by Teddy James
Jack* was living the American dream. He had a wonderful wife, a beautiful daughter and was a successful man by every definition. However, he carried a heavy secret everywhere he went. Jack had over 1,000 sexual partners and was so good at keeping this secret that no one in his family suspected anything. To say he had a sexual addiction problem would be an understatement of enormous proportion.
He finally came to a place of brokenness and sought help. God led him toward Restoration Path and into the office of David Jones. Jones, a counselor with 20 years experience ministering to men with sexual addiction, worked with Jack for years. Finally, he was successful in more than just business. He became victorious over his sin, and God restored Jack’s marriage and family. Jack recently celebrated his 40th wedding anniversary and had the privilege of walking his daughter down the aisle.
While counseling a man with a sexual history of over 1,000 partners is not common, David Jones and his coworkers in Restoration Path see men struggling with sexual addiction every day. Jones recently sat down with the AFA Journal to discuss his work with Restoration Path.
AFA Journal: What is Restoration Path?
David Jones: We are a Christian discipleship ministry that primarily ministers through a counseling format to men who are struggling with sexual sin. We also minister to the wives because they are struggling as well.
AFAJ: How does your program work?
DJ: We have several different programs. We offer a six-week distance counseling service where we give men 12 video teachings and a corresponding workbook to progress through at their own pace. While they are going through that, we also have counseling over the phone or through the Internet using Skype. Skype is a computer program that allows us to talk face-to-face no matter how far away someone is from our base in Memphis, Tennessee.
After they go through that six weeks, and some take longer than six weeks, they have a specific battle plan. We make sure they finish with practical tools and practical weapons they can use to become victorious.
We help them see some boundaries they need in their lives and we talk to them about a thing I call “Men of Grace.” The idea for that came from John 1:14 that says Jesus came and dwelled among us full of grace and truth. Jesus had the perfect balance of grace and truth. He never uncoupled those two. That is what we strive for as Christians and what these men need. They need men who are going to tell them the truth but will always be pointing toward God’s grace.
AFAJ: Why do you think men find it so hard to gain victory over sexual sin?
DJ: There are several reasons. One is fear. Historically, we as Christians have shot our wounded. But when it comes to the sexually wounded, we are really good shots.
Another big factor is shame. The shame just builds up until these men believe they are absolutely unworthy of help. They feel like they are totally alone and that no one will be able to understand and help them.
And to be quite blunt, it feels good in the early stages. This is an easy sale on Satan’s part.
But we need to remember that this isn’t about stopping a behavior. Most of these men need to learn how to deal with life. Many of the men I deal with never learned how to deal with life. They never learned how to deal with rejection, success, failure or approval. The sexual fantasy world becomes a place for them to escape. The fantasy is, to them, an escape to perfection, where everything happens just the way they want it to. I think that’s a big part of why guys have a hard time leaving it.
AFAJ: How can a church create an environment where men can be open?
DJ: Basically, as a church, we just need to be honest and open, making it clear that we are committed to walking men and their families through the healing process.
I would just point back to grace and truth. Now, there will be consequences if you cross over certain lines, but we as a church need to commit to take the time and walk through this healing process with these men. This has to be seen as a journey, not an event. That’s why we call it Restoration Path.
AFAJ: What do you offer churches?
DJ: Understanding. We want to go into churches to educate, teach and train their staff, or even do a workshop. We want to take the mystery out of sexual sin. Many churches take our video workshops and put that into a group at the church.
The truth is that I have been doing this kind of work since the mid-1990s and I want to duplicate it. God has allowed me to see and hear things, and I just want to give that to the church.
AFAJ: How big of a problem is sexual sin inside the church?
DJ: When the Internet first came out, the average initial exposure to pornography was age 17. Within a year, because of the explosion of the Internet, it dropped down to age 12. Right now it is about 7 or 8.
And, sadly, many of the men and families I work with are in the ministry. But what is beautiful about Restoration Path is that we are now international. We had a missionary in a foreign country who was struggling with sexual sin, and he crossed over lines and began seeing prostitutes. He went to his leadership and within 24 hours lost his ministry. But the leaders said they would pay for his counseling. We used Skype for video counseling and walked him through the healing process.
AFAJ: Why use the Internet, the biggest deliverer of pornography?
DJ: Think about the sin delivery system. It is instant. Historically, what has been the delivery system for getting help is very much delayed. It is also antiquated. What we’ve done, and still try to do, is make the delivery system for help equally instantaneous. If a person is at that point of brokenness at 2 o’clock in the morning in Romania, he can sign up for a workshop and start right then. There is no waiting to set up an appointment.
You start going through the videos and workbook as soon as you sign up. We set up a counseling session after you begin that process.
Also, in this economy, we can’t expect people to come to our home base in Memphis. We go to them. I personally go to them through Skype. The only thing I hate is that I can’t hug them. But I encourage them to find men of grace who will do that for me.
Restoration Path resources
▶ The Blessing of the Thorn by David Jones
▶ Ten Truths Wives Need to Know by David Jones
▶ The Top Ten Lies Sex Addicts Tell Themselves by David Jones Available at www.restorationpath.org or 877-320-5217. The website also hosts a blog and many articles pertaining to sexual struggles and addiction.
Restoration Path resources
▶ www.PornHarms.com – A website of Morality in Media that examines the harm caused to men, women, children, families and the culture by pornography. Facebook page: www.facebook.com/PornHarms; phone: 202-393-7245