Can any young man escape the lure of sexual temptation in today's world?
You're surrounded by sex constantlyin movies, on TV, video games, music, the Internet. Is it any wonder that it feels impossible to stay sexually pure?
How do men survive the relentless battle against the onslaught of lust?
With powerful ammunition.
The authors of the hard-hitting mega-bestseller Every Man’s Battle know the temptations young men face every day. The fact is, you can achieve victory over sexual compromise.
Every Young Man’s Battle shows you how to rise above today's debased, self-seeking culture by examining God's standard, training your eyes and mind, cleaning up your thought life, and developing a plan. With extensive updates for a new generation of men, this is the award-winning guide to practical resistance. Bottom line: these strategies are biblical and they have worked for millions of men.
Experience real hope for living the way God designed. Enter the battle.
Includes comprehensive workbook for individual and group study.
About the Author
Stephen Arterburn is coauthor of the best-selling Every Man Series from WaterBrook Press. He is founder and chairman of New Life Clinics, host of the daily “New Life Live!” national radio program, creator of the Women of Faith Conferences, a nationally known speaker and licensed minister, and the author of more than forty books. He lives in Laguna Beach, California.
Fred Stoeker is coauthor of the best-selling Every Man Series. He is founder and chairman of Living True Ministries and a conference speaker who has counseled hundreds of men and married couples. Fred and his wife, Brenda, live in the Des Moines, Iowa, area with their four children.
Read an Excerpt
every young man's battleStrategies for Victory in the Real World of Sexual Temptation
By Stephen Arterburn Fred Stoeker with Mike Yorkey
WaterBrook PRESSCopyright © 2002 Stephen Arterburn, Fred Stoeker, and Mike Yorkey
All right reserved.
Chapter Onewhen football was king
From Fred: The Start of My Story
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-stare 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 thismural-like painting whenever we played cards during my Sunday afternoon visits. On ocher 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 underpinnings, 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.
Chapter Twodistance from God
Even as I bounced from bed to bed during my single days, I didn't notice anything wrong with my life. Oh, sure, I attended church sporadically, and from time to time the pastor's words penetrated my heart. But who was he? Besides, I loved my girlfriends. No one was getting hurt, I reasoned.
But my stepmother noticed something was wrong. My dad had eventually remarried, and when I visited back home in Iowa, she occasionally dragged me across the river to the Moline Gospel Temple in Moline, Illinois. The gospel was preached in that church, but to me the whole scene was ludicrous. I often laughed cynically, just thinking of the people there.
After graduating from Stanford University with an honors degree in sociology, I took a job in the San Francisco area as an investment adviser. One day in May, I stayed late at the office. Everyone else had gone home, leaving me alone with some troubling thoughts. I swiveled my chair around and propped up my feet on the credenza to gaze into a typically grand California sunset. As the sun dipped beneath the horizon, God somehow interrupted the scene with the horrible revelation of what I had become.
Take a Look at ... You!
This was a different experience for me. Oh, I knew who God was and had even prayed on occasion that I wanted Him closer in my life, but nevertheless I'd be right back in bed the following evening with the French graduate student-or one of the others. I never really meant those prayers. Then again, my word never meant much back then, and I knew it.
My friends understood this as well. Corky, one of my buddies, had coined a slang term for this character flaw of mine. To "Fred-out" was to promise to be somewhere and then not show up, and this colorful phrase became part of the vocabulary in my circle of friends. After those earlier prayers, I'd simply "Fred-out" on God.
But not this time.
I don't know how He did it on that evening in my San Francisco office, but God showed me how hopelessly ugly I'd become through my sin. Tears of sorrow and despair streamed down my face. Where once I was blind, now I could see. Instantly, I saw my deep, deep need for a Savior. Because of the Moline Gospel Temple, I knew who to call upon. My prayer that day flowed from the simplicity of a certain heart: "Lord, I'm ready to work with You if You're ready to work with me."
I stood up and walked out of the office, not yet fully realizing what I'd just done. But God knew. In the first two weeks, it seemed as if the heavens moved everything in my life, and in no time I had a new job back in Iowa and a new life ahead of me. And I left the girlfriends behind!
But it wasn't the new life ahead of me that would transform me ... it was a new life in me. Though I still didn't know it for sure, an event on my trip home to Iowa revealed that God had moved in. I stopped in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, to visit a couple of Stanford buddies. The father of one owned a ranch just outside Steamboat, so I was looking forward to grabbing a few days of relaxation and Rocky Mountain high as I passed through.
When I arrived, I needed to make a pit stop, so I headed straight for the bathroom. When I opened the door, I found the walls papered with Playboy centerfolds, and I was instantly repulsed.
I stood there shocked. Shocked by the centerfolds? No, I was shocked by my revulsion. Where
Excerpted from every young man's battle by Stephen Arterburn Fred Stoeker with Mike Yorkey Copyright © 2002 by Stephen Arterburn, Fred Stoeker, and Mike Yorkey
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.