By: Allie Joy Hudson
3 min. read
Community Grounds Us
Last month, my husband and I went to four weddings. And though these weddings involved masks and social distancing, it was beautiful to see friends and family surrounding each of the couples on their special day.
Community looks pretty darn different this year than it has ever before, but I think our very individualized, self-serving nation has recognized that we truly do need each other to thrive. So, we’ve found ways to connect with people even when we are apart physically.
To live our lives well, we need each other. I like the way my pastor summed up this truth this past Sunday. He said that as followers of Jesus, we have three relationships that ground us. We have (1) Jesus interceding for us and (2) the Spirit who indwells us. We also have (3) each other. The Church cannot function if a part of the body is missing.
Both in our everyday lives and in our fight to honor God with our bodies and thoughts, we need each other. It doesn’t help us to cut ourselves off from others and try to fight our shame, lust, and insecurities in silence. A key element of discipleship is living life alongside other people. This is what we’re going to take a moment to unpack now.
Community in Our Lives
Community is a huge part of what it means to follow Jesus’ command to make disciples. We are to live life not just casually alongside of people, but truly turned towards them, for them.
What does this others-focused approach look like in our striving for sexual integrity? Here are some thoughts on this:
- Have fun with friends and family around you! Investing in and spending time with others boosts our mental and emotional state, helps us to fill our time in positive ways, and offers a healthy alternative to the false intimacy that porn promises us. Find a buddy and go on a walk, read a book together, find a new hobby – anything!
- Find people around you that you trust to be vulnerable with. I love the way an article from Covenant Eyes sums this up: “Choose men you would trust with you and your family’s lives, and this I mean literally.” The people you choose here are truly your brothers in arms. We are so much stronger when we no longer try to fight in isolation.
- Be willing to share your story. And keep sharing – victories, mistakes, and struggles alike. Letting people see different, even ugly, sides of you, and then being there for your friends as they share with you, is an incredible way to forge powerful community in your life. Romans 12:15 tells us to, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.”
- In addition to being in community with the people around us, we need to be in constant communion with Jesus. There is no way that we can maintain long-term victory over temptation in our own strength. Our flesh is in us and it is powerful. It’s only through Jesus, who is more powerful than sin and Satan, that we can be filled with His strength to strive for holiness. Dwell with Him and let His strength fill you. Start now. Even if it’s just a few minutes a day at first, spend time reading the Bible and talking with Jesus.
We Are Not Alone
Statistics tell us that we are most certainly not alone in our struggle. Pornography use and addiction run rampant in the Church just like they do in the rest of our society. But if we are not alone in our struggle why on earth should we believe the lie that we need to try to fight it alone?
We need Jesus. We need each other. Community is a beautiful, powerful gift and resource that Jesus gave up His life so we could have. In His death, Jesus was isolated from God, but because of His sacrifice we do not have to be alone anymore!
In His life on Earth, Jesus practiced discipleship through community with His Father, His followers, and His close group of twelve disciples. Let’s look to Him and the example that He gave us and invest in those around us today. It’s so much easier than we make it out to be. And freedom is so much closer than we believe.
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Allie Joy Hudson is first and foremost a daughter of the King. She has worked with Proven Men for two and a half years and serves as the Content Manager. Allie graduated from Liberty University with a B.A. in English and minors in Spanish and Psychology. She completed her Senior Honors Thesis on the presentation of postmodern sexuality in short fiction. She enjoys reading, writing, playing the viola, running, singing, and photography. Allie is passionate about her ever-growing C.S. Lewis collection, cultivating relationships, and proclaiming truth in the twisted arena of postmodern sexuality. Allie lives in Pennsylvania and is overjoyed to be married to the love of her life.