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This article contains many insights gained from the book, Your Brain on Porn, by Gary Wilson, Commonwealth Publishing, copyright 2017. Although this book contains an abundance of helpful scientific recovery insights, it does not uphold biblical sexual standards. Many of the personal testimonies and observations contain graphic details. This author felt that the benefits of the appropriate advice in this book outweighed the potential negative aspects. Your Brain on Porn provides a very easy to understand summary of the addictive chemical effects of pornography on the brain, and presents the steps one goes through to “rewire” the brain to engage in healthy sexual behavior.

Through the years, porn has promised many things… excitement… a sexual outlet… an education… You can fill in your own blanks __here__ and __here__.  With the arrival of high speed internet, porn made two new promises. They were huge. Finally, porn could promised anonymity and freedom. No longer did you have to slink into a public store and hope that no one would notice you were buying pornography. Now, with a basic smartphone, you can get all the porn you want. Any variety. In the privacy of your own bedroom or bathroom. And with incognito browsers, no one else will ever know what you are looking at. At least, we hope not.

Unfortunately, many of us didn’t read the fine print. Long before we realized the hollowness of porn’s promises, we were trapped in an addictive haze. What used to give us a major buzz in the beginning of our addiction just doesn’t do it for us anymore. We’ve had to upgrade to harder porn. Many of us moved on to images that we’d never dreamed we’d look at in a million years. Images that used to greatly disturb us. Now we can’t get off without them. Images that even leave us questioning our own sexuality. We found out the hard way that the freedom and excitement porn promised us gave way to addiction, depression, fear, and hopelessness. How many times have you promised yourself that you’d never look at “that” again? Only to find yourself viewing even darker images…

Along with increases in depression, social anxiety, and the loss of interest and energy for everyday tasks; doctors have noticed another alarming effect of pornography. Dozens of otherwise healthy males in their twenties have sought medical help for sexual dysfunction. After growing up and feeding on a steady diet of internet porn, these young men were horrified to discover that they were experiencing erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation with their human partners. Surprisingly, many women have begun to have their own share of performance problems. What’s happening to these healthy men and women that keeps them from having fulfilling experiences with their sexual partners? High speed pornography use is messing up the neurochemical receptors in their brains. They’ve been conditioned to hard core internet porn, and lost their ability to relate to humans and respond to true, biblical emotional and sexual intimacy.


To understand porn’s devastation, let’s look at how our brain’s reward system is wired. Of course, this is a highly simplified explanation of how the chemical pathways and reward system in our brains works, but you’ll get the general idea. Dopamine is a pleasure chemical that tells your brain that it really, really enjoys something and that you should definitely do it again. It drives us to eat all four corner slices of a Jet’s pizza, or to seek and indulge in other very pleasurable experiences. Then, when we engage in those behaviors, our brains give us a rewarding dose of opioids which give us a sense of satisfaction. Another chemical creates an emotional bond to whatever gave us the pleasure in the first place, while another chemical tries to convince us that we’ve done enough for now. The problem is, we don’t tend to listen to the chemical that tells us we’ve done enough for now and we keep going. Soon we’ve wired our brains in such a way that the chemical drive to do “it” again is much stronger than the reward we get for actually doing “it”, and even stronger than the chemical that tells us we’ve had enough of “it” for now. Over time, we get desensitized to the original “it” and need to find a much stronger “it” to get the same level of rewards that we used to get way back when. That’s a perfect setup for an out of control pornography addiction.

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Think of the feeling you might get as you constantly check your latest Facebook post to see the likes piling up. Dopamine gives you that sense of excitement as you open the app to bask in the accolades of your friends. Opioids give you that feeling of awesomeness as you see twenty more likes than you had five minutes ago. The problem is that the dopamine drive is much stronger than the opioid sense of satisfaction; therefore, we keep responding to the dopamine drive and continue to check our post for even more likes. After a while the likes stop piling up as fast as they did before. Even if they don’t, the same number of likes just doesn’t give us the same level of opioid enjoyment that we got before. It takes more and more likes to give us that same excitement that we got in the beginning. We start thinking about how to make our next Facebook post bigger and better than ever to get even more likes and comments. The cycle continues. Dopamine levels drop with familiarity, so we start craving something new. Something just a bit edgier than before… Substitute porn use for Facebook posts and you get the idea.

Dopamine has a few other neurochemical friends that work along with it. Anxiety and stress increase the effects of dopamine. Jet’s pizza and Facebook posts are mild compared to much of the porn freely available on the Internet. Porn addicts often frequent sites that violate their own conscience and convictions which produces anxiety, shock, and a haunting desire to see more. These emotions in turn release additional chemicals like norepinephrine, epinephrine, and cortisol which give a major boost to the already powerful dopamine. This in turn, drives the porn user to more and more outrageous sites in a continual search for a bigger and bigger chemical release.

Other things continue to happen in the brain that chemically wire our desire for the intense things that we view during and porn and masturbation sessions. This causes us to be less interested in the normal sexual intimacy that we could have with our spouse, which seems so mild and boring compared to the “thrills” of the internet. Even if we weren’t drawn to a particular fetish in the past, our desire for more and more excitement can make us crave forbidden areas that once made us nauseous. During times of sexual excitement and orgasm, another chemical called DeltaFosB begins to burn chemical pathways into our brain that work with dopamine to direct our desires in the specific direction of what brings us the most excitement. Dopamine and DeltaFosB drive the desire to do “it” again. And the desire for “it” can become compulsive.

Our brains do have a weak checks and balance system. Another chemical called CREB dampens our pleasure response in an attempt to tell us we’ve done enough and need to take a break. Unfortunately, the amount of stimulation available in our culture makes it easy for us to override the CREB and keep seeking more and more pleasure. Since our dopamine levels begin to decrease the more we become familiar with something and increase when we see something new and more exciting, our desire for more intensity drives us into deeper and deeper porn use. Another problem is that CREB not only dampens our desire for porn. CREB also dampens our pleasure responses to other activities like socializing, hobbies, and the rewards we feel from successfully accomplishing everyday activities. That helps to explain why porn addicts seem to develop tunnel vision for porn and allow so many other aspects of their lives fall to the wayside.

There are deeper consequences for teenagers who have started to use porn than guys in the previous generations could fathom. Chemicals in the teenage brain are working hard to establish pathways for desire, worldview, and behavior. The effects of the neurotransmitters active in porn addiction have a much deeper and longer lasting effect as the teen’s brain is developing, than they do on an older adult who started viewing pornography in their 30s or 40s. An overwhelming number of teens are taking their sexual cues from cyberspace instead of from human relationships. That means their brains are being chemically wired to the images and ideas they are learning from pornography. This makes it all the more critical for teens to stop using pornography and learn healthy relationship patterns.

There is good news for those who are addicted to pornography and for those who are suffering from the negative effects of porn addiction. God created our brains in a way that allows them to recover from addiction and restore healthy desire. It has to do with the characteristic of the brain called neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to chemically rewire itself and change the poor wiring caused by addiction. Of course, this process takes a lot of time and concentrated effort, but it can renew our minds and restore healthy sexual functioning.


In the last few years, researches and addicts have discovered the process of “rebooting the brain”. Not as easy as the way we reset our computers or smartphones when they become slow by just restarting them, but it does give us hope. This process has helped countless men and women who were experiencing sexual dysfunction and the emotional effects of pornography addiction. With perseverance, men and women have overcome their addictions and begin to experience healthy relationships and healthy sexuality. Rebooting our brains is really a simple concept. It means that we abstain from all forms of sexual arousal for a period of time to give our brains time to enact its “use it or lose it system” and rewire the chemical pathways in our brains. As we replace negative behavior patterns with healthy ones, the old chemical pathways that drive our desire for a given behavior become quieter. They are eventually overwritten by the new behavior patterns that we engage in. Anyone who has ever tried to eliminate a bad habit and establish a good one will recognize the challenge. The old chemical pathways in our brains are pretty strong and don’t like to be ignored. They will scream for attention. Eventually, those screams become quieter and quieter and can be replaced by new cheers that encourage good behavior. In time, the old chemical pathways weaken and healthy new pathways can appear.

Depending on the depth of porn use and the length of the addiction, it can take several weeks to a few months to reboot the brain. In the beginning, you will likely experience some emotional and physical signs of withdrawal. Your body has been used to getting its sexual release and will let you know that it is not happy that it is not getting its own way. Think of the little kid in the checkout line who just found out that he isn’t getting that candy bar today. He throws a fit. A smart mother will teach the child that he still isn’t getting his way even though he is throwing a fit, and that it is healthier to eat good fruit instead of candy. An unwise mother will give in to the child and give him the candy bar just to shut him up. Unfortunately, this just teaches the kid that if he throws a fit long enough he will get his candy bar. The fits get louder with each trip to the grocery store. The wise kid learns the benefits of the good fruit and learns that his tantrums don’t serve a useful purpose. The trips to the grocery store get easier over time. You may experience restlessness and aches in some sensitive body parts. Don’t give in to your body’s temper tantrums. As you teach your body to appreciate good fruit, it will realize the tantrums don’t serve a useful purpose and they’ll get quieter over time.

You’ll likely experience some emotional withdrawal. You’re used to the unnatural highs of sexual addiction, and even the best real life relationships will seem boring at first. You may experience depression, anxiety, irritability, restlessness, lethargy, brain fog, sleep disturbance, and a strong desire to return to porn. You may also feel a sense to isolate. This is why it is so important to seek qualified help as you go through recovery. Reach out to an experienced Christian counselor and the pastoral care department of your church. Support groups such as Living Waters and Celebrate Recovery can offer much needed strength. In the past you may have dealt with difficult life experiences by escaping to porn. Experienced caregivers can help you learn to resist the urge to return to porn. They can help you learn to navigate through life’s difficulties successfully, without self-medicating. Over time, you should find that your energy levels increase and you will begin to experience more enjoyment in the daily pleasures of life. Many people in recovery are delighted to find that they are enjoying their long lost hobbies and that their social anxiety is gone. Instead of relating to people through the fog of deviant sexual images, they are learning the joys of engaging in healthy friendships and appropriate emotional interaction. Of course, this is a process and it all takes time, but the process is very rewarding.

One more common withdrawal symptom that you will likely experience is called “flat lining”. Remember your body has been used to an unnatural level of arousal from neurotransmitters. After a few weeks, your body’s screams for sexual excitement can give way to a complete loss of sexual desire emotionally and physically. You may even become concerned that your sexual organs feel completely dead and worried that they will never function again. This is a common experience that almost everyone passes through as they reboot their brain. Don’t panic. At the end of your rebooting process, your sexual desire will return. With the support of mature Christians, you can learn to direct your reawakened sexual desires in the right direction. You can learn to embrace your sexuality within biblical parameters and deepen your healthy relationships.


How long to stay in the reboot process varies with the degree of porn use, frequency of masturbation, and the age of each individual. Those who flooded their brains with a high degree of porn use and heavy masturbation at an early age will need more time in the process. Those who began their porn use after experiencing some form of healthy sexuality will need less time. Recommendations vary from 40 days to three months or more. An experienced caregiver or therapist can help you determine how much time is best for you. You should remain in the process for a while after the urges to view porn subside or come at an easily manageable level. If you are married, it is best to talk with your spouse and explain to him or her that you are considering the rebooting process and that you will need to abstain from sexual activities for a period of time. Most spouses are happy to assist their spouse in the reboot process in the anticipation of purifying and deepening the relationship in the long run.

After the process, the Lord calls those who are unmarried to abstain from sexual fantasy and physical sexual expression until marriage. You will experience sexual temptations, but the Lord will provide the grace for sexual purity. Those who are married are also called to sexual purity in their thoughts and actions; however, they do have a sexual outlet with their spouse to engage in appropriate sexual activities once the rebooting process has been completed.

The thought of quitting porn cold turkey may seem like an exercise in futility to you. After all, you’ve tried to quite many times before and find yourself right back at your computer screen. The question to ask yourself is what can make things different this time? As you prayerfully consider your answer, also prayerfully consider what mature Christians and which counselors and support groups can help you in this journey. You should also prayerfully count the cost of your addiction, and the benefits of living a life free from the bondage of pornography. As you take notice of all that your pornography addiction has taken from you, and all of the good gifts that the Lord wants to restore to you in exchange, I pray that you will be motivated to take the steps necessary to walk into freedom. It may not seem like it in the beginning of your journey, but living a pure life for Jesus will give you far more peace and strength than you ever thought you could get from porn. Now is the time to change your life.

If you would like more information about Reconciliation Ministries, or any of the ministries we offer,
visit us on the internet at, or call (586) 739-5114.

This article may be reproduced and distributed as long as no fee is charged
and credit is given to Reconciliation Ministries of Michigan, Inc.

© 2019 Reconciliation Ministries of Michigan, Inc.

Redeemed from the Depths of Despair

The author of this article has been a valued member of our Living Waters leadership team for many years. Some of the minor details of this testimony have been changed to protect the privacy of the author and his family. The author’s journey shows that no one is beyond the reach of our merciful Savior. He can redeem and restore anyone with a repentant heart.

It's been about 7 years since what I call my "mouth shut" epiphany – 3 1/3 of those were spent in prison. 


The emotional trauma of losing my wife and children, family and friends, my job, my money and possessions, my reputation and finally my freedom brought me to see that I had failed at the very purpose of my life: knowing God, seeking Him and not just His benefits. Serving Him. Doing His Will and not my own.

My crime was molesting my oldest daughter. My addiction after that was pornography. I had grown up in the church, in a good family that blessed me. What began for me as stupid, evil, selfish choices became inescapable bondages.  

I was at the lowest point of my life, and when I later read the words of Ezekiel, they could have prophesied of me what he wrote to Israel in 6:9 “Then when they are exiled among the nations, they will remember me, for I will take away their adulterous hearts – their love of idols – and I will blind their lecherous eyes that long for other gods. Then at last they will loathe themselves for all this wickedness.

It was utterly clear that I deserved no mercy from God or anyone else – I felt like a man standing before the throne of judgment. My mouth was finally shut: I no longer blamed my wife (at least not consciously), or my stress, or any other thing in my life. I could accept death for what I had done, but I could not bear to live in the darkness of my addiction and ignorance and narcissism any longer.

Somewhere in that time of self-loathing, waiting and wishing for the fire of God's judgment to fall on me, He shattered my expectations with an overwhelming and tangible experience of love. I could not fathom how anyone, and especially God who knew me fully, could love me. There are no words to express it: I felt the presence of something that could only be God. I knew that He loved me, and that in those minutes or hours (I'm not sure how long it was) – I was completely wrecked for the world. I felt like the Gadarene demoniac who found himself clothed and in his right mind, but with nowhere to go and only wanting to follow Jesus. 


It was literally weeks before I realized that I had been supernaturally freed from my addiction to porn – I was so consumed in seeking Him and reading the Word and listening to teachings I had downloaded. The Bible that I had read all my life – the book that had been about as inspiring as a phone book in my daily readings – now spoke to me from every page and every verse. 

The sexual perversion and compulsive addiction that had once held me like a shackled prisoner now repulsed me like a steaming bowl of vomit. I have never returned to those addictions, despite the fact that I now work daily with unfiltered internet access – whom the Son sets free is free indeed! 

I began to know that I was forgiven, and truly set free, but I still faced charges and could not see how I could be of any use to God after all this was through. One night, I sensed during prayer to stop asking God to deliver me from prison – I knew that I would have to go there although my lawyer was still negotiating the plea agreement. As I resigned myself to what I believed was the Holy Spirit’s prompting, I experienced for the second time an overwhelming and tangible presence – God's peace – as I accepted His will going forward. 


I won't say that I changed quickly – God has had massive reconstruction to do in me. I felt like Jeremiah’s clay pot that was smashed before slowly being rebuilt. There wasn’t anything usable of the man I had become. Prison was the hands God used to break me down, to build me up, to re-form me according to His plan, and to make me completely dependent on Him. I had many, many hours a day to study His word and to be transformed by the renewing of my mind. 

In that valley of the shadow of death – and men did die there – God also delivered me from every fear and continued to show me love and deliverance daily. I prospered in body and soul. As a result, I have a strong revelation of how Romans 8:28 works – all things really do work together for good for us who love God, and who are called according to His purpose.

One of the hard things for me to confess now is how far I still have to go. That's a common Christian expression of often false humility, but in my case it's a revelation that hurts. Coming out of prison, I wanted to be a "fixed guy" and a super-Christian and a good person again. For many people, and much of society, I can't be any of those things – I'm a lifetime registered Tier 3 sex offender. But I already know that with God NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE and my life is not my own. This gives me hope for my daughter, Sarah [not her real name] who was also my victim. 

When I first gave this testimony, I had not seen or heard from any of my children since the day of my sentencing in court. I knew that she was immersed in my old addictions and many more, and I couldn't think of her without feeling a knife in my chest. I asked many of my Living Waters friends to pray, and I know that you did because of what happened next. A few months ago I saw Sarah again, in a restaurant where we met for dinner – it was the first of many more meals and visits. Sarah is an adult now, and despite deeply painful life experiences, she has been inexplicably forgiving toward me. Our relationship is healing, and both of us are grateful for a new father-daughter relationship – but no one more than me.

As still further evidence of God’s excessive grace, He has allowed me to participate in Sarah’s recovery from homelessness to a steady job and her own apartment. Her hardships would crush me if I did not know that God is working in and for her even though she currently rejects Him. Because of God’s love for me, I am convinced that there is no one He does not love – no one He cannot save, heal, and transform.  

I pray that my story is not a stumbling block for some of you who have been hurt by people like me, and that God will continue his work in each of you to heal all those wounds of life. If you haven't yet experienced the transforming power of God’s love – that’s what I am praying you'll know, and then all of His perfect healing will follow. 

And if you were abused or misused by your father and never heard these words from him, please hear them from me: I am sorry we failed you. Your heavenly Father will not.

© 2018 Reconciliation Ministries of Michigan, Inc. This article may be reproduced and distributed as long as no fee is charged and credit is given. Photos used under license with

Pornography: The False Escape

This article was written by a member of the Reconciliation Ministries Living Waters leadership team. They are a group of “wounded healers” who have fought their own battle with sexual and relational brokenness, and who have experienced the healing power of Jesus Christ. If you or someone you love is struggling with sexual sin, call Reconciliation Ministries at 586.739.5114 and let us walk with you to Jesus.


I never thought of porn use as a problem.  It was something that “didn’t hurt anyone” and was “safe”.  In High School it was normal for guys to talk about their favorites, which made it seem like everyone did it, like it was normal and natural.  What I didn’t know: I was using porn like a drug to keep me away from my emotions and distancing me from God.  As time went on it increasingly pushed me to isolation and made me feel more and more depressed, fueling a cycle I didn’t know about or understand.  Because I was so wrapped up in denial and isolation I didn’t think about how it would impact those around me either, and I never thought about my distant relationship with God.  Realizing porn use as a problem and even addiction was like lifting a heavy fog in front of me, dispelling all the lies I accepted as my truth.

For most of my life I grew up in an environment of neglect and a lack of responsibility.  My parents were both responsible adults, but they did not feel responsible for raising their kids well.  My parents were divorced when I was young and both neglected me, and while they were married there was a clear pattern of physical and verbal abuse.  After the divorce, I lived with my mother for most of the time and she had a very co-dependent relationship with me.  I was the man of the house, even though I wasn’t even a teen yet, and she would share whatever was on her mind, unloading her negative emotions on me.  She was very controlling and focused on perfection, which drove me to be uninterested in doing anything.  During High School I remember crying out for help and my mother took me to be tested for Bi-Polar disorder.  I was not diagnosed with any disorders, but through the discussion the therapist found some issues and suggested some books on parenting and some parenting tweaks.  My mother lied and said she already read them and was a great parent.  Any problem I had came across as an attack on her parenting and she would go into denial and shut me out, often crying in an attempt to manipulate me.  My father didn’t really want to be a father. He only agreed to pick me up every other weekend because it would reduce the child-support he had to pay. He continued to complain about the payments, my mother, and the annoyance of having to pick me up until I was a legal adult.  He was uninterested in being a dad for the most part, and years later told me he didn’t have the time to be a dad so he would try to just be a decent friend to get me on his side.  If I had a question, I would be told to ask the other parent. Since I never got any answers, I stopped asking the questions and tried to figure things out on my own.  Once I realized I couldn’t reach perfection I stopped trying in school. I felt unwanted, and even worse, like a burden wherever I was.  I never felt like I had a home, I felt like I was just visiting someone.

Spiritually my mother believed in going to church when she felt guilty enough, and my father created his own religion focused on himself.  Needless to say, my parents didn’t care about my relationship with God and actually instilled a strong sense of skepticism in me. I felt like God was only there to punish me and rid me with guilt, or that God wasn’t real at all.  Despite my confusing outlook on God, there were also times when I felt like God was there for me, even if I didn’t understand it or accept it.  Thankfully he shielded me from drugs and getting into trouble as a youth.  It wasn’t until late in High School that I started to regularly go to church, when my now wife demanded I go to church with her if we were to continue dating.  It wasn’t until a few years later that I could actually call myself a Christian, working through the doubt and skepticism, and God is still working in me.

As time went on I felt more and more alone and turned to escape mechanisms to get away from my negative feelings.  I turned to porn and videogames mostly, jumping into fantasy worlds where I was the most important person and felt I had control.  My father introduced me to videogames as a way to connect, and we had little else to talk about.  I didn’t think about the negative impact porn had in my life until I married my wife.  I expected marriage to take away all the problems in my life.  I wouldn’t have to deal with my parents at all if I didn’t want to, and I’d have real and right intimacy with my wife.  I fully expected the desire to watch porn to disappear, but it got worse.  My wife and I were not connecting as well as I thought; we had more stresses as we were living together for the first time and were both busy figuring out our lives together.  I doubled down and watched more porn, shut out my wife, and reinforced my addiction through that negative cycle. 

My wife and I had pretty bad fights every week for the next seven months, and at one point I just broke and explained what was going on.  She was incredibly hurt and filed for divorce, which I agreed was not ridiculous or undeserved.  She said I had six months to show major improvement or she would continue with the divorce, which was a great show of grace to me.  The next six months we fought almost every day in the worst possible way.  I found a therapy-based program that gave me some tools to fight my temptations.  The program was useful in day-to-day living, but I felt something was missing.  It focused on tools and tricks to get through life and involved prayer, but made it very clear healing was not an option.  Our leader left, a new draconian leader took over with some ideas and outlooks that were not uplifting and I could not agree on, and the group had changed dramatically. I decided to look elsewhere.  My wife had seen someone from Reconciliation Ministries speak in person at a High School ministry event through our church and suggested I give the ministry a call.  I came to Living Waters shortly after and immediately saw the difference.  At first it was challenging, but it became apparent Living Waters was a place where I could begin to find real healing and connect with God.  I began to learn how to surrender to God and begin understanding where the healing would be happening.  Living Waters has changed my life.  It goes beyond a therapy regimen and allows for real healing.  My relationship with God has never been better or more important in my life.  My marriage can finally be described as happy and we have never been closer.  My personal relationships have improved, I feel more motivated in my work, and I have finally have a feeling of contentment in life in God’s plan.  Now I can’t imagine life without Living Waters. 


The process has not been comfortable.  Coming clean to my wife was not comfortable. Learning about myself was not comfortable. Continually facing my fears and doubts instead of running and hiding is not comfortable. Surrendering to God is not comfortable.  Despite no part of the process being comfortable, it is worth it.  Being able to walk free, without the haze of lies and denial, is something that is better than I could imagine.  No longer feeling like I have a terrible secret makes it so much easier to look people in the eyes and feel my own self-worth.  Knowing I have a God on my side and learning the truth about how God feels about me has given me peace I couldn’t believe before this process.  One of the most surprising gains is when I stopped focusing only on my own needs. I could reach out in community with others and finally feel like I don’t have to be isolated and alone.  I would suggest Living Waters to everyone, since I feel everyone needs to know about themselves more deeply. If you think porn use isn’t a problem like drugs or alcohol, you really need Living Waters.  It’s unlike anything I have done before and helped me better my relationship with my God and understand myself. 

© 2017 Reconciliation Ministries of Michigan, Inc. This article may be reproduced and distributed as long as no fee is charged and credit is given.

First image by Gilles Lambert on Second image by Ryan Franco on

Lives Are Being Changed

Dear Friends,

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Used under license with

As we look ahead to our next session of Living Waters, we are rejoicing in what the Lord has done through our first Mending the Soul group. It was amazing to see the participants open their hearts week after week and receive deep healing. Some of the participants would like to share how the group has helped them…

I was able to identify pain in my life and found the source or root of it. I can understand now how abuse dictates emotions and mindsets. I have learned how to let go and allow God to heal. – A female survivor.

 I could talk about the abuse I experienced, the addiction I developed, and all the fallout and consequences; without having to be worried about judgement or rejection. – A male survivor.

I can truly say that though I have a ways to go as far as healing, I am not the same person I was when I entered this group. I have regained my voice, set boundaries, gained strength in many ways, and found hope for healing in God. This group has truly been a blessing. A female survivor.

You can change the life of an abuse survivor by becoming a member of the Reconciliation Ministries Support Team. Your prayers and financial support can help those who have been ravaged by sin and abuse. Donations can be made securely online by clicking here. If you’re already a member of our support team, we would like to thank you for making an eternal difference in the lives of others. Your partnership matters.

Registration is now open for our next session of Living Waters. If you or someone you care about is struggling with sexual sin and relationship difficulties, call Reconciliation Ministries at 586.739.5114 and find out how Living Waters can help. Discounts are available for early registration, and we have lowered the tuition rate for new participants by 20%. You can read testimonies from the last session of Living Waters in this newsletter.

Your brother in Christ,


Lives Are Changed through the Living Waters Program. 


Living Waters is a Christ-centered discipleship/ministry program for men and women seeking healing in areas of sexual and relational brokenness; including pornography addiction, codependency, sexual addiction, homosexuality, sexual ambivalence, childhood sexual abuse, transgender issues, and difficulty in establishing and sustaining healthy relationships.  Our next program is starting soon.

Here are some powerful testimonies from participants who had their lives changed through the power of Jesus Christ in the Living Waters program. They are used with the permission of the participants.

Living Waters saved my marriage. - A female participant.

I am closer to God as a result of Living Waters. I see Him more clearly in my past, anticipate Him more certainly in my future, and follow Him more peacefully in the now. - A male participant.

Through Living Waters I learned that I am a survivor, not a victim. - A female participant.

When I first came to Living Waters, I was a complete mess. I struggled in my marriage. I felt like a terrible mother. I had major trust issues. I knew that my problems stemmed from being repeatedly molested by my cousin from the ages of three to five. I just could not stop my brokenness from ruining my life. I learned a lot of tools here at Living Waters. And God has used Living Waters to change me into a better wife and mother. I am no longer controlled by my brokenness. Living Waters saved my marriage. - A female participant.


Living Waters has helped me to become a more honest person – with God and others. I am less afraid of failure and weakness than I was before Living Waters began. I am more willing to admit my weakness, doubts, and my need for help to God and others. God has begun a much needed work of humility through this program. - A male participant.


For most of my life I grew up in an environment of neglect and a lack of responsibility. When my parents were married, there was a clear pattern of physical and verbal abuse. After they divorced, my mother was very controlling and focused on perfection. This led me to be uninterested in doing well in anything. My father didn’t really want to be a father, but he agreed to pick me up every other weekend because it would reduce the child-support he had to pay. He was uninterested in being a dad for the most part.

As time went on I felt more and more alone and turned to escape mechanisms to get away from my negative feelings. I turned to porn and video games mostly, jumping into fantasy worlds where I was the most important person and could have control. I didn’t think about the negative impact porn had on my life until I married my wife in 2013. I expected marriage to take away all the problems. I fully expected that the desire to watch porn would disappear. It got worse. My wife and I had pretty bad fights every week for the next seven months, and at one point I just broke and explained what was going on. She was incredibly hurt and filed for divorce. She said I had six months to show a major improvement or she would go through with the divorce. We fought almost every day in the worst possible way. I went to a therapy-based program that gave me some tools to fight my temptations, but something was missing.

I decided to come to Living Waters after my wife heard one of the leaders speak at my church. At first it was challenging, but it became apparent that Living Waters was a place where I could begin to find real healing and connect with God. I began to learn how to surrender and begin to heal. Living Waters changed my life. It goes beyond a therapy regimen and allows for real healing. My relationship with God has never been better or more important in my life. My marriage can finally be described as “happy” and we have never been closer. My personal relationships have improved. I feel more motivated in my work, and I have finally have a feeling of contentment in life and in God’s plan. - A male participant.


I came into Living Waters with deep pain in my heart, a heart that had hardened towards men and I didn’t want to live in this hurtful, deceitful and sinful world. I wanted to die and take the easy way out. I wanted peace – no more pain and abuse. No tears. No sorrow. No more hurting. Through the deep healing lessons I have to admit that my heart is softening some to men. I don’t immediately label all men as bad. I haven’t thought of wanting to die in a while. I wake up every morning and say, “Good morning, Lord”. I have not gotten to the point that I love living – but I have gotten out of my first thoughts of, “I want to die.” I am on a new journey with peace growing in my heart towards men.

I also started out the first week in Living Waters saying, “I don’t know if this program is for me.” Now, 24 weeks later, I believe everyone needs to take this program for inner healing and to understand where the pain comes from. Ultimately, to get to know the Great Healer, Jesus. I deeply long to be in the arms of my Lord – but I think I’ll stick around this alien world and do the work and calling that God created me to be and to do until He calls me home. - A female participant.

If you or someone you love is struggling with sexual or relational difficulties, there is hope and healing through the power of Jesus Christ.  Call us and ask about attending the next Living Waters program. (586) 739-5114

© Reconciliation Ministries 2017.  This article may be reproduced and distributed as long as credit is given and no fee is charged.