Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Freedom from Sexual Addiction part 2

I cried out to the Lord and He answered me from His holy mountain.
Psalm 3:4 NLT

"But now bring charges against Israel --
your mother --
for she is no longer my wife,
and I am no longer her husband.
Tell her to remove the prostitute's makeup from her face
and the clothing that exposes her breasts.
Otherwise I will strip her naked as the day she was born.
I will leave her to die or thirst, as in a dry and barren wilderness..."
Hosea 2:2-3 NLT
"For this reason I will fence her in with thornbushes.
I will block her path with a wall
to make her lose her way.
When she runs to her lovers,
she won't be able to catch them.
She will search for them
but not find them...
"She doesn't realize it was I who gave her everything she has --
the grain, the new wine, the olive oil;
I even gave her silver and gold.
But she gave all my gifts to Baal..."
Hosea 2:6-7a, 8 NLT

The thing about the enemy is that he really likes to use the back door. He's not the one who is going to come knocking on the front door showing all his colors and tricks, he's going to find that back door that is sort of lazily propped open and just slip in there when least expected. At least, that's what he does in my life.

That's the thing about sexual addiction. I think it starts out as a small thing and then before you know it, you are running after it. It's just a tiny thought, something very easy to fight at first. Just a little bit of it does something to you, but then as you think more, participate more in your mind it goes further and further and gets more perverse. I remember sitting in my apartment one evening after I had sinned and just feeling like trash. I was sitting on the floor, looking in the full-length mirror at myself and just thinking, "I don't know how to get out of this."

As I was reading in Hosea that year I saw how God brought Israel away from their sins. Hosea said he would "fence her in with thornbushes" and wall her path. God said "I will remove the Baals from your mouth, no longer will their names be invoked." (2:17). It was the mercy of God that my computer was eaten up with viruses. To this day I am thankful for that. I have had to remove the television from my life, there are many many movies that I cannot watch because they are a gateway for sin in my mind. There are songs on the radio that I cannot listen to, sometimes I even wonder why I listen to the radio at all.

I have a computer now, that's how I can write on this blog :) but even at one time I struggled with using it for evil. Ben gave me this computer (an amazing mac) so that I could record my music, and here I was using it to sin against my husband. Yes, there was even times when I struggled with this inside of our marriage. Let me just be clear here that pornography addiction (for me) was completely different than intimacy in marriage. There might be some basic similarities, but in my mind they were completely separate. Does that make sense? Like similarities of eating cheap cotton candy and then being fed a gourmet meal, like those kinds of similarities. The cotton candy might be kind of enjoyable as you are eating it, but it will rot in your stomach, rot your teeth and you will be even hungrier after you eat it. You will feel ill and probably regret eating it. Pornography is like this except about ten times worse.

So one day I asked Ben to put a filter on my computer. We discussed it a lot because he wasn't sure that I would be depending on the Holy Spirit to help me fight it if I had a filter in place. But I felt in my spirit that my self-control needed some help. I was reminded of the scripture in Hosea about being walled in with thornbushes, tearing down idols, taking desperate, drastic measures. As my protector he put a filter on my computer and what a help it was! Yes, my mind could still recall things, but in those moments of being alone in the house, and I was alone a lot with working odd hours and Ben at his job 8-5, the temptation was difficult.

I feel like that's why we need to be in community with each other. That's why we need to be around other believers and not isolate ourselves. I don't think I would ever want to live alone for that reason. I need that constant accountability, that human love, the other person in their humanity sharpening me as iron sharpens iron.

I feel like I'm rambling. There is still more I want to say, maybe more of the story, more about God giving me freedom. I would highly encourage you to read the book of Hosea if you are struggling with this sin. There is redemption and there is forgiveness.

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