Category Archives: Accountability

Stay Focused On Friends That Focus On God

Cheaters

 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.     – Proverbs 17:17

Why is it that some people seem to flounder and lose their way, making one bad decision after another?  I am convinced that it all starts with the first bad decision that gets the ball rolling…underestimating the importance of being connected to a body of believers.

 Fellowship with like believers is a key component to a successful relationship, within the context of  marriage and outside of it. One of the many benefits is accountability. It is important to have other people in our lives who will help keep us on track. We all need people who we have given permission to speak truth to us, people we trust and who want what is best for us and our marriage. In pairing with another couple for accountability, both couples should share the same beliefs and moral foundations. Without a similar moral base, the counsel offered will likely be in conflict or at best inconsistent to what is in the best interest of the marriage.

Each of you needs to have friends of the same sex that you can bounce things off of before you open your mouth about some irrational feelings that are more likely to harm rather than help your relationship. The phrase “friends of the same sex” was used with deliberate consideration. The last thing a troubled relationship needs is one spouse seeking consolation in the arms of the opposite sex. This is common with men who don’t understand there is nothing more confirming (and attractive) to a woman than a man who is willing to be open and honest about their feelings and share them.

Unfortunately, if the woman is having troubles in her own marriage she will most likely view the attention as an open invitation. The man may innocently view it as a way to release some of his frustrations and be consoled by a woman who “cares about him”. The wife who shares with a male friend, co-worker, or boss may be thrilled at the idea of having a man who actually hears her and affirms her feelings.

The reality, men and women do not think alike. No matter your intentions (or lack of them) you can never truly understand how they are being interpreted by the person that you are confiding in. It does not show wisdom to seek solace in the arms of members of the opposite sex, you simply throw open the door to other temptations that will not take your marriage down a godly road. I would highly recommend that you focus you friendships on friends that focus on God. But remember, healthy friendships help to buffer the waves of adversity and keep the marital ship on course.

©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

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Filed under Accountability, Behavior, Beliefs, Character, Fellowship, Trust, Unity

Addictions in the Relationship (Part III): The Need for Healthy Connection

addiction 3

Those who feel the need to rescue people caught in the web of addiction are also often driven by a selfish desire to be a savior. It is a wrong motivation when the rescuer is driven by a boosted sense of self that comes from the gratitude of those we attempt to rescue. The relationship is one of co-dependence. We must realize that sometimes when we intervene in the life of someone and cushion their fall by attempting to take on the load ourselves, we may be short-circuiting what God is trying to teach them. Yes, you can love them, but you can’t heal them, and you can’t make the decision to change for them. You can walk alongside in support and be available for your loved one, but you can’t carry the load for them, relieving them of any responsibility for their behavior.

In walking out of addictions it is important not to attempt the healing process alone. God places people in our paths to walk alongside us, to help us be accountable in our decisions. Remember that accountability will only occur when first we admit there is a problem and accept that we can’t do it alone. Accept the fact that you have created an idol to replace the love, grace, and mercy that only God can give. Secondly, be willing to put yourself out there, taking a chance and trusting that other people are willing to love and accept you where you are. Thirdly, give other people (people you trust) permission to speak truth into your life. Be willing to receive the input of other healthy believers.

There are many Christian churches and Christ-centered organizations that specialize in groups and counseling that would welcome the opportunity to grow with you in fellowship and accountability. Contact your local church; many have resources and referrals available to tend to your particular needs. Don’t put it off any longer.

Only in developing transparency and cultivating fellowship with others can you step out of the darkness into the light and be free of the chains that have bound you for so long. Let God provide the wisdom and discernment about with whom to share. It is important that you develop relationships and allow people in that have your best interest at heart—people who will protect your heart as you begin your walk out of addiction and start to experience all that God can do in your marriage and relationships in general. The process begins with you; make the choice.

If you are ready to take that next step here are some helps to guide you in that direction.  Be blessed!

Alcoholics Anonymous, http://www.aa.org

Alcoholics Anonymous Family Groups, http://www.alanon.org

Narcotics Anonymous, www.na.org

American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) for Christian individual and marital counseling in your area.  Contact: http://www.aacc.net

©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

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Filed under Accountability, Addiction, Behavior, Character, Communication, Idolatry, Restoration, Selfishness

Pornography (Part II): Exposing the Sin

secrets

You may think that you are good at concealing your indiscretions, but think about it. Is there a more common story than that of the child who comes across his father’s pornography collection while riffling through his dresser drawers? God has a way of exposing sin, one way or another. Children typically have high regard for their parents. If they believe that you think pornography is no big deal, rest assured they too will participate in your sin.  We will continue our journey through sexual sin as we shine the light of truth on three more consequences of pornography.

Fifth, pornography develops like any other addiction. You see it time and time again in counseling. When you participate in an activity that elicits excitement, a chemical called dopamine is released. Over time, in order to reach that same level of excitement, more and more stimuli is necessary because you develop a tolerance to it. This is true with all addictions. Now it becomes necessary to up the ante. As you become more dependent on outside stimuli for excitement, you become less dependent on, and derive less enjoyment from, your spouse.

 Sixth, the more you become dependent on pornography, the less attractive and more insecure your spouse will feel—and rightfully so. You will naturally compare your spouse to the people in the pornography. You may not do it verbally, but you will do it in your mind, and your mate will be very aware of your increasing lack of interest in them. The reality is that people don’t look in real life the way they do in pornography! They have been made-up, touched-up, airbrushed, and inflated beyond reality.

One more reason if you need it. Your ability to communicate with your spouse and others will steadily decrease. It’s easy to have a relationship with something that doesn’t require anything of you.  What do you think that does to a marriage over time? If you are involved in pornography you don’t need to be told.

In all of this we’ve said nothing of the secrecy and deceit often accompanied by the use of pornography, constantly looking over your shoulder hoping not to get caught.

If you need any more reasons why pornography is destructive to your marriage, put this book down immediately and go to your secret hiding place. Remove and destroy your pornography collection.  Get down on your knees, ask forgiveness, and repent of this behavior.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” -Philippians 4:8

Regardless what you may have done (or are doing) we serve a God of restoration.  Find accountability with someone you trust and plug into the helps available in your community and your church.  Ask God to change your heart and begin the road to sexual discipline.  Be blessed!

Website Filters and Accountability: Covenant Eyes: www.covenanteyes.com & X3watch: www.xxxchurch.org

©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

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Filed under Accountability, Behavior, Character, Idolatry, Pornography, Respect, Restoration, Sexuality

Pornography (Part I): From Thought to Action

Shame

Pornography is a very dangerous practice to bring into your marriage for a variety of reasons.  I will spend this and the subsequent post dissecting the destruction created when you place your own sexual desires above God’s will.  It is important to remember that every decision we make has ramifications in our relationships, marriage and family.  We will focus on seven consequences of pornography, whether you introduce it into the marriage or partake in it as your “secret sin” (Remembering that there are NO secrets from God).  Let’s have a look at the first four, shall we.

 First, it creates a fantasy problem.  We introduce other people into our mind, heart, soul, and relationship. Now there is plenty of fodder to fantasize about people other than your spouse.

 Second, there is the moral question of partaking in pornography.  The actors/models who perform in these videos or photos are damaged themselves.  Many struggle with insecurity and their own need for acceptance.  To an overwhelming degree, they come from painful pasts.  By supporting this industry, you encourage more of that behavior, as well as participate in the degradation of precious people who were created in the image of God—created for great things.

 Third, ask yourself the question, “How would I feel if I found out that my son or daughter were in a porno magazine or video?”  We can become so desensitized that we don’t even view these performers as human beings.  They all have parents too.

 Fourth, anything that you partake in has consequences.  These consequences can pass down and influence the behavior of your children.  Remember, if your children think you are okay with a certain behavior, odds are they will do it in excess.

You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. -Exodus 20:5-6

In what ways do you feed your sexual sin?  What exactly are you feeding? (insecurities, fear of intimacy, difficulty in communication, etc.)   Are you already reaping the consequences of your behavior?  If this is a “secret sin”, have you considered what might happen if you were exposed?  In spite of the fear and consequences, how do you justify the behavior?

If this is a hindrance in your relationships I encourage you to take it to the Lord, from Him comes strength.  There are counselors and groups that deal specifically with issues of sexual addiction.  You don’t have to take the journey alone.

We will continue our exploration of sexual sin in my next post.  Be Blessed!

©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

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Filed under Accountability, Behavior, Character, Idolatry, Pornography, Respect, Restoration, Sexuality

Count on Accountability

accountability

A young man, early in his career, served as a sales representative for a prominent firm. One of his jobs was to travel to all of his accounts and make sure that everything was running well. As a man, he knew how he was wired, so he created a defensive battle plan. He asked a good friend to hold him accountable because he knew that the odds of participating in questionable behavior when he was hundreds of miles away from home increases. Satan loves to whisper to us, “Nobody out here knows you. How could you possibly get caught?”

Some of his accounts were located in sin city, Las Vegas, and once every six weeks or so he was obligated to travel out there and spend the night. His plan was simple. His friend would call him at about eight o’clock on the evening of his arrival, after he was tired and alone in his hotel room—also a time of potential vulnerability. He chose as his accountability partner a friend he respected and would not lie to, someone he trusted and whom he gave permission to speak truth into his life. Over the course of the two years of having to face this temptation, he was absolutely successful, praise God. Accountability is important to both men and women. Just as important is to continually wash your mind with the Word and meditate on what Scripture has to say.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.  ~Colossians 3:5

Ask yourself, who do you give permission to speak truth into your life? Who have you designated as your accountability? We are placed together in fellowship to help and lift up one another. Who do you lift up?

©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted

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Filed under Accountability, Character