Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker with Mike Yorkey
Reviewed by: Peter Stazen II
Date posted: 07/29/2007
Every Man's Battle: Winning the War on Sexual Temptations One Victory at a Time,
by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker, with Mike Yorkey. Published by Waterbrook Press, 2000. Paperback, 229 pages, list price $12.95. Reviewed by Peter Stazen II, pastor of Pilgrim OPC in Metamora, Michigan.
The authors go where angels dare not tread, because their topic is the private and secret sins of man's heart. The book deals with the ungodly thought life that most men, especially professing Christians, are unwilling to admit openly.
The book deals not only with those men who are addicted to hard-core pornography (an estimated 10 percent), but also with the many others (perhaps 80 percent) who have a problem with their eyes that affects their minds and ultimately their relationships with other people and God.
Sensual images are available twenty-four hours a day from a variety of mediums: print, television, videos, the Internet, and even phones. Teenagers and women often dress immodestly, not only in society at large, but even at church activities. Marriages are being wrecked by adulterous affairs born of men who could not control their thought life.
What is a man to do? The book provides an answer based upon God's Word. "Sexual impurity has become rampant in the church because we've ignored the costly work of obedience to God's standards as individuals, asking too often, 'How far can I go and still be called a Christian?' We've crafted an image and may even seem sexually pure while permitting our eyes to play freely when no one is around, avoiding the hard work of being sexually pure." "Because our own standards on sexual purity have been so mixed with God's and since so many Christians don't read their Bibles very often, many men have no clue about God's standard for sexual purity."
Interwoven into the book are Old and New Testament verses that teach God's concern for our sexual purity. The cross of Christ is emphasized throughout in an attempt to address the heart issues. The book offers a comprehensive battle plan, with perimeters of defense for the eyes, the mind, and the heart.
Every Man 's Battle has eighteen chapters. Each of the book's six parts concludes with a section called "The Heart of the Woman," which is based on interviews with women. These interviews reveal that male sexual impurity (the thought life) can be unsettling, even shocking, to women. One of the authors states, "Most wives react with shock and revulsion rather than with mercy and prayer." One section offers useful ideas to the wife helping her husband with his "eye" problems. There is a study and discussion guide at the end of the book.
The authors often describe their own past struggles quite explicitly, but without dwelling on them.
This is a practical book for every man and for those of us who counsel biblically, especially seeing to it that we ourselves "do not set vain things before our eyes."