If you stick a frog in a boiling pot it will immediately jump out, but if you put it in the pot when the water is cool and you slowly turn the heat up, the frog will never jump out and eventually it will die. This is an age old analogy that speaks to how it’s much easier to slowly destroy something over time with small changes, rather than trying to destroy it in one fell swoop. Now, I’ve never slowly killed a frog in my life, but I can say that I tried to slowly destroy my marriage.
I know I mentioned in an earlier blog post (I can look at the menu as long as I don’t make a purchase, right?) about being introduced to pornography at the age of 12, and I’m sure some of you are expecting that lust and pornography are the aim of this post. Well, this isn’t going to be the case. My struggle with lust and pornography were destroying my marriage, but they were the tip of the iceberg. The symptom of a disease, not the disease itself.
The disease I am speaking of is Agreements. Yes, capital A, Agreements. The capitalization here is to convey the importance of the matter. An Agreement is a lie that you have convinced yourself is true. The conviction is based on past experiences and, for Christians, sometimes tied to scripture or traditional “Christian” principles. Meaning that the principles or practices come from man-made traditions and not actual scripture. Even worse, your Agreement will continue to be strengthened based on present and future experiences unless you break it.
Now this topic may be completely new to some of you, it was for me up until about 4 years ago. If it is, no need to fret cause you ain’t dead yet. Go ahead, give yourself a pat on the back for not dying. This is good news because it means you have time to learn and change. Don’t ever let fear or shame stop you from making change. Satan will do his best to make you fearful and shame you so that you will stay right where you are. Men, stop worrying about what people will think of you and just open up that beautiful masculine heart. I pray that the words I write will lead you to a place of hopeful change, and not of shameful condemnation. The former is what I always aim for. Don’t let Satan push you to the latter.
So here are some basic questions you will need to ask yourself, God, and/or possibly someone close to you in order to unearth these Agreements.
- What sin(s) am I committing over and over?
- How am I justifying that/those sinful act(s)?
- God, what Agreements have I made that I need to break?
For me, the sinful act I was committing over and over revolved around lust and pornography. The Agreements I had made surrounding those sins were what was keeping me steeped in them. Just like with tea, the longer you steep it, the stronger it gets. Every time you lie to yourself about that thing you strengthen the hold the Agreement has on you. You commit that sin, you justify the action, and you steep that Agreement just a little bit longer in your heart. My Agreements were slowly destroying my intimacy with my wife, my relationships with my children, and my relationship with Jesus Christ.
After you have identified your Agreements you can move on to breaking them. Hallelujah! Living your life a miserable, sinful loathsome wretch has met its end! I’m not kidding around. Breaking Agreements has transformed my life and I can’t wait for it to transform yours. Once you’ve broken Agreements that doesn’t mean you will never sin again, but there is a difference between committing a sin, and habitually committing sin. Freedom won’t make you perfect, but it will keep your heart connected to the One who is.
I apologize, I’m not going to give you the template on how to break Agreements because the awesome folks at Ransomed Heart Ministries have already done that, and I don’t want to just copy and paste what they’ve done. So at the bottom I have a link to their step-by-step process.
I know, you just spent time reading (or at least purposefully skimming) this blog post and now I’m asking you to go read something else and “GASP” take some action. I don’t care how much time you think you don’t have. You can’t afford to stay in the bondage of sin for another day. For the love of all things good, just step up, commit to changing and becoming a Misfit Man. I know you can do it.