Burning With Lust


**the following post is very long - but please read until the end.

Let me jump right in - I am a young man in college (21 yrs old) seeking to be a pastor. In some ways I am already pastoring, as I lead a bible study of college Freshman with regular attendance of 50 - 60 (I hope this does not disqualify me from this forum). I am also a worship leader on staff at my church.

(I ask that this not be taken in arrogance, even as it has led to much) I find that many girls are attracted to me. I enjoy this much more than I wish I did if I am honest. I enjoy the attention but also strive not to indulge it, as my aim is to be a "one-woman man." I have no current relationship but have struggled with pornography for 10 years along with two sexual relationships. I have had time to repent and heal (not fully) from these relationships but have recently found my desires were not as far behind me as I had hoped.

I had developed a very close relationship with one of the girls in my bible study who took a serious interest in me. Long story short, I found myself in an increasingly physical and now sexual relationship with her. Both of us have justified this in a sense as we are not really having sex, a step neither of us is willing to take. I know she is not a woman I would seek to marry and have talked several times with her about this relationship, explaining that my actions were physical and not romantic. Despite this, when we are together, she very obviously seeks that physicality and I am all too eager to indulge her. She wants to keep the relationship secret (which honestly, so do I) but is also hoping I gain romantic feelings, though I think just the physicality is something she enjoys as well. Both of us feel torn, as we are doing the thing we do not want to do.

Cutting off all interaction with her does not seem to be a viable solution as she is involved with so many of the things I am involved in, including my church. I also do not feel as though I can speak to my pastor, as I am church staff, (though admittedly, this may be a very misguided and prideful thought). I also do not feel I can speak with my friends, as I do not have many godly male friends in my life, the closest of which is potentially interested in this girl as well. I have 3 very close female friends (I know, I know, this is not traditional - but truly, they are strong women of God with whom I whole heartedly believe I have a Christ-honoring friendship with and with whom romantic feelings have even been discussed openly and worked through as the pursuit of sibling-like status and friendship is pursued -- not what this post is about). All 3 of them have a mentor-like relationship with this girl. I do seek godly men in whom I can confide this in, but most of my male relationships turn much more into mentor-like relationships than friendship.

Until today, I have been resisting true submission of this problem to Christ but I lean on his kindness that has led me to repentance once again. As I have begun to experience freedom in pornography, this relationship has arisen. An important note and factor may also be that I am certainly addicted to masturbation, despite resisting my addiction to pornography.

I earnestly desire to please the Lord, but find myself in this powerful struggle against my flesh. It seems that my steps to deal with it are empty-self help that may provide temporary conviction, resolve, victory, but leave me returning to my own vomit once again. I know that I am playing with Fire and fear what this tendency could mean for my ministry in the future. I long for wisdom and even some understanding to be spoken over me. Please brothers, if you have anything to share... please do. I feel like a little child that is swayed by every desire, hiding within a mature Christian leader's body. But like that little child, I seek to learn and grow and not stay the same.

Comments for Burning With Lust

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Group Counseling Program?
by: Anonymous

Have you looked into many of the great Christian group counseling programs? In our Association, we have a Celebrate Recovery group, and I've seen miracles from it. I know many of those who attend have been in situations similar to yours. It sounds as if you have a fear of this sin being revealed to male mentors. These groups usually have a strict anonymous policy. Even you don't do group counseling, you need to have a serious meeting with God to work out a regimented recovery plan and you need some form of accountability. Lastly, this next statement may seem harsh, but I mean it with love and care. Do not take a legitimate pastorate position until this sin defeated in your life. I'll be praying.

Just an honest response
by: Anonymous

"Long story short, I found myself in an increasingly physical and now sexual relationship with her. Both of us have justified this in a sense as we are not really having sex, a step neither of us is willing to take"

I am confused by this statement. You can have sex and not have vaginal intercourse. I say that because one of the biggest hindrances to overcoming sin is calling it what it is. Secondly, your secret isn't secret. Someone knows. Trust me...people can read your flesh, body language and there is discernment.

Everyone has good advice to share but at the end of the day this is between you and God. Some people over come these things sooner while others take longer. Some people lose everything...others don't.

I will be praying for you.

Talk to your mentors!
by: Anonymous

You say that your male relationships are more mentoring than friendship, but this is appropriate for a young man considering the pastorate. Please don't think that you can't confide in your mentors: that's what they are there for. I all but guarantee that they have struggled with the same temptation, and while they will hold you accountable for your sin, if they are truly walking in Christ, it will be done with love and forgiveness. You are probably going to be asked to leave the church staff (at least for a time), but by confessing your affair, you will re-commit yourself to a godly life. I will pray for you to search within yourself and make the right decision.

by: Anonymous

Man I totally understand where you are. When I was your age I was a christian and playing drums at church, yet hooking up with girls also. I relate to you and going through that was one of the hardest things in my life. God is merciful, but he says in james 5:16 confess your sins to one another that you may be healed. There is healing in confession. When my sexual sin was confessed to my friends and who would be my future wife, it was the hardest most humbling thing I have ever done but it is so freeing. honestly you will not be able to get away from this unless there is confession. It will be brought to the light eventually and God has told us how to bring it to the light. He also says flee from sexual immorality, and even though it is hard and we can't do it alone, it is a command. Go read proverbs 5 and realize the weight of this sin. I am still tempted very much in this area and I believe I always will be, but God gives us tools to fight and overcome.

Some advice
by: Anonymous

I think we all must ask ourselves from time to time, what are we truly pursuing? What is the very passion of our hearts? I find that if it is anything other than Jesus himself then I'm ruined. It can be a ministry position, a title, status, a job but if I am not seeking out God for himself and not just what how he makes me feel then I will end up in a ditch somewhere. I certainly understand your concerns about not being able to talk to your pastor or friends but this is a symptom of a much bigger problem for you. For pornography, lust, and sexual temptation are not your major problems. Your main problem is you. Bringing your sin into the light is the only thing you can do but because you care so much about how your pastor or friends or whoever will feel and what they will think of you and how that will affect your position you seem to be conflicted. But remember, your accountability is to God and not to man. I think you know what you need to do, you need to talk to people, confess your sins, and receive the forgiveness of God. Then, you need to walk in repentance and that means doing whatever, whenever, and however it needs to be walked out. Our Lord went so far to say that we should cut off our hand or gouged out our eye if it caused us to stumble. How willing are you to do this? Of course I'm not telling you to mutilate yourself but you may have to sever some very painful things in order to get healing.

End it
by: Anonymous

You have to end it. Sin diminishes you as a person, and Gods servant. It dulls your spirit and you should not be leading anything right now. You can't give what you don't have. Seek the Lord, totally cut off the relationship and step down from leadership and let someone you is not deceived by self and pleasure lead. You must recover from the effects of sexual sin on you, and stop the effects on her. If it is not romantic, as you say, makes you sound even more selfish. Be restored in Fathers grace. You must walk away from this relationship after repenting and asking this lady to forgive you for using her for your pleasure.

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