For years I have heard the stories from countless men how they are able to refrain from sexual sin only to repeatedly experience failures. The time of success with the eventual trip-up becomes a way of life for them. They truly desire to live a life of continuous integrity, but eventually develop a conclusion that, “this is just how life is for a man.” Because they do everything in their power, including calling on God’s power, yet experience repeated failures the belief that true freedom is not really possible creeps into their psyche and their efforts are sabotaged.
We try to make peace with the tension among our best effort, what God desires for us, and the cycle of our life. We make peace by developing a false-belief which is more of a coping mechanism to deal with the tension in our hearts. I want to suggest that the problem here is that we have not correctly identified the real issue–the root cause.
We identify the behavior as the problem. We say the adultery, the use of pornography, participation in voyeurism, etc. is the problem. Yes these behaviors are problems but they are not “the” problem. They are symptoms to a deeper issue and until the root cause is treated, the symptoms are going to flare-up from time to time. They may even flare-up in different ways, but the root cause will be the same.
Behaviors under the umbrella of sexual sin are many times treated as the sickness rather than the symptom of a deeper issue. Because most of us only address the symptoms, true and lasting change rarely occurs. This is why one may not experience any symptoms for weeks, months, even years but the core issue is lying dormant while we do everything we can to control the symptoms, only to eventually experience a flare up.
Why do we focus only on the symptoms?
Focusing on the symptoms is easier and less threatening than focusing on the root causes. One sees the symptom of the use of pornography; so he says, “don’t use pornography.” The work is done quick and easy, until one uses pornography.
Focusing on the root cause takes time; it takes work; and it may even require some help.
I suggest that the root causes of sexual sin originate from one or more of the following three areas:
- Emotional (Psychological)
Join me as we explore the root causes of the behaviors of sexual sin.