Big names are in the news today on a train of shame – powerful, influential, successful, but unfaithful men. In public they are princes; in private they’ve been predators. The country winces and wonders, “Who will be the next famous celebrity to become infamous by morning?” Some shrug, “All men are the same.” But are they?
A man’s ascent to power and national fame followed by the surprise dive over the precipice to the rocks below is a story as old as the Bible. Wasn’t it King David Israel praised just before he stole his bodyguard’s wife and then tried to cover it up? When men of God fall, it does reinforce the notion that all men are sex addicts and forces the question, “Can there be a faithful man?” Studies made by the Associated Press and the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy in 2016 are enlightening.
- 22% of men say that they’ve cheated on their significant other at least once during their marriage, and 14% of wives admit to straying.
- 36% of men and women say that they’ve had an affair with someone they work with.
- People who have cheated before are 350% more likely to cheat again than those that haven’t.
Are there faithful men out there? Apparently….yes. The flip side of 22% unfaithfulness means 88% faithful. Even if the studies are being conservative, they indicate that a lot of men (and women) are faithful; which is good news, but before we breathe a sigh of relief other stats need consideration — the epidemic of porn usage in America.
“In August 2006, a survey reported 50% of all Christian men and 20% of all Christian women are addicted to pornography. Of over 1300 pastors interviewed, 54% said they’d visited a porn sight in the last month!” And there is more to dishearten. Statistics from 2017 show that “eight out of ten (79%) men between the ages of 18 and 30 view pornography at least monthly.” If these statistics seem less egregious than the current abuse debacles in the news, it is hardly the case. Jesus said, in essence, “Groping with the eyes is equal to groping with the hands, and neither is an acceptable way to treat a woman.” The bottom line is that while men who admit to acting out their sexual perversions is less than 25%, those practicing the virtual abuse of women is nearer 80%! But, believe it or not, things are actually worse.
The most alarming statistic yet involves the ones at the back of our national train of shame – our children. Family Safe Media reported in 2005 that, “The largest group of viewers of Internet porn is CHILDREN BETWEEN AGES 12 AND 17, and the average age of first exposure to Internet porn is 8 YEARS OLD!” Celebrities and politicians are the lead cars of many to follow unless our US train-wreck of sexual misconduct can be stopped. Can it? How?
It isn’t going to be an easy job, but the train can be halted. And though it isn’t a popular idea in some circles, it will take the actions of men (males). I see three steps fathers and mentors can take to empower their sons (and daughters) to avoid personal derailment.
1- Unfaithful Fathers and Mentors need to openly confess and repent. A boil’s healing begins with a lance. Giving care to avoid harming others, men need to come clean. Admission of guilt is good, but an admission of need is better. Men need to drop their pride, step out from behind their masks, and engage the help of men who can lead them through recovery. We aren’t suggesting a national vomit-session, but an appropriately timed and sensitively done admission of the problem to those who can help.
For God has not given us a spirit of cowardice, but of power, and of love, and of self-control. (Berean Literal Bible 2 Timothy 1:7)
2- Adult men need to take steps to break the power of sexual misconduct in their lives. What father can expect his son take seriously his warnings against sex addiction when he himself is involved? God expects men to be able to control themselves, even their eyes and thoughts. Spirit-controlled men do NOT succumb to the passions of the fleshly nature. When dads, mentors, and role models begin to practice self-control, boys will follow like metal flakes to a magnet.
Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so you can be healed. (NIV James 5:7)
3- Men need to make a priority of leading their sons into a healthy, biblical sexuality. American fathers surrender the battle every time they hand over these duties to others. Fathers are best equipped to take this responsibility. No politician, educator, sexpert, or even the best mother is as well suited for this job.
It will take time and effort to restore the dialogue between fathers and sons because many dads lack the knowledge of how or what to communicate, but this can be remedied through the patriarchs in whom God has preserved the knowledge of these ways. Learning is possible and a reboot of healthy generations of men is only as far away as the current one.
He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse. (NIV – Malachi 4:6)
A first glance, the statistics above resemble the 2010 blockbuster Unstoppable in which Denzel Washington and Chris Pine just manage to stop a fast-moving runaway train from derailing and spilling tons of toxic chemicals into the city of Fuller, PA. Men, our sons, daughters, wives, and communities need us to throw the brakes on this runaway train of national shame before a total derailment and the toxic spill of sexual perversion sickens our the entire population.
A SPECIAL OFFER FROM THE MEEKS:
Guys, we want to offer some help to you who are seriously ready to halt this out of control locomotive.
First and foremost, we suggest the book Surfing for God by Michael Cusick. His book is concise and lays out both the causes and action steps to address the problem of pornography and all sexual misconduct. Let us know your thoughts if you have read this or are just starting out!