Kick Out the Monster – by Job
This article is written by TJ. This is TJ’s first guest post. TJ says about himself – “I first became exposed to crossdressing when I was 16 years old, and for many years used underwear mostly as a tool for sexual relief. But I had always viewed women, especially beautiful ones, as somehow superior to me, and men in general. Later in life this gradually became more of an obsession. ”
Like many others I suppose, I seem to do okay when I am NOT tempted. In fact, I have gone several months (even nearly a full year), during which I’ve experienced little to no temptation. And when that type of long-term experience occurs, quite naturally I suppose, I think I’ve moved beyond the problem. But such is, unfortunately, NOT the case. Because I simply wasn’t really that tempted. But what about when the temptation comes, as it quite inevitably will? What then?
I recently have been going through some major marital issues, and in fact, am almost at the place where I don’t even care what happens any more. My wife has asked me many, many times for my permission to divorce. It’s weird. She is a believer, knows it’s wrong (in that we have no biblical justification for a divorce – something we both did in our first marriages, and have no desire to repeat) – so she says, we can just separate and live alone for the rest of our lives. In other words, we can experience joyous celibacy. Sure. Right. Just what I want… Even now, she is out of the house for 2 weeks, here for 2 weeks, and so on. This will continue for several months. If I just say the word, she will file the papers, and it will be over. So our 17 year marriage is hanging by such a tentative thread right now…
So I mention the above not to get into my marriage issue at this time, but only to illustrate an example of a triggering issue that can cause stress and tempt us to give in to sin. And my temptations have came back with a roaring vengeance. In fact, while experiencing the roller coaster of emotions that a divorce would entail, I suddenly experienced an almost overwhelming desire to do everything in the way of crossdressing, some things that I had never even thought about before. And it seemed like I just HAD to do it. Even though I was quite fully aware of how wrong this was (for the many reasons of which most of us are quite aware) – I simply – did – not – care. Enough already. At first, I planned to go get a full makeover at some boutique CD salon about 90 minutes from my home. But then something happened that stopped me. Actually, a few things…let me explain.
First off, please note that prior to all this, I had been praying quite a bit to the Lord. About 3-4 weeks ago, I was driving up to a friends house to do a construction project (I’m a handyman, and do all kinds of remodeling on a part time basis). I was making the 1 hour drive to my latest job, and I prayed something like the following: “Lord, you know I want a closer walk with you. Now, whatever you need to do to make that happen is fine with me – even if it means impacting my health.” And that was about the gist of the prayer, and then I forgot about it.
After perhaps 4-5 hours, when I was perhaps 95% finished, I suddenly tripped over a power cord, though I didn’t fall completely. Immediately I felt this EXPLOSION of pain in my left ankle! I saw a brick on the ground, and as I was quite near a 6 foot fence, I became very angry that my friend had “perched” this brick on the fence, and somehow it had fallen, edge first, directly on my ankle. He looked at me, quite confused, and said, “what in the world are you talking about? That brick has been on the ground for months. You just stumbled. That’s all!”
Well, I could not even walk for a full hour, the pain was that intense. Finally, while getting a great amount of assistance from him, my ankle badly swollen, I finished the job, quite painfully got into my car, and drove home. I learned the next day that I had ruptured my Achilles tendon, and had to have surgery a week later.
So let’s go back to that moment where I said I simply did not care. I had had the surgery, and I had an appointment for a post-op check, one week after the surgery. My plan was to head up to the CD boutique after the appointment. My intention was to visit the salon, check out the many CD clothes they had advertised, and then make an appointment for when the makeover would happen at a convenient time. My decision was made.
But during my examination, the doctor became quite concerned. He said that because I had put my weight on my foot too soon, it looked like the surgery may have failed. I had experienced no pain after the first surgery, but my shoulder was killing me from the crutches. So I had tested it, and walked very carefully on it, which was a mistake!
The doctor scheduled an emergency MRI. Suddenly my plans for the boutique visit were killed. That same day, I had to wait some 3 hours for the MRI, and when that was finally over, I heard that the surgery had indeed failed. I learned that I had to have a much more complicated operation later. (I have since completed that second surgery and now my recovery is going to take a whole year).
But well before that 2nd surgery occurred, later that evening after the appointment when I got the MRI, I received an e-mail from Thorin, in which he provided a link to a reading list, and also to an article that just FLOORED me when I read it. And the point of the article was really all about temptation, and why we – just – cannot – seem – to – resist it, so much of the time. You see, as I said above, we’re sort of okay when we can skillfully avoid temptation, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But there is another side that we very, very much need to think about, and please trust me, it will do much to help you resist that temptation when it comes, and it always does, sooner or later, especially in times of great stress.
I have included the link to that wonderful, amazing article below, which I’m certain that many of you are rather curious to read! (I have probably read it 50 times at least). The ultimate point is, that if we cannot learn to appreciate, and enjoy our Lord we will turn our worship to something else. We will do this if the Bible gets boring, or we get tired of the Church, or prayer, or spending time with God. This is because we are not autonomous. We simply MUST serve, or ultimately worship something. And if it is not God, trust me, it WILL be something else. It is amazing to think of the whole crossdressing thing as a form of worship, isn’t it? It is kind of disgusting actually. But when you get right down to it, that is what it is. We don’t resist the temptations because the Lord is, from our broken perspective, either too small, distant, powerless, uninteresting, uninvolved, (whatever – fill in the blank), so that the other thing becomes so much more attractive. Especially when we’re in pain. We don’t go to him, no way. We turn to IT instead. And then we fall again…
The main purpose of this post is to emphasize that you should read this article so it can help you as it helped me. If we worship ourselves and not God, our impulses and desires will win out over his warnings and promises in the moment of temptation. Here is the link:
In 2 Samuel chapters 11-12, we read the story of David committing adultery with Bathsheba. And then, to cover up his sin, he found a way to have Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, killed. Finally, God sends the prophet Nathan to challenge and rebuke David. In the end, David is forgiven because of God’s amazing grace, though he still experiences some consequences for his sins. There are a lot of good lessons for us in this story that apply to the sins that we struggle with such as crossdressing. The most important lessons are at the bottom of the post, so be sure to read to the end. Let me copy to you the passage first:
2 Samuel 11:1 – 12:14
11:1 In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.
2 One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, 3 and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “Isn’t this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 4 Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (She had purified herself from her uncleanness.) Thena she went back home. 5 The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.”
6 So David sent this word to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent him to David. 7 When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the soldiers were and how the war was going. 8 Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” So Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king was sent after him. 9 But Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master’s servants and did not go down to his house.
10 When David was told, “Uriah did not go home,” he asked him, “Haven’t you just come from a distance? Why didn’t you go home?”
11 Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my master Joab and my lord’s men are camped in the open fields. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and lie with my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!”
12 Then David said to him, “Stay here one more day, and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 At David’s invitation, he ate and drank with him, and David made him drunk. But in the evening Uriah went out to sleep on his mat among his master’s servants; he did not go home.
14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. 15 In it he wrote, “Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.”
16 So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were. 17 When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David’s army fell; moreover, Uriah the Hittite died.
18 Joab sent David a full account of the battle. 19 He instructed the messenger: “When you have finished giving the king this account of the battle, 20 the king’s anger may flare up, and he may ask you, ‘Why did you get so close to the city to fight? Didn’t you know they would shoot arrows from the wall? 21 Who killed Abimelech son of Jerub-Beshethb? Didn’t a woman throw an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died in Thebez? Why did you get so close to the wall?’ If he asks you this, then say to him, ‘Also, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.’ ”
22 The messenger set out, and when he arrived he told David everything Joab had sent him to say. 23 The messenger said to David, “The men overpowered us and came out against us in the open, but we drove them back to the entrance to the city gate. 24 Then the archers shot arrows at your servants from the wall, and some of the king’s men died. Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.”
25 David told the messenger, “Say this to Joab: ‘Don’t let this upset you; the sword devours one as well as another. Press the attack against the city and destroy it.’ Say this to encourage Joab.”
26 When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. 27 After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the LORD.
12:1 The LORD sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, 3 but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.
4 “Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.”
5 David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this deserves to die! 6 He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”
7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. 9 Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’
11 “This is what the LORD says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity upon you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. 12 You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’ ”
13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.”
Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. 14 But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt,a the son born to you will die.”
Lesson 1: When we are not using our time to do what we are supposed to be doing, we can make an opening for temptations to come our way. King David was not doing what he was supposed to be doing. As a King, he was to lead Israel in battle. The passage itself subtlety critiques David, pointing out that he was sitting around at home when other Kings were off in war. David was shirking his duties as king. We don’t know if he was tired, or lazy, or just wanting the comforts of his palace. But if he had been doing what he was supposed to be doing, he would not have experienced the temptation to commit adultery (or rape) Bathsheba.
I know in my own life, many of the times I have given in to crossdressing, it was because I was being lazy and avoiding work that I was supposed to be doing. But during times of my life that I am working hard at my job, looking for opportunities to serve others, and doing the things that God has called me to do, the temptations that come are far fewer and much less potent. When I’m busy doing the things God created me to do, it is far less likely that I will be distracted by temptation. But I think back to times that I was being lazy, procrastinating, or just bored with nothing pressing, and those are often the times that I failed in the past. Let us learn from this. We should keep our focus on God, our work, and our families, and if we have very little work to do, we should look for ways to be productive with our time, reading books or serving others or helping the community.
Lesson 2: Don’t flirt with the idea of sin. Don’t give it a second look. Don’t ponder the idea of sinning. Shut it down at the beginning. When David noticed Bathsheba, he should have shut down his lustful thoughts, not looked back, and left her alone. But he wanted to ponder the idea. What a terrible idea to send someone to find out more about her. Perhaps he was hoping she was single and he could add her to his other wives, even though God had commanded Kings should not have many wives. And when he found out that she was already married, the idea of being with her had already taken root and perhaps he had had sex with her in his mind several times already by the time the messenger came back.
I know for me, most of the times I ever failed with crossdressing in actual life, or crossdressing through fantasy on the computer, were times that I had never planned or intended to fail. Instead, a thought came into mind, or I saw an article about crossdressing, and then instead of shutting down such thoughts, I let the ideas take root. I clicked on the article knowing that it was a bad idea. Or I did a seemingly harmless google search even though I knew where such searches often led. 30 minutes later it would no longer be harmless google searches, but crossdressing fiction sites. We must shut down the thoughts and activities that are not sinful in of themselves, but which we know lead us to sin because of our weaknesses. For some of us, there are certain news articles we just should not look at. For some of us, we need to avoid google and youtube. Know your triggers and avoid them. Avoid the second look.
Lesson 3: Even God’s people are sinful. We all know this, yet we often don’t really let this truth sink in. All the people we sit with in the pews at our churches are sinful. All of our respected government leaders are sinful. And even all the people who preach to us every Sunday are sinful. David was a man of God, who loved God and trusted Him, but he committed the terrible evil actions in this passage. It would not be a stretch to call his actions rape and murder. He, a man of God, was evil. The Bible teaches this repeatedly. Look at Solomon’s idolatry and polygamy. Look at Gideon going from victory into idolatry. Look at Peter going from following Jesus to denying him. We do not all struggle with sexual sins, but we struggle with pride, addictions, selfish hearts, and we disobey many of God’s commands. We will struggle with sin until Jesus returns and makes us new. Because of this we should be careful in our judgments of other Christians saying that they aren’t true Christians. It’s possible to be a true Christian and still struggle with sin. Furthermore, when someone’s sin is discovered, we should be quick to have mercy knowing that we have our own secret sins.
The knowledge that David committed this great sins should give us strong warning. If someone as great as King David, a man after God’s own heart, the man who killed Goliath through his strong faith in God, if he could commit such horrible sins, we can easily do so as well. We must be on our guard. Even though I can claim great victory in my life over crossdressing, I must remain vigilant. Sin is still with me until Jesus returns or until I did and am with Jesus in Heaven. I must be ready for temptations whenever they might come.
Lesson 4: Watch out for the slippery slope of sin. I do not mean the slippery slope in the sense of the logical fallacy. I mean that sin escalates. Often when we commit one horrible sin, we keep committing even more sins to cover it up. King David started with the sin of adultery. But then he had to deal with the consequences. He was desperate to protect his false public image. In the end he had lied, he had tried to get Uriah to think the child of Bathsheba was his by manipulating Uriah to sin by getting drunk, he then had to get Uriah killed when that didn’t work, and in the process he involved another person, Joab, in his terrible sins, and got many other Israelite soldiers killed over his sin. We see in 11:25 that David’s descent into sin has gone to such an extent that he did not even care about the lives of his lost soldiers.
I know from talking to many of you that a lot of us have committed some pretty awful sexual sins. But let us learn from King David. It is far better to stop our sin now, confess to others, and face the consequences, then to keep lying and trying to cover it up, only adding more sin to our lives. How many crossdressers, instead of confessing to their wives about their problem, keep it covered up for years? Then the wife founds out about it some day and instead of only having to deal with the sin of crossdressing, the wife has to deal with the broken trust of having a deceptive husband for years. The emotional damage from these situations cannot be quantified. Confess your sin now and face the consequences. The only other alternative is facing the escalating nature of sin, adding sin to sin until things get out of control, and you cannot even separate your own lies from the truth.
Lesson 5: Sin can lead to painful consequences. In the story, we can see how David’s sin not only hurt himself but destroyed the lives of many other people. From chapter 12 we can see that even when David finally repented, he still had to face consequences for his sins of losing a child and having the sword never departing his house, that is having a family full of violence. The rest of the book of 2 Samuel shows the horrible dysfunction and violence among David’s children. It’s not clear if God actually caused these disasters for David, or just allowed David and his family to naturally experience the consequences of David’s sins and bad parenting.
For us, when we sin, we will also experience painful consequences. Even if God does not directly punish someone for crossdressing, we face the natural consequences of not living rightly. To obey God always brings freedom and joy, even when it is difficult. To sin means to head towards physical death and spiritual death, to walk away from true life. Sin always always hurts us, even if we want to convinces ourselves sometimes that it doesn’t. It will bring pain in our soul, draw us further away from God, and hurt those around us. Just take a look at the comments scattered around this blog and on the page for the wives of crossdressers. The natural consequences of crossdressing addiction have included destroyed marriages, alienation from children, lost jobs, wasted time through addiction, gender confusion, mutilation of healthy bodies that was later regretted, and much more.
Lesson 6: WE CANNOT HIDE OUR SINS! This to me is the most astounding and shocking lesson from this passage. King David thought he could hide his sins, and he was actually successful or so he thought. He was able to hide his sins from people. But he could not hide his sins from God. And since God is God, and can do whatever he wants, God has the ability to reveal our sins to other people, which is what God did. God revealed David’s sin to Nathan so that he could challenge David. In the end, David’s sin has become known to billions of people like us throughout history.
Most of the time as crossdressers or porn addicts, we think we are covering our tracks well. We try to hide the clothes well. We delete internet history. But even so, people eventually find out. It’s really really hard to hide everything. I’ve written on this before – Fool! You will be caught! We have little chance of keeping our addictions secret forever. But if those natural ways of people finding out are not enough for you, ponder this, if God is real, he can reveal what you are doing to other people through his Holy Spirit, or through dreams or visions. God has the same power today that he had when Nathan and David were around. We CANNOT hide anything from God. He always sees and always knows, and knows our deepest thoughts better than we know ourselves.
God can either orchestrate events in your life so that your sin will be found out naturally, or he can reveal the truth directly to someone. I view God doing this as an act of grace. Rather than letting us destroy ourselves, he can reveal our secret to someone else so they can challenge us, wake us up from our fantasy lives, and help us to repent and change. God will do what it takes to save us because he loves us. He doesn’t want us to run away from him or destroy our lives in sin.
My challenge for you is to do what I did. Don’t wait for God to reveal it to somebody else. This is quite painful even if it’s necessary for God to rescue you. But what you can do that is less painful, is to be the one to stop your sin and confess to someone now. Repent, receive grace, and get help from other people to quit. Don’t wait for your wife to catch you in the act. Confess to her now, repent, and commit to getting help and working on your addiction.
And please for all of us, let’s remember that if God uses us to be a Nathan to someone else, that we should be firm on our stand against sin, but also be full of mercy and grace, just as we have received unimaginable mercy and grace from God through Christ. When people confess and repent, acknowledge that they have done the only right thing they can do. Forgive them and love them. Point them to Christ. Help them to put the sin in their life to death. Encourage them and walk with them.
Lesson 7: God’s grace is amazing. The song, Amazing Grace, is true. God’s grace is amazing and full and beautiful and wonderful. Look at all the atrocities that David committed and yet God still forgave him. He had some painful trials to go through as a result of his sin, but he was forgiven, and he will be in Heaven with us. Actually, I think that David was a man after God’s own heart, not because of his righteousness, but because he was repentant, and he trusted in God’s grace. He was not perfect, by far, but he relied on God’s mercy and grace. This is what true Christians do. True Christians are not perfect, but they keep repenting, keep fighting against sin, and keep trusting in God’s mercy through Christ.
For those of you who have been living a life away from God, whether crossdressing or homosexuality or pornography or adultery or whatever you’ve done, there is grace for you, if only you repent and put your trust in Christ. He lived a perfect life, the one that you did not live, and if you trust in him, his perfect life of righteousness will be counted as your own. He took the punishment that we all deserve. It’s time to repent. It’s time to finally have joy and peace and forgiveness for your sins. It’s time to experience the amazing love of God. Repent and confess your sins. Stop giving in. Just stop. It’s time to instead look to Jesus and experience abundant life. No matter how much crap we have done in our past, if we come to Jesus and trust in him, all that will be wiped clean. You can experience relationship with our God and live the life he has planned for you.
I’ve been learning about a great organization called – Harvest USA. They specialize in helping people who experience sexual brokenness to have hope in Jesus Christ. They started by primarily helping those with same-sex attraction, but now they also help in situations of pornography addiction, gender dysphoria and other kinds of sexual struggles. For those of you who are struggling, and are not getting enough help through our prayer group, and would like some face to face interaction, or email correspondence, I highly recommend getting counseling help from this organization. It is a really solid and Christ centered organization.
You can get very quick help through their hotline phone number or email – Get help. Their services for you are also free! They run on support from donors and churches, so please take advantage of this free care.
Here are some of their books and short pamphlets which I would like to read when I get more time – Books and Publications.
They have a blog with excellent articles and resources – Harvest USA blog. Or choose a topic here. And some great – Videos. And – Podcasts. Over the next few weeks I’ll be reading through the blog posts and watching the videos and recommending some to you.
Here is their page on resources concerning transgenderism.
Here is their statement of belief, particularly what they believe about sexuality –
“Human Sexuality and Free Will
We believe that our sexuality and its expression was designed by God at creation, and that our sexuality and its expression was part of God’s original and good design for mankind, and is clearly communicated to us in the Scriptures. Male and female were both created in God’s image, and we affirm that God’s perfect design for all sexual activity is between one man and one woman in the context of the marriage bond. We recognize that, as a consequence of the Fall, all men and women are sexually broken and thus relate in twisted ways to God, self, others, and nature. Therefore, all expressions of sexual activity outside of the bond of marriage are sinful and are a distortion of God’s good design. This includes all involvement with pornography, sexual fantasy, sexual addictions, adultery, homosexuality, gender distortions and any other sexual activity outside of marriage. All sexual sin grieves God and is offensive to His Holiness, and all sexual sin ultimately harms people, whether it is homosexual or heterosexual sin.
As we all continue to struggle against our sexual addictions here are some helpful articles from The Gospel Coalition, particularly helpful for those of you who struggle with pornography. Wake up, stop sinning, and read these articles to get help. There is freedom to be had. You don’t need to live in addiction and despair.
“At its root porn is about worship. I want to be worshiped. I can click between women, all of whom offer themselves to me. Or I can think of myself as the stud sending women into an ecstasy of desire. Or I can think of myself as the romantic heroine, relentlessly pursued by my admirer. I enter a world in which people worship me. Freedom begins when I stop trying to be at the center and let God be at the center. It begins when I stop serving myself and start loving other people.”
“Pay close attention to how you move toward porn. Think of your predicament as a kind of “voluntary slavery” in that you’re victimized by porn’s allure but intentional in its pursuit. Consider the details of the path you take (Prov. 7). What are the lies you believe that blind you? “God is not so good”? “Sin is not so dangerous”? Think about what else is happening. Are you angry? Indifferent? Stressed, feeling you deserve a break? What do you really want? When do you think you actually made the decision to pursue porn?”
“I knew my sin grieved God, but my confessions were aimed more at hushing my guilt than getting the help I needed. Every two or three months I would indulge in a binge of pornography. This was followed by grief, private confessions of how much I hated sin and how much I loved Jesus, and personal resolutions to never do it again. I remember feeling like the Israelites on spin cycle in the book of Judges. Sin. Grief. Weeping. Peace. Over and over and over again.”
This article is really about adultery, but a lot of the lessons will help us, especially the facts below:
“Though they shared a common salvation, these men also shared a common feat of devastation; they had all, within 24 months of each other, been involved in an adulterous relationship. After interviewing each man, Hendricks compiled four common characteristics of their lives:
For those of you who would like to see a professional counselor about your gender dysphoria or crossdressing addiction or homosexuality, I would like to recommend Jerry Armelli at Prodigal Ministries. The website is here – Prodigal Ministries. See my blog post about this ministry – here.
I’ve been talking to Jerry for some time now as well as reading his blog and I can highly recommend him to you. Even if you are not in the same region as him, you could chat through video discussion online.
For many of us, finding a good counselor is difficult. Some are not Christian. Some, even some of the Christian ones, embrace transgenderism and crossdressing as good things to be explored and developed. Jerry is a Christian and will show you care and compassion while also helping you to heal from this brokenness, rather than telling you to embrace addiction or brokenness.
Jerry also follows this blog, so you can comment below to reach out to him as well.
Because of the nature of addiction, you cannot fight your addiction alone. You will need help. I’ve said this so many times on this blog, but you need to find an accountability partner! In this post I want to talk about the merits of having an accountability partner, and then give some guidance for how to have a good and fruitful accountability partnership with someone.
So why do you need an accountability partner?
I’ve had several accountability partners in my life. They are some of the greatest gifts God has ever given to me in my entire life. Their steadfast friendship and their encouragement and help to me so that I could live a holy and free life have been incredible gifts. I would not be where I am today without them. Likely I would be in the throes of addiction and not be in ministry. They kept my secrets in confidentiality, and I turn kept theirs. We mutually helped one another. I cannot say enough how awesome the gift of a true accountability partner is. There is so much freedom in telling someone everything crappy in your life and having them still love you and be your friend and give you the help you need to overcome addiction and other sins. Please trust me on this. An accountability partner is a treasure greater than gold.
This is a bold statement, but you are a fool to think you can fight these sexual addictions without the help from others, just as it is extremely unlikely for a drug addict to give up their drug addiction on their own. Here is a funny satire article about that – Man Chooses Self as Accountability Partner. We need the Church for help. We need fellow Christians to walk with us.
Many of us Christians are afraid to confess our sins to other people. We rightly think we can confess our sins directly to Christ and don’t need to go to a priest. But although Christ is the one who forgives us, there is great power in confessing our sins to someone else. It is also a command from God that we do so (James 5:16 – Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. Proverbs 28:13 – He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.). When we confess our sins out loud to another person, it brings that sin out into the light in a way that it doesn’t do when we only keep it between us and God. I have found from experience that as soon as I confess it to another person, the sin loses it’s power over me and it becomes 10 times easier to resist. I’m also able to see clearly my sin for what it is and the rationalizations die away. Further, my friends and accountability partners cannot help me bear my burdens, comfort me, help me to fight sin, and encourage me with God’s grace, if I do not first confess to them. I’ve talked about this a bit in the post – Telling the Truth.
The accountability partner should not be your wife, though your wife should absolutely know about your sexual addiction. See my blog post here – Article – The role of a wife in your recovery. Your wife has enough of a burden to bear already, dealing with being married to someone with some kind of sexual addiction. She has to work on her own healing from hurts and forgiving you. If you made her your accountability partner, the information you will share with her will damage her in deep ways. And such information would not hurt a male friend, a neutral accountability partner. You should share with your wife the truth about your struggle in general terms, but your accountability partner can be the one to constantly think through with you every day how to resist temptation, how to fight it, and he can be the person you can vent to. You wife will not want to be reminded constantly of your sexual depravities. This might sound harsh, but I know there are wives who think they want to know every detail, but I still contend that at the end of the day this will only make things worse for them and they don’t realize that it’s not good for them nor their husbands. Here is another article podcast about the role of a wife as accountability partner and the pros and cons – Should my wife be my accountability partner? I like how this podcast makes a distinction – A wife should not be a husband’s accountability partner, though the husband is accountable to the wife. This is a really good audio article, please give it a listen, especially if you are a wife who feels a desire to know everything and want to be an accountability partner.
How do you find an accountability partner? It’s not always easy. It should be someone of your same sex. For me, I just started with my best friends and my brother. It took great courage to tell them, but it worked out well. It helped that they were also struggling with sexual sin, though I didn’t know that when I first told them. As soon as I told them, they also told me. These days, I assume that 90% of men, and at least half of women, are struggling with some kind of sexual sin on a full-time or part-time basis, so I think you are pretty safe in assuming the person you choose to tell will also have a need of accountability. And even if they are not struggling sexually, they are not perfect, and will have sins to fight. Perhaps they will need accountability with loving their wife well, or spending their money generously and wisely, or taking care of their body, or fighting pride and self-glorification, or giving up drinking, or growing in their relationship with God. There will be something they need accountability for as well. Ideally, it would be someone who you feel is a peer to you spiritually. But even a spiritual mentor could hold you accountable. I’ve already written a post about how to choose someone and how to go about telling someone about your crossdressing or transgender feelings for the first time – How do I tell my wife, a friend, or a pastor about my crossdressing?
Another article – 10 Steps to Finding a Great Accountability Partner
We do have an accountability option through this website. That is our Email Prayer Group. This is a great way to get some accountability at very low risk. No one will even know your name. On the other hand, it is not as effective as someone who can see you in real life. And you only get what you put into it. It’s not very effective for accountability if you join the group but then only check-in with the group once a year. A real accountability relationship will have check-ins once a week minimum. A real accountability partner is able to call you whenever he wants to ask you what you are doing at that moment. It’s always a pain to have an accountability partner call you on the phone right in the middle of crossdressing or masturbating, (I can tell you from experience), but after the call, even if you don’t answer, you do feel the conviction, you do stop, and you do confess to them, and you very much appreciate them for getting you to stop before your sin escalated even more.
Accountability partners should check-in with each other regularly. If the addiction is fresh and strong, daily check-ins or even more often might be necessary. If you are having some good success fighting your addiction and are not failing every day / every week, then the check-ins should be weekly at least. It’s good to send each other quick reminders of hope and reminders not to give in. But it’s also important to meet face to face regularly to talk in detail, and to pray for one another. Accountability partners can also benefit from security software, so that they get reports of sexual websites that each visits. I’ll save those recommendations for another post in the future. It’s called generally – “accountability software” and there are many good Christian companies who offer it.
Below are some of the questions accountability partners should regularly ask one another. The list is not exhaustive, but gives you some general ideas. Note that these apply not only to sexual addiction, but other ways that we need to help one another grow in the Christian life. Note also that the idea is not to ask questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no, but rather questions that draw out detail and discussion. The first two questions may be the most important, because if there is no honesty, then the accountability relationship has completely failed, and trust needs to be rebuilt through a tough discussion and prayer. But if they admit to lying, always be ready to forgive, and thank them for their honesty in that difficult admission. The accountability relationship should be one of abounding grace and forgiveness, and extensive reminding of God’s grace and forgiveness. Remind people of who they are in Christ.
Sexual Addiction Questions:
Relationship with God:
Relationships with Others:
This next idea might be a bit more controversial, and may depend on the nature of the relationship. But a good accountability partner might need to be firm, and my accountability partners did so for me and it helped immensely at times. This can be something like, “if you keep failing without trying to fight this sin, I will have to tell your wife about what you’ve been doing” or “I will have to tell your pastor.” This is similar to perhaps an intervention with an alcoholic. When an addict refuses to try to change and is destroying their life, it’s far better for us to be firm like this than to sit by and watch them destroy their life. When friends said these kinds of things to me at critical times, it was very helpful and led me away from sin that would have probably become public and destroyed my life.
An accountability partner can also give rewards and incentives for victory like – “let’s make a plan that if you can make it for a whole month without a failure, we go to Six Flags together and I’ll pay for your ticket.” Or it can be something as simple as going out to eat at a restaurant. It’s very important to celebrate every victory and give a lot of encouragement and hope. Change is possible, and freedom from addiction is coming.
Other articles on this: