Brent Barrowcliff

In 2008 my life took a dramatic shift! I was out of work and I was searching for what God wanted me to do. I felt he was leading me to change my job and direction but I wasn’t sure what that was. I thought I was going to get a job and head towards retirement enjoying all the aspects of life. To my surprise, God had other plans to change my life forever.

In May of 2008 I began a journey that has led me to be more passionate about life. It was at that time that I walked into an interview thinking it would not be the right job for me and really not wanting it to happen. As I met with the leaders of the organization they communicated their need for my skills. My concern was that they did not have enough resources to support my salary or make a profit. The need was huge but the response as I learned later was less than you could believe. The product they had created was to help men recover from the addiction to pornography. As I sat there communicating all my marketing and sales skills I could muster up, the real issue was I was in the midst of my own struggle. Pornography through the internet had consumed my life. The access was easy, secret, and hidden from everyone. I communicated to the interviewer that I needed to take a copy home to review the resource. I was searching for how I would respond to this opportunity and wondering if it would work. As I processed the Freedom Begins Here resources I saw freedom that I desired in my own life. I took the Sexual Addiction Test and I failed it. This was devastating to me so I communicated to the leadership that I could not take the job because I had failed the test. This is a critical point because what happens next changed my life forever. As I was communicating this to one of the leaders he began to laugh and I was taken aback by this because it took all my courage to admit I was addicted. He realized that I was offended and immediately said I am not laughing at you, I am laughing with you because many of us here have failed the test also. This was the first time I realized that I was not alone in this struggle. This began my personal journey to freedom from watching porn.

So what have I learned and why am I so passionate? I saw the need to be honest/transparent about my struggle. As I spoke with others it became apparent that they were hiding just like me. I felt the need to tell someone about my struggle—a friend, pastor, and church leader, but everyone had the same answer. It is not safe in the church to tell someone because you will be singled out and labeled as imperfect. They would say the church is made up of perfect people. That is what our Christian culture has communicated to us all these years. These experiences changed my life so that when I meet people now, I communicate when appropriate that I have struggled with pornography so I can create a safe place for them too.

My passion began to rise even more as I saw an overwhelming need to create a safe place for individuals to address issues that the church is not talking about. Over the last four years I have met over a thousand of those individuals whose desire is to move to freedom. I have met thousands of pastors who want to address this issue but either is not willing to take the risk or is caught in the web of this struggle themselves. So my life has been forever changed with a desire to help free individuals from this struggle that is destroying families, marriages, and relationships. This is a hidden sin that really affects everyone in the family… even when we think it doesn’t.

My prayer is to take the Freedom Begins Here resources to every individual, pastor, and church leader that is willing to take the risk to create a safe place for others to find freedom from this struggle. Yes, this is a personal issue for me and my goal is to see lives change through deepening relationships with Jesus, along with the grace that Jesus brings to live a transparent/authentic life.

I have spoken on the issue of pornography at churches, community groups, universities, conferences, and men’s groups. Yes I’m considered an expert on this subject but I am also a fellow struggler that daily chooses to make the right choices. This only happens because I choose to follow a God of grace, mercy, and compassion. I cannot do this on my own strength… it is only through His power that is made perfect in my weakness and accountability with other men.

My heart’s desire is to see individuals free and walking lives that are not in bondage to this issue/struggle/sin.

II Corinthians 12:9, 10

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.†Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.