I always enjoy when we have guest contributors but this one is especially exciting. Timothy Reigle is founder of Into the Wilderness Ministries, which assist men in overcoming sexual addiction and transforming their lives. Today he uses a popular story from the Old Testament to encourage us to find the right individual who will always be straight with us in our time of recovery.
Many of us are familiar with the story of King David and Bathsheba. In the account described in the Bible, King David saw Bathsheba bathing on a roof and was immediately filled with intense lust for her. He committed adultery with her knowing that she was married. When she became pregnant, he tried to get her husband to come home to cover it up. When that scheme failed, he murdered her husband so he could have her to himself.
It’s a story of lust gone wrong in so many ways. It’s a familiar process for many men who have been shackled with sexual addiction. It starts with simple lust, then we act on the lust, then we have to cover our tracks, then we commit worse sins in the process until we’re in way over our heads.
Once that happens, we can’t make it out alone. We need guidance, we need a brother to come and speak some hard truth to us and encourage us to break free.
That’s where Nathan comes in.
Many people aren’t as familiar with what happened after David’s adultery. In 2nd Samuel chapter 12, the prophet Nathan came to David and using a story about a poor man’s lamb, manages to get the King to realize how badly he has messed up. Rebuking the king in that way was of great risk, but David needed a friend to show him his errors. His ego wouldn’t allow him to see it himself.
We all need a Nathan
I would never have recovered from my sinful past if I didn’t have friends who came and slapped some sense into me. They took me to task for my mistakes and made sure I realized where I had gone wrong. As men, if we don’t have someone looking out for us, our own selfish desires and arrogance can take us down some very dark paths.
If you’re going to overcome pornography or sexual addiction, you must have a support system in place. You cannot fight this battle alone. You need other men who will come alongside you, support you, encourage you, and keep you accountable.
Having a brother like Nathan as a support system provides intimacy. Most men today don’t have the slightest clue what true intimacy is. We only know the false intimacy of porn and sex. You must have someone you can trust completely and be 100% open and honest with. He should know every deep, dark secret in your life, and there should be nothing to lose by opening up to him. You need to be able to confide in him. Every man needs a close friend, a brother, he can open up to, cry with, laugh with, mourn with, and celebrate with. You need intimacy.
Second, your Nathan will provide you encouragement. He should push you to be better and pick you up when you’re feeling down. When you get knocked down, or you fail in your battle with addiction, he’ll come over and help you up, tell you to rub the dirt off your pants and get back in the game. He shouldn’t allow you to become complacent. He’ll constantly be pushing you to get to the next level. If you can make it a week without porn, he’ll push you to make two. Alone, men can get discouraged. You need a Nathan to be your cheerleader, pushing you to be better.
Lastly, your Nathan will provide accountability. A good brother can see through the B.S. you tell yourself and try to tell others. You need someone who will tell us what we need to hear instead of what we want to hear. You need someone with the courage to call you out if you are going down the wrong path. David thought he was completely justified in his sexual desire for Bathsheba. It took Nathan’s rebuke to get him to understand the error of his ways. Your Nathan will check up on you. He’ll make sure you’re not lying to yourself and others. If he sees you starting to stray away, he’ll pull you back into line. You need a Nathan to be your accountability partner.
Who Can be Your Nathan?
Any close friend who has your best interests at heart can be your support system. But it must be a man. Under no circumstances whatsoever should your support system be a female. First for the obvious reasons. Second, we’re dealing with a male issue. You need another man who can understand what you’re going through and the obstacles you face. Second, it helps greatly if your Nathan has been through the battle and knows what it’s like to fight and overcome addiction. They know what you’re going through because they’ve been there themselves.
What you’re not looking for is someone who doesn’t think what you’re doing is wrong. You may have a good buddy, but they think there’s no problem with porn, they will not be of any help to you and will probably cause you to fall even further into addiction. Second, it should not be a close family member, especially your wife. Your family should be aware of your battle and be a part of your recovery, but there are too many ups and downs in this fight, and they are too closely affected by your addiction.
One of the best options for finding your Nathan is through a coach. There are many men who have overcome sexual addiction and are willing to help other men in their own fight. A coach can provide one-on-one guidance to help you finally break free. He will assist you, encourage you, and keep you accountable. He can create a personalized plan to fight your addiction and continued support to keep you on track. While not a substance for clinical counseling or therapy, coaching can provide the support system you need.
Into the Wilderness Resources
I offer one-on-one coaching through my blog, which can be found at www.intothewildernessblog.com. If at any point you feel like you need a brother to come alongside you and support you, I’ll be there. I’d be happy to get on a call with you to provide personal guidance to create a plan to fight your addiction and accountability to keep you on course. I’ve already helped dozens of men overcome their addictions; all who once thought they were helpless. If you feel coaching can help you break the chains of your addiction, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM me on Twitter @Timothy Reigle.
A coach can certainly be your Nathan. He can be the friend and brother that you need to fight this battle alongside you. He can be your intimate confidant, your encouraging mentor, and your accountability partner.
Just like David, we all need a Nathan by our side.
Who is your Nathan?