I remember over a decade ago sitting in church next to my wife, still very much in the middle of my “porn struggle” thinking to myself, “I wonder what this Jeff Borkoski guy has to say that I haven’t heard already?” (Jeff was a guest speaker that visited our church at the time.)
As I settled in for what was sure to be another predictable sermon on some topic I’d heard ten times before, Jeff got up and asked the question, “Are you all-in when it comes to your relationship with God?”
The term “all-in” coupled with the image of poker chips being shown on the big screen above him immediately caught my attention. Mostly because I was a bit of a poker junkie back in the day.
As I listened to Jeff I kept thinking, “Yea, I’m all-in. Sure I am. I just need to fix a couple of things.” But as I sat there trying to assure myself of my “all-inedness” it became more and more clear that I wasn’t “all-in.” In fact, I started realizing that I wasn’t even “half-in.”
As Jeff continued with his very compassionate, yet direct and non-apologetic message, I became increasingly aware of how much crap in my life I needed to address if I ever wanted to rightfully say I was all-in with Jesus – particularly in terms of my marriage and twenty-year porn addiction.
Now don’t get me wrong, I had heard messages before about the “cost” of following God, the need to pick up our cross, etc., etc. But Jeff had a way of delivery that really resonated with me.
- He was firm yet loving.
- Funny yet serious.
- Affirming and understanding yet challenging.
In other words, he kicked you in the gut but made you feel understood at the same time.
And so I listened up rather than zoning out like I had done so many times before. I didn’t enjoy the discomfort I was feeling if I’m being honest, but I knew I needed to experience it if things were ever going to change in my life.
That was my first introduction to Jeff Borkoski.
An introduction that turned into a long-standing friendship and led to my eventual involvement with XXXchurch and freedom from the bonds of sexual addiction… a long story in and of itself.
Admittedly a lot happened between that fateful Sunday morning and the present day. But to say that Jeff and my connection with him changed my life would be a highly accurate statement. And it may have never happened if Jeff had been gun shy in delivering a painfully healing sermon that Sunday morning.
Why do I share this story? Two reasons.
First, understand that when it comes to our relationships and marriages in particular, the one thing that often holds us back from enjoying a truly awesome life together is our aversion to the painful truth.
Men are hesitant to share their real pain and insecurities with their spouses.
Women are afraid to voice their frustrations and feelings of loneliness with their husbands.
So what often happens is that couples resign themselves to marriages that are flat, boring, and resentment-filled rather than diving into difficult conversations about sexual frequency, fulfillment, and the vacuum of intimacy that stands between them and a fulfilling marriage.
The truth is your marriage will not get better if you dance around the elephant in the room.
You can’t keep pretending everything is “ok” when you both know deep down it’s anything but. Not to be cliché’, but the truth will surely set you free… both individually and together.
Second, I wanted to introduce you to Jeff because he is an amazing friend but also a man who has painfully learned a thing or two about the need for truth in a marriage (or any relationship) and how passivity can lead to its ultimate destruction.
Yes, Jeff is a great speaker, writer, and marriage coach, but he’s also a man who kind of blew it in his own marriage. However, rather than letting his past divorce and pain keep him pinned down in a pit of shame, he’s used that experience in his life to impact 1,000’s of men through his coaching and books.
Last month Jeff released his brand-new book Better Man, Better Marriage, and so this month we are going to be sharing excerpts from his book along with posts from women we work with all dealing with the need for painfully honest conversations if a marriage is to thrive.
Our hope is that as you read these articles you’ll start to see the light and recognize that while the truth can hurt and be extremely painful, it will serve as a catalyst for deep and meaningful healing in your relationships.
Btw, if you want to check out Jeff’s latest book you can grab a copy here.