Archives For purity

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Christians are to save sex until marriage and are to keep it there.  (Genesis 2:24; 1 Corinthians 6:12-20)

And fantasizing about sex outside of marriage is the same heart condition as engaging in it.  (Matthew 5:27-28)

These sound like some pretty strict “thou shalt not’s!”  It’s very important that we understand why God gave us these commands, as it wasn’t just to ruin our fun.  In a nutshell, sex is potent and volatile.  Our world has duped us into believing it’s only about body parts and impulses, but we all know it involves much more intimacy and vulnerability than that.  Deception is played, hearts are broken and selfishness runs rampant.  Instead of looking at another person as a human being, we’ve been conditioned to see them as objects to be used for our consumption and then discarded.

This is a problem. Continue Reading…

My next article is up on Covenant Eyes’ blog, check it out:

Myth Busters: “I’ll stop looking at porn when I get married”

(Please share the Covenant Eyes link, not the atacrossroads.net one, thanks!)

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Celebrating 12 years of marriage today with Jennifer ‘Good’ Filipiak, as well as Father’s Day on the same day. A lot to reflect on and be grateful for. A lot of times on Facebook anniversary posts, we tend to make things sound like every second of our married lives is total bliss. This is seldom (ok never) true, but it feels like we are obligated to write such things, like our lives are that of Ken and Barbie, lest we put our spouse in a bad light, or even God in a bad light. “Praising God for his faithfulness of 12 years of utter bliss with my awesome Barbie of a wife.  I’m such a lucky guy!” Like there’s never been a day I was tempted to sin, to run away from it all, to rebel against God and my wife.  That I’m so lucky it’s all come so easy.  I don’t think this put God in a good light at all, but I think being honest does. Here’s the thing, as I look back at our 12 years of marriage, there’s been a lot of ups and downs, but the downs are precisely where God’s faithfulness shines through the brightest. It’s often a fork in the road where I get to decide, “Do I do what feels best in my mind? Or do I do and love the way God wants me to love?” If I’ve made a covenant to choose the latter, what happens is I then get to see the fruit of God’s faithfulness over 12 years. Decisions I didn’t want to make in year 4 bear fruit in year 11. Decisions I didn’t want to make when I was single bear fruit now. I get to see my two daughters and a woman I genuinely love and have learned to appreciate after repenting of so much entitlement and selfishness in my life.  A woman I at one point wanted to run away from so I could worship myself.  I see that God’s way is right. God’s way is the best. It is THE way, though all along the way there are times I want to choose my own way. Writing something flippant about the utter bliss of 12 years of marriage is deceptive and it makes other think that choosing God’s way and my way are the same things. “Oh that lucky dog. God must really love him (more than others). Some guys have all the luck.” No it has nothing to do with luck. I don’t live a Ken and Barbie life. My life is hard. Parenting is hard. Husbanding is hard. Depending on God to fulfill me instead of my marriage to fulfill me is hard.  My sinful self wants to do a whole lot of other things. Am I extremely fortunate, blessed and given grace upon grace that I don’t deserve? Yes. But could I have thrown it all in the gutter and led a life of sinful selfishness instead? Yes, about 1000x over yes. But by the grace of God, here I am. Doing my best to allow God’s Holy Spirit to keep me on his path. I’m not saying if you haven’t been married for 12 years with 2 kids, you did something stupid to throw it in the gutter.  Though I will firmly say if you are looking at porn, having premarital sex, letting your lust run rampant and living for yourself, you are only setting yourself up for failure and heartache both now and in the future.  What I am saying is the cards I was dealt were the cards of marriage; you may have been dealt something else.  I’m far from perfect, but I can honestly look at my marriage now and say I love Jen more than I ever have before, am more content than ever before, and I appreciate her more than I ever have before. And this has nothing to do with some silver bullet to make your marriage better in 4 easy steps.  It has to do with learning that I don’t deserve anything from God (except hell), but he’s given me so much instead.  And learning to take such joy and gratitude in that, rather than to throw a fit to him that he owes me something or that he’s holding out on me.  This is a far cry from the guy who wanted to escape from it all 3 years into our marriage and go live a life of sin. This is God’s faithfulness. His way is true. His way is right. I’m doing my best to continue to show my kids and my wife the same sacrificial love Jesus has shown to me, giving himself up for me on the cross. When you walk in the path of Jesus, you can look back over 12 years and SEE God’s faithfulness. In a marriage, you can see children, you can see memories, you can see inside jokes, you can see all the times you were there for each other through surgeries, miscarriages, C-sections, and just plain old bad days at work. You can see that obeying God instead of obeying sin was worth it.  It’s always worth it. You can see how God changed your own heart from one of selfishness to one of love.
With all my heart, I love you Jen, and I always will!

covenantEyes_logo_sexual purity I recently met with a friend of mine who is a new Christian. He’s in his mid 20’s and has a pretty incredible testimony—giving his life to Christ after an upbringing of abuse, drugs, crime and promiscuity. I asked him what areas of his life he still needed to surrender to Christ and his answer was quick and emphatic: pornography on his phone.

My answer was also quick and emphatic: Covenant Eyes.

For some it’s amazing that someone could surrender drugs and crime and even premarital sex to Jesus, but be unable to surrender pornography. As if pornography were the least of all of those evils and thus the easiest to give up. Not that sins are in competition with one another for which one is “worst,” but there is no doubt that pornography is an addiction and is (in my opinion and experience) almost impossible to give up cold turkey, without any outside assistance and accountability.

My friend went on to tell me how he’d go to bed at night, would pray every night, but then wouldn’t be able to fall asleep so would grab his iPhone and before he knew it was pouring over pornography again, only to feel dirty and disgusting afterward. In addition to the chemical changes pornography does to our brains, the reason it’s so hard to give up is because it is both ridiculously accessible and ridiculously accepted in our culture.

My friend is not the only 20-something who puts himself to sleep every night by looking at porn on his phone. In fact, it’s getting to the point in secular culture where this is seen as normal behavior, especially for single men.

If you have naively handed out smartphones to your children without Covenant Eyes installed on them, it’s only a matter of time before their web activities lead them to the alluring and addictive land of pornography.

Is there more to being free from pornography than online purity software? Yes. You need the Church, you need community, and you need biblical guidance to change the wiring of your heart (which Covenant Eyes provides an abundance of free resources on via their blog and e-books). But it’s very hard to put a fire out while a gasoline can is being consistently poured on it. The access to pornography must be stopped before the deeper work can be done.

The beauty of Covenant Eyes is that you can choose to use it as a filter that blocks websites, as monitoring software that sends emails to accountability partners, or as a combination of the two. You also only pay one affordable monthly rate and can then put the software on unlimited online devices (phone, tablet, computers, etc.). Contrast this with a different online purity software I used before Covenant Eyes where I had to pay $40 per month for each device. Covenant Eyes is a deal and a half in comparison.

As I told my friend, you can use my affiliate link and get your first month of Covenant Eyes free. It’s an investment well worth the cost. In all reality, the cost of not using Covenant Eyes and continuing to allow the sewage of pornography into your life is what you really can’t afford.