My family and I have been watching The X Factor and one of the contestants, Chris Rene, caught our attention with his initial audition when he sang a song he wrote titled, Young Homie. Chris shared about his struggle with drug and alcohol addiction from the start. Last week for thanksgiving he gave thanks to his addictions counselor. The show and Chris went into detail about his drug addiction and his recovery of seven months.
I was very impressed with the presentation and noticed how the judges and the audience were extremely supportive of Chris and his effort toward continued sobriety. Simon Cowell pointed out that his willingness to be open on national television about his struggle and sobriety progress was not something many people would be willing to do, yet what he did probably helped thousands of people who relate to his struggle of addiction.
The point I am about to make has one main purpose of bringing attention to what we term as “Clean Heart Issues.” In no way am I attempting to make light of Chris Rene’s accomplishment.
As people watched the show unfold Chris’s story, I wonder how many people immediately thought if their child would be in danger of Chris selling them illegal drugs, or possibly hitting someone with a vehicle while under the influence, or if he may abuse or neglect his child due to his proneness to addiction. I believe most people did not have any of these thoughts cross their minds. I think they were sincerely encouraging of him, and rightly so.
But let’s change the drugs and alcohol with sexual anything: fantasies, pornography, adultery, swinging, solicitation, one night stands, etc., etc., etc. Would the audience have had the same reactions?
Why is it that when a man ogles a woman, or pins up the playmate of the month, or chases after women every week-end for a one night stand, that society just accepts this as typical behavior for men. But when a man comes to a point in his life that he realizes that these activities are not in line with a Godly lifestyle; decides to stop the behavior but finds that it is tougher to stop than he had thought; so he seeks out help from a group like Clean Heart for Men, people automatically think he is going to molest the first child he finds or rape the first woman who crosses his path?
It is this public perception that keeps thousands of men from seeking out help and thus choose to keep their struggle secret all the while continuing in their wrong behavior. And on the few occasions he may get caught, he just becomes more skilled at keeping his struggle a secret.
Chris Rene talked about having to overcome the shame of his addictions in order to get help. When one watches the video of his audition you can see in his face the sense of accomplishment as a bright shining light.
During the judging time of The X Factor, Simon says to Chris that “always his favorite thing about [The X Factor] is when he gets to sit in the judges chair and meets a star for the first time, and there is something about you. And what I like about the fact is that maybe you need the show or maybe we need you.”
You may be a person who is reading this article and God is speaking to your heart, to develop an awareness about sexual integrity, or maybe you are a man who needs to stop dealing with your struggle in secret. Maybe you need Clean Heart for Men, or maybe Clean Heart for Men needs you.