I’ve had the unfortunate experience of living life with this inescapable feeling of being alone. God in the beginning of the Bible recognized that, “It is not good for man to be alone.” Genesis 2:18 Early on in my life, my mother and father divorced, and my father was my...
Fight Club is the men's ministry at Severn run where guys talk about real issues, real struggles, and real temptation. Then they explore what the Bible says and discuss how God wants them to handle their issues. And they hold each other accountable.
I’ve had the unfortunate experience of living life with this inescapable feeling of being alone. God in the beginning of the Bible recognized that, “It is not good for man to be alone.” Genesis 2:18
Early on in my life, my mother and father divorced, and my father was my primary caretaker. And I know now that there was always something missing in my life by not having a motherly figure throughout my life.
This affected my friendships. I would sometimes connect very well because of my personality, but I had more friendships and less deep meaningful relationships.
One of the ways I self-medicated was by turning to pornography. It didn’t start out that way, and there is certainly more than one reason I chased after pornography. But in the ten years I spent in and out of addiction to pornography, I remember feeling extremely lonely before and after looking at porn.
And one key idea I’ve learned in the past year has proven to be true in so many ways.
Addiction thrives in isolation.
For ten years, no one knew that I was struggling, let alone how much I was struggling with porn. And the enemy loved it. In isolation, I felt despair, disappointed, and unable to resists temptation in my life. I never really had any marked success to brag about.
And when my life fell apart in the form of divorce and losing custody of my son, I was faced with a very desperate need for something to change in my life.
What I was missing in my life, and also what I was missing in my marriage, was having something God was not just encouraging me to pursue but demanding me to take seriously.
I needed a community.
There is the age-old cliché that it takes a village to raise a child. That doesn’t stop because you leave home. I don’t think it ever stops. I believe that God gives us other people to help us grow through our hard times and struggles.
And after six months of success in my own battle against porn and the hard times life has thrown at me, I learned the hard way just how important having friends, mentors, and family in your life can truly be.
Now I know - when I stumble, my friends are there to help me get up. It doesn’t mean that I’m perfect, but it does mean that I can do better. I can be better.
And as it goes, “A burden shared is a burden halved.” The Bible says in Galatians 6:2 “Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” This command is born out in community.
The biggest turnaround and change I’ve seen, was the day my close friend and mentor told me that he was praying for me daily.
I didn’t feel judged or ashamed. I felt motivated and encouraged. It was as if someone truly believed in me to become the man God intended me to be.
And if it weren’t for community, I would have never received such a major blessing.
Hebrews also puts it really well in chapter 10 verses 24 and 25. “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
If you are struggling with addiction, there is help; in the Word, at the church, and in a small group. You don’t have to be alone. Reach out to a loving, Bible-following community and watch how they will come alongside you in love and help you overcome.
“It’s not about becoming more of a man or admitting to other men you’re not doing something right. It’s about making choices that get you one-step closer on your journey toward Christ” – Sean DeLair
Fight Club has just begun another Iteration. Each Iteration is a 12-week commitment wherein men must complete a few tasks in several categories each week: relational, physical, mental, and spiritual. Some tasks are a simple as reading a Proverb daily while others can be more difficult like run a mile a couple of days this week. Accountability to other men in the program is vital. While there is encouragement along the way, not every man graduates from the program. It’s a strenuous commitment, but all the graduates have cause to be proud of their work and achievement.
All the Fight Club leaders have made it through the program at least one time. One leader tried a couple of other times and failed. It’s not easy, but “you learn something every time”, he says.
What’s that you say? Not ready for a 12-week commitment of serious sacrifice? No problem. You’ll be encouraged to take the plunge when God tells you it’s time but until then, you can hang out with the guys at their regular Connect Group at 8:30 Wednesday nights at the church building.
Lots of men aren’t particularly overcome with enthusiasm at the thought of sitting around with a bunch of dudes talking about their issues. However the Fight Club guys are the best bunch of dudes around. Sean DeLair says, “We’ve been conditioned about what being a man looks like. We’re trying to break out of that box. In the “box” real men are loners and don’t talk, but that’s not biblical. It’s not what we’re created for.”
Fight Club guys talk about real issues, real struggles, real pain, real temptation. They explore what the Bible says and how God wants them to handle it well as an example to their families and others. In the world’s view, “men aren’t supposed to show weakness when they’re vulnerable, but to share that weakness with others who can point you toward Christ is actually the most courageous thing”.
View Will Skelton’s testimony here and consider getting connected with Fight Club.