The Story of a Book: Struggle Against...

Struggle, final_cover.jpg

Nearly 1,000 days ago, there was a men’s breakfast at our church. I didn’t expect much more from the breakfast than to eat bacon, drink coffee, and chat with a few men from our church. I was wrong.

The leader of the devotional that morning talked about the struggle with pornography—why it was bad and what to do about it. As a pastor of a local church, I had known for some time that I needed to do better at helping the men in our church in this area, but until then, I hadn’t done anything about it. So I was glad he took the risk.

When the speaker was finished, men asked questions. I raised my hand and said,

“Let’s say there is someone here this morning who believes everything you just said—he believes lust and pornography are wrong and that God wants better for us—but he isn’t sure what practical steps to take so that he can fight against this sin.”

Then I asked, “What are a few practical steps you might tell this person so he can better struggle against pornography?”

The leader said something like, “Well, there are a number of men here this morning who might be able to comment on that.” Then he looked around the room and said, “Guys, what are practical things you’ve found helpful in the struggle against pornography?”

What followed for the next half hour was suggestion after suggestion on practical tips to fight against pornography. I typed notes on my phone as fast as my thumbs could go. That afternoon I texted some friends who might be able to add to the list of practical steps. And they did. Lot’s of suggestions poured in by text and email.

That day was 969 days ago, the summer of 2016.

I never planned to write a book about what I learned. But that’s what happened. That men’s breakfast was the day that I first began writing what would become, Struggle Against Porn: 29 Diagnostic Tests for Your Head and Heart.

If I did have aspirations to write a book, it was only for a booklet, that is, something I might be able to use as a reference in counseling sessions. But the booklet kept expanding, eventually outgrowing the need for the ending “let.”

Still, I only expected to use the book in our local church. When I hired Russell Meek as an editor, he told me the book was better than I had realized and that I should consider publishing it, which I had previously not considered. So Russ and I passed it around and eventually got a yes. (Thank you, Russ!) Rainer Publishing offered me my first book contract. That was 596 days ago, the summer of 2017.

I worked on the book for a year and turned in the completed manuscript along with endorsements on July 9, 2018, which is 254 days ago. That’s almost 2 years to the day since the men’s breakfast triggered the writing process.

As an aside, if you’re getting the sense that books take time to write and publish, you’re right. It’s a slow process.

But that process is almost complete. A few days ago the publisher sent me the final draft of the book cover.

It shouldn’t be long now before you can buy it. And when the publisher releases the book, I hope and pray that it serves the church well by supplying a fuller answer to my question over 3 years ago: What does it look like for a Christian to be proactive in his struggle against pornography?