What are the characteristics of sexual addiction?
It is done in isolation: Mentally and emotionally we become detached or isolated from human relationships and contact.
It is done in secret: In effect the addict develops a double life. Masturbation, porn shops, massage parlors, prostitutes, surfing the internet in private, etc. His life is filled with shame. His biggest fear is getting caught.
It is devoid of intimacy: The sex addict is utterly self-focused. He cannot achieve genuine intimacy because his self-obsession leaves no room for giving to others.
It is devoid of relationships: It is sex for sexs sake. Sex divorced from authentic interaction. It becomes an almost mechanical process.
It is victimizing: A person becomes overwhelmingly obsessed with self-gratification. Thus the addict is blinded from the harmful effects it is having on others. Especially on ones spouse.
It leads to despair: Sexual addiction leaves the participants feeling guilty, regretting the experience. Empty instead of fulfilled. They despair over who they had sex with and despair over how low they have stooped. They probably feel abandoned by God.
What are the solutions to sexual addiction?
- Accept Gods unconditional grace, along with your responsibility in working toward a solution. If you, O Lord, kept record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgivenessShall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? (Psa. 130:3,4; Rom. 6:1, 2)
Ask yourself just how concerned you are about the Name of Christ not being dishonored; not being drug through the mud. You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (I Cor. 6:20)
- Make the pursuit of knowing Christ the centerpiece of your dayOf your very life. I look upon everything as loss compared with the overwhelming gain of knowing Christ Jesus my LordI, in fact, am forgetting completely the things that are behind, and stretching forward to the things that are in front; bearing down upon the goal (Phil. 3:7, 14,14 Phillips and Wuest Translations)
- Ask God to instruct you on how to allow the Holy Spirit to empower you to walk in His strength that will result in victory over sin. Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful natureFor if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. (Gal. 5:16; Rom. 8:13) (See Rom. 8:2-4)
- Saturate your heart and mind with the word of God. Jesus: If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (Jn. 8:31b,32) I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you (Psa. 119:11b)
- Be willing to take whatever measures are necessary to cut the problem off at the root. Desperation is the operative word here. "Let’s not pretend this is easier than it really is. If you want to live a morally pure life, here’s what you have to do: You have to blind your right eye the moment you catch it in a lustful leer. You have to choose to live one-eyed or else be dumped on a moral trash pile. (Matt. 5:29 Msg)
Next week we will continue the discussion with more solutions to sexual addiction, common sense rules for safe internet usage, and recommended reading material.