Question:

Hello,

I am a Christian by birth. I believe in Jesus and God; however, my faith is questionable at times, especially when things go wrong or when there is a delay in getting answers, etc.

I fear God, but the irony is that I have committed adultery and I have also aborted a child from my wife. I constantly have sexual thoughts and indulge in masturbation, and I always see women with lust and look at pornography as well. The place where I live is full of modern women all dressed to attract, it becomes really hard to ignore, and avoiding it is also not a solution as my job is outdoors.

God has blessed me a lot. I acknowledge and thank Him for each and every thing always.

However, I am still not clean as sexual thoughts, etc. keep crossing my mind, and I am trying hard and asking God to help me overcome them as well as guide me spiritually. I do not know if God is still angry with me, but I have asked for forgiveness many a times andhave not committed adultery or aborted a child anymore, but, yes, masturbation and lust are still continuing.I am trying hard to repent and change consciously. There has been improvement as well.

I have even confessed to a priest in church. Do we need to confess to a priest in church or can we directly confess to God? How can I stop worrying always about the future, finance, etc. Please help and guide me. God bless you!


Answer:

I need to make a small diversion from what you wrote about because you mentioned something that is critical to understand. No one is born a Christian. I know that many religions, like Roman Catholicism teach it this way. They do it to keep people in their religion because most will just go with the flow and not stop and think about what God actually taught. See How to Become a Christian and compare it to what you have actually done (not what was done to you as an infant). I would not be surprised that it is the lack of personally committing yourself to Christ that is at the core of your difficulties.

Since you are a married man, masturbation should not have a prominent place in your life; you have an outlet for your sexual desire that is far better than masturbation. I must conclude that you are having sex with your wife as often as you need, perhaps because of other problems.

The big problem is your lust. Lust will keep you out of heaven just as surely as adultery. "For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God" (I Thessalonians 4:3-5). Your indulgence in pornography has warped your view of the world. You see women as sexual objects instead of as people. Likely, that is what lead to your committing adultery. I doubted you cared all that much about the woman. It was more about what you wanted at the moment. In other words, over the years pornography taught you to be a selfish man. That spilled over to when you had a child you were afraid you could not afford. It was convenient for you to have your own child murdered so you didn't have to raise him.

My apologies for being so blunt, but you need to see how your sinful habits are impacting all aspects of your life. If you are really disgusted with Satan's hold over you, perhaps you will wake up to your true state and change. "For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter" (II Corinthians 7:10-11).

No one can make you give up the pornography. Whatever restrictions someone places on you will fail if you are determined to get around them. Rather, you have to decide to stop. I don't know what sources you are using for pornography, but you need to make it inconvenient for yourself to get to them.

Along with this, you need to repair whatever is the difficulty between you and your wife. You need a proper outlet for your sexual desire. I don't know what that difficulty is, so for now I can't offer advice in that realm.

With the women you see, I want you to start playing a different game with yourself. Instead of focusing on the women's bodies, I want you to start thinking about the people, both men and women. Ask yourself what you can figure out about the person: where they work, where are they going, what kind of day they have been having, etc. I want you to start seeing people, especially women, as people who have lives just like your own. You need to get out of this one-track selfish way of thinking.

Finally, see Must I confess my sins to a priest to be forgiven? In regards to worry, first get yourself right with God, then you will find that much of the stress that you are feeling will decrease drastically because you will have confidence that God will take care of you.

Thank you very much for your time and quick and clear reply. I appreciate it a lot. I have have been reading your replies on the web site and certainly I am humbled by your answer and guidance, and even your apology. I truely understand what you have written and will put full effort to get myself out of the mess I created and turn to God sincerely.

I was baptized a Roman Catholic when I was born, which basically is the religion my parents follow and so to say I follow the same.

As a matter of fact, I do not have any problems with my wife sexually, it is just my problem that is lust and like your rightly said 'selfish thinking'. Poronography is something I gain access to from the net but not hardcore movies, etc., just pictures. Again it does not make a difference as sin is sin. Since you asked, I am replying.

Like I wrote, I am conciously making great effort to get out of my sinful habits, and I am progressing well. For example, I have totally stopped looking for porn, I have controlled masturbation for quite sometime now. Lust is something I need to overcome and I will!

Thank you once again and God bless you too. I am still reading and gaining a lot of knowledge from your web site questions and I'm glad I came across your site just by accident. Please pray for me.

You have a good attitude toward sin and I wish you well in your battle. I hope, too, that you will approach your religion in a similar way. It isn't about how we were raised, but what God commands us to do. Continue to study His Book; it will change your life.