It’s a problem. And maybe it’s a problem for you. Struggling with sexual stuff is hard. This topic cuts so close to the core of who we are, which is the way God made us. But the struggles are painful, and often heaped with shame and guilt.
There’s no topic I get asked about more frequently than that around sex, sexuality, and intimacy. It may be a youth pastor struggling with pornography, a young single woman struggling with her sexual desires, a husband trying to regain intimacy with his wife after breaking her trust sexually, or someone who feels stuck in shame from past sexual abuse or bad actions.
These questions come to me several times every week.
Perhaps you’re struggling with something sexual too. Suggesting 3 steps can seem to over-simplify the deep issues these areas stir up in human hearts. But even though these steps take time to apply and are not exhaustive, they are critical in almost every situation when you’re struggling with sexual stuff.
Decide in advance what you will DO when feeling that way again.
Feelings are real. A desire for sexual release is real. A revulsion to sex in some way is real. Responding sexually to something you see or remember or think is real. Frustration over your spouse saying No is real.
But you can choose what to do with those feelings. Your brain has developed pathways to respond to that stimulus or thought or feeling, and you can create new pathways for your brain.
If you struggle with pornography, you can choose to DO something different when you feel that temptation. You can call a friend, go for a run, sing a song, recite a Scripture out loud, read a book, or something else, to interrupt the pathway and point your mind in a new direction.
If sex in your marriage is bad, you can choose to have the difficult conversations about sex, over and over if needed. You can choose to move closer to your spouse mentally, and pay attention to his/her heart.
If something in you hates sex, you can choose to intentionally go after healing.
Such a choice is not the only element needed in dealing with sexual problems, but you will not make progress without choosing to DO something different in responding to your internal feelings or desires.
Don’t try to do it alone!
As alone as you almost certainly feel, I can assure you, based on hundreds or thousands of people I’ve talked with about this, that there is someone else struggling with a similar problem. And there are almost certainly many many such strugglers.
Find them! Find one or two or three – in your church, in an online group, in a support group, somewhere. There is help available!
And keep reading for my favorite place for you to begin to connect.
This may be the absolute hardest step you will have to take. But I have yet to talk with someone who has overcome a serious sexual struggle without connecting with a couple other people in an ongoing vulnerable supportive way.
Consecrate your sex life to Jesus again EVERY DAY.
Jesus wants to be Lord of ALL your life! And if He’s not, He’s not really your Lord at all.
Every day, consecrate your sexuality again to Jesus all over again. Pray daily OUT LOUD something like, “Jesus, I need You! I can’t do this on my own. For today, I once again make You the Lord of my life, and specifically of my sex life. I consecrate my sexuality to You for today. Thank You. Amen.”
The usual way God works is NOT to magically fix your feelings, or fix your spouse, or remove the destructive sexually-related pathways in your brain. His usual way of working is to walk with you in developing a new lifestyle of sexual wholeness.
In this video I unpack these ideas further.
Your Turn: If you’re struggling with sexual stuff, what do you see as your biggest roadblock to moving toward freedom? Leave a comment below.
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- If you’ve been struggling with sexual “stuff” for months or years, what’s your biggest roadblock to moving forward? Here are 3 steps that are always needed in that journey. Tweet that.