This is the continuation of a post written by a wonderful woman who has been walking a path of healing from betrayal and her husband's sexual addiction (read Part 1). This past July, she & her husband had the opportunity to participate in a special counseling week with Dr. Harry Schaumburg, author of "False Intimacy: Understanding the Struggle of Sexual Addiction" and founder of Stone Gate Resources. I have asked her to share how attending this intensive counseling has impacted them. I hope you will find hope and encouragement in reading her heartfelt words!
In our group class during our week at biblical intensive counseling, Dr. Schaumburg used the word “depravity”. I don’t recall hearing that term before. After doing a quick internet search I’ve come to understand that “depravity” describes the sad state of our human existence, not just in times past, before our sins were forgiven by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but the sinful nature that all of us struggle with, even today. These sinful tendencies are so corrupt and so far gone that we could never enter into the presence of God had it not been for that offering of salvation by our precious Lord.
I was brought to my knees once again just weeks ago as I was helping my 6th grade son gather books for a research paper on “idolatry”. As we searched the library for books and I began to read excerpts from some of them I was humbled to learn that idolatry, in its more abstract form, is not just bowing down to a tangible golden calf statue as referenced in the Bible, but also “replacing God with something we revere more than Him.” I am sure it was not by chance that God placed the idea of idolatry as a research topic in this situation. God has a remarkable and unmistakable way of getting our attention!
As humans we are all guilty of replacing God, at some point or another in our lives, with something we revere more than Him. Deep down in our innermost beings there is a core of selfishness—a craving for self-gratification and we will seek it out any way we can get it. Personally, I have replaced God many times in my life without even realizing that was what I was doing. The most recent thing I continually replace God with is my reliance upon food for comfort. I often used my husband’s sexual addiction as an excuse because “I” needed comfort. Instead, I should have relied upon God for that comfort and not replaced Him with food to numb the pain from emotional hurts. Literally days ago, as I was flipping through radio stations in my car, I stumbled upon a Pastor’s sermon that caught my interest. He described how many people make New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier and go to the gym to exercise, but after a few weeks they go back to their old habits. Why? He said it was because of our deep down sinful, selfish desires—doing and getting what we want, when we want. So we can blame other things or other people for not doing what we know we should do, but ultimately we are responsible for our own sin.
There is a deep connection between this idea of idolatry and sexual sin. I wanted to share some of the “tweets” Dr. Schaumburg has written on this very subject.
• March 3, 2012: “The thing that keeps us from spiritual and sexual maturity is spiritual self-idolatry.”
• February 24th: “Sexual sin is always the act of self-will; turning from God to self. Sexual sin is always self-idolatry.”
• November 2nd : “All sexual sin is a symptom of placing one’s self above God. This is idolatry!”
• October 20th: “Covetousness is idolatry for the sole reason that we are satisfied by things rather than satisfied by God.”
• September 30th, he references Thomas Watson by saying: “There is no idol like self where I admire my own words, ideas, achievements, and possessions.”
Over six months ago I was asked to contribute to this blog, but until now I have struggled with my own selfish tendencies. I went in the opposite direction from where God was leading me. Ever since that early summer morning at a picnic table in Wisconsin, I have felt a strong nudge from the Holy Spirit to respond to the sin in and around my life the way I know God wants my heart to respond. Sometimes I feel like Jonah must have felt as he was going against what God asked him to do by not going to Nineveh. Sometimes I do only what I want instead of what He wants.
Easter weekend is here as I sit writing this, very humbled. I have asked two friends to pray for me—to intercede on my behalf so that I will do the will of God as He has called me to do. He can do through me what I humanly cannot do on my own. There is much more to what God has implored me to do besides putting pen to paper just now. But writing this is a fresh start in turning away from my comfort zone and heading straight towards Nineveh. Our own “Nineveh’s” are unique to each of us. I urge you to seek deep within your heart and ask God if there is something He wants you to do that you’ve not done and pray about that right now.
Searching for the elusive “Miss Consin’s house” put me on a path of discovery. There is so much more I learned and am still learning as a result of attending Dr. Schaumburg’s conference. I am so incredibly thankful to God for giving me the opportunity to go and for the constant nudging of the Holy Spirit to keep at it and never let go.
Email me at Light in the Darkness if you are interested in more information regarding this intensive counseling or have a question for our "Guest Blogger" and I will make sure I forward them on.