Testimony: From Strip Club Frequenter to Defender
By: Henry J. Rogers
I’ll never forget the first topless dancer that I spoke with honestly. Her name was Stephanie. In the past, I had many deceitful conversations with dancers whose names I no longer remember. I was dishonest with them, portraying myself as an encourager and someone who cared. I was living a lie. All I really wanted to know was what they would do for me.
The dancers were deceitful, too. They were always very complimentary. I was strong, I was handsome, and I was funny. They said those things, but they didn’t believe them. All they wanted was what was in my back pocket. For them it was about money. For me it was about lust. Sitting at a table in a smoke-filled club were two wounded people hurting each other while pretending to care.
When I met Stephanie, I finally knew the horrible truth. Our lunch meeting lasted an hour and yet eight years later, I still remember the restaurant and the entire conversation. When I asked Stephanie how she felt about the men who came into these places, she started talking faster and louder and then in this crowded restaurant she burst into tears and said, “I hate them.”
When I got back to work my boss asked me how the meeting went and I couldn’t speak. I began to cry because for the very first time in my life I knew that women had to die emotionally to fulfill my lust.
Today I am a Defender. It’s the role men have been called to fill. It’s a pledge worth making and it’s a pledge worth keeping. Being a Defender is living a life of integrity and purity. We’re men who take seriously our role to be protectors and providers. Yet being a Defender is more than a label, it’s also a lifestyle. To live the life of a Defender, we have to be on guard by setting boundaries that will help us guard and protect ourselves as we live lives worthy of our calling.
Below are some boundaries that I have found helpful:
- Travel with Care. When I travel I will ask the clerk at the counter if they offer pornographic movies. If they say they do, I ask them to disconnect the channels before I walk in the room. I know I can do it with the remote control, but I take this opportunity to speak the truth in love and tell the clerk or manger how this temptation can impact the lives of men.
When I travel I also bring a family picture with me that I put on top of the TV set and I make sure to call my wife each day I am on the road.
- Enter on Guard. When I walk into a convenience store, if I discover that they sell pornographic magazines, I will walk back out. Though I may not be tempted to buy one, I don’t even want to be tempted to look at one. If I see a cover I know I will see a picture of a smiling woman. I don’t want to ever again be deceived by the lie. When I walk out, I also have the opportunity to speak the truth in love to the sales clerk.
- Speak with Integrity. My battle would be lonely if I didn’t have other men who know what tempts me. I have honest and confidential relationships with two men who know the very best about me and the very worst. They ask me the tough questions each week that I need to answer. One of the questions is, “Have you exposed yourself to any explicit material this week?” Knowing they care gives me strength in times of temptation.
- Block with Intention. I have told many men that a computer at home with unblocked Internet access is a fall waiting to happen. Sadly, many teen boys today have unblocked Internet access in their bedroom. The question is not, “Will he find porn?” The questions are, “When will he find porn and what will he do when he finds it?” There are several effective filters that can help men protect their homes. Unfortunately, we let people in our homes through the computer screen that we would not let walk in the front door.
- Switch with Conviction. The days of “Leave it to Beaver” and “My Three Sons” are long gone. Today sex is a frequent topic of conversation on TV. I need to guard my eye-gate and my ear-gate. To do that I have this wonderful tool called a remote control. When a scene comes on TV that I don’t need to see or listen to, I switch the channel. If I have to do that three times with the same program, they strike out and fall off the list of acceptable shows for family viewing.
- Love with Passion. The porn industry has a warped view of love. For me to love my wife, I need to be a man of integrity. For me to love my children, I need to model for them a man of integrity. I need to be passionate about the people I love and show them what it means to be a Defender in a sexually obsessed culture.
- Review with Regularity. I keep a list of answers to this important question. “If I continue to give in to sexual temptation, these are the consequences I may face in the future.” I have 19 items on my list and there is not one that is worth the cost of stumbling. Take a few minutes and answer the question for yourself. Be exhaustive with your list and determine the cost of giving in to sexual temptation. You’ll quickly find that giving in to sexual temptation will bring a price that is not worth paying
Do well Defender, there is much at stake.
Henry J. Rogers is the Corporate Chaplain for Interstate Batteries in Dallas, Texas. He serves on the President’s Council for Dallas Theological Seminary and on the boards for World Impact – Dallas, Children’s Hope Chest, and as chairman of the board for Probe Ministries. He is the author of “The Silent War – Ministering to those trapped in the deception of pornography.” He has been on TV and radio discussing the porn problem in America with Beverly LaHaye, Kay Arthur, D. James Kennedy, Dr. Richard Land, Kerby Anderson and many others. He is also the co-author of “Real Stuff: A Survivor’s Guide” for teen girls.
He and his wife Kathy live in Garland, Texas and have four children, Gabrielle, Whitney and Henry, Jr. and Zoya. They attend Rowlett Bible Fellowship in Rowlett, Texas.