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.

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