No one wants to be an addict.
That may seem like a simple statement, believable even. However, that isn’t often how we treat those who are struggling with addiction – we often ostracize them, increase their shame, and even judge them based on their behavior, the opposite of Jesus’ response to the broken and hurting he encountered. Why did Jesus embrace the sinner and eat at his house? Why did Jesus choose tax collectors and adulteresses, the addicts and outcasts, into his circle of friends? Because He knew they needed Him – He knew they needed more than what this broken world was offering them.
Addiction is a cycle that is impossible to break on your own. Much like how Paul describes doing the things he hates in Romans 7, we cannot overcome addictive behaviors by will power alone (“For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.” Romans 7:18). Often the behavior is a coping mechanism for a much deeper hurt or pain that needs to be uncovered, processed, and healed by the One who is the true healer. Loneliness and shame keep us from confronting our sin and detached from authentic community. So how do you find healing? Where do you go for help?
At Bethel we offer Pure Desire groups for men and women affected by love and sex addiction. We realize that the statistics we read about porn use, infidelity, and loneliness aren’t kept to the outside of the church walls. Our groups are a safe place to find healing, receive freedom from shame and past hurts, and find your own redemption story as God releases you from the pattern of sexual sin that has held you captive for so long. As one Pure Desire group member shared*, “My Pure Desire group guided me through the process of putting together my story for the first time. This included the wounds of my past, the lies of the enemy that bound my soul, and the destructive ways that I had learned to cope. This newfound clarity mended my shame, as my focus was no longer solely on my failures. I was not just an evil person with a lust issue, but I was a wounded person who had learned to cope. Not only did this restore my soul, but it also gave me a hope and a direction for recovery.” Hope. Hope that redemption and healing are possible.
We offer groups for men and women struggling with love and sex addiction, as well as spouses who have been betrayed in marriage through infidelity or porn use (Betrayal and Beyond – women only). Our men’s groups (7 Pillars to Freedom) run on Tuesday nights and required pre-registration. Women’s groups run on Tuesday nights and Thursday mornings. Please inquire for specific information on times, location and childcare options. New sessions will start this September. You can find more information here
We live in a broken world where people get hurt, abused, and traumatized, and none are untouched by sin. We try to protect ourselves from others, afraid and ashamed of revealing our true selves; but the opposite of addiction is connection. Pure Desire groups are one way to develop and dive into connection with others to deepen your journey to overcoming your love or sex addiction through the power of the Holy Spirit working in you through others.
For more information:
You can visit Pure Desire’s webpage here