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Falling From Freedom: I’m Not Superwoman

Auto retrato en espejo roto / Self portrait on broken mirror

 

“I know you’re busy being superwoman to girls like me…”

No.  I’m not superwoman.

Perhaps, in the years of doing this (all four of them), I’ve led you to believe that I no longer struggle.

I’ve had a few women e-mail me recently frustrated at their own failures.  One went two years without masturbating and then gave in, multiple times in a day.  Another only watches porn once or twice a year.  Another has been porn free for a while, but all of the sudden, she watched it daily for two weeks.

Another complains of ‘waves’- she’ll be doing fine and then suddenly, she falls again… and again… and again.  Then she’ll snap herself out of it, and be fine for a while before down she goes again.

All I can really say is, “I get it.”

For me, this entire blog is one big “I get it.”  In fact, the day lust stops being a nuisance is the day I stop writing this blog, because a) I’ll have finally figured out the 1-2-3 easy trick, will put it in a book, and won’t need the blog anymore or b) I’ll be dead.

As far as I can tell, lust will always be a present weakness in my life, and that means that there are times I will fall.  

It’s not that I’m OK with that.  I don’t have some stack of “Hall Passes” when it comes to sin.  I don’t fall and say, “Oh well, I’m human.”  No, falling crushes me.  It’s not just stumbling and falling; it’s sin.  It’s telling God He is wrong, that He isn’t enough.  It’s walking out on the Lover of My Soul for a one-night stand with an abusive overlord.  

I don’t like the fact that I have this weakness, but ignoring it won’t make it leave.  The only way I can fight it is to acknowledge it and to cling ever closer to Jesus.

People argue that with me.  They say that a mature Christian no longer faces temptation.  No, a dead Christian no longer faces temptation.  Temptation is a reality of life.  If you are living, you will be tempted.  We have to learn how to avoid that where we can, and battle it where we can’t.

We will fail.  We will sin.  We will drag the glory of God through the trash He saved us from.  We will look at Him and tell Him that He isn’t good enough, that He doesn’t know well enough, that He Himself isn’t enough.

Even though He has never failed us, our foolish, rebel hearts will seek another who has always failed us.

We will trade the glory, goodness, love, and grace of God in for a cheap, X-rated, counterfeit, and we’ll feel terrible about doing it.  We’ll know that going in, and we’ll do it anyway, because we can be foolish like that.  Because we are wicked like that.

I don’t care if it’s sexual addiction, emotional dependency, drug addiction, lying, stealing, cheating, pride, anger, envy, rebellion… We will forsake the promises of God to pursue our broken cisterns.  That is the reality of our fallen humanity.

Even after tasting the goodness and grace of Christ, we’ll go rummaging through the dumpster for scraps of something else, not because we’re still addicted but because we’re sinners.  At the core of our sinful hearts is this idea that God might be holding out on us.

This means that for the rest of your life, you are the playing field for an epic battle between good and evil.

Perhaps that seems melodramatic, but it is true.  As long as you live in your skin, you’re going to deal with its desires- one of which is a God-given sexual desire which has a time and purpose.

Here’s the problem: we are lazy, impatient people.  

Our bodies don’t like waiting, and don’t like work.  Marriage (God’s intended design for sexual expression) takes both.  Lust takes neither.

For the rest of your life (even in marriage) there will be a pulling of your body toward what is easy, quick, and effortless.  Whenever you fight with your boyfriend.  Whenever you feel your husband doesn’t understand you.  Whenever your hormones surge for no good reason and your body screams for release.

Whenever waiting looks too long or the work seems too hard, there will be a whisper of temptation, a ghost of your past calling to remind you of what you once had.  Unprepared, you will listen.

That’s why you need to be prepared.

Honestly, unpacking this could be its own book, and maybe one day it will be.  I’m going to unpack some of the reasons why failure is so easy and so hard for lust addicts, but I want you to know I get it.

I get the waves.  I get the worshiping God in the morning but watching pornography by evening.  I get sharing your testimony one day and then reliving it the next, and then spending the next week looking in the mirror wondering if fighting is even worth it anymore.  I get it.

It happens.  I don’t say that as an excuse.  It’s not OK that it happens.  It shouldn’t happen.  It does, and every time it does I have to crawl my broken way back to Christ, confess that yet again I’ve essentially slept with the enemy and then figure out how to keep it from happening again.

Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.

Proverbs 26:11 (ESV)

More often than I want to admit, in more areas than just lust, I am that fool who goes back to that pile of putrid filth and starts eating it like caviar.

I’m not superwoman.

Photo: Carolina Tarre / Foter / CC BY-NC

5 comments

  1. I know you don’t like men reading your articles, because someone told you that they can be a temptation to them, a temptation that many men may welcome. And I confess to you that I have been tempted in that manner; but I tell you now that the Lord has helped me overcome this.

    Having said this, I can also confess, that the experiences of those women you mentioned, those with the reoccurring problems with pornography and masturbation, is unfortunately similar to me, to my life at this moment.

    It doesn’t turn me on (lol), it actually saddens me, and somewhat discourages me.

    This is me being honest.

    But you’re words are very helpful and encouraging. God bless.

    1. I don’t mind if men read my articles. I write for some male-prominent groups. I don’t work one-on-one with men or present to men’s groups. There are certain posts on here that I recommend men don’t read, but they do, and that’s their choice.

  2. Thank you. Seriously, from the depths of everything, THANK YOU. Even after all these years (almost 19!), I STILL FALL. After all the freedom I have walked in, I STILL FALL. With a happy marriage and a great sex life, I STILL FALL. With Covenant Eyes on my computer and an accountability partner a call away I STILL FALL. I still pick myself up and go crawling back to God and He still graciously takes me back. 12 days ago it happened again. I hate this addiction. I hate the fact that it exists and that I have to deal with it. And even after all this time I still feel sometimes like I’m really alone in it. So thank you. Not that I want to know anyone else struggles with this and falls, but it makes me feel less like a freak.

  3. I came looking for reassurance after a nasty fall. I found it. Thank you.

  4. Thank you for writing what all of us who struggle are feeling. It helps greatly to know I am not alone.