Stories of Hope

Rick's Story

It is my pleasure to share in the work of the Pure Desire Ministry Team the practical application and “First Steps” process of a Pure Desire Men's impact group in the local church. It is a blessing to share this plan that is specific to the Christian church whether large or small, city or country; denomination or affiliation not withstanding. It is my humble belief that choosing to begin this ministry in your church will have a significant impact not only on your home church but also the entire church community in your area.

My background is a simple one, with an intact nuclear family of Dad, Mom, and two younger sisters. We were raised in the Midwest in what would be described as a typical middle class family. I attended church on Sunday and followed the path of Christian education programs throughout my early teens; joining the local Presbyterian Church about the same time I entered into my life as a sexual addict. My first exposure to pornography and self sex coincided with and during puberty at thirteen years of age. The downward slide from normal curiosity to sexual addict was, unfortunately, not a gradual one. By the time I was seventeen, sexual activities were the primary thought of my every day… grades, schoolwork, and friends all took a back seat as did the Lord. I knew Him and would have called Him Savior but He held absolutely no relevance in decisions about my life or daily behavior.

From there it was on to college and then a career in sales and marketing. With very little mentoring and a deep selfish desire for my own pleasures it was easy to buy into Satan’s great lie of “marriage will fix everything” at age twenty-seven. By that time I was, by worldly standards, a successful young businessman desiring what seemed to me to be the better life. Instead, my addiction became much worse inside the marriage. And I now had a wife and soon a son who would eventually be irreparably harmed by my sexual acting out. I learned the hard way that when intimacy is inextricably linked to orgasm in a young man’s brain, intimacy with a wife would become an impossible task. Unfortunately, I was unable to either understand or even consider this at the time.

Pornography, acting out, and extra marital affairs were part of a secret life. A double life with all the trappings of success… a terrific son and wife, wonderful home, cars, boat, and material goods galore. On the outside, “looking good” but a life devoid of moral boundaries on the inside. In 1989 I was ‘born again’ into a life with Jesus Christ and my recovery from sexual addiction began in earnest. Again and unfortunately, due to my continued abusive selfish behavior and the pain of betrayal I brought to my wife and family, we were separated in 1994 and divorced in 1995.

In 1996 I formally dated and re-married a “Proverbs 31” lady and turned immediately toward a more rigorous program of accountability and study of His Word. Genuine long term sobriety from my addiction along with a new level of recovery came in 1998 and 1999. Being part of a local church with pastoral and professional counseling in place was a key to my new found health. Soon thereafter, I began to speak and teach at churches on sexual addiction as a lay minister to men. In 2002 I met Dr. Ted Roberts and the Pure Desire Team for the first time. Within hours of their first seminar presentation I called my wife and shared that I had found the ministry to which I believed I would devote my life.

After a season of fasting and prayer in the fall of 2002 my wife and I flew from our home in New Hampshire to Oregon to visit Pastor Ted and his church. I attended my first FMO group, while my wife learned more about FWO. In January of 2003 we started a new ministry under the authority of our home church in Bedford, NH called The Nathan Project. That birthed the first of what are soon to be twenty plus FMO groups in NH, VT, ME and MA, the majority growing out of that first group. My wife also began her first FWO, For Women Only group – Healing the Betrayed Heart for the wives of men who struggle with sexual addiction which is now a forty weeks a year three group program in Southern NH and MA.

In 2004 pureHOPE Ministries (formerly: The National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families) invited me to join their organization as the Executive Director for New England allowing me to engage in full time ministry not only to help build FMO’s and work with the issue of sexual addiction but also to work with individual churches and youth on the overarching issue of sexual purity in a fast declining 21st century church. The Coalition leadership thus paved the way for the expansion of the FMO program and The Nathan Project in New England. In the fall of 2005 the National Coalition became a Covenant Partner with East Hill Church and Pure Desire Ministries in a formal agreement with the express intent of building FMO and FWO groups across the nation.

Needless to say yet very necessary to mention; I have been terrifically blessed to be a part of two excellent and thriving ministries serving the body of Christ in this most significant work.

With their support I continue to grow with personal passion in my capacity with the Nathan Project, as I no longer a part of The Coalition (Pure Hope) which has downsized its offices around the country. It is exciting to look forward to the growth of our partnership with the Pure Desire Ministry!

Last and first at the same time, it is to God’s glory and by His great grace that I am allowed to minister, alongside my wife and ministry partner, to the men, women, and families in bondage to the enemy through this sin called sexual addiction. God bless.