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Your Next Step toward Sexual Integrity

Are you ready to be free?

Are you ready for life in the area of sexual integrity?

Are you ready for your relationships to be healed, and working the way God intended them?

Together we will walk through 8 phases in the journey to sexual wholeness. Through this process, you will know where you are and how to take the next steps.

Highlights:

Phase 0 – Ground zero

In this phase, there is an awareness of sexual addiction. You are living in denial and still enjoying your sin. There is a tendency to be distracted from your deeper felt needs and to often blame others or circumstances for the things not going right in your life. 

Phase 1 – Uncertain but curious

There is some acknowledgment of the pain of the problem but otherwise, you feel you’re okay.

You may begin looking for recovery options at this point, but no real commitment.

Phase 2 – Interested

At this point, your pain points have intensified; and you’re feeling more of the weight of your actions. Maybe you have been discovered, or it’s beginning to affect your family or career. 

You’re looking for “no risk” content; something that fits neatly into your lifestyle.

Phase 3 – Testing the waters

You have become wearier from carrying this weight and are aware that you need help.

Who can I talk to, where can I go?

Can I afford it?

You have not made any direct interaction, yet are aware you need to change.

Phase 4 – Stepping In

Ready, but still skeptical.

I need help now; I need a community!

But how do I fit in with a recovery group? Am I like them, will I be excepted? 

Phase 5 – Walking forward

At this phase, you are convinced you need help but in denial about the commitment needed.  Maybe you think you don’t need as much help as others do. 

Perhaps you’re doing the work but not ready to let your spouse know.

Phase 6 – All in

You are aware that you need help and are willing to do whatever it takes. Here you’re ready to give what’s necessary for however long it takes.

This is the most open and honest you have been through this process.

Phase 7 – Integration

This is the point you recognize recovery is healthy living. You are open with your weaknesses and struggles. You are aware that living a healthy life requires attention and attunement. 

You were still a part of a local community however you may begin teaching or leading others into sexual wholeness. 

The integration phase highlights the important fact that recovery is just a process of sanctification. It opens up more and more of our lives into the light of Christ so that we may heal, grow, and be all the men and women God has designed us to be.

Wherever you are in this process, be encouraged God is with you! Trust Him and take the next step.

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This Episode’s Transcription

Josh
Are you ready to be free? Are you ready to be healthy? Are you ready for life in the area of sexual integrity? Are you ready for your relationships to be healed, and working the way that God intended them to? Are you ready for your own perception of yourself, your own relationship with God, to be good again, or maybe to be good for the first time. In today’s podcast, I want to walk you through eight different phases that I think most of us go through in the journey towards sexual integrity in the journey towards sexual wholeness. So you can get a sense of where you are in the process. And hopefully, hopefully, as you do, you’ll get a little bit of a nudge to take it to the next level to move a little bit beyond where you are. Are you ready? So here are the different phases. The first is phase zero, this is this is ground zero, there’s your, you’re in a place where you’re, you’re addicted, you’re struggling with your sexuality. Maybe people know about it, and they’re accepting of you with it, and they don’t see any need for change, and you don’t see any need for change. And that’s why you’re hanging out with them. That’s your community, that’s your tribe. Or maybe you’re doing that alone, maybe you’re in the church, you know, people around you wouldn’t approve, but you don’t tell them about it. You’re living in denial still, and you’re enjoying your sin, you’re enjoying where you are, and your felt needs in this time, or for people to leave you alone to not bug you. If you and you’re actually you’re distracted from your deeper felt needs. And typically tend to in this in this phase to blame other people or other circumstances for things that aren’t going well in your life. In Scripture, I think that the this kind of person might be that the Pharisees or maybe some of the, the Roman rulers at this point, who we see in and out kind of during the stories. These are these are not people interested in following Jesus not interested in seeing their lives transformed. That’s phase zero. And I hope you’re not there. Actually, if you listen to this podcast, chances are you aren’t there. So maybe you’re in phase one. Phase One we call uncertain, but curious, uncertain, but curious. So you might be sexually addicted sexually acting out, typically alone, you got some shame about it, and you do feel some pain points of the problem. So it’s not like this is just easy sailing for you. And you’re like, Yep, there’s no problem here. You’re aware, there’s a little bit of a problem. Your typical thoughts about this, or I might need to do something about this at some point. But today, I’m probably okay. The actions you’re taking, maybe you’re beginning to look into what recovery resources are out there, maybe you’re beginning to kind of perk up when you hear something, just to just to see if it resonates with you. Your felt needs at this time. You’re you feel like if you need anything, you need something that is easily accessible, that kind of fits into your life, the way it is no risk. You just need some helpful content, just you know, give me one or two things that can help me kind of get these habits under control, and I’m good. So you’re still somewhat in denial about the seriousness of your of your problem. You’re not looking at the fact that it’s actually been with you for years and years and years, and it hasn’t gotten any better. And maybe even it’s gotten worse. And here, I think some scriptural examples of people are in this phase, the crowds, the crowds, there are people they see Jesus, they, they know he’s on the scene, you know, they’re curious about him, but they’re not really following him. And they may might engage with others in conversation about him, you know, speculating about who Jesus might be and what his issue are. And do the Pharisees think he’s, you know, real or what? But they’re not followers. Alright, phase two. So we’ve got this we’ve done 01 And two, phase two is interested you’re moving from curious or uncertain but curious to interested. This is the interested stage. So again, your your general characteristic and feeling are about this the same, but there’s a little bit more desperation. Now. The feelings, the pain points that you’re feeling are intensified a bit, either because you’re just growing weary of doing the same thing over and over again, or something is hitting the fan. And somebody’s found out, you’ve hurt somebody, you’ve hurt yourself, you’ve hurt your career, maybe a little bit and you’re starting to think okay, this is getting embarrassed. Like, I remember for me when I was in this phase, I was interested I was feeling some pain points, but I wasn’t really engaging wasn’t really taking it that seriously at actions, you might be looking a bit more in earnest for something to help. You might be listening to this podcast or reading some blogs from regeneration other places, you might be watching some videos, but you’re you’re really looking for easily accessible, no risk content. You’re maybe maybe you’re kind of wondering, are these places trustworthy? Do they resonate? Are they scriptural? Do I buy it? What are they saying that that’s new and unique for me? And I think scriptural examples of people in this phase would be those who maybe they’re coming to Jesus. They’re, they’re interested, but they also have competing commitments. I think the rich young ruler is a great example of this. He came he had a question for Jesus. But the moment Jesus said like Hey, look, you gotta sell all your stuff and follow me he was out of there, he left, he was sad. He felt the pain point he knew he knew something was out. That was why he was there. But he wasn’t really willing to sell what he had. So that’s phase two. Phase three is testing the water, testing the water. So now everything’s this, you know, your feelings, general character. So the same, the desperation is increased, and you’re getting more and more tired of the, the continuing to do this stuff. So you’re more convinced that you need help than you were? So now you’re now you’re not just kind of on the periphery, you’re testing the water, you’re moving closer and kind of testing individual places, people who can I talk to? Who can I trust? Some of the main thoughts you have at this point? Are Now you’re you are admitting you’re out of denial, you’re saying I cannot handle this on my own? And you’re asking what options feel right to me? Can I afford it? So you’re, you’re beginning to recognize you’re gonna have to, you’re gonna have to give something to commit, it’s going to cost you something to move into health. But you’re you’re not fully on board yet. You’re wondering, can I afford it? Or the time? Do I have the money? Will I be able to stay anonymous? How comfortable or uncomfortable? Will it be? How would this work? That’s kind of what you’re thinking about. So you’re taking measured steps, maybe some risks into recovery, you might be signing up for some emails, but you’re not really speaking up, you’re not really there’s not engaging any direct person to person interaction. So some of you guys, listen, you might be a part of our awaken our online awakened community. But you know that the little icon for your picture, it’s just the, it’s the generic background, you’re not showing anybody your picture. And you’re not, you’re not contributing anything, you’re not saying anything, just kind of watching. So you’re there, you’re taking some measured risks, but you’re not really engaging. And here, I think about some scriptural Examples would include maybe the disabled man at the pool of Bethesda. So he’s got a sense of like, I need help. But he’s got excuses as to why you can’t move forward. He’s not moving forward yet. I think the woman at the well might have also been in this kind of phase, testing the water. She, she was very guarded with Jesus, you know, she was intrigued, she felt a thirst. She was engaging, but she really was pulling back, she wasn’t being completely honest about what she was going through. And she’s needed to press her for that. Phase four, this is called stepping in. This is where a person’s will really begins to take root here, and they really start to engage their will towards recovery. But there’s they’re also skeptical. There’s, there’s, there’s still a level of Skeptic skepticism here. So they might the stuff they’ve been exposed to. They’re kind of like the, this resonates with me. But there might also be asked questions about like, how do I fit in? Like, am I really like these people? You know, I remember when I first learned about regeneration. And man, I remember driving up and thinking, what kind of crazy people are going to be in here? Are they going to be like me, I remember just having pictures in my head of like, it’s going to be a weird group of people, you know, I’m going to be the only normal in there. And I was actually very surprised to find it was a room of normal people. By and large. These were the same kinds of people I was seeing at church on a Sunday morning. And it was surprising for me, I was stepping in, but I wasn’t fully trusting yet. I didn’t know if I would fit in. I didn’t know how they would accept me or if I would accept them. So in this phase there, you’re showing up but you’re not, you’re still not speaking up not too much. And here I think about Zacchaeus. The key is knew it. I mean, he knew he wanted to follow Jesus, there was something I mean, he he was taking some steps, he was climbing the tree, he was showing him to where Jesus was. But he was still very far away. And she’s he needed Jesus to reach out to him. Next Phase, Phase Five is called walking forward, walking forward phase, you convinced me to help you. You’re all in except that you’re you’re still in denial about the commitment that’s needed. So you’re glad you’re here? You’re resonated with the content. You like these people? You believe you can trust them. But you’re still not sure that you need it. Right. So yeah, I can trust these people. Yeah, I resonate with them. But I’m not sure I’m as bad off as they are. I’m not sure I need all that. They’re saying I need. I can be the exception to the rule. So yeah, these this guy has been in recovery for two years. And he’s making progress and his marriage has been saved. But I’m thinking I might be able to do this in three months. You doing the work, unless it’s costing you too much. Unless there’s, you know, like, Hey, I’m showing up, I’m doing recovery work. But I’m still not convinced that I want to tell my spouse about this. I’m trying to keep it secret from him or her. Here, I think about people in Scripture who came to Jesus for healing, they knew they needed him, and they were coming. You know, they wanted to hear what he had to say. These are the people who are eating the fish and the love I mean, they’re there they’ll take what Jesus is giving, but they’re not giving to they’re not really leaving home to follow him. Next, second, last phase phase six. This is we call it the all in phase all in this person know He needs help, they need help. They’ve been through all the other phases. And now they’re like, You know what, whatever it takes, I need this, I can’t keep doing it this way, I’m done playing games, I’m done showing up and not speaking up. I’m done taking without giving, I’m done expecting, I’ll be the exception to the rule. I’m willing now to accept that these people and this path is what I need. And I’m going to, I’m going to take it, it’s like, you know what, I’m going to do recovery, as long as I need to do recovery. That’s what I’m going to do now. And it’s not, it’s not predicated on how well or poorly somebody else is doing, or what somebody’s offering me, or how much it’s going to cost me in time, or money or commitment or vulnerability, I’m gonna do what I need to do to get free because I want to be free. So this person does the work, they’re actually involved. They’re actually listening to pursuing health here and elsewhere. And you know, here and there and everywhere, their loved ones outside of the recovery community know that they are in recovery. So spouses, no key loved ones, key friends, no, they’re not keeping a secret anymore, because recovery is too important to them. And they know that vulnerability is a part of it. And they want it. And here I think the scriptural examples, of course, are the disciples, these are the certainly the 12. And then beyond that, the 500, who were following Jesus, they were giving up what they had done, they were giving up their current their other communities, they’re giving up their their other sources of primary identification, and they were saying, I’m in with you, Jesus. And even when things get tough, and they don’t know what to do. Think of Peter when Jesus when when all the people had heard Jesus is hard teachings about the communion. And they laughed, and he turns the disciples to 12. And he says, Are you going to leave also in Peters response to us? Basically, I’m paraphrasing, or we don’t quite know what you’re talking about Jesus. But we do know this. We have nowhere else to go. Where else can we go? You have the words of eternal life. Some of the stuff you say is heavy, it’s hard. It’s complicated. We don’t understand it. We don’t even always like it. But we also know that you’re saying things that are bringing life, and where else can we go for that. So those are folks who are all in the last phase of, of moving towards sexual integrity is what I call integration. This is a person who’s who’s begun to recognize the great news that recovery is not that special. It’s really about learning to live a healthy life. So their recovery has become healthy living. You know, it’s kinda like the person who brings their car in because it’s making funny noises, and they get the car fixed. And then they think that they never go back to the garage, as, as opposed to the person who like, integrates like, yeah, every three months, I bring my car in for a checkup, for the filter to change for the oil to be changed. I do regular tire rotations, this is part of owning a car. And so the person who’s integrated, who’s in that phase seven of integration, just there, they live a healthy life. They are a man among men, a woman among women, they can be themselves without shame, including talking about their weaknesses and struggles. They recognize that the good life requires attention and attunement, and relationships, right, they need to pay attention to certain parts of their life. And they need to be healthy relationships. They continue to journey forward as a part of a local community, they may still participate in a recovery community of some sort. And if they do, they’re probably leading to probably helping others, because that’s a part of being an integrated person as well. And here, of course, I think about the apostles, these are when the disciples had become apostles themselves, they were still following Jesus still being filled with the power of His Holy Spirit. But they were also now leading others, this is just a part of their lives. Now obviously, here I’ve kind of dovetailed together recovery with following Jesus. And I think the integrate integration phase highlights why because, really, recovery is just a process of sanctification. It’s just opening up more and more of our lives, more and more of our stories, more and more of relationships, more and more of what’s happening in the dark, to the light of Christ in his community, that we might be healed, that will make grow, we might become all the men, all the women he’s designed to be. So brother and sister, wherever you are, in this, I just wanna encourage you like you don’t if you’re in phase two or phase three, you’re not sure you trust you’re not sure you need everything that plays like regenerations offering, that’s okay. It’s okay. You don’t need to jump to phase seven. But would you take the next step? Would you press in a little bit more? So if you’ve been listening, this podcast would encourage you like, Hey, how about visiting our website, regeneration ministries.org. And taking it a little step further signing up for our mailing list. If you’ve been on our mailing list, and you’ve been reading our blogs, and you kind of occasionally visit our website, maybe sign up for for one of our events, come to one of our events, show your face there. If you’re a man, join our awaken community. And you can find a link to that on our website as well. It maybe you’ve been a part of our week We know you’ve been to some of our events. You’ve known about us maybe support the ministry. But you haven’t ever contacted us for help for yourself, or, or even just set up a one to one meeting with one of our spiritual coaches that confidential. If you’ve never done it before, it’s free. You just set up a meeting with one of the men and women on our team, and just have a conversation about what you’re dealing with. So they can listen to you and get to know you. It’s all confidential, and they can help you determine if you’re ready for another step. And we through the internet, thank God, you know, we’re living in the 21st century. There are a lot of ways to take steps forward without having to you know, go zero to 60 real quick. So please take those steps, Lord, even though I don’t know everybody listening you Do you know them so well. And so Lord, I pray that you would lead each one just another step forward to prayer, all these things and even the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.


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