Sex Is Not Equal To Love
The prodigal son, I had become;
Deliberately and defiantly veering off course.
Yet patiently You called me
Then I finally sought the One.
– THE ANSWER, A.D.
The first step, STEP 1, is the only step that allowed me to get on the path to breaking the sex addiction cycle. ADDICTION = PAIN and I would have never been able to get to the root of my pain until I first reestablished my relationship with God. Notice I said my relationship with God; not going to church. There is a significant difference. While some people feel going to church equals having a relationship with God, I know that is not the case.
I grew up in the Baptist church. Every Sunday, rain or shine, my mom was going to be in the House of the Lord. Her father retired as a Baptist minister in Columbia, TN; the Bible Belt. Therefore, going to church was second nature to her and it became second nature to me. Nevertheless, going to church didn’t prevent me from becoming a sex addict. As a matter of fact, it actually contributed to me becoming one. WHAT, I know you might be asking. YES!
The primary root of my pain came from having to reconcile my spirituality with my sexuality. Being told men who have sex with men are going to hell, reading in the Bible that men having sex with men was an abomination and society spewing hate for people who loved and expressed their love in a different way created this internal battle that didn’t allow me to have peace. It was a constant struggle. Being attracted to men wasn’t something I wanted because I wanted to go to heaven. Yet it was something I couldn’t ignore or pray away.
So what did I do? I focused on my attraction to women and tried to block those “evil thoughts” of being attracted to men. But the reality is: ONE CAN NOT HIDE FROM ONESELF. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t make the attraction, the man God created me to be, go away. Therefore, I suffered in silence and tried to pretend dating women, while I was longing to be with a man, would make my “evil desires” subside if I could just find the right woman; the woman God had for me.
I had created a list of characteristics and traits the woman I felt God had for me would possess; which were not superficial but biblical. In my mind, once I found her I’d fall in love with her, marry her, have children and never look back on my feelings for men. Regrettably, this is what I thought would play itself out with Megan in my book. Her name was changed to protect her privacy. From that relationship I learned:
God can and will give you exactly what you want and then show you it wasn’t what He had for you.
Megan had all the characteristics and traits on the list but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t fall in love with her. Unlike other areas of my life where I could plan, strategize, and control, I couldn’t force myself to fall in love with her.
The fact that I put Megan through all the heartache of being in a relationship with me when I was unconsciously still struggling accepting myself is deplorable. She never asked to be hurt like that. I pray God blesses her with a man that will honor and love her the way she truly deserves to be treated. Yet so many women and men are being put in the same and similar situations because individuals haven’t accepted themselves. Why? I believe they haven’t truly accepted themselves they have not formed their own relationship with God.
To reconcile my sexuality with my spirituality, I had to go to the source, not man but God. Let me first start by saying this process didn’t happen overnight. If I were to really analyze the process, it was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Not only did I have to go against the religious doctrine that was instilled and embedded in me since birth, but also against what family and friends who wanted the best for me said. Therefore, for an impatient person, this was also probably one of the longest journeys in my life.
Understanding the context of the passages in the Bible regarding homosexuality was the turning point. When I read the story of Sodom and Gomorrah for myself and took the time to deconstruct what was actually occurring, God revealed that instead of focusing primarily on the men wanting to have sex with the male angels, as most Baptist preachers interpret the text; this story has an underlying theme of rape. These men were not having consensual sex or expressing genuine love through intimacy. They were planning to take by force a mental, physical and emotion space God designed and reserved for two people who truly love each other. Sex wasn’t just created for procreation as some religious leaders like to lead their congregation to believe. If that was the case, why is the probability of a healthy heterosexual couple conceiving in a given month is between 15-25%. Instead the chemicals and endorphins released in the brain during sex create a “high” which also has bonding components to keep a couple connected. Read more about this effect in the book Hooked.
In addition to seeking understanding and clarity for myself, God also brought theologians into my life who were able to give me insight I never would have had since I didn’t go to seminary. When the word homosexual is used in the New Testament, the actual translated word is catamite. If most people knew what the word catamite meant, the discussion around homosexuality would definitely sound different and change. Thanks Bishop for that nugget of wisdom.
Basically, when I reestablished my own relationship with God, He started bringing clarity to all the noise I was hearing. If I could give only one piece of advice to a sex addict or anyone struggling with an addiction:
FORM YOUR OWN RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
This is the one and only relationship that can and will ultimately start you on the path to breaking the addictive cycle.
I work STEP 1 daily. Like any relationship, one only gets out of it what he/she puts into it. If you already have a relationship with God and are still struggling with sex addiction, go to the 4-STEPS to see the other steps I used to break the sex addictive cycle.
Helping others in the Journey,