In our fifth year, the Higher Ground Men’s Conference is grateful for the many testimonials we’ve received from men telling us how our event is a powerful touchpoint as they strive for a life of integrity.
When our church partners step up to become a sponsor or bring a large group of men to our conference, a safe opportunity is created for men to attend, men who might be secretly struggling with sexual brokenness or a marriage on the brink of crumbling.
Men just like Kevin.
“As a young man I married a godly young woman and we served God together for decades. We recently celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. But we almost didn’t make it.”
Like so many men of faith, Kevin had a deep wound that he kept a secret until it almost unraveled his life. Due to chronic health issues suffered by Kevin’s wife, their intimacy – both emotionally and sexually – became virtually non-existent by 2013. When his wife said “I can’t” Kevin’s heart heard “I don’t want to” and he started believing the lie that she didn’t love him anymore. As a result he began to consider both divorce and sexual infidelity.
That same year, however, Kevin’s pastor encouraged all of the men in their church to attend Higher Ground, and to take their sons. “Going as a group at our pastor’s urging meant I wasn’t admitting to a problem,” Kevin confessed. “No one talked about sexual integrity at church, and in my mind, going to a conference about it on my own would have been equal to admission that I had a problem. No way was I going to admit that to my wife, or any of the men in my church!”
But at Higher Ground that year the speakers, breakout presenters, and fellow attendees spoke openly and honestly about their own struggles, and Kevin realized that the temptations and challenges he was facing were very common. Getting real with other men who attended removed the barriers and allowed Kevin to pour out his heart at a men’s retreat later that year during group prayer. Healing came, changing his heart toward his wife and toward his marriage.
Going as a group at our pastor’s urging meant I wasn’t admitting to a problem,” Kevin confessed. “No one talked about sexual integrity at church, and in my mind, going to a conference about it on my own would have been equal to admission that I had a problem. No way was I going to admit that to my wife, or any of the men in my church!
“I began praying regularly, ‘Lord help me to love my wife well in everything I say and do so she will feel cherished.’”
In our fifth year, Higher Ground purposes to encourage and equip men to win the battle for integrity.
“We don’t shy away from the difficult topics of guarding a man’s heart against lust, pornography, or anything that threatens to erode a man’s integrity,” Steve Dulaney, president of Prodigals International, said. “Certainly, every man who attends Higher Ground isn’t engaging in sexual brokenness, but so many men come because they understand our culture is a war zone, and they want to equip themselves, equip their sons, and be a friend and a real support for men who are struggling with these things.”
And that friendship and support made all the difference for Kevin.
“My wife and I now communicate our intimacy needs with each other and effectively meet those needs within the physical limitations that have become our reality,” Kevin said. “That level of communication would not have been possible without the freedom I received through what I learned at Higher Ground. I’ve gone back every year, and always come back with something practical.”
The 2017 Higher Ground Men’s Conference is Saturday, February 25th at Westminster Chapel, Bellevue, WA.
Attendees can choose from more than 20 in-depth breakout sessions facilitated by leading psychologists, pastors and thought leaders on topics of sexual brokenness and recovery, fatherhood and parenting, spiritual authenticity, biblical manhood, and being agents of social justice in regard to poverty and the sex trade. Special tracts available for teens and young adult men.