Sexual Detox – Challies Interview
Yesterday I posted my review of Sexual Detox by Tim Challies. Tim was kind enough to take some time out of his ubber-busy schedule and answer a few questions about Sexual Detox. I will also be giving away 4 copies of Sexual Detox (see the bottom of this post to enter.)
JC: What was the motivation behind Sexual Detox?
TC: The book was really born out of conversations I had with several young men. I began to notice a lot of young men asking, “Is it okay if I do ______ with or to my wife?” And the specific acts were acts that were well beyond the bounds of what I’d consider normal, healthy sexuality. I realized that these young men had had their understanding of sexuality shaped by pornography and were then seeking to act out porn on their wives. I felt like I could address this in a series of blog posts; those blog posts turned into an e-book and then a printed book.
JC: How Much (if any) did your wife help you write Sexual Detox?
TC: Detox was almost entirely my work. She helped a little bit, but especially when dealing with some of the more deviant aspects of pornography and male sexual sin, I wanted to shelter her as much as possible. However, after I started posting the articles to my blog, I received a deluge of emails, many of which were written by women. I passed many of these to Aileen and asked if she’d be willing to respond to them. All that to say that I was the one who wrote it, but she certainly helped in the response. She then wrote a kind of companion e-book for women called False Messages (which I think is excellent, though I’m undoubtedly biased).
JC: What has been the largest influence on the teachings found in Sexual Detox?
TC: I suppose the largest influence was the Word of God brought to bear on my life in many, many different forms. I cannot point to a single sermon or sermon series, a single book or conference talk. Instead, I simply sought to understand God’s plan for sexuality and did so through every means at my disposal. While hundreds of books have been written on the subject of sex, I was surprised at how few adequately addressed certain topics such as the ultimate purpose for sexuality and why masturbation is really and truly wrong.
JC: What have been the best resources you could point guys towards to help them Detox?
TC: I guess I’d like to see guys read Detox as a good first step. If I can get in their minds a) the big-picture of sexuality and b) the knowledge that they may well require some detox, I will regard the book as a success. From there I would want them to do two things.
First, I would want them to learn more about sexuality and about mature, godly manhood. So many men today are desperately immature, unable or unwilling to really take upon themselves the responsibilities of manhood. Second, I would want them to live their lives transparently before a handful of close friends or mentors. I really believe that men thrive on that kind of openness. I’m not quite suggesting a typical accountability relationship, but perhaps something like it–a time when men open up their lives before one another, hopefully within the context of a local church, and are rebuked and encouraged as necessary.
JC: How have you seen the blessings of Detoxing in your own life?
TC: I am glad to say that I didn’t ever have an addiction to pornography, though there were periods in life where I dabbled in it a little bit. And yet even with a relatively low level of exposure to pornography I found that I needed to detox, that I needed to have my understanding of sex and my expectations for sex reset by the truths of Scripture. Writing this book was a critical exercise in my own life as it really helped me wrap my mind around the big picture of sexuality. It helped me understand certain things better and helped me understand other things for the very first time. It exposed sin in very helpful ways.
JC: How has your view of God and your wife changed since your personal Detox?
TC: Understanding the biblical view of sexuality really brought me face to face with the goodness of God in giving us such a precious gift. For example, for the first time I had some theology to go with my experiential knowledge that a man tends to have a greater sex drive than his wife. Why would God make us this way? So the husband can be a leader in the sexual relationship, pursuing his wife and drawing her into that relationship. It makes a lot of sense within God’s economy of marriage. And yet it was something that had escaped me for many years. So I suppose it made me see anew what a great and precious gift sex is and how careful I need to be to faithfully steward it.
My view of Aileen has changed as well, though how much this relates to detox I suppose I can’t really say. Still, she has become infinitely more precious to me in the past year or two. We have just passed our twelfth anniversary and I feel like I am falling in love with her all over again. I feel like where the first time I fell in love with a great nineteen year old girl, now I’ve fallen in love again with a mature, godly, Christian woman. And I do believe I am able to see her with fresh eyes having gone through the detox which helped wipe away some of the unrealistic expectations I may have been imposing upon her.
Thanks Tim – I want to thank Tim for taking time and answering these questions. I have been very blessed by Sexual Detox and the great ministry he does through his Blog, Publishing Company, Book Reviews and the many other things Tim does for the Kingdom of God!
Free Sexual Detox Books! I am planning on using sexual detox in my premarital and am also working on a way to use it with some of the guys in my ministry. I feel the book is very worth while and would love to give away a few copies. Follow the rules below to be entered.
Enter: All you need to do to enter is leave a comment with ‘why you would like to read Sexual Detox.’
Bonus: Tweet #SDetox with a link to this post for another chance to win.
Drawing: I will draw and post winners this Friday, November 5th. I will select a couple of you with the best answers, and a couple at random from Twitter.Subscribe to my RSS feed.