I paid to talk sex with someone as a young pastor and it was one of the best things I ever did as… albeit it was with a counselor. My understanding is that there is a hang up for some when it comes to going to counseling. It has been my experience (and that of many others) that counseling can be a very helpful process to assist moving yourself in a healthy spiritual direction. Initially, the most liberating and captivating thing to me about counseling was that I could be honest. Fully honest. And, I didn’t have to fear for the repercussions. (In case you don’t know this already, a licensed counselor is legally bound to confidentiality — unless of course you have murdered someone or violated a child.) This was super critical for me in dealing with my shortcomings.
There was a period in my early 20’s where I wasn’t honest. I wasn’t honest about my thought life, my struggles, my temptations, my weaknesses, my failures and my probable future. What I was is fearful. Fearful that I would lose my wife, my job, my standing, my reputation, my life. In my mind I had built up my struggle with sexual purity to be one where if I ‘came clean’ then my whole life would all come crashing in on me. In reality there can be a good chance that you could lose some of these things if you decide to be open and become accountable.
I believe that the huge upside with honesty is the ultimate sense of freedom, loss of anxiety and new found sense of spiritual confidence. Beyond those things, honesty about your true nature, whether it be victory or struggle, brings you back into the real world that God created for you. No more hiding. No more fear. No more false pretenses. It is these things that make the other costs worth the process.
Some possible steps to consider:
– shoot an email into safe cyberspace with a honest account of your struggles
– identify 1 truly safe friend outside of your church context to unload your struggle with
– make an appointment with a local professional counselor that specializes in addictions