In our first 2 blogs we have looked at the life of Samson and what led to his sexual addiction. Our purpose is to learn so we can prevent the same from happening to us today.
Have you ever thought you needed help for your sexual thoughts or behavior? Do you ever feel that sex is controlling your thoughts or actions? Have you been fighting a losing battle to limit your sexual thoughts or actions which you know are wrong? Are you starting to feel helpless and doubt if you will ever change? Do you seem to fall into the same pattern of sin, always feeling guilt, remorse and depression afterwards? Do you promise that will be the last time, only to find yourself in it again? Do you fear the hurt and damage your sexual sin can cause the ones you love, but find yourself unable to stop and stay stopped? If these questions prick your conscious then you need to admit that, like Samson, something too powerful has a hold of you.
COMMON TRAITS IN ALL ADDICTIONS & COMPULSIONS There are some traits all compulsions & addictions have in common, be it gambling, drinking, drugs, sex or whatever. These include:
- Using this to escape the root problem instead of working it through. They deaden the pain of rejection, loneliness, insecurity or anxiety. They mask the pain and provide a quick escape but never get to the cause of the pain.
- The compulsion progresses, getting stronger instead of staying the same of weakening. It takes greater levels or amounts of the stimulation to produce gratification. Tolerance to lower levels is built, like the alcoholic who can drink a lot without getting drunk.
- Withdrawal symptoms occur when the ‘drug’ is unavailable. Healthy, normal relationships with others suffer. Ones relationship with God becomes virtually nonexistent. Shame and guilt result, separating man from God. There is no joy, just misery in life. The only ‘hope’ seems to be in locating the next ‘fix.’
- Thoughts become so obsessive the person finds themselves doing things they didn’t want to do and promised they would never do again. The same pattern of seeking the ‘drug,’ obtaining it and using it follows like a ritual.
THE COMPULSION OF SELF-STIMULATION Usually for men this starts with self-stimulation. Studies show that 62% of married men do this. Often it is justified, explained away as normal and all right. But it is sin. The wrong thoughts that accompany it are sinful (Matthew 5:28). It makes sex an end in itself (ones own physical joy) instead of a means to an end (show love to mate). Our bodies don’t belong to us to use for ourselves, but to our mates to use for their pleasure (I Cor. 7:4). Plus, anything not of faith is sin. Finally, it’s inconceivable to think of Jesus doing or approving this.
CAUSES OF ADDICTIONS & COMPULSIONS The cause starts in childhood, especially in abusive or dysfunctional families. When a person is unable to have real intimacy with another, to really give ones self without reservation, to overcome feelings of rejection or failure, sexual compulsions often compensate. Sex becomes a way of escaping pain and substituting reality with a fantasy world. Society conditions us to this, for everywhere around us we see lust replacing love and substituting for real closeness. Satan works with this, too. His demons magnify openings we give him and keep working on them, putting thoughts and desires into a person’s mind. Often this follows family lines, going from grandfather to father to son. (CONTINUED NEXT WEEK)
PRAY: If you see any of these traits or patterns in yourself pray and confess them, asking God to give you victory over them. Plan what steps need to be taken to have victory in them. If you see any of these in others pray for them as well.
(If I can answer questions or offer personal counsel, or if you would like a free copy of my Spiritual Warfare Handbook, email me at Jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org or download it from http://sw.christiantrainingonline.org/. My next book, Spiritual Warfare in the Bible, which is a more advanced treatment of spiritual warfare, is also available for free.)