“Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”James 1:4
Do you even believe it is possible to be mature, complete, not lacking anything – and live a holy, victorious life sexually!? Perhaps, like many men, you’ve given up believing; constantly battling temptation, falling and getting up again; accepting that this is just part of being a man.
This section is for you! We’re going to go on a journey today with the Holy Spirit.
If you are already living in victory in this area – I rejoice with you! And I encourage you to still go through this sexual healing section, so that you understand the battle many brothers are going through and can be a strength and model for them. Most men, Christian men, are struggling on some level sexually. And we need to build an army of compassionate and strong men to walk with each other through healing.
This is the vision; that we would grow to understand these FIVE things:
- God’s plan for our sexuality.
- The power of the cross for cleansing and forgiveness, and daily grace of the presence of the Holy Spirit to live holy lives.
- The need for deep inner healing of the underlying issues to sexual sin, for some men.
- The need to make concrete decisions, plans and goals etc.
- The role of other men, confession, vulnerability and ongoing discipleship
GOD’S PLAN FOR OUR SEXUALITY
“How kind is God that he would give us a gift as amazing as sex!” a Christian brother of mine once said. Right in the middle of the Bible is a whole book celebrating the romantic and sexual relationship between and man and his wife – Song of Songs – the Bible celebrates sex! God planned and ordained it from the beginning:
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.Genesis 2:24-25
They were naked, without shame – and they became one flesh. Both Jesus and Paul quote from God’s original design in this passage. (Matthew 19:4, Mark 10:7, Ephesians 5:31, 1 Cor 6:16.)
The core needs for a man are respect and strength. The core needs for women are love and validation; in a healthy marriage, the husband goes to his wife to offer his strength.
She wants to know “Are you strong enough to be my man?” The sexual relationship plays a wonderful connecting, bonding and deepening role in a healthy marriage.
Not only that, we partake in the divine nature by being able to create a new human life through this mystical union. Just ponder that for a moment! Sexuality is so woven into all our humanity; culturally, socially, biologically, physiologically and psychologically. We cannot escape it.
We need to know what God’s original design is, so that we are not swayed by media and public opinion and possibly taken out of action as a result. Outside of God’s plans for marriage, sex can be one of the most destructive forces in a person’s life.
We need to be honest about the ache of the masculine soul. We don’t have many places where we are celebrated as men. Our heart has an ache because the world is broken and the enemy is constantly coming after the wound of our hearts. If your heart is unvalidated then you’ll probably give in to anyone or anything that validates you. We take our wounded heart and begin to look for relief – looking for validation; this is where entanglements begin.
It is easy for man to look to women to answer their questions.
The essence of a man is that he offers his strength; he shows up for her and fights for her. But now we have broken men looking to a women to fulfill themselves; to medicate their own lack of self-worth. For many men the sexual conquest of a women is the “fix” that he seeks to numb the pain of feeling worthless.
On the other side of the equation, there is often a women with a similar brokenness; perhaps she is looking for the attention of a male to tell her that she is beautiful; she wants to be wanted, desired.
And again, she only gets a temporary satisfaction or “high” that disappears with the morning mist.
Even without a physical relationship, many men now are looking for an ever-higher “high” through pornography and masturbation, but with absolutely no intimacy or commitment but rather a growing distain for either.
We have a society where sexuality is on display and brokenness is so profound. The world is trying to deny God’s design and constantly attempts to push boundaries and re-define sexuality altogether.
The issue of intimacy and sexuality is so real yet it can be broken so quickly and we need to take a journey to restoration. The less healed we are, the more of a poser, a fake we will be.
Yet the good news is that restoration is available.
The righteous man falls seven times but he gets back up.Proverbs 24:16
For the Son of Man came to seek and save all that was lost!Luke 19:10
This includes our sexuality!
Jesus says: “I want to heal you and fill you with my life; then you will live fully as a man.” Jesus’ plan for mankind involved redemption of the heart to transform it to become His heart.
For you were once living in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.Ephesians 5:8
At the core of your being you are a good man. At your core God has transformed humanity from the inside out. You don’t need lust, porn or masturbation because Jesus has transformed the human heart.
This is the only hope in your battle with shame and guilt. It is the rescue and redemption of your sexual history.
THE WAY OUT
There are four parts to this – and we need all of them.
- The transformation and renewal of our minds – to align with the ways of God.
- The healing of our hearts – deep wounds and sinfulness, washed, healed and cleansed at the cross.
- The awakening of our spirit – as we walk in alignment with His Spirit.
- The consecration of our bodies – the transformation of our lifestyle; practical choices to change, break bad habits, and be in a vital, meaningful discipleship relationship with brothers.
The integrity that Jesus had with women, he offers to you; let God’s goodness fill your being. The only way out is wholeheartedness and the healing of the wounds. It begins with a deep validation of you knowing who you are as a man. (Be sure to do the “Father Wound” section first, as this provides a foundation for so many of the deep needs we have.)
This is a journey to be a man of wholeheartedness and of great strength. We all need a taste of being an integrated and validated person. What comes then is a progressive healing of your wounds. Once you’ve tasted that you don’t want anything else.
Ask God for a desire for a wholehearted masculinity – a masculinity that pursues, loves and gives himself to a woman.
God desires truth in the inner most places.Psalm 51:6
These are the inmost places – the locked places – the places that are lost.
Are they things we feel we can never tell anyone – shameful, embarrassing? Something that we still cannot forgive ourselves for? A profound sense of inadequacy?
God longs for truth to invade the dark places within you. We have to venture into the broken places in our hearts and our masculine soul.
Consider these simple questions:
- Do you like your sexuality?
- Are you hopeful about this process and your restoration?
- How do you feel about yourself- both physically and emotionally?
- Are you comfortable with who you are?
- How serious you are about walking in freedom?
- Are you willing to do “whatever it takes”?
To married men:
Courage is essential for masculinity. Our job is to go to our wife to offer strength not to take it. When you go and pursue her, she will bloom and blossom. Your presence can be a healing for her heart. Pursue her heart! Give her access to her heart – this is what she loves most of all.
Pray and fight for her in her life- it has so much power. She needs friends – she has a big relational capacity and you want her to have a fuller life.
You may have to ask her for forgiveness! Tell her how you have missed her heart by being so busy. Maybe you have chased your own dreams. Maybe you haven’t fought for her. She wants to be known not fixed!
To single men, who want to marry in the future:
Now is the time to grasp the vision – to hold on to it like an anchor in the storms of all the trials, temptations, media and information that is coming your way. Every stone you set in your foundation today – will be the bedrock of a solid healthy marriage in the future.
Pray for your future wife! Invest into her life today by training and building yourself up.
To all men:
The bottom line is what kind of man do you want to be? Make choices today of how you want to be as a man no matter how it goes. Get off the roller coaster! Let’s start.
Should I do this alone or with a brother? Just like the “Father Wound” section, we recommend you do this with a brother, but you could do it alone first, if you wish, and come together afterwards with a brother to share your findings and pray over things.
- Get to a quiet place, with no distractions
- Plan a good amount of time – we suggest 1.5 hours.
- Invite the Holy Spirit to lead your spirit
- Take a Bible and a notebook
- Make these prayers your own – write them out in your own words.
- Be brutally honest
CAUTION: Be careful to just follow the leading of the Holy Spirit – and not just to take a romp down memory lane! Be careful of triggers. If you find yourself being tempted sexually – pause, think about changing your environment, and if this is the case, you should do this with a brother.
If nothing sparks first time around – don’t give up! If you sense lingering issues – God is committed to addressing them. It’s life-long. The process never stops. But you can come a long way in a short time if you are willing. Keep desiring growth and change, and do whatever it takes to stay on that journey.
REFLECTIONS AND PRAYER
We want to invite Jesus into our stories.
Let’s begin by expressing our commitment and consecrating ourselves to God:
Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit. I present myself as a sexual being. You have created me with my sexuality.
You created me for intimacy, touch, romance. I present it to you.
You may not have even taken this first step… but if you are a follower of Jesus, you have died to yourself and your sexuality, your future life; marriage or singleness is under His lordship. Invite Him now to consecrate your sexuality for His glory:
I consecrate my sexual being to you. I know the Holy Spirit lives in me. I am a sexual man and so I present that and consecrate that to you – to Jesus who lives in me. I want to ask you to guide me. As I explore this, can you lead me especially in regards to how others have affected me? Their touch, their words.
Come into my story – in the formation of my sexuality. Come into it that you may shed light into my sexual story.
Use your notebook and write out your own consecration and commitment if you like.
SECTION 1: Agreements, Vows and Lies:
Agreements with shame, guilt and self-hatred lead to resignation and despair. Maybe you are on the brink of making some bad decisions and you think it is inevitable.
But you are a son of God – these things are not your identity – don’t embrace them!
As you think this through, listen to Christ. The enemy torments a good men. He will say you are going to fall, that you’re a failure and can never make it.
But the words of God are spirit and LIFE! (John 6:63)
Jesus, what are the agreements I have made about my sexuality?
What vows or lies have I believed or spoken over myself?
Eg: Listen and be aware. Perhaps you have believed lies, or made vows something like this:
- Every man is like this – it’s just the way we are.
- I could never be forgiven. I am just a disaster.
- I will never get free. It is hopeless.
- I will never be loved. I will never have the love I want.
- I am too broken. I have tried but it doesn’t work.
- I need her/him- I can’t live without her/him.
- I can’t get out of this, I could never recover. It’s hopeless.
- I could never be forgiven, or more than that, I can never forgive myself.
- I’m addicted to sex, I’m a “sex-addict” – and I can never change.
Continue asking God:
Jesus, Holy Spirit in this place – this safe place – reveal to me agreements I have been making about my sexuality: about sex, about women, about beauty, or about love. About who I am as a man.
Use your notebook and on the LEFT write down some the LIES, AGREEMENTS or VOWS. On the RIGHT write down the TRUTH that God speaks over you.
Eg: LIES, AGREEMENTS or VOWS → TRUTH
I could never be forgiven! → God can forgive anyone who comes to him.
As you look down your list – let’s deal with them:
Jesus, I break any lies, agreements or vows I have made with the enemy and invite your love and wholeness into my masculinity.
Present them ONE BY ONE to the Father, and speak out the TRUTH in their place, something like this:
In the name of Jesus I break the LIE, AGREEMENT or VOW that —————–
And I declare the TRUTH that in Christ ————–
I break each one of these in Jesus name!
(Go through each one – as many as the Holy Spirit brings to your mind.)
Continue praying and speak these scriptures out loud:
In Jesus name, I receive into my body, mind, heart and spirit – the cleansing and wholeness bought for me through the cross and resurrection of Jesus! I declare from the Word of God:
“Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits–Psalm 103: 2, 3, 8-13
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.”
“God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.1 John 1:5, 7, 9
If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Take a few moments to meditate and soak in these truths – let your mind be renewed. Use your notebook and write out your own prayer of cleansing if you like.
SECTION 2: My Story
It is very important to go back to first experiences as this is where the trajectory of your life was established. It is where many of us suffered abuse – you were way too young. Perhaps you were introduced to pornographic images early on. Perhaps touch and arousal. From that came confusion and shame.
Would you shed light into my sexuality and my story? “Let there be light!”
Let the light of heaven shine into my story and into who I am, what I have learnt about my sexuality.
Jesus, as I review my story what did I learn about love?
I invite you, Jesus, to my early experiences of sexuality and intimacy, of love and touch.
I invite you in and ask the blood of Christ to cleanse my sexual nature and my sexual being.
I invite the presence of the Holy Spirit to clean me, as I do this.
Consider these questions, and take notes:
- When was the first time you looked at porn?
- What was sexual sin – outside of God’s perfect plan for sex and sexuality?
- Reflect on your first girlfriend/boyfriend.
- Your first intimate touch – that first sense of excitement.
- What was your first sexual experience?
No matter what it was – we can simply confess it and ask forgiveness for sexual sin.
If you are reminded of people you have had some type of sexual relationship with, ask the Holy Spirit if you need to break any “soul ties” with them.
Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”… Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.1 Corinthians 6:16, 18
Prayer of Repentance:
Refer to the list of the things that the Holy Spirit shows you. Eg: Lust, fantasy life, masturbation, porn, sex outside of marriage, unfaithfulness etc. and pray through each one like this:
Father, forgive me for ——————.
Father, I ask forgiveness for avoiding or not confessing these things until now because it was too hard or embarrassing.
I ask forgiveness for looking for comfort in the wrong places.
I bring my story under the blood of Christ.
Jesus come back with me into these moments.
I ask for your forgiveness for my sexual sin.
I bring this ——— to you. I ask you to wash it, cleanse it from me in Jesus name.
Forgiving those who sinned against you:
Eg. for introducing me to pornography, stealing my innocence, sexually awakening me, coercing me, abusing me etc.
Father, I forgive —(this person)—- for —(what they did)—
I bless and pray for them in Jesus name.
Breaking “soul ties”
Father, I renounce and cut off any soul tie I created with ——————.
I break each and every soul tie with them.
I take back that which was taken from me.
And I give back to them what I unrightfully took from them.
I bless and pray for them in Jesus name.
Take this slowly and invite Jesus to walk into each of these incidents. Take all the time you need.
Can you remember the scene? Can you still feel the guilt, shame, embarrassment? Right now – imagine Jesus walking into the situation.
- Where is he?
- What is he doing?
- What is Jesus saying to you?
- And what does your spirit say to Him?
Receive his words – and peace into those memories. And at the end. Pray something like this:
Jesus, thank-you that your cross and resurrection is absolutely complete, and enough.
For my forgiveness, cleansing and redemption.
I thank you that everything I shared with you today is under the cross, and no-longer mine to be touched again.
I break the power of satan to accuse and command him to be silent.
I break the power of darkness.
And I choose to walk in the light from now on.
In Jesus Name, Amen.
Use your notebook and write out your own prayer.
SECTION 3: Consecration & Worship
Use the above notes and this prayer below as a prayer of consecration and dedication to the Lord:
I am consecrating myself to you and re-dedicating myself to you as a sexual man.
That includes who I am in my search for validation and love.
I give this search to you and I ask for your forgiveness.
Be quiet for a moment:
Jesus, I am asking you to rewrite my story; to renew my story and breathe new life into it.
I am presenting myself to you as a man in all of my sexuality.
I am choosing to give my wounded soul to you alone, God.
I give you my need for validation.
Take my heart back. I give it to you.
I want a full-hearted sexuality.
I want to consecrate myself and invite the Presence of God into each situation.
I present who I am as a man to you.
Cleanse me of my sexual sin.
So, I invite Your Love and your wholeness into my masculinity.
I ask you to breathe your life into my sexual being; into my sexual nature.
Jesus come into my story and rewrite it
Breathe into me a full heart as a new man.
The integrity that I can have as a man.
The sexual wholeness and wholeheartedness that I long for.
Impart that in me by the Presence of God and in my story – in my life.
Sexual Healing Prayer
Go over your notes from above, and add scriptures and prophetic promises that you might have. The same as the process in the Father Wound video, craft a prayer, share it with a brother, edit it and then use it often to speak truth over yourself. Use your notebook and craft your own sexual healing prayer.
SECTION 4: Concrete Decisions
Once more, let’s look at these four areas when making concrete decisions for change:
- We renew our mind
- We heal our heart
- We awaken our spirit
- We consecrate our body
Renew Our Mind
Firstly, our mind is renewed through the Word of God. Scriptures like “taking captive every thought” (2 Corinthians 10:5b) – pondering and praying deeply into these passages for insight and leading.
Here is a helpful prayer pattern that you can use from the beginning of the day to set your mind on Christ:
The Full Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18)
I intentionally put on:
The Belt of Truth – I tell myself the truth about my lower nature – and I do it up tight so my trousers don’t fall down!
The Breastplate of Righteousness – Above all else I guard my heart for it is the wellspring of life. (Proverbs 4:23)
Shoes of the Gospel of Peace – I am willing to walk back into anything in my past to fix up so I can live in perfect peace.
Helmet of salvation – I put it on tight so as to take captive every through to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5b)
I take up the Shield of Faith – A full body shield; to protect me from every fiery dart of the evil one.
The Sword of the Spirit – I take up the double edged sword. Finally the one offensive weapon! So sharp it is able to separate between bone and marrow – soul and spirit – and reveals the attitudes within us. (Hebrews 4:12)
Secondly, testimonies of what God has done in other men.
Thirdly, teaching on correct sexuality, marriage and relationships.
Be a learner and allow the Holy Spirit to renew your mind as you intentionally take in truth.
Heal Our Heart
This is the purpose of this activity right now. Allowing the Holy Spirit into the deep places of hurt and wounding that need healing. Keep inviting Him. Keep believing for wholeness, and complete freedom in our sexuality.
Keep being vulnerable with other men who understand and have them walk with you in prayer and support.
Don’t stop growing and believe the lie that a dysfunctional heart or brokenness is your lot in life. It’s not.
Go back to the clear promises of scripture and come fresh each day.
Awaken Our Spirit
Again, we covered this at the beginning of the 33 Day Challenge; know that your true self is your spirit man, within you. You are not defined by your past sexual failure.
Don’t live from memories of the past, live from God’s promises for the present and future, and allow your spirit man to be strengthened day after day.
Practically speaking, we do this through intentionally developing our relationship with Father God Himself through worship, times of silence, nature etc. Cutting out the clutter of the mind and heart help us hear more clearly what our spirit is saying, and what the Holy Spirit is saying to us.
Consecrating the Body
This is the most practical part; primarily our eyes and hands!
If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away… And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.Matthew 5:29-30
- What rules do you have for what you look at?
- Where is the strongest temptation? At home? At work? In a shop? At a hotel on a business trip?
- What devices or media causes you to stumble the most? Smartphone, computer, TV, magazines?
- When do you feel the most tempted? Late at night, when you’re exhausted, feeling down?
Identify these things and make a strategy to not fail.
Right now, take some time to quieten your heart and as the Holy Spirit to indicate any practical steps you need to take to consecrate your body to God. Start with your boundaries that you want to set for yourself and then ask him to indicate any changes you need to make. Use your notebook and to write out your decisions.
Examples of Boundaries:
- I will not watch any sexualised media. I will check before I start watching!
- I will not let my eyes dwell on lingerie/swimwear pictures etc.
- I will not look at women below the neckline.
Examples of Changes:
- I need to stop going into any stores that sell pornography.
- I need to delete certain apps from my device.
- I need to cancel my Netflix account.
- I need to put filtering software on my computer and internet connection.
- I need to ask for prayer support from a brother when I’m on a business trip.
Walking With Brothers
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.James 5:16
I’m convinced that one reason so many men are stuck in sexual sin is because they have ignored this clear, simple scripture. Many things we get directly from God; but many other things we will ONLY get if we walk in submission to one another in Christ.
It’s embarrassing and difficult to open up about our failures and weaknesses, but O what freedom comes as a result!
Make sure the relationship you have is robust and mutually committed.
Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Share your decisions from the previous section: boundaries and changes you need to make.
- Share the where, what and when of the most tempting times during the week.
- Ask each other weekly:
“Have you been keeping to your boundaries?”
“Have you made the changes you decided?”
“Have you been walking in sexual purity?”
- And the best question of all!
“Tell me what you don’t want to tell me!”
I’m excited for you. For all men who embrace this process of humbling themselves, submitting to one another, and beginning the journey to wholeness.
If this has been helpful to you, or have ideas for improvement then please let us know, and please share it with a brother.
The prayer process above is by Marty Woods and Jef Linscott and has been compiled from teaching of John Eldredge (Wild At Heart) and SOZO deliverance models. We recommend these books to help you along on your masculine journey:
Wild at Heart and Fathered By God – by John Eldredge
Find free teaching and resources when you search for “John Eldredge.”