Thursday, May 4, 2017

Overcoming the Emptiness that Leads to Sexual Addiction

The number one need of every being on earth is to love and be loved. We seek connection. Connection is like understanding, but deeper, it says: I see and feel YOU, and I allow you to see and feel ME. This is where we reveal and receive something deeper than skin, deeper than the me I allow the world to see.
Why is there so much disconnection and so much craving of disconnected things that masquerade as connection? For instance: Pornography.
*Ask yourself, "Is this true about me, is it true about my family?"

A Poor Substitute

Pornography is a masquerade for connection, it is to sex what sugar is to energy. It provides a short term high, but no long term nourishment. It is not real satisfaction or fulfillment, indeed it is the emptiness of it that leads to crave more, because with porn, as with sugar, the high is very temporary. What are we missing that we are seeking?
***What is it that we are teaching or not teaching our kids when it comes to sex and sex-drive that is predisposing them to this addiction?
Have we taught and that Sex is “bad” instead of that it is too good to be trifled with and misused? In conversations with Christians, often, sex is in one category and spirituality is in another. Sex and the sex drive is treated as and unfortunate side effect to being a human; something to be controlled, or shut down completely instead of something to be enjoyed, nurtured, and guided as an essential and Godly part of who we are.
Christian boys and girls are taught that they should not look on a woman for the purpose of lusting. They are taught from an early age to abstain from sex until marriage. Both are correct. But WHY?
When we talk to boys and young men, and men about pornography, do we emphasize the importance of respecting women, and forget to emphasize respecting MEN AND WOMEN...and THEMSELVES? Loving and respecting ourselves as God's children (remembering our divine nature) predisposes us to make choices to honor our divinity and to recover from slip ups more quickly.
Sometimes we talk to boys and men like they would be total brutes by nature if not for our warning about their “dark side”. When I read scriptures I see God reminding us of our light, of our goodness, and our potential to overcome challenges and be like Him. God encourages us to remain clean by reminding us that we are His, that we are divine.
In teaching Christian girls and women about sex we make many similar mistakes as with boys. Sometimes we give the impression to girls that their entire value and worth are contained in the fact that they are less susceptible to certain types of temptation. We imply sometimes that the lower sex-drive in the teenage female as compared to the teenage male makes them more virtuous. Some grown women see their virtue and worth in being less interested in sex. (And some men hate themselves for being more interested than their wives.)
We are inundated with scenes of a sexual nature in advertising, movies, the news, and in almost every place we go. We are stimulated...and we know we are supposed to abstain. Instead of placing the shield of “I am a child of God” over ourselves, and our thoughts, feelings and actions, many disconnect themselves from or shut down their sexual feelings and drives in order to resist. We reject a part of ourselves because we do not understand that our ability to be stimulated is a gift from God and part of the sacred process of creating life.
The void left by this rejection of ourselves leaves us hungry, empty. We hunger for connection and the only thing society offers us is empty sex, much like the calories in sugar: devoid of nutrition and will leave us even hungrier when the energy spike wears off. We may act out sexually, or become austere to prove how good we are in attempting to fill the void with approval.
It must not be turned off or disconnected, it must be protected and nurtured by truth and love: the truth of God’s love of us and of chastity, and the love of ourselves and of God. Addiction is caused by seeking to fill holes, trying to fill holes with things that will never satisfy. Having rejected part of ourselves, shutting it out, shutting it down, or in any way disconnecting, we have holes.
Sex-education that is taught secularly teaches from a purely physiological perspective, neglecting the deep spiritual effects and connections of divinely implemented intercourse. It is taught from a disconnected and spiritually dysfunctional perspective. It is almost mechanical when approached from the perspective of naming parts and outlining reactions.
Sex, in the way most of us and our children are being exposed to it, is so contrary to the peace, joy, and love of God’s spirit, we very naturally separate sex from spirituality and righteousness. Yet, it is so inherently divine in the sphere in which it was designed that both spirituality and sex are incomplete without the other.

We Have Robbed Ourselves and our Children of Knowledge of Our Own Divinity

Throw into the mix that we and our kids are being taught from a young age that they/we evolved, that they/we are descended from animals. Divine parentage gives us power and responsibility. Knowing we are divine helps us recognize when things are not in harmony with who we are. Can’t you just hear Satan whisper to any of us facing temptation “You’re only human.” ?
Belief in being only human, only being mammals robs us of our power to chose divinely. Knowing we are divine changes the perspective from which we make our choices. If I know I am divine, I’m more likely to make choices in alignment with my divinity. If I think I’m an animal, I am more likely to make choices in line with being and animal: following instinct without inspiration or reason, following appetites and passions instead of filtering them according to the divine within me.
Satan, and evolution, says “Son of man, do as you will.” Whereas God says “Son of God, follow me.” God says “Follow me to happiness, peace, unity, joy, fulfillment, and connection. Become even as I am, and inherit all that I am and all that I have.”

We have downplayed the importance of family roles.

A woman who says she will support her husband in anything he wants to do is seen as a door mat, a man who says this is considered a hero. A person in our society is fed a steady script of a man supporting a woman, being sensative, kind and flexible, he’s supposed to back her up at all cost and give her anything she wants. If you don’t believe me take this idea into consideration with anything you have watched in the last 20 years and anything you watch for the next week. If a man expects these things from a woman, he is considered to be a cheauvanist. We talk about women not needing men, but we talk of the absolute indespensability of women.
We have downplayed the importance of family roles. Everything a person does outside a home is lauded above what is done within it. Men and women who have chosen to exert less time and energy in businesses to exert more time in home and family are accused of”selling themselves short”, “playing small”, “wasting their talents”, "being emotionally blocked" etc.
A woman in business is often seen as a hero, a woman who choses home is often seen as unmotivated, a door mat, naive, put upon by society, religion and her husband and children. Conversely we are strongly critical of a man who choses to spend a lot of time at work and less time at home in order to provide for his family. There’s a double standard there. When a woman does that it’s ambition, when a man does it it’s work-aholism and neglect.
When we downplay parenthood we take the divine out of sex and out of our kids. Isn’t God our Father? Isn’t that the name he has chosen for us to know him by? (“Our Father, which art in Heaven.....”) How can kids who have little or no respect for Motherhood and Fatherhood understand the sacredness and protect the passions and processes that lead to it? How can they possibly understand the sanctity of sex without understanding the importance of the result? How can they know their infinite worth and divinity if our roles as their parents are downplayed (if taking care of them is not that important..not as important as our business, hobby, or education, or if chosing parenting as our only focus is seen as a bad thing)?
Why did God think it was SO important for us to know we are His and that He is our Father? Jesus could have called him creator, inventor, teacher, mentor, tutor, builder, philosopher, etc., but He called him “Father” because that is what God prefers us to know him by. Wouldn’t He prefer to be called by the name which best describes Him and exalts Him the most?
I wonder what would happen if the emphasis on talks about sex was about the sacred nature of each person on earth and of the sacred power given to men and women to create offspring (a family) instead of resistance. What if we talked more about the truth of who each person is, and the capacity they have to create and the sacred trust given them by God? What if we reminded them that their chastity empowered them to create DIVINE connections that would fulfill and satisfy them beyond anything any filmmaker or author ever expressed and beyond anything their hearts and minds yet conceive?

Restore What Has Been Lost

I believe families are central to God’s plan. A family cannot be created without sex (if you adopt, someone still had to have participated in sex for a baby to be created). Sex is central to God’s plan, for it is the sacred doorway to human creation and unity. A man and woman literally join together and out of it comes something beautiful, divine, innocent, and FULL of promise.
When we are true to ourselves, when our aim is to serve God and be true to the divinity in ourselves we will naturally do good to others. What we focus on grows, so perhaps we need to focus on love, serving God, dignity, divine nature, personal strength, etc.
Men and women are not simply looking for pleasure in porn, they are seeking something in themselves that is lost. Truthfully, only God can help them find it, but we can help each other by understanding that Sex within marriage, like the family, is ordained of God.
What I want my son to know:
  • "It's safe for me to be a man."
  • "Masculinity is a necessary part of my divine being."
  • "It's ok for me to lead, I am a good leader and considerate and respectful partner."
  • “It’s ok for me to take input and advice from others.
  • "My sexuality and drive is a sacred and essential part of me."
  • "I am sexual and righteous."
  • "My sexual impulses are part of God's plan for creating families."
  • "God has endowed me with the power and strength to govern my sexual desires without extinguishing them."
  • "I am respectful of others and attract others who are respectful of me."
  • "I am accountable, responsible, and capable."
  • and of course:
  • “No means no, and people have a right to change their minds at any time.”
What I want my daughter to know:
  • "It's safe for me to be a woman."
  • "Femininity is a necessary part of my divine being."
  • "It's ok for me to lead, I am a good leader and considerate, respectful partner."
  • “It’s ok for me to take input and advice from others.”
  • "My sexuality and drive is a sacred and essential part of me."
  • "I am sexual and righteous."
  • "My sexual impulses are part of God's plan for creating families."
  • "God has endowed me with the power and strength to govern my sexual desires without extinguishing them."
  • "I am respectful of others and attract others who are respectful of me."
  • "I am accountable, responsible, and capable."
and of course:
  • “No means no, and people have a right to change their minds at any time.”
Some questions to ponder:
-Is it pleasing to God for me to be deeply attracted to my spouse?
-Do I want my child to be able to build close and loving relationships with their spouse (when they marry)?
-What is it like to recognize the divine connection between sex and creation?
-What is it like to have my sexual desires and inclinations aligned perfectly with my divine self (with my highest and best self)?
***We become open to receiving the fullness God wants to send us by restoring the sacred connection between our sexuality and our divine nature.

What do YOU know? Do YOU know the things that empower YOU to be connected to God?

~Liz King Bradley

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