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Manhood Ministries

By: David Lyda (From: Volume 2 - Issue 2)
(All photos provided by Pastor Jimmy Tarrant.)

The devil has a plan, and he’s come to kill, steal, and destroy. He knows if he tears apart the family, then all of society will break down. Take a look around, and it is not hard to see. The family unit is constantly being attacked. Marriages are falling apart, and children are paying for the iniquities of their fathers and mothers. Single parents have to assume roles that they were never intended to take. What is the best way to destroy the family? Take out the leader. It’s a simple combat strategy. Take out the commander, and the unit will fall apart. This spiritual warfare is being waged against the husband, the father, the God ordained head of the household.

What about in a Christian home? Surely they are impervious to the usual trappings of drug abuse, alcohol, adultery, etc. Sadly, that is not the case. These sins are prevalent among the churches, but there is yet another silent killer. It’s the secret sin of pornography. Temptation is everywhere, and our desires are easily fed in the age of technology. The hunger lust grows until the man finds himself isolated and destitute. Relationships and family disintegrate under the addiction. It’s a vice that many do not see the possibility of freedom, but nobody is ever too far gone. Jesus still has the power to heal.

Porn addiction is something Pastor Jimmy Tarrant can testify about from a firsthand experience. Studies have found that nearly 50% of Christian men struggle with pornography. Shocking as that may be, these men include pastors and leaders in the church. Our flesh is selfish, and unless it is tamed by the Spirit, our human weakness will consume us. Pastor Jimmy found himself lost in the shame and loneliness of addiction. Who would understand? Would anybody offer compassion or only condemnation?

After struggling for many years, Pastor Jimmy did not know if freedom knew his name. He had admitted he was wrong and asked forgiveness. Several times, he even stepped away from his sin for months. In 2004, Pastor Jimmy was at a function in North Carolina where Anne Graham Lotz was speaking. At the conference, she called for the men and women to put things behind them. Simply repent of your sins. The words “simply repent” seemed to echo in Pastor Jimmy’s head. What is repentance? He had asked for forgiveness and quit several times, but he had never truly turned his back on pornography. In the back of his mind, he knew he had not broken away from it.

That night in his hotel room, Pastor Jimmy got down on his knees and truly repented. He knew that temptation could still come, but he knew it was a new start. Repentance had truly been made. Pastor Jimmy called his wife and shared the news. With God’s help, he had committed to remove the barrier that separated him from true communion with the Lord. Not only that, he had again taken his place as the leader in his family. The devil’s plan had been foiled by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit.

Pastor Jimmy’s own struggles led him to begin Manhood Ministries and write the book Solitary Confinement. The very apt book title follows a composite character drawn from personal experiences, the testimonies of other Christian men, and also addiction statistics. It follows the fictional man named R.J. as he falls into the trap of pornography, he struggles with what he knows is wrong, his relationships begin to fall apart, he finds himself alone in his guilt, and it ultimately shows how he finds freedom in Jesus Christ.

This book was written during a transitional period before Pastor Jimmy began leading another church. Solitary Confinement was used as an outreach before he ever shared his personal testimony. Eventually, the situation presented itself where Pastor Jimmy was asked to testify at an event. This led to a public confession that suddenly broke down a barrier that had held many men back. The transparency of his life brought this ministry to struggling men with arms wide open. It wasn’t about pointing fingers or condemnation but compassion and restoration.

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