How to Defeat Sex Addiction
By Rod Thomas
The 700 Club
CBN.com - “Some guys had trophies on their walls of their playing a sport or doing something, my trophy was I kept a book with the name of all the girls that I had sex with. And that was my trophy.” Paul's twisted view of women and relationships began in his childhood. “A friend of mine had a magazine and, of course, with naked pictures and other stuff and they just kinda captivated us,” he said. “Then it was shortly thereafter that I can remember wanting to see it firsthand, so I found a little girlfriend and we went into a woodshed and exposed ourselves to each other.”
As he got older, he delved more into porn and eventually started having sex. After high school, he joined the Navy, and things only got worse. “I can remember being on my first ship. Because, of course, you’re underway, there’s no women, and there’s lots of pornography. And when you go to port with friends it was always, you know, “Where’s the next girl I can find? Where’s the next thing I can do with them.” When Paul got out of the Navy, he decided he needed to change his life, so he started going to church. But come Monday morning, he went back to his womanizing ways. Then he met Barbara, who was a single mom. “She was a professional and she’s very attractive. She’s very beautiful. And I was like, ‘Wow. I want to have that.’”
Barbara recalls meeting Paul for the first time. “He was very nice and caring. I ended up having him around more than I expected initially.”
They moved in together and eventually they got engaged. One night, Paul was watching television and came across the 700 Club. “He was talking about how you could get to know God in a personal level in a relationship with his Son, Jesus. He put out the Gospel and asked anybody if they wanted to pray with him, and I was like, ‘Yeah, absolutely.’ You know, and I prayed with Pat on TV. And I was like, ‘That’s great. I did a good thing.’ Then I went to bed. I didn’t think anything of it. The next day there was just a light, airy feeling to me that something had happened. I didn’t know what. I really didn’t understand because I already thought I was a Christian but something was different. And I can remember going to work and the first thing I remember noticing is I didn’t curse anymore. I went out and bought a Bible. I never bought a Bible, let alone read a Bible. But for some reason I wanted to buy one, and I didn’t just read it, but I devoured it,” Paul remembers.
As he studied the Bible, he realized their live-in relationship was wrong and wanted to move out. Barbara didn’t understand. “I started to see changes in him, but I think I misread and maybe he even misread what was happening to him as he just didn’t want to be with me anymore.”
It wasn’t just conviction that urged Paul to move out. He still struggled with his desire for other women. “One of the biggest fears I had was – and it kept coming to my mind - ‘if you do, this is the last woman you can ever have sex with,’ because I knew from Catholicism that once you’re married you’re just supposed to be with your wife. ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery.’ That kept hitting me and kept kinda driving me away from her to where I didn’t want to fully commit to a marriage with her.”
So Paul took a job in Ohio. After he moved, he forgot about God and his fiancée, and started looking for sex but something had changed. “There was a young lady there that I had taken an interest in and went back to her place. And I had every intention on having sex with this woman, and couldn’t do it. I laid there. She was right there in bed, naked next to me. I could move, but I could not move towards her. There was something that was hindering me from making a physical advance on this woman. It wasn’t physical because I could still move around, but there was something in here (my mind) and something in here (my heart) that was saying, ‘No. You’re not touching this woman.’ I think it was the Holy Spirit, you know, that when I trusted Christ I didn’t realize what was happening. I had no idea what happened to me. I got back my stuff and I got in my car and I started driving back to my apartment and of course my thoughts immediately go towards Barbara, my fiancée, and it was like, ‘How could I leave her? I told her I would marry her and here I am over here.’ And I just began to immediately just cry to God, ‘Lord, I’m sorry.’ You know, ‘Please – I want to make this right.’ You know, ‘Please forgive me.’”
“I was ready to tell him I wanted to break the engagement. But he started telling me some things that have been going on with him, as far as the struggles he was having. I didn’t even know he was having those struggles. Frankly, I didn’t know the reason he was withdrawing. I just know that he was. I had never heard him like that before. I had never heard him that remorseful. Once he started explaining everything to me I felt like maybe we needed to go ahead and move forward,” Barbara remembers.
Paul and Barbara married and over the years, their family has grown. “God has changed me. He’s changed Paul. It’s like we are different than we ever thought we’d be back then – but much better. He’s become a whole different person than who he was then, and so have I,” Barbara says.
“I did not wake up one day and say, ‘I need to turn over a new leaf.’ I just trusted Christ as my Savior. And He came in and He gave me new desires, and He did it in such a way that I’m very thankful for,” Paul added.
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