“There is no way for revival to come to the church until the church deals with [sexual addiction].” -Ted Roberts, Pure Desire Ministries
Sexual addiction has been characterized as sexual behavior that a person is unable to control, one that produces shame and one that a person continues to engage in even when they are confronted with negative consequences.
A study in Psychology Today revealed that two out of three men between the ages of 18 and 34 look at pornography at least once a month, with 12 to 17 year olds being the largest population consuming pornography in the U.S.
Not just a man’s issue! About 40 percent of women on the internet are involved in cyber-sex behavior as well. In an assessment conducted by Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, 60 female leaders from various churches were interviewed and, according to these results, women’s relationships scored much higher than men’s. Women’s relationships were more profoundly affected by their sexual addictions than were men’s.
Sexual addiction affects all of us—men, women, children, leaders, families—everyone.
And this sexually broken culture we live in has clearly affected the way you and I view sex; it has left us abused, addicted, humiliated, heartbroken, questioning, craving, frightened and frigid.
My purpose in writing today is a call to the church to wake up and BE A VOICE. If our desire as the body of Christ is to love like Jesus, to meet people where they are at, and to walk with them in their day-to-day struggle, then we have to talk about the issue that is truly eating us alive.
If we will ever find freedom and wholeness in this area of our lives, we will only do that by gaining God’s perspective: exposing the lies & discovering God’s truth about sex. It’s also important to gain God’s perspective on ourselves through things like self-examination and getting honest about our own personal weak points.
Sexual struggles and sex addiction often flow out of an unhealthy view or wrong understanding of SEX.
If the church desires relevancy, it’s vital for us to confidently and openly speak about God’s true design for sexuality. Leaders must acknowledge that there are many sexual struggles facing those in the church (including themselves); and they must also be intentional in helping switch the cultural lie that “sex is dirty and bad” to the truth that “sex is a gift” created by God for us.
“Pastors who are battling with sexual addiction need to start by realizing that it won’t get better on its own – it’ll get worse.” -Ted Roberts
I genuinely believe that healing for any shame-based addiction can be found through Jesus and that a healing journey is only further beefed-up by the surrounding support and accountability of a community of believers. So let’s not only talk about hard things, but let’s provide opportunities for broken people to gather and journey together.
I pray more and more churches will begin small group ministries and recovery groups, aimed specifically to helping those struggling with addiction and issues related to sexuality. Let your congregation and your city know that your church cares about real people with real struggles. And not only that you care, but that you will walk with people through their struggle—loving them, supporting them and pointing them to the One who comforts, heals, redeems and restores.
Let your church be a safe place for people to come with their struggle…and let them work out their struggles with the love of Jesus. This doesnt make your church unhealthy, it makes your church a place where the Doctor is free to do His work!
“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick… For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” - Jesus (in Matthew 9: 12-13)
Relevant ministries are lead by real people with real stories and real struggles, who are willing to humble themselves honestly before the Lord and before others, who are willing to be transformed by His hand, used as He desires, poured out as His broken vessel, all for His glory and the hope of tomorrow.