How Can I Break Free From Sexual Addiction?
*The following transcript has been slightly edited from the original audio text for readability purposes. All speakers’ original intent has been maintained to the best of our ability.
Judy, we want to tackle an 'Ask the Counselor' question this week. It comes from a woman who said that she was sexually abused when she was younger and at this point in her life she really doesn't find herself interested in sexual activity at all. She's more interested in talking to and meeting men, and she apparently has been looking online for that. She recently met a man online and they have been dating. He's asking her to do things that she's just not comfortable with. She's finding it hard to say no to him. She wants to live right she says, and she's asking for help and guidance. What would you say to this precious woman?
Judy: Well Mike I just see and sense there's a lot of things going on here: to know that she was abused when she was younger, opens up a whole realm of things that we could talk about for many broadcasts.
Yeah, there are probably some deep heart issues there that need to be dealt with.
Judy: Exactly because that can set a person - male or female - down the wrong path and it seems to be playing out in her life. It's maybe scared her or led her to have anger toward intimacy, a precious gift from God. We're going to believe that this young woman is a Christian and that she has a relationship with God, that is really the most important thing. But I'm sensing that her relationship with God doesn't have the main importance. It seems like she's seeking comfort, affirmation, and affection from men, and is finding herself in this dating situation, that's obviously not of the Lord.
It's interesting that she says she wants to live right. We see that a lot. People - depending on their faith background - want to live right. They want to keep all the rules. They want to do the right things. But when you ask them "What's your relationship with the Lord like?" There's a gap there. We can't live right without that relationship with the Lord.
Judy: Right, and so some practical things that I can offer this young woman is: first of all, she really needs to get serious with the Lord and really repent of this inappropriate relationship that she's in. I would really recommend that she break it off. She really needs to make God her heavenly husband at this point. I would also encourage her to seek out a godly woman, maybe a pastor's wife, to make herself accountable to - someone that can speak into her life, so that she's not out there alone trying to make all the decisions by herself. Thirdly, I'll mention the dangers of the whole internet dating scene, but really anything that is going to open up doors for her to stumble if she really wants to live right - if she really wants to be a disciple of Jesus. He even says 'If you want to be my disciple, you must be willing to deny yourself.' Pick up that cross daily and follow after Him; which means to be obedient. I really encourage her to shut down that stuff, and maybe get involved in a singles group at church or maybe get involved in serving; and then really trust the Lord to bring the right person into her life.
I want to add to the good, practical things you just said. I can almost hear people saying, "But Judy, the Lord wouldn't want me to be alone." Just to underscore: no, the Lord doesn't want you to be alone; He wants you to have a relationship with Him. The rest of our life-relationships flow out of that. Whether he wants us to remain single or to be married, we have to find our sense of who we are and our meaning in life in Him. The second thing I want to add to what you said is: not only online dating sites, but we hear a lot of stories from Facebook. I could go on down the list of all of the social media sites that are huge in our society today. I read a recent study where the psychologist studied the emotional makeup of people on Facebook. They found that people on Facebook tend to be increasingly lonely and in despair. "Wait a minute I thought all these social networking sites were supposed to open up all these wonderful relationships." But they don't. The false premise that's put forward is that if you can just connect with all these people, then your life is going to be filled. But that's a trap, and we see people falling into it. Our life needs to be filled with our relationship with Christ; and after Him, with real relationship with other godly people.
Judy: Exactly. When you fall deeper in love with Jesus, your focus becomes more purified and it is about serving him. In those motives trying to find a relationship - especially for women - there's a that deep seated want or desire for affection; and if that is not surrendered to the Lord, it's going to open up wrong doors. There are wrong wells we find ourselves going to trying to find those things. They ultimately lead to sin because they're not of the Lord.
As you're saying that, I'm thinking of the woman at the well that Jesus spoke to. She had five previous husbands and the husband she had now wasn't her husband. Jesus was talking about that living water. As you just said, she was trying to satisfy the thirst of her soul with all these relationships, and Jesus said 'No, it's me. I'm the living water.' We do pray of course that this woman is able to find that living water as you so appropriately communicated with us today in Jesus. Judy before we go, I do want to mention three resources that are available for women related to what we've been talking about today. First of all there's an excellent blog post on our website titled "How to Approach Dating as a Christian." There's also a great book in our bookstore "Create in Me a Pure Heart" that I think some will find as an excellent reference. Lastly, for women who may be struggling, they may want to check out our Overcomers-at-Home Program which is open to men and women. All of those are available on our website at purelifeministries.org. Judy Lucas, thanks so much.
Judy: You're welcome. Thank you.
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