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Life would be so much easier if there were a big ole ‘recover from porn and masturbation addiction’ button lying around, wouldn’t it?
I know given the chance, many of us would hit that baby so hard it would crush under our enthusiasm.
Or maybe frustration is a better word…
But alas, if it exists, it remains a mystery!
That’s what brings you here.
But, I bring good news, my friend!
There is in fact, a big, red button! …It just looks a little different than you may have imagined.
Instead of slamming down on a shiny hunk of plastic, all you’ve got to do is be a STARR:
See you’re not alone,
These are five simple statements that will lead you into finding freedom from porn and masturbation. Let’s zoom in on what they mean.
1. See You’re Not Alone
The biggest lie addiction feeds you is ‘you are alone! If anyone knew, they’d be disgusted!’
Check out the stats. Chances are, someone (well, a lot of someone’s) in your life, and in your church are struggling too.
Women are especially vulnerable to this lie. They can feel drained of their femininity and balk in the face of struggling with ‘a guy’s issue.’ But remember, one in three visitors to adult websites are female, and between thirteen and twenty percent of Christian women consider themselves addicted! You are far from alone.
This ministry wouldn’t exist if you were the only man or woman struggling. But here we are. Let that sink in.
2. Tell someone:
The Bible refers to Satan as the ‘Father of Lies.’ He works best in the dark where there is no one to rebuke him. When you confess your struggle, you shed light on that dark place and open a space where truth can be spoken! When you tell someone and are accepted, it flies right in the face of the lie ‘You are not worth loving’. It is a taste of the grace of God.
If it were possible to get free on your own, you wouldn’t be here, would you?
Recovery is a team effort. As Craig Gross says, ‘a good story requires more than one character!’
You need someone on the outside to speak clarity. Your brain is on autopilot, so you need someone to remind you, ‘You don’t actually want this, remember?!’ in those clouded moments of lust.
This means having someone you can text or call at any time (even those crazy hours of the morning) when temptation strikes, meeting regularly (over coffee, Skype or phone) to share victories and struggles, using accountability software or joining a group.
Accountability means brutal honesty and vulnerability. But it also means freedom.
4. Recognize Pain:
Sexual addiction is an intimacy disorder. Think of yourself as a tree. The fruit is the behavior you exhibit. But apples don’t just grow out of nothing, do they? Their life-force is in the roots.
Those who fight sexual compulsion often have their roots in trauma, abuse, abandonment or some other form of ruptured intimacy.
Healing comes when you recognize those hidden triggers. It can help to delve into these issues with a mentor, counselor or recovery group. Without dealing with the root, you’ll never heal the fruit.
5. Restore Intimacy:
Recovering from addiction isn’t about cutting something out of your life. It’s about adding to it!
This addition is threefold: With yourself, your community and your God.
Self-intimacy isn’t as inappropriate as it sounds! This means self-love and self-care. When was the last time you believed you deserved to be pampered? Be gentle on yourself, nourish your soul and allow yourself a treat!
Community is vital because shame is isolating. It stops you from engaging with the world like you used to. Community is a healing way to re-enter reality. Enjoy sports, hobbies, activities, church or just having semi-regular coffee with some friends. They will start breathing freedom and hope into your lungs.
Of course, true and lasting intimacy is with God. He knows every image and temptation you’ve faced. And he likes you. He enjoys you! Connect with him however you can, whether that means swearing, running, singing badly, reading theology books or sitting on a beach with him in silence. He longs to come near and hold your heart.
The Bible talks about shining like stars; I’ll bet my hermeneutics are off, but you’ll sure as heck start shining when you use this process of being a STARR. That big, red ‘recovery’ button may not be as far off as you think. Get to it.
The post 5 Steps for Finding Freedom from Lust, Porn, and Masturbation appeared first on XXXchurch.com.Read More
As porn addicts, one of the most important questions we need to ask ourselves is this: what do we want?
– Do we want to stop looking at porn?
– Do we want to not feel crappy about ourselves every waking moment anymore?
– Do we want complete freedom?
Most of us want all of those. If pushed, we say we want freedom, but really we don’t want freedom; we want control. Think about how we talk about addiction in the church. We regularly say things like, “Through God all things are possible,” or, “God offers us freedom from our sins,” but in the next breath, we talk about porn and lust and sin as “something we will always have to deal with.”
Are all things possible for God, except complete freedom from addiction and lust?
As the saying goes, “Once an addict, always an addict.”
Really? Is our God that small?
Too many Christians are terrified of sin. In fact, I would go as far as saying we have a very unhealthy obsession with it. This is why, when it comes down to it, we don’t want freedom but simply control. The Christian life for millions of us is nothing more than a game of How Can I Not Screw Up Anymore. We’re so weighed down by the stress of not living a moral failure in front of others that we don’t actually get to enjoy life as fully as we can.
We like control because, for many of us, not sinning has become the ultimate goal. And freedom terrifies us because it requires us to give up the need to be in control.
But true freedom for a believer in Jesus means we are no longer controlled by living up to certain standards set for us. If we really think about it, we have no standards to reach anymore, because there is nothing we can do to be accepted. You can screw up everyday for the rest of your life or never screw up again.
God welcomes you. Period.
It’s like Brennan Manning writes: “Real freedom is freedom from the opinions of others. Above all, freedom from your opinions about yourself.”
Now some of you will read this as an excuse to do whatever the heck you like. Like Paul’s warning in Romans. But this is anything but. In fact, Jesus spent a lot of His time trying to break down the control over people’s actions that many religious people would use to keep people in order.
Countless times, Jesus opposed the very message that even today some pastors or books or churches provide: that we have to live a certain way or we are failures. But that’s exactly the point! We’re already failures. We’re already broken and we’re already in need of rescuing. You don’t need rescuing because you stay up to 3 am every morning to look at porn. We believe that for Jesus to accept us, we need to stop; and so when we can’t, we drown in shame.
The good news is not that if you just manage to keep your head above the water you’ll be fine.
The Good News is actually much, much better than that.
It’s that in the very act of letting go of trying to swim, we can learn to breathe.
You see the Gospel message is not one of getting our crap together so we look good. It’s about laying our crap out for all to see and learning that our strength has nothing to do with how we appear, but rather in our honesty and openness to be real.
Having some sort of control over the sin in our lives may be important in the short term, but eventually we will simply get burned out and will grow tired of fighting or clinging on simply because we’re not dealing with the deeper issues. This is why Jesus didn’t just tell His listeners not to murder or to commit adultery but not to even be angry or think lustfully about another person.
Why? So He could put further unattainable standards and pressure on us to behave, like the Pharisees?
He told us to not even do those things because ultimately there is something deeper going on when we murder. You can go your whole life without killing someone but still harbor deep anger towards someone that will slowly kill you.
So, too, with porn. Maybe you won’t cheat on your spouse or hire prostitutes. But when you carry around pain and it begins to express itself in using porn, a quiet disconnect from the people that matter the most in your life creeps in.
If being free from lust and porn is simply never looking at porn again, then great. But if that’s as far as our definition goes, we’re missing out on so much peace, joy, and life.
In Jesus’ Sermon on Mount, there is no call to those who are well, who are healthy, who say and do all the right “Christian” things or who are not looking at porn. There is simply a call to come.
The people described in that sermon are not people whose live have worked out to plan. Yet, shockingly they are the ones called “blessed.” Which are you? I know who I’d rather be.
If you think you need to have your crap together before you are accepted, all I can say is, “Good luck with that.”
Because ultimately, freedom might mean you never lust and look at porn again, but never looking at porn again doesn’t always mean you are free.
The post Can a Christian Ever Really Be Free from Lust and Porn? appeared first on XXXchurch.com.Read More
This month we’ve been exploring some of the common “permission based” questions we get from people on a weekly basis. Questions that quite honestly, don’t help anyone.
If you are a woman, maybe you’re wondering if taking those sexy photos for your husband is okay during his recovery from porn or if it will trigger him to use again.
I get it.
It sounds innocent enough.
I mean, it is photos of yourself for your spouse.
Technically speaking, you are staying in the lines of what should be accepted into a marital sex life. But, there are some reasons it may be a no go.
Here are a few of thoughts to ponder through before doing something like this:
1. What are YOUR motives in having these photos done?
I know that may seem like the answer is simple, but it’s not. When I was in the midst of my husband’s addiction to pornography, I thought that maybe having sexy photos done of myself would curb his appetite for other forms of pornography.
It did none of that.
In fact, he continued to look at porn AND my pictures to find his pleasurable result.
I just contributed to him looking at pictures and masturbating to them. When it comes down to it, he said that it felt like I was giving him PERMISSION to continue in the addiction.
Another motive that I had, but just didn’t realize, was so I could feel “as good as” the women in the porn he liked. Pretty twisted, right?
Think about it: when our husband’s look at pornography, it makes us feel less than. We feel like we don’t measure up somehow. This is not the truth in any way, shape or form.
Our husband’s pornography addiction truly has NOTHING to do with us.
Yet, we still feel unworthy at first. So, in my entangled web of thoughts, I figured that I could prove to him and myself that I do measure up through giving him what I thought he needed.
That idea backfired and only left me feeling used.
You may have not even thought about what the photos could do to you and YOUR recovery.
Taking the photos, and then seeing the pleasure that your husband would undoubtedly get from them, could cause some triggers of your own. I know that it set off all the internal triggers of not feeling good enough, having no worth, being a sex object, being a less than wife and reliving all of my husband’s actions.
If those motives sound familiar, you probably should not be taking sexy photos. Don’t go backward in your recovery. Go forward.
2. Pornography addiction is just that: ADDICTION. With any addiction, there is a cycle.
According to Rob Weiss, LCSW on January 20, 2015, in Sex Addiction Expert Blogs, pornography, and sex addiction cycles look like this: Triggers – Fantasy – Ritualization – Behavior- Numbing – Despair-Triggers.
This means that there are triggers which begin a behavior that leads to the end pleasurable result that leads to despair which starts the cycle all over again.
If your hubby is struggling or has struggled with pornography this cycle is true for him. Addictive behavior has triggers. Some of those triggers could simply be “sexy” photos.
While the photos would be of you, the photos could still cause the addictive behavior cycle because they could very well be a trigger. If you are anything like me, the last thing you want to do is possibly trigger your husband to use again.
Be an advocate for HIS recovery, not a stumbling block.
3. Lastly, when having Boudoir photos done, it possesses the questions of who is taking them, how are they being stored and where (if you are) are you getting prints?
If anyone other than your husband is taking the photos, you are allowing someone to see you in a way that is reserved for only your husband. In this day and age of technology, if you are storing the photos on any device, that leaves the door open to your photos accidentally making it onto the internet.
If you are having the photos printed, who is printing them?
If you are printing them anywhere outside of your home, you are again allowing other people to see you in a way that only your husband should.
If you are printing them at home and storing the physical photos at home, what actions are you taking to ensure your children (or anyone that is not your husband) will not get a hold of them?
All of the actual steps to have the photos need to be thought through thoroughly.
Bottom line here: While there may be some gray areas, if you are looking to spice things up in the bedroom, try to always do it in the flesh together.
Buy some nice lingerie and wear it in person for your husband. Start having conversations about your sex life with each other. Open up the door to honesty and deep conversation.
Instead of spicing it up through actively condoning masturbation, start creating some real intimacy.
Real intimacy will make your marriage better!
Build up a deeper, genuine relationship. Taking pictures can never compare to the REAL thing.Read More