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Every Young Man's Battle: Strategies for Victory in the Real World of Sexual Temptation

Every Young Man's Battle: Strategies for Victory in the Real World of Sexual Temptation

4.2 30
by Stephen Arterburn

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In this world you’re surrounded by sexual images that open the door to temptation. They’re everywhere–on TV, billboards, magazines, music, the internet–and so easy to access that it sometimes feels impossible to escape their clutches. Yet God expects his children to be sexually pure. So how can you survive the relentless battle against


In this world you’re surrounded by sexual images that open the door to temptation. They’re everywhere–on TV, billboards, magazines, music, the internet–and so easy to access that it sometimes feels impossible to escape their clutches. Yet God expects his children to be sexually pure. So how can you survive the relentless battle against temptation? Here’s powerful ammunition.

Steve Arterburn and Fred Stoeker, the authors of the hard-hitting best-seller Every Man’s Battle, now focus on the temptations young single Christian men like you face every day–and they offer workable, biblical strategies for achieving sexual purity.

The authors examine the standard of Ephesians 5:3–“there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality”–in a positive and sensitive light. And they explain how an authentic, vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ is the key to victory over temptation. Every Young Man’s Battle will show you how to train your eyes and your mind, how to clean up your thought life, and how to develop a realistic battle plan for remaining pure in today’s sexually soaked culture. As a result, you’ll experience hope–real hope–for living a strong, pure life God’s way

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

This reviewer readily admits a bias regarding sexual education for young people, being of the opinion that youth should be provided with as much accurate information as possible, enabling them to make informed decisions and not be frightened or shamed by their thoughts and feelings. This book is published in association with Alive Communications of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and stays quite true to its professed strict Christian philosophy. Libraries searching for the Christian view of sexuality might consider this book an option for promoting abstinence. Unfortunately, it moves far beyond that viewpoint by professing, "Masturbation is progressive.... This is bondage, and God hates bondage in His sons." In the chapter that discusses marriage ending the masturbation cycle, the authors state, "You see, before marriage, Satan does everything he can to get you to have sex with your girlfriend; after marriage, he does everything he can to keep you from having sex with your wife. Do we need to repeat this point? If so, please read the above paragraph again." When exploring the idea of stopping all sexual thoughts, looks, and actions, they say, "Hopefully, nocturnal emission will kick in quickly to take the edge off while the river dries up... but those banks may never get filled because of 'overuse.' Some guys have never had a nocturnal emission simply because their regular masturbation and promiscuity keeps the banks from filling up." The primary theme of the book is expelling all "lustful" and "sinful" thoughts and walking with God, allowing nothing to distract a young man from his faith. Unfortunately, although this conviction might be the fervent goal of some Christian teens, it might alsocause a great deal of shame and guilt for young men who are struggling with their sexual feelings. VOYA CODES: 1Q 1P S (Hard to understand how it got published; No YA will read unless forced to for assignments; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2002, WaterBrook Press/Random House, 227p,
— Lynn Evarts
From the Publisher

Praise for Every Young Man’s Battle
“Every Young Man’s Battle does the best job I have ever seen on the subject of sexual temptation. Once upon a time we lived in a world that didn’t talk about secrets, and that world has brought us to the mess we are in today.
Young men must have an honest, blunt, and unashamedly Christian look at their sexuality. This book will save thousands of future marriages.”
—Jim Burns, president, YouthBuilders
“I have never read a book as direct and open as Every Young Man’s Battle.
The profound principles communicate the authors’ personal experiences and provide the hope that anyone can overcome a day-to-day battle with impure thoughts. Every Young Man’s Battle helps you see the importance of taking control over your eyes, your mind, and your heart so that you can completely honor God in every facet of your life.”
—Scott Bullard, of musical recording group Soul Focus
“It’s encouraging to see some real men stand up and sound the alarm to young men. Stephen, Fred, and Mike’s courage to tell their stories exposes what has unfortunately become a dirty little secret among men in the church. The battle cry of the day is for men of all ages to live a pure and holy life, and this book will crush Satan’s strategy by giving the troops the guts to talk about what has been taboo in the church for so long. The authors’ poignant stories paint a picture of battle in which all men can relate and offer hope and camaraderie to win the war.”
—Troy Vanliere, artist/manager (representing NewSong,
Carolyn Arends, Soul Focus, Jadyn Strand, and Glad)
“There has been a gaping void in the search for holiness, and Every Young
Man’s Battle addresses those issues where others have been comfortably silent. If there is even a spark of desire for purity in your life, this book will kindle that fire… It is possible to walk in victory, as you will surely find out after reading the Every Man series.”
—Matt Butler, of musical recording group NewSong

Product Details

The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
Every Man Series
Sold by:
Random House
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File size:
456 KB

Read an Excerpt

There’s a time-honored code that almost every male I’ve known has followed. I’m positive that my father and my brothers followed what I call the “Sexual Code of Silence.” The code states that it’s okay to joke about sex or even lie about it, but other than that, it’s your solemn duty—as a male—to keep silent whenever a serious discussion about sex takes place.
Since everyone is determined not to talk about this, or maybe is embarrassed to do so, you probably don’t have a clear picture of what healthy sex is all about. In fact, you’re probably thinking that some very wonderful things are not normal and that some very normal things are pretty weird. That’s one of the reasons we wanted to write this book for you. We wanted you to have accurate information about a wonderful subject that’s prone to misinformation and ignorance. You’re a sexual being and deserve to know what’s right and true about your sexuality so you can have the greatest chance possible for a fantastic sexual relationship with the person you marry.
It’s sad that in the Christian community, where we have access to God’s truth, we operate with so many lies and myths about sex. Some teens and young men with a low sex drive think they’re not real men, when in reality they may have a chemical or hormonal variance that lowers the drive. Some teens and young men with a strong sex drive may view themselves as slightly crazy and in need of major help to squelch their urges.
You may be vacillating between those two extremes, especially if you’re in the middle of your adolescent years. Because your body is in a constant state of growth, you feel driven one minute and almost asexual the next. Don’t let this concern you. You’re right on schedule, and everything you’re experiencing is normal.
One of the most difficult assignments you’ll ever have is to integrate your sexuality with the emotional, spiritual, social, and relational person you want to be. Many have the tendency to see their sexuality as something shamefully separate and distinct from themselves, but that shouldn’t be the case at all.
Let me illustrate by using a good old hypocrite as an example. You probably know some people who are very religious when they go to church on Sunday, but you’d never know they were Christians by the way they act during the rest of the week. Sure, they say all the right words and go through the right motions on Sunday, but that part of their lives is reserved for Sunday. Come Monday morning, they sound more like they went to hell on Sunday rather than church. Those people haven’t fully integrated their spiritual life with the rest of their lives.
The same could happen to you in the area of sexuality. This is an area you want to fully integrate with your Christian walk. When you do, you’ll have a much healthier outlook regarding relationships with the opposite sex, premarital sex, and even what your marital relationship will be like in bed.
I have a friend whose son turned twelve a couple of years ago. He’s a great dad, and he has a great kid. When the boy turned twelve, it’s as if the spigot labeled Hormones was turned wide open. Stuff was happening inside his body, but he didn’t understand why he was experiencing certain feelings. All he knew was that he had some urges that were difficult to control. The young boy then did a very courageous thing. He approached his
father and said, “Dad, I just feel like taking off my clothes and standing in front of a girl naked.”
That was an honest expression of feelings and an accurate description of what it felt like to be a twelve-year-old boy. The fact that he could comfortably talk with his father about his feelings indicated that he wanted some answers to what was happening to him. All of us would benefit from a similar attitude.
In fact, attitude is everything when it comes to winning the battle for sexual integrity. If there’s a single Bible verse that captures God’s standard for sexual purity, this is it: “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity” (Ephesians 5:3).
For teens and young adults, this is a scary verse that prompts more questions. What does a “hint” mean? How far can I go with a girl when we’re alone? How far can I go with myself when I’m alone? Is masturbation okay?
These are great questions, and we’ll answer them straight up. That’s why you’re going to find Every Young Man’s Battle to be the most honest and forthright resource on teen and young adult sexuality out there. Ready to get started? So are we. We’re going to begin by letting Fred tell you his story and, as we say in Texas, it’s a humdinger.
Chapter One
When Football Was King
Growing up amid the Iowan cornfields, I made football my god. The sport dominated everything about me, and I happily played and practiced year round. I even liked two-a-days in hot, muggy August. Football was such a big part of my life that I let the noble sport dictate what I did off the field. After the games, I never joined my teammates at Lake McBride for the kegger parties. Drinking beer, I believed, would weaken my focus and soften my drive. As for girlfriends, I viewed them as high-maintenance commitments
that would distract me from my goal—becoming an all-state quarterback.
Like any red-blooded football player, however, I had more than a passing interest in sex. I’d been hooked on Playboy centerfolds ever since I found a stack of the magazines beneath my dad’s bed when I was in first grade. I also discovered copies of From Sex to Sexty, a publication filled with naughty jokes and sexy comic strips.
When Dad divorced Mom, he moved to his bachelor pad, where he hung a giant velvet nude in his living room. I couldn’t help but glance at this mural-like painting whenever we played cards during my Sunday afternoon visits. On other occasions, Dad gave me a list of chores whenever I dropped by to see him. Once, while emptying the trash can in his bedroom, I came across a nude photo of his mistress. All this caused sexual feelings to churn deep inside me.
Hollywood movies filled me with lustful curiosity and burning passion. In one film, Diana Ross poured a bucket of ice on her boss’s belly just as he orgasmed, which seemed to intensify the experience. My mouth dropped open. What’s up with this? I pondered such scenes in my mind for days upon days. On those rare occasions that I went out on a date during the off-season, these deep churnings often stirred and bubbled over. Too often, I’d push a girl’s boundaries while I tried to get a hand under her bra.
Still, my passion for football kept my sexual yearnings in check. I performed well on the gridiron and was named “Athlete of the Year” at Thomas Jefferson High School—a 4-A powerhouse in Cedar Rapids. I received full ride scholarship offers from the Air Force Academy and Yale University.
I had bigger dreams, however—PAC-10 football, even if it meant trying out for the team as a walk-on. I wouldn’t settle for anything less. Soon I stood before my locker at Stanford University, staring in awe at the familiar white helmet with the red S and the name Stoeker taped across the front. Strapping on my helmet and chin strap, I proudly raced onto the field in my attempt to win a spot on the team. Before long everyone in the country would know my name when I tossed long rainbow passes into the end zone. I was living my dream.
In one afternoon, that dream shattered into a thousand pieces. I was one of eight quarterbacks warming up that day. From the corner of my eye, I saw Turk Shonert, a blue-chip recruit from Southern California, throwing thirty-five-yard bullets! Three other quarterbacks zipped the ball through the air as if it were on a string. These QBs were so good that all four would later start at Stanford and play in the NFL.
I, along with Corky Bradford, an all-state quarterback from Wyoming, and my dormmate at Wilbur Hall, stared in disbelief. There was no way either of us had the skill level to compete with these blue-chippers. When my football dreams died that afternoon, I turned my attention to…women. Pictures of naked women.
As I settled into normal college life without sports or dreams, my churning sexuality broke through every dike, and I was soon awash in pornography. I actually memorized the date when my favorite soft-core magazine, Gallery, arrived at the local drugstore. I’d be standing at the front door at opening time, even if I had to skip class to do it. I loved the “Girls Next Door” section in Gallery, which featured pictures of nude girls taken by their boyfriends and submitted to the magazine for publication.
While I waded into porn waters up to my neckline, I somehow kept sexual intercourse on some higher moral dry ground. From where I stood, making love was something special for when you were married. I still felt that way after I returned to Iowa following my freshman year. I got a summer job on a roofing crew to make some quick, big cash, and I began dating an old friend named Melissa, entering a relationship that quickly  mushroomed into a heavy love affair. When I wasn’t pounding nails on someone’s roof, Melissa and I spent endless hours together. Just before I got set to return to Stanford for my sophomore year, we decided to spend a secluded weekend together at Dad’s property on Shield’s Lake in southern Minnesota.
Beneath a bright, full moon on a crystal-clear night, we lay down to sleep with a cool breeze blowing gently over us. The setting was romantic, and I was getting more excited by the minute. I quietly reached for Melissa, and she knew exactly where I was headed. Melissa looked up at me with a deep sadness in her big brown eyes, the moonlight framing her innocent face. “You know that I’m saving myself for marriage—hopefully ours,” she said. “If you push forward with this, I want you to know that I won’t stop you. But I will never be able to respect you as much as I do right now, and that would make me very sad for a very long time.”
Laying her virginity on the line, she had delivered the ultimate pop quiz. How would I answer? Who did I love most—her or me? My head spun. My desire and passion pounded away as I gazed into that sweet face glowing softly at me. We became silent for a long time. Finally, I smiled. Snuggling in next to her, I dozed off to sleep, passing her test with flying colors. Little did I know that it was the last test I’d pass for many years.
When I left Melissa behind on my drive back to Stanford University, a deep loneliness settled in. Far from home and with few Christian under-pinnings, I wandered aimlessly through my days, feeling sorry for myself. Then one day during an intramural football game, my eyes caught sight of a female referee. She looked like a grown-up version of my childhood sweetheart, Melody Knight, who had moved to Canada when we were in
the third grade.
I was in love! Since there was nothing holding us back, it wasn’t too long before we were in bed making love. I justified it because I was having sex with the girl I knew I would marry. It seemed like such a small step away from my values. Sadly, the flame of our relationship burned out as quickly as it began, but sadder still: This small step led to many more steps down the hill.
The next time I made love, it was with a girl I thought I would marry.
The time after that, it was with a good friend that I thought I could love and maybe marry. Then came the pleasant coed I barely knew who simply wanted to experience sex before she left college.
Within twelve short months, I’d gone from being able to say no in a secluded camper on a moonlit night to being able to say yes in any bed on any night. Just one year out of college in California, I found myself with four “steady” girlfriends simultaneously. I was sleeping with three of them and was essentially engaged to marry two of them. None knew of the others.
Why do I share all this?
First, so you’ll know that I understand the fiery draw of premarital sex. I know where you’re living. Second, if you’re already sleeping around but know that you shouldn’t, I bring you hope. As you’ll soon see, God changed my whole mind-set about having sex before marriage.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Meet the Author

Stephen Arterburn is founder and chairman of New Life Clinics, host of the daily “New Life Live!” national radio program, a nationally known speaker, and the best-selling author of more than two dozen books. He lives with his family in California. Fred Stoeker regularly writes and speaks to men about the subject of sexual purity. An experienced lay counselor, he lives with his wife and four children in the Des Moines, Iowa, area. Together, Steve and Fred are the co-authors of Every Man’s Battle, Every Woman’s Desire, and Every Young Man’s Battle.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Every Young Man's Battle 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an incredible book. I am a 24 year old Youth Pastor who has been married for a little over two years. This book is great for all guys married and unmarried, Christian and non Christian alike. It is a very honest, biblically based book on how men living in today's world can overcome the sexual temptation that is ever before our eyes, lurking in our minds and one click away on the TV remote. It is a great book that is relevant for everyone from the person who frequents strip clubs to the shopper in the mall that steals a glimpse of the Victoria's Secret store front.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this book to encompass every aspect that I wrote above. I would recommend it to anyone, but espically GUYS who struggle with temptation and those who have fallen into it so many times. This book is open and clear on guilt associated with masturbation, pornography, premarital sex, 'messing around'... everything. Again, a must read. It has helped me greatly wiht my personal struggle and my relationship with Christ.
tdewhurst More than 1 year ago
I have never read a book about christian character or integrity that got to the heart of the matter quite so clearly as this. There is NO theological fluff in this book. Everything is pertinent and tangible. It is not only a reliable biblical view but it is also realistic, practical, and sensible. Any man that reads this will feel both encouraged and convicted. This book should be circulated in every Christian circle.
EGHunter01 More than 1 year ago
The right "protection" in the world of sex is presented inside these covers. In this book the reader receives useful tips to assist the teen & young adult to stay & walk worthy before God. This book encourages the reader to avoid succumbing to the pressures of the "world" (their peers) to conform to morals/standards/values that he/she does not believe in. A great book for youth groups to deal with youth/young adult situations.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ok. First of all i must start out by saying that i in fact used to be enchanted by sex. Since ive been with my new girlfriend ive been in a battle to fight temptations. If you are looking to fight the burning temptations that you have within yourself you need this book. I strongly recomend it to everyone
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book for both young men and women. For guys- it truly helps you realize how God veiws all sexual activity. For girls- This books helps you to realize how much young men struggle with todays sexual society. It will truly get you 'into a guys mind'. I truly suggest to all peoples, young or old, sexually active or not.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My husband read this book with his D-group(discipship group) to prepare for their purity ceremony. This book opened his eyes to things he had been struggling with for years and he learned how to channel his sexual energies into our marriage and out of this world.Although, I would suggest Every Man's Battle for every male over the age of 18. This is a book for all young males.When my boys are older they will for sure be getting a copy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for my boyfriend because I thought it would be good for him. I did not really know what it was about, but I liked the title. Girls, this book was an eye-opener! I had heard that guys struggle with sex, but I never really understood until I read this book. Any other information I had read was too general to really get into a guy's head. Girlfriends and moms need to read this so they can help the boys in their lives deal with temptation. Read this, and you will never again leave one of your fashion magazines or Victoria's Secrets catalogues where your brother or boyfriend can get ahold of it! Don't live in the dark! Buy this book and share it with your friends!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book, it really hit home with me, and a lot of the other young men in my youth group.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book addresses everything guys go through when it comes to a desire for sex. The authors don't hold back like you might expect, they're straight at you. The discussion ranges from lust to premarital sex and everything in between. If you feel like you're a slave to your desires then you'll find this book to be an encouragement with useful tactics for living pure. The authors wrote this book based on experience having gone through what most guys deal with (and worse). It is a must read for young men struggling to stay pure (which is ALL of us).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Every Man’s Battle, while preaching freedom from “the slavery of sexual sin” actually enslaves men to traditions and teachings of men. It treats “maleness” as the enemy and tries to make a false contrast between “maleness” and “true manhood”. The authors of this of this book, rather than calling men to war against their sin nature, calls them to war against the male nature that God designed them with. With their "bounce of eyes" methodology men are taught that it is a sin to enjoy the sight of a beautifully formed woman. They draw no distinction between what Lust actually is, and the normal pleasure men receive from seeing a woman's form. It is absolutely Biblically and biologically absurd to teach men that if they receive mental sexual pleasure from the mere site of any woman other than one they are married to that they are sinning. When Jesus taught about lusting after a woman, it was not some new commandment. He was referencing back to the 10th commandment that said a man should not covet his neighbor's wife. Lust is covetousness, no more, no less. So if you enjoy a woman's beauty without it leading to thoughts about how you can take possession of her, or thoughts of how to get her to sleep with you outside of marriage then it is NOT lust. Another major problem with this book is its attack on masturbation. The authors say that nocturnal emissions are God's natural way of relieving a man's natural sperm buildup. But what they cover up is the fact that if you do have a nocturnal emission, it is because you had a sexual dream, you just can't remember it so somehow that makes it OK. Young man I invite you to critically think about this. If your mind can put together a sexual dream and cause a release for you than why is it wrong for you to do this while you are awake? They have no answer for this. It is NOT lust to masturbate to the image of a beautiful woman. Lust is when you start having thoughts about how you can take sexual possession of a woman without first being married to her, to think of luring a woman into sex without marriage is the heart of Biblical lust. I invite the reader to check out the Facebook group Every man's battle is wrong for more detailed Biblical critical view of this book. Please don't be trapped by the false teachings of this book, or other well meaning Christian teachers. I am a Bible believing Christian and I can tell you from the Bible these men may be sincere, but they are sincerely wrong.
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