While Valentine’s Day has long become a commercial holiday about affection, flowers and chocolate, the story of Saint Valentine shows a more authentic love than the version Hallmark sells us today.
It is believed that Saint Valentine was executed by Emperor Claudius II in around A.D. 269 for refusing to denounce his faith in Christ.
This martyrdom is a real demonstration of what Paul is talking about in Ephesians when he says “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it” (Eph. 5:25). As men, we are called to die to ourselves as we love our wives deeply.
Why do so many of us fail to live up to Christ’s example?
The sad truth is that 68 percent of church-going men view pornography on a regular basis. Many Christian men will try to romance their partners this Valentine’s Day, yet they will go and view pornography during the following month.
Pornography has been proven to have a devastating effect on relationships. Numerous studies show that men who view porn are more likely to enforce violent sex acts on their partner. To add to that, 56 percent of divorce cases show that porn played a role in the break up.
Many of these men are desperate for a way out. They’ve tried to stop but have failed at every attempt.
Men struggling with porn are dealing with high levels of shame and a sense of worthlessness. Chris Ogden, adults ministry pastor at Orlando’s First Baptist Church, explains, “For a lot of guys who have struggled in the area of sexuality, the lie becomes This is just who I am. This cannot change. This will never go away. I might enjoy a week or a month [of sobriety] here or there but ultimately this is embedded in my soul, I can’t get free of it.”
Dr. Ted Roberts, host of the Conquer Series who has counseled thousands of men to freedom from pornography, discusses why so many people in the church can’t stop viewing porn. Churches often treat this issue as a moral one, but fail to recognize it’s mainly a brain problem.
“We tell men to try harder, pray harder, love Jesus more.” Dr. Roberts adds. “But what starts off as a moral problem quickly becomes a brain problem. Telling a man to try harder is only tightening the ‘noose’ of bondage.”
Ogden recounts what happens to these men as they go through the Conquer Series: “As the guys in our church walk through that, you could just see that flame of hope kind of rekindle, and going, ‘I not only believe what they’re saying is true, but I think it could be true for me.’ And I think when that switch happens, that’s when God unleashes the power in the guy’s life.”
The Conquer Series has become “ground zero” for the movement of men who are conquering porn. It presents the battle plan for purity. Over 350,000 men have gone through the five-week course. The Conquer Series is a six-disc DVD set, which also includes a leader’s DVD. They are currently offering a 14-day money back guarantee.