Husband Material

Overcoming Sexual Entitlement (with Noah Filipiak)

May 13, 2024 Drew Boa
Overcoming Sexual Entitlement (with Noah Filipiak)
Husband Material
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Husband Material
Overcoming Sexual Entitlement (with Noah Filipiak)
May 13, 2024
Drew Boa

What happens when you feel entitled to sex and treat your wife like a replacement for porn? In this episode, Noah Filipiak tells his story of overcoming sexual entitlement and objectification. Along the way, he unpacks the false promises of purity culture, what love really looks like, how God's grace changes us, and the power of gratitude.

Noah Filipiak is a pastor, author, and the host of The Flip Side Podcast. He also blogs at noahfilipiak.com. Noah and his wife Jen have three daughters. He is on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @noahfilipiak.

Buy Noah's book (this is a paid link):
Beyond the Battle: A Man’s Guide To His Identity In Christ In An Oversexualized World
Needed Navigation: A Teen’s Guide to His or Her Identity in Christ in a Sex & Porn-Filled World

Join a 7-week online group with Noah to experience how to overcome pornography, lust, and fantasy. After the 7 weeks, alumni get to join the free Beyond the Battle alumni community filled with ongoing support and encouragement. Sign up at www.beyondthebattle.net.

Take the Husband Material Journey...

Thanks for listening!


Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

What happens when you feel entitled to sex and treat your wife like a replacement for porn? In this episode, Noah Filipiak tells his story of overcoming sexual entitlement and objectification. Along the way, he unpacks the false promises of purity culture, what love really looks like, how God's grace changes us, and the power of gratitude.

Noah Filipiak is a pastor, author, and the host of The Flip Side Podcast. He also blogs at noahfilipiak.com. Noah and his wife Jen have three daughters. He is on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @noahfilipiak.

Buy Noah's book (this is a paid link):
Beyond the Battle: A Man’s Guide To His Identity In Christ In An Oversexualized World
Needed Navigation: A Teen’s Guide to His or Her Identity in Christ in a Sex & Porn-Filled World

Join a 7-week online group with Noah to experience how to overcome pornography, lust, and fantasy. After the 7 weeks, alumni get to join the free Beyond the Battle alumni community filled with ongoing support and encouragement. Sign up at www.beyondthebattle.net.

Take the Husband Material Journey...

Thanks for listening!


Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Husband Material podcast, where we help Christian men outgrow porn. Why? So you can change your brain, heal your heart and save your relationship. My name is Drew Boa and I'm here to show you how let's go. Today, we are talking about sexual entitlement and objectification with Noah Filippiak. This episode was so important for us to have a posture of kindness and mercy and grace rather than entitlement. Noah says entitlement is your worst enemy, whether you're single or married, whether you struggle with objectifying men or women. You are going to be challenged and convicted by this episode. We confront some very common Christian teachings that are abusive and damaging and enslaving, and Noah paints a really great picture of how the gospel gives us an amazing, better, more powerful way to live. Enjoy the episode. Today we have Noah Philippiak on the show, author of Beyond the Battle A Man's Guide to His Identity in Christ in an Over-Sexualized World, and he is also the host of the Flipside podcast, where he does a lot of amazing work. Welcome, noah.

Speaker 2:

Thanks, Drew. I say on the flip side, it's our goal to be your third favorite podcast. That's kind of the level we shoot for. So Husband Material is a great fit for your first or second Slot. Us in a third, That'd be great. Well, thanks, man.

Speaker 1:

Today we're talking about entitlement, which is one of the most important points that you make in Beyond the Battle that, as men, we need to overcome this deep-seated attitude of entitlement and objectification.

Speaker 2:

What is it that we're talking about? Yeah, I'll just kind of jump into a chapter of my story that relates most to that and then we can kind of go from there. I, you know, raised in the church, you know genuinely love Jesus. I'm 41 years old now and so I hit middle school for me, I think, was mid-90s. I graduated high school in 2001,. So kind of just in the thick of purity culture and that and then going into college and going to Christian college and beginning to read sexual purity books in college.

Speaker 2:

The main emphasis of all that teaching for me as a single guy was I guess it was twofold. One was you know, save sex until marriage and you'll have this utopian sex life if you do. I always want to caveat that I still think the Bible teaches to save sex until marriage, but it was really mistaught. I think it was taught, even abusively, to us guys. It was this promise from God that you'll have a utopian sex life right, and the other thing that those messages that were given to me, both in these books I was reading and in the church, it was you know, don't look at porn, look at your wife instead. And so, again, that just fueled the fire. You really needed to get married because you had to have a wife to look at, right, and we were never taught to not objectify women, we were just taught to objectify our wives. And so my wife was like a set of body parts. As I look back and I challenge guys with this, you know you didn't make your vows to a set of body parts, you made your vows to a whole person, a she, a her, not an it, not a that. And those are all just really convicting parts of my story, of my journey.

Speaker 2:

So I'm married young, right out of college. I'm 21. My wife's 22. We're both virgins and, without getting into all the details, I mean, sex was a challenge for us. It was a huge point of conflict, I would say, in our relationship. We had some struggles, we didn't really know how to get help, we were just kind of fending for ourselves and the wheels started to fall off, and that was fueled by my entitlement, and I had this entitlement built into me. Again, like I said earlier, I was taught really directly, indirectly, that God promised me a sexual utopia if I did it His way. And so I'm going to God and I'm a pastor, by the way so I start out as a youth pastor, 21, 22. I plant a church when I'm 23. So now I'm legit senior pastor, 23, 24.

Speaker 2:

And I'm ready to leave my wife because sex was not what I was told it would be. And for the first time in my life I'm now outside of the Christian bubble. I'm not at a Christian college. I've had sex. It's no longer mysterious to me, and there's women everywhere, seemingly. I was in the Michigan State University area very sexually charged environment, and they seemed very interested in sex, and perhaps with me. And so this entitlement fueled me so much to the point that I was considering leaving my wife, living a promiscuous life and just leaving my faith. I mean, I wasn't going to try to live a double life, it was just going to be all right. God, the way my friends in high school lived sexually was better than your way, and I'm going to go live that way now. So entitlement, man, it's a slave master, it's never satisfied.

Speaker 1:

You talk about a sexual utopia. What does that mean Like utopia? For who and what makes it?

Speaker 2:

so great, right, totally. I call it the porn mindset, where if I'm going to go look at porn, there's something that I want to get out of that right. And so that mindset is I'm going to objectify this woman. I get to, you know, get my release or whatever. I get to feel high. I'm just going to take that into my marriage. I might not be looking at porn anymore, but my brain is still in the porn mindset. So I view my wife as my porn. She's just my porn. Now she's living porn. So I view her in the same way I would have viewed porn. She's a set of body parts I'm trying to get a high off of her. This is for me. I have this physical urge. I need to satisfy it, and so that would be, you know, that would be sexual utopia, and in that sense it would be what I'm seeing in porn. Except that's going to happen in my bed, you know, with my wife. You know, whenever I want it, however frequent, I want it, you know, because I'm entitled to that.

Speaker 1:

It's extremely dehumanizing. It's essentially treating another person like a vending machine or a receptacle for semen. Yeah, I guess the flip side of this purity culture idea of like, okay, sex outside of marriage is bad, is that somehow all sex within marriage is good, right, yeah, but no, it can be abusive, it can be objectifying, and we were actually taught that.

Speaker 2:

Yep, we were taught that. And women, a lot of women, were taught to just take that right, like Christian women were taught that's your job right. And I've heard the receptacle before in books for Christian women, unpacking kind of the research behind how evangelical wives feel about sex. And I've used the for me. I've used the phrase vending machine before as well, and as I look back and go, that's what I entered marriage with and I would say it is very dehumanizing and it's not love. And if you look at the base of what it means to follow Jesus, the very, very base of discipleship, it's about love. And I've been married 19 and a half years and we've had a lot of tough conversations along the way. We've had a lot of tough seasons along the way. So I can't quite pinpoint when this conversation was, but sometime in, not at the early stages of our marriage, it was in the mid stages of our marriage and I was just confessing some things to my wife. It was a very hard conversation and I had to confess.

Speaker 2:

When we got married I loved her with what I knew love was, and I can look back and like what I was taught about love, right, but it was an infatuation and it was really about me. It was about getting my wants, desires met, and that's not love at all. If you read scripture about love, it's the opposite of love. Love is self-sacrificing. 1 Corinthians 13 says, right there, it's not self-seeking. And you could just go over and over again. You know Philippians 2, putting others above yourselves. And that's what love is. It's about the other person and sacrificing yourself for them. You know Jesus saying to husbands to love your wife as Christ loves the church, giving himself up for them. You know there's all these sorts of things, and so I didn't know what love was. Because of my entitlement, and God, in his grace and mercy, has taken me on a 19 and a half year journey, you know, of learning what love is, and there's always another layer and I wouldn't choose this in my flesh. I'd be like no, this has just been easier, had all of this stuff kind of went the way I wanted it to. But that's not usually how God works and I think I mean I think I've learned what love is, but my prayer, my discipleship, my talking to God, it's even in my marriage when something's not going my way. It's an opportunity again to okay, god, teach me what love is Teach me about your love for me. And when I can and this is a big, beyond the battle truth that we emphasize is when I can internalize Jesus's sacrificial love for me. It fills me up with sacrificial love and then I can pour that out into my wife.

Speaker 2:

Versus what I call kickback love and there's lots of bestsellers on this one too. If my wife loves me, and then I'll be filled up, and then I'll love her back, and then, if that's not working, we try to figure out what can I do to my wife that'll get her to love me back, and so I'll do the thing. She'll take the survey and I'll take the survey, and the survey will tell us here's how to love the other person, here's how to meet their selfish desires, basically, and if you do that for your wife, then she's boom, it's like a robot. She will, in return, do those things for you. And, man, that model only inflamed my entitlement more and really was almost the straw that broke the camel's back.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you talk about how the five love languages have value.

Speaker 2:

Yet it can also All right, you named it. All right, that's fine, you named it value.

Speaker 1:

Yet it can all right, you named it, all right, that's fine, you named it. I mean, you named it in the book. There's some good stuff in there and at the same time, yeah, it can turn into this quest of filling up her love bank so that I get a sexual payoff totally yeah.

Speaker 2:

And for me it was like now I'm the good spouse, I did my stuff, she's not doing my stuff back. It was even more reason to distance myself, feel resentment and then feel like I could probably find someone else out there that would actually do what this book is saying and I'm not throwing my wife under the bus, man, this is marriage, right, like she probably felt, like she was trying you know whatever. Like I mean, we just like this is human, this is love, this is marriage. But that was what was going on in my head because of the way and maybe not everybody would interpret that tool in that same way and then maybe in a healthier place, you could pick some things out of it. But that's what it was doing for me. It was increasing my entitlement where I was. Yeah, when you feel like you're the good spouse, that's entitlement, entitlement, entitlement.

Speaker 1:

Right. So entitlement is the enemy of love in marriage, and yet also this is very real in singleness too. Totally. What does that look like for single?

Speaker 2:

guys. So I mean, it was my single life right Because we're going to God with our entitlement right. And the single guy who's again this, is saying, like God, I'm doing it your way, I'm saving sex till marriage, I'm not looking at porn, or maybe I'm trying really hard to not look at porn. I'm in the Husband Material Academy or I'm in a Beyond the Battle group, like I'm doing my part. God, now you do your part. And we've been taught these messages from pastors, from sermons, from theology on prayer, on theology, on how God answers prayer. And it's this idea that I do my part. And if I'm single, god is going to hook me up. God is going to give me the idealized woman, this romanticized relationship, and we feel like we need it. That becomes our God, just like in a marriage. You know we turn our wife into a God. You know we need her to satisfy our needs.

Speaker 2:

A single person is saying I need this spouse, that I don't have to satisfy my needs. Look at all my married friends. They all have that. I don't have it. Meanwhile, all the married friends not all of them, but many are really struggling in their marriage. Many are longing for the freedom that the single guy has Nobody's living in contentment with what we have and gratitude for what we have. We all want what we don't have, but it's huge for single guys. But our prayer to God is the same God give me what I deserve. So a single guy saying God, give me what I deserve, give me this girl. And a married guy saying God, give me what I deserve, changed my wife, changed my circumstance, that's going on in my sex life or in my marriage, give me what I deserve. And that I can kind of circle back to my story. That was the prayer where God spoke back to me and that was sort of the watershed moment that changed my life and really I would say saved my life. Okay, so I'm saying God, give me what I deserve.

Speaker 2:

And look, I'm a pastor, I know my theology and the Holy Spirit real clearly said to me Noah, you do not want me to give you what you deserve, you don't want me to give you what you deserve. And I don't know your audience, drew, and I assume most are Christians. But even Christians, right, we have different views of what's going to happen when we die and on hell and all these things. So I'm not trying to get into that. But I know the gospel, I know I don't deserve salvation, I know I deserve punishment, and I would just say it. I know I deserve hell and separated from God. And we can debate over what that would look like, and I don't mean to get on a rabbit hole.

Speaker 2:

My my point is that wasn't the point. The point was God saying you don't want me to give you what you deserve, because the wages of sin is death and that's what you deserve. You deserve my judgment, you deserve my wrath, and we don't like those things, we don't like those parts of theology. But that's the first step of salvation. It's admitting I can't save myself. It's admitting I need grace, and so the Holy Spirit in His grace didn't stop there.

Speaker 2:

This isn't about sitting in judgment or anything like that about my sin. This was about me going to God saying give me what I deserve. Give me what I deserve. God speaks to me and says you don't want me to give you what you deserve. Here's what I've given you. Instead, instead of answering that prayer, instead of giving you quote, unquote what you deserve, I've given you my mercy, I've given you my grace, I've given you my love. You don't deserve that, but I gave it to you. And that's what mercy is. Mercy is when we're given what we don't deserve.

Speaker 2:

And, drew, I'm telling you, I'm 24 years old, I've been a Christian most of my life. I'm a senior pastor. That truth changed my life, my posture before God went from this combative God you give me what I deserve to this whoa. Look at what all you've already given me. Look at the depth of the mercy and the love that you've given me. And this opened me up. I put my weapons down. Number one I was able to be grateful for my wife. I was able to see her as a gift from God that I didn't deserve. That completely changed my outlook. But, number two it took me to the deeper level, then, as I'm now receiving Jesus' grace, mercy, love, the riches of His love that Scripture talks about.

Speaker 2:

And I'm going as I ask Him the question what's my desire beneath my desire? That's a question every guy needs to ask about our sexual sin issues. Why do I desire this stuff so bad? And Jesus says to me or you know, the Holy Spirit says to me because you desire validation, you desire approval, you desire acceptance. You think you can get that from sex, and I mean sex is like doing cocaine. You do get some of that from it, right, like in the moment, but it's not real, it's not lasting, but God's like. That's what you're looking for, and even showed me some wounds of my past of like. You didn't get it here, so you're looking for it from women from porn. The seductive woman in porn. That's I love you, I accept you, you're awesome, you're this and you want your wife to give that to you.

Speaker 2:

And meanwhile I'm experiencing his love, mercy and grace for the first time in a very real way. And he says I've given you all that already. Just go deeper and deeper and deeper into it. And I would say my life from 24 to 41 has been going deeper and deeper and deeper into His love, mercy and grace and having that need satisfied by Him and by vulnerable community of other believers that are also modeling that to me, modeling the love of Jesus to me, and it satisfies that need. So I don't need my wife to satisfy it for me, I don't need porn to satisfy it for me, I don't need sex to satisfy it for me, because only Jesus can ultimately satisfy that. And so that's the full circle story of how entitlement almost broke me, but God was able to change the entitlement into gratitude and appreciation.

Speaker 2:

And, man, that's something I hope your listeners can take that before God and say will you please break me my entitlement and show me what I have to be grateful for? And even if it's just what Jesus has given you, that is not a consolation prize, that is like the best thing in the universe. So like that's not third best. No, right, that's your third best podcast. Yes, like, because I was doing that. I'm like oh Jesus, thanks, but I really need this thing sexually. If we just could grab how amazing his love for us is.

Speaker 2:

But it's not a one-time experience. Man. Podcasts like this will remind us of it. Vulnerable community will remind us of it. Reading scripture, going to church, being in a small group, being in a husband material academy, all this stuff will remind us of it. We have to constantly be reminded of this stuff because we forget, and Jesus knows that. So he says do this in remembrance of me. And I really think he meant remind yourself of my love for you. Feed off of my love for you over and over and over and over again.

Speaker 1:

Yeah Amen. Just want to soak in that for a moment.

Speaker 2:

Man, me too, I have to remind myself of it, and I'm so glad that in that, for a moment, man, me too, I have to remind myself of it and I'm so glad that, like Jesus never gets tired of us reminding, of us being reminded of it, it's worth soaking in. So Ephesians 2, 7, it's talking about his grace and it says in order that in the coming ages, he might show check this out the incomparable riches of his grace expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. I just love that phrase the incomparable riches of his grace. Love it. What can you compare it to?

Speaker 1:

Wow, nothing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, amen to that.

Speaker 1:

Noah. How is this approach so different from fighting the battle?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think fighting the battle is very symptom-based and it's a lot of willpower-based. And I want to be clear too, because I've been doing this for a few years now and I don't want to give the wrong idea that the symptoms don't matter. I mean, for me personally, I'm all for like using, I use Covenant Eyes, I use Accountable to you. I really encourage our guys to do that. I think you have to do some of that to just stem how much of this stuff is inundating your life and there's a relief to that. But I would say the symptom-based approach it just doesn't get to the root. It doesn't get to the desire beneath the desire. You know the way I described it was getting to the point with porn, and obviously there's a broad spectrum, not just porn. But let's say, with porn we often hear don't look at it, don't look at it, don't look at it. And perhaps you can get to that point of don't look at it, don't look at it, don't look at it. But I was at that point and I was going. But I really want to Like whoa man, I'm walking by that restaurant and I can smell the food smell coming out of that door and I want that so bad, but I'm going to tie myself. You know, like what was the Odysseus story? Where he's like tied to the pole and I think he's got the earplugs intercepted, right, I want it so bad, but I'm going to tie. You know, I'm going to just block everything out. You can get to a point where you can be reprogrammed and you go. I don't want that anymore, like I've. My heart's been changed, so that need is being met in a healthy way through Jesus and through vulnerable community. That need is being met and so I don't have the need for that anymore. And now that that need's being met, now I can start to reprogram up here and I can view women for who they are, like we were talking about. They're whole people. I've got three daughters, drew. They're 12, 10, and 6. And I have no sons, just three girls, and talk about living examples of what a whole person looks like, right, and I picture my wife when she was their age, you know, and I just think about how a dad in a healthy family views their girls and the love I have for them as whole people, and that I can view all women that way. I'm able to view all women that way where I go.

Speaker 2:

I don't want to objectify one of these women. I don't want to turn them into an object. Now I'm vulnerable in my journey. I need help around me to keep reminding me of that. It's not like it's in, you know. Some days and moments are better than others and I have strategies to kind of help me with that.

Speaker 2:

But we can get to a point with porn, with lust, where we go. I don't want that Like I don't want that in my life. I don't want to do that to that woman. That's not how God designed me to view people. That's not how God designed my heart. So I say that's. The difference is we can get to the point it's not just porn's bad, don't look at it but takers of life. I think that's a very biblical principle and that's our journey of discipleship. I call it a journey man. Get on that journey of discipleship.

Speaker 2:

If you're not getting that out of your church, join a group, join a community, join multiple communities. There's lots of good resources out there today that weren't out there 20 years ago. You don't have to do this alone. You can't do it alone. You can't, you can't. You can't do it alone. And don't minimize your sin either. Like don't minimize the porn you're looking at. Don't minimize your lust, your fantasies that are unhealthy, right, the ones where you, where I was at when I was 24. Man, these women I really want. You know, don't minimize that stuff, because you can live without it. You really can. You can get those needs met in healthy ways and it's so freeing. And so I just want to encourage guys to take that step to get into some community where you can really go deep with some guys.

Speaker 1:

Agreed and we have some opportunities for how you can do that at Husband Material. I also really want people to know about Beyond the Battle groups. Can you say more?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely, man. I love these groups. So they're seven weeks long. You can find out more about them at beyondthebattlenet. We have groups run in like three days a week, three different days. You can choose the day that works for you and we just go through the book together. I'm part of those groups for week one and week seven and then we have leaders that take guys through kind of pastor guys through the rest of those weeks and then, once you finish your seventh week, you join our alumni community. And let me say this we have a lot of guys. There's lots of cross-pollination happening, which is so kingdom-oriented. I love it. I've got guys doing husband material stuff. I've got guys doing Pure Desire, seven Pillars, samson Society. I love it. So we all bring something a little different to the table and I love that. You can just do the seven-week group and then be done, and if you have an already existing community, that's a great way to get equipped with a new approach, some new material. For seven weeks. We do invite guys into our alumni community, the alumni community. We meet on Zoom during the week, we have a WhatsApp chat and then we do retreats twice a year. So I'm coming off a high.

Speaker 2:

I just got back from Houston. I live in Grand Rapids, michigan. I just got back from Houston, texas Monday two days ago, did our winter retreat down there and we're just living this stuff out. We're embodying Jesus' love to each other. I've had guys time and time again say I can't believe just how accepted I am when I share my story, when I share my week, and that acceptance and love and then lovingly having guys there for you, like I'm here for you for this next week. You don't have to do it alone. That's experiencing grace, and when we experience grace it heals us. So I'd encourage guys if you're looking for something either short-term or something to kind of complement your long-term, check out beyondthebattlenet and we'd love for you to jump in.

Speaker 1:

And, by the way, those groups are very affordable. They are, they are. Thanks, drew, Absolutely. There's so much good complementary work that we're doing with a different flavor, a different spin on things, yet ultimately the same in meeting those core needs, so that we can be freed up to give of ourselves in love. Yeah, amen, let's get practical as you overcome entitlement. What are some of those changes that we need to lean into, especially in a marriage?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I can tell you what, if you approach your wife with entitlement and you want her to change, ain't never going to happen. I mean it's just a cancer. It's a cancer in your relationship Because, think about it you're going to your wife with these really selfish desires and I mean you're treating her as a vending machine. And you're going to your wife with these really selfish desires and I mean you're treating her as a vending machine and you're trying to make tweaks on the machine to get the machine to work better. It'll end your marriage. I mean it'll absolutely. It'll create zero intimacy. She does not feel safe, she feels used. And so what I noticed in my marriage right away when I made that shift and it was a pretty stark shift with God, I mean it was like whoa, I have so much to be grateful for At that moment not a lot changed in my actual marriage. Right, like this was something that happened inside me. I changed, my heart changed, my approach to my wife changed and so practically then you're able to build intimacy in other areas of marriage, which is so, so key. A really good book on that is Impossible Marriage by Laurie and Matt Krieg. That's a really helpful book as far as, like, how to build other areas of intimacy into your marriage that aren't sexual and so, so, so important, and when somebody is a whole person you're like, oh so this isn't just about having sex, like, it's about all of these areas, right, and you can build a lot of intimacy. Let's just say sex was maybe 10% and there was maybe there's 10 quadrants of different types of intimacy and sex is one of them. I mean you can have 90% intimacy really strong, and the sex one can still be struggling and you can still be like we have a healthy relationship, like there's trust, there's vulnerability, and when you have that, one thing I want to say before I say this I never, ever, ever want to say and I put this in behind the battle if you ever hear anyone say, and then your sex life will be great, don't believe them, don't buy that product. I'm not promising you anything because that's entitlement, right, we can't go into it with that. But I can tell you the conversations about sex with my wife they changed when I wasn't approaching it with entitlement, when my entitlement monster got killed, and now I'm learning to love my wife. I'm learning what intimacy is.

Speaker 2:

In other areas we were able to start talking about some pretty painful things for both of us, and let me tell you, I'd done some damage to her over those first three years and so we had to talk about that too, and we were able to approach marriage counseling and sex therapy is a very good idea as well if you're in a marriage and having some issues and get some resources. We were able to approach those things where it wasn't this how does Noah get his entitled needs met and how does my wife be the one that does that? That's not healthy at all. We were able to just approach it as like, hey, here's our marriage, we love each other, here's the issues we have. So that's really practical.

Speaker 2:

Like, just when your heart changes, you're able to the level of conversation you can start to have with your wife. It changes really on its own. But know that it will take some time because you have hurt her and you have to rebuild trust and she needs to know that this isn't just another manipulation on your part. Oh, if I come at this humbly, then you know she'll do the entitled thing. So that's one pragmatic thing. It's in the way you approach the conversation.

Speaker 1:

So it really creates a posture of humility, a posture of curiosity and compassion instead of control, and one thing that has really helped me stay in that place of of being grounded in god's love and grace and mercy. And and having that attitude toward my wife is very simple gratitude journaling. Just naming three things that I'm grateful for first thing in the morning really sets the tone for the day, and I don't always do that, but when I do it makes such a big difference that's huge.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, this affects more than just our entitlement with sex. I mean, it affects our whole life and our outlook on life. Right Like, gratitude is one of the most healing things to our souls. And when we have this approach to life of being grateful, especially as Christians, I mean we have so much to be grateful for and we really need to get rid of this notion that God is our genie or our butler and His job is just to make everything work out for us.

Speaker 2:

And you may be coming out of a theology like that and I'm just telling you it's not biblical. Like you read the Psalms and you go, man, these psalmists had incredible pain, incredible heartache. God did not take their circumstances away. Hardly ever they're crying out to God and more often than not, where they end up is in God's presence and His love, his unfailing love, shining on them, and that becomes over and over. They call it their shelter. In the storm, they call it their refuge.

Speaker 2:

And you can have a lot of gratitude when you're sitting in a shelter and there's a storm all around you because you're in a shelter, like that's really great. Or you can focus on the storm and go oh, this storm, it's so wet and violent and it's this and it's that and it's a totally different outlook. So, yeah, man, the Gratitude Journal is a great practical step, whatever we can do to change our hearts, our postures, towards gratitude and having other guys that'll check you on it. We'll be doing our alumni time, we do some alumni check-ins and stuff, and I'll be sharing vulnerably about stuff. I'm struggling with my mindset about my marriage and I'll just have a guy because we're so close we can just talk to each other like this.

Speaker 2:

And I'm thinking of one particular guy who's really good at this and he's just like man, that sounds like a lot of entitlement. What can you be grateful for? He just throws it out and his story not a utopia, you know, and he's like what can you be grateful for? You know, see, we just need we need that. I need that, like we need people to remind us to get back to gratitude. And, man, we have so much to be grateful for in Jesus. We just have so, so, so much to be grateful for.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it reminds me of that verse from Thessalonians.

Speaker 2:

It says this is the will of God for you in Christ, give thanks in all circumstances.

Speaker 1:

And that doesn't say give thanks for all circumstances Right. Even when I'm not grateful for my circumstances, I can be grateful in my circumstances.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's huge In all circumstances, including yours, listener, you know, including mine, including like if you're single, if you're married, if you're struggling, like all circumstances. Yeah, that is so huge, so huge, awesome.

Speaker 1:

There's so much power in this for freedom from porn and, deeper than that, just for flourishing, for good life, for becoming more like Jesus. Noah, what is your favorite thing about overcoming entitlement?

Speaker 2:

Oh, that's a really well-worded question, man. Like I said earlier, entitlement is a slave master. I mean, it never stops. It's kind of like greed Greed is never satisfied, right. And so with entitlement you're never satisfied because you're coming at life selfishly right.

Speaker 2:

And I think my favorite thing about overcoming entitlement is to be someone that can bring life. Instead of taking life Like when you're entitled, you're just taking life. You're taking life from your wife. You're taking life from these women that you're lusting over or you're looking at in porn. You're just taking life from them. When that switches and you become someone who's giving life, I'm giving life to my wife. I'm giving life to my three daughters. I'm giving life to the women in my church. I'm giving life to the women at the gym. I'm giving life by not objectifying them.

Speaker 2:

Like, think about it. What would you rather be? Would you rather be the one who gives life or the one who takes it? I mean, there's so much joy in giving. There's joy in doing the will of God. There's joy when we can look at our life and say I've impacted other people, I've invested in other people, I've made this earth a little more like heaven, rather than making this earth a little more like hell by taking life from people and man, that's what I want to live for. Like, I don't care about money, wealth, possessions, status, I mean that stuff all is just empty In the end. It doesn't have staying power. But when we can live for this purpose of giving life to people and really changing people's lives and often helping others heal because we're giving life to them and they can see us as a safe person, oh man, that's so great. I have my bad days, I have my struggles, but this is why I do what I do in ministry. It's what I want to live for. It gives you incredible value and purpose, no matter what your relational status is, no matter what your job, your career is. This is an incredible purpose to give people life.

Speaker 2:

Man, I love it. I love having a. I love my relationship with my wife, dude. We've been married 19 and a half years. It'll be 20 years this June. I'm not kidding you. This is probably the healthiest our marriage has ever been, and I know it's easy to say that, but I can be vulnerable and say, like two years ago, dude, we were in a really, really bad place. I don't ever want to be in that place again. I mean it's awful to be in that type of place and to be in a place where I'm loving my wife, where I know what love is being sacrificial in the way I live my life. Oh, man, and like to see it change her just to see her find healing Again, I'm not. It's not. It's not a guarantee like that your marriage is going to get better if you do these things. Like I said, I've been married 19 and a half years. It's been a lot of difficult days but, man, your heart will change and that's all. You can control your heart. You don't even control that. I think the Holy Spirit does, but you can put yourself available for your heart to change.

Speaker 2:

There's a John Foreman lyric I really like. He's the lead singer of Switchfoot and it's one of his solo album songs and I might butcher it, but he says it takes two to go to war, but only one to fall in love. I believe that's exactly the quote and I like that because he's like Drew, you could hate me and if I hate you back, like now we're at war, but you could hate me and I could still love you. And that's love, like my heart is in, like a loving place and again, I'm using strong language, but I think we can take that into our marriages, we can take that into our relationships, where we can change this, our heart, and we can allow God to change our heart. And that's really freeing too. We can't always change our circumstances, but we can change our heart.

Speaker 2:

And I always say I can't promise you if you stop looking at porn your circumstances are going to get better, but I can promise you if you look at porn, they will get worse. I can promise you that every single time. And, man, when your heart changes, oh, it's better, dude, it's better. That's why Paul can say I know what it's been like to have plenty. I know what it's like to be in want, to be in need, but I've learned the secret of contentment in all these things. And that's when he says I can do all these things through Christ, who gives me strength. It's like it's not about plenty, it's not about need, it's about this, it's about your heart changing and when you have that, you're like man. Whatever comes, I'll face it, but there's freedom here and man walking in freedom. Yeah, wouldn't trade it for the world, wouldn't trade it for any amount of money. This is where it's at.

Speaker 1:

Amen and thank you, God, for not giving us what we deserve.

Speaker 2:

Woo. Thank you, god, that you did not give me what I deserve, but you gave me the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. And let me just throw in too one of the reasons we use this is because, if you go a couple of verses earlier, he's talking about non-believers and the kingdom of the air. He's like you used to follow the ways of this world, the spirit who's at work and those who are disobedient. Check out verse three. We can relate to this on the Husband Material podcast.

Speaker 2:

All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving wrath, but because of his great love for us, god, who's rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ, even when we were dead in transgressions. It's by grace you've been saved, and then that leads into the incomparable riches of his grace. And so we're still struggling. We're never going to be perfect, but, man, when we can taste, it's better to be giving life, it's better to be feeding off of his grace, man. It makes that junk food. It makes eating out of the dumpster much less appealing. But that's real, those cravings and desires. But again, it's like the work you're doing, the work I'm doing, it's taking those cravings and desires and saying you were just feeding those in the wrong way. Here's the right way to feed them, and when you feed them in the right way, it's beautiful. It's a beautiful you know healing process. I think all that's baked into this passage.

Speaker 1:

So Doesn't get any better than that.

Speaker 2:

No amen to that. Thank you, noah. Yeah, you're welcome Guys.

Speaker 1:

if you want to get a copy of Beyond the Battle, go down to the description and you can get a link to the book as well as beyondthebattlenet, and let's overcome entitlement together. Always remember you are God's beloved son and you, he is well pleased.

Overcoming Entitlement and Objectification in Marriage
Entitlement Versus Gratitude in Relationships
Embracing Jesus' Love Through Community
Building Intimacy in Relationships
Gratitude and Healing in Relationships
Overcoming Entitlement and Giving Life
Finding Freedom in Heart Transformation

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