The Unexpected Connection that Shatters a 50 Year Belief


Have you ever heard of “six degrees of separation?” It speaks to the high level of connection we have we others on this planet.  It is the basic premise that everyone in the world is six steps or less from every other person.


There have been many interesting studies relating to this theory. No one seems to know where the idea came from, but as early as 1967, an American sociologist, Stanley Milgram, set out to test its validity.

Mr. Milgram randomly selected a few hundred people in the midwest for his experiment. Each of them was given the challenge to send a package to a stranger located in Massachusetts. All they knew about the recipient was his name, occupation, and general location.

In those days you couldn’t just google someone’s name or address to get the information you needed to complete the task. Instead, each midwesterner was instructed to send the parcel to a personal friend that they believed might be closer to the target than they were. Subsequent recipients were instructed to do the same. Each sent the package to a friend that was in a nearby location, had ties to a similar occupation, or even shared the same surname as the target.

It was originally thought that the mail’s journey could require as many as one hundred intermediaries, but in studying the path of the packages that reached their final destination, Milgram found that most had only exchanged hands five or six times.

This simple concept has since inspired movies, games, songs, television programs and, of course, a multitude of further studies.

More recently, the internet has been the primary vehicle for those studies. It happens MUCH quicker and with much larger groups, but that six degrees of separation still shows up on a regular basis.


Sexual addiction is so rampant that there’s no need to got to such lengths to find another struggler. There is no six degrees of separation.

Choose any four of your friends, neighbors, even family members. Statistics show that it’s very likely that at least one of them will know this addiction intimately.  It may be in their own life or that of their spouse, but it is wreaking havoc in their home.

If by some fluke you do actually manage to choose four people that haven’t been devastated by this issue, without a doubt, one of them will know someone who has. What’s that? Two degrees of separation? Maybe only one? Thinking about how tight that connection is helps us realize what a huge and growing problem this is, even in the Christian community.

Embarrassment, shame, or a fear of judgment or rejection keeps many people from admitting their struggle. Unfortunately, their silence also keeps them from receiving the help and support that would free them from its destruction.

The problem is that hiding people are hard to reach. My heart breaks for everyone that is trying to struggle through this alone. The enemy is lying to them and telling them that no one would understand, but I do. YOU do.

Could God be nudging you to reach out to some of your friends?

No pressure. Just a thought.


That’s understandable. It’s hard to put yourself “out there,” when it involves something so personal. What will people think? What would they say if they knew? Maybe you don’t feel comfortable telling others about your husband’s problem. And that’s OK.

But, if you feel so lead, there are ways to throw a life ring to the people around you without diving in over your head.

If you want to share, but don’t know how, why not try something like this?

“My friend, Janet has a blog over at She provides education and support for women struggling with their husband’s sexual addiction. Her husband once struggled with this addiction himself, so she really knows what she’s talking about. According to statistics she says as many as one in four Christian families are struggling with this issue in their home. Take a look at her site. Pass it on.


So many of our friends and families are being affected by this epidemic.

If by chance, you’re one of them, I just want to let you know you’ll get no judgment from me. If you ever want a safe place to talk, I’m here for you.”

I know it’s a huge step  . . . and it may not be the right time for you to make this kind of connection. But, if you do feel God’s nudging, you might be the one who unknowingly gives someone a key that unlocks new hope and healing in their lives. That’s a pretty amazing gift to give.

Therefore, since we have such hope, we are very bold. —2 Corinthians 3:12


TODAY’S CHAT: What is YOUR biggest fear about reaching out to those around you? We ALL have them. What’s yours?

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