Breaking Free From Sexual Bondage
By Bill Roitsch
The most common question we hear in counseling others in sexual brokenness is “Can I fix this myself?” And the second one is “Do I really have to tell anyone about this?” The answer to the first questions is a resounding NO! You cannot pull yourself out of the pit by yourself. There is no such things as a life of purity outside of community! When a person comes to this realization and are able to say these 3 simple words, “I need help!” they are on their way to healing and wholeness. Until the individual is willing to stop “managing” his problem, he or she will not be able to obtain any lasting or true freedom.
If someone truly wants to be free from the stronghold of addiction then talking about it and disclosing the situation to others is imperative for healing and wholeness. Scripture tells us in James 5:16 that we are to “confess our faults one to another and pray for one another, so that we may be healed.” Freedom really boils down to SURRENDER. To the degree that an individual surrenders to his/her brokenness, it is to this degree that they will experience freedom from said bondage.
What most people don’t understand is the deep level of shame and guilt that a person trapped in sexual brokenness is experiencing. It is shame and guilt that drives people to stay away from the light and to continue hiding in the darkness. Shame is very debilitating and I believe actually has arms that wraps you in a tight hold that is near impossible to break from. In confession and transparency, the tentacles of shame begin to loosen.
Having others praying for you to be loosed from your stronghold is vital. The enemy wants to convince you that you can handle this alone and you don’t need anyone. His favorite strategy is isolation. Herein is the lie which is rooted in pride – “you can be your own God. You are powerful enough to free yourself!”
We like to ask this question to someone who is experiencing sexual brokenness. “ Do you think your life will be better or worse if you continue with your behavior?” If they can honestly answer this question, then they are on the right path towards recovery and healing.
Do not be surprised that many people are convinced they can live two lives—the normal life that intersects the real world and real people, and the fantasy life involving two-dimensional images, imaginary situations, as well as tremendous isolation, secrecy, and loneliness.
For some people, this double life has been like a safe harbor for stress, marital strife and loneliness, or other deep internal pain. It could be that the thought of giving up such a trusted remedy is frightening. Some may not even know what life would look like without this fantasy life. The truth is that as long as you hold onto the hope that these two worlds can be reconciled, or at least coexist, you will not be able to move toward healing. Helping someone come completely out of denial is another vital piece that is needed for recovery and healing.
Below are four tangible tools that we recommend for a transformed life:
Obtaining a counselor who specializes in sexual addictions and brokenness (wife and husband participate)
Having a spiritual mentor or pastor who will walk with you thru initial phases of recovery.
A community of healthy people you can trust and be authentic with (support group and accountability partners)
In some cases, in addition to counseling, we recommend individuals struggling with sexual addictions attend a 3 day intensive retreat for further healing.
There is hope! Sexual brokenness can be healed. Freedom is possible. It requires transparency, vulnerability and surrounding yourself with mature, knowledgeable people who can help you on your road to recovery.
We highly recommend Mark Laaser’s book, Healing the Wounds of Sexual Addiction.
As well as the book written by his wife, Debra Laaser, called Shattered Vows.