much available through internet
05:26 pornography, magazines, movies, TV shows, things like that we
05:30 are finding that women are almost rewiring to where there
05:35 are many, many women experiencing trouble in this
05:37 area also. What she means by rewiring in
05:39 some ways is they're just training themselves to be more
05:43 visual and the odd thing is back in oh say like the '70s
05:47 Play Girl magazine went defunct because there was no interest
05:50 and women weren't buying the magazine, they weren't watching
05:54 but what we found is that as the MTV generation has come in and
05:58 then you know a lot of the prime time TV is getting more sensual,
06:01 the TV shows, what we're finding is that more and more woman are
06:05 hooked on porn. They're going to the internet to see what the
06:08 hubbub is all about and they're getting hooked themselves.
06:11 If you go from 30 years of age and younger you're finding these
06:15 days there can be as many as 50% of the women out there that are
06:19 visiting porn sites and getting hooked.
06:22 So we're seeing that Satan is working overtime. It's like my
06:25 daddy used to say, he said Satan is kind of like bank interest,
06:29 he works 24 hours a day. Boy that's the truth, that is
06:32 the truth. So we're finding here that if we
06:35 open up at all, Satan is going to attack us at that particular
06:39 entrance. One of the reasons why that
06:43 happens is the way that our eyes work. Not everyone understands
06:47 that when we look at something sensual that there's a chemical
06:50 reaction that happens in the brain. It's this wash of
06:54 pleasure chemicals that hit the limbic center of the brain
06:56 which handles the sexual desire and the sexual appreciation and
07:01 enjoyment. When those pleasure chemicals hit the brain it's a
07:05 very pleasurable feeling. Wow! She's hot; that's what we say.
07:09 But in our brain there's a real nice pleasure that happens and
07:13 what happens over time is that the individual wants to repeat
07:18 that and the brain wants to feel that again and so it's not just
07:21 the spiritual battle here that we're fighting. There's also a
07:25 physical battle not unlike drugs. We can find that these
07:30 pleasure chemicals when they do the studies that it's a lot like
07:34 the effects of cocaine or heroin on the brain's pleasure centers
07:39 and so what we have to admit is that if we're allowing into our
07:43 lives those small things, that we normally say are small, you
07:47 know, looking at the bikini-clad girl or looking at the movie.
07:51 Well, you know, everybody's doing it, it doesn't really
07:53 hurt. What we find is that it those things that are hurting us
07:57 and those things are drawing us into sin and into not just
08:01 sin but a habit with sin.
08:03 Let me ask you this question because I imagine, Brenda, you
08:06 hear this a whole lot. But daddy's a Christian so this
08:13 should not affect him at all.
08:15 I think, J.D., one of the hardest things for me is seeing
08:20 that much today of our Christian culture has very little
08:25 difference than the secular culture. In our experience,
08:30 churches we visit, places we go it seems that there's very
08:33 little difference in what Christians would choose to watch
08:37 in today's common movies and what TV they would choose to
08:40 watch and we are every bit as much vulnerable to this as any
08:43 other person. It always makes me think of in the Old Testament
08:47 when God commanded the Israelites to stay away from
08:50 all the Canaanites because he said you'll get sucked into
08:52 their things. I think it's kind of like the Christians going
08:55 into so much of today's culture and not staying separated from
08:59 it. Yes and you know the fact that it's not just a spiritual
09:03 issue but there's that physical pull and the drug addiction in a
09:06 sense. That's why daddy, who's a Christian, can still get
09:10 hooked and that's why when we're playing with the Canaanites,
09:15 essentially like Brenda said, we can still get hooked.
09:18 So what we also find, J.D., you might find interesting, is you
09:21 can't necessarily just pray your way out of this because it's not
09:24 just a spiritual issue. It would be no different than if you were
09:28 a heroin addict. You can pray 23 hours a day to get rid of your
09:32 heroin addiction but if you're still sticking the syringe in
09:35 arm and putting the drugs into your body, you're going to stay
09:38 addicted. What we need to understand is, yes, we can love
09:43 God, we can pray, we can worship but if we're going to continue
09:46 to put those drugs, so to say, into our brains, we're going to
09:50 stay hooked on the sexual sin. Our eyes are still going to be
09:53 chasing after every woman that goes by and we're not going to
09:56 be able to have intimacy with God and our family that we wish
09:59 we had. So how do we overcome this?
10:02 Well that's what my book Every Man's Battle is my first book
10:06 towards this issue and what I did is I told the story of my
10:10 own life. As I mentioned earlier I got hooked on porn in college
10:14 and by the time I was one year out of college I had four
10:17 girlfriends, I was sleeping with three of them and I was
10:20 actually essentially engaged to be married to two of them.
10:24 So, I mean, I was way outside the bounds. About that time I
10:29 got to the lowest point in my life and the Lord moved into my
10:34 life and I was saved. From my wedding day on I didn't look at
10:39 porn so I never purchased porn or looked at porn on the
10:42 computer since we've been married so I kind of cleaned
10:45 myself up partway. But then the Lord kept calling and he was
10:50 saying why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say?
10:54 That's from Luke 6:46. And as he began to kind of hound me
10:58 with that question, I began to understand that there was more
11:01 to this purity thing than just not looking at porn or not
11:05 having an extramarital affair. And he began to speak to me
11:09 about what I was looking at all day long and so when I'd begin
11:13 to do something that I call in my book bouncing the eyes.
11:17 Say a woman in a string bikini walks by. By nature a man's eyes
11:21 are going to look at her. What the Lord was telling me was I
11:26 need to do more like Job did in Job 31:1. In that verse, Job
11:30 said, I have made a covenant with my eyes not to look
11:34 lustfully at a girl. So what I did at that was set up
11:38 defenses based upon Job 31:1 and I began to train my eyes to look
11:42 away from the babe in the string bikini, to look away from the ad
11:47 inserts on Sunday morning, to look away from the joggers.
11:49 You know that aspect of this sin this physical, I was essentially
11:55 going cold turkey and allowing that chemical process that was
11:59 going on in my brain to cease and as I cut all these things
12:03 out of my life, as I said earlier, Brenda began to look
12:07 better but the best thing was my connection with God began to
12:11 return. I was able to pray to him, I was able to pray with my
12:16 wife who I was too guilty to pray with before and I was able
12:20 to worship more freely. So the first thing we need to do in
12:25 this battle is to recognize what you said earlier in Titus that
12:30 we need to understand that God wants to teach us how to say no
12:34 to ungodliness. We need to not only understand that truth and
12:38 listen to it but we need to walk in it and as we walk in it and
12:43 actually defend ourselves and put up our defenses we can get
12:47 rid of that addictive side and as we get rid of the addictive
12:51 side God continues then to pour in his life even more deeply and
12:56 then not only are we conforming to the word but we begin to
12:58 be transformed in our mind about our sexuality and he takes us to
13:02 complete victory as that happens.
13:04 So it is true then, we become what we behold.
13:07 Oh, very much so. Yes, so you started just through
13:12 your own methodology just putting this behind you,
13:17 changing your behavior and then you wake up and this
13:21 transformation has taken place.
13:23 Yes, well there is actually a two-step process to it. I like
13:26 to call it a two-front war. You remember in world war II there
13:29 was the Pacific theater and there was the European theater
13:33 and in order to win WWII we had to win on both fronts. For me,
13:38 what I found in this sexual purity battle is there is a
13:42 physical front of the battle and that's based upon what Paul told
13:45 us in 1 Corinthians 6:18-20. He said that this sin is
13:49 different from other sins and that what we're supposed to do
13:53 is flee sexual immorality. Now in practice what fleeing looks
13:57 like is bouncing the eyes away and training your mind to take
14:00 your thoughts away from lustful. So on the physical front of the
14:04 battle it has to do with what we're doing to set up our
14:08 defenses. Now there's also a spiritual front of the battle
14:12 which has to do more with our relationships; how much are we
14:16 connecting with God, how deeply. How much are we worshiping.
14:20 What I found on that side of the battle is that's the side that
14:24 really cements everything in place. I began to do more
14:28 worship at home on my own, one on one with God. I began to
14:32 consistently pray and read my Bible and I can talk to you more
14:35 about that in detail if we have time but the main issue is that
14:40 as I began to do that I began to pick up the mind of Christ and
14:44 as I picked up the mind of Christ the transformation was
14:47 complete. What some people don't understand, J.D., is that we
14:51 don't have to have the same level of temptation all through
14:55 our lives. Once we get into that mind of Christ position where
15:00 we are transformed to understand our sexuality the temptations
15:05 from the enemy actually change. In a sense, he's not as close to
15:09 us. It's harder for him to lob that grenade into our lap.
15:12 It becomes harder for us to turn on the computer and to look at
15:17 porn because the Lord seems so much more real to us because of
15:21 that intimacy. So we don't want to, in a sense, commit adultery
15:25 with him sitting right next to us, you know what I mean?
15:29 Let me ask you this, Fred. What direction or what proposals
15:33 would you have to improve a broken marriage. Let's just say
15:38 that they chose not to repent versus someone that does repent?
15:42 Well you know there are really three ways that a man can
15:46 respond to God's call to purity and one would be to repent and
15:49 move quickly into purity. That's something that the wife of
15:53 course would like. He can also waffle for a while, sort of
15:57 repent and sort of not; or he can completely just turn his
16:00 back and say look I like this
16:02 sexual sin; I'm going to
16:03 continue. It's that issue right there, that one of the three
16:07 that creates the biggest problem in a marriage because here you
16:10 have a wife whose counting on her husband to help build her
16:14 dreams to have a Christian marriage and he's refusing to
16:19 care about it. What has to happen at that point is that the
16:23 wife has to somehow be a help mate, help pray him into
16:27 repentance so that God can move in and sweep things clean. That
16:32 can that a lot of time and so the wife has some pretty strong
16:36 work that she has to do to keep patient and to keep her heart
16:40 strong in the face of that. Maybe, Brenda, you can talk a
16:43 little bit about that.
16:44 Well, I do think for sure that one thing we need to add to that
16:47 is that we believe biblically
16:50 there is full hope for her to
16:53 have her own heart restored and
16:55 peace in her own life even if
16:57 her husband doesn't. Adultery has been committed here with
17:01 him being sexually unfaithful like this. So we are not saying
17:05 oh she has to carry on with this the rest of her life. Biblically
17:09 she has grounds between her and the Lord to decide if she feels
17:14 that she can continue on with this man or not. But the most
17:18 important thing I think for all women is to really learn about
17:21 the differences between men and women sexually because there are
17:25 huge, huge differences in the way that we express intimacy
17:30 the way men view sexual things in their lives and we just
17:35 really need to know those differences. Also I think when
17:39 you understand those things sometimes men's problems come
17:43 from even things in their past and you learn to understand that
17:46 perhaps it's not all about me. One of the main things that we
17:48 would hope for is that women would understand it's not her
17:51 fault. She wasn't just not attractive enough or not
17:55 everything he hoped she would be. Many times it's just stuff
17:58 in their past. So when you learn these things about the
18:01 differences between men and women, you can begin to have
18:04 mercy on your husband and you can have healing for yourself,
18:07 understanding that this isn't all my fault. His sin is his sin
18:10 but it isn't all my fault.
18:11 The main thing that we wanted to do in our book Every Heart
18:15 Restored, which Brenda and I wrote together; we wrote it to
18:18 wives who are in this situation because their emotions are
18:21 shattered. I mean they're sitting there going boy have I
18:24 not been attractive enough, have I not been the kind of wife
18:28 I need to be? Am I just not spiritual enough for my husband
18:32 or whatever it might be. When they find out their husband's
18:36 been looking at porn or caught in sexual sin like that they are
18:40 feeling like their whole world has been shattered. What we
18:43 wanted to do is point out that look you need to start with
18:47 Jesus first and if you start with him and focus on him even
18:51 more than on your husband and what he's doing or not doing,
18:54 that's where true transformation can happen for you. We feel like
18:58 a woman's heart can be restored whether her husband repents or
19:03 not and we want women to understand that. One of the
19:06 things that Brenda has learned recently through the death of
19:11 her mother is how important it is for we as Christians to be
19:15 disciplined in our approach to God. She was very shattered in
19:19 her life; she was very close to her mom. In that process, that
19:23 year as her mom died of cancer, Brenda learned that she really
19:27 didn't trust God the way that she always thought she did.
19:30 We see some parallels in that to sexual sin issues because you
19:33 need to really trust God for the restoration of your marriage and
19:37 it may take some time. What we have found as we talk to women
19:41 in this situation is they don't trust God quite as much as they
19:45 maybe always thought they did and if they really open their
19:48 hearts to God they can be in a position where even if though
19:51 the sexual sin thing has shattered everything, it can
19:54 draw them into a closer relationship with God than they
19:57 every dreamed possible. Brenda maybe you can talk about some
20:00 of the discipline ways that maybe women might approach this.
20:04 Sometimes, J.D., women are very crushed and hurt by this kind of
20:08 a thing. It's extremely damaging to your self-esteem. But boy
20:11 many of us women would be saying I just must be worthless. He's
20:15 looking at other women and what am I not doing right. Our self
20:18 esteems take a beating. At a time like this we desperately,
20:21 desperately need to have the word of God coming into our
20:24 lives all day long. It transforms our hearts and
20:27 allows us to have the kind of attitudes that we need to have
20:31 to deal with our husbands' problems. I take a scripture
20:34 like say Psalm 139 and I began reading that twice a day and I
20:38 would begin to really meditate on that and just pick it apart
20:42 to see how it would apply to me. It was so good because it would
20:45 talk about how there was no way that I could be separated from
20:48 the Lord. He knew me so well, he knew my very thoughts, there was
20:51 no darkness at a time when you just feel like it's darkness,
20:54 there's no direction, there's no nothing but he's there. It's a
20:56 very encouraging Psalm. After reading it twice a day for a
21:00 while it wasn't long before I had it memorized. I would add
21:03 other scriptures then that would be suitable to what my situation
21:07 was. Maybe Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden on the Lord and he will
21:11 sustain you. He'll never suffer the righteous to be moved.
21:13 Or 1 Corinthians chapter 13 and verses 1-7 that talks about how
21:19 we should love as Christians. Those things transform our
21:22 hearts so that we can deal with our husbands. They remind us of
21:26 God's love for us and instead of coming at him in anger over a
21:29 situation. I am being tempered by the Holy Spirit because I'm
21:31 constantly being reminded this is how I need to respond.
21:37 God loves me. It's not my problem or my sin, this is his,
21:40 and I can come at it with more mercy and compassion. Otherwise
21:44 I think I'd just be angry and be wanting to tear at things and
21:47 that won't get you anywhere.
21:48 The other thing is that the discipline that Brenda displayed
21:53 during this time of pain to me was remarkable. One of the
21:57 things she would do is she would take those scriptures
21:59 and she would put them on one of those sticky
22:01 notes, Post-It notes that we're all familiar with and she would
22:04 actually take that scripture
22:06 around with her all day so if
22:07 she was in the kitchen, she'd
22:09 put it right above the window,
22:10 if she went to the car she would put it on her steering wheel
22:12 and when she would stop at a red light she would read it again.
22:15 She wouldn't just write the scripture down, she would write
22:17 a couple of the points that the Lord had spoken into her heart
22:21 when she read it so that all day long that's being in her mind
22:25 and heart and it's keeping her right on the nose.
22:28 If you have that scripture pouring in all day long it will
22:32 transform your mind and heart. Otherwise we women are beaten
22:35 up and chewed up by the devastation and the pain of a
22:39 circumstance like this. So that's why we say a heart can
22:42 be restored because God can transform your life. It is hard
22:46 work and you have to be very,
22:47 very committed and dedicated.
22:49 I mean I'm reading my Bible, I'm trying to say Lord what do
22:52 you have to show me today. It might be only one chapter but
22:55 I read it a couple of times, really think about it, jot down
22:57 a couple points and I'd be sticking it around the house all
23:01 day long and just constantly refreshing my mind and that is
23:04 vital, just vital its God's word.
23:06 I'm so proud of you in watching the way that the Lord is working
23:11 in your life. Because yes this is Fred's issue but it's your
23:16 issue also and you're both approaching it from different
23:20 directions but yet you're going
23:21 to come together in the middle.
23:23 Now I know that there's sometime
23:24 whenever men waffle back and forth, okay. I miss it, but yet
23:32 I want to serve God. I want my heart to be pure.
23:35 How does that all work?
23:36 Well, that puts a unique pressure on the wife, okay,
23:40 because she is suffering, she knows that you're not doing what
23:45 you're supposed to do as a husband and she knows that her
23:49 marriage is not what she dreamed it would be. She knows that
23:54 there's generational effects on the children and I mean she
23:58 wants victory quickly. It's hard for her to understand why he's
24:03 waffling. One of the things I want to remind women of is that
24:08 remember there's a physical side of this and even when a man's
24:12 spirit is starting to really long for victory, there's also
24:17 this tug, this addictive tug, that's pulling on him and it's
24:21 also an emotionally based thing, not just physical. So I know in
24:24 my own life, for instance, when I used to get real stressed in
24:28 my work, I was a salesman at the time, and I would have to do
24:31 these proposals and sometimes I'd go back to my office at
24:34 night and I would find myself drifting away from the stress
24:38 and trying to find a little vacation for a few moments and I
24:42 would let my eyes look at things I shouldn't have them looking
24:45 at. As I would do that it would relieve my stress and see so
24:49 there are a lot of things where we as men get hooked emotionally
24:53 as well as physically on the sexual sin and that can take
24:57 a while sometimes to really get a grip on that and really break
25:01 free. However, a good wife who's a good helpmate can do some
25:04 things to help bring us to that level. Maybe you'd like to
25:07 address that. Just what a helpmate would do.
25:11 Oh sure. Well, I think one of the main things is being careful
25:17 to hold him accountable and speak freely into his life so
25:21 that he knows without a doubt what kind of hurt and damage
25:25 he's causing. If we are afraid to speak up, you know, we're
25:29 sort of to blame if we're not even going to stand up and say
25:32 listen this is what this is doing to me. I'm worried about
25:35 our kids, this is unbiblical. As a Christian we have a right
25:38 to hold him accountable to those higher standards.
25:40 A lot of times women understand very clearly the role of
25:43 submission and they need to submit to their husband's
25:46 leadership. But they don't understand so well their role
25:50 as helpmate. The way I describe it in kind of laymen's terms
25:53 that a wife needs to be a helpmate is that she needs to
25:56 help lift her husband to Christian greatness. Christian
26:00 greatness just means Christ likeness. If she's going to do
26:04 that she needs to be able to speak into his life in the areas
26:08 where he's tearing down his own home so that he can understand.
26:12 What happens when we just focus as women on just the submission
26:17 side is that we allow our husband to get a pass almost
26:21 into sexual sin. He pays no price and what we have to
26:25 understand that in God's economy there's a reaping and sowing law
26:29 and when we suspend that law in our husband's life by not
26:34 speaking into his life freely, a lot of times he can kind of
26:38 slide along and not feel so anxious to change.
26:44 I think too, J.D. just a little quickly for women is I think
26:49 sometimes we women are a little careless about what we allow
26:53 in today's TV and movies in our homes and I think we need to
26:57 take a better stand on guarding what comes in, what our kids are
27:00 watching, what we're watching. It's a little hard for me to
27:03 point a finger at him if I'm watching some of the things
27:06 today that have inappropriate things in them and they are
27:09 loaded. I mean boy you can't pick too many movies that don't
27:12 have inappropriate sex.
27:14 Right. And if it's in there it's going to have its effect
27:16 on your husband. Right.
27:17 I hate to have to bring this to an end. Time is our enemy once
27:22 again. I just want to thank y'all so much for being here.
27:25 Fred, Brenda. It's so obvious that y'all know what you're
27:28 talking about here. Of course, if you've got millions of books
27:31 out there it just makes sense. I know that this is very close
27:34 to you, this topic is very close to you.
27:37 I just want to close with this particular scripture. I think
27:40 that it applies to everyone. It's found in
27:43 1 Corinthians 15:57: But thanks be to God who gives us victory
27:49 through his son Jesus Christ. Thank you for being with us
27:52 today at Issues and Answers.


Revised 2014-12-17