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Breaking Free

Dr. Juli Slattery is doing a few guest posts for me this week and I’m also encouraging you to go to this website to read (or listen online) to chapter one of Pulling Back the Shades.

Today theatres will open their doors to an audience that is hungry for a new genre in the film industry: the glorification of sexual abuse. If you’ve been sucked into the “Fifty Shades of Grey” phenomena, I hope you’ll consider the wisdom that Dannah and Juli share in their book.

Yesterday we ran Juli’s 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.

***

Are you struggling with sexual addiction? If you are, please don’t remain in the dark, reach out to a trustworthy and spiritually mature friend. Step into the light and experience the freedom and deliverance Christ can bring.

I hope this information will help you to come alongside others you know that may be struggling with this. The enemy is seeking to place women in bondage through erotica and sexual addiction, let’s ask God to set the captives free!

Adapted from Juli’s post at Authentic Intimacy

Image courtesy of stockimages/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

2 Comments

  • Putting it in perspective - Sexual addiction statistics

    Source: Top Ten Reviews
     Size of the porn industry: $57 billion; of which $12 billion is in the US
     By comparison, the combined US revenues of ABC, CBS and NBC are $6.2 billion
     Pornographic websites: 4.2 million, 12 % of all sites on the Internet
     Pornographic emails: 2.5 billion per day

    Source: ChristiaNet survey
     50% of Christian men are addicted to pornography
     20% of Christian women are addicted to pornography
     60% of Christian women admitted to having a significant struggles with lust

    Source: Barna Research
     Among “born again” Christians 49% believe sexual thoughts and fantasies are “morally
    acceptable”
     Among “born again” Christians 28% consider pornography as “morally acceptable”
     Among “born again” Christians 35% believe sex outside marriage is “morally acceptable”

    Source: Christianity Today
     37% of pastors admit that cyber-porn is a current struggle and 51% believe it is a source
    of temptation
     57% of pastors said addiction to pornography is the most sexually damaging issue in their
    congregation
    Source: American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
     68% of divorces involve one party meeting a new partner over the Internet
     56% of divorces involve one party having an obsessive interest in “pornographic websites”
     33% of divorces involve one party spending excessive time in “chat rooms”

    Women statistics:
     34% of female readers of Today’s Christian Woman admitted to intentionally accessing
    Internet porn
     One out of three visitors to adult websites are women (Internet-Filter-Review.com)
     Of those struggling with sexual addiction under the age of 35, 40 percent are women
    (National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families)
    Children and families statistics:
     The largest and fastest growing group of consumers of Internet pornography are 12-17
    year olds (Internet-Filter-Review.com)
     The average age of exposure to pornography is 11 (Internet-Filter-Review.com)
     47% of families said pornography is a problem in their home (Focus on the Family poll,2003)

    The above information was obtained through Purelifeministries.org and can be viewed online at http://www.purelifeministries.org/files/PDFs/Info%20and%20FAQs/Statistics.pdf

    *We as a culture must stop feeding this monster! If you or someone you know struggle with some form of sexual addiction know that liberation lies in the name of Jesus. Please reach out – either to your faith family, or one of the resources noted above. You will need friends to come along side you and prayerfully walk you through this journey of redemption.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Thank you SO MUCH for including this information and especially for the recommendation to “Pure Life Ministries!” I should’ve included a link to them in this post, so I hope people read your comment. I need to feature that ministry at some point. Thank YOU!!