Step Out of the Shame Game


Maybe you’ve been on a roll. When it comes to your sexual addiction, maybe you have hit a level of sobriety and then… it all falls apart.


So, now what?

First, if you’re struggling with an addiction like compulsive masturbation or hookups, please know you’re not alone. And then stick with us to see how to step out of the shame game and into the life Jesus is calling you towards.

Listen in as Kyle walks us through a scripture meditation full of grace and truth just for you.


This is hard work “The way to relieve the first layer of shame. Because shame can come in layers. Think the first layer is to acknowledge that this is hard. And that doesn’t make you less of a christian because it’s hard.

You’re going to be tempted just like any other human being is tempted.

  • Acknowledge this is Hard Work
  • Be Honest about Your Longings
  • Find Someone You Can Trust
  • Take Inventory
  • Bring this to Jesus – He doesn’t want you to do the work alone

Emergency Preparedness Plan:

  • Have Someone to Call 
  • Have a Scripture Posted in Key Places
  • Have a Worship Playlist

“what’s happening in your life? What happened in the last 24 hours? Or maybe you have to look at the last 7 days. What’s happening inside? Because those can be clues that you realize – Oh, if I have a stressful day this is where I’m going to go. Or if you think you’re going to have a stressful day, this is how you’re going to respond. This is ultimately a response to something. You’re not just doing this because this is what you do. Because your heart is telling you something.

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This Episode’s Transcription

Andrea 0:00
Okay, Kyle and I are just going to jump in. Because the topic that we’re covering today, a lot of women don’t want to face or don’t even acknowledge because they think this is a guy’s thing. Women struggle with unwanted sexual behavior. Yes, period. Yes, they do. That being said, how do you recover from a fall? So I think we should almost start with that first part. Women struggle with unwanted sexual behavior.

Kyle Bowman 0:36
Absolutely. It this is a human problem is not just a man’s problem. It’s a human problem. And so it’s important to really acknowledge that as a woman, like you’re going to be tempted, just like any other human being is tempted. Right. So, you know, try to sort of dispel the whole mystique around the fact that, oh, why am I a Woman dealing with this?

Andrea 1:03
That’s awesome, right? Yes. So if you are a woman, and you’re listening, and you’ve been dealing with an unwanted sexual behavior that can look like what

Kyle Bowman 1:12
it could be pornography addiction, it could be hookups. You, maybe you’re married, and you’re having an extramarital affair, maybe you have found yourself steeped in erotic literature. Those are all the different ways that we would define Okay, one is sexual behavior.

Andrea 1:30
So you’re not alone. Right? You’re not alone. So that’s step one, is acknowledging that this is a thing that we do have desire, we do have temptation, as women. And so we do also suffer with unwanted sexual behavior, right?

Kyle Bowman 1:47
And so maybe you’ve been of the around folks who say, Well, you know, women aren’t really visual, it’s men that are really visual. So let’s kind of stomp that lie out. Okay. All right, go there. And so let’s talk about Eve. All right, Genesis three says, when she saw the tree, she saw that it was good for food, a delight to the eyes and desirable to make one wise, what you see, right, there is less. So here she was, she was visually drawn in, through in her temptation. So we’ve got to acknowledge that, you know, God has designed us, right? to admire beauty. But sometimes we want to consume the beauty. And that’s not just true for men. That’s true for us as well for us, because we are God’s creation. And he, he created all of us to experience in and delight in beauty. Right? So you got Eve, it think about pot offers why? And, you know, she was on the strong side with that, right? Like, she rubbed shoulders and things. And she she really badgered him into trying to draw him into a sexual relationship. So again, like, we forget about that, that this, all of that is a human expression is not just a man’s expression.

Andrea 3:21
I think that just calling it out as, as just a fact, is a wonderful way to take off at least one layer of shame. Yes. Right. Yes. And that’s what we’re going to keep doing. Because if you’re struggling with an unwanted sexual behavior, like you’re addicted to porn, okay, so now what do you do? Yeah. Do you just keep suffering alone? No, right,

Kyle Bowman 3:42
right. And here’s the thing. You know, maybe you are a person who you’ve had this level of sobriety going, Okay, right. Maybe you even been kind of ticking off the day, oh, I’ve made it three months. I made it six months, I made it one year. And then all of a sudden, you tank for whatever reason. I think the first thing to remember is there is some intentionality you have to have about releasing the shame of that. Because what happens is when you keep yourself covered with shame, you you stay in the cycle, right? So, you know, it’s like, you go along fine. Maybe there is a traumatic event. And when I say traumatic, it doesn’t have to be, you know, somebody died or, you know, it’s got to be this horrific thing. It could be something that just upset you. And so you work to try to do things to make yourself feel better. But you go to your old standby, right, you go you call that person that you pick up with, or you pick up that book that kind of let you escape into this fantasy world. And so you go there. And then when you come out, you feel awful. And then you start to convince yourself, well, this is really who I am. And so on. Maybe you go, Okay, well, let me just try again, you might stay there for a while where you go, this is who I am. But then maybe you convince you that well, okay, no, I’m not. So let me try again. And that keeps you shame keeps you just going rotating, rotating, rotating over and over again. And, and it’s so hard to get up. So I think the one of the things to do is to first of all, be willing to acknowledge that, okay, this is what happened, I had a rough day at work, or, you know, maybe you had a breakup, and you go, gosh, like, this hurt me more than I thought, you know, because remember, those knees that you have are legitimate.

Andrea 5:53
Okay, that that’s say that, again, the need

Kyle Bowman 5:56
that you have is legitimate, your need to be sued, is legitimate, you have a legitimate need to have someone come alongside you, and say, Gosh, I’m really sorry, you’re struggling with this. And this is hard. And to be wanting to say like, like, you don’t, you don’t have to be this strong. You know, you know, the song by Whitney Houston, I’m every woman, right? You don’t have to be that, because that’s a bunch of junk. And you have to realize, okay, this issue for me. And it’s hard. And to be able to say that first and foremost, to the Lord. Because he knows his heart. Yeah, he knows you cannot do it by yourself. So I think a way to read relief, the first layer of shame, because shame can come in layers. So I think the first layer is to acknowledge that this is hard. Okay. And that doesn’t make you less of a Christian. Yeah, because it’s hard.

Andrea 7:00
Still hard,

Kyle Bowman 7:01
it is hard. And I think then, where you can go is to start confessing to the Lord, like, what did what are you longing for? And maybe you have to say out loud, like, Lord, my heart is hurting. And I feel like the only thing that’s going to make me feel better, is if I hook up worse, if I look at some porn, if I read this novel, if, you know, I, I step out on my spot, like, be willing to say that to God.

Andrea 7:33
Because the legitimate need needs to be met needs to be addressed. So how can we like what are the questions? Or what are the ways that we can go a little bit deeper? If we’re willing to bring it to the Lord and say, Alright, I don’t want to do the shame game anymore. I messed up again, or whatever it is. But now what I just I just want to feel close to somebody. Yeah. Okay. So then what’s next?

Kyle Bowman 7:58
So I think the closeness first starts work with the Lord, and confessing all of those things saying what you really, really feel? Because he’s the one who can do something about it. Right? Then secondly, who is the person, a person that you trust, that you can say, gosh, you know, what, I was doing well, for three months. And I find myself right back in the same spot again. What can I do? Or you know, I need to sit tell this to you, finding somebody that you trust, that that you can share with? The other thing is take some inventory. Okay? What’s happening in your life? what even happened in the last 24 hours? Or maybe you have to look at the last seven days, what’s happening inside? Because those can be clues that you realize, oh, man, I didn’t realize that. If I have a stressful day, this is where I want to go. Or if I think something bad is gonna happen. This is how I respond. Because this is ultimately this is a response to something, right? If you’re not just doing this, because it’s what you do is it’s your heart is telling you something. Yeah. So be curious about that. And just kind of look over the last at least 24 hours. And if you have to look further, go look at the past week, see what that was, like.

Andrea 9:32
You know, we talk a lot about story here and in what we do with spiritual coaching, and people get kind of like, wigged out or put off by the idea of story because I don’t have a story or I don’t know what you’re talking about. But just that inventory that you’re talking about the 24 hours of the seven days, that can be a story. So what is the story of the past 24 hours look like? What did it begin, like? What was what was the peak of it or what was the valley and And to be able to see, like you’re saying, okay, there was a need, and it came from something. So to look at that story carefully, and also be very aware that Satan is a real, he’s real is real. And he would just love to take the pen from your hand and start putting shame all over that story. So to usher him out and just really be aware, between you and God. Alright, here’s the story from the past 24 hours, go through it with me,

Kyle Bowman 10:33
yes, yes. And if if you have to even do it as I woke up, and this is how I was feeling when I woke up, maybe you had even a foreboding feeling that the day wasn’t going to be good. Like, that’s a clue. And maybe you can chart that. And maybe you can think about other days that have been like that. And you realize how it ended. And those are places that God can really meet you. And it’s also places where a good trusted Christian friend can reflect Jesus to you. Because you know, we’re on this earth to reflect Him to one another. So you get a chance to experience Jesus with skin.

Andrea 11:16
You know, the story of when resurrected, Jesus is calling out to the disciples, and they’re out on the water. And Peter had just denied Jesus three times. And he’s out there fishing. And Jesus calls them and John, like you’re saying, a good friend was like, Oh, my gosh, there’s the Lord because Peter couldn’t even recognize him. So Jesus goes, or Peter gets in the water and runs out to them. And it’s almost like Jesus recreates. Even sensory like the charcoal fires. Yes, yes. So, to me, that attention to detail from Jesus is so such an example of his heart for us, then he wants to pull in the examples of the details from the day that we’re trying to pull together. He wants to pull those in and be like, Okay, I smelled that too. I know what it’s like to wake up like that, too. And then he offers those three questions. But Peter, do you love me, Peter, do you love me, Peter, do you love me for each of the three denials? And that’s the kind of Jesus that we’re inviting into this. Yeah.

Kyle Bowman 12:18
And for some people, like if that’s hard, right, I think if you’re willing to kind of use your imagination, some with this, right, so let’s think about the woman who was caught in adultery. Okay. All right. So if you can use that as a first step, close your eyes and imagine what it might have been like to be in that scene. Right? Maybe you are a person who is looking on you’re an onlooker. And you imagine what it’s like to see this woman come out of just having committed adultery. And the law saying that they can Stoner and Jesus flipping the law on its head. And, and talking to those Pharisees and saying, wait a minute, like, if you haven’t sinned, okay, you can throw a stone. And then then Jesus looking down and going, Woman, where are your accusers? Right? So now, if you can take that, and then go, Okay, I just looked at porn. You’re I am walking out of the place where I’ve looked at porn. And Jesus’s there, can you take a moment, and as you close your eyes, and imagine that Jesus is standing there, waiting for you, as you come out, and he’s not there to condemn you. He’s not there to shame you. But he’s there to go. Who’s around here to accuse you. And he just wants to draw you into that. And so if you have the ability to just close your eyes, and imagine that and do that as a regular practice, I think you will find so much healing in that in you the shame, and then it’s harder for shame just to jump on top of Yeah, and I’m

Andrea 14:23
crying already thinking about whoever she is that’s listening to consider that coming, you know, just lifting your head from whatever it is that you fell into. Yeah. And to experience meeting Jesus there just

Kyle Bowman 14:38
is like, how can you walk away from that feeling shame or condemnation? When you have a God who loves you so much that he wants to see transformation? Like it’s not he’s not gonna look at you and go, Well, you’re too far gone. Yeah, he’s not doing that where he’s going Oh, like this Let me let me into this so I can bring transformation to you. Because you don’t have to do all the work either. If you are willing to submit yourself, yeah, he’s gonna work through you. And I think the last thing and people don’t think about this, but you know, why not have an emergency preparedness plan?

Andrea 15:18
Okay. All right. Talk more about that.

Kyle Bowman 15:20
So how are you preparing yourself for when you have a fall? Because here’s the thing. Most of us will have a reaction, where we go, oh, my gosh, I cannot believe I did this. Again, this is awful. How am I going to ever stop this, right? That’s usually the narrative, you should be able to have some things that you go to when you’ve had a fall. So maybe there’s some of the things that we’ve talked about already, maybe it’s engaging with Jesus or engaging with another person. Maybe there are things that you need to do ahead of time, if you’re waking up, and you put your feet on the floor. And you’re going, Man, I just, I’m not feeling today. So maybe there’s some things you need to do. Maybe there’s something you need to do just to give yourself a shot a joy. Maybe there’s a way that you need to connect to the Lord, as soon as you hit your feet on the floor. What are those things that you can kind of keep in a toolbox? Maybe you need to have a scripture that you go to where it’s posted up where you can go and see, maybe you have to, you know, I am fearfully and wonderfully made, maybe whatever declaration you need to make, what is what are you going to have on hand, instead of listening to your own voice shaming, you pick a different voice to listen to, maybe you need to do it through worship music. So what are those things that you can kind of have, as Okay, here’s Here are the ways I’m going to recover, I have this set of tools here, that’s available for me that I don’t have to listen to my own voice. I don’t want to have to keep myself in this spiral, which ultimately can send me right back to what I was doing before, how can I have some things that are really important to me that maybe there is an object, so maybe you get, I don’t know, maybe it’s a beautiful rock, or maybe it’s a beautiful flower, or something that you use as a reminder of who you are, who you belong to. And that you have, he’s giving you all that you need to, to walk out of this, so that it’s not a recurring thing just over and over and over again. And you have to be patient with yourself. Because, you know, throw away the numbers and counting. Okay, right. Because it’s easy to say, Oh, I made it six months. I mean, and then you start to put your faith in the numbers and not in the Lord. You know, you can hold that thing up really high, and walk around. I read it six months. You can do that. And guess what? Like, God doesn’t care. Really doesn’t? Yes. And you know what? Celebrate. But when you have a victory, celebrate it. Yeah. Right? If if, if you make it one day, and you go, gosh, like I had a really awful day. And I went to my toolbox, and I use the stuff in my toolbox as opposed to going looking at porn or going and hooking up with someone. Celebrate go have a piece of cake some ice cream, go party do like celebrate that. Because what you’re also doing is you’re teaching yourself and receiving a different feeling about victory. Oh, that’s good, right? And then your brain wants some more of that your brain is gonna go Oh, that was good. I love that. Like we can get ice cream. This is awesome. Right? So you know celebrate those things even if you have to call some friends and go hey, you know what? Yeah, you guys like it’s I was able to really turn down temptation today. You know, I had a fault three weeks ago and went to Vacation came up today. I was able to turn away from it and and praise God. Celebrate.

Andrea 19:35
That is the best note to end on. Isn’t it? Yes. Celebrate. Because you know the Lord is to either way that you’re turning your face towards him or that you’re saying no and looking towards more of who you are. More of who he’s called you to be. And I love this. I love the emergency tool kit. I love the celebration. And I love the honesty of this. Thank you Kyle.

Kyle Bowman 20:01
glad to share absolutely glad to share

Thanks For Reading.

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