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Overcoming Sexual Addiction - Understanding the Mold

Discussion in 'Recovery Library' started by Dropout_Theologian, Jun 1, 2018.

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  1. Dropout_Theologian

    Dropout_Theologian Not an ant in God's glorious library.

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    The following are excerpts from chapter 5 of Russell Willingham’s Breaking Free: Understanding Sexual Addiction & the Healing Power of Jesus.

    5
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    Understanding the Mold
    Essential Three: Exploring Family Issues

    "Why dig up the past?

    "What can you do now about the past? Obviously, you can't go back in time and have all your nurturing needs magically fulfilled. But if you don't take an honest look at how those deficits were created in the past, you are doomed to continue seeking false solutions in the present.

    "Exodus 20:12 says, "Honor your father and your mother." Does this mean that you are supposed to lie about ways in which they may have sinned? Not according to the prophet Ezekiel. He was told, "Will you judge them? Will you judge them, son of man? Then confront them with the detestable practices of their fathers and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says'" (Ezek 20:4-5).

    "Scripture goes on to say, "Do not be like your fathers and brothers, who were unfaithful to the LORD. . . . Do not be stiff-necked, as your fathers were" (2 Chron 30:7-8). And Stephen said to the elders of Israel (who "honored" their fathers and their way of doing things), "You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit!" (Act 7:51). Obviously, honoring our parents does not mean following in their sins or pretending they didn't hurt us." . . .

    [The above is from pages 77-78, elements of formatting mine.]



    "Let Us Search
    Jeremiah said, "Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD" (Lam 3:40 KJV). Contrary to what many in the Christian community assert, taking a look at ourselves and our past is not a matter of "navel gazing" but of obedience to God. Paul said, "A man ought to examine himself" (1 Cor 11:28). And David said: "When you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent" (Ps 4:4)." . . .

    [The above is from page 78, elements of formatting mine.]



    ". . . Unless the addict takes an objective look at his family of origin, he will assume that his family's way of expressing emotion was the "right" way. Or he may rebel against their patterns and end up living in the opposite emotional extreme from them. Either way, he forfeits his God-given personality and becomes vulnerable to sexual addiction in every area where he expresses (or fails to express) his emotions in a biblically healthy way (see table 1).

    Unhealthy emotional life
    It's not okay to feel sadness or depression. If I do, something must be wrong with me.
    Healthy emotional life
    My family may have shamed me for feeling these emotions, but they are a natural part of living in an imperfect world (Ps 31:9-10; 38:1-9; Lam 3:3-9; Mk 14:32-34; 2 Cor 1:8-9).

    Unhealthy emotional life
    If I allow feelings of sadness to surface, they will engulf me.
    Healthy emotional life
    Scripture commands me to mourn and tells me there is a blessing for those who do, not for those who suppress grief (Mt. 5;4; Rom 12:15).


    Unhealthy emotional life
    A real Christian overcomes grief quickly, because "the joy of the Lord is my strength."
    Healthy emotional life
    My family may not have given me permission to grieve, but God understands that some pain takes a long time to work through (Eccles 7:3-4; Is 53:3; Rom 9:1-2).


    Unhealthy emotional life
    If I show anger, people will know how unspiritual I am.
    Healthy emotional life
    It is possible to demonstrate passionate anger without falling into sin (Mk 3:5; Jn 2:14-17; Eph 4:26).

    Unhealthy emotional life
    I can be agree only at injustices done to others(e.g., abortion, child abuse), but not at those done to me.
    Healthy emotional life
    I can allow myself to feel anger at personal injustice and express it in appropriate ways (Gen 31:36-42; Acts 16:36-37).

    Unhealthy emotional life
    If I am still angry about something, it proves I haven't forgiven.
    Healthy emotional life
    If I am still angry, it may mean that I have extended superficial forgiveness without following the biblical command to confront first, then forgive (Mt 18:15-17; Lk 17:3)

    Unhealthy emotional life
    If I don't get along with everyone, it shows that I am not a loving Christian.
    Healthy emotional life
    As a healthy man, I know I will not get along easily with every person in my life (Lk 6:26; Rom 12:18; Gal 1:10).

    Unhealthy emotional life
    If I really loved God, I would want to pray, read the Bible and serve all the time.
    Healthy emotional life
    I do not assume that I am supposed to be perfect, as my parents have expected; I work through my imperfections patiently (Phil 3:3, 12)

    Unhealthy emotional life
    Taking care of my own needs is selfish. I'm supposed to take care of others first.
    Healthy emotional life
    I know how to take care of my body, soul and spirit so that I have something to offer someone else (Mt 11:28; Mk 4:38; 6:31; Lk 2:48-49).

    Unhealthy emotional life
    If I were really spirit-filled, I wouldn't have such strong desires for sex, security, revenge and so on.
    Healthy emotional life
    Some of my sinful longings are misunderstood legitimate needs. But even after working through those, the sinful nature will still be present—no matter how godly I am (Rom 7:15, 19, 21; Jas 3:2; 1 Jn 1:8).

    Unhealthy emotional life
    Exploring how my parents reared me is just an attempt to put the blame on them.
    Healthy emotional life
    I am honest, like David, about any abandonment issues I may have (Ps 27:10). I look for truth even if that brings me into conflict with my parents (Mt 10:34-37).

    Unhealthy emotional life
    Feeling hurt or resentful about childhood experiences proves that I am still immature.
    Healthy emotional life
    As a child I may not have had the luxury of expressing hurt or anger. As an adult I now have that freedom (Eccles 3:1, 4).

    Unhealthy emotional life
    Focusing on my feelings is selfish. Obedience to God is what matters.
    Healthy emotional life
    I know how to feel, consider, express, journal about, or seek counsel regarding my feelings (Prov 20:5; Ps 139:23-24). Peter denied Christ because he had not taken time to acknowledge and deal with his weaknesses (Mt 26:33-35). I don't want to make the same mistake.
    ——————————————————————————————————————
    Table 1. Contrasts between healthy and unhealthy emotional life

    [The above is from page 83-85, elements of formatting mine. Table 1 restructured for web.]
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2018
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