Originally from Regeneration Ministries. https://www.regenerationministries.org/the-fruit-of-a-tree-and-sexual-brokenness/
You’ve probably heard it said here before that breaking a habit of unwanted sexual behaviors goes beyond “Behavior Management.”
Setting up filters or throwing away devices might eliminate the cues to your addiction, but it still leaves you exposed. There’s deeper work to be done.
Ultimately, to change your behavior you need to understand the why’s to your behavior. The actions you choose are connected to your emotions, to your thoughts and to your beliefs.
You are wonderfully complex. In this episode, we’ll be looking at the design of a Tree to illustrate how you work and why you need to go deeper. (Be sure to look to the Homework section for ways to make the Tree model work for you.)
FRUIT (Our Behavior)
The fruit of the tree, the leaves of the tree represent the behavior, the outward sign.
BRANCHES (Our Emotions)
When we experience some type of emotional pain or discomfort in our bodies, that serves as a trigger to move us towards these other behaviors to either medicate the pain or to get away from it.
TRUNK (Our Thoughts)
Your thoughts are more expansive than just a sentence, it holds with it some sort of image that connects to an idea.
ROOTS (Our Story)
This is where our Core beliefs lie. For example: What we learned about family based on our experience, about ourselves as kids, what God is like, about the world around us, what men are like, what women are like.
SOIL (Our Influences)
Things that influence our beliefs: Family of Origin, Abuses we’ve experienced, great disappointments, losses, etc.
The things we choose to think can be soil around our beliefs. What we choose to do can also serve as soil that nourishes the soil of what we believe.
We are praying you choose to do the harder work of uncovering. You hold a powerful opportunity to change the trajectory of your life. If, along the way you find yourself needing extra help, consider reaching out to us and we will set you up with a Spiritual Coach to come alongside you in your important work.
When you struggle with an unwanted behavior, begin by asking yourself, “What was I feeling before I started moving in that direction?”
If you’re feeling tempted right now, begin to notice and understand “What am I feeling in my body right now? What are the emotions I’m experiencing in my body right now?”
What am I thinking that’s producing the kinds of emotions I’m experiencing now?
Take some guesses: What was going on for you that day? What’s coming up for you?
Take some time to write out what you think about the idea of Family (for example). Write the word Family on a piece of paper and then start brainstorming all that comes to mind about what a family looks like, who’s there, what they do, what does a week look like, what happens on the weekends, what does home look like to you, what role do you play. Taking time to write out the construct of what Family looks like to you can deconstruct some of the feelings you have attached to it.
Nourish your beliefs through things like – exercise, scripture memorization, silence, simplicity, worship, communion, confession.
If you want to learn more, check out Josh’s latest musing on this topic at, If You Keep Repeating Your Sin