Yes, there is FREEDOM being offered!
The fact that you are here and reading this proves that there is hope for you – you have seen the ugly side of sexual addictions & perversions and are now seeking FREEDOM.
Perhaps these addictions or perversions promised you fulfillment and pleasure, but left you empty and disgusted with yourself. Perhaps they have begun to ruin your marriage, or your family, or even interfere with your job or your sleep. Whatever stage you are in, whatever has happened in your life – there is hope as long as you are alive.
I had a nasty dream last night. The kind where you wake up from it feeling profoundly guilty and can’t get back to sleep. But as I processed this dream and found freedom from it (small as it may be, I have been through this process many times), I felt compassion for the other friends out there in the world that are struggling with sexual addictions & perversions and have not yet found freedom.
We live in a world where we are completely inundated by sexual content throughout our days. You simply can’t browse the news, drive on the freeway, look for a show on Netflix, or even check your email without being compromised. I sympathize with you, with all of the people who struggle with their sexuality – this is not easy. It is truly a war.
Let’s jump right in – how can we start finding FREEDOM?
- Compartmentalize It!
One of the key ways that I find freedom is through compartmentalization – in other words, I separate myself from the feelings and thoughts (and dreams) that I have, and don’t allow myself to take blame for them. Label and confront it – “This isn’t ME. It doesn’t define ME. It doesn’t reflect on ME.”
As I once heard someone creatively explain this phenomenon – “You don’t have any control over whether or not a bird flies over your head. But you DO have control over whether or not you allow it to make a nest in your hair!”
This same concept is true with sexual thoughts/feelings/dreams. We have little control over when or where they pop up – but we do have control over whether we let them stay. We also especially have control over whether or not we act on them. It is a difficult choice to make, and one that will take practice. But there is hope.
Which brings us to our next step to finding freedom:
2. Practice, Practice, Practice
To reiterate, we don’t have much control over certain external influences, or even internal influences (like our thoughts). But we have 100% control over what we choose to DO as a result. And this takes practice. It all comes down to a choice – will I reject these thoughts and feelings, or give in? Indulge them? Or even find enjoyment in them for a bit? Think ahead of time how you WANT to respond to these thoughts/feelings, then put that response into practice.
“If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.” Genesis 4:7 NASB
3. Cling to Hope
The battle may not be easy, but it certainly is winnable! There is a God who offers victory over all Earthly things. We don’t have it within us to fight and win these battles. Perhaps for a time we can – but the key to freedom lies in supernatural power. The wonderful part is that that supernatural power is freely offered to us!
Sexual struggles can lead us straight to God – whether for the first time or the hundredth time. And when we are led to Him, He will show His faithfulness, and grant you your FREEDOM. If you haven’t seen this in practice before, you are severely missing out. The time is NOW to find freedom and move on! Whether it is a “small” addiction or problem, or one that has kept you in bondage for years and has wreaked havoc on your life and relationships, there is hope.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NLT
4. Bend over Backwards to Avoid Your Triggers!
We generally know ourselves well enough to know what causes us to struggle with sexual addictions. Common triggers include:
- A friend or a group of friends
- Browsing the Internet
- Watching shows/movies that promote and joke about sexual perversion, divergence (normalizing homosexuality, transgenderism, & masturbation), promiscuity, fornication (having sex outside of marriage)
- Certain feelings like being hungry, angry, disillusioned, disappointed, lonely
- Advertisements that use sex to sell
- Women or men who are inappropriately dressed in public
- The list goes on…
It’s completely up to you. If you desire freedom, then the triggers must be identified and completely removed. I realize this is much easier said than done! But the freedom is worth it. Remove these temptations and replace them with healthy media, relationships, and habits. I would bet that there is someone in your life who would be willing and able to help you make these changes – be bold and ask for help. Here are some ideas:
- If friends are encouraging you in the wrong ways, find new ones. Get a new job if needed – it will be worth it. A group that is aimed at bringing people freedom from temptation and addictions is a great place to start!
- If the internet is an issue, unplug it. Quit your internet provider. Only use Internet when you have a friend or are in a public place, like the library. This may seem drastic, but it will go a long way towards protecting you!
- Filtering the internet is also an excellent option, and may be free. If you can administer your internet router and change the DNS settings, you can change those DNS settings. Check out the “OpenDNS Family Shield” for a simple, powerful, quick and free install option, or tune exactly what you want to filter with the “OpenDNS Home”. You can even filter out known “time-waster” sites!
- If shows/movies are influencing you, toss them out. Fire Netflix and Hulu and Amazon Prime. Find other ways to fill your time, and you’ll soon find that you don’t even miss the shows that were pouring that junk into your life. (And don’t kid yourself that you or anyone else is “strong enough” to watch certain things. They are influencing you and shaping your life in ways you don’t need – whether you like it or not.)
- If your triggers have more to do with actual needs, like hunger or loneliness etc., get to the root of the problem. Learn to recognize the needs when they pop up and have a plan – “When I start feeling lonely, I am going to call _____, and make a plan to go to group on Wednesday.” “When I get hungry, I am going straight to the kitchen for (an apple) (some pie) (a burrito).” “When I feel angry, I’m going to allow myself to feel it fully, and then process it and let it go so it can’t continue to ruin my life.”
- If advertisements or scantily clad people cause you grief, learn the essential art of “bouncing” your eyes. As soon as you see something inappropriate or tempting, force your eyes away and onto something else until it has passed. Call it what it is. You may not have control over what you see in public, but you have complete control over how you allow it to control/affect you.
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13 ESV
5. Recognize Your Need for Supernatural Help
If you don’t know where to find this kind of help and freedom, message me. I have some good news for you.
And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you FREE!