Frequently Asked Questions.
I’ve been a longtime visitor of your site (due to my even longer visiting of other sites and giving into lust), and have begun to enjoy longer periods of freedom from stumbles, slip-ups, and full on binging. I don’t want to pat myself on the back, but thank Christ for whatever strength and the infinite grace He’s given me, but onto the question:
I’ve been turning to porn for comfort, intimacy and stress-relief for about 7 years (in varying degrees of frequency), and I’ll be reaching 100 days of freedom next month. The trouble is, I’ve begun to develop romantic interests in a friend of mine. However, even though we are not in a romantic relationship, and I’m not thinking about her sexually, I begin to get aroused when I’m around her or texting her. Our conversations are nonsexual, but despite prayers and a very strong desire for it not to happen, my body’s reaction makes me resort to walking awkwardly and sitting whenever I can. I’m at a loss of what to do. Is this just an artifact of my past actions and thought-processes, or is it a permanent scar? I live in a very shut-in, conservative Christian community, and have talked to the few people I trust on the matter, but their answers range from “I can’t help you” to “That happens to me too”. I’m very frustrated with myself and am at a loss of what to do, as the frequency has not decreased. Do you know anything on the matter that can help, or of someone else I can ask about this?
Thanks in advance!
Well… the guy who said he can’t help you probably didn’t want to say what the other guy said “That happens to me too” but the truth of the matter is, if it is as you describe it- not romantic or sexual, but simply an attraction that your body is responding to without any effort on your part then… it is involuntary. You will just have to work through it. Obviously it is an annoyance but it is a response to something being triggered in the brain. If you study the brain on porn you will see how different brain chemicals are released when engaged in porn viewing. I’m not saying that because you were hooked on porn you are stuck with this the rest of your life but what I am saying is that your brain “remembers” the same “feeling” or “emotion” that triggered the chemical release before is happening again only this time it is not with porn but with a romantic interest. If you haven’t read the book Pure Eyes you may want to. The book describes the physiological aspects and will help you to understand better what has happened in your brain.
Give yourself some time– keep redirecting your thoughts away from the obvious and I think this will resolve itself in time.
I’ve been raised in a church my whole life but was never seriously involved. The church was in the inner-city of Cincinnati and the demographic they were appealing to never truly appealed or spoke to me. I say because it gave me a knowledge of who Jesus is, but not the heart to pursue him.
Fast forward to me attending a (very very very) baptist school where again, I was learning more about the character of Jesus, but nothing about how much he loved me. This all changed shortly after my 18th birthday where I decided to attend a church service on campus one day.
I felt Jesus’ love for me in a way that is indescribable, and being over a year later, I’m an active member of the church. I got baptized, I volunteer with the facilities team as well as the prayer team and I’ve made awesome friendships and have even guided others to a relationship with him.
Here’s what I struggle with: through all that He has done for me, I still don’t have the willpower to break my pornography addiction. I’m in a “leading” position on the prayer team but am at the same time am following my own desires despite my best attempts.
I came into the church an addict, and over a year later, am still an addict. I found you guys on Crossroads’ website and am seeking anything, whether it’s support, encouragement, or answers.
Here’s the short answer. You have to be willing to be completely transparent (even to the point of being uncomfortable) and be willing to do whatever it takes to lay this down if you really want to be free.
You said it best when you said you still “follow” your desires. It’s your choice but it’s making you crazy and full of conviction because it should. The bible tells us that a double-minded man is unstable in all of his ways and it also says that we cannot serve two masters. You are going to have to make a choice. Whether you willingly choose or not is up to you but if not, eventually you will be found out. Being in a leadership position in your church is a privilege and you will feel so much better when you do the right thing.
If you have no clue where to start with accountability, check out Craig Gross’ book OPEN. It will be a tremendous help.
You can also visit the START HERE section for some suggestions and resources.
I’m Writting to you guys because I have no idea who to ask and I am too ashamed to ask anyone I know because I do not want them to think of me as a failure.
I’m going to get right to the point and say It. I have been having sex with my girlfriend for the past 6 months.
I was raised in church and opened my life up to Jesus at such a young age that I cannot remember any part of my life when I have been without God. Like all people there have been times in life where I have been distant from God, but that’s is just part of our walk. The last couple of years have been one of those periods in my walk. Prior to these last couple of years I was a key leader in my countries largest youth group, which to me makes my circumstance seem even more shameful.
At the beginning of this year I made the decision to return to church and it was great. I felt like I had returned home. However, at the same time I was going back to Church I also met a really nice girl through work who is not Christian. We entered into a relationship and started having sex almost straight away. I have fallen into the following cycle; I struggle with the sex aspect of the relationship because I know that it is wrong. I bring the issue up with her and we agree to try not having sex. this has happened 2 or 3 times now but we always end up having sex again after about a week. It means a lot to me that she wants to stay with me without having sex and shows me she actually cares about me.
However, I wan’t to stop having sex so that I can live in all that God has for me and fulfill what he has called me to. But unlike most other sin that involves only myself, I have involved another person in my sin. I love this girl so I don’t want to hurt her and hurt her in a way that means that she will blame Christianity for what happens and never give God a chance. At the end of the day I am been a terrible witness to her by continuing to sleep with her. She is coming to church with me sometimes and is enjoying it. I know that there will be consequences if I continue to live in unrepentant Sin, But I also know I need to go about this in a way that takes into consideration how it will make her feel. hurting her is the last thing I want to do, she is really in love with me. What should i do?
I think you know what you need to do because you have listed everything out so eloquently.
Here’s the deal— once you know something you can’t “un-know” it. Once you’ve awoken something within you it is hard to get it to go back to sleep so you will need to enlist others to help you if what you say is true about honoring Jesus, honoring this young woman and honoring yourself. You said you’ve returned to the church so find someone you can talk to. Confess your struggles and ask for accountability– then set yourself up for a win.
Where do the two of you have sex? Stop putting yourself in that location or those locations. If it means you can only be together in public places, then so be it.