What is Strive? Well it’s many things and the story I share below may help you get a feel for what we are about.
Walk in to a newsagent or even a supermarket and take a look at the magazine rack. Depending on the shop you have entered there will be a selection of publications. Newspapers, tabloid and broadsheet. Magazines, hobbyist and “adult”. The adult mags are normally kept on the “top shelf” but increasingly the top shelf is moving down to eye level; the “lads’ mags” are not porn they are topical – although their central theme is often sexual.
I want to tell you about a mate of mine, John, and how he has engaged with the porn industry.
John remembers when the first page 3 girl appeared in the sun, it was in November 1969. As a 10 year old, he was excited by a view of nudity and embarrassed by the fact his parents witnessed his excitement. His father was embarrassed because he had to witness John’s embarrassment and his mother was outraged at the fact of tits on page 3! Within a week the family were reading the Daily Mirror!
John had Witnessed the start of a social revolution.
Over the next decade, slightly less, John continued to witness the revolution: page 3 begat erotica, erotica begat pornography and social mores moved: so by the time John went to university many “informed” adults were using and subscribing to adult “literature”. They bought the promise that relationships would be enhanced and improved by pornography!
At uni John started to buy pornography; as did most of his mates. It informed their attitude toward women. John was no longer witnessing the revolution he was an active Accomplice. An accomplice in what?
Well he supported the right of all people to have freedom of expression – so anti pornography was censorship. He supported the right to abortion on demand: a claim supported by feminists although in his experience he noted only men ever pressured a girl into killing their child. He also supported the right to have sexual relationships with a woman regardless of his feelings for her: with no commitment and no consequences. Sex as a transaction; no love, no commitment, no hope!
One morning John woke up next to a woman who’s name he could not remember and felt dirty. While he had used her as a vehicle for his satisfaction he realised that he had also been used. What was behind the page 3 girl he oggled, the girl he had picked up, the lust that drove him on had become the monster that would devour him. Witness, Accomplice and Victim within a decade!
Of course John is fictional, but he’s based on a real life, or rather a combination of real lives; real men. These men are not proud of their past but, since meeting Jesus Christ they are no longer ashamed of it. So, where’s your life?
Maybe it’s not porn that’s the issue; maybe it’s greed, status, power, fast cars, houses, holidays… Most of us have something and the fact is we can’t tackle it in isolation; we need to change; and we’re men so we can always put it off!
I believe that we need to acknowledge the Witness, Accomplice, Victim continuum and make a positive decision to break it. And we can’t do it on our own, we need help!
If you want to make that break then the guys at Strive will help you. We will stand with you and admit that we are in, or have been in, the same place you are and together we will move forward.
Start by looking at http://www.codelife.org/ a code for life developed by men for men. You might want to join us at a breakfast or a curry, you might want to just talk. Strive is here for you; we won’t promise that we perform miracles, we certainly won’t judge you; but we will listen.