As you know, there’s a cloud of shame and secrecy surrounding the issue of pornography addiction, and for this reason many of those who struggle in this area never find the courage to seek the help they need. This is particularly true for a someone in your position – a respected spiritual leader who is expected to exemplify the highest moral standards and to whom others look for guidance and counsel. You’re to be commended for taking this step. Rest assured that we care deeply about you and are here to help you in any way we can.
Our staff counselors have asked us to remind you that you’re not alone. Sexual addictions of all kinds have become widespread in contemporary society. In fact, contrary to the common stereotype, this is not just a male problem. It affects men and women, boys and girls, from every age group and all walks of life. As you may be aware, there are many pastors and ministers who wrestle with temptation in this area. Because it is rooted in the basic human craving for relationship, sexual addiction is tenacious and progressive in nature. To put it another way, porn is powerful because it offers a counterfeit form of intimacy and attachment. It’s important to keep these things in mind as you make a determined effort to free yourself from the deception that de-personalized sex can ultimately satisfy the longings of the human heart.
The good news is that effective help is available. We suggest that you and your spouse begin by seeking professional counseling, and we highly recommend that you do this together. The most successful course of treatment takes a family systems approach that involves an initial program of intensive therapy, followed by regular and ongoing counseling sessions. Also key to recovery is identifying a trusted friend or group of individuals who will provide an environment of support and accountability. Our staff would be happy to provide you with referrals to helpful programs of this kind or a list of qualified therapists in your area who specialize in treating sexual addictions. Contact our Counseling department for a free consultation.
You might also consider installing some accountability software on your computer. Please be advised that software programs of this nature are not the ultimate answer to the serious and complex problems like those you mentioned, but we feel strongly that they can play an important role in helping you keep tabs on the entire family’s online activities.
For resources designed with an eye to encouraging you in your role as a member of the clergy, visit thrivingpastor.org, a site devoted to facilitating spiritual restoration and renewal in the lives of ministerial families. In addition, the Marriage and Life Challenges sections of our website provide a series of informative articles on
Pornography, Internet Addiction, and Virtual Infidelity. Below are a number of other resources and referrals that should prove helpful to you in your efforts to find healing and release from the bondage of sexual addiction.
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