Dr. Juli Slattery is doing a few guest posts for me this week and we’re also offering you a chance to win a copy of her and Dannah Gresh’s new book. Read through to the end of the post to see how you can enter the drawing!
Yesterday we ran her post about sexual addiction. If you missed it, please go back and check it out. Today she’s sharing with us how we can find true freedom from any type of addiction.
Here’s Juli ~
How do I get over it?
The first step to addressing a sexual addiction is to bring it to the light. For you, that might seem more like a giant leap. “Tell someone? Are you serious?!” I’ve talked to missionaries, homeschooling moms, and other women who love the Lord, but are hiding a sexual addiction. The shame of admitting the struggle is enough to keep them silent.
You will never find healing while hiding. God works in light, not in darkness. The enemy wants to keep you isolated. He will tell you lies that keep you stuck in secrecy—lies like, If anyone knew what you did or looked at, you would be a disgrace. Your husband/boyfriend/ family would disown you. Besides, there’s no hope. You’ll just fall right back into it!
You may also be unwilling to take this step because you don’t want to let go of your addiction. Telling someone means accountability. Accountability means that you won’t have access to the reward. The “reward” has come to represent life, even while it brings death.
My friend, I can’t tell you the chains that are broken when you bring the secret into the light. Please pray that God will bring into your life a counselor or wise friend with whom you can share.
It is important for you to realize you are not alone. Men aren’t the only ones struggling with sexual addiction. Because of the stereotype that sex and porn are guys’ problems, women feel even greater shame to admit their battle. Crystal Renaud is a brave woman who admitted to her sexual addiction and got help. She is the author of Dirty Girls Come Clean, and the founder of Dirty Girls Ministries. She offers practical help and community for women battling sexual addiction.
Where is victory?
I sometimes wonder if the apostle Paul had an addiction. I wonder if his “thorn in the flesh” (which he also calls a messenger from Satan) was some sort of addiction. In Romans, he certainly describes what it feels like to have an addiction:
[box]I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. (Romans 7:15–20)[/box]
An addiction makes you feel like you are unable to honor God—that no matter how hard you try, you will fail. Paul doesn’t end his monologue with his statement of self-contempt, “What a wretched man I am!” He goes on to say that Jesus Christ has saved him from his sinful desires. This doesn’t just mean that Jesus forgives, but he also has the power to free us from all bondage we have.
I believe God can work incredible victory through an addiction, and I’ve seen it. To admit the struggle of addiction requires humility and repentance. To develop the daily self-control to say “no” to the shortcuts will require absolute dependence upon God. If you are willing to surrender your struggle to the Lord, he will develop in you amazing qualities of a disciple—a broken woman through whom his strength and wisdom can shine.
On March 1st, Juli and Dannah released, Pulling Back the Shades. You might consider this a double play on words. Not only do we want to pull back the shades of Grey for you to see God’s truth about what it and other books like it can do in your life, but we also want to pull back the shades on your own sex life. This book is not meant to be merely a reaction to Fifty Shades of Grey.
Ultimately it is about YOU—your longings, your questions, and your wholeness as a spiritual and sexual woman. We hope to offer you something you deeply need.
Today is the last opportunity to win your own free copy of the book!
Leave a comment below letting us know that you’ve shared this link on your Facebook page or Twitter account and you’ll be entered into the drawing for a free copy.
Even if you’ve left a comment on a previous day, to be entered in the drawing—we need you to post a comment below!
Adapted from Juli’s post at Authentic Intimacy