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Nathan Spearing interviews Ray de la Nuex on the Life on Target podcast about masculinity and overcoming porn addiction.

Masculine Discipleship and Freedom from Porn with Ray de la Nuez

Ray de la Nuez is an officer in the Marine Corps and the founder of Becoming Men, an organization dedicated providing practical discipleship so men can be who God made them to be. In this episode, Ray shares how his upbringing in poverty affected his formative years, why he joined the military, and how God freed him from a 10-year addiction to pornography. Today, Ray is committed to his wife and four children, and they are currently working to build a more resilient and self-sufficient lifestyle. This episode is an honest and powerful testimony of the transformational power of the Gospel.

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Show Notes

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Show Summary

  • What makes Ray de la Nuez tick? [0:04:03]
  • Growing up dirt poor in a little hut in the Dominican Republic. Immigrating to the United States. [0:04:39]
  • The way that negative mindsets attach to a person because of their upbringing. [0:05:17]
  • Growing up with a poverty and lack mindset. [0:05:24]
  • Joining the Marine Corp because to fix some things. [0:05:41]
  • Enlisting in the Marine Corps because it was an opportunity; not because a lot of thought went into it. [0:06:07]
  • God works everything together for good. [0:06:12]
  • Learning hard lessons that were packaged as heartache. [0:06:26]
  • Reflecting on a decade of experience in the military and how to be a resource to men. [0:06:35]
  • Ray’s desire to help guys shortcut through some of the aches and pains of life. [0:07:32]
  • We are waiting on the Lord to show us what to do—we are just living a God–centered life. [0:08:20]
  • It’s easy to miss the real, impactful moments of your own story because you’re living it. [0:10:10]
  • The importance for everyone to take some self-reflection time. [0:10:23]
  • The connection between a poverty background and a feeling a lack. [0:10:35]
  • When there’s a feeling of lack, then you’re going to want to fill it. [0:10:42]
  • One of the worst things that can happen to a man is to feel a lack and not know what it is. [0:10:50]
  • Sometimes you can be moving and feel like you’re making progress and it turns out that you’re just chasing your tail. [0:10:56]
  • John Eldridge and the key question for men: “Do I have what it takes?” [0:12:21]
  • How high school wrestling led to an affirmation of the false self. [0:12:34]
  • In a poverty mindset, if anyone else wins, you lose. [0:12:48]
  • Growing up with a very promiscuous father, wanting to top his exploits. The spoiling of innocence through pornography. [0:13:13]
  • Making it it to Division 1 wrestling. [0:14:20]
  • Growing up without the concept of wearing out, depression, or anxiety and how it started to creep into life. [0:14:45]
  • Deciding to move on to the next best thing: join the Marine Corps. [0:15:00]
  • “Physically I was 19 or 20 years old, but emotionally I was 12 or 13.” [0:15:23]
  • Recognizing emotional immaturity is embarrassing when you are a meritorious corporal. and it’s even more embarrassing when you are a sergeant leading your men into a combat zone. [0:15:29]
  • Bringing a woman along on the journey. [0:15:44]
  • If guys who doubt themselves would actually press themselves enough—they would actually be able to outlast whatever they mentally tell themselves. [0:18:12]
  • As weak as you feel right now, you can do it. [0:18:28]
  • There comes a point when you are no longer faced with just a physical challenge, but also the emotional and spiritual challenge. [0:18:33]
  • Growing up without someone who was an encouragement to keep going. [0:19:42]
  • The example of conflict in childhood: When you had a fight, you got mad and slammed the door, and there was no acknowledgement of fault or asking forgiveness. [0:19:59]
  • The physical component of the military very easy, but the emotional and spiritual aspects always catch up to you. [0:21:19]
  • My wife left me because I was half of a man. Made it 120 days before she said “I can’t do this with you.” [0:22:09]
  • The price of not dealing with unresolved emotional and spiritual issues only gets heftier as you get older. [0:22:56]
  • The reason why Ray’s wife came back and stuck around. [0:24:45]
  • Coming to the realization that “I am surrounded by people but I am utterly alone.” [0:25:44]
  • Spending the night on the beach alone in a Marine Corps issued sleeping bag crying out to God for help. [0:25:55]
  • Calling a guy who offered counseling services and beginning a two year intensive discipleship journey. [0:26:31]
  • Being instructed on how to be successful in the military, but not being discipled into manhood. [0:27:18]
  • Having a man come in and shape my walk was the critical piece to transformation. [0:27:35]
  • I could’ve gone to any other thing that would’ve helped me feel better: alcohol, drugs, sex, etc., but I ran after God. [0:28:51]
  • Didn’t know what I was missing—I just knew that it was missing. [0:29:50]
  • Ray’s calling to help men in overcoming sexual addictions and struggles. [0:34:56]
  • Learning about porn at 6 years old and being addicted for 10 years. [0:35:19]
  • Everyone who is addicted says that they can quit whenever they want—it’s not true. Why haven’t you quit already? [0:35:47]
  • Porn is so pervasive in the military that everybody’s assumed to be watching it. [0:36:32]
  • If you looked at a brain scan and what was happening to you when you watch pornography you would know that it affects your brain. [0:36:52]
  • Saying “I should stop doing that” is not the same as saying “I will not do that anymore.” [0:38:24]
  • How Ray went from being addicted to porn for 10 years to not desiring it at all. [0:39:39]
  • Celebrating 10 years free from watching pornography. [0:41:00]
  • Not watching porn is not the same as being freed from porn. [0:43:37]
  • You can’t walk around life never thinking that you’ll ever be exposed to anything. [0:44:21]
  • Checking the parent’s guide on IMDb before watching a movie: “If my six-year-old can’t watch it, I probably won’t see it, because I care about what I watch.” [0:45:15]
  • Freedom is not the removal of something — is the ability to still live in the world. [0:45:55]
  • The constant reminder that life is about the journey not a destination. [0:49:17]
  • Asking the question: what will matter most when I am no longer here? [0:49:52]
  • The one thing that I remember is good I just want to be there for my kids.” [0:51:45]
  • Focus on what actually matters right now. [0:52:48]
  • Choosing not to take part in the mandated vaccinations in the military. [0:53:00]
  • Facing the potential of leaving the military revealed that Ray’s identity was in his job. [0:53:44]
  • Starting towards living a self-sustaining life. Working on building a runway to financial freedom. [0:54:04]
  • Turns out that the old way of doing things is the good way. [0:55:13]
  • The lifestyle that we want to live is quiet and self sustaining. [0:56:00]
  • Appreciation for Nathan’s encouragement to stay the course on social media. [1:03:03]
  • Taking a strong stance feels wrong because it feels countercultural, but Jesus was the most countercultural person ever. [1:03:18]
  • If we did everything that just felt easy, where would we be as a society? [1:03:36]
  • God provided what we need for the next step. [1:06:27]
  • Closing thoughts [1:10:23]

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