HOPE: Freedom From Sexual Addiction

With the advancement of technology and the internet, people can find virtually any information on any given topic at the click of a button.Whatever their desire they can locate quickly and in abundance whether for good or evil pleasure. Unfortunately, technology has aided the spread of pornography and has captured the hearts of millions worldwide.

According to Jerry Ropelato in an online article on Top 10 Reviews called Internet Pornography Statistics, “The amount of pornography on the internet can be difficult to fathom. A total of 4.2 million websites contain pornography. That is 12 percent of the total number of websites. There are 100,000 websites that offer pornography and 1 in 7 youths report being solicited for sex on the internet. It’s big business. The pornography industry has larger revenues than Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, Apple and Netflix combined. The United States is the top producer of pornographic web pages by far with 244,661,900 pages or 89 percent. The pornography industry does not just target adults either. Access to pornography is available from early on. The average age of a child’s first exposure to pornography is 11. A total of 90 percent of children ages 8-16 have viewed pornography online. Pornographers use many character names that appeal to children such as ‘Pokemon.'”

Sadly, I was one of those statistics. My first exposure to pornography happened when I was between the ages of 10-12 years old. I was delivering papers on my paper route and this kid around my age asked if I wanted to see his “pet porn.” I loved animals and I had no clue what the word porn meant, so I accepted the offer and went inside his house to see a cool animal. To my surprise, he showed me this clip from a pornographic movie that led my life down a negative road for many years to come. I knew it was wrong, but it was exciting at the same time.

I remember asking God to forgive me many times for my use of pornography, but I found myself right back in it a week later or even a day later! I was powerless to change. Jonathan Daugherty, the founder of Be Broken – a Life helping people overcome sexual addictions said, “A sexual addiction is a sexual behavior that is unmanageable and out of control. It always has a compulsive behavior to it and it is associated with a high degree of shame and stress. People with sexual addictions lie and try to hide their addiction from others and they are lead away from healthy relationships.” I was involved in church and I loved God to the best of my ability, but secretly, I struggled with pornography and did not know how to get its grip off me, nor did I have the courage to tell anyone about it.

In my early twenties there was a turning point in my life that led to real change.

At college I went through this questioning stage and came to a point where I did not have all the answers like I thought I once did. I was tired of struggling with lust, unforgiveness, pride, self-image problems and the list could go on. I cried out to God with all my might and He answered me by saying, “You have finally given Me the throne of your life.” In other words, God was saying that He had access to every area of my life and I was willing to give him control. As I surrendered to God, He began to heal me of all the deep wounds of my soul. Daugherty said, “There is a danger to try and help people by giving them a system or formula versus leaning and trusting on God to heal them from the inside out. This idea is called the System vs. Savior paradigm.”

People are looking for an easy fix or solution to their problem, but God wants us to turn to Him so that He can heal us as we walk in relationship with Him. When a person comes to a place of brokenness, then God can use a book, program, sermon or whatever tool He chooses to deliver them out of their mess. Daugherty said, “My Life was called Be Broken because it was in a place of brokenness that I learned to walk in humility before God and admit I needed His help. And I need it on a daily basis.” A key principle God taught me that transformed my life was understanding that what goes on in my mind matters. The thoughts I think on are the forerunner to my actions. Daugherty said, “The mind is the gateway to every decision we make.” The Bible says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7 Amplified). For years, I just accepted whatever came into my mind and did not know I had a choice to dwell on good things or bad things. I could not prevent wrong thoughts from entering my mind, but I could choose to replace those thoughts with good ones. The Bible says, “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8).

Again the Bible says, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV). If I was going to have victory in my mind, I had to spend time getting to know God in His word. Otherwise, I would not recognize thinking that was displeasing to Him versus thoughts that were honorable to Him.

Another key principle I learned was that God was not angry with me. For many years I tried earning God’s approval by doing good works, but if I made a mistake, then God was upset with me. My life was filled with highs and lows depending on my moral behavior. As I began seriously walking with God, He helped me overcome my pornography addiction over time. Along the journey, I made mistakes and felt so ashamed, but as I turned to God and expected a hand of discipline, I was received with loving arms and a warm embrace. I experienced the unconditional love of God in a tangible way and it compelled me to want to change; not out of obligation, but a sincere desire to please the One who loved me! Daugherty said, “Our love for Him grows out of His love for us. His love melts our resistance toward Him” The Bible says, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). I learned to stop believing the condemning lies of the enemy and start trusting that God loved and valued me as a person. The moment I embraced His love, I sensed hope and His power to overcome my circumstances. Little by little God brought victory into my life over pornography and so many other issues that kept me from experiencing real life. He can do the same for you!

Are you struggling with a sexual addiction? Or do you know someone who is? God loves you for who you are today and He wants to help you overcome every stronghold and experience the abundant life He died to give you.

Be Broken is a Life that helps people struggling with a sexual addiction of any kind. Daugherty said, “We are a first point of contact for anyone struggling with a sexual addiction whether it is pornography, prostitution, illicit affairs, homosexuality, sexual abuse or any other kind of sexual perversion. We can help them directly or point them to the right Life who can aid them in recovery. We also have valuable resources we offer to assist them on the journey to wholeness.”

Here is a list of ministries, website resources, and books that deal directly with sexual addiction and abuse for anyone wanting help.

Sexual Addiction Websites

Be Broken – Founders Jonathan & Elaine Daugherty www.bebroken.com

Pure Life Ministries – www.purelifeministries.org

L.I.F.E. Ministries International – www.freedomeveryday.org

Stone Gate Resources – www.stonegateresources.org

Exodus International – www.exodusinternational.org

Books:
Sexual Addiction
Life Guide for Men – Dr. Mark Laaser
False Intimacy – Harry Schaumburg

Abuse
Battle Field of the Mind – Joyce Meyer
Beauty For Ashes – Joyce Meyer
The Wounded Heart – Dr. Dan B. Allender

Sexual Addiction Conferences/ Workshops/ Support Groups

Be Broken – www.bebroken.com

Pure Life Ministries – www.purelifeministries.org

Stone Gate Resources – www.stonegateresources.org

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