Do we really need to tell people when our sexual desire or behaviour feels like a struggle?
Can’t we just find a way to battle through it alone, or keep it between ourselves and God?
Part of struggling with shame is the overwhelming desire to beat it on our own. We have to understand where that comes from.
Does your inner voice ever say any of the following:
What you’re hearing is shame.
If you believe these lies, telling someone else about your struggle will seem impossible.
Shame discourages you from reaching out for help and finding supportive relationships.
Being honest with someone else is one of the first steps in emotional and spiritual healing. The Bible refers to this transparency as confession.
Think of confession like choosing to see the doctor when you’re sick.
You need help and you want to get better, but you have to be honest about what’s going on first.
Confession is about honesty that lays the groundwork for healing. But you don’t need to get up in front of your church at an open mic or stand up at a bonfire. You can tell one person you trust.
If you’re not sure who to tell or what to look for in that person, consider the following:
If shame is the enemy of intimacy, grace is the enemy of shame.
Put simply, grace means getting something good that we don’t deserve.
Grace looks at all of our ugly and broken pieces and says, “Have this hope and healing anyway.”
Without confession, you have this lie hanging over your head, “If they knew the truth about you, they wouldn’t love you or want you involved in their life.”
Without being honest with someone face to face, you cannot experience the acceptance and unconditional love God wants you to know.
In article #4, Heidi shared the story of the shame caused by her struggle. Heidi’s turning point came when she was honest with her parents:
“At the end of high school, God gave me the courage through hearing other people’s stories to confess to my parents. Leading up to it, I remember feeling like I would die. But I didn’t die, and they listened without shock and loved me.
My journal entry that day said “This is the day I became free.”
This wasn’t because my behavior stopped, but because that day I let other people see all of me, and I experienced being loved anyway.
I could finally let go of my guilt and shame and stop believing the lie that I was dirty.”
Being candid with my friends is one of the scariest things I’ve ever done, but I wouldn’t have known freedom from my addictive behaviors without that.
For years I lived terrified of the thing that could set me free.
Perhaps that’s where you are right now.
You want five simple steps to do this yourself.
You want the DIY freedom kit?
There isn’t one.
There is a possibility the first person you initiate with turns out to be a bad fit. Keep going. You need to find someone to take this place in your life even it takes a few attempts.
You are worth whatever time and energy this takes.
Jessica Harris an international speaker, blogger and author of Beggar’s Daughter and Love Done Right: Reflections. To discover more resources for women struggling with sexual sin, visit Jessica’s website: www.beggarsdaughter.com.
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