The Samson Society is a fellowship of Christian men who are serious about authenticity, community, humility & recovery.
Men need men, but often we live in isolation rather than community. In this Resolute Leadership Podcast, Vince Miller is joined by Nate Larkin, president and founder of Samson Society who provides counsel and community for men struggling with addiction in their life. Today hear Nate’s heart for men who need not just community but a rich authentic community.
The Truth About Men & Sex – Discovering a God of all comfort, compassion, and mercy when we need Him most.
SUMMARY: We may not recognize it, but we need a God who meets what the world might call “less than masculine needs.” In this Resolute Leadership Podcast, Vince Miller is joined by Scott Morin, president and founder of Empowering Ranch who counsels men regarding sexual purity. Today we discover a God who is more than just man, but Spirit!
Vince: This is Resolute and the Resolute Leadership Podcast. I’m Vince Miller, your founder, and host. And today we’re in a series that we have entitled, “The truth about men and sex.” Today we’re discussing the topic of comfort, compassion, and mercy.
Welcome to the program. If this is your first time tuning in, well thank you for joining us. Our mission – as Resolute – is to disciple and develop men to lead. And if you’re looking for content for your men’s group, or even your men’s ministry at your church, then you need to go to our website today at beresolute.org. We have a number of tools for men who are leading other men, including some new men’s bible study series’ that we know that you would love for your men’s group. And now gentlemen, let’s dive in.
Well, today I’m joined by a good friend of mine, Scott Morin. Scott Founded a ministry about 6 years ago or so, entitled, “Empowering Ranch” at empoweringranch.com. As a leader and as a man of God, he set off to help men to really uncover their issues and provides counseling to men as they need it – around a number of topics, and one of those is specifically sex. Scott has an incredible story. He is a profound leader. He has a deep passion for Pastoring, and he really is a student of Hebrew. I love this guy. Scott, welcome to the show today.
Scott: Thanks Vince.
Vince: So let’s – let’s close this off with something, I think that really puts a nice bow on some of the conversations that we had.
Vince: We – we were talking about what, what men are really looking for. And in the last – last couple we walked through your story a little bit. Which I think is just about every – every man’s story.
Vince: The previous time we – we were talking through a little bit more of the nurture concept, the El Shaddai understanding.
Vince: And how we’re looking for that nurture. Today we’re looking at things like comfort and compassion and mercy.
Vince: Scott, what is – what do you think sexuality provides us with that we need so badly? Is it those things, or is it something different?
Scott: I think it is, and I want to take us to Deuteronomy 30, verses 1 through 3 – to look at that a little bit. I’ll just read that passage. “It will come to be when all these things come on you, the blessing and the curses – which I put before you. That you will recall them to your heart, among all the nations where the Lord–” Which in Hebrew is אדוני. “Your God will have expelled you. And that you will return again to אדוני, your God, and obey his voice – according to all that I am instructing you today. You and your sons, with all your heart and with all your soul – then אדוני your God will reverse your captivity and show compassion to you. He will return and convene you from all the people’s.” Just love how compassionate God is in that.
A couple of things I want to point out in there – the word obey. So Vince, you probably know this – that the Hebrew word behind obey is לציית. And it doesn’t technically even mean necessarily, “obey.” It means to hear. And that’s that famous – the לציית that the – that the Jew’s recite.
Vince: Daily, multiple times a day.
Scott: Right, exactly. And what I find interesting about that too, is that most of the time when this gets translated into English is that they eliminate a proposition from it as well that’s in Hebrew. Which is the preposition in. So technically you could translate that in verse 2. And that you will return again to אדוני, your God and hear in his voice, or inside his voice. Okay, so just want to put that piece out there. And then I want to go to verse 3 and put another piece on the table, and then try to tie the 2 of them together.
So in verse 3, it says, “Then אדוני, your God will reverse your captivity and show compassion to you. You may have mercy in your translation.” And what’s interesting about that word as well in Hebrew, is that it actually means “womb.” And so a way you could translate this verse is then אדוני, your God will reverse your captivity and will womb you.
Scott: What in the world is going on here, right? What is it? So maybe you’re – if you’re a person that has read the New Testament, maybe you’re already starting to click to all the dots that are potentially aligning here. But immediately I’m going to John 3, 4, and 5 – where Nicodemus says–
Scott: “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly I say to you – unless one is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.” And I feel like Nicodemus and Jesus are talking about this reality in Deuteronomy 30. This reality that we need to be born again spiritually. That we need to crawl back inside God’s womb spiritually and be born again. And then connecting those 2 pieces together.
When we are in the womb, when a baby is in the womb, they are inside their mother’s voice. And that’s what that says in Deuteronomy 30, verse 2. It says to hear in his voice, to be inside the womb of God. So anyways Vince, thoughts on – on the אדוני having a womb?
Vince: I actually love it. Because I think that – we are created in Gods image – both male and female. And while this is a guy’s show and–
Vince: We’re talking mostly to guys.
Scott: We’ll just have to lower our voice once in a while.
Vince: Yeah. That’s all we do, that’s all we got to do – just lower our voice once in a while. But I’ve got to tell you, I know – like you do – that the Hebrew language is so, so poetic.
Vince: And so descriptive–
Scott: And mysterious.
Vince: I know, and it’s so hard to understand. I mean we could spend time talking about 100 words today.
Vince: But I think the Israelite’s and the Hebrews and even the Jewish Nation understood things about God that we only see in material form. Because I believe our country is very materialistic, and therefore we turn toward material things that we worship. And then we miss all these beautiful characteristics about who God is, right?
Scott: Right, right.
Vince: And God wants us here from what I’m hearing you read, and how you’re describing these things.
Vince: Is that he wants us to fall in love–
Vince: Like to be nurtured and comforted and like you say, experience compassion and mercy. Inside of the heart of who he is, and he is not a physical being.
Vince: He’s a deeply spiritual being, and he wants to – like you said, womb you.
Vince: And hear or listen in to his voice. I mean, that’s pretty descriptive for me of something that goes beyond this worldly experience.
Vince: That maybe guys don’t ever experience, therefore they turn to vices.
Vince: Then maybe tried to present a false representation of that.
Scott: Yeah. Yeah, you and I Vince, were talking offline just before this podcast – and we were saying – if God thought it right and appropriate and necessary to give us a father and a mother, why wouldn’t God also father us spiritually, and mother us spiritually?
Vince: Right. I think that’s – I don’t know if you could even say it much better than that. Because – now let me, let me, let me throw a wrench into the whole thing.
Vince: And it’s not a theological wrench, it’s more of a practical wrench. Because I – and I don’t, I don’t know if you can answer this question. If you cannot, it’s, it’s mostly an experiential question and I have my own response to it too, but–
Vince: I’m betting, I’m betting that guys turn to sexual addiction, to pornography – whatever it may be. And it could be other vices too, it doesn’t have to just be pornography. But let’s take pornography for instance. Maybe because they want comfort, and they’ve never received it from earthly parents.
Vince: Am I close?
Scott: Oh man, yeah. I think there’s absolute – I think there’s a connection there, absolutely. And even – and just – I don’t think Vince or I want to rip on earthly parents in the least. Like no matter, if you are the perfect parent – God has designed us to need God. And–
Scott: Period. Vince: Yeah.
Scott: Like we are – no matter how perfect our parents were or weren’t, there– We are going to need to go to God ultimately for ultimate mothering, ultimate fathering. It’s like God designed us almost with an ache in our soul. I mean it’s–
Scott: It’s part of the consequence of the fall, right? Those things are not perfectly right.
Scott: And so we have to turn back. And I think – and yeah, Vince – I’m glad you brought up the pornography piece. Because I feel like now that we’ve talked through – now that we’re on kind of the final podcast here, what’s – what I want to throw out there is just this idea that – when you’re going to pornography and you’re looking at boobs, you’re actually looking for God, and you’re looking for El Shaddai to nurture you.
The Same thing is happening here in this one when you are going to pornography and maybe the thing of choice for you is looking at vaginas or butts or whatever it is – that’s where the womb is. The womb is between those things. You – they’re– Like you are attracted to – notice what you’re attracted to in pornography. Like there are – there – it may give you a clue what you’re actually looking for. And I think if those are you’re – the things that draw you in– Once again, I said this once before – our desires are good, we’re just taking them in the wrong place.
Scott: So your desire to look at a vagina or a butt, that desire in one sense is good. You’re just taking it to the wrong place. You’re actually supposed to be looking for the womb of God.
Vince: Yeah. So let’s, let’s throw – let’s throw another piece into this. Is that – and we don’t want– Like you said, we don’t want to dig on parents, biological parents–
Scott: Not at all.
Vince: At all. But there are some things that we don’t get from them.
Vince: Therefore, we never learn how to get those things.
Vince: And this can be a very hard behavior to unlearn because we don’t even know how to get comfort, how to receive comfort, how to give it to somebody else. We sometimes don’t know how to do those things. And evidence about that – as I’ve heard you say, Scott – can be seen in the desire to eat uncontrollably. The desire to control situations. The desire to drink alcohol. To self-medicate with prescription drugs.
Vince: Like all those things are, are the same kind of vices with the same desire for comfort–
Scott: Yeah. Vince: Compassion, mercy. Am I close here?
Vince: Compassion, mercy. Am I close here?
Scott: Absolutely. They’re just false comforters, right? I mean– Vince: Right.
Vince: Right. Scott: That’s – and if you don’t like the word addiction out there, just ask yourself, “What are my false comforters? What do I turn to other than God to try to meet my needs?”
Scott: That’s – and if you don’t like the word addiction out there, just ask yourself, “What are my false comforters? What do I turn to other than God to try to meet my needs?” Vince: Yeah, that’s really good.
Vince: Yeah, that’s really good. Scott: Yeah.
Scott: Yeah. Vince: That’s fantastic. So let’s, let’s turn this – again, one more time toward some
Vince: That’s fantastic. So let’s, let’s turn this – again, one more time toward some actionable for guys. What would you tell a guy, Scott – that you were counseling – who maybe haven’t ever received comfort like–
Vince: We read today in Deuteronomy 30. What would you tell him about beginning to lean into that, and experiencing comfort from something else other than sexuality, food, control, alcohol – whatever it is?
Scott: I like that you use the word “lean” because of we – I think as men, a lot of us are doers. And we like the challenge, want to get things done. And in one sense, we want the to-do list at the end of this podcast as well, right? And I think on some of these with El Shaddai and with אדוני who has a womb – there’s a being aspect. We don’t live in a world that stops very well. And that’s what Sabbath means, is to stop. And it’s – interestingly enough, it’s actually a verb. So stopping.
Vince: Right, right.
Scott: So there’s action in stopping. But I think it’s the action of being instead of doing. And so I would throw out an idea with both of these. If you’re going to go to El Shaddai, if you’re going to go to אדוני who has a womb, or both. I want to encourage you to stop and be with El Shaddai, be with אדוני who has a womb. And see what may come out of it.
Go into a question reflection time with אדוני who has a womb. And ask אדוני to womb you. And bury you again, so to speak. And ask אדוני to mother you. Ask אדוני to comfort you. Ask אדוניt to have mercy on you. Ask אדוני to have compassion on you. Ask אדוני to hold you. Like these are – you needed to be held as a child when you came out of the womb. You – that was normal, God designed you that way to need those things. And if we needed those things physically, we need them spiritually as well. So I just want to encourage all of us to turn to God and stop long enough for God to do that to us. Try to get an hour of solitude if you can.
Scott: And just be with God. Sit with Deuteronomy 30 verses 1 through 17, and just meditate on them.
Vince: I like your answer there because it isn’t just about stopping doing all the other things. It’s about replacing it with the right activity. And I think there are guys out there that kill themselves, Scott trying to beat these things for years and years and years.
Vince: And they’re trying to overcome these sins, but they’re just trying to stop things.
Vince: They’re not trying to start healthy behaviors. And God wants us to worship him, as we talked about last time. But then maybe we need to ask God to just comfort us.
Vince: Maybe we need to experience that–
Vince: And then understand it. And then to pass on a new legacy to the people around us.
Vince: Because, I got to tell you, if – if we would’ve understood comfort in a healthy way – maybe Scott, we wouldn’t have fallen into the patterns.
Vince: That everybody else falls into. So – Scott, thank you so much, again for being with us. It has been delightful and a great learning experience to hear from you. So we pray God will continue to bless your ministry. And if there’s guys out there that are – that are looking for maybe some help in overcoming some of the – the issues that they’re facing with their life, it doesn’t just have to be pornography, it can be anything.
I want to encourage you to reach out to Scott. I’ll make sure his contact information is available for you. But you’ve got to get to know this guy. He – he really is a great – has a great heart for God. And he – he wants to help and guide you through the process. So Scott, thank you again for being with us on the show.
Scott: Thanks so much Vince.
Vince: Well guys, that’s the show. Thanks so much for listening. If you want, Scott has got a retreat coming up in September, actually dates are September 7 through 10. He’s taking a small group of guys on a trip to the Boundary Waters, which is the Northern area of Minnesota up here. If you’re from here, you know the area well probably.
But he’s looking for a small group of guys that want to attend with him, that want to get away, worship God, study God’s Word, have conversations. And if you’re struggling with something like this, it’d be a great place to have an individual conversation with Scott, and maybe build some new relationships with some other guys. So take advantage of that if you want. It’s all found at empoweringranch.com. You can go there today and get connected to Scott.
And gentlemen, as well – as we close, I want to remind you that we have great men’s content on our website for your men’s bible studies. Excellent small group videos and participant handbooks that will empower the men of your church – and you, to equip and to build into men that you lead. Check it all out at beresolute.org. Or you just send me a direct email at [email protected]
And guys, as always – I hope you enjoy this podcast. But please know that the time that we spent together today is worthless, unless you choose to do something with it. So do something today, by getting off the bench and into the game. And I’ll see you right back here next time on another edition of the Resolute Podcast.
The Truth About Men & Sex – Could our desire for nurture be the true unmet need when we are viewing pornography?
SUMMARY: Could the things we desire from pornography be signs of deeper unmet desires? And if so what are they? In this Resolute Leadership Podcast, Vince Miller is joined by Scott Morin, president and founder of Empowering Ranch who counsels men regarding sexual purity. Today we discover how nurture plays a significant role in our spiritual healing.
Vince: This is Resolute and the Resolute Leadership Podcast. I am Vince Miller, your founder, and host. And today we’re in a series entitled, “The truth about men and sex.” Today we’re discussing the topic of nurture.
Welcome back to the program. If this is your very first time tuning in, well thank you for joining us. Our mission is to disciple and develop men to lead, at Resolute. If you’re looking for content for your men’s group, or men’s ministry, then you need to go to our website today at beresolute.org. We have a number of tools for men who are leading other men, including some new small group series’ that we know that you would love for your men’s groups. And now let’s dive in.
I am joined again today by my good friend, Scott Morin. Scott is the founding President of Empowering Ranch. Which helps men and counsels men towards sexual purity. We’re excited to have him with us. Not only does he help men, but he’s been on his own journey as well – as we have discovered in our last session together. But today we’re going to be diving into the topic of nurture. Scott, welcome again.
Scott: Thanks, Vince, good to be here again.
Vince: Well we’re kinda continuing in this discussion on just sexuality from a spiritual standpoint, right?
Vince: And I know that you’ve had a lot of conversations with the men, you’ve done a lot of counseling.
Vince: So Scott, there’s – there are men out there – including you. Who have spent a lot of time online looking at pornography or–
Vince: Or pursuing women, a relationship, right?
Vince: I mean, we hear guys talk like this.
Vince: Right. What do you think we’re really looking for when we are – we’re having these conversations? Guys are joking, they’re looking at pornography. Why are we doing that?
Scott: I think one of the things that we’re looking for, Vince – is we’re looking for beauty and I would imagine that some people don’t resonate that with – with that word initially. But why do people love nature? Why do people love staring at nature? What are the things behind that that are feeding our heart and soul and what – why do we enjoy looking at women? There’s something about beauty that draws us in.
And so I even want to say that if you are going to pornography, that actually your desire is good. It doesn’t mean you’re taking it in the right place, but your desire is good. Like there – you desire something that’s beautiful. You desire ecstasy and – and, and comfort and mercy and those kinda things.
I want to – want to read a, a quote to you. It’s by John Eldredge. He, in his book, “Wild at Heart,” he said, “What else is it we are seeking from the woman with the golden hair?” And that – that golden hair is just a reference. It’s from a book called, “Iron John,” by Robert Bly. Where he’s calling the woman with the golden hair, is essentially that woman that you just are pursuing in a consuming way, a never-ending way. CS Lewis actually referred to women as, “Eve.” So whether you want to put Eve in there or women in there–
Scott: Or the woman with the golden hair – whatever works, but– So I’ll begin the quote again. “What else is it we are seeking from the woman with the golden hair? What is the ache we are trying to assuage with her? Mercy? Comfort? Beauty? Ecstasy? In a word, God, I’m serious. What we are looking for is God.”
Scott: End quote.
Vince: Let me, let me – let me stop you there. Because you just hit like 3 really good points. And the first one for me, was the fact that – really when we’re looking at pornography – right?
Vince: We’re looking for something more.
Vince: The second thing you had me do, was you had me searching for what is it that I’m looking for. And then you used the word, “Beauty,” right?
Vince: And then you told me – in essence, that everybody’s looking for that, and it’s okay to look for beauty. It’s just the object of that beauty.
Vince: And how we act out on that beauty, is sometimes misplaced.
Vince: But you’re, you’re telling me – it sounds like – that pursuing the beauty then is okay. We just have to figure out how to do it the right way.
Scott: Yeah, yeah. We just have to take– And I would argue that we are designed to intake beauty. And so we can’t – a lot of times, the way that Christians have dealt with this historically, is we just try to shut it off, like–
Vince: Why do we do that?
Scott: Because I don’t think we know any other way to deal with it. And because I think that we think we have to hide it.
Vince: Oh okay.
Scott: So we just try to shut it off, pretend it doesn’t exist. But then we’re not getting filled with beauty in a different way. And constantly, the scriptures are talking about the Lord being beautiful. And nature is beautiful, women are beautiful. I mean there are so many beautiful things in our world. So I think we’re looking for beauty and mercy and comfort and ecstasy like John said. But I think we are specifically looking for a specific version of God. So he’s arguing that we’re looking for God, and I think we are looking for some very specific versions of God.
So a few years ago, I was wrestling with God around this topic. And I was just saying to God, “What’s the deal with boob jobs in our culture? What’s the deal with big breasted pornography? What’s the deal with MILF pornography? What’s this, what’s this fascination, this compulsion, this draw, this – this just almost can’t stop it, feeling with some of the stuff. And it felt like – the word that came back from God was “nurture.”
And so I feel like what’s happening for men with – with big boobs, is that unconsciously they feel like there’s more nurture that they are going to be able to find from that source. So the bigger the boob, the more nurture I can find there. And I think this is all happening unconsciously for men. And I believe that the scriptures actually speak to it.
So Psalm 91, verse 1 says, “He who is dwelling in the concealment of the highest, shall lodge in the shadow of Almighty.” So the Word of Almighty is Shaddai. And maybe you’re familiar with Amy Grant’s old song.
Vince: Oh yeah.
Scott: El Shaddai.
Vince: Yeah. Yeah, it doesn’t – it never dies, I’m telling you.
Scott: And that – so one of the ways you can translate Shaddai or El Shaddai, is God Almighty. Another way that it can be translated is Shad. If you say Shad in front of a little boy in Israel, he’ll probably start to snicker, because it means “breast.” And so something interesting about Hebrew is that you can spell things singularly and plurally, just like we can in English.
But one thing we can’t do in English, or one thing we don’t have in English is – we can’t spell something in a dual form. Things that come in pairs. So 2 eyes, 2 hands, 2 feet, 2 ears. Those things have a particular kinda spelling. Well, this spelling of Shaddai is in that dual spelling as in 2 boobs. So one of the ways you could translate this is – verse 1, he was dwelling in the concealment to the most high shall lodge in the shadow of boobs or breasts or the breasted one. Which I think – or of the nurturing one. I think it’s really just speaking to nurture.
Vince: The character of who God is.
Scott: Exactly. And Psalm 91 goes on with the metaphor. In verse 4, the very feminine metaphor and a picture of feathers. He will cover you with his feathers and under your wings, you will find refuge. There’s this feminine stuff going on in this Psalm 91. And then jumping down into verse 14, it says, “Because he holds fast to me,” that word in Hebrew – so Vince and I are Hebrew and Greek nerds.
Vince: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Scott: And the word behind holds fast, actually means attached. And for me, I’m thinking of – how a baby attaches to a mothers breast. That is the invitation from God to – to attach to God, the way that we can attach to anything in this life. I mean there’s no way that there’s something in this life that’s better than God?
Vince: Right. So we are literally feeding from God himself.
Vince: There’s a little bit of the imagery that you’re describing here from Psalm 91. It’s very powerful.
Vince: It’s probably a little bit uncomfortable for some guys to hear that.
Vince: But it – it’s clear to me, and clearly because I know some of the work that you do, Scott.
Vince: I know that you’ve talked to hundreds and hundreds of guys about these issues. It sounds like to me that you can say from experience, that many of the men that you’ve talked to who have spent hours and hours and hours online looking at pornography–
Vince: Without a doubt, are looking for nurture in their life.
Scott: Yeah, they’re looking for nurture, comfort, beauty, ecstasy. They’re looking for something that’s going to fill them up. And I think – and I think they are looking for God, but they are looking for El Shaddai,
Scott: They’re looking for the nurturing one, to nurture them.
Vince: Yeah, exactly. And man, that starts to open up a – a wealth of questions from me. Because I wonder – just like you, and I would never insinuate that you had a bad father growing up. But I know that I didn’t have one around, right?
Vince: And because of that, we’re crying out – even as men for some of these – what appear to be effeminate qualities.
Vince: But are just part of the character of God, right? Because – just because we’re a man, doesn’t mean that we can’t have desires – like the desire to be nurtured, right?
Vince: And because maybe we’ve never experienced it in a healthy way, we run to unhealthy forms of it.
Scott: Well, and I think too Vince that we – most of us think of God as only a man. And to know that Jesus came as a man, but God is, God created male and female. God created masculinity and femininity. God is a spirit. God is not inside those constraints.
Scott: And, and the image of God is male and female.
Scott: So – so there – there are things that we need. And I think even those scriptures that say that the Lord is strong and beautiful, speak to the Lord is masculine and feminine. Like we need both.
Scott: And this is one version of God, where God provides some of the – some of the femininity that we need, and the mothering in one sense that we need.
Vince: Okay, so let’s get a little pragmatic here today, Scott. What can we – out of understanding some of these things and what we’re really looking for, and what we really want from God, what would be actionable you would give for these guys today?
Scott: Well I would say, one of the obvious ones just would be – spend a little time sitting with Psalm 91. And I’m not just talking about sitting down and reading through it, and close your Bible. I mean try to find an hour of solitude and sit with the chapter. Wrestle with it. What’s in there? Man, we’re – we stare at things, we gaze at things. The scriptures are constantly talking about abiding.
Right there in Psalm 91, it said to lodge in nurture, essentially in verse 1. To live there. Jesus said, “Remain in me.” And so we’ve stared at a lot of things online, especially boobs and body parts. And there have been very consuming feelings around staring at those things. And I would just encourage all of us to go dig through the scriptures and find – gaze on the beauty of God’s scriptures.
And I mean, we’re made to stare. We stare at fires, we stare at nature. We people watch. We’re made to stare. And I just encourage you – if you’re listening to this, to try to get an hour sometime this week to be with El Shaddai. To be with Shaddai, to be with the nurturing one and stare. And ask the nurturing one to nurture you, and feed you and give you what you need. Because you need spiritual food. We all need spiritual food.
Vince: Oh, that is so good. I – I think of all the things that consume our life anymore, Scott – media, the internet, our toys – just – even– I would even say our occupations and vocations have become products that we worship in life. And I think you’re just reorienting the male soul to say, “Turn to your first love. Worship it.” Because God loves you. And just turn to him, spend time with him, staring at him.
Vince: As you say. But really what you’re suggesting, in its simplest form is – turn all the vain time that you spend in worship of everything else, and turn it to God. Thank you, Scott, so much.
Scott: Yeah, of course, Vince. Thanks for having me.
Vince: Well guys, that’s the show. Thanks so much for listening. As we close, I want to remind you of 2 things. First off, Scott Morin is actually leading a Boundary Waters trip this September. September 7th through the 10th. He’s looking for a couple of more guys that might want to go with him. A small group of guys that are just going to unplug for a few days, dig into God’s word using inductive Bible study method. Asking questions back and forth.
He is excellent at leading Bible study. And plus you get to spend some time with the guy who’s been through some issues in his life, who’s very authentic and transparent about those. And so if you need to unplug, I want to encourage you to visit his visit his website today at empoweringranch.com. Where you can sign up for that trip if you like. So guys, take him up on it. Great guy, a great local guy in the area of Minnesota, if you’re here.
And then secondly, as we close – I also want to remind you that we have great men’s content on our website. Excellent men’s bible studies with small group videos, participant handbooks that will empower the men of your church. So if you’re looking to lead and equip men, then you need to head to our website at beresolute.org. Or just send me a direct email at [email protected]
And as always – I hope you enjoy the podcast. But please know – that the time that we spent together today is worthless unless you choose to act on it. So do something today by getting off the bench and into the game. And I’ll see you right back here next time on another edition of the Resolute Podcast.
The Truth About Men And Sex – It is not about desire but the object of our desire.
SUMMARY: Desire is something that men often do not fully understand and therefore hide in secret regarding their desires, rather than try to understand them and direct them in a God-honoring direction. In this Resolute Leadership Podcast, Vince Miller is joined by Scott Morin, president and founder of EmpoweringRanch.com who counsels men regarding sexual purity. Today we get to hear his story of transformation, and he relearned the truth about desire.
Vince: This is Resolute and the Resolute Leadership Podcast. I am Vince Miller, your founder, and host. And today we’re in a series that we have entitled, “The truth about men and sex.” And today we’re discussing the topic of desire.
Welcome back to the program. If this is your very first time tuning in, well thank you for joining us. Our mission – as Resolute – is to disciple and develop men to lead. And so if you’re looking for content for your men’s group, or men’s ministry – then you need to go to our website today at beresolute.org. We have a number of great tools for men who are looking to lead other men and disciple them in their journey – including a number of new great men’s bible study series’ that you would love for your men in men’s groups. But now gentlemen, let’s dive in.
Today I am joined by a good friend of mine, Scott Morin. Scott is the founding President of Empowering Ranch. Which can be found at empoweringranch.com. Scott helps guys, gentlemen – that are looking for freedom from sexual compulsions in their life. And if you’re out there today, and you’re dealing privately with some sexual issues or addictions, compulsions – whatever you want to call them. And you need help, well you’re going to enjoy the next few episodes with Scott Morin.
Not only is Scott a counselor that helps men out of these situations, helps them to discover freedom. But he’s been through it himself. And his story is amazing. But on top of that, Scott is a Pastor, a leader, an expert in Hebrew – and he is profoundly gifted at studying God’s Word. Scott, welcome to the show today.
Scott: Thanks for having me Vince, great to be here and be in your studio with you.
Vince: Yeah, you bet. So Scott, I – I– As I’ve known you over the last few years, as you’ve been building your own ministry, Empowering Ranch – I have, I have known you to have a very strong passion around helping men to really understand their sexuality. And in a – in a way that is, I would say – truly biblical, and kind of understanding that helps guys kinda move through some of the shame. And I think one of the predominant issues that we face in the church today is male addiction to pornography. Definitely a major issue, a major topic of discussion. But there are underlying issues that really cause us to exude that symptom of turning to pornography.
Vince: And a lot of it is our – our lack of understanding around sexual desire, and how beautiful it really is. Now, Scott, I know that you’ve been through quite a journey on this. And you help men to understand this. Why don’t you take a few minutes to respond to that, and maybe share with us – in the middle of it, your story?
Scott: Yeah, thanks, Vince. Before I even dive into my story, I just want to say that our sexual desire is good. And I think so often there’s been such a stressful journey for so many men around this issue, that they actually in some ways hate their sexuality. And so I want to say that it’s good, and I’m going to circle back to a scripture at the end of telling my story here.
To just kinda prove from scripture that God thinks our sexuality is good as well, but – yeah, my story, Vince – grew up in a Christian home, Pastor’s kid. And I – and I bring that up, just to say – ’cause I think when Christianity is involved, I think there – tends to at times be a lot of shame. Like because I’m a Christian, I shouldn’t be struggling with things – these things, but I am. And so I’m going to hide them. And I don’t think it has to be that way.
But not to get too heavy with everyone right out of the gate. But my story – it started with incest. And I was around 7 or 8 years old. I was in 3rd grade, somewhere around there. And I – and I think it opened up things in me that shouldn’t have been opened up yet. And it – a lot of times we go back to the areas where we’ve been broken, to try to fix those areas. And so it – it really set me on this path of sexual destruction.
And interestingly enough, around the same time – the neighbor kid took me in the woods and showed me porn in magazines. And I remember going with him and his dad to a camp. His dad was a realtor, and I remember seeing a poster of a naked woman on the wall. And I can still see that image sitting here now. And I – and I say that to point out that the things that happen to us when we’re young matter. And they mark us.
And also around that same time, someone came and talked to me about masturbation. And I didn’t understand what it was. And so for the next 5 years, I thought every time I itched myself, I was masturbating. But thankfully I didn’t have any shame around it but eventually figured out masturbation in 8th grade and that led to stealing pornography – as the curiosity kept going, and getting into sexual relationships.
And so – and I’m, and I’m in– I’m not in conversation with anyone during any of these years, as far as my sexuality. So I’d go off, I head off to Bible College. And unfortunately, I end up sleeping with my college girlfriend. But I also now, at this point – so my – my sexual journey started when I was 7 or 8, now I’m 19. So I’m a good 11, 12 years into my – into bondage already.
And I was getting sick of it. And I wanted to break the silence. And so I started talking about it. I started bringing it up and talking with my friends. And what I realized is that – they were all struggling with it as well. And it was a bit of the blind leading the blind. And sadly, it would take another 13 years before I was going to find some help around this stuff. And so honesty was helpful, it was the beginning of the journey of bringing things into the light, but it wasn’t enough.
Scott: And so, I – I– So I kept talking about it. And eventually I– But I also wanted to serve God. So I – I went from Bible College into Seminary. And I got into Seminary. And actually, there’s where I got into internet pornography. And one thing I want to point out here is that God has a plan for our lives, but the enemy also has a plan for our lives. And John 10 talks about that the enemy wants to steal, kill and destroy.
And first Peter 5 talks about the enemy going around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. And so in one sense, it’s not a surprise that I ended up in internet pornography in Seminary. Because it – that was the enemy’s way of trying to take me out. And the way that that story went is – you’d go to the library, and they had turned these prayer rooms into computer rooms. And what you would do is check out a key at the front desk, and you would go to this room and unlock the door, and go inside and shut the door. And you could even lock the door if you wanted to.
And this is the late 90’s. This is before login’s, this is before filters. And curiosity just ended up taking over, and – and the enemy had his way. And so I think often– Like if we don’t acknowledge what the enemy wants to do against us – then the enemy is just going to have his way with us. And I think one of the ways to start to be able to get free from some of the stuff, is to actually acknowledge that the enemy wants to take us out. And so that–
Vince: Let me just interrupt you for a second.
Vince: ‘Cause this is – I mean, your story probably is the pattern for most men. I – I’ve had conversations with thousands of guys – as you have as well. And the consistent story I hear is, “We never talk to anybody about it.”
Vince: Right? We hide behind our shame.
Vince: We don’t have a healthy understanding of it. And so we – we live in this kinda private prison.
Vince: Right? Is that how you felt?
Scott: Oh yeah. I mean, it – the shame would just kill me. I mean it would – questions that would go through my head in those moments are, “What’s wrong with me?” And assuming that there was something wrong with me. And in the one sense, there were some places that were broken. But in one sense, I think it’s actually the wrong question. When I struggle in any area of my life today, I will actually ask, “What’s right with me?” Because actually, God sees what’s right with us. What’s right with us. And he has– I mean, that’s the whole work of, work of Christ – is that we are now reliant on his righteousness, not our own. And so–
Vince: Is that, is that what helps you to find some sexual purity in your life, and understand – gain a healthy understanding of God’s desire for you?
Scott: Well the thing that really helped me begin to turn the corner, and I’ll tell you one story before I get into that. Is just that I came out of Seminary, and I decided to go into public school teaching. I did work in a church part time for a couple of years, but I realized I didn’t have the character to do that. And I actually spent a lot of my 20’s and 30’s – most of my 20’s and 30’s working on developing my character for what I’m doing now. Not that that was necessarily the ultimate goal, but that’s what I needed to do.
I needed to work on my character. But I – I hadn’t slept with anyone since that college girlfriend. And so I thought I was kinda getting better. But then, as a teacher, I ended up sleeping with a co-worker – and that was 10 years later, and it was really discouraging. Because I thought I had made some progress. And I – in that moment, I realized, “Actually I haven’t made as much progress as I thought I had made, and I’ve got a real issue here.”
And because of that Christian thing, and that shame – what I– What, the pattern I got into with her, is that we would sleep together, and then I would say – I’d go into my, my guilt cycle of, “I can’t do this. I can’t, I can’t see you, talk to you anymore.” And we wouldn’t talk for a couple of months. And then I would – we would reconnect with each other and sleep together, and I’d go through that same cycle. And we did that for a while.
And one of the times that we had gotten together and slept together and– And we, and I was going into my spiel afterward, of “I can’t do this anymore.” She started to hit herself. And had to restrain her, and had to calm her down. And eventually walked outside with her. And she did it again. She threw herself on the ground and started hitting herself. And I had to restrain her and calm her down. And eventually she got in her car and drove away, and Vince it was kind of this moment of – it’s probably one of the lowest points of my sexual journey – of realizing, “She’s unstable right now because I’ve been messing with her heart.”
Scott: I’ve been – my sexual sin. And so often guys feel like – my sexual sin doesn’t affect anyone. I just look at some porn online and I masturbate. And but if – even in that scenario, it’s affecting others around you. And as she was driving away, I’m realizing – I have to take at least some if not all the responsibility here for her instability right now. And I don’t know where she’s going to go. I don’t know if she’s going to go kill herself or what’s going to happen.And it was this – it was this moment where I realized, “I need help. I need some desperate help.” And so–
Vince: That’s an amazing moment. I mean, I’m – that’s chilling for me, right now.
Vince: Because it’s almost as if God prophetically presented you a moment, where he shocked you.
Vince: Into reality.
Vince: And I’m talking spiritual reality at this moment. So what happens next?
Scott: So I finally got some help, and got into some recovery groups. And there were some piety groups here in Minnesota. They don’t exist anymore, actually. But getting into those for 2 years, from 2004 to 2006. And I would say that there were 3 things, Vince – that really helped me begin to turn the corner in my sexuality. One of them was– Looking at my belief system. I think most of us men believe that sex is a need. But if you want to get technical about it if I don’t eat – I’ll die – that’s a need. If I never have sex again, or if I never have another orgasm, I’m not going to die.
Scott: It’s a – it’s a want, it’s a desire, it’s a God given desire, it’s a beautiful thing. But it’s not a need. And I believe that our beliefs drive our behaviors. And so when I started to change that belief – from believing that sex was a need to sex being actually a want – then my behavior started to come in line with what I believed. So that was one thing that really helped me.
Another thing that really helped me was getting in – community. And that’s what men are so scared of. But being around other men who used to struggle, who weren’t anymore. And being in that community, bringing it into the light. Scripture constantly talks about that. Bringing things into the light. When we bring things into the light, it breaks the power it has over us. And it sets us on the path to freedom. So that was the second thing.
The third thing that really helped me begin to turn the corner was scripture memory. But not in a legalistic way. John 8 says, “The truth will set you free.” But we all know a lot of truth. How come we’re not 100% free in every area of our life? Well, I would present Psalm 51:6. “God desires truth in the inmost being.” So how do we get that truth integrated way down deep inside of us?
Scott: And I think one of the ways is through scripture memory or scripture meditation. And those are the 3 things that really started to help me turn the corner. And I – today, the struggle is not my normal. But I do have struggles – and – but joy and intimacy are my normal. But for guys who think that it’s all about perfection, I want to point out proverbs 24:16 – which says, “For the righteous one shall fall 7 times and still rise.” And so I want to encourage all the listeners – is just that if – whenever you fall, just get back up. Even if you fall, somehow we’re still righteous. And I would say that’s because of the work of Christ.
Scott: Christ makes us righteous. It’s now us relying on his righteousness, not our own. And we opened this podcast by saying, “Sexual desire is good and beautiful and God given.” And I want to just point how God suggests that in Genesis 2:25. And he says, “Both of them were naked, the human and his wife. Yet they were not ashamed.” That’s God’s desire for our sexuality, for us to be naked in the right context and not be ashamed at all. And there’s so much shame around this stuff. And the only way to get the shame off of us is to start to talk about it. And so – yeah.
Vince: Yeah, you know – that is extremely well said. As we start to wrap up our time, I want to accentuate something that you said, because it was so good. The 3 things that you learned were first that you had to really rewire how you were believing.
Vince: You had to build a new belief system around right behaviors.
Vince: And discovered. I mean, what an epiphany.
Vince: To discover that – sex is something that we want. And we get to enjoy it.
Vince: God gave it to us as a gift. But we don’t have to have it.
Vince: Which is a belief, I think many men think.
Scott: Right, absolutely.
Vince: And then secondly, you have to put yourself inside of community – which I agree with you again. Men have a hard time with community. Let’s use the word “intimacy.”
Vince: Just for a second. ‘Cause you’ve used that in a relationship with God, right?
Vince: But we – we need intimate relationships with other brothers.
Vince: We don’t like that word, “intimacy,” because we think it conveys only a sexual understanding. But it isn’t. It’s about knowing and being known, right?
Vince: And then finally, Scripture memory – healthy understandings of really the deep truth of text, because it is the truth that changes our life. And we have to seek that truth outside of us. So I want to accentuate one more thing. And it’s kind of the major premise of your life story. And it’s that our sexual desires are good.
Vince: If they’re placed in the right object.
Vince: And if we can reorient those desires – because God wants us to desire. Like you pointed out here in Genesis 2:25. I mean, God wants us to desire.
Vince: We can desire bad thing that don’t honor him. And then we can desire good things that do honor him. One of the things that he wants us to desire is him.
Scott: Yeah, exactly.
Vince: And so I’m just – Scott, I just want to say thank you for the time today.
Vince: I look forward to some future podcasts with you as well.
Vince: And I just want to thank you for using some words today that I think guys are a little uncomfortable with hearing sometimes. Sharing how you had gotten into unhealthy patterns of looking at pornography, masturbation.
Vince: Even the – probably some of the corrupt beliefs, thank you for sharing that.
Vince: I think more guys should do that, right?
Scott: Yeah, absolutely.
Vince: And I know Scott, that you do some counseling in this area as well. Can – can you share with guys a little bit of how you help in these kinds of situations?
Scott: Well you know – yeah – and actually I’ll connect it to what you already brought up around intimacy as just that. Whatever we look to instead of God, is we’re looking – it’s a false intimacy. So whether it’s– And sometimes people get really hung up on the word addiction. But I would argue that we all have – every single person on the planet has compulsions, has areas of their life that are out of control. If you don’t want to call it an addiction, that’s fine. But there are areas that you’re out of control. And whatever it is – whether it’s you’re addicted to food or your sexuality or alcohol or anxiety or worry or whatever it is that we turn to calm us down. We’re looking for false intimacy elsewhere, and we need to look for real intimacy. And Vince, I would just say that one of the things that have helped me choose a true intimacy, is to worship.
Scott: And to – to connect with my Father. If I – If I actually connect with Abba Father, and be intimate with Abba father, there’s a better chance I won’t go looking for intimacy elsewhere.
Vince: That’s right, ’cause it’s way more fulfilling.
Scott: Yeah. Yeah, exactly.
Vince: Well, share with us a little bit about this camp. I know you’re taking some guys on a – on a camping excursion here in September. Can you share a little bit about that, ’cause I – it sounds like something that even I would love to go on.
Scott: Yeah. So whether it’s counseling or whether it’s the camp, it’s diving into our stories. And obviously, I just told my story – at least around sexuality. There’s a lot more to my story, lots of mistakes I’ve made that I – I share when I tell my story on these weekends. But part of the way I do counseling is that I’m an open book. I’m willing to share what I’ve been through because I feel like we learn from each other’s stories. We learn from what’s worked for us, how we’ve encountered God.
And so – yeah, the weekend is in Boundary Waters. And for me personally – and I’ve found for other men as well, there’s just something about unplugging. Getting out in the wilderness, it feels like there’s a weight that comes off. I can even feel it as I drive up north from the Twin Cities up into somewhere that’s more remote. And it’s being in community. It’s – some of the topics we’ve hit on, as we’ve talked through today – it’s being in community together, telling our stories. Praying for one another. We’ll do some scripture study together in a very conversational way with questions. And we’ll just go be men together out in the wilderness.
Vince: Yeah, I – guys, if you’re out there and you – you need to get away to kinda reboot a little bit. And you – maybe you’re dealing with some of these issues or – man, maybe you just need to get away. Be a guy for a little while, reconnect with God. You need to meet this guy. And you need to go on this trip – September 7th through 10. You can get there through the website at empoweringranch.com. We’ll have some links in this podcast that you can use as well.
But get there, go. And I want to give my strong vote of confidence in Scott’s ability to lead other men, and for his ability to lead other people through questions in Bible study. It’s remarkable. You’ll have a great time. Scott, thank you for being with us today.
Scott: Absolutely. Can I give one piece of action for the men?
Vince: Yeah, go for it. Give it to them.
Scott: Yeah, so if you have had a journey around your sexuality, and you’re looking for more freedom – I just want to recommend a ministry to you. John Eldredge wrote a book called, “Wild at heart,” and his ministry is called Ransom Heart Ministries. And so he’s got some pretty phenomenal prayers that address sexual healing and spiritual warfare. And so if you’re interested in those, check out ransomheart.com/pray. Or you can get his free app, Ransom Heart.
And the 4 prayers that I would say – and recommend you pray through – would be the sexual healing prayer, the prayer for inner healing, prayer for freedom from habitual sins, and the prayer for breaking soul ties.
Vince: Oh that’s good. Very practical, thank you for that. And Scott, I’ll make sure and post all those on the website as well, so guys can easily get to those.
Vince: Thank you for that.
Vince: Well guys, that’s the show. Thanks so much for listening. As we close, I want to remind you that we have great content for your men’s groups. Excellent men’s bible studies including small group videos and participant handbooks that will empower the men of your church to lead, and equip them to lead the men around them. Check them all out at beresolute.org, or send me a direct email at [email protected] And if you send me a direct email, I would love to give you a free trial, so that you can give it a spin with the men you lead.
And as always, I hope you enjoy this podcast. But please know – that the time that we spent together today is worthless unless you choose to act on it. So do something today. By getting off the bench, and into the game. And I’ll see you right back here next time on another edition of the Resolute Podcast.
SUMMARY: When Jesus talked about sexual lust, he identified it as a deeper issue that simply sex. He understood the core issue and tells us that it is possible to overcome these corrupt belief that appear to hijack our faith, mind and behaviors.