#22 – Pornography Addictions & Recovery ft. Rob Rhea & Dave Darbey

 In

Working through Sexual Sin

Dr. Rob Rhea, a director at TWU has worked with students for many  years, shares with Rob, his journey of working with young people struggling with porn addictions.

David Darbey is a pastor in Abbotsford whose work with men has led him to write a guide to recovery for those entangled in sexual addiction of all kinds. David shares how his book and ministry came about.

We are not meant to carry this alone. We’re not meant to break this thing alone. We need help. The hard part is for us to admit that. But if we have people who will come alongside, this is how Jesus designed it. We are supposed to help each other with our weaknesses. – Dave Darbey

The penalty of sin is paid and the power of sin is broken. So trying to state that truth from the onset, I think is key. And then again, normalizing and saying, listen, we all are broken in different ways and we need the help of a community. – Rob Rhea

 

Topics Include

  • Porn, what is it today?
  • God’s design and intention for sexual beings
  • Lies about porn addiction
  • Work of the Holy Spirit in bringing freedom
  • Self-care practices
  • Common mistakes

 

 

Show Notes

 

If listeners would like a copy of Dave’s book or inquire about upcoming training meetings, please email Dave at creationarts@outlook.com.   If churches would like books in bulk, contact connie@bcmb.org.

#22 – Pornography Addictions & Recovery ft. Rob Rhea & Dave Darbey
BCMB Pastor to Pastor Podcast

 
 
00:00 / 49:38
 
1X
 

 

Transcription

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Robby Rhea:
Talk about the consequences of shame and guilt. It makes someone feel completely unqualified to give anything in church, which is the very, it's that cycle. Therefore, I feel unqualified, so therefore, I don't, which makes me feel more unqualified, and it's just a spiral. So I think that's one of the things that shame does, is that it pushes us down and think we have nothing to offer. And who am I to ever do anything?

Dave Darbey:
I think if pastors can provide a small team of people who are spiritually mature and humble, that can come alongside folks who are trying to break this and develop a relationship of trust, and then that person will feel, as that relationship develops, that they can divulge these things safely.

Welcome to the BCMB podcast, Pastor to Pastor. This is a podcast by the British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. We want to help equip and encourage pastors, churches and anyone else who wants to listen in and be more effective in their ministry. This is Episode 22. Pornography, Addictions and Recovery with Rob Rhea and Dave Darbey.

Rob Thiessen:
Hey everyone it's Rob Thiessen with the Pastor to Pastor podcast here, and we're so grateful that you've taken the time out to, to spend this time with us as we have a really interesting and I think pertinent dialogue with a couple of guests here today. And I'm really grateful to to Dr. Robby Rhea for being here with us. And for Dave Darbey an Abbotsford native here, I think, and local house church pastor. And our topic today is the issues of sexual addiction and pornography. And we want to especially spend today talking around ways that pastors, churches, church leaders can minister freedom to help bring hope to their communities. And so, yeah, this has been an area where Robby's done significant research for his, for his doctorate. And our guest, Dave Darbey, has written a book that we're going to talk about, which is a helpful manual, I think a little guide for small groups. But as we get started with a conversation, It just be great to hear a little bit from from both of you gentlemen. And to hear a little bit of your story and your journey, go ahead, Dave,why don't you start us. Tell us a little bit about the community, the faith community that formed you.

Dave Darbey:
Okay. I grew up in a family that was not a believing family. Never been to a church in my life. And it was just a kid going through high school. And there's this group that came to our high school called Young Life of Canada, I had no interest in them at all. And those guys, I found out later spent three years praying for me. Mm hmm. When they met together, they always mentioned me for some reason, that kid that won't come to our groups. And at the end of that three years, they invited me to a place called Malibu up the coast.

Dave Darbey:
I had no money to take the trip. So they paid me to go.

Dave Darbey:
And so I went. And, you know, I saw love their. And that opened my heart to God, just like a can opener. I know it's. More than interested in knowing a God who loved me. And it was it was their work. They were patient. They stayed at it three years. They invested in me with no returns.

Dave Darbey:
The young life of Canada.

Rob Thiessen:
Excellent. And where did your journey go from there in terms of discipleship and growing and faith?

Dave Darbey:
I went to a place in West Vancouver called Salt Circuits, which was a big youth group in a Baptist church. Fellow was running that called Paddy Ducklow. Him and his wife, Carole. And they grabbed hold of me and with 11 other people discipled me. We had a little group of twelve and they took a couple of years and disciple us and taught us how to study scripture and, taught us what it meant to be a disciple of Jesus. So I got the discipleship bug early, thanks to Paddy and Carol.

Rob Thiessen:
Ya, they've been an influence in this, in the Lower Mainland for many years and in counselling and leadership and. Yeah, that's amazing. Yeah. Very good. Robbie, what's your journey? You know. You're not local.

Robby Rhea:
I'm not local. I'm from South Langley. I'm from the southern United States. I'm from Texas, which will be evident before too long in the way that I talk, no matter how I tried to tone that down. It seems to always be there. I grew up on a farm in West Texas. My parents were both Christians. Strong Christians and Southern Baptists are great in so many ways. But one of the ways that I and I don't know how much it was due to my Southern Baptist upbringing, but was very much a rules person. That is how I saw Jesus loving me. And that was some of it became entrenched, I think, in some of the ways that my parents would deal with me if I did something wrong. They would just stop talking to me. I kind of got the cold shoulder sort of guilt and, you know, shame. And that seemed to be they wouldn't have said it that way and that would not have been their desire. But that's the way it worked out. So I was formed in, again, so many wonderful ways through their influence and through our connection to the church that we attended. But the tone was very much Christianity was in large degree a matter of what you did or did not do. Probably more emphasis on what you did not do. And so when it came to issues of adolescence and things related to sexuality, that was a minefield of guilt and shame. And I'm so glad that I didn't have to contend with an iPhone or an iPad. I cannot imagine what my adolescence would have been like if I had had that. But anyways, I, I stayed consistent with church. I went to a university and was very involved in their university ministry. So that was probably the most formative time for me. The idea of discipleship and taking seriously the call of Christ. And I did some short term mission work and then worked as an engineer for a little bit and then have worked with university students the rest of my career.

Rob Thiessen:
That's excellent. And I think probably a lot of our listeners to a people, people in ministry could identify way out with, With that part of your journey. I remember my dad telling me that as a young person in a church that he went to, and they were immigrants from, from Russians to and and they went to a German church and that and dad said the one thing about Sunday, he said you always could guarantee when you left church you felt bad. And that was, was part of the message that, you know, it's a bad world out there and, and so avoid the bad things. And, yeah, that's not the whole story yet, in a lot of ways, we look back grateful for, for maybe things that were avoided through our childhood because of that. So you alluded to, you know, the changing reality of our lives now growing up of what young people are facing. And that is it. Maybe that's my first question. We're talking about this, a wider conversation about sexual addictions. And I would just like to say at the beginning to here we are, three white male guys talking about this subject. I hope that we are not just limiting this subject to, to men's struggles.

Robby Rhea:
I mean, we're all thirty nine too. We all share that age.

Rob Thiessen:
Yes. Yes. Well, not all of us, I'm a little older than that. And but when we think about our age and look back at what people are dealing with today. So, you know, when, when when I was a kid, porn was Playboy and Penthouse and a magazine rack at the corner store. And usually it was kind of, you know, blocked off in some way or even, you know, at some point. I think when I was a teenager, they, they moved it behind the counter, depending on what kind of a shop you were in. I would have been far too guilt prone to actually haul a magazine out, you know, and physically be there every year, which is a good thing, I suppose, but. But this a different world today. Right. And so what, what what are some of the factors, Robby, about pornography today that make it a different game and a different deal than it used to be?

Robby Rhea:
Yeah, yeah. I think one of the things that we, I my wife and I have two children that are, we have a son that's 22, a daughter, that's next week turns 20. So I think dealing with, in parenting, screen management just is a larger umbrella is one of the most challenging aspects of parenting today because iPhones. I know with our class, excuse me, with our children at high school, they would have flipped classroom where you would listen to the lecture on a YouTube channel at night and then you would do your homework, in class. So it just so much of our lives are being pushed to screens in some capacity and often iPhones, the ubiquity, the ever present influence of iPhones, particularly with young, younger and younger people, it just makes that normal curiosity that you would feel as an eleven or twelve, or early teenager. This it's, it is so difficult to not be exposed to explicit material. And that's one of the things that typically at age eleven is the first exposure at least for boys to a significant sexual image. Often it's through curiosity or their friend mentioned something, that sort of thing. But age 14, when you look at this, is it Europe, South America, North America? There's a real uptick at age 14. So that's one of the I know this is a very practical and applied podcast. I would say for pastors and people who do Youth Ministry, 14 is a very important age for people, at least statistically, that's when people begin to view on a more regular, consistent basis. So I think being very judicious about particularly the presence of an iPhone. I know at university campus it's called pocket porn because it's so present and particularly for males who are very impulse driven. You know, they'll see something and all of a sudden they just get that sexual impulse. Having a phone in your pocket, if you can just get a little bit of privacy, you can swipe and get to that just in a matter of seconds. And that's sort of loop of of arousal and satiation in such a quick, immediate way becomes very problematic.

Rob Thiessen:
As you know, it's like a reversal, like of, of the way it used, the way it was, like in our generation when we were in, when I was 14 or that age. So. You'd have to intentionally hunt down pornography, if you wanted to look at it. Now it's you have to intentionally guard yourself to not be exposed to it. Right.

Robby Rhea:
And what it was previously considered soft core porn, that doesn't really exist in culture. It's just culture. It's just the culture we live in. Usually, well, almost a hundred percent of what people call porn, would be hardcore porn, which would be very, you know, penetration based and very explicit and very much often about the, them the moment of, of ejaculation.

Robby Rhea:
That's what so much of the pornography today zeroes in on and events just around that moment. So it's very, you know, it's, it's very explicit and very dark.

Rob Thiessen:
Ok. That's a definitely a different picture than, you know, what meant maybe. In our, our generation or maybe even pastors are are aware of. Any thoughts for, for you on on this topic, Dave?

Dave Darbey:
Yeah. And I just completely agree. It's the access that's the problem. And when we're working with men who are trying to break free from that, that's one of the things we have to look at right away, is what is your, what are your computer, your, what are your screen habits? You know, what are your, what can you do to restrict your access?

Rob Thiessen:
Let's just while, while we're talking about this, you mentioned 14 is a typical age for guys. Eleven for maybe first exposure. And I think that you've said in other places that's sort of dropping every seems like it's, the day ages are going down. How about for, for young women? How does this impact them?

Robby Rhea:
Yeah, for sure.

Robby Rhea:
And I think that is a very important point to make, is that this is not just a guy's issue. Often it is more often a case with guys. But I do want to make sure that that stated that it's a human issue. It's not a male or female issue, because what can happen and this is one of the things that I found in the research project that I did, is that religious women, particularly young women, feel an inordinate amount of guilt related to this issue regarding their own use.

Robby Rhea:
A guy would feel guilty, but it's easier brushed off as well. That's what guys do. They struggle with this. But for a young woman to deal with this, you know, it's seen as weird or that's freaky. So that pushes young women for whom this is an issue. And there are an increasing number of young women for whom this is an issue, to not say a word to anyone, to suffer in silence. And I think that is one thing. If I was to give a message to pastors and people in ministry is to move heaven and earth to support young women who might open up about this, because it is an extremely rare thing to do. In my work at Trinity over a dozen years you could count easily on one hand, the number of young women who have publicly shared about a current use of pornography. Some will share about when I was in high school. So if a woman shares that and everyone at that, youth leaders or the, the ministry leaders, I would say support her incredibly, because that can be a very powerful example for others to say, well, if she was open, then I can be open. But if it's a sense of, like, shame or weirdness, then that will be the last time that happens.

Rob Thiessen:
Ok. So why is it, so talk to us about that. That issue of, of being open of, confession of, admitting. Well, why is that so important? Why? How does how does that play into this whole area of sexual addiction? What are the risks of a person keeping this to themselves? Dave?

Dave Darbey:
Well, I think there's three reasons why people don't want to come forward and, I guess they're kind of obvious. One is fear. Because there can be, I mean, you have to be realistic. There can be consequences that are going to be pretty uncomfortable. The second one is shame. Especially if it's not just porn, but it's gone beyond that. That's a dark thing to bring out. And, you know, you're not going to do that lightly. And the third one, I think, would be pride because, to confess your sin means you are asking for help. You've got to the place where you can say, I can't manage this. I need some help. And there's this big wall in front of you, that you have to somehow get over. You have to share this with someone so it becomes not just your thing anymore. And I know like, I'm a recovering sex addict and I know for me, I had to face that wall and I had to hit each of those three things, you know, overcome my pride, my fear and my shame. And actually, I'm glad it was there, because when I did that and reached out for help and was willing to confess my sin, it kind of broke the back of it. It's almost like the humility or the brokenness that's required to take that step really goes a long way to healing. Mm hmm. I think that when we read Scripture's confession and repentance, they seem linked.

Rob Thiessen:
So that's a critical step, actually, in freedom for people. And a big step is creating a for,for for listeners is, let's say a pastor is wondering, so, is creating a climate in which we can, people can feel like there's a safe place for me to talk about this. So how, how, how can that happen, Robby? What what could a pastor or leader do to, you know, to, to make it safe to, to encourage transparency?

Robby Rhea:
Yeah, that's a great question. That's, I think, a couple of things. Let just to circle back by people row bottling this at being open in front of people and support for the person stepping towards them, normalizing, not making it like this is a worse issue. I mean, sexuality and sexual sin, decision making can have deep consequences, but not somehow making this the only factor that is determinative of a person's walk with God. Because I know at Trinity, where I work with so many people who say, how are you doing spiritually? And they think of one issue and one issue only. Are they? How are they doing with a battle with pornography or masturbation? But realizing that this is very important, it's very crucial, but it's a part of a larger view of following Jesus. And so I think that is an issue that is part of it. One of the things when I speak on this that I always lead with, which is a key scripture passage, which is is another thing that I think is is so essential, is to realize that if they are a Christian, as we are Christians, that Colossians 1, I believe it's 19:20 says that he has reconciled you by the death of his physical body so that you may be holy in his side without blemish and free from accusation that the power of the cross is that the the penalty of sin is broken.

Robby Rhea:
So there is no penalty. There's no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. So to lead with that. And then secondarily, Romans six, that the power of sin is broken. So regardless of where someone finds themself, that is not the last word on where they're at. And it can be so easy. It can so easily feel like this is just my lot in life. I have tried and tried and tried, and I cannot get over this. This is just gonna be the burden that I bear, the thorn in the flesh or whatever. And that does not have to be true. The penalty of sin is paid and the power of sin is broken. So trying to state that truth from the onset I think is key. And then again, normalizing and saying, listen, we all are broken in different ways and we need the help of a community.

Rob Thiessen:
That's good. So you mentioned the sense of condemnation and that does it plays into I think the other thing you were talking about is the shame that people feel. So, Dave, what is it about? What it. What's the what's what what is the condemnation due to people that, that they feel? Maybe for starters, like what are some of the lies that, that come along or how does that leverage in our lives to drive us further, further away from God?

Dave Darbey:
Yeah, it's a vicious circle, our cycle, because the way sexual addiction works is, you know, it's wrong if you're Christian. And yet you're struggling with it. You're struggling with it. You give in and then you feel this guilt and the shame and the discouragement you feel is what fuels your next to break out because you feel terrible. And, you know, you're using sex as some form of comfort. And so around and around the circle you go. So it's a very important part of the addiction is recognizing this condemnation and guilt and the role it's playing in your life for sure. Yeah.

Robby Rhea:
One of the things that, I attend North Langley Community Church and I was recruiting, I was I had been speaking with someone for whom this is an issue that they experience sexual addiction to pornography. And I was saying part of the way out of this is to serve, to get involved in engaging, looking for ways that you can contribute. And I said, hey, how about being part of the front lines team? Someone that in our church that greets gifts, hands out a bulletin, you know, that sort of thing. And he had no vision for how he could do that because he felt such game, sorry, shame and regret over that.

Robby Rhea:
So to me, talk about the consequences of shame and guilt, it makes someone feel completely unqualified to give anything in church, which is the very it's that cycle that you're saying, Dave, that therefore I feel unqualified. So therefore, I don't. Which makes me feel more unqualified. And it's just a spiral. So I think that's one of the things that shame does, is that it pushes it down and think we have nothing to offer and who am I to ever do anything? And that's exactly what Satan would want us to do, is to have us on the sidelines doing nothing.

Dave Darbey:
Right. Kick you when you're down. And I think, practically speaking, like you asked earlier, how do we provide opportunities for people to break this? And I'm not sure a group is the answer. I think mentoring is a safer way to go. I think if pastors can provide a small team of people who are spiritually mature and humble, people that can come alongside folks who are trying to break this and develop a relationship of trust, and then that person will feel, as that relationship develops, that they can divulge these things safely. And it's important that it's safe. You do not want this being spread around the church. You know, so it's important who you choose. We could provide good mentors for people, you know.

Rob Thiessen:
So let's talk about about that.

Rob Thiessen:
What's the, what's the power that happens when that, that is released? When you, when someone comes alongside you in in a relationship and and offers to be there for you?

Rob Thiessen:
How, why is that so, why is that so powerful and important? Dave, you have something to share with us along those lines.

Dave Darbey:
Yeah, I do.

Dave Darbey:
We are talking about how you have to encounter Jesus Christ to beat this thing. You have to have an encounter with Christ. He's the healer. Remember he said, I have, you know, those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick, I have come not to call it righteous, but sinners to repentance. He wants to heal. And we encounter Jesus in two main ways. The first way is through studying his word. Holy's spirit speaks to us through his word. And he said, if you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples and you'll know the truth and the truth will make you free. And the word has the power to change the way we think to it, to to change our views, but the other way that we can encounter Jesus is through spiritually mature members of the body of Christ. It's that great verse in Galatians, Brethren, if a man has overtaken in any trespass, sounds like sexual addiction to me, could be, you who are spiritual, should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Look to yourself, lest you too be tempted and bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. So here we have a person who's got a difficulty. They're overcome by sin in one way or another.

Dave Darbey:
And they're reaching out. They're reaching out to a spiritually mature people who can humbly and gently, help them bear this burden. We are not meant to carry this alone. We're not meant to break this thing alone. We need help. The hard part is for us to admit that. But if we have people who will come alongside, this is how Jesus designed it. There were supposed to help each other with our weaknesses.

Rob Thiessen:
So there's, there's, there's, you're describing a situation where we, where the community takes this seriously and we say, OK, you're recognizing giving, giving acknowledgment to that. It's going to mean we're gonna have to partner up and really help each other. There's healing involved.

Rob Thiessen:
So let's back up a little bit and just ask again. Why is it, what is it about this issue, this addiction, sexual addiction, both for men and for women, that makes it so pernicious, that why is its hold so strong? Why? And I know that, Rob, you've done some research on, brain research in this that talks about this cycle of addiction. I mean, when we you know, we realize and recognize all this person has a drug addiction and that's, you know, going to mean withdrawal symptoms, going to take, you know, a very intense, you know, commitment to walk with them even when the power of the Holy Spirit is present. We said, you know what? That's us. We still have to sit with that person. So what what is it that, you know, we're discovering now about how this, how this works in our brains and why this is such a challenging thing for people to overcome?

Robby Rhea:
Yeah, for sure. I think that as people as research reveals more and more about the anatomy of your brain and the processes that go on with all sorts of powerful experiences and sexuality is one of them. It certainly reinforces that sex is not nothing. That's one of the things I think pornography. It, it, it kind of tries to tell two things that the same thing on one end, sex is the biggest, best thing you will ever experience. There's no greater high wonder in life than sex. And while at the same time saying it's nothing, it's only what you make it. If it's nothing to you, it is nothing. And what that to me, their research shows and there's a book called Wired for Intimacy. If people are interested and I think there'll be some resources posted after this when this is broadcast, by fellow named William Strothers. He's a neuropsychologist at Wheaton College. And he, his to me, that's the best place to go because he describes in detail this sort of neuro anatomy and the processes that happened. But without a doubt, as a person is aroused and dopamine levels are elevated, a person typically views pornography, they masturbate to pornography, they have an orgasm. That cycle becomes very powerful in a person's life because it is a very powerful process.

Robby Rhea:
That's the whole reason I believe God created it, was for it to be a powerful experience with your spouse and to bond you to the person. And your body responds in ways that you cannot control in that moment to link you to that person. We know that in pastoral care, you can say having sex with somebody didn't mean anything to you, but that only real, that's really only saying you don't realize the power that it has on you. It has a power on you. And this, this repeated cycle of, again, viewing porn, masturbating to porn, viewing porn, masturbating porn starts to develop a neural pathway that makes it easier to come to those points and increasingly will, you'll be less satisfied with just that. That's where the, you know, incremental nature of this is called hedonic adaptation, that the idea of hedonism or pleasure, you become adaptable and you're malleable and now you want a little more and then a little more and a little more. So I think that's all the more reason why from a physiological standpoint, porn is powerful. And to say it's not is denying a reality that is part of us being a human individual.

Rob Thiessen:
So when you describe it that way, I mean, it, it, it feels kind of ominous and you're like, oh, gosh, you know, how does, how does, how does someone get out get over this. And so let's, let's talk about pathways to hope and healing and the role of scripture. You've touched on, Dave, for changing our thinking. The role of friendships and accountability. Talk to us about the encounter with Christ and maybe, Rob, why don't you take a stab at that? What have you seen? That's. Where people have, are making progress, or made a decision, a quality decision that they stick with it, isn't just like, oh, I'm never going to do this again, and then we're back into the same cycle. What, what are the characteristics of a person who is actually going to get on a pathway to freedom?

Dave Darbey:
I think a couple of things come to mind. One, if I could pass along one scripture that I think everyone who contends with this, like youth workers, that is a great one to memorize. It's second Timothy to 2:22. All twos, second Timothy 2:22, which says, flee your youthful lusts, pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace with those who call upon the Lord from a pure heart. Run from, run toward, run with, run from, run, flee your youthful lust with those who call upon, that pursue righteous faith, love and peace with those who call upon the Lord from with, from a pure heart. So first of all is moving from a step away from the areas in your life that you know, that are problematic. So often it's the phone is make a deliberate decision. And in particular, this is a biggie. Get it away from your bedside. The phone by the bedside is the road to perdition. So I would say, have a church, a line in your church budget for purchasing alarm clocks so people do not have to use their phone to wake them up. To me with guys,that's the biggest one, because when you lay there something about being tired and laying down, you just swipe your phone and you may see something on Instagram and, you know, Instagram pushes and it's, you know, like women in swimsuits and then you just are off and going.

Dave Darbey:
So I think that's flee from, taking proactive steps to remove you from the temptation of this. This again, hasn't it, with your heart yet run to. Run to people that can remind you of what's true and right and good. So people, and then the, the things that are so essential from their Philippians 4 being true and honorable, right, pure, lovely, excellent, those things. And then, run with, drawing other people into this process. I think those are the act. Those are the steps that, that I can take in conjunction to and joining the work of the spirit. That's where, it just like Dave is saying, I couldn't agree more that it is the work of Jesus to restore. It's not only up to me that is such a that's how I grew up. That would've been exactly how I would have approached this growing up. Is that just smarten up. Toughen up. Dig deep. Come on. This is blue collar. Get on. And I have to do part of it. I mean, work out your salvation with fear and trembling. But it is God who is at work in you, to willing to act according to his pleasure. So I am ultimately joining his work. So I think that's such a key balance in here that it's both of them.

Rob Thiessen:
Yeah. Yeah, that's good. Dave, you have some thoughts on this. What, what, what does this look like for a person who's ready to move into freedom at that space?

Dave Darbey:
I actually think this is a great opportunity in a person's life. It certainly was in mine. And it's a great opportunity to think about a life completely surrendered to Christ. It's one thing to go to Jesus with a problem that you want fixed. And you might even get it fixed and then carry on in kind of a self-serving life with a superficial relationship with God. But I think, what I see is that the men who decide. Lord, I'm going to give you the rest of my life and I mean it. You can have my whole life, my problems, my relationships, my goals. You can have the whole thing. I surrender it to you. These are the men who actually find the spiritual strength to, in their relationship with God, renewing and becoming stronger, to fight back those fleshy tendencies that we all have. The guys who want to keep their relation with God the same, but get their problem fixed. It's impermanent. They fall back. Because nothing's really changed inside. Right. Right. So what I focus on is, is, you know, is discipleship becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ, not just a believer, but letting him, him be Lord of your whole life?

Rob Thiessen:
Yeah. Yeah, that's good. And that would would apply for men and women. It's a, it's the understanding that I'm not just fixing a problem. I not want to get over it. I think of a situation, you know, where I had a conversation with an individual. This is probably happened a few times where this conversation comes up and they recon, I have a problem with it. I'm, this is how I'm dealing with it. I'm getting some, I'm in accountability group. I'm with a couple other guys. We talk about this, you know, and, and they, they think, oh, that's good. And, you know, because my context has been with Christian leaders, people in ministry. I think I find myself often saying, I don't think you understand, your future, all your dreams, your ministry, your family, your marriage, your children, your grandchildren are all in serious jeopardy, like your whole life is at stake in this issue. And until you recognize that, you know, you, you won't do anything about this because right now you're treating it as, you know, just like a minor issue.

Rob Thiessen:
You're not, not recognizing it. So but then I'm thinking back. But what you said at the beginning, Rob, just to be cautious, that we don't make this the all consuming thing. So in some ways, you know, I'm pulling at 2 things. Yes, your life is more than that. But this little thing that has gotten a toehold in your life, which isn't the defining issue at all. But it, it will become the roadblock or the thing that steals and robs you of everything that's precious to you in the future, potentially.

Dave Darbey:
I've got a few versus that go to that. You know, when you're finished.

Rob Thiessen:
Sure. Well, I just I had found with people that sometimes that's like a shock because people were like, oh. You know, that sounds kind of heavy and like I'm not trying to lay heavy on you, I'm just telling you, this is a lot at stake.

Robby Rhea:
Yeah. And I think the point that you're in, what you're saying there, that is it's true. And this is just spiritual formation, discipleship in all areas. This is not unique.

Robby Rhea:
It's forming the person to the person of Christ is realize that the decisions I make have a bearing on someone else, because to me that is one of the deception points, is to think, OK, this is just me. But I, I, I have been a Christian long enough to know that the most secret sin that no one would know about it does shape my influence in my home as a father, as a husband, as an elder in my church. Other people bear the burden of my sin, public or private. And to, to begin to realize that. And in the moment of temptation, ask. And this is something that I regularly pray that God would give me a moment of clarity. Because the thing is, after I've some have succumb to temptation, if I do. I've got 20/20 vision. It's very clear I should have kept my mouth closed and not said that thing to that person or whatever it was. I can see very clearly for God to help me before have that same moment of clarity with what this is going to cost my wife, my children, my family, my church, my identity. Because it is, it is foolish to believe we can just over time blithely go along ourselves alone, because Satan. Without a doubt, is an adversary that wants to undermine this, Ephesians 2 verse 3, there's the flesh that we constantly have to work through and, and put in its proper place and minimize and then the world, the systems of the world. That's another thing. When I when a person clicks on that Web site, they may think no one will ever know about this, but that click is counted and that counted, click is then monetized. And you have now joined a system of degradation, of objectification, of traffic, human trafficking, just through this click that you would think no one would ever know. This is I'm just making this, this anonymous is a personal. It's a personal. But it's not. It never is. And that's that's typical of saying it's chaos for everyone.

Rob Thiessen:
It's helpful and sobering to, to realize.

Dave Darbey:
It's important that people struggling with this hear the unvarnished truth. It's a very important part of their recovery, because when ever there is, as you know, a sin issue in our life, there's a lie right close at hand, you know, just telling us that it's not as bad as it really is. I just, my big one was, I can manage this. I kept saying to them, I said that to myself for years, it's a lie, you know? You know, I want to read a couple verses about what's at stake. Yeah. So.

Dave Darbey:
There's this verse in Ephesians five, very strong verse. Be sure of this, that no fornicator or an impure person or one who is covetous, that's lusting after what is not yours, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ. So to me, what that means is. Well, this is really going to affect how close I can be with God. Like, my relationship with God will be affected by this. I'm joking, kidding myself if I think it won't be. And then what about your calling?

Dave Darbey:
Like in your work, in the Kingdom of God or the work in the church, in a great house, second Timothy 2:20, in a great house, there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood, an earthenware, some for noble use and some for ignoble. If anyone purifies himself from what is ignoble, then he will be a vessel for noble use, consecrated and useful to the master of the house, ready for any good work. So shun youthful passions.

Dave Darbey:
I mean. There is a chance to do ordinary work or chance to do extraordinary work, and it has a lot to do with my purity. That's what scripture says.

Rob Thiessen:
Make, make yourself available to, to, to God's purposes. So, Dave, I wanted to let the pastors, leaders and men and women who listened know a little bit about the book that, that you worked on, God's Little Book of Fire that you wrote. Tell us a little bit about the title there. It's an unusual title. What, what does this book represent? Why did you why did you work on this and how could this be useful?

Dave Darbey:
Yeah. So like I said before, I am a recovered sexual addict. And I think that the Lord has this way of using people and the areas where they have known failure.

Dave Darbey:
There's that verse in First Corinthians, God chose, what is foolish in the world to shame the wise and what is weak in the world, to shame the strong. And God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not to bring to nothing, things that are.

Dave Darbey:
And I think that that's what happened to me as soon as I had some success and victory in this area, my life. And I was one of those people who thought, oh, this is a lost cause.

Dave Darbey:
Jesus is not strong enough to beat this in me. And it's not true, it's a lie. I started mentoring men and just one on one, you know, other guys. And did that for a few years. And over that time, I began to see some kind of obvious steps that guys needed to go through. It wasn't just like a, you know, snap your fingers and repent. This is this is hard work.

Dave Darbey:
And so I started noticing, I started writing down these steps and getting scripture to support it. And then at the suggestion of someone else in the community said, well, you should put these steps into a book. And so that's how it came into being, God's The Little Book of Fire. It comes from the verse in Proverbs, Proverbs 6:27. Can a man carry fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned? Or can one walk upon hot coals and his feet not be scorched?

Dave Darbey:
And that's what I thought I could do. You know, I could have this problem, but not burn up my life with him. Right. So what I've done is I've written this book and I've used a metaphor of firefighters. So it goes through each of the 12 steps in this book or twelve ways that I can improve myself and improve my relationship with God. That will make me a stronger spiritual person so that I can withstand these temptations. And I have likened it to phases of firefighting. So as you go through the book, there's little pictures and write ups of how firefighters work. So that's why it's called God's Little Book of Fire. It's a small book. But there's over 400 scriptures in here. Mm hmm.

Rob Thiessen:
And how, how could, how could this book be useful? Like, how do you envision it being being used?

Dave Darbey:
I think the book itself, shows you those steps and gives you a lot of scripture, too, to help you in your struggle. But I think it's only half. I don't think it's enough. I think we need to have, along with this someone to walk it out with. So, my experience tells me that you need a minimum of a year, to actually, not just learn the steps, but actually walk them out. And you need support during that time. So when we get people mentoring, back and forth, we asked them to make a year's commitment. Very likely longer than a year, but at least a year, a minimum of a year. So I don't think the book properly should stand apart from mentoring relationships. I think that it needs to be set up in a way that we have people who know the book and will walk other men through it. It can come in a course format, you know, I could teach it in a workshop. Right. But that mentoring piece is by far the most important.

Rob Thiessen:
Right. So, Dave, you've been involved in, you've worked this out at the church. You've done it at Ross Road. You've been involved like if and you said before, you'd be available and willing to help mentor mentors or train people to, to help other men and women. Women with women, men with men. How would people get in contact with you if they wanted to? If, if, if a pastor or church said, hey, I'd like to invite Dave to come tell us a little bit about this journey and help equip some mentors in our church.

Dave Darbey:
Absolutely, so, I can give you my email address. Sure. I'll do it very easy. It's creation arts. All one word at Outlook dot com. Okay. Creation arts at Outlook dot com. Yeah. David Darbey. And we'll help in any way we can help with the preparation, that's important. How we help with the course, help with mentoring and other kinds of follow up to work. And we're there to help.

Rob Thiessen:
Excellent. So people could also contact you about getting a hold of the book? Yeah. I'm guessing the book is not on Amazon.

Dave Darbey:
Well, it is, but it's really expensive. OK. The way it worked out. But for me, the book costs less than five dollars. OK. And that's all I charge.

Rob Thiessen:
Ok. So there also, I would say for listeners who are in the BCMB community, if you want to contact the BCMB office, we'll get a hold of some copies and help you get access to the book if you want. But if you want to have mentoring or training in your church, then Dave's available. If you happen to be a listener from another part of the world and want to send him a plane ticket, maybe he'll come. I don't know if I can. OK. Robbie, what have been some of the helpful resources that you've been in touch with that, that are effective?

Robby Rhea:
Yeah, I think the just I concur with what has been stated that the role of, of other people in the community mentoring one on one is so key. But I know that can be so difficult in a church for someone just for males in particular. I don't want. Of course, this is not just a male issue. Seems like women are a little more it's easier for them to have a small group or a mentoring sort of thing. But I think beginning getting people to, to see that, that initial hesitance to be open about all areas of your life, seeing that, that if they can get across that bridge, it is such a key for every area of your life. Sexuality is definitely one of those. But for, for so many areas, that's one of the things that I would, I encourage people, parents particularly, I say having a regular contact with your children when they're young about sexuality is such a key thing, not only for your children, but for your grandchildren. And what I mean by this is, this will then be the norm for them so that when they have children of their own, to some degree, the default will be what was done with them. And if there's an open and honest communication and when there's a slip up that there's love and acceptance and that they together are going to work to, to, to make sure that doesn't happen again, I guarantee that's what they'll do. They'll at least, that will be their impulse with their children. So I think that's a key element, is trying to, when I found with my own kids, when they're you're putting them to bed and you're praying with them, just ask them, hey, did you ever have you seen anything that was especially like a naked body part or something just to kind of keep that a normal conversation as they got older? This was funny.

Robby Rhea:
We always would talk about, my wife and I would try to talk about this in the car because our kids realized they didn't have to make eye contact and that car ride would end. So it was and they weren't going to go anywhere. So I think that it can be so helpful with, as far as parenting. Those, those two things. But also trying to form, at our church, we have a apprentice groups was just one two people, maybe three that get together to ask set questions. And one of them can be about content that they've seen. Just to, to try to get over that. That sense of like, I cannot share this. I just won't share this because that's exactly what Satan would want. You never say a word. And it's a, it's a battle.

Rob Thiessen:
Yeah. I think a lot of churches also structure their discipleship around their home groups, life groups, and those are great settings. But in most cases, they're mix settings. And that also is it's just it's not a conducive conversation for people to be transparent or honest. And so even for groups having time to break apart and say, OK, for part of this evening, we're going to spend guys with guys, girls with girls and commit just to having a conversation about their, their relationships. And you know that we're focusing on, obviously, one of the strategies of Satan to trip us up. And it's pervasive and very difficult. But we're not spending this whole conversation talking about God's beautiful gift of sex and sexuality and that maybe we just say that's a given. There's a this is a tremendously awesome and amazing part of life that God is designed. But it's maybe because of all the beauty that God has put into it, why the enemy picks on it and, you know, has has messed us up so badly with it and and robbed us of, of, of something that God designed for our good.

So, yeah, it's been great to have you both with us. Thank you again for for giving us your heart, your time and for sharing these important insights for our leaders and for all of our listeners. Thank you again for spending these minutes with us on the past pastor to Pastor Podcast. Look forward to being with you on our next podcast. Bye-Bye.

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