Category Archives: Pure Eyes Clean Heart

#PornFreeFriday Periscope: REJECTION

PeriscopeAd

Craig’s porn use left me feeling rejected. Why would he choose to look at porn when he had me? Here I was – living, breathing flesh – and apparently, that wasn’t good enough.

Ironically, after Craig’s initial exposure to porn, he kept coming back to it because he realized it was a “safe place” to be act like a man without actually having to be one. Because, face it, all of humankind has to face rejection in real life at one point or another. But with in the world of pornography, he seemed to be free from any risk of not being good enough.

The fear of rejection is something Satan preys on. How do we shore up this weak spot in us? How do we overcome this fear and push into intimacy with our spouse? Watch below to find out how Craig and I were able to overcome our fears of rejection and live free from their bondage. If you are able to view this between 1/22 at 2pm to 1/23 at 2pm, you can watch on Periscope (comment and give hearts). Just go here. If you miss the 24 hour window, you can watch below.

*NOTE: KatchTV originally stored all these Periscopes, but KatchTV is now shutting down. I transferred them to YouTube, but they are not perfect. So, if you can just ignore my head expanding randomly, you can still catch all of what I said.
FamilyLife-Today-Dennis_RaineyBob_LepineDid you miss our story on FamilyLife today? Click here to check it out.

Family Life Today Interviews: A big dose of hope for your marriage!

FamilyLife-Today-Dennis_RaineyBob_Lepine

Craig and I had the privilege to travel to Little Rock, Arkansas to be on Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine’s radio show for Family Life Today. Here are the links to the three programs we recorded if you’d like to listen. It’s a snapshot of our authentic struggle and filled with lots of hope!

Exposing the Darkness: It takes courage to break an addiction. Craig and Jen Ferguson, authors of the book, “Pure Eyes, Clean Heart,” talk to Dennis Rainey about their dating years. Jen recalls asking Craig if he viewed porn, and Craig admitted that he did, but what guy didn’t? Jen tucked his answer away in her heart. Little did she know that his response would later come back to haunt her.

Rebuilding Trust: All of us bring some baggage into our marriage. It’s when we unpack it later that it causes harm to our unsuspecting spouse. Authors Craig and Jen Ferguson talk about their early years of marriage. Jen shares what it was that first began to alert her to a problem with her husband, like his absence in the middle of the night, or random pay per view charges on their cable bill. It was the lack of intimacy, however, that alarmed her the most. Find out what Jen uncovered about Craig that left her stunned and heartbroken.

Breaking Old Cycles: Pornography is devastating to a marriage. Craig and Jen Ferguson talk openly about Craig’s battle with pornography. Find out what Craig did to break this stronghold in his life. Also hear Jen coach other wives who may be facing a similar situation in their marriage.

Also, our publishers, Discovery House, allowed Family Life to publish an excerpt of our book. To read Craig’s chapter about the 4 common delusions about pornography, just click here.

Blessings,

Jen

When All You Want for Christmas is for Your Spouse to Quit Porn

PeriscopeAd

Craig spent many of our Christmases enslaved to pornography, so I know well the desire to just decorate and make things as perfect as possible so to try to escape the prison walls pornography held our marriage within.

But what if there’s another way? What if instead of decorating our prison, trying to hide what it really is, we embraced exactly where we are, bringing our reality to Jesus?

What could Jesus do with our Christmas wish?

*NOTE: KatchTV originally stored all these Periscopes, but KatchTV is now shutting down. I transferred them to YouTube, but they are not perfect. So, if you can just ignore my head expanding randomly, you can still catch all of what I said.

You Caught Your Spouse Looking at Porn. Now what?

PeriscopeAd

Today’s Periscope gives you 3 Do’s and Don’ts for what to do if you catch your spouse in the act of viewing porn or you find it on his/her computer, device, etc.

I answer a few questions like:

  • Should I even tell him/her?
  • Can I tell anyone else this is going on?
  • Is porn about me? Is this because I’m or I’m not _________________.
  • Should I withhold my love until he gets his/her act together?

After you view the video, I’d love if you would be so kind to leave a comment letting me know what other kinds of questions/suggestions you have regarding porn/marriage. All comments have to be pre-approved, so if you’d like to be anonymous, just let me know and I can take your name off.


*NOTE: KatchTV originally stored all these Periscopes, but KatchTV is now shutting down. I transferred them to YouTube, but they are not perfect. So, if you can just ignore my head expanding randomly, you can still catch all of what I said.

How Assumptions Kill Relationships (new Periscope!)

PeriscopeAd

Assumptions kill relationships. We can see this throughout the bible (the story I reference in this Periscope is found in 1 Chronicles 19) and in our personal lives. How do we choose TRUTH when assumptions play in our minds and interfere in our relationships?

Let’s learn how to take a P.A.S.S. from being and Ass(umer).

*NOTE: KatchTV originally stored all these Periscopes, but KatchTV is now shutting down. I transferred them to YouTube, but they are not perfect. So, if you can just ignore my head expanding randomly, you can still catch all of what I said.

What To Do When You Discover Porn on Your Teen’s Computer

Recently my friend’s neighbor showed up on her doorstep in tears. The reason? She discovered her teenaged son had been looking at Internet porn for about nine months.

She was devastated and I’m sure the usual questions flew through her mind:

What did I do wrong?

How could my child do this?

How do I fix this?

Will he ever be free?

I am not an expert in sex addiction or in children, but I can respond out of empathy because I’ve been in a similar battle – not with my children, but with my husband. And my two children? While I’ve done everything I can to protect them, nothing in this world is perfect. Data from 2008 (and the numbers are most likely on the rise) state that by age 18, 93.2% of boys and 62.1% of girls have been exposed to porn . The risk of exposure and addiction is real. As a parent, I have to be prepared for whatever might come my way.

Speaking from how my husband, Craig, battled with porn, and as a parent, here are some thoughts on how to help you child when you’ve found porn in their possession:

1) Don’t freak out (but don’t ignore it either). This is an issue that must be addressed, but fear is not going to be helpful. Know this – God is bigger than porn and He can show your child a way out. Porn is dark and evil, but Jesus longs to bring His light to this situation. His light has the power to extinguish ANY darkness (see John 1). Fear often causes us to do and say irrational things. You are afraid (and probably angry) right now and this is understandable. Express those emotions to someone other than your child and ask God to help you navigate through those emotions so you can be clear-headed when you talk to him/her.

2) This is handled best as a parental team if you have a solid partnership.  If this is a son caught in the addiction, Mama will see this through a mama’s eyes and a woman’s eyes. Dad might be able to see it more clearly through his son’s eyes, being that they are both male and probably have struggled with lust. If this is a daughter, a mother might be able to relate through romance novels, the desire to be sexually appealing, etc.  No matter what your child’s gender, this discovery might bring up issues for both you and your partner and you need to be as safe place for EACH other to come to talk about how you are dealing with this situation as individuals. A child’s porn use could trigger your own sexual issues/abuse, past sins, and even you own dabbling in porn.  It will likely not be helpful at this time for parents to process their own issues with their child. If discussing with a spouse is not an option, please find a pastor, friend, or counselor who can help you deal with your emotions.

3) Go back to the basics (or talk about them for the first time). This is an incredible opportunity for you to discuss with your child what God intended for marriage and sex. But if you don’t know how God designed marriage and sex, you need to understand this before explaining it to your child. Craig and I talk about this in chapter 6 of our book, but you can find scriptural references that show what God’s intentions are in Matthew 19:5-6 and Ephesians 5:21-32. I highly encourage and in-depth study so you don’t get hung up on things like “submission” and really understand what God’s design is. (It might even help your marriage!)

4) Research counselors. I would recommend a Christian counselor that has been trained or certified as a sex addict counselor. As we know, teens are sometimes not stellar communicators and have even greater difficulty talking with their parents (especially about things of the sexual nature). Porn is a hole-filler. It’s used to fill a need that is not being met in a healthy way. In order to get to the root of the addiction, a counselor can help your child figure out what need is not being met and help them discover how there are healthy alternatives to meet this need. Ultimately, a relationship with Jesus is the answer, and He wants to address the behavioral and emotional issues that need to be unearthed and healed.

5) Make shame a no-no. Know that your child most likely ALREADY feels deep shame. This is a time when he/she needs to be able to trust that you will love him/her no matter what and that you’ll deal with whatever comes up in counseling, discussions, etc. If you shame your child in the hopes that it will keep him/her away from porn, you will end up contributing to the problem instead of helping the resolution and freedom from it.

6) Research with discernment. There are some articles on-line that can be helpful. My advice, though, is always pray before you get on the Internet to research for several reasons:

  • It can be tempting to look at worst-case scenarios and then drown in despair.
  • It can be tempting to find solutions and automatically try to put them in place. Realize your child is an individual with a problem, not a problem to be fixed (see the difference?). God’s wisdom is paramount in discovering what might work. Internet filters might be a great resource for your whole family – just pray and seek His guidance as you cull through the advice and suggestions.
  • If porn is a temptation for you, be careful with your searching. Websites and URLs can be deceiving. Make sure you enter your research with protection and caution or ask someone else to gather specific links for you to read.

7) Pray. Prayer is POWERFUL. Praying out loud for your child, especially in his/her presence (even if it doesn’t feel comfortable) makes a difference. Even cracking the bedroom door while he/she sleeps and whispering prayers over him/her makes a big impact. Ephesians 6:12 says:

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”

While you’re in Ephesians, talk to your child about praying the armor of God over for him/herself (see verses 13-18).

8) Hold fast to hope. With Jesus, there is always hope. Hebrews 10:23 says “Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise.” You are not alone. You are fighting this battle with Jesus. With Him, we can do all things and He will never leave us.

Craig is living proof that God can work miracles. He can do this in your child’s life, too.

You’ve stopped the Porn. Here’s how to restart your marriage.

Heres-how-to-restore-your-marriage

First, awesome news! Kicking a porn addiction is really hard. It’s a daily decision to deny your flesh, pursue God, and engage in the restoration of your marriage.

Chances are if your wife knows about your struggle with porn, she is incredibly happy that you’ve decided that it no longer deserves to have a place in your life. As much as she wants to support you and regain trust in you, she might be struggling with her own hurt, confusion, and anger. Here are some ways you can help her and improve your marriage:

To continue reading, join me at Covenant Eyes here.

Pornograhy, Eating Disorders and other Addictions

Unhealthy Cycles

I’ve spent most of my life thinking I’d never measure up. I believed being the best in something would assure me self-worth and unconditional love, but because I never was the best by the world’s standards, I often struggled with loving myself and receiving love from others.

I had this unrealistic expectation, though, that when I got married, I’d finally be “The One.” I’d be the best in my husband’s eyes, the one who got the prize, the one who was prized. Marriage would be my ticket to self-worth and unconditional love.

But then I found out he was addicted to porn. There goes the ticket.

This didn’t stop me from trying to be what I thought he wanted. I started exercising, eating healthily. I discovered the flat iron for my hair and switched facial products to try to improve my complexion. If we’d had the money, I would have considered a boob job because nothing in my box of hat tricks could change my genetic cards.

Guess what? The formula I had concocted in my head of “Shrinking Jen” = “Craig’s Shrinking Porn Use” didn’t add up. Despite my best efforts, how I looked did nothing to diminish Craig’s porn addiction. It took me years to discover that porn addiction had nothing to do with me, but everything to with how Craig chose to deal with life.

How did I come to this realization? Click here to continue on with my journey at Pamela Christian’s Book Corner.

Book Cover

To purchase, Pure Eyes, Clean Heart: A Couple’s Journey to Freedom from Pornograhy, click any of these links:

Amazon.com (Paperback and Kindle versions)

Discovery House Publishers (paperback)

Barnes and Noble (Paperback and Nook versions)

The book we wrote together…for you and for us.

Book Cover

Where to buy this book:

Amazon.com (Paperback and Kindle versions)

Discovery House Publishers (paperback)

Barnes and Noble (Paperback and Nook versions)

The book in a nutshell:

In this candid account, Craig and Jen Ferguson share their personal story of the shame, anger, and hopelessness associated with Craig’s porn addiction. It threatened to destroy their marriage until they discovered how drawing close to Christ could lead them out of the pit of sinful habits, unhealthy responses, and personal despair toward true recovery. Marked by biblical and practical guidance for addressing the heart issues that lead to addiction, Pure Eyes, Clean Heart offers encouragement and hope to those who struggle—or whose loved ones struggle—with the lure of pornography. Includes Scripture-based prayers, discussion questions for couples, and other helpful resources.

**************************

And now, for everything else  you’d want to know about the book, except, well, not everything because then you wouldn’t buy the book…

In short, this book is written by two ordinary people. A husband, Craig, whose porn addiction started way before he ever got married and a wife, Jen, who pretty much always had issues with control.

This marriage could have been disastrous, but God made it divine (at least most days). This book is our story of how we moved from the chains of addiction to freedom.  We are not licensed counselors. We are not miracle-workers. We don’t have all the answers and we surely do not have the perfect marriage.

But we do have Jesus. And He makes all the difference.

And because we have Jesus, we didn’t hold anything back. This book shows the good, the bad, and the ugly.  And porn addiction and the need to control everything are both pretty ugly things. While Craig and I celebrate freedom, there are no tidy packages here. Just a lot of hard work, a lot of grace, and a lot of leaning on Jesus.

Troublesome and dismal truth

Notes about the book’s structure:

This really was a team effort between husband and wife. There are 6 parts to this book and each part has 3 chapters. Jen writes the first chapter of each section from her perspective, Craig writes the second chapter of each section from his perspective, and we’ve used the third chapter to take the common theme  of the previous chapters and address the components in a way the couple can apply scriptural and secular research and ideas to their own marriage. Of course, we’ve included discussion questions for your enjoyment and enrichment. We know you love things like that.

Chains

We hope God uses this book in many ways, but most of all, we pray it gives you hope and to let you know that in this battle, you are NOT alone.