By Gina Bailey
I have been delivered from sexual addiction.
My sexual addiction manifested in the form of infidelity; I had short-term sexual relationships with multiple men. Other forms of sex addiction can include masturbating, sexual fantasies, pornography, promiscuity, homosexuality, etc. Regardless, sexual addiction is real and Christians aren’t exempt.
Like any addiction, addiction to sex is a coping mechanism used to lessen or numb feelings of pain. When present, the sex addict may experience periods of abstinence, but can never obtain lasting, permanent freedom. This can further deceive the addict into believing that a full blow addiction doesn’t exist.
Generally, there is a deeper issue that takes years to manifest. My sexual addiction didn’t happen overnight. The roots of my addiction began early in life.
For approximately six years, from age six to twelve, I was brainwashed, manipulated, and sexually molested. Eventually, I came to the devastating realization that this was not love and certainly not normal. In fact, it was wrong and illegal. Yet, nothing was done about it. Because of this, I concluded that I was unlovable. I believed that I was damaged goods; all used up. Few things, if any, have produced such deep pain than believing that I was unlovable.
Having never been in control of my own body, when I was about thirteen years old, I subconsciously made the decision that I would command control. From that point on, I would decide when, how, and with whom I would share my body. This decision was only a temporary fix, though, and was incredibly harmful. The very thing that I wanted to control had taken control of me.
I wore masks. I wore so many, in fact, that I honestly had no idea who I was. From a young age, I learned to be whom and what other people needed me to be. I so desired to feel accepted that I did anything I could – no matter the cost. This behavior resulted in a temporary feeling of acceptance that seemed worth it despite the immense amount of damage it was causing. This downward spiral continued for years.
Eventually, I got married and, after hearing the Gospel, my husband and I accepted the Lord as our Savior. We began to attend church and Sunday School regularly. We prayed and read the Bible daily. We were blessed with beautiful babies that we prayed for and loved immensely.
I desperately desired to be a good wife and mother and turn completely away from the sinful lifestyle. I knew the Bible said I was “a new creature in Christ Jesus,” and tried hard to believe it, but time and time again I fell back into the same sin. Because I felt unworthy, I believed that I was. Because I believed that I was, I acted worthless. The decisions that I made were based on that belief.
Overwhelmed with guilt and remorse, eventually, I began to lose my mind. Flashbacks, fear, and anxiety ruled over me day and night. The emotional pain and mental anguish were unbearable. I didn’t want to live anymore – not like that. Shame was my banner and I believed that nothing could permeate it.
Although my sin and betrayal caused years of pain to my husband, he stood firm in faith and prayer. His love for me is only comparable to Christ’s. He assured me that I could be well and that God wanted me healed and free.
“A certain man was there who had an illness for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had been in that condition now a long time, He said to him, ‘Do you want to be healed?’” (John 5:5-6 MEV)
Jesus extends the same invitation to all: “Do you want to be healed?”
It wasn’t by my strength that I responded, but was actually the polar opposite. My absolute weakness and hopelessness compelled me to surrender everything to God. Once I surrendered, my Heavenly Father welcomed me with open arms. His embrace was so warm and real, so defined and secure, that I could stop fighting and begin healing.
“Jesus said to him, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk.’” (John 5:8 MEV) In the same manner, I, too, had to rise, take up my bed, and walk.
Here are the 10 steps I took to receive deliverance and healing from sexual addiction:
1. I admitted that I had a sexual addiction, and that I wanted to be well.
2. I repented, understanding this meant taking full responsibility for my sins and turning away from them.
3. I allowed God to help me through the journey of forgiving my abusers and those who did nothing to stop the abuse and myself.
4. I chose to receive God’s love, not because I didn’t feel it initially, but because I knew the Bible said to, and that was enough for me. It was not long after that I was able to surrender my entire being to Him and held nothing back.
5. I laid down all pride and humbly submitted to accountability, counsel, and instruction from godly pastors and leaders.
6. I chose to love the people who ministered to me even when I didn’t like them.
7. I studied the Bible daily, renewing my mind. I learned who I was in Christ, what my weapons of warfare were and how to use them to their full potential.
8. I fully submitted to ministers of deliverance; being prayed for and renouncing my sins as well as generational sins.
9. I crucified my flesh on a regular basis; at times, it was hourly.
10. I made the conscious decision to be a doer of the Word not a hearer only—no matter the cost.
The journey was long, hard, and very painful, however, God’s Word is true. The old things had passed away and all things became new in my body, soul, and spirit.
We are not hostage to our sin or to others who have sinned against us. We are not meant to be bound or to live in any form or degree of slavery, as the enemy would have us believe. When we recognize the amazing gift of free will, we can choose to surrender and say to Jesus, “Yes, I want to be well!” We no longer have to be held in bondage.
Satan does not care what your chains look like. They could be large or small, many or few as long as we are blinded from the truth and kept from being completely free. Satan’s goal is to render us powerless, so we will be of no use to the Kingdom of God.
“The thief does not come, except to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10 MEV)
Bound Christians cannot fight! Bound Christians cannot lead! Bound Christians cannot minister in their full potential to the lost and the hurting! How can they?
In order to answer God’s call on our lives – to fight, to influence others and lead, to have spiritually healthy families and marriages – we need to be unchained from all sin, including sexual sin. God wants us redeemed, restored and able to reach our full spiritual potential for His glory.
We are not to live quietly in our victory, keeping it to ourselves while others around us are suffering with the same strong hold. We are to “speak out.” “Let the redeemed of the Lord speak out, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy.” (Psalm 107:2 MEV) I have been redeemed from the hand of the enemy and I will speak out, whenever and however I can.
I am forgiven, transformed, delivered, redeemed, restored, free, healed and whole in my body, soul, and spirit. And it is all because of the love and grace of God, the work that Jesus did on the cross, the blood that was shed for me, and the power of the Holy Spirit that now dwells within me. What God has done for me, He will also do for you!
Gina Bailey is a member of Life Church (Assemblies of God) in Williamstown, New Jersey, where she is a lay counselor. Along with her husband, Ed, they facilitate marriage groups and minister to the sexually addicted. They have been married for 37 years have three children and four grandchildren.