It’s hard to find a balance – a group that loves you for YOU but also one that isn’t disgusted by your struggles or falls, but yet wants you to be clean in a clean on the inside sort of way. The AA white knuckler who hasn’t had a drink in 453 days (because he will tell you that) and yet is smoking and angry and moody and looks at porn is NOT FREE. He is just as bad off as if he had 453 drinks in the past 453 days. That is not freedom. But freedom isn’t embracing the temptations either – you don’t want your old group of friends either that are willing to take you back with open arms – those that are going to be a stumbling block so when you aren’t thinking right and are tempted to go back to your drug of choice, you quickly end up back in the hog pen with them.
What is the balance? Where is true freedom?
John 8:31-32 says:
31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Often we aren’t free because we keep believing the lies about ourselves.
There is a need for radical amputation and embracing a new identity but it’s hard today because the church is often uptight and judgmental about those who don’t sin like they do – and it seems like you have to choose between the lost crowd who seems to be having fun and the saved crowd that seems miserable and is more white-knuckling than really free.
I think raw honesty may work.
My experience is in more helping sex addicts and help people find freedom from sex addiction in the forms of porn, same sex issues, and adultery in a world that is telling you whatever feels good, just do it.
To see the lie that is – look at just how they lie about how embracing the LGBTXYXPGC or whatever else they want to add to the mix is. The gay lifestyle is anything but that – GAY means HAPPY. But there is nothing happy about it. It is very lonely and it is at the end of a downward spiral against God- and you just need to look at your gay friends in 30-40 years it really reveals how empty it is.
The relationships dry up and the party life dries up and there are no grandchildren or family and it is a dark, lonely road. There is good data in places like Denmark (or somewhere like that) that has embraced homosexuality for years and there is no external condemnation of it and they embrace it and no one would dare say anything negative about it — so you would think if any place would be the happiest/ gayest place on earth, there it would be. Yet the suicide level of homosexuals there is still insanely high and the depression, drug use, and alcohol use is very high too. This should be a good piece of evidence in that homosexuality is really being at odds internally, with a God who designed us with right desires and the brokeness and other issues that come up in this fallen world that have us looking to the same sex for “completion” like how complete Adam looked at EVE as a help mate, recognizing traits in her he didn’t have in himself.
Some of this recovery process in any form of sexual addiction (and anything apart of the male-female in marriage covenant qualifies) is dropping the shame and letting God heal the father (or mother) wounds / wounds of the past from rejection, neglect, being sexually abused, early porn use, whatever. Sexual sins really come from the deep interal injuries/wounds etc that operate from deep within us.
The heart change – internal healing- and really believing what God says about you – which often is believed more when you have others around you speaking truth to you and you seeing the hand of God confirming something you read in the bible, etc — all that seems to be part of the process. Because until then, we can go to a good church and find acceptance but if we don’t embrace God’s identity for us, shame will twist the sermons we hear and the words of men as well.
I haven’t found a lot of good support in churches for really being open and accepted as you grow in the process away of sexual sin, but I also have rejected a lot of it, but as i grow in my recovery, I can see that many meant well and many I pushed them away. Many I assumed really were phony and many I assumed were struggling themselves and pretending they had it all together and I just didn’t want to fake a friendship. I needed something real.
I am seeing some good healing in an online recovery group that is more for sex addictions but even in that sense I can reach out to them and be honest with my specific struggles and be real and they encourage me and pray for me and I think that praying with men (if you are a man – and with women if you are female) is a good substitute for the emotional and physical connection you are longing for that creates desires for the forbidden either in a fantasy, porn, or real encounter.
Many with same-sex struggles or just deep insecurities have deep wounds that causes one to not think they are “one of the guys” and that creates a want / need for real male affirmation and real connection and many times addictions are simply the sexualization of a legit need to feel whole and to connect with other people- if you don’t get that need met spiritually and from others, likely the sexual desires will return and that will increase the shame and guilt which in turn will make you more empty and more wanting a forbidden sexual connection and the sexual desire will often override the recovery process.
I am still figuring a lot of this out – so I am not an expert but I am writing out my thoughts as I think through this.
I am married and the need to connect deeper emotionally with my wife as well. IF you are not married, maybe have some Christian sisters you can trust and that you will be able to have boundaries with in your relationships. Connecting to a wife emotionally makes us vulnerable because yes we can get hurt – but ministering to our wives is also an important way to meet the need for connection. If we don’t connect emotionally, then we may not be able to squelch the never ending desire for illegitimate ways to fill that if we refuse to do it God’s way — but I think the best environment for recovery and transformation is when you can find some deep spiritual connections with both men and women — and if you are married, it has to be mostly with your spouse and you don’t want to have opposite sex prayer partners.
IF you have had same sex attractions and if you can’t trust yourself in case it could turn into a sexual temptation by having same sex prayer partners – at least have some men who can pray with you on the phone and maybe have a recovery meeting on a zoom call etc. – that connection will fill a lot of the vaccuum that used to be filled with sexual encounters that never satisfied.
I don’t know if i am making sense –
but recovery is a 2-4 year process of renewing your mind,
It starts with JESUS – being satisfied with Him and reading the bible and letting His promises and words anchor your soul.
and it is finding a group of men you can connect with and be real around – and that should be in church but today it’s hard to find real accountability and fellowship sadly.
The areas that seem to be ones we struggle with are
1) ISOLATION. This breeds the desires for acting out.
2) Passive AGGRESSIVE – we don’t like to confront and we don’t like to set boundaries and be able to tell people no. People pleasing because at our core we don’t feel anyone loves us unless we meet their expectations. Instead we need to work toward being assertive – not being jerks but being able to speak the truth in love.
3) Procrastination. We need to be able to tackle situations and hard conversations etc that scare us and learn to have courage like men. We need to have confidence and learn we can do all things through Christ – where life seemed to teach us there is something wrong with us, and that we don’t have what it takes, and the world is destined to just run over us and leave us in the dust.
As we start to get healing and work on those issues, say one issue a week and have a group to hold us accountable, we can experience change.
Change doesn’t make us loveable to God. He loves us right now as we are.
BUT change makes us more moving toward being a MAN of God and the more we experience life change and feeling like a man, the sexual desires for the forbidden will start to fade away as we won’t see that lacking vacuum in us.
Am I making sense? I am just sharing a lot of things God has been working on me and the past few weeks/months I have seen more hope and progress than in the first 15 years of my salvation.
FREE people ….. free people.
and I am not there yet but am seeing a lot to be encouraged by, so Hope it was a blessing to you.