“In the field of addiction medicine, sexual addictions are classified as ‘process addictions’. Scripturally, in the parable of the Prodigal son, the prodigal son states after returning to his father from a ‘wild life’: “I have sinned against heaven and against You”. Sexual temptation and acting out (porn, extramarital affairs, premarital sex, masturbation, etc) are all done in ISOLATION. Help is sought IN COMMUNITY, using support groups and accountability partners.
It’s not for nothing that the first word of the first step in a 12 step program is the word ‘WE’. One heals in connection with the help of others. Life Renewal is a faith based, Christ centered 12 step program that is recommended for those struggling with addictions, relationship issues , complex (childhood) abuse and other abuse issues, including acting out sexually. This program was initiated in our church a number of years ago and runs now in many churches in Ontario as well as out west. This program has taken much of the material from Freedom Session (by Pastor Ken Dyck, Surrey B.C.) which has been modified into a Grace focused recovery program.
Healing from addiction cannot be done without spiritual change. In Life Renewal, there is much focus on the surrender process, dealing with life’s inventory and resentments, looking at character defects and shortcomings and making amends and living day by day in a spiritual manner. I would suggest that all pastors and office bearers take a critical look at this support group and even take the program, not only to benefit themselves as well as to help other struggling brothers and sisters.
I trust that Life Renewal may help those who are struggling with the shame of sexual temptation/acting out. The Lord can use shame to motivate one into recovery. – Gary Veenman MD, Diplomate ABAM, Elora ON