Most of my initial Faith-Based Counseling sessions involve me listening to the counselee as they share with me all of their issues of why they are coming for counseling. Because I am a visual person, I write a lot of what is said on a big dry erase board. After the person feels as if he has expressed everything, we then look at the board and I will ask questions to further clarify things he said. Because I meet with many people about many different issues, we will go through the process of grouping things together, trying to reveal any core issues that could be the main contributing force(s) for the many problems.
I would like to suggest that the core issue behind most sexual sin, and many other non-sexual sins, is LUST. Some may think, “well duh!” but I would like for you to think of LUST not as one desiring to have sex with another but as one thinking he is missing something in his being and something other than God can fix it. Adam and Eve were created as perfect human beings, and one tiny conversation caused them to take their focus off of what God had given them and how God had made them. They began to develop a perception of thought that God had created them lacking something and the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would complete them. And this thinking led to an action that brought death.
LUST takes our eyes off of what God has given us, regardless of how much or little. We no longer look to God as our supplier. We no longer thank God for what He has given us. We may allow ourselves to LUST after a friend’s house, which then causes us to not be thankful to God for whatever dwelling he has provided for us. As we continue these thoughts we tend to develop a subconscious idea that God does not love us as much as someone else.
We may LUST after someone else’s wife and family, but not necessarily in a sexual way– We may wish that the relationship that other man has with his wife was the relationship we had with ours, which then causes one to develop negative thoughts about his own wife and the relationship he does have with her. And if that relationship does need work, LUST will cause one to not have hope in that relationship but rather wish he had a different wife which then sabotages any efforts made to better the marriage.
If we follow this line of thought, LUST can cause us to never look at the blessings of God in our own lives and we enter a state of depression about life in general and many times try to make ourselves feel better by involving ourselves in sexual sin or other wrong choices, but it never satisfies. We get to a point where we have no hope. Many give up on God, and some even give up on life. To change this pattern of thinking, one must first identify this in one’s own life, and then change the learned thought pattern by focusing on what God has given and be thankful for one’s own blessings. I am not suggesting this will be easy, but I do believe this cannot be accomplished alone, this will take time and help from others, along with a lot of work on your part.