The Addiction Cycle

We have seen Samson marry a very manipulative woman, but leave her on their wedding day.  Later he return, probably more out of sexual needs than real love for here.  He finds her married to someone else.  His revenge ended up in the death of his wife and her new husband.  But it doesn’t seem Samson has learned anything from this relationship.

THE ADDICTION CYCLE  Awhile later Samson repeated the same pattern, going to the Philistines for sexual gratification.  This time it was to a prostitute (16:1-3), a practice that would ultimately cost him his life.  Understand that not everyone who struggles with sexual sin is an addict, but just like with alcohol or smoking or drugs, when a person isn’t able to stop on their own they are addicted.  Samson showed signs of a sexual addiction.

First there is a PREOCCUPATION WITH SEXUAL THOUGHTS.  Thoughts start running through the mind, bringing a mild rush of adrenaline (James 1:13-14).  The adrenaline rush gets addictive, as does the escape from reality the thoughts bring.  We assume acting on our thoughts will be the solution to our problems.  This is where the cycle must stop.  If we don’t bring our thoughts captive (II Cor 10:5) at this point it will be much harder later in the cycle.

The RITUALIZATION stage of the cycle is when one starts acting on their thoughts.  This usually takes a similar pattern each time.  For Samson it was going to Gaza, a Philistine town where prostitutes were readily available.  For men today it may include surfing the net late at night, hanging around a certain magazine stand or book store, going to a video store when the wife is away, walking past a certain secretaries desk or many other things.  Thoughts of sin are conceived (James 1:15a) and grow.

ACTING OUT usually follows the ritualization pattern.  The sin is committed, in action or in mind.  Then comes the GUILT & SHAME.  As James says, sin gives birth to death (1:15b-16). Instead of life we get death.  Instead of joy there is sorrow.  Short-lived pleasure is replaced by a long time of pain. Emptiness fills us.  We end up feeling trashed afterwards.  We promise we’ll never do it again.  But before long the cycle is repeated.

This addiction cycle must stop at the very start — what we do with the first thought (Matt. 5:28).

THE APPEAL OF A NAKED FEMALE Samson gave in when he saw a good-looking woman (Judges 15:1).  Why do naked women look so good to men?  Remember the first time you saw a naked woman?  How did that affect you?  Why is it such a big thing for a man to see a naked woman?  Evolutionists say it is a natural way to keep the human race going, but the Bible says God made things that way (Gen 2:22-25; Prov 30:18-19).  Naked animals are no big deal, and (until our recently very polluted days) women aren’t affected by naked men like men are by women.

I think God made it that way to reward man for his extra load as leader and so he’d be drawn to his wife to touch her (which a woman needs).  Nakedness stands for intimacy.  For a woman to show a man her naked body shows she trusts and needs him, she is responding to his masculinity (that’s the reason pornography is so appealing – but nudity in that way is a big lie). God wants men to enjoy their wife’s body (I Cor 7:4-5; Song of Sol 4:5-5:1; 7:1-8). Men have a hard time with emotional and spiritual intimacy, and often use physical intimacy as a substitute.

This would be fine if only ones naked wife was attractive, but other women are still appealing to men.  We still have a sin nature and a free will choice to obey God or sin.  It’s built into men today from little on up to ‘check out’ each woman as to her sex appeal.  It becomes a habit, a bad pattern, and Satan’s forces keep putting such thoughts in a man’s mind to get the addiction cycle started.  Also, we all have a thing about ‘forbidden fruit’ that makes other women sometimes seem more appealing.  We know our wife’s imperfections and want to see only perfection, so are tempted to view pictures of other women.  How would we feel if our wives compared our bodies or sexual abilities to other men?

Appreciating a naked women is natural and God-given, but it must only be ones own wife.  To so look at or think of any other women in that way is adultery (Matthew 5:28).  That’s what led Samson to sin, and King David as well (II Samuel 11).  Joseph knew himself well enough that he knew he had to run from the sight of a naked woman not his wife (Genesis 39).  God always provides that escape (I Cor 10:13) but we must take it.  That’s the only place to stop the addiction cycle.

PRAY: If God is convicting you of an addiction to anything (sex, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, gambling coffee, etc.)  confess it as sin and ask God to forgive you and remove it.  Ask God to take back any access this sin has given to Satan’s forces.

(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 or download it from  My next book, Spiritual Warfare in the Bible, which is a more advanced treatment of spiritual warfare, is also available for free.)


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