Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Review # 219: Surfing for God - Discovering the Divine Desire Beneath Sexual Struggle By Michael Cusick

Description:
“Every time a man knocks on a brothel door, he is really searching for God.” -- G.K. Chesterton 
     Could the growing struggles with pornography and fantasy really be reminding us of our heart’s deepest desire, something greater and more fulfilling than sexual gratification? 
     According to counselor and ministry leader Michael John Cusick, the answer is a resounding “yes.” Through personal examples, lively illustrations from Scripture, and twenty years of counseling experience, Michael helps readers to understand how porn struggles begin, what to do to prevent them, and most importantly, how to overcome them once compulsive behavior presents itself. 
     Freedom is not an easy, how-to process:
  • 25% of search engine requests are for pornography – 68 million per day 
  • 70% of the hits on Internet sex sites occur between 9-5 on business computers 
  • Over 50 percent of evangelical pastors report they viewed pornography last year 
  • Over 70% of Christian men report viewing pornography in the last year 
     Surfing for God leads readers down a clear path toward understanding how porn struggles develop, how to distinguish between sexual gratification and intimacy, and how to break free from the shackles of this pleasurable prison.
Review:

     Watching the news recently I noticed how many stories revolved around extramarital affairs, addiction to pornography, and call girl solicitation, and most of the people involved were married. I was appalled thinking about the guilty party's significant other. Did they know? Were they shocked? Were they angry? What did they decide to do about it? Etc... To find out that someone you love is cheating, (physically or mentally), must be absolutely horrible, and I can only imagine the pain and emotional hurdles one must face after such a transgression. So when I got the chance to read Surfing for God I was compelled to hear Michael Cusick's take on why some people are so tempted to indulge in forms of cheating or adultery online. I admit, I have seen an occasional pop-up advertisement for "Find Sexy Singles Now!" or "For Better Sex, Click Here" while browsing the inter-webs, but my thought has always been, "Who the heck is going to click on those?". Well, I haven't, but I do know people that have, and that forbidden curiosity got them into more trouble than they thought possible, nearly toppling a marriage and leaving their relationships strained.

     I liked the overall format of the book. The flow seemed to work pretty well and the progression from "What's Better than Porn" to "Becoming the Hero that You Are" followed an enlightening and scripture-filled path that allowed for deep reflection on discussed topics. Michael Cusick talked about his own struggles with pornography/strip clubs throughout the book, using his experiences with temptation to emphasize the debilitating effects of any addiction. I could tell by the way that he described the situations, and how he dealt with them, that he genuinely wanted to help other men with similar problems; allowing the lost sense of kinship with God to return to them. However, I felt that the overall tone was one of punishment, and some of the sections seemed to berate the reader - don't get me wrong, in these situations someone needs to "put their foot down", but will a man read a book that continuously blames him, with no reprimand for society and the media? It is not just the individual's fault, (though they are the primary instigator), but also the fault of those that allow such material to be showcased for all to see. There was a lot of judgement going on, and even I felt guilty - for what? I am not sure. For this reason, I cannot call the book inspirational, even if it is meant for Christians. Another aspect that I did not quite care for was the language, which was very crude in some instances - it got the point across, but there were other ways to explain things without it. Overall, I feel that Surfing for God is a great tool for any man who struggles with indiscretions or addiction, or those who are curious them, but I wish that women had also been a target audience. There are women with the same types of problems that could definitely benefit from some guidance. Good book for getting control of core issues and getting back to God.

Rating: On the Run (4/5)

*** I received this book from the author (Book Sneeze) in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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