CONQUERING STRONGHOLDS CHALLENGE 1
1: Begin The Journey
Are you shackled down by the bondage of sexual sin? One of the great lies of sexual bondage is that it’s a victimless act. We tell ourselves that the physical sex is consensual, the fantasy sex is subscribed to or free on websites, and the masturbation sex is done solo. So how in the world is acting out sexually going to hurt anyone?
Warriors, I’ll give credit where credit is due. Satan is masterful at his controlling deception. Sex is a powerful tool. Satan knows this and uses it against us every moment of every day. In media imaging, movies and magazines, in our own minds and almost everywhere we look, from the checkout girl’s cleavage hinting beneath her uniform shirt to the ads that clutter your social media viewing. The reality is, like the apostle Paul said below, your sexual activity is more widely known than you’d expect. Obviously, no matter how dark your room is, God knows your heart, but the reality is, you are not acting alone or undetected. You are betrayed by your thoughts and actions. People you trust your deviance to are also suffering as you are. There is no honor among sexual sinners, and it is not a victimless act. This is what drives the shame into silence.
It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you,
and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife.
1 Corinthians 5:1
I used casual, physical sex despite working in very public positions of responsibility. The threat of exposure was a constant worry that prevented me from ending the illicit affairs. While single, it even prevented me from pursuing relationships with women I might have wanted to date publicly. Satan’s shame kept me in the silent shadows of being alone while feeding me the crumbs of meaningless physical sex. Has your sexual compulsion met your deep-seeded desires for constant companionship, friendship or even esteem? Warriors let Day 1 be a call to action. You can be free from sexual sin. We’re in this together, so I won’t lead you down an empty path of back patting and good feelings. This is a treacherous journey, and one that the devil has invested heavily in. He will not let go of his grip on you all because you invested in this course or said you’ve had enough. In fact, that’s when he’s going to bombard you with more temptation, guilt and shame than ever before. Have you experienced that the more you try to escape sex’s death hold, the more temptation or anxiety comes your way?
When Saran's heat increases, you know it means his hold is loosening. Let me tell you from experience, lots of men fold at this point. It’s a scare tactic, and it works. Satan whispers that you can’t leave him because if you do, he’ll expose your naughty secrets and decadent acts. He hints that exposure might even cost you a job, reputation and your family. Satan likes you right where you are—afraid. Thank God, you are not alone in this.
2: What is Sexual Bondage
Warriors today is a great day to get into the details about what sexual bondage is and isn’t. Also referred to as addiction, sexual bondage is a way of coping with an underlying issue. Often the issue is so deeply embedded that the sufferer doesn’t even realize what the core problem is. They can only focus on the compulsive behavior and the troubles it causes.
Because I use a biblical perspective to guide you to freedom, the term bondage is possibly a better word than addiction. Unnecessary controversy stirs among the mental health crowd because the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) fails to recognize sexual addiction as a disorder. Their secular view has as much to do with a slanted morality as it does legalistic definitions. In my humble opinion, we’ve overused the term addiction until it has loss significance or legitimacy. Everything is a syndrome or addiction these days. Sexual addiction has become the default alibi of adultery whether it was a cause or just an excuse. Brothers, bondage is what we find ourselves in when we engage in sinful behavior and cannot or will not remove ourselves from.
Another vital point is that sex outside of marriage is also a sin. God created sex, and it was intended to be incredibly pleasurable as the covenant seal between a husband and wife. So, as I shared earlier, when I tried to validate my own sexual activities as a single man, there was no justification at all. I was living in a sin environment, but the devil had convinced me otherwise. What do you understand sexual addiction or bondage to be? It really includes so many variables ranging from adultery to fantasy and fetish attraction. Often sexual addiction has little to do with actual sex. It is the coping component caused by that deeper core issue. It took decades before I understood that my acting out was connected to a dysfunctional childhood dominated by a dad who didn’t allow emotion or conversation to take place in our home. Having never been told “I love you,” or a kind or encouraging word spoken while growing up, I sought the affection through sex, but without the obligation of commitment or marriage.
From this point forward, let’s move together in unity with the understanding of addiction or bondage. There is a supernatural battle being waged for your very soul, and while your obsession may be the result of early life trauma or neglect, the continuing cause and behavior is sin-based and lack of spiritual healing.
3: How Does Sexual Bondage Develop?
There is a distinction I feel is important to understand when we talk about sexual bondage. What causes an addiction to sex is one topic and how it develops is another. If you look back over the course of your life as it was affected by the obsession, you can possibly retrace the path leading to where you are today. That would be the development, and we’ll jump back to that after discussing the causes. Causes of addiction can be attributed to several broad factors such as biological, psychological, and social influences. These are a sample of potential causes, and are important because some, such as a genetic or chemical imbalance are beyond our control.
Biological factors attributing to an addictive behavior include an unconventional emotional response, being impulsive or a propensity for sensation seeking behavior or risk taker. I want to share the story of Todd. Although this is not his real name, his situation is very real and may be similar to what you experience in dealing with biological factors. He had a regular job and was on the verge of divorce. His wife had confronted him about his latest affair, and he promised to be faithful. The problem was Todd couldn’t stop the impulses without help. He said he really wanted to behave for her but when things got quiet or bored at home, his mind would begin to fantasize. His heart would begin to race, and he’d begin texting his mistress. He said the challenge to draw her back in and meet without detection excited him more each time. Before he was able to make the rational decision to not cheat or honor the promise to his wife, he was back in the act of adultery. Todd said he knew it was wrong but the thought of getting away with it made the sex more exciting. He also confessed that thinking about hurting his wife again made him extremely depressed after the sex.
Psychological factors such as exposure to abuse or sexual content potentially contribute to hypersexual compulsion. Certain personality disorders can run parallel with sex addiction. The majority of men trapped in sexual bondage are victims of past sexual abuse, accidental or intentional exposure to pornography as kids. The national average age for children’s first experience with viewing pornography is 8 years old. Thirdly, social factors such as emotional rejection or isolation may contribute to an unhealthy understanding and pursuit of sexual satisfaction. I’d like to share my story with you as it relates to this example.
I grew up in a Godless household with a dominant father who never spoke a kind word or said he loved me. As I began to retrace my life during the healing process. I realized he’d never said one kind word to me. He never physically abused his kids, but silence was his weapon to stifle sharing emotions. The result was 7 kids and my parents growing up in a home where no one spoke and when confrontations arose, no one knew how to resolve them. As of the writing of this lesson, 3 of us siblings do not acknowledge 4 of the others. This split was a result of a lifetime of hurt feelings, anger and an inability to communicate. The effect on me was a need for personal acceptance and validation. I found that through physical sex. It helped me feel like I was wanted and belong. Also, from a young life of insignificance or acknowledgement, it gave me a sense of importance and control. In reality, it isolated me from legitimate relationships and locked me into an adult life of isolation from intimacy. Modeling is also a major factor in the way we learn to engage in activities and behaviors. If your father or friends consumed pornography for example, you may have been drawn to replicate that behavior because of your admiration for them.
Can you see how complicated sexual bondage is? It’s done on purpose so that no matter what thread you tug on, Satan has the next one attached and waiting to restrain you even tighter. So, then you ask, what’s the use if it’s so complicated. Warriors, it’s not complicated at all when we stop looking at the causes and focus only on the solution. God is the answer. His light is a healing light that will bust open the chains of bondage. We were created in His image, and He wasn’t enslaved to sin. Please take your time to read this Scripture from Genesis below. It gets skimmed over if even read at all. If you ever feel powerless or meaningless in this life, you must understand the authority God gave you from the very origin of time. I took the liberty to bold several keywords to emphasize what God granted you with and what we are ordained to do. You are not a wasted by-product of your sexual sin as the devil has made you to believe. You are God’s beloved, and you are made in His very image, to be free.
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.