Families | Leadership

Our longtime friend, Craig Gross, founder of XXXchurch.com has a passion for helping men and women break free from the grip of pornography. XXXchurch.com has helped thousands of people develop a deeper level of personal accountability as well as providing some safeguards for the ever-increasing amount of time they are spending online. It’s with this backdrop that Craig wrote his newest book, “Open”, which is dedicated to helping people develop a lifestyle of honest, real, accountability with one another. Today, we thought we’d let Craig tell us a little more about this fantastic new book.

So, this book is for everyone: male and female, young and old. Why do you think the Christian community, and the world at large, needs this book today?

Today we live in a world where people can sit face to face over a meal, but their heads are buried, looking down at their phones, tweeting about what they are eating or who they are with or taking Instagram photos of both.

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We are connected more than ever, but the surface-ness of those connections often leave us feeling completely disconnected. We share, tweet, and like things online, but not very often do we do those things in real time with real people over real topics that are sometimes heavy. We are not meant to do life alone and the Christian community should encourage people—the rest of the world, really—to try and be open and real and honest with people. Those things are difficult and don’t come naturally, so I tried to share some practical ways how to do that in Open and help people see that it not only is it worth it but that it’s necessary and doable. Anyone can be open.

You’ve built a ministry and a name around the concept of sexual purity and the dangers of pornography. Why this book, now? Why expand your message to a broader audience?

We deal with people who have secrets every day, and at the end of the day secrets will kill you. Secrets will tear apart your family and your relationships. This book is not just about porn and it is not just about secrets and the bad things but rather encouraging people to see that we are better together.
Since we’ve had this vantage point of seeing the dangers of secrets, we’ve really seen how much freedom and satisfaction can come from living a life of openness. I thought it was time to share that broader message: that openness through accountability leads to a peaceful, satisfied life. It’s for everyone.

XXXchurch transformed your own understanding of what real openness is?

It has lead to me to understand that we all have stuff that we are working on. From the most filthy, depraved sinner to the most squeaky-clean pastor, we all have something. We all have new things to learn, new ways we can grow. Some have arrived and some haven’t, but the beauty in that is that if we are all on a journey then we need to involve other people in our journey so we can help each other down the road.

Do you see this book speaking to men and women in different ways?

Most women think men need accountability and point to men’s groups for their husbands because of porn problems or sexual temptations. These terms like “accountability” or “openness” are generally understood by men, even though many men are too scared to fully embrace them.

Sex sells. Sex tempts. Sex lies. Sex glorifies. Download Best Sex Ever from Author Doug Fields.

But by and large, women long for the things I am talking about. My wife picked up the book and read “Open.. Honest…Real” and thought that relates with most women, but the problem is most women—most people—think they only need accountability when something is wrong with them. The paradigm needs to shift. “I need accountability” does not equal “I am a bad person in need of correction.” Being open is great! It’s something I’m proud to announce about myself—my hope is that this book will help others feel the same way, regardless of age, gender, or faith affiliation.

Visit Craig Gross’s blog to learn more.

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