Why do some believers in the body of Christ lose control of their sexuality? Is it possible to recover? Are raging hormones resistant to the power of the blood of Christ? Pornography and masturbation addiction is normalizing the culture among many Christian men…and women too. Women too get caught in the rut of masturbation and porn. Together with that are the rampant cases of sex among unmarried Christians. Every month, several believers write to me confessing, admitting, struggling, wanting out. They began paths they wished they hadn’t begun. A good number of them get the help I can give but easily fall back because they are unwilling to accept Christlikeness as a source of joy. I figured that it was scriptures like these that kept them going for a while:
1 Corinthians 6:9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders
Ephesians 5:5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person–such a man is an idolater–has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
In those lists, sexual sin always pops up. Why do they run back to pornography and masturbating? Why do they insist that they don’t think there’ s a problem but still ask to be prayed for? At the heart of addictions in the Christian is a lack of joy. Every Christian’s pursuit to derive sexual pleasure outside their Creator’s will is an indication of their lack of satisfaction in the Son of God who is the source of Joy. In the core of your struggle, you lack real joy and are not sure you will find happiness beyond the temporal thrills you indulge in. You pursue pleasure because in a hedonistic mindset, you think it will cosmically fill a void in you just like the way the porn-stars you watch look satisfied with pleasure. You think the orgasm is the peak of life on earth so you masturbate your way to a mere 5 seconds of pleasure. You’re striving to get to the top but once you’re there, you discover there’s nothing. You pursue emotional sensations just to feel like the actress feels when the actor slips his hand on her chin and lifts up to kiss her lips. You’re chasing the wind, beloved. At the end…more emptiness. More joy needed.
Addictions tell the addict that “this one time” it will be worth it. So you join the band wagon of lust and even after you strive to be “clean” for months, the cycle goes something like this when you relapse:
- You lie to yourself.
- She’s coming over just to watch movies.
- He’s gonna leave as soon as he collects what he came for.
- I’ll skip the kissing scenes in this movie
- I’m an adult, I can handle this.
- It’s not that explicit. I’ve seen worse.
- It’s just entertainment.
- I watch it for the nice cars.
- I watch it for the nice dresses.
- We’re being romantic.
- We won’t go beyond a kiss.
- I’m only Googling to see what she looks like
- You fall
- You watch the porn
- You masturbate.
- You sleep with him/ her
- You make out/ petting/necking
You break God’s heart.
- You repent and even at times you cry
You fall to your knees and cry yourself sick saying you’re really sorry and you say you will never repeat it again. You sign pledges. You make vows and you throw yourself into a forlorn state.
- You do a few good things to try take away the guilt
You still don’t understand the Grace and forgiveness of Christ and you think you can make up for your falling by doing good things to make you feel better.
- You punish yourself thinking you deserve it.
The good deeds don’t give you a lasting peace. So you tell yourself that you’re not worthy of going to church or fellowship or reading your Bible. You even label yourself names hoping the punishment will satiate the guilt and lies. You then delve into a deep pit of self-pity and sob yourself miserable.
- In your self-induced self-pity you want something to cheer up your spirits
- You decide to entertain yourself
- You invite your boyfriend/girlfriend over
- You go online.
- You watch the same movies/TV series
- Back to square one- You lie to yourself
Why do you return to stage one? Because you promise you will stop just this once. Because you believe that just this once, it will be worth it. You lack real joy and you’re looking for it in Hollywood, your boyfriend, your entertainment, your porn links thinking that five seconds of pleasure may make up for the regret.
For reasons like that, even your requests to receive certain blessings get contaminated by your lust.
James 4:3-4 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
You become enemies with God is a bid to get joy from your own desires. You lose the battle the day you side with the flesh. Ladies get imbibed in what is now called “mommy porn”- an ecstatic pursuit of an emotional high from a fantasy in their minds between them and the opposite sex. They are willing to compromise their sexuality to reach the height of it. It leaves them crying. Men get caught in the lies that the next naked women will be the one they will stick with. They begin to dig a hole they will later be unable to get out of. These people are looking for joy and they do not know it. When men and women don’t get these satisfactions, their pride is willing to try something new to get it. The women now want the feeling from fellow women and the men want it from fellow men. Death begins to take a different form and they realize they got more than what they bargained for. The foolish pursuit makes you pay more than you’re willing to spend. It takes you further than you’re willing to go and it keeps you longer than you’re willing to stay.
The Bible says that the wages of Sin in death (Romans 6:23) Some believers have not yet reaped the wages of lust because wages don’t come immediately. Wages come at the end of the month and in a full package. At the “end-month” of your lust consumption, prepare for a bill called addiction wrapped in an envelope called regret. And since the bills are too high for you to pay, the wages is death. (first a soul-death, then spiritually, and ultimately a physical death after a wasted life of chasing the wind)
James 1:14-15 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
When I was in campus, I realized my struggle was in watching TV series. What made me lust was not overtly pornographic images but 10 second scenes with short skirts and tight chests. I was working to receive my wages of death. The series were arguably “innocent”. However those excuses are what kept me in the rut. I stopped watching series. The last series I watched was in 2010, Heroes. I got rid of the stage one and got rid of the process. I am still as human as possible and still not lacking anything in life because even today I don’t watch them.
In your quest to be satisfied, you pursue a hedonistic life. You still hold the belief that the life you were saved from still can bring some satisfaction. It’s not working. You spiritually moved from the ghetto to the classy suburbs but you’re still holding onto the junk you treasured in the slums. Grow up, beloved. Throw it out! I know what you’re thinking, so allow me to save you some time; five months from now, it still won’t work. Every pursuit a Christian makes where God is second to their wants and pleasures will lead to utter dissatisfaction. You still want to give your life to the Saviour but you still want to maintain control of your worldly joy-givers. You will eat but never be satisfied. You will drink but still thirst.
Jesus said in John 7:38 that “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”
A true satisfaction in Christ does not only result in abundant joy, but long-lasting as well. Rivers of life will flow from you and men and women will long to have it too. When Jesus spoke these words, he was inferring to the coming of the Holy Spirit. When filled with the Holy Spirit, we are compelled to obey and when we obey we bear His fruit of Love and joy is in that fruit. When we experience this joy as Christians, our addictions roll away. The fruit of the spirit is love. And in that order that Saint Paul gave, the first characteristic of love is Joy (Galatians 5:22). Your sexuality as a Christian expressed within God’s will, a marriage, is a treasure that my words cannot explain. Don’t take my word for it, though. Abstain and find out for yourself. You’ll have nothing to lose!