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Recently, in one of the men's groups I have the privilege of facilitating, the subject of "sin" came up with regards to addictive behavior. During the discussion I shared my definition of sin with the guys, which is: "sin is my vain attempt to meet my God-given needs by my own means."

God wired all of us with genuine needs that must be met if we are to reach the wholeness He intended for us. And He provided the means to meet these needs in good, life-giving ways. For example, God provided Adam with Eve when Adam experienced "aloneness." According to God's own testimony, it was "not good" for man to be alone. You see, God created each of us with a heart-felt need for intimate relationship with others. And He gave us the gift of Holy Matrimony as His primary means to fill this need.

Unfortunately, the relationship of marriage was greatly damaged by Adam and Eve's disobedience, and God's resulting curse on the relationship between husband and wife. The intimacy Adam and Eve had taken for granted became a most cherished treasure that only couples fully committed to achieving it ever enjoy.

Many get lost in their search for true intimacy. Guilt, shame, fear, rejection, emotional trauma, wounds of the soul, betrayal, and many other negative factors have left them disillusioned, detached, and with a deep sense of loneliness coupled with a desperate longing for some time type of connection. In this desperation, too many have attempted to fill their God-given need for genuine intimacy with the delusion sexual addiction offers.

Little do they know that their vain attempt at wholeness actually limits them to brokenness, and their desperate quest for intimacy leaves them more alone and separated from others—including God and their mate—than they were before. Yet the self-delusion continues as each self-medicated dose provides a temporary high and a brief sense of relief. But that relief is soon followed by guilt, shame, and a greater sense emotional isolation. So why do folks continue in their addictive behaviors?

Addictions are among the most powerful self-delusions we experience. So, why do we gravitate toward the objects of our addictions? Because they change the way that we think about ourselves. Our addictions pull us further and further into our self-centered imaginary worlds, while intimacy draws us out of our self-absorption and into a real experience of others, the world and ourselves. (Matthew Kelly; The 7 Levels of Intimacy; p. 17).

It is the intentional connection with others in genuine, life-giving relationships that provides true intimacy, and, it is this intimacy that delivers us from our self-centered gratification and the resulting isolation that comes with it. How to achieve and maintain intimacy and wholeness is the topic of our Intimacy 101 phone groups for men.

I invite all men to consider joining one of two Intimacy 101 phone groups beginning on February 6th, one at 5:00pm Pacific; the other at 7:00pm Pacific. Visit the groups page to register. Got questions? Give me (Coach Steve) a call on my cell: 480-888-5991.