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Redefining Sexual Freedom

In your heart, what do you believe freedom from unwanted sexual behaviors looks like, feels like?

In this episode of Sacred by Design, we’ll unpack the many-layered gift of true freedom.

God sees you and loves you, right where you are.

He is inviting you to freedom of immeasurably more than just staying within practical boundaries.

Together, lets redefine freedom.

Highlights:

Accept the process: we know that god can come in and instantaneously remove whatever the struggle is. And, that’s what makes it so much harder to accept that it might be a process and it might look differently than what god thinks.

Grieve: take the time to be sad that the process looks different, that freedom wont happen overnight. It isn’t gods intention for us to suffer through sin but because of this fallen world, there are some things were going to suffer through. We are experiencing things that the lord did not intend for us to experience.

We have an enemy who wants us to think that god is after perfection.

Listen for the enemy’s voice: see, you cant even make it a week. Whats wrong with you? You’re not a good christian. You did all this stuff and its not even working. And then, the voice shifts some more and says, you know what, this is probably who you really are. So why are you fighting it? Or hey, its okay if you do this again.

Perfection is not freedom.

Freedom is not only the absence of your unwanted sexual behavior but its the presence of Jesus in his power in your life.

Remember: sanctification is a process.

The fruit of the spirit is self-control. So, when you are allowing the presence of Jesus to be with you then the spirit within you is the one who will help you with the self-control.

Romans 6:22 but now, having been set free from sin and having been enslaved to god; you have your fruit leading to sanctification and its end is eternal life.

True freedom: you have matured in a way that you have the proper response when temptation comes – not that you don’t have to deal with it anymore but that because you have connected yourself to Christ and allowed him into these spaces.

Help the show

This Episode’s Transcription

Andrea 0:00
If you’ve been struggling with porn and masturbation, hookups, affairs, or immersing yourself in erotic literature, you probably have in your mind what freedom looks like. The question is whether your version of freedom is the same as gods. So that is what we’re talking about today. We might be squashing some dreams, opening up some ideas and possibilities. And I’m excited about it. Are you ready? Kyle? I’m ready. Okay, good. So what kinds of things have you heard from women who talk about what freedom from unwanted sexual behavior looks like?

Kyle Bowman 0:37
So typically, it’s like, I want to get to the place where I never struggle again, ever, in my life, it will be behind me. I can, stuff can come in front of me won’t matter, I’ll be free. That’s freedom. And they might even add, and I can do XYZ, I can serve at my church, I can, no minister to people I can. Like, there’s all these other things that they will add to that, because they think, you know, when I get free, then I can do all these wonderful things that the Lord wants me to do. Oh, but

Andrea 1:15
it’s interesting that their idea of freedom means a stop on something. But that’s not how God operates. Right.

Kyle Bowman 1:23
And especially I think, you know, like, we know, that God can speak that into existence, right? We know that God can come in and instantaneously remove whatever it is, we know, he can do that. And so that makes it so much harder to kind of accept that. It might be a process, and it might look differently than what God thinks.

Andrea 1:48
So how do you shift that perspective? Yeah, or for women?

Kyle Bowman 1:53
You know, I think is, first of all, we got to take the time and be sad about the fact that it looks different. It doesn’t happen overnight, that it won’t happen instantaneously. Um, and I don’t think sometimes we take the opportunity to do that, because that’s something to be sad about. Because it isn’t God’s intention for us to suffer through sin. Right. And so what some, but because of this fallen world, right? There’s some things we’re going to suffer through. It’s I think we have to take the time and it just to be sad that this world isn’t the way God intended. We are experiencing things that the Lord did not intend for us to experience. But we don’t like to grieve. Yeah, it is. It’s hard. But I think grieving opens your heart. Right, you get to unload, and you make room in your heart for something new. So I think grieving is important. And, you know, I think we have to remember that we have this enemy. Who wants us to think that God is after perfection. Oh, okay. He wants us to think that he wants us to think that God is after perspective of perfection. And so if you don’t do this, right, and if you can’t be perfect at it, then you have failed. And so that’s the message that the enemy really wants to drive home. That’s nasty. Yeah, it is. But here’s the other thing. That and the reason why he does this, because that kind of thinking, keeps you in the cycle of sin. Okay, talk more about so. So here’s what that looks like. So let’s say, you know, here’s a woman, she, you know, going along pretty well, she’s made this, you know, maybe she had a fall and she says, okay, you know what, like, I am going to really make sure that I get after this, and I’m going to really work on not whatever it is hooking up looking at porn, whatever. And so, you know, she’s makes the list, here’s what I’m going to do. I am going to, you know, putting on filters, I’m deleting phone numbers on getting rid of this stuff on TV, and, you know, not going to read these kinds of books or look at these kinds of movies anymore. And so, you know, she’s got that going. And so she launches into that. And she’s going good, right? She’s got a little, little streak going right? And she even starts to go away. Just one week, it’s been two weeks or whatever it is. And then temptation happens. And then the voices start. See, you can’t even make it a week was What’s wrong with you. You’re not a good Christian. Like you did all this stuff. And it’s just not even working. And then the voice shifts some more and says, You know what, this is probably who you really are. So, why are you fighting it? And hey, you know, maybe okay, you did it, you made it a week. It’s okay, if you do this one time, and then you can get yourself back on track again. So that’s the kind of thing and so then you give in, you feel bad. You made the decision, I’m gonna start again. And that cycle keeps going, because you’re looking to do something perfectly, as opposed to, what does it look like to let god bring me to the freedom that I need?

Andrea 5:35
Because perfection is not freedom is not, you know, those questions that you were asking, like, when the voices start and how condemning those are, I hope that the women listening, hear those and understand and acknowledge the fact that if you’re saying those right now, it’s not just you, it’s like that that is so common. That that is so common, that is just a tired technique that Satan loves to use. So let’s call it out. Because there’s, there’s more. Okay, so, oh, those voices are so awful. But we all experience them in different ways.

Kyle Bowman 6:11
Yes, yes. And sometimes, they’re not always our own voices. It’s just voices that are being repeated from other people, you know, who it may have said certain things to you, and you hear uncle so and so’s voice or mom’s voice or dad’s voice?

Andrea 6:30
So what is freedom? What does freedom even look like from the the cycle?

Kyle Bowman 6:35
You know, I think it has, you have to look at it in a much bigger picture. It’s not just about behavior modification. I think that’s what a lot of people think, like you said earlier, you know, this is a stop. Um, but I think it’s, there’s some truths about knowing what Jesus has done for you. He has already freed you from the power in penalty of sin. Right? So you’re free from that. And it’s not only the absence of your unwanted sexual behavior, but it’s the presence of Jesus in His power in your life. That’s really key. Yeah. Because we always think, Oh, my issue if this was gone, and again, this was gone, then I can fill in the blank. But you can’t do anything. Like Jesus said, apart from me, you can do nothing. So it’s, it’s having knowing that that power of God is with you. And then understanding that sanctification is a process. It doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s a process. It happens over the span of life. And, you know, I know that, you know, you can look at like the fruit of the Spirit. Right? And you see the word self control. You okay, yeah, I gotta do self control, right. But like when I realize I was like, Wait, that doesn’t say the fruit of Kyle, that says, the fruit of the Spirit. So the spirit, again, is another promise from God that he’s going to work. And so the fruit of the Spirit is self control. So when you are allowing the presence of Jesus to be with you, then the Spirit within you, is the one who will help you with the self control.

Andrea 8:33
You know, I this keeps coming up when we have these conversations is, you know, a lot of people assume a lot of women assume that when they’re battling an ongoing, unwanted sexual behavior, that there’s a condemnation that they should be expecting. But everything that we keep talking about, and I hope it’s annoyingly, relentlessly clear, is that this is an invitation. Yes. Because the words that you use, I was writing something some of them down when we talk about when you’re caught up in temptation, what that feels like it or trying to break through to suppose it freedom is the word stop or absence or cycle or shame. But then when you’re describing what it feels like to have freedom, freedom, true freedom, not as we define it, but true freedom is presents its process. Its full and its promise. Yeah, that that’s much Yes. For inviting vocabulary,

Kyle Bowman 9:31
for sure. For sure. And, and hopefully, those who are listening can really latch on to that right and use that as this form of encouragement. And knowing that I don’t have to, like freedom. Again, it’s not just this, oh, I’m never going to experience everything again. Because that can also give you this idea then that And then you can do whatever you want. Because like you think you are bulletproof. And so you might even test yourself and get out, jump out there. And Johnson’s a block and I can go look this now because I’m free. And and then you realize you’re not bulletproof if

Andrea 10:17
you need to armor up a little differently. Yeah, yeah. What would you say to the woman who’s having a hard time even just believing that she can experience freedom?

Kyle Bowman 10:25
Yeah, there’s a scripture from Romans 22 622 says, But now, having been set free from sin, and having been enslaved to God, you have your fruit leading to sanctification, in its end is eternal life. And I know sometimes, it’s hard to, like, grab on to Scripture and hold it and believe that it’s not just for just the general population, but it’s for you specifically, when I quit this, Craig Dennison, who has a, he has a organization called first 15. But he says God’s word is truer than how you feel. And if you will align your life with the truth of Scripture, it will begin to powerfully affect your emotions. That’s awesome. That’s it? Yeah. That’s like, if if there’s a way that you can understand that, okay, I might not feel like this is true for me right now. But I’m going to live my life like it is. How might that change your heart and your perspective. And then what you realize is that your freedom actually means that you have matured in a way that you have the proper response. when temptation comes, that’s what real freedom is. Real freedom is not that I don’t have to deal with it anymore. But because I have connected myself to Christ and allowed him into these spaces, and when things come up, I had this ability to respond the way he wants me to. That’s what true freedom is.

Andrea 12:10
Oh, that’s good. That’s so good. So do you have any final words of encouragement that you want to share?

Kyle Bowman 12:20
Yeah, um, what I would say is, you know, this is a great journey. You know, there are some women who will think, you know, if I don’t get it right, by this time, then God is not going to have anything to do with me, he’s not going to want to help me. He’s going to just turn his back on me. But this is a great journey. And God has for you, like you want you to become whole. He’s not like going, well, this is the 15th time she did that. So I’m done with her. No, he’s like, Okay, this is time number. 15 is okay, let’s get up. Because because you’re not as far back as you were. Right? Because I think about if you take the example of riding a bicycle, and you know, you leave your house, you’re riding a bicycle, you get a quarter of a mile away from your house, you fall off the bike. Well, you don’t take your bike, walk it all the way back to your home, and start over again, you start from where you are. And so many women will feel like, gosh, I have lost ground when something happens. But again, part of freedom is now I can get up from where I am. All of the work that was done before is not wasted. I can get up from where I am and then I can continue on the journey. And so knowing that you might think you can jack this up really badly. But if you’ve got the Lord on your side, it can’t happen. Right? So you’re just just knowing that God wants the victory for you. He’s for you. He’s standing on the sidelines, he’s cheering for you. He’s asking you to lean on him and every step of the way, because he has somewhere that he’s taking you.

Andrea 14:06
God the I Am, wants you right where you are. You are invited to freedom. Amen.

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