Articles 32840871655_daa987ebd3_b

Published on February 13th, 2017 | by Haley Seba

4 Truths For Teens Fighting Sexual Addiction




Editor’s Note: This week we are running a 3-part series on sexual addiction and healing. We recognize this is an extremely sensitive subject, so even though Haley is not graphic or inappropriate, I would encourage any younger teens to check with their parents before reading this – or skip this series for now. We do hope Haley’s words bring hope and encouragement to the many teenagers who are battling with these specific sins.

Addiction.

A word that we, as Christians, often shy away from. We know it exists but we like to pretend it exists “out there” somewhere. We don’t want to face the reality that it exists in our churches. Among our friends. In our family. In ourselves.

Why?

Well, addiction is scary. Actually, addiction is terrifying. I would know.

You see, I am the girl who struggles with sexual addiction.

I don’t know if you noticed, but I did not say that I struggled with sexual addiction. I said that I struggle — as in right now, present tense. I am struggling. I will be speaking directly from my experience with sexual addiction.

I want to say three things up front.

1. I am one person, and my struggles with sexual addiction will not necessarily reflect another person’s struggles in this area.

2. I am female, and I can only speak out of my experience as a woman, although I have spoken with guys about this topic.

3. Just for clarification, I want to define sexual addiction. Sexual addiction, for both genders, can take the form of compulsive masturbation, online sex chatting, reading erotica, pornography usage, fantasizing, acts of foreplay, and actual sexual intercourse. It can be one of these things, some of these things, or all of these things.

After reading my third statement, I am guessing that you fell into one of two camps. (Please excuse my generalization here.) Either you identified with one or more of those things, or you were pretty much shocked by that list.

Now, understand that I am NOT trying to label anyone here.

I, for one, am not a big fan of labels or stereotypes. I wanted to separate you into these two camps because this article is directed towards those of you who identified with my definition of sexual addiction.

As I’ve begun the healing process from this thing called addiction, I have discovered some truths that you need to know.

1. It’s a disease.

I’m sure that most of you who deal with any of the above list know that they are a sin. The Bible (and pretty much the whole church) is crystal clear about how wrong they are, how dangerous they are, etc., etc. In fact, most of the shame comes from knowing deep down how sinful these actions and thoughts are.

When I was in the deepest, darkest part of my addiction, I wanted out. I really, really wanted out. I didn’t want to “like” the sinful things that I kept doing. I didn’t want to do them at all! That is where the addiction kicks in.

I couldn’t stop. And that was terrifying.

Think of Paul, in Romans 7, saying:

“For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it….For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am!”

Sound familiar?

You may be surprised to know that there is quite a bit of science behind sexual addiction. It turns out that sex can produce the same effects as alcohol or drugs. It’s all in the brain chemicals, and your brain has been rewired to “need” that next high. That is how you find yourself firmly resolving to “never _____ again,” and then a day later, week later, or month later, you find yourself doing ____.

This doesn’t excuse the sin, but it does explain the compulsion that many of us struggle with.

2. You are not alone.

As a girl and a Christian, I honestly believed that I was the only girl out there who had a sex addiction. But was I ever wrong. Still, the enemy kept me in the chains of fear for five years burdened with the lie that I was the only one.

The enemy doesn’t want you to know the truth.

The enemy wants you to think that no one else would understand, that you are the only one who struggles, that if anyone knew, they could not love you. The enemy wants you to think that you are all alone in your sin, but I have some truth to offer.

You are not the only girl, guy, Christian, teenager, person in your family, kid in your church, person in your friend group, or whatever other “only” you think you are who is dealing with sexual addiction. No matter how the enemy has tried to isolate you, it’s a lie.

3. You are not your addiction.

This is a tough truth to wrap your mind around. In fact, I am working through this right now. It is easy to believe that, since you obviously chose the sin, that is who you are.

You keep going back to the sin. You desire the sin. You are the addiction, and the addiction is you.

No. This is a lie.

You are first and foremost a chosen child of the one true God. In fact, that is a truth that you can cling to. Rest in the truth that “he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will — to the praise of this glorious grace, which he has freely give us in the One he loves” (Ephesians 1:4-6).

You are child of God who has a purpose. You have genuine likes, dislikes, hobbies, and talents. These things often get hidden by the addiction, but I promise they are there.

You are not defined by your addiction; you are defined by God’s claim on your life.

4. You are loved.

This is the core of the addiction. This is often what originally drove us to the sin. It is what feeds the addiction. You want to be loved, to be cared about and cared for.

Addiction, any addiction, is essentially self-medication. You are medicating emotions like hurt, loneliness, stress, rejection, and anger. Through the addiction, you can escape from those feelings and exist in a world where no one exists to hurt you, only to give you pleasure.

But it is all fake. And you know that, I’m sure, because fake things don’t last, and the “pleasure” that comes from your addiction doesn’t ever last. You always need more of it. It is fake love, fake connection, fake fulfillment.

You see, addiction drives you away from the God who can offer you unconditional, unending, all-encompassing love. Addiction drives you away from people who actually love you and want to help you. It isolates you.

“And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God” (John 3:19-21).

But you are loved by the God of the universe. You are loved by your family. You are loved by your friends. You are loved by your church. You are loved even when it doesn’t feel like it. You are loved even when you feel unlovable. You are loved even when you are hurt, or distant, or angry.

You. Are. Loved.

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him” (1 John 3:1).

There is Hope

I want you to do something for me. Stop, right now, and imagine what it would be like to not be addicted.

Who would you be? What kinds of things would you do with all that time? What kind of relationships would you have if you weren’t hiding something? What kind of ambitions would you be pursuing? What dream would you fulfill? What would your relationship with God be like?

Can you picture it?

I’ll be honest. When I reached that breaking point, the point where I knew I couldn’t go on any longer, I could not imagine this person. I could not imagine me as a person not addicted to sex. If you can’t imagine it, that’s okay, because I have good news.

You can still be healed, even if you don’t know what healing looks like.

You can live a life free, yes, I said free, from addiction. It is possible. In fact, just to grasp a taste of what healing looks like, go read Romans 6, 7, and 8. I read these chapters regularly, but my favorite verse is this: “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:25)

I will tackle some of the steps of recovery in the next article. But first, I want to leave you with three thoughts.

Recovery isn’t easy.
Recovery isn’t fast.
Recovery is worth it.

There will be more suggested resources in part two of this series, but I highly recommend checking out www.breakingfreeindeed.org , a ministry run by two fellow rebelutionaries. They’ve written articles and testimonies addressing sexual sin on their blog, and they would be happy to talk with, pray for, and encourage you on your own journey towards freedom.


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Photo courtesy of Dreadlock Anna via photopin (license).


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About the Author

is an 18-year-old farm girl in rural Missouri who is on fire for Christ. She is homeschooled and spends her summers working on her family’s farm. Theatre, fiber arts, and reading are her hobbies, but her passion is foster children. She loves spending time with family, and her perfect evening would include a family dinner with lots of laughter and card games.



  • Sara Barratt

    Haley, while this is not something I particularly struggle with ( though, believe me, there are MANY other things I do struggle with!) I wanted to comment and say thank you for being willing to be so vulnerable and honest. I’m sure this is an area many people struggle in, but they struggle alone because no one ever wants to talk about it, or be truly honest about their areas of weakness. So, thank you for being brave and speaking out. :)

    • Haley

      Awww, thank you so much for the comment, Sara. You are so right about the loneliness of sexual addiction. Silence and lies are the enemy’s biggest weapons. Praise the Lord that he uses our stories to shout truth long and loud into the silence and lies! Thank you for sharing your story on the Reb as well. God is using it!

      • Sara Barratt

        Amen! That’s so true and you said it so well! And thank you so much for your encouragment! It means so much to me! :)

  • João

    Wow i have the same struggle and i have never had the bravery to tell anyone.What you are doing is very inspiring and it helps me to remember that i am not alone.
    Thank you

    • Haley

      Joao, you are brave. Speaking up just now, that was brave! Soak in the truth. I pray that you will find recovery and healing, my friend. You are not alone, and there is so much hope for you.

      • João

        Thank you

      • João

        also here is a verse i find helps me it is 1 Corinthians 10:13,There hath no temptation taken you,but such as is common unto men:but God is faithful,who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able;but with the temptation will also make a way to escape,that ye may be able to bear it.

        • Haley

          Yes, that’s a great verse! I love the image of Christ standing over me and bearing the burden of temptation while I rest in his Presence. I also love Romans chapters 6-8. They are so marked in my Bible that whenever I open up to the New Testament, it falls to Romans 6-8! Scripture is powerful because it is true. The question is always, “What shall I do with this truth? Believe and trust, or doubt and reject?” Oh, the daily choice!

          • João

            The choice is always the hardest part

  • Amanda

    This is such a great post! I have struggled and struggled in this area for longer than I even will admit to myself. Thank you for sharing this and giving us hope!! God bless you!

    • Haley

      Amanda, I had the same experience. For years I would not even let myself think of the word addiction. To admit addiction is to admit that you are out of control, and that is unthinkable. And yet, that is exactly what the Lord requires of us. To lay our burdens at his feet and admit that we are out of control. Yikes, it is still such a battle for me. There is so much hope for you, Amanda. I pray that you will overcome the fear of surrender. Freedom is worth it!

  • Haley, thank you so much for this post–and for being honest that you’re not out of the woods yet, but walking with God. While I haven’t struggled with this exact sin (though people I love have) it reminds me of the sinful and destructive coping methods I used to deal with depression. I still struggle to respond rightly to the darkness , but praise God for hope, and for love. He doesn’t give up on us, and he will complete the work he began in us!

    • Haley

      Thank you for your comment, Esther! It is true, the struggle had not up and disappeared (sadly). Healing takes a lot more work than I ever could have imagined! Surrendering instead of coping is still my biggest battle. Thank the Lord for his unending patience!

    • Carrie Florance

      Amen, isn’t God good! Depression is something I struggled a lot with, and am still tempted to fall into at times – thank God He doesn’t get sick of pulling us out of the muck again! 😀 I don’t know if this is something you use, but the most helpful thing for me was having a ‘help kit’ – this was things I needed to do (like go for a walk, sing a song, have a nap), Bible verses to help me, poems and prayers I’d written while recovering from that dark place before, reminders to tell my accountability partners that I was struggling, etc.
      What a powerful thing it is to know of others in the battle with us, struggling alongside us! I have had a really hard 6mo, and just reading through all of the comments on here has challenged and encouraged me- may you also be encouraged in knowing that you are not alone, and by the grace of God, all things are possible! 😀

  • Josiah J.

    I must admit that I am a bit surprised that girls struggle with this too, and that you so bravely said what really needs to be said. I too have an addiction (can be hard to admit at times) in this area. The sheer terror (yes terror) of rejection is enough to keep people hiding in their addictions. Admission is one thing, but escape from addiction is something that I have strove for, but continue fail to achieve over and over. Each time you convince yourself your free, you slide back down the corner of the pit. Wanting out isn’t a problem either, rather the how is the illusive part. Sure God gives a way of escape, but sometimes you look around and think, “where is it?”

    Thanks, Haley for having the courage to speak out! It’s definitely a big problem that needs bold, tactful addressing.

    • Haley

      Josiah, thank you so much for commenting! It is a common misconception that s*xual addiction is only a guy’s thing. Turns out it is more of a human problem. :)

      I completely relate to your repeated struggle with temptation. Actually, compulsion is what makes it an addiction. The science of s*x addiction is very interesting (although not necessarily helpful when trying to say no!). Here is best answer I can give, because I am no expert. If you want to make a drastic change like breaking free from addiction, you have to make a BIG life adjustment. The next article in the series is actually all about steps to recovery. None of them are small changes. I suggest things that go against everything our addiction wants, and that is the point!

      Don’t give up, Josiah. I promise recovery is out there. For me, it took asking for help many times, the willingness to experiment, and a lot of vulnerability/transparency to finally see the light of day.

      I am praying that you will find complete healing and freedom. Do not fear! Christ is only getting started in your story.

      • Josiah J.

        Thanks, Haley! I can see that other people on here are looking for the “magic formula” for success in overcoming addiction. I have to say that being a person that has to have all the steps and has to understand the interworkings and the logic, I can relate to the dilemma of needing a step-by-step guide. Dynamic uncertainty drives some personalities crazy. If only life was as simple as programming, sometimes…

        • Haley

          Yes, I prefer magic formulas myself. Imagine my dismay when I discovered that there was no such thing! I think that my biggest frustration for a while was that most Christians gave the pat answers, like “just read your Bible more,” or “just trust God more,” or “just say no!”. I believe that God is the master healer, but I couldn’t figure out HOW exactly healing took place.

          After a year of searching, I finally started asking the right people. There are some answers, praise the Lord! No formula, but definite steps. The next article outlines my thoughts on recovery and gives some great resources. I highly recommend pursuing the experts on this. God bless!

          • Josiah J.

            I figured that people and their problems were more complicated than a simple formulas, but I am sure that there are general truths that do apply.

            I’m looking forward to your next article. Your love your writing style. Maybe part of it is your message and the other part your love and hope that you freely share. I certainly do appreciate your openness and bravery.

            –Love, your brother in Christ, Josiah

          • Haley

            Thanks Josiah! Let me know if you have any questions or thoughts after the next article is published.

          • Josiah J.

            I be waiting patiently! I checked out the website that you mentioned in your article above, it was also very encouraging and inspiring!

    • Michael

      I even struggle with trying to stop over, over, and over again. And you’re right @haleyseba:disqus read the Bible more, and even pray too. Asking God for guidance and forgiveness would make you feel better(that I believe).

      • Haley

        I think that a lot of typical Christian answers (read the Bible, pray more, etc.) are great advice in general, but it can be very frustrating if the addiction side is not taken into consideration. Compulsion, which is when you want to stop, try to stop, and then find you can’t stop, is complicated.

        We often try to treat the symptoms by asking God for forgiveness, vowing never to do ____ again, even confessing to someone else, and then a day later, week later, month later, end up doing ____. It is a cycle, and the goal is to break the cycle to where we don’t go back to the addiction ever again by healing the source of the pain. Addiction is self-medication.

        To break the cycle, essentially two things need to happen. 1) eliminate the need for self-medication by processing emotions and pain (often with a counselor or mentor), and 2) learning healthier ways to cope with emotion and pain so that your brain/body learns to crave appropriate response instead of inappropriate response.

        One more note: Withdrawel is a unfortunate reality for anyone who is trying to reach an extended goal of sobriety (my first goal was 30 days, praise God I am 74 days sober!). It can last anywhere from 30-90 days, and often the symptoms are similar to drug or alcohol withdrawal such insomnia, mood swings, extreme cravings, shakes, nausea, etc. It’s no picnic, and it is absolutely necessary to have people that can help you through it. Those first few weeks are rough!!!

        • Josiah J.

          Sometimes, we forget that sin’s consequences are graver than what we convinced ourselves of.

          Your equating the problem to improper response to pain. Than, how do we determine the source of emotional hurt… or I am I misreading what you meant? If not, how do we find the source and begin the process of reversal? After that, what is the proper outlet for all these suppressed emotions?

          Oh, and we have withdrawals to work through… sin has a way of making a mess.

          Thanks again for being open and honest, Haley! I think, we could all use some prayer. Prayers that our consciences would stir those of us in bondage to be far too uncomfortable with our slavery to sin, and that we would be stirred to make progress and break free, finding hope and rest in Christ, amen!

          Send my blessings to your family, Haley!

          –God bless, Josiah

          • Haley

            Josiah, I would suggest (based off of extensive reading) that yes, addiction is essentially an unhealthy way of coping with emotion and pain. Consider your own struggles. How do you feel right before you act out?

            For me, stress is a common trigger. So is anger. Acting out is an escape from reality, a way to avoid real emotion and need. Perhaps loneliness is your trigger, or boredom. Acting out becomes the way to numb an emotion (like anger) or meet a need (like comfort).

            I am currently reading a book called “The Fantasy Fallacy” by Shannon Ethridge, and came across a great quote that made this point so directly. “It feels much safer to look at p*rn than to look at our own pain, to m*sturbate than to humbly ask for what we need.”

            I will tell you that pain cannot be discovered or addressed alone. It takes wise individuals, often trained individuals (i.e. counselors) to help get to the root of the problem. In recovery language, it is called getting rid of the “stinking thinking” that is keeping us stuck, and it is almost impossible to do that alone. It is not a process that I can help you with, frankly, other than suggesting that you seek help from wise people that you trust.

            Just fair warning, help doesn’t always come the first time you share your story. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t until the fifth or sixth time that I asked for help that I was able to begin meeting with people who knew how to help. Don’t give up though!

          • Josiah J.

            Very incite full, Haley. I can say, fairly positively, that loneliness is the trigger. I see that part of the problem people are facing with this is, that admitting a problem threatens the pride and perhaps even the arrogance of the individual. It hampers our desire for restoration, because it threatens our pride and isolated individualism.

            I like your honest warning at the end. This isn’t likely something that you’re just going to cry and admit once, then magically everyone trips over themselves to help you out. You have to be serious and proactive in your efforts for help.

            “I will tell you that pain cannot be discovered or addressed alone.” I think, that is quote worthy advice. Thank you, Haley!

          • Haley

            Yes, exactly, Josiah. Fear of being known is really pride. I know that kept me trapped for a long time!

  • Wow thank you so much for sharing here Haley. I too struggle in this area as well and it’s encouraging to know that other girls struggle with and that we can find victory and freedom from it!

    • Haley

      Absolutely, Ashley! It is shocking how isolated the enemy can make us feel. Take heart, my sister. I pray that you would find the boldness to seek help. There is so much hope!

  • Louis Gervais

    The Afrikaans word for ‘addicted’ is ‘verslaaf’ en literally means ‘enslaved.’ Yes indeed; thanks be to God Who makes it possible to gain victory over any and every sin! Better to be a slave to Christ than a slave to sin.

    • Haley

      I couldn’t think of a better way to describe addiction beyond the word “enslaved.” That is exactly what it feels like! Thanks for the comment, Louis. :)

  • Seth S.

    Terror is absolutely the right word.

    • Haley

      Amen!

  • Seth S.

    It’s so hard when you continue to fail and fail and fail. It’s a day by day struggle. I’m praying for bravery to continue to ask for help, and that shame would not keep me silent.

    Satan’s pretty good at getting us into this sin, but his greatest ploy is shame. Shame keeps us shut up. Shame makes us think that no one would ever struggle with this except me. Shame keeps us from admitting to ourselves that we have an addiction. And shame keeps us from surrendering all to Christ.

    Thanks for having the courage to write this! I’ve read so many articles by people that struggle with this sin and the addiction to it. It’s always good to read other’s stories of their struggles with this sin, however far along you are in defeating it. Thanks for the encouragement! I will be praying for you.

    • Haley

      Seth, I my heart cried out as I read your comment. I know this ugly pattern all to well. Believe me, you can break out of it. There is hope! You are not trapped by the shame. Christ has come to break the bondage of fear and shame.

      It is important to recognize that while the sinful pattern is frustrating, there is a lot at the root of it. Addiction is simply self-medication. I medicate my loneliness, hurt, stress, rejection, boredom, and fear with s*x. It’s not until I began to delve into why I was feeling all these things that I could even deal with how I was coping. It is a process, but know that just treating the symptoms and not the illness leads to the pattern that you and I know so well.

      I pray that you will have the perseverance to continue asking for help and the courage to dig into the emotions and pain that drive you to the addiction. God bless, Seth.

      • Seth S.

        Thank you!

  • Okie Gal

    I think this is helpful for any type of sin, thank you so much for writing it!

    • Haley

      This is true, Okie Gal. Thank you for commenting! God bless.

  • Janesse day

    How can you be free??

    • Haley

      Janesse, great question! In fact, that was MY first question when I first realized that something had to change in my own life. It would be easy to say that surrender to Jesus is all it takes, but that is not a one-step, one-day process. I am assuming that you want actual answers, as in a 12 steps to beat addiction! At least, that is what I wanted at first. Well, I have good news and bad news about that.

      The good news is that the next article in the series is all about steps to recovery. I am no expert, but I have come across quite a few people who are. There are books, counselors, websites, and groups to help, and they can make a huge difference.

      The bad news is that it is not a step-by-step magic formula. It is trust, and vulnerability, and asking for help over and over that leads to healing. It is building healthy and intimate (not s*xual) relationships that heals our lonely hearts. It is working through past hurt that is causing present behavior. It is trusting God. It is hard, painful work, but God creates beautiful things from the ashes.

      I hope that gives you a picture of the journey to freedom. The recovery road can be long and hard, but I promise there is so much hope. You can be free. My prayer for you is that the Lord will give you some kind of picture that represents freedom. Hold onto that picture, my friend. Be brave and be free!

      • Janesse day

        I hope so it is way better I’ve come so far And I’m almost there just not all the way and it drives me nuts

        • Haley

          Healing in the Lord’s timing, my friend. I get impatient myself. Just last week, in fact, I was explaining to my pastor’s wife that I was doing all this work, but I didn’t seem to be making headway on a specific part of my recovery (forgiveness of someone). She smiled, and then told me that I was six inches too high. It simply needed to move from my mind to my heart, six inches south. She reminded me that only the Lord can change my heart and that he has his own timeline.

          Don’t ever stop asking for help, Janesse. Keep pursuing healing. God bless!

          • Janesse day

            I will continue asking God for help it’s just been almost six years of bondage

          • Josiah J.

            I can relate to the long term bondage, but don’t worry, there’s hope and freedom in Christ! We all can make it!

          • Janesse day

            I know it’s possible to it just doesn’t seem like it

          • Haley

            Janesse, I have some thoughts on that, but I would like to wait on continuing our conversation until after the second article is published tomorrow. It is all about recovery, and I talk about that pattern that you are facing.

            If you have an a specific question about some of the things I discuss, I would love to answer those for you after you read it. There will be a lot resources listed, and I highly recommend going to the experts for more extensive answers. Counseling is something else that I also bring up, and I cannot recommend it enough. That has made all the difference for me.

            Is that alright with you? The Lord be with you, Janesse.

          • Janesse day

            That is perfectly fine!! :)

  • Carrie Florance

    Thanks so much for this post! I also have struggled in this area (praise God I am free! But Gal 5:1 and 1 Cor 10:12 keep me very careful!), and the power of it is crushing. But truly our Saviour is stronger, and He has mercy on us, even at our filthiest! I love how you have so practically and clearly laid out the truths that are light and life in a place of darkness.
    I just want also to add, no matter how we have rewired our brains, we were designed by God, for God – and He truly does satisfy our deepest longings. In Him is freedom!
    Praise God for your courage and wisdom in writing this post, and for sharing your story – may the Lord bless and strengthen you as you continue to hold out the light of life. God be with you precious sister! <3

    • Haley

      Carrie, I am praising the Lord for your freedom!!! Once you experience it, how can you do anything but tell others about it, right?

      It is true that the Lord is the creator of our minds and hearts. In fact, the beauty of the amazing brain is that it can heal. We have the ability to re-train our brains to not need the high levels of dopamine that s*x sends to our brains. Although, the withdrawal is fairly nasty, it is worth every second.

      The Lord is using you as well, my sister. I pray that you will be bold in sharing your own Jesus story!

  • Michael

    Thank you for writing this article @haleyseba:disqus! This is exactly what I wanted! Praise God for using you to write this article. God saw our minds and he decided to use you! God bless you Haley! I also struggle greatly with this too, I need to pray for all Christian Teens that struggle with this. And thank you again for writing this article!

    Obey God, Reach Others,
    Your brother in Christ,
    Michael

    • Haley

      Thank you for the encouragement, Michael! I am always in awe at how God uses obedience to bring him so much glory. There is so much hope for you, Michael.

      I wrote this article because I believe, without at doubt, that there is an opportunity to be completely free. It was only six months ago that someone said that to me, and for the first time in my life, I believed it. The recovery road brings its own challenges, but I pray that you would not be afraid to ask for help. God bless!

      • Josiah J.

        Amen! There is definitely hope for anyone and everyone, but everyone so desperately needs the grace of God to continue to persevere in all aspects of life. We’re in a war even when all seems calm and peaceful. Keep persevering, we have victory in Christ Jesus!

        • Michael

          Amen to that too!

  • Jesse

    Thank you for writing this Haley, it helps a lot.

    • Haley

      I am so glad, Jesse. Drink in the truth, for the truth shall set you free! God bless.

  • Thanks for this article! I’m looking forward to the next one! I think one of the hardest things for me was just discovering what is wrong and what is right. I know God has black and white, but temptation has a way of distorting truth.
    I finally decided that sexual gratification is a sin because…
    1) It’s selfish- selfishness is sin
    2) It’s not the way God planned it
    3) Shame and guilt- they are proof enough that the Holy spirit is telling you what you’re doing is wrong.

    • Haley

      Tim, thanks so much for commenting! I think that there is a lot of debate, even in Christian circles, about what constitutes as “sin” and what doesn’t.

      For example, m*sturbation is never mentioned in the Bible, therefore it is impossible to say for sure what God’s opinion of it is. Now there is plenty of argument from both sides, and I’m fairly inclined to lean on your side of the fence. All the arguments being disregarded, if it has become an idol in my life, then God is VERY clear about that. When s*x becomes more important than God, I have a big heart problem.

      Keep fighting, Tim. Hope abounds in your story! I pray that you would listen to the Holy Spirit’s conviction, and that you will shoot down the enemy’s lies with the truth. (Ephesians 6:16). God bless!

  • Lydia

    Thank you Haley! I’ve been struggling with this for years… But I’m free now :)
    All the points you mentioned are completely true!!

    For everyone who is still struggling with these things:
    – You can heal, it’s possible, but don’t fight alone. Talk with others. I’ve been fighting alone all the time. But it’s easier to fight together…
    – Pray. Pray. Pray…. Stay near God. He will not reject you/hate you for your sin. He loves you with an infinite love we will never totally understand.
    – Don’t punish or hate yourself for the sin. Bring it to God and let go.
    – Don’t focus on your sin! If you focus too much on your sin, it wil stay in your thoughts. Try to focus on other things. Focus on God.
    – Try to find the source of your addiction. Is it driven by lonelyness? By anger? Insecurity? Try to fix that..!

    Don’t stop loving yourself. Don’t stop fighting. You can do this, together with God. Pray all the time. Fix your relationship with God. Stay close to Him

    And don’t forget. You’re never too far.

    • Haley

      Lydia, praise the Lord you are free! I could not have put it better. We are never to far gone for Jesus Christ to redeem our lives. He is redeeming mine, and he is redeeming yours. I pray that you would be bold in sharing your story. God bless!

    • Lydia Graham

      Hey Lydia, I just wanted to tell you that I LOVE YOUR NAME, you couldn’t have had a better one….. LOL

  • Lydia Graham

    Thanks for Writing such a Wonderul Article Haley. Even though I do not consider myself addicted, I do feel really self consious at times, for, as you can imagine….. for the wrong reasons, but I am working on it. Thanks

    • Haley

      Thanks for commenting, Lydia! I understand how confusing this can all be. I know it can be scary, but have you ever considered speaking with a Godly, trusted adult? Asking questions about s*xuality is perfectly healthy, and when something isn’t talked about, shame grows in places it shouldn’t. After all, God created s*x as good! I pray that you will have courage to reach out to a trusted adult no matter how uncomfortable it feels. God bless, Lydia!

      • Lydia Graham

        Will do

  • Great job, Haley.

    • Haley

      Thanks, Sam!

  • Haley

    Hey Cheyenne! I’m assuming that the your comment got caught in the moderation since I didn’t see it until today (that’s been a problem for me as well because of the topic at hand). :) Thank you so much for commenting. I’m glad that the article rang true. You are absolutely right about addiction not being about s*x. It’s all in our heart. God bless!

  • Pieter

    The only thing I can add on this Article is to never focus to much on your addiction.
    It is very easy to focus on your addiction and then completely miss the bigger picture, whenever I struggle with this sin I remind myself of Jesus Christ, and that He came to bear my sins, He loves me.
    God bless, great Article!

    • Haley

      I can see your point here, Pieter. It is easy to get totally focused on the addiction. I know that I have been guilty of that. One thing that I will point out is that addiction has this nasty habit of controlling your life. It can often feel like it is the only important thing, but that is a lie from the enemy. Thanks for the comment!

      • Pieter

        Agreed, like you said, live the real life, the one God intended us to live.
        Keep up the good work, God bless

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