SEXUAL ADDICTION 

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  • Steps to Solution (Step-by Step) show you how to be transformed, walk in freedom and live in victory.

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The Way Out Of The Web

WHY AM I STUCK IN THIS WEB OF SHAME AND MIXED FEELINGS?

“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.”

1 Corinthians 6:18

It starts with a single picture… a single sexual image that pops onto the computer screen… and before long, you’re ensnared, entrapped in a complex, all-consuming web of sexual addiction. You’re undeniably stuck—you look around and all you see, all you think about, is sexYou’re obsessed with erotic excitement, continually contemplating where and when you’ll feed your sexual appetite.

Like an alcoholic who craves alcohol, you crave sex—you must have sexual stimulation.  There’s another side to what is called “sexual addiction.”

What stimulates also brings shame… with the fear you’ll never find your way out of the web.

You’ve tried to stop and you are unable to.  Maybe you have had short-term success and then you give in to temptation. It’s time to face the truth: You’re trapped and you need help. The Women of Faith resources will show you how to escape the tangled web of sexual addiction. Learn practical steps to overcome temptation with God’s truth and how to pursue purity in your life. You might feel like you are losing the battle.  With God’s help, you can have lasting victory! 

Is this how God intended things to be? 

God created sexuality and blessed it within the context of marriage. And He can help you break free of the binding web that keeps your mind captive. He can give you the strength to break free from the web, and He can replace harmful passions with healthy passions.  Even if you feel that your mind and your heart have been too defiled, remember that God is a Redeemer—a Deliverer! There is no willing soul that He can’t make clean…

“You, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living.”

Psalm 116:8-9

Not everyone who is sexually immoral is sexually addicted. While many adulterers and all rapists are sex offenders, such offenders are not all sex addicts. (Rape is a power play emanating from anger.) What constitutes a sexual addiction? Within the heart of every addict is a sense of shame—shame because of feeling unlovable, unworthy, and unwanted—shame resulting from repeated failure. This shame within an addict produces behavior and beliefs that are most predictable.

“When wickedness comes, so does contempt, and with shame comes disgrace.”

(Proverbs 18:3)

 

What Constitutes a Sexual Addiction?

Is your sexual activity …
  • Secretive
    • not within normal cultural boundaries?
    • living a double life
  • Hollow
    • not a relationship with a spouse, but a relationship with sexual passion?
    • prioritizing sexual passion over people
  • Abusive
    • not uplifting to yourself or others, but degrading to both?
    • exploiting others and debasing yourself
  • Mood-altering
    • not facing difficult feelings, but seeking an emotional quick fix?
    • using sexual passion for comfort or to avoid working through the pain
  • Essential
    • suggesting that you cannot live without sexual passion?
    • convincing yourself that sex is the most important thing in life

“For a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.”

(2 Peter 2:19)

 What Are the Pathways into Sexual Addiction? 

  • Advertisements— provocative lingerie, perfume, billboards, and catalogs containing sensual images 
  • “Adult”— bookstores, peep show booths, and nightclubs 
  • Cards— pornographic postcards, playing cards, and photographs 
  • Computers and Smart Phones— Internet sites, sex chat rooms, and sexual games 
  • Covert businesses— escort services and massage parlors 
  • Movies— slasher films, R-rated and X-rated films 
  • Music— sexually explicit lyrics 
  • Nudity— topless bars, nude beaches, and nudist camps 
  • Printed literature— pornographic books, magazines, cartoons, and comics 
  • Telephone— 900- numbers, phone sex, texting sexual images, and videos on cell phones 
  • Television— cable, soap operas, and videos portraying sensuality and adultery 

When you find yourself heading down the wrong street, follow this instruction from Proverbs... 

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity ... Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” 

(Proverbs 4:23–27)

 

The Downward Spiral of Sexual Addiction 

  • Curiosity... is a seemingly harmless temptation to view people as sexual objects. If the sexual temptation is not rejected and rather continually viewed, then the repeated sexual viewing becomes a habit. (James 1:14) 

 

  • Addiction...  is a recurring stimulus in the brain. When a person experiences significant stimulation with highly sexualized images, the hormone epinephrine (or adrenaline) is secreted into the blood stream by the adrenal gland. Epinephrine stamps emotional memories into the brain. These memories continue to resurface as flashbacks—regardless of the struggler’s desire to forget. Additionally, powerful, pleasure-producing chemicals are released during the sex act that are highly addictive (the same chemical as during cocaine use!). (Galatians 6:7) 

 

  • Compulsive masturbation... is a response of sexual self-comfort to relieve the arousal. This act becomes part of a sexual ritual. This compulsion keeps the struggler feeling enslaved to masturbation. (John 8:34)  

 

  • Escalation... is the need for more explicit or shocking sexuality in order to be sexually stimulated. In order to feel the same chemical high, an escalation of sexual stimulation is necessary. (Ephesians 4:19) 

 

  • Desensitization... is when the shocking no longer produces the same stimulation; therefore, the level required for stimulation escalates higher and higher. (Jeremiah 6:15) 

 

  • Acting out... is a compulsion to do (to enact) what has been seen and imagined. The acting out feels necessary because the visual experience is no longer satisfying in itself. (Galatians 5:19) 

 

  • Despair... is the feeling of utter disgust over the behavior, and the struggler feels a sense of utter hopelessness to change. (Romans 7:15)

Open the Door Out of Addiction 

  • Decide whether you really want to be set free. 

“Prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control”

 (1 Peter 1:13 NLT). 

 

  • Dispel the myth that you don’t need help. 

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10). 

 

  • Deal with the secret of child abuse. 

“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along” 

(Matthew 18:15–16). 

 

  • Discern the inner need you have tried to satisfy through sexual passion. 

“You desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place”

(Psalm 51:6). 

 

  • Determine to let Jesus meet your needs. 

“My God will meet all your needs”

(Philippians 4:19). 

 

  • Dedicate your life to the Lord Jesus. 

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it”

 (Luke 9:23–24).

The Freedom Formula 

  • Don’t Focus on the negative “combination.” 

Every time you focus on quitting a sexual obsession, you will want it all the more. Living under the “law” never changes you. If you focus only on what you shouldn’t do, you will be pulled more powerfully to do it. 

  • Focus on the positive “combination.” 
    • A new purpose—“I want to reflect the character of Christ through what I see and do.” (Romans 8:29)
    • A new priority—“I will do whatever it takes to have a pure heart and a transformed life.” (Romans 12:2) 
    • A new plan—“I will rely on Christ’s strength, not on my own.” (Philippians 4:13)

 

God’s Gift of Self-Control 

Commit to... 

  • Seeing pornography as sin 
  • Destroying all erotic material 
  • Purchasing and reading only uplifting material 
  • Avoiding tempting situations 
  • Turning quickly to a preplanned project when tempted 
  • Focusing on Philippians 4:8–9 when tempted 
  • Making needed changes in old routines 
  • Blocking all adult X-rated programs 
  • Being accountable to a friend each week 
  • Memorizing and applying pertinent Scriptures 
  • Breaking the chain of obsession 

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

 (Philippians 4:8)

 

Key Verse to Learn

“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.” 

(1 Corinthians 6:18) 

 

Key Passage to Read 

1 Thessalonians chapter 4

The Pathway to Purity 

  • Participate in an accountability group dealing with sex addictions. (Ecclesiastes 4:9–10) 
  • Uphold boundary lines that must be off limits. (Proverbs 27:12) 
  • Rid yourself, your home, and your work of all sexually addictive items. (Isaiah 1:16–17) 
  • Incorporate the power of Christ daily when temptation overwhelms you. (2 Corinthians 12:9) 
  • Take on positive habits of discipline, such as exercise, sports, regular sleep, and new hobbies. (Proverbs 10:17) 
  • Yield your mind to meditating on and memorizing Scripture. (James 1:21) 

“God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.”

 (1 Thessalonians 4:7) 

 

Closing the Door on Immoral Relationships 

  • First, admit that each immoral relationship was sinful. 
  • Second, ask the Lord to break the bond between you and each sex partner with whom you have been involved.
  • Third, present your body as a living sacrifice to the Lord. 
  • Finally, renew your mind. 

“Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God —this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is— his good, pleasing and perfect will.” 

(Romans 12:1–2)

 

Questions and Answers 

Question: “At what point does the normal sexual desire turn into lust?”

Answer:  It is natural to be attracted to someone, but unnatural to sexualize a person. When your mind moves from normal attraction …to consuming passion to do a sexually-impure act, then you experience lust.The moment you are tempted,  take control of your thoughts and your desires. Rein in your thoughts and pray, “Lord, I refuse to go down a road that leads to lust. I am committed to sexual purity in my mind as well as in my body.”

The Bible says…

“Do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.”

Romans 6:12

 

Common Questions about Nudity and Porn

Question: “Since God created the human body as sexual, what’s wrong with nudity and pornography?”

Answer:  God ordained human sexuality for intimacy in marriage and for procreation, while pornography and the nudity found in it is designed simply to arouse indiscriminate sexual lust.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

Matthew 5:27-28

Question: “Since adult bookstores, X-rated movies, and other types of adult pornography are usually legal, why should anyone object to them?”

Answer:  Sadly, legality is not synonymous with morality. Just because something is legal doesn’t make it morally right. Lawmakers often respond to pressures of lobbyists or the most vocal special interest groups, settling for less than the excellence set by God’s moral law.

“We must obey God rather than human beings!”

(Acts 5:29)

 

Question: “I am a Christian, so why do I still have a problem with lust? Why do I want to do what I know is wrong?”

Answer: Paul spoke to this very problem in Romans 7:21–24. Paul goes on to answer his own question by saying the answer is Jesus—relying on the Spirit of Christ, who lives within you to be your source of power for change (verse 25). If you have accepted Christ to be your Lord and Savior, He will give you His divine power to overcome sin.

“You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you.”

(Romans 8:9)

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God desires to give you hope as you face life challenges, problems and difficult trials. The good news for us, God specializes in redemption and transformation. He takes that which was lost and restores it. He takes that which was dead and gives it life. He takes that which had no hope and rewrites its story. This is our God! As you pray today, ask God boldly to transform the thing inside you that you want to see changed forever!

Thank you for your interest and support in Women of Faith. We pray God will encourage, equip, and empower you with His life-changing truth.

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