The Desire Series

Do I Really Need to Tell Somebody?

Jessica Harris

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.

Shame drives us into isolation and then tells us we are safer there.



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Does your inner voice ever say any of the following:

  • No one else you know is struggling like this.
  • Your problem is worse than what other women experience.
  • If you come clean, you’ll be judged.
  • If you ask for help, you’ll appear needy.
  • You’re on your own, and that’s not changing.

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.

Biblical confession is about healing.

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:

  1. Are they a Christian?

    Jesus wants us to be an expression of who He is, in one another’s lives. So when it comes to finding someone to be honest with about your struggles, it makes sense to choose someone who knows Him.

    Find a mature Christian so you can trust that their input is intended to point you towards the God who holds the key to your healing.

  2. Is this someone who knows you?

    God’s desire is for you to know healing within the context of authentic community.

    It may feel great to “get it off your chest” with someone anonymously, and writing can be cathartic, but you’ll experience more of the acceptance God wants you to know in real relationship with others.

    If you don’t have someone like this in your life yet, whoever you choose to be your safe person should feel invited into your whole life, not just regular times of confession.

    Either way, they should be more interested in the future you want than the past you’ve had.

Confession is a pathway to experiencing grace.

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.
 

Confession is essential for knowing freedom.

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.

So where do you go from here?

  1. Talk with God about your current struggle. Tell Him how it makes you feel (even if you enjoy how it makes you feel). Be honest about your fears.

  2. Ask God to send you someone you can talk to honestly.

  3. Look for your safe person. Some possibilities might be your:
    • Pastor or Pastor’s wife
    • Cru staff member
    • Campus ministry leader
    • RA
    • Teacher
    • Counselor
       
  4. Mark a date on your calendar to tell them. Why? Because you want to prepare for the conversation, and have time to tell your whole story.


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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