on March 17, 2006
As a recovering sex/lust addict and a Christian, I found little information in this book that would be useful to a real addict. In the book, the authors describe their concept of a "fractional addict". This really sounds like someone who has developed a bad habbit and needs to come to the full understanding that it is NOT acceptable to God and must be given up. For people like that, I believe that the book's recommendations (bouncing the eyes, training the mind, etc.) will probably work.
However, true addicts know that what they are doing is wrong, they want to stop, they try to stop, but cannot stop. (If I try to stop but can't stop, and I try to moderate but can't moderate, then I'm addicted.) This is a good book for those who finally decide to try to stop. Some will be able to stop (most hopefully) by practicing the book's suggested techniques for a few weeks, but actual sex/lust addicts will not.
If you try what this book recommends, but you still can't find victory, please look into a 12-Step fellowship, such as Sexaholics Anonymous ([...] Some people may think that a 12-Step program is "less Christian" than the program described in this book, but that is simply not true! The original 12-Step program (AA) was based on the principles of the Oxford Group, a non-denominational Christian group. The 12-Steps are ABSOLUTELY consistent with Christianity. In fact, while Every Man's Battle describes methods to help ME stop certain activities through MY power, the 12-Steps help me to find a real relationship with God, so that I can call on Him during temptations and have victory through His power!
Please check out the book, "Impossible Joy, the Good News for Lust and Sex Addicts, and other Sinners" (also available here on Amazon). That book was written by a true addict who found a real relationship with Jesus through working the 12 Steps of SA. He recently celebrated 30 years of sobriety. Thousands more of us have found the same answer. God willing, I'll be sober five years in May.
There is hope!
"No God, no peace. Know God, know peace."
I read this book after a friend recommended it to me. I was really looking forward to the insights that the authors supposedly were to have. Unfortunately, the authors didn't have many. Starve your eyes, guard your heart, defend your mind, and cherish your wife. That sums up the last third of the book and the part that is most applicable to one's life. The first two-thirds of the book talks about the problems the authors had with lust, how they overcame it, how wicked men are, and how much better we will be if we follow their advice. Which basically boils down to keeping your eyes away from sexual images and honoring women as your sisters.
I'm sorry if that sounds negative, but EVERY MAN'S BATTLE was a real let down for me. As a single man who has honored women, but who has struggled with lust (but apparently not as much as other men do), I was really looking forward to some new tips and positive advice. There is some positive advice, but there really are no new tips. However, the authors take more time telling about problems and talking about how wicked men are than they do about giving helpful advice. Not only that, but contrary to what the authors claim occassionally throughout the book, this is a book for married men, not single guys. True, single men who have never confronted the demon within may find the information in the book quite useful. However, for guys like me who have strived their whole lives to live a life of purity and have honored and held women in the highest regard, it really isn't worth reading. If anything else, it makes single guys long even more to be married, even if that is not what God is calling them to do. I'm sorry to say this, because I really wanted to like this book, but overall there's just too much talk and not enough substance.
on January 6, 2007
I would unhesitatingly recommend this book as a resource for married men who struggle to cherish their wives over the constant background noise of sensuality that the world has to offer. Arterburn and Stoeker discuss their history of turning their sexual addictions into faithful focus on their spouses. They make a solid and convincing case that even the most innocuous of behaviors can mushroom into full-fledged infidelity of the heart, if not the body.
As a single man, this book was, for me, at times, insulting. Arterburn and Stoeker, supposedly Christians (and apparently active in Christian ministry), were already married before they began to take control of their misbehavior. They spent many of their pre-marriage years in unabashed debauchery. So what advice do they have to offer the single person? "Those who can't do, teach", I suppose. They casually toss off one-liners about how singles are no different, then go back crowing about how everyone can go to their wives to meet their needs. In this regard, they have no credibility (yet had no compunction about writing an entirely separate book for singles, and another for teens -- is this about purity or profit?).
I have a friend who remained a virgin until his wedding night -- and he married in his mid-30s. I would expect to learn much more from his struggles to remain pure than hearing the "been there, done that, got a wife now" attitude that Arterburn and Stoeker profess. They should have stayed in their lane and, as repentant sinners, offered tried and true advice to those married people struggling with sexual sin. Instead, they branched out into areas where they themselves had never battled -- and as a result, their war stories ring hollow.
on May 19, 2003
A good book, but for married men, not teens. I don't need to hear how great sex can be when I'm not supposed to have it. Plain and simple. Every Young Man's Battle is good though.
As a man reads this book, he is inspired to seek sexual purity and to encourage other men to do the same. The authors are determined to keep their eyes and their hearts pure, and present their means to do so. While their intent is commendable and even contagious, their instruction is lacking in depth and substance.
Their techniques of "bouncing the eyes" and "starving the eyes" could very well create more problems than they solve. Sights from everyday life that men cannot avoid are better handled by the transforming grace of God, rather than by looking away from every attractive woman encountered or by ripping the covers and selected pages from the women's magazines that wives possess. The techniques of finding victory in one's mind and heart are a little more valid, but are still missing any emphasis on Divine activity.
This book is much more of a "why should I" manual rather than a "how do I" manual. Every sincere, biblically-based Christian man desires sexual purity, but the primary way to achieve it is through surrender to the power and presence of God. The practices of bouncing and starving the eyes, corralling thoughts and cherishing one's wife have their place, but are no substitute for Divine transformation of character.
For a much better treatment of male sexuality from a Christian perspective, try "The Sexual Man" by Archibald Hart.
on August 9, 2002
Shattering the perception that men are unable to control their thought lives and roving eyes, Every Man's Battle shares the stories of dozens who have escaped the trap of sexual immorality and presents a practical, detailed plan for any man who desires purity -- perfect for those who have fallen in the past, those who want to remain strong today, and all who want to overcome temptation in the future.
The book opens with an introduction that most men can probably relate to, followed by verses and scripture on sexual purity. The remainder of the book is laid out into steps one can take to win the battle, each step fittingly called a "victory." Whether victory with your eyes, mind, or heart, the author Stephen Arterburn breaks down the steps with specific goals and stories and scripture to go along with the entire process.
His outline is nice, but unfortunately is has two problems. First, many of the stories are about lust and thus might cause the reader to lust in his thoughts (it did for me and several friends). Second, although the steps are specific, I still found them rather generic, especially when related to the mind and heart.
The best point made in the book is that men truly lack a sense of urgency when it comes to sexual purity and we must "choose victory" now. As Arterburn states, we are only sexually pure when no sexual gratification comes from anyone or anything but your wife. Sounds tough, huh? This book helped me a bit, and I have known several guys that it helped a ton. It is quite an easy read, and I recommend it to those men out there with a desire to choose victory.
on October 27, 2004
While I thought this book had some good practical advice. It was unnecessarily graphic and seemed to lean towards a more humanistic approach. They suggest keeping your thoughts and actions pure for six weeks and then the new habits will be in place. I know from experience that it will take more than your own strength. You need the grace of Jesus Christ and the incredible power of the Holy Spirit if you are going to overcome this sin. I thought they should have emphasized that more.
on June 12, 2013
I thought that as the book picked up speed, there were a lot of good tips and suggestions for all men, single or married. As the book started to draw down, though, and talk about where to focus your sexual thoughts and actions, it was like the authors forgot that they were writing to single men, also. "Every Young Man's Battle" may be better for the single folk.
on July 29, 2006
This book helps men fight sexual temptation mainly through avoidance of it ("starving" the eyes, looking away, avoiding flirting and friendship). If one's business or job involves working with female customers and co-workers, I would say only about 15-20% of sexual stimuli can be avoided. It is not good business for one to avoid looking at his customers or coworkers.
Other sources on sexual addiction suggest that it lies in factors such as low self-esteem, hurts or abuse from the past, and perhaps dysfunctional family situations. This is what needs to be addressed, even for the mildly sexually addicted which includes a large percentage of men. Getting to the roots of the problem, truly discovering who we are in Christ, sons of God, is essential for self esteem. I don't think Every Man's Battle addresses this adequately.
This book really didn't help me very much. However, as the owner of a Christian bookstore, I have heard reports from a number of men that it was helpful to them. Therefore, I must conclude that it may be for some men but not for others.
on January 7, 2004
I admire the authors' attempts at providing useful tools to help men stay pure. But the title and subtitle are presumptuous. Not every man is enrolled in this battle. And not every man recognizes there is a battle to fight, much less a war to be won. That is, I know men who actually welcome sexual temptation; happily entertain every sexual thought, and then act on these lustful thoughts by approaching women they are sexually attracted to, and with much success. I am a Christian, and the struggle to remain pure is surely a battle for me. Every Christian man's battle, certainly. Every Man's battle? Hardly. But, what about God's grace? Where does it fit in all of this? Sadly, not very well in this book. The book is a compilation of techniques to look the other way, deny your sexual desires, starve your eyes, divert your attention. It's works-based. But these human attempts by themselves are ultimately futile when up against the pull of testosterone-charged desire. The book is right when it tells Christian men not to pray for God to take away sexual desire, after all we are men and we are designed with that natural God-given desire. But it needed to go further and elaborate, especially to young men in the faith, that, although these methods are somewhat useful, ultimately God's grace is sufficient.