If you have fallen into this trap of the enemy, what can you do? Here are some practical steps to getting free.
Sexual addiction is by far the leading addiction in the church today. Yet many people don’t believe–or perhaps aren’t willing to admit–that they have a problem. You can tell you need healing from a sexual addiction if you find yourself:
- Convinced your behavior has to be secret
- Continually needing more and more of this behavior to be satisfied
- Constantly trying and failing to stop a certain behavior
- Continuing this behavior, knowing that your spouse doesn’t agree and that it is affecting your relationship.
If this description applies, don’t allow the enemy to keep you in bondage. There are some things you can do to get free.
Acknowledge that you are an addict. No one can help an addict who lives in denial of his problem and thinks that everyone does this or that. To recover, you will have to stop lying to yourself.
Remember that our Father in heaven sees all and knows all. He knows your every thought. He knows you struggle in this area. He has heard every prayer you have prayed to stop your secret behavior. And He wants you to be free! He will be with you as you fight this battle.
Become accountable to another person. Addictions, by definition, will not allow you to recover from them without help. Thinking you can handle this yourself is the surest way to fail. You are going to need some help to get better.
I see so many Christians who are trapped by an addiction try to fix it themselves. They have memorized 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (NKJV). The problem is that this verse promises forgiveness, not healing. To address your need for healing from sexual addiction, you need to turn back a few pages in your Bible to James 5:16:
“Confess your trespasses [sins] to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
Accountability is a powerful biblical tool for healing. If you want healing from addiction, you need to be willing to humble yourself to another man and begin to confess the truth of your sin. Scripture declares that as you confess to and pray for each other, you will be healed.
You will also receive the grace you need to live a pure life, for God says in His Word that He “resists the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). Until I was willing to humble myself to another man, I was trapped in my behavior patterns. When I started becoming accountable to another person, I began to get free.
Join a support group. Support groups are available to assist people in overcoming all addictions, including sexual addictions. Maybe your excuse for not attending a support group is that you are rich or famous or that you hold a prominent position in your community, and you’re concerned that you will be recognized.
But I have counselled people all over the country for many years, and I have never found one instance in which a trust of anonymity has been broken. These support groups are full of those who know what you’re struggling with and who have heard it all. They are a safe place for you to begin to heal.
Adapted from Sex, Men and God by Douglas Weiss, Ph.D., copyright 2002.