Putting Sexual Addiction in a New Light
For years the church has struggled to adequately address sexual addiction. We are grateful for JPL author Bruce Lengeman's courage to speak truth into this issue. Today he challenges us to look at sexual addiction in a new light:
So many “Sexual Purity” programs of the past have failed for several reasons. For one, pouring on guilt and shame as a lust-fix will make the problem worse, since a large part of why men struggle with lust is that the brain creates sexual fixes attempting to ease unhealed emotional pain. Guilt and shame exacerbate the problem.
There are two major categories of addictions: substance and process. If you have a substance addiction, as in drugs or alcohol, you must separate yourself from the controlling substance. Historically, misguided counselors have made people who struggle with lust feel as if their sexuality is their enemy. How wrong! God made us sexual. Sexual addiction is a process addiction, meaning you must learn to manage and master a necessary physiological process so that it remains a healthy process, and that puts it into a totally different category and summons a different grace.
Can you imagine if we treated food addiction by making transgressors think food is bad? In my book To Kill a Lion, I point out that the process of recovery from sexual dependency begins with a healthy view of sexuality—sex is a God-designed process driving personality, intimacy, creativity, in addition to reproduction and love-making. But the traditional guilt and shame therapies to cure sexual addiction in sincere people drive people to rely on behavior modification instead of finding victory through heart transformation.
Bruce Lengeman is a pastor, counselor, business motivation speaker, and the author of several works. He has a passion for seeing people set free & living to the fullness God has for them. He has worked in ministry for over 30 years and has had the privilege of seeing countless lives changed by the Lord.
- Brad Rusticus