Break Free from Sexual Addiction
- Monday, March 26, 2007
Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Mike Genung's recent book, The Road to Grace: Finding True Freedom from the Bondage of Sexual Addiction, (Blazing Grace Publishing, 2006).
Sexual addictions – from porn and masturbation, to adultery and prostitution – leave you trapped in sin and shame. No matter what you’ve done or how long you’ve been struggling, Jesus will give you the power to change your life if you turn to Him. The freedom Jesus offers you is so powerful that the short-lived pleasure of sex can’t compare to it.
Here’s how you can break free from sexual addiction:
* Come out of isolation. Ask God to give you the courage to admit your weaknesses and faults to others who can help you. Confess your struggles to God and pray for His help to overcome shame, pride, and the fear of rejection so you can open up with some other men. Remember that you’re not alone; many other Christians struggle with sexual addictions, and plenty of people will understand the issues you’re facing. Know that it’s impossible for you to overcome your challenges unless you have the support and encouragement of others. Expect that if you don’t expose your addiction, God will orchestrate circumstances that will eventually expose it anyway, since He loves you too much to let you continue to harm yourself and others. Start meeting with either an accountability partner or a support group every week. If you need help locating a support group in your area, visit www.blazinggrace.org for information. Whenever temptations hit you, call your accountability partner or a member of your support group to talk and pray. If you’re married, don’t hide your struggles from your wife; realize that you need to be accountable to her. But don’t burden her with the responsibilities that should belong just to your support group or accountability partner, and make sure your wife has the support she needs to pursue healing herself from the ways your addiction has hurt her.
* Make the necessary sacrifices. Be willing to sacrifice whatever it takes to keep lust from controlling you. Realize that it’s worth it to give up whatever you need to give up to build healthy relationships with God and your wife. If you have stored pornographic magazines, burn the whole stash. If you have CDs of porn, throw them out. If you’ve downloaded porn from the Internet, clean your hard drive by formatting it. Install porn blocking software, don’t use your computer unless your wife is home and awake, and give her your access passwords. If you’re seduced by images on TV, shut off your cable service and remove the antenna. If you’ve engaged in phone sex, block access to 900 numbers from your home. If any of your mail tempts you (such as a lingerie catalog your wife receives), call to get your address removed from the mailing lists. When you’re on a business trip, don’t turn on the TV in your hotel room and, every night, call a man who’s supporting you in your healing journey. If you still stumble, travel less or get another job that doesn’t involve travel. If you’ve been having an affair, cut off all contact with the person, delete all e-mail, burn letters, and throw away anything she has given you. If she lives nearby and the temptation is too much for you, move to another region. If you’ve been visiting adult bookstores or bars, avoid those areas when you’re driving. Be sure to cut off everything that makes you stumble, but don’t worry about areas that aren’t a problem for you. Cut off your temptations now; don’t procrastinate.
* Don’t settle for just sobriety; go for purity. Understand that, while physical abstinence from your sexual addiction is a noble goal, it’s not enough, because you can still fall back into your addiction after a temporary break. Pursue purity, which give you the power you need to say “no” to every temptation or lustful thought. Know that, to be sexually pure, you need a new heart, and only God can give you that. Ask God to create a clean heart within you. Stop depending on your own limited abilities and decide to rely on God’s unlimited power working through you. Realize that you’ll find purity not through counseling, reading the Bible, or any other endeavor you can do, but through the simple yet profound act of trusting God moment-by-moment in your life. Accept the reality of your brokenness and let it cause you to depend more on God and less on yourself.
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