October 10th 2023
#38: From Quitting to Thriving: A Roadmap to Sexual Integrity and Deep Connection
Ever wondered why you’re caught in a cycle of repeating habits?
We’re about to share some insights that might just change your perception of sexual integrity. We’re investigating the reasons behind our desires for care, comfort, connection, and community, and how these are fundamentally tied to God’s design for our sexuality.
We’re not just talking about breaking habits here, but an invitation to a wholesome life filled with freedom and deeper connections.
We’re also throwing light on our unique Oasis curriculum, which is an eight-week course designed to guide you on this enlightening journey.
In the latter half, we’re turning the pages of the scripture to Psalm 119.
✋ If you enjoyed this episode of Sacred by Design, please head over to Apple Podcasts, leave a rating, write a review, and subscribe.
This isn’t your typical bible study, but a way to harness the power of the Psalm’s action words in your personal growth.
We’re talking about trusting in God’s word, adhering to His instructions, and the joy of walking in open spaces without the burden of guilt.
If you’re on the brink of giving up, our discussion is aimed to inspire you to trust in God’s judgments and continue the journey.
Get ready to deepen your faith, broaden your understanding of sexual integrity, and experience a personal growth like never before.
Transcription: From Quitting to Thriving: A Roadmap to Sexual Integrity and Deep Connection
Andrea Smithberger [00:00:00]:
What’s your why? Why are you here? A life of sexual integrity is about moving towards freedom and wholeness and living your life loving others more fully. Is that your why? Or are you just here to try and stop? Sexual integrity is about so much more than just quitting a habit we believe and love a God who operates in ways we can’t quite wrap our heads around. Abundantly, more, surpassing all understanding. Can you open your heart and your mind and your body to the abundantly, more, surpassing, all understanding kind of fullness and God’s invitation to you? Why not? I want to be direct with you. The way you turn to porn for a quick fix or to masturbation for a quick fix. Yes, it gives you short term release, doesn’t it? But that quick fix comes with long term effects. Are you feeling them? Your addiction to pornography and masturbation hurt your ability, even your willingness to connect with others. The loneliness that led you to where you are now only grows.
Andrea Smithberger [00:01:18]:
And when that kind of loneliness meets shame, it can slide into isolation. Are you tracking with me? Lust isn’t the driving force to porn or masturbation. It’s loneliness. Part of healing, not just quitting, is understanding that you have that we all have a deep desire for care, comfort, connection, and community. Did you notice that? You have it. We all have it. This deep desire, not just you. I hope that you hear that and think, I’m not alone and feeling alone.
Andrea Smithberger [00:01:58]:
The care and comfort and connection and community that we are searching so desperately for is imprinted in each and every one of us. That hunger has been instilled in you. God designed me. God designed you with desire for care and comfort and connection. It’s not good for you to be alone. It doesn’t feel good to be alone. In Unwanted, Jay Stringer says identity and relationships interanimate each other. The more you know yourself, the more intimate connection you have with others.
Andrea Smithberger [00:02:40]:
And the more connected you are with others, the more you will discover who you truly are. Not cool. Consider that truth for a bit. Let it move in your thoughts. Are you hearing any connection here? Are you feeling any conviction? Stirring? If it’s true that God made you wanting a needing connection, you might be thinking, well, then, how are you here struggling with porn? Why can’t you quit masturbating? I’m glad you asked, and I wish I could answer it all in just one sitting. But you, sweet girl, are far too fearfully and wonderfully made. And there are too many layers to your story for me to address from where I sit. But the ancient God of Genesis eleven, the one who created the heavens, is the same God who bends the heavens to come and meet you where you are, as you are.
Andrea Smithberger [00:03:45]:
That God sets an invitation before each and every one of us. And I know the world is broken and wants to break us down and away from that invitation to the point where we can’t even believe. We can’t even believe that God would still be inviting us. But if there’s a sliver of what if in you, this is for you. We’ve been working on an eight week course, an oasis, a rich landing spot for you to rest and saturate in truth with questions and care. Like what would it look like for you to dive into questions of what am I looking for? From a beloved point of view, asking that question and then praying and listening for God to answer is saying yes to the invitation before you. That invitation is for a life of sexual integrity, a life moving towards freedom and wholeness while loving yourself and others more fully. There’s some part of you that not only wants new life way deep down, if there’s even a tiny part of you that believes it is for you.
Andrea Smithberger [00:04:57]:
You’re ready. If you want to believe, this is for you. This is a great starting point. The curriculum for Oasis is eight weeks of teaching and encouragement with questions and prayer to lead you on a more personal journey. What if God’s design for your sexuality is beyond what you think it is? We know it is because we’ve all been working on our own story and we will keep working in our own lives. This special offering we’ve been working on for you. This oasis goes through topics like story, desire, temptation, and warfare, just to name a few, each week. And the pace is intentional with teachings for you to read and reread and then take time with your questions and then listen the theology sound.
Andrea Smithberger [00:05:53]:
I’m praying for you. We are praying for you. That this marks the start of moving that surpassing all understanding, kind of knowledge and abundantly more kind of grace and love. That this will move this invitation from your head to your heart through every part of your body. So I have to ask again, what’s your why? Why are you here? If you’re just here to quit, then at the end of this, your goal is to be a quitter. Come on, don’t limit yourself to just quitting. There’s more to discover in your story. There’s more to understand about surrender.
Andrea Smithberger [00:06:37]:
There’s more built inside you for warfare than you know. There’s more hope in surrender to be revealed. Have you read through Psalm 119 lately? I’m going to read through parts of it now, but this week, would you keep praying through Psalm 119, especially verses 22 to 41? Get out your Bible and underline the action words, the things that you can ask God to help you as you prepare to be more than a quitter. Then pay attention for God’s promise in verse 45 that you would walk freely in an open place. And I need my glasses. Okay, are you ready? Teach me, Lord, the meaning of your statutes and I will always keep them. Help me understand Your instruction and I will obey it and follow it with all my heart. Help me stay on the path of Your commands, for I take pleasure in it.
Andrea Smithberger [00:07:46]:
Turn my heart to Your decrees and not to dishonest prophet. Turn my eyes from looking at what is worthless and give me life in Your ways. Confirm what you said to your servant, for it produces reverence for you. Turn away the disgrace I dread. Indeed, your judgments are good. How I long for your precepts. Give me life through Your righteousness. Let Your faithful love come to me, lord, your salvation as you promised.
Andrea Smithberger [00:08:19]:
Then I can answer the one who taunts me for I trust in Your word. Never take the word of truth from my mouth for I hope in Your judgments I will always obey Your instruction forever and ever. I will walk freely in an open place because I study Your precepts. I pray you’re more than a quitter that you can walk freely you that you are willing to be taught that you gain understanding that your eyes turn, that your heart turns towards more. You are more than a quitter. God has more for.
- Have you ever thought about your why? Why are you here? How might understanding your why contribute to your journey towards sexual integrity?
- In the episode, it is mentioned that sexual integrity is about more than just quitting a habit. What do you think it means to live a life of sexual integrity?
- Loneliness is identified as a driving force behind unwanted sexual behavior. Do you agree with this assessment? How have loneliness and shame affected your own experiences with pornography or masturbation?
- The host talks about the deep desire for care, comfort, connection, and community that is imprinted in each of us. How have you sought to fulfill these desires in healthy ways? How might you continue to cultivate care, comfort, connection, and community in your life?
- Identity and relationships are said to interanimate each other. How have your relationships impacted your understanding of yourself? Have you noticed any shifts in your self-awareness as you connect more intimately with others?