Here are seven lessons that stood out to me from the new book Unburdened: The Christian Leader’s Path to Sexual Integrity:
Nobody’s immune. Don’t ask, “Do you struggle with sexual integrity?” Ask, “How do you struggle with sexual integrity?” (p. 12) “None of us are somehow beyond the struggles of any other men in our sex-saturated culture” (p.13). “There’s not a one of us who doesn’t face real challenges to our personal sexual integrity” (p. 20).
Our integrity matters. “Our purpose in the kingdom will only be accomplished to the extent we don’t allow spiritual disease into our life that siphons off our strength” (p.14). “We can’t imagine what God wants to do with our lives if we’re willing to let him use our lives, including our brokenness, for his glory” (p. 120).
Our sexuality is a prime target. “Clearly our gender (male and female) and the union of our genders (our sexuality) is at the very heart of our representation of God’s image. Why, then, should it surprise us that Satan’s number-one target in the twenty-first century is both our gender and our sexuality?” (p. 34)
Sexual temptation is the perfect trap for the Christian leader. “Who else has such privacy, time alone, lack of accountability, a presumption of integrity by others and isolation from close friendships than the typical minister?” (p. 51)
Don’t think black and white. Think red (choices to avoid because they’re inconsistent with God’s design), yellow (slippery slope items), and green (healthy, God-honoring choices) (p. 57). Avoid the red; minimize the yellow; invest in the green.
Disclosure is better than discovery. “While not everyone needs public disclosure, all of us need at least one or two people who know our whole story and can walk alongside us in the road ahead” (p. 18). “As a rule, proactive disclosure before being confronted results in better recovery than telling the whole truth after being confronted” (p. 63).
You can help others. “Once you’re at least ninety days out and feel you’re in a better (not perfect) place of personal application and growth, you’ll be more able to serve as a guide for other men on the path” (pp. 131-132).