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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.