Question:

How can I have victory over homosexual behavior? Guilty of homosexuality 100%. I gave my life to Christ and have struggled to remain faithful to God. I've successfully abstained myself from actually committing homosexual sex, but it doesn't stop me from pornographic material. How do I have victory? I want this to just stop, to end. I've read the Bible, and I know how God feels about homosexuals, but it is awful that I'm one of them!

I've come to the throne of God multiple times over this issue in my life, but I can never hear what God has to say about it. Night after night I am spending my time asking God for mercy and forgiveness because I have masturbated to homosexual (and sometimes even heterosexual out of sheer lust) material. I have even caught myself sinking (mentally) deeper into more deprived sexual activities involving other men.

It is a battle! And needless to say I've lost my fair share of them. How can I have victory? I've heard a lot of superficial advice, even scriptural references, but it does me no good if I don't know how to apply them to my life. It's such a touchy subject. I can never get any help from my own brethren besides "Just do it". I just know if I could take this huge chunk of sin out of my life I would be so much better off. Why is it so hard for me to have victory? What am I doing wrong?

Please help me!


Answer:

"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified" (I Corinthians 9:24-27).

I want you to understand that I give the same advice to people, regardless of what kind of sex they prefer. I've noticed a trend in recent years to regard homosexuality as being more difficult to control than fornication; yet, in God's Word, they are both sexual sins. The only difference is that one goes against the way the human body was designed, but the underlying drive for sexual satisfaction remains the same.

I congratulate you on making a major step in leaving this particular sin behind. You didn't mention how long you have gone without sex with another person, but that you've put up a resistance to Satan's temptations should never be overlooked. "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world" (I Peter 5:8-9).

As you realize stopping the acts of sin is one matter, but stopping the thoughts of sin takes even more effort. The guy who has been having sex with every girl he can has just as much of a struggle keeping his mind out of the gutter as the guy who has been having sex with every available guy he can find. Sexual thoughts are difficult to control because the design of our bodies provides strong pleasure with orgasm. The brain easily and quickly locks onto related thoughts to bring back that sense of pleasure. Early experiences in sex quickly lays a foundation for later desires.

The difficulty comes in the fact that men build up semen over time and with that build up comes ever increasing desires for sexual release. The brain cooperates with the body by providing thoughts of situations which lead toward sex and orgasm. But when those thoughts revolve around sinful ways to have sex, then you find yourself struggling for control against yourself.

Your next step must be in breaking the inflow of ideas of sinful sex. You need to do something about your indulgence in pornography. Pornography isn't harmless. There is a whole industry producing these images for the express purpose of trapping men through their sexual desire. Their goal is to get you hooked so that you'll pay for more images -- and statistics show they are very successful. The article "A Look at Pornography" talks about the dangers and harm in pornography. When you realize that you are being manipulated for the purpose of opening up your wallet, then fighting pornography is a bit easier.

The first thing you must do is toss every pornographic image, magazine, book, and video out of your house. Go on a rampage. If you have a Christian brother or sister you trust, have him help you clean the filth out of your home. Be brutal with yourself. Don't compromise.

Next, removing it won't help if it can come right back into your life. "When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation" (Matthew 12:43-45). Jesus' point is true with most sins. A person who overcomes a drug addiction is in greater danger if he slips because it won't be just a single slip -- he'll binge. In the same way, getting pornography out of your life means that if you slip in the future you will likely binge on not just pornography but also sex and things you see as related to it.

Therefore, one aspect of this problem is to limit its return. If you have cable TV, either drop all the bad channels, or drop the subscription entirely. Put blocking software on your computer and ask a Christian friend to hold the management password so you are not tempted to bypass it. Block places you know you have a particular weakness for abusing.

The other half is to fill your life with something better. Think about when it is that you give in to pornography most often. I suspect that it is often when you are bored and have nothing else in particular to do. So give yourself things to be done that you like doing: volunteer at a nursing home, hold Bible studies, get a useful hobby, etc.

For right now, aim to keep yourself under control for one week -- just seven days. At the end of that week, tell me how it went.