This is a testimony of someone God saved in a real way-
I felt God leading me to jump on here and I want to share, but please do not think I am a know it all or have it all together.
My approach to sobriety is a tad different, but I also think other perspectives will help.
My story is I came out of a lifelong porn addiction that started when I was 7 or 8 years old, and it had me all over the place – and you can also throw in some abuse at a young age and in high school by a family friend- bottom line it left me a mess. I hated who I was, but I didn’t know who I was, and I wanted companionship but I was dumped over and over by the latest girl in my life, as I was overly smothering clingy and emotionally attracted to women, but the porn addiction caused me to want anything forbidden, and I was in my head sexually fantasizing about men and enslaved to masturbation from fantasies or porn often multiple times a day for almost 20 years of my life. And this was before the days of internet porn where you can access it 24/7 right from your smartphone.
I got saved 20 years ago and that set me free from the daily enslavement. YET it took about 19 years to learn how to stay free from relapses when life got tough. I have been 100% free since February and had maybe 3 relapses the year before that. God has changed me.
What I believe God showed me is this- at salvation, God gives you a new heart that now has a thirst for righteousness. That happens right at salvation and with that, we are saved from the penalty of our sin. No matter what happens after that point, we are headed for heaven. PERIOD.
YET we can go back to our old ways because it’s ALSO A BRAIN issue. We need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
That can take a long time. It doesn’t have to take 20 years. But it took me almost that long to learn how this happens.
God wired us with sexual hormones- these are meant, in a perfect world, to be released on our wedding night with our spouse- oxytocin and dopamine and epinephrine, etc – and one thing they do at orgasm is GLUE us to our spouse. The bible calls that ONE FLESH.
There is a spiritual part of this yes, but it also is a chemical brain connection.
BUT when we have sex in adolescence or masturbate or look at porn – instead we get GLUED to the forbidden. There are various reasons why we can have a desire for the same sex or porn or whatever – but ultimately God wired us to want to worship Him and God wired us with a need to connect to our father and mother – as well as get affirmation from other men, etc. So however that works, if we are not whole we “Adams” don’t recognize an EVE as other – part of “other” for us can be another man.
So if we sexualize that need for masculine influence in our lives, and ORGASM results whether from fantasy or from porn or from an abuse experience or from a sexual experimentation experience, we can GLUE ourselves to a male, or porn, or fantasy, whatever just as strong as someone who never had forbidden sexual experiences will with his spouse on their wedding night. It almost doesn’t seem fair – but there is a way to heal this.
Without healing, sex with the forbidden – whatever “hook” the devil uses – will feel natural, our go to, etc. We can white-knuckle it but that isn’t real freedom.
I don’t know if everyone will have the same success with my approach – BUT to me, I found approaching Same Sex Attractions by the Sexaholic definition of ALL LUST and sex outside of marriage is TOXIC has most helped me get beyond the idea that this challenge was harder than other addictions, as ALL SEXUAL SIN GLUES YOU the same way.
So essentially the solution was to detox for 90 days from all forms of lust to free the GLUE and then realize it’s a 2-4 year healing of the brain to really re-glue to my wife as strong as someone who never experienced any forbidden sex.
And part of recovery is the DISCOVERY of how shame, rejection, avoiding pain, avoiding conflict, etc all drive the feelings of not feeling like a man, which drives the desire for the forbidden. It doesn’t matter if its same-sex attraction, porn, fornication, masturbation, or fantasy.
So facing my past, facing life head-on, not isolating, being able to just know I am accepted in the beloved and jump into some male accountability groups not focusing on how I am any different with my “flavor of addiction” but seeing how whatever “hook” the devil got us with, the “treatment” is similar.
So that is where I am at. I don’t state I have it all together. But I no longer see my sexuality as the enemy but my bad choices damaged my sexuality. That is starting to clearly heal.
I finally don’t feel like I am “other”.
I am not ashamed of who I am anymore. I don’t like the things I do still – like flipping out at my kids or blowing in my marriage or fretting/ worrying about life whatever. BUT I am content now in who I am in JESUS. And I am confident more and more that He really is working on me.
And most importantly, He loved me then as much as He loves me now. My performance, my recovery, my freedom, none of that has made him love me more than he has already.
IF you are struggling with any sexual desire for anything outside of marriage, I encourage you to get help. First make sure you are saved. Then get plugged into a group of others who have found the way out.