Monday, April 8, 2013

Book Review: Sexual Sanity for Men

David White has been on staff with Harvest USA for over 10 years, as the men's ministry coordinator. He disciples men, teaches seminary courses on ministering to the sexually broken, and speaks on sexual issues. In October 2012 he published Sexual Sanity for Men: Recreating Your Mind in a Crazy Culture.

Sexual Sanity for Men is being highlighted here on The Relentless Fight because of how it encourages, empowers, and equips men for the great fight of faith, particularly in the discouraging world of sexual brokenness.

The book is designed as a small group resource, with 14 weeks of reading and 5 days for each week. Each day's reading has about 2 pages of reading and 3 questions for personal reflection and group discussion. The readings are digestible and the questions are deep.

Some brief highlights from the book:
  • The call to the relentless fight: "Nevertheless, no matter how diligent you are, please realize at the outset that you will never be free from the battle in this life...Freedom is the increasing ability to choose holiness out of love for Christ, despite the relentlessness of temptation!" page 3.
  • The exhortation to patient endurance: "Jesus will never become a quick fix for you like sexual sin." page 184. This is HUGE. Just this call to patient endurance, realizing that the fight against sexual sin will be a LONG term battle, and VERY painful. Yes, Jesus is Better, but it will FEEL at first like he isn't, and your flesh will ACHE to return to your sin.
  • The invitation to enter the fray: "The corruption of our sexuality is one of Satan's greatest triumphs, trashing a glorious gift of God and enslaving us at the same time. Your King is calling for your allegiance, inviting you to join the battle and bring the downfall of His enemy. Will you enter the fray?" page 100.
  • The need for the gospel: "Does it feel like your struggle with sexual sin is bigger than you can possibly handle on your own? Good - then maybe you're finally desperate enough to lay hold of Jesus as you never have before!" page 110 and "Our churches need to continue preaching the gospel to Christians, not offering the gospel to unbelievers and then calling the saints to live by the law in their own strength." page 151.
  • The necessity for brothers in arms"In the same way, we desperately need men in our lives who'll give us a spiritual beating when we're crazy and blind to our own folly." page 219 and "You have an enemy who is literally hell-bent on your destruction. Are you going into battle alone? If we stay together, we survive." page 144, check out Don't Go It Alone. And "The only way to find freedom from sexual sin is to be committed to ruthless honesty with others." page 205, check out Don't Conceal, Confess.
  • The challenge to humility: "Part of the reason we get stuck in sexual sin, and it doesn't seem like God is responding to our prayers for deliverance, is that God really wants us to begin battling the more foundational problem of pride." page 236 and "Men have confessed their arrogance to me, acknowledging that they would never have become Christians if not for their struggles with same-sex attraction or porn addiction." page 239.

In summary, Sexual Sanity for Men provides a fantastic balance between ruthless violence against sin, and yet an incredible nuance of peace, gentleness, and tenderness to those who are so beaten up and discouraged. David White wisely holds out the gospel as our power source for change, and points out the first steps of strategy in the fight. Highly recommended for personal study or as a church small group resource! Buy it here.

Fighting for Sanity,
The Relentless Fight

PS: For the ladies, pick up Sexual Sanity for Women by Ellen Dykas.