Earlier this month I wrote the article “How Do I Know if I Have a Sexual Addiction?” In the article, I shared that your sexual behaviors have turned into an addiction when:
- You can’t stop.
- Your behaviors get worse.
- You need more of the behavior to feed your desire.
- Your behaviors are affecting your priorities, family, work and relationships.
- You turn to the behaviors to alter your mood or escape pain.
THE DAY I REALIZED I HAD AN ADDICTION
The first person to suggest I was addicted to pornography was Pastor Bill. He helped confront me about what I had been looking at on the computer at work. He used the term “bondage”. I was really offended by it.
I also had a counselor who talked about sexual addiction. He told me any sexual behaviors can become addictive. I develop attachments to them. I develop habits around them. My brain also develops a dependency on the chemicals that come when I have sexual stimulation or a release.
I knew I had a problem, but why did this term “addiction” bother me so much?
It’s because I didn’t want to be labeled. I didn’t want to be a statistic. I didn’t want to be the broken, messed up guy.
Accepting the term “sexual addict” is not the issue. The issue is:
- Realize you have a problem
- Realize you have a serious problem
- Start taking steps with God, others and yourself to work on it
ADDICTIONS CAN BE BROKEN
An addiction doesn’t have to be permanent for you. It is something we get trapped in, fall into, and get enslaved to. We can’t break the chains of an addiction with our own efforts. We need God and we need God working through others to find freedom.
AN ADDICTION IS NOT WHO YOU ARE
God never labels us as addicts. We are created by God in His image. He puts infinite value on us. At no time are we ever worthless.
Homework: Spend some time reading Psalm 139, Jeremiah 1 and Romans 8. Let God remind you of His love for you and of your infinite worth.
Some in the 12-step meetings say “Hi, I’m Jeff Fisher and I have a sexual addiction”. What’s important about that is that I recognize I have a problem. But having a sexual addiction does not mean that I am the problem. I have a problem and I need to go to God and to the right people to help me break free and heal. So what if I have a sexual addiction.
Sexual addiction for me was who I was. I’m Jeff, I’m a sexual addict, and I’m messed up.
It was very different for me when one of the guys in our group said, “Hi, I’m Ricky. I’m a child of God and I struggle with sexual sin.” I thought that was odd. Most in the group were not saying that. Ricky was making a statement that this sin does not have to label me and identify me. Yes, I broke my marriage covenant. I stepped over boundaries and committed some terrible sins. But it doesn’t brand me. This is not permanently who I am.
ENCOURAGEMENT AND CHALLENGE FROM JEFF
As 2012 has begun I want to encourage you to do something radical to work on your sexual addiction. Something you’ve probably never done before.
I want you to talk to someone about it.
You can never be free from sexual sin on your own. You will never be able to “just keep it between me and God”. It’s too powerful. God’s not too powerful to break the chains, but He brings healing when we confess to others and turn to them for help (James 5:16; Galatians 6:1-2).
You can do this! You can come out of isolation and start talking about it.
Accountability is a key component in recovery. XXXchurch.com offers two options for accountability.
X3 Groups is a online based group that meets weekly at the same time offering personal accountability with others. This is an option if you are unable to find someone in your area that will offer this help.
X3 Watch is another option that goes hand in hand with the X3 Groups and any accountability. This is a program that can be placed on either your computer or mobile devices.
Jeff Fisher lives in Raleigh, NC. He and his wife run the site www.porntopurity.com, a site designed to offer hope, encouragement and resources to those who are affected by sexual sin. Checkout Jeff’s podcasts on I-Tunes: Top Tips For Sexual Purity, Top Verses For Sexual Purity, and For Ministers Who Struggle.