Jesus Christ, Friend of Sex Addicts
What an appropriate title for a blog post on Christian sexual addiction recovery. Understand that what you are about to read cannot literally be found in any Gospel in the Bible, and it is only my version of a man’s life that Jesus Christ experienced. One of the greatest gifts I have received in my own recovery is the knowledge that my “Higher Power” was right there with me at the depth of my suffering. He was there to hold my hand in the darkest of times.
Jesus witnessed sexual abuse in one of his brothers from ages 3 to 7 and observed the suffering, shame and guilt associated with these activities. His brother grew up to become a sex addict. Jesus was there when this boy discovered his father’s pornography collection at age 4 and began viewing pornography almost daily as well as masturbating compulsively until he entered recovery. Again, he felt for the loneliness, shame, and guilt associated with this boy’s addiction. He saw the pain of this boy’s family life and the burden of his secret that kept this boy wanting to escape, and sexual acting out was an easy way for him to escape. However, the cycle was a “Catch 22.” The more pain and suffering this boy experienced because of his sexual acting out, the more this boy wanted to medicate with sexual acting out, and then would come the guilt, shame, pain and suffering from the acting out. It was a never ending cycle! However, Jesus was there with this boy the entire time.
When this boy turned age 17 he visited his first prostitute, Jesus was with him in the room, saddened by his choices. Once the young man crossed this “flesh line,” he was hooked. Pornography was not enough for him; he needed to feel the flesh of a woman. However, this too led to an amount of shame and guilt almost unbearable to any human! Jesus knew it was wrong, he wanted this young man to stop, and turn to Him for the fulfillment of this boy’s needs, but the young man simply could not.
In college, Jesus was with this young man through all the drinking binges, drug use, and sexual acting out he did in order to dull the pain he had and was experiencing. He was there to witness the cries of pain and suffering let out by this young man, who still inside was a much wounded child. Still this young man could not see Him, Jesus, who was right there waiting.
After beginning his professional work, this man continued to view pornography on a daily basis and act out sexually with a variety of women. Each and every time, this man felt full of shame and guilt, and felt completely empty. Why couldn’t he stop? Was this the life God, the father, wanted for him? He tore through relationships with women like pieces of tissue paper. If there was not sexual fulfillment, the relationship was almost worthless. However, because of his fear of abandonment, he chose to stay in loveless, unhealthy, and sometimes violent relationships. The fear of abandonment was gut wrenching, it went down to his core. This fear began by being left alone at such an early age. However, Jesus was with this man in those most lonely of times.
The worst pain and suffering, however, was when this man hit rock bottom. Alone, or so he thought, he prayed to God, the father to spare him this pain and suffering. He begged for help, Jesus saw how this man had destroyed his life, how his life was falling apart. This man had proved his powerlessness by engaging in unsafe and compulsive sexual behavior, over and over, even after making deals with God, the Father, to stop! His life was completely unmanageable, doing things he did not want to do anymore, losing his family, and possibly his life. Suicide was a way out for this man, so he thought. He could not face the pain and suffering anymore, the thought of taking his own life was consuming. The pain and suffering was monumental at this point, he knew things had to change, he needed help, he had to try to fix his life and repair the collateral damage done, but sometimes death seems the easier way out. The choice was his to make… And Jesus was right next to him as he made the choice, hurting for this broken man.
Psalm 34:18 (NIV) – The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
And this is where things began to change for this man. He chose the path of recovery; he was given godly advice by a Christian therapist who told him he might have a sexual addiction. He sought help for his problem and slowly began repairing the damage he had caused to himself and to others. Sometimes we all have to hit that rock bottom in order to know that the Lord is close to us and that he can redeem our life from the pit!
The idea for this post was inspired by the Casting Crowns song, “Jesus, friend of sinners” and a good friend of mine who stated in his blog the following:
“He was a totally innocent person, and yet He was made to take all our sin, and consequent suffering as penalty, so that we would not have to….He suffered like no man has ever suffered or ever will suffer in this life. Perspective is important here; He experienced suffering for literally billions of people, we can only experience suffering for ourselves and empathetically, those we love. To compare our sufferings with the sufferings that Jesus experienced is an insult to God because it minimizes what happened that day.” Read the entire blog post here.
In my view, Jesus not only suffered the wrath of God for my sins, but he also suffered for the pain and suffering associated with my sin. He was right next to me experiencing what I experienced; suffering for me while I suffered, like a father would for his son. In my addiction, my life was empty, void, apart from God. I suffered from feelings of shame, guilt, sadness, depression, suicide, anger, hatred, violence, and everything associated with my addiction. Even in the depths of my addiction, Jesus Christ was with me, he never left my side. Jesus was with all addicts throughout their lives, something we need to be mindful of in our recovery. When Jesus was crucified, he was crucified for my sins and he suffered a great deal, more than I can ever imagine. All the pain and suffering from all of humanity, addict and non-addict, placed solely on Jesus Christ so that if we believe in Him, we can have eternal life with God.
2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV) – God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Take what you like, and leave the rest.