On Monday's blog I shared several Scriptures that talk about the freedom and grace Christ has called. A major milestone in sexual addiction recovery is believing that what God says is true. I’m learning to say, “If God says it in His Word, there must be a way to get there even though I haven’t found it yet.”
Freedom from sexual sin is more than stopping a behavior. Its learning to let God be everything you need when it comes to the sexual part of you. Not just freedom FROM, but freedom INTO a deeper relationship with Christ.
On to some practical suggestions on how to get there.
#1: It starts with salvation
Deep freedom from sexual sin is impossible for us to achieve with our own efforts. It’s too strong because it’s rooted in our sinful nature. We can clean up our behaviors, but we can’t clean our heart. Only Christ can do that.
#2: You’ve got come out of isolation
You take a major step into freedom when you talk to someone about your struggles. Call it confession, integrity or transparency, but it’s you revealing instead of hiding.
I had many short-term moments of victory on my own. Sometimes I could stop looking at porn or masturbating for a month or two, but I always went back. I was still hiding the “inner me”. I thought I was strong enough or motivated enough to make it last.
There is no accountability or discipleship in isolation. There is no “one another” in isolation.
#3: You’ve got to build your support system.
This is connected to coming out of isolation. You are broken in the area of sexual health. You are in bondage to sexual sin. God’s power flows through many arms and legs. Counselors, ministers, support groups, accountability relationships, spouses, best friends or family members can be part of your team. These are people who know you, love you, and people with whom you have transparency. Your support system helps you know you’re not alone in your struggles.
#4: You have to establish boundaries and accountability (structure).
Sexual strugglers are used to doing whatever they want, on their computers, in their minds, and with their alone time. It’s not freedom, though. Freedom comes in saying “No” to immorality and impurity and saying “Yes” to people, places and things that will lead you to God. It requires boundaries, discipline and accountability. If you have a good support team, they can help you with structure.
#5: You’ll need to have a strong strategy (offense and defense).
Defense = roadblocks. You have to set up barriers to people, places, and things that will tempt you.
Offense = healthy alternatives. You also need healthy and righteous places to spend your time and energy. We have to replace bad habits, but we also have to practice serving others.
#6: You’ll have to learn the importance of surrender and sacrifice.
Finding freedom doesn’t come without pain. There is no easy road to recovery. Learning to say “No” to self and “No” to impure desires is a process. You must surrender the “me” part to God. This is where attachments are broken and healing takes place. This is also where strength and freedom are found.
Jeff Fisher is a blogger and podcaster living in Raleigh, North Carolina. He and his wife run www.porntopurity.com. Jeff’s podcast Top Tips For Sexual Purity Podcast (I-Tunes) is one of the more popular podcasts on sexual addiction recovery.