Before starting to deal with any questions towards sexuality, I had found that to be the most important question to answer. Who is your authority in the sexual sphere? Why? Because on the answer to this question depends almost everything.
Authority is such person, who we think (or believe) has the right answers in the sphere, to which we look for right answers. We rely on our authority. To him/her we give permission in our hearts to persuade us about truth: what it is and what it is not. Who your authority is will influence your tendency to believe his/her answers more than the answers to the same questions from other sources. Most important is that authorities influence choices we make in life and our choices affect our life. And our life matters.
In our early childhood we are mostly influenced by our “natural” authorities: grownups around us: firstly, our parents, then relatives, teachers, other caregivers. They provide us the answers to all important questions about the world and aspects of human life. As we grow, we start more and more to choose specific authorities ourselves, who don’t necessarily always match with the initial authorities we had as children.
Many of us, in times of inner struggles or other important matters, start to turn to people who we, consciously or subconsciously, desire to become like in the exact sphere of life, or who have higher professional excellence than we do, or wider life experience, or are more successful, or more clever than we are, etc. A variety of other factors influence our choices. As we grow older, in certain aspects of our life, we stop making constant efforts to seek advice or right answers from others, because we start to think that we have gained good enough knowledge and experience by ourselves, in order to make right decisions in that specific sphere: be it how to cook a chocolate cake or which investment to make to gain the largest profit. Every one of us has spheres in our life, in which we have become an authority for ourselves.
I am not an exception: when I was a child, my first strongest authorities were my parents, then my teachers, popular, wise men: writers, philosophers, scientists. In my teen years, for sure, there were spheres in which I started to look for right answers from my successful peers, people who I adored for one or other reason, popular television stars. Also, due to the fact that from my early years I was constantly encouraged by my parents to develop my independence in as many aspects as possible, it was quite natural for me to become an authority for myself in many daily situations of life quite easily. However, as a child of two physicians I was also taught (and found no reason not to believe them) that the highest authority in life, and the most reliable source for all right answers, is science, and for issues connected to human body – medical sciences, of course.
To sum up, I grew up having three main authorities in my life, which influenced almost all my choices: that was the opinion of important people to me, my own opinion, and science. I purposely separated science as the third type of authority, because for many years, I saw science as objective and an almost infallible source of truth. Now, when I have become a physician myself and maybe, God willing, after few years will become a PhD in medical science, I see science differently. Now I see it only what it is: a product of human beings. Now I am very much aware that after every scientific conclusion stands a concrete scientist, and what it means in relation to the belief that science is infallible and always objective…
Nevertheless as a child, and later, as teenager, from these three above mentioned sources I had learned a lot of different answers towards our sexuality. And for almost fifteen years of my life I had lived and made choices in life according those answers, and then lived with the fruits of my choices. And now I know that some of those sources misled me greatly in the sphere of sexuality from the better.
At the age of fifteen I had discovered one more possible authority in life: God, the Creator. Until that age, before one exact experience in the midst of my sexual addictions, I was never too much concerned about God. Of course, living in a country where about 80% of people acknowledged themselves as Catholics, I had some encounters with Christian beliefs during my childhood and teen years. I was taught some of those beliefs at school lessons in religion, participated in Christian traditions at wedding or funeral ceremonies, was baptized as a child and led to first communion at the age of eight, witnessed my grandfather participating every Sunday in Holy Mass…
Still, those experiences did not lead me to paying much attention to God or to deep questioning towards religion. Actually, to be sincere, Catholicism to me always seemed to be a boring and dead religion. For these reasons, God was surely not on the list of my authorities. But about at the age of fifteen, God approached me very specifically (my more detailed testimony on that soon will be available in another post). He showed His mercy and initiative towards the better in me in the time I was already losing my freedom by the increasing bonds of compulsive sexual habits. I could say He came to speak with me probably very similarly as He met the Samaritan women at the well, when He addressed her with truth accompanied by love. That was a life-changing experience for her, and so it was for me.
At that time I already was deep in addiction to masturbation and pornography. I was also in the midst of acknowledgment that I was failing to stop these, my secret habits, by my own willpower. Therefore I felt desperate and lonely in those fights. I also had a lot of doubts whether it was worth fighting at all. I was not sure if those habits of mine were absolutely bad or the contrary: modern and good. I was questioning myself where they would lead me if I stopped putting in efforts to get rid of them?
From that first personal encounter with God, in the midst of my addictions, my journey to freedom started. The beginning was not easy and fluent: God was still such a new and distant reality, even as if just more a “mere possibility” than “a real person” for me, and masturbation, on the contrary, was almost as old as I could remember myself and such real and pleasurable. During the first years after that experience, for sure, I had relapses into both addictions, but after every fall I was more and more sure that I again had made a bad choice. Hunger for freedom increased with every victory…
…freedom and victories, when facing temptations, always left me with joy and peaceful type experiences, I became happier, while masturbation or watching pornography left me with dull senses, with loneliness, irrational shame, ache and experiencing as if a “smell of destruction”, “the taste of choosing the least”.
After about a year from my first personal encounter with God, by His grace I started to practice intensive prayer discipline in my daily routine and became almost completely sober from watching pornography and masturbation. I learned that for me it was much easier to resist temptations if I started to pray in advance in the places and/or situations, where I knew I used to fall in my addictive behaviors before those temptations would attack me.
Many things started to change in my life then: through the next two years other circumstances and experiences, discoveries in my life led me to the point where I made a very clear personal decision to become a disciple of Jesus and to follow Him as the only Savior of mine. However at that time Jesus was a stranger to me. I needed to know Him better. I decided to follow Him, so I started to read the Bible a lot in order to get at least a bit acquainted with Him.
The more I tasted, the more amazed I became, and the more my inner hunger was satisfied. Very quickly after my conscious conversion, God had put me in a charismatic Christian community, which was serving in evangelization and inner healing ministries… This opened a wide road for my healing and growth. Yet, the most profound healing came when I encountered the Ministry of Living Waters, founded by Andrew Cominskey from the US. Through Christo-centric teachings on sexuality there, by participating in a healing community and receiving a lot of prayers over me, God started to deepen the healing of my sexual brokenness, which was still left after such a long period of “wrong directions”, in which I was walking for years, and “wrong directions” others had imprinted in me by their brokenness.
My freedom and purity in sexuality increased. I became able to verbalize wrong things which I had done and wrong things which were done to me by others. Most importantly, my deep wounds started to heal. I had become more secure and able to truly love and offer the gift of my femininity to others. The beautiful gift from God – my marriage to my husband seven years ago – made me seek an even more profound understanding about sexuality.
Through marriage experiences my still healing old wounds were differently touched and I was constantly being challenged by God to open myself for more healing to come. In my journey, as well as alongside others (in the ministry), I had received a lot of answers providing life and profound healing from Him.
By the fruits in my personal life and by many good fruits witnessed fighting alongside others, now I know that God is the most credible Authority in the sphere of sexuality… He is such an Authority, who brings us back to life, real joy, freedom, who has the power to shine in darkness and darkness cannot overcome the light. He is the only One, as Creator of all that exists, the most objective and infallible source of truth. His truth is light.
Now with the perspective of many years of freedom from falls in masturbation addiction, yet very aware that I’m still on the way to my sexual wholeness, and not yet arrived at its completion; very aware that I’m not free from temptations, I can still say that I had found no no higher and truer Authority, so faithfully bringing visible good fruits even in terribly broken ones… So faithfully changing lives to the better. In my experience God is such Authority who leads us to stronger and more healthy families, who transforms men with addictions to free, fighting ones as brothers for each other and able to love women well; and who secures and blesses women to be strong and firm in their dignity, able to bring life to others around, and to fight for that life till the deaf if needed.
My experience suggest this is good questions for a start: to think who your authority in the sphere of sexuality is. The right answer, the right authority may start completely new beginning. I know that for some readers to find God, as their Authority, will seem irrational, impossible or rejectable way to address sexual issues – “just please not God! Not all that religious cramp”…maybe the only thought, which came to some of you who were reading this post. It’s ok. It’s understandable; I know so well that thinking from my own heart.
Yet I challenge You to read my next posts on sexuality topics. You will always have that freedom to choose your own way, your own truth and authority, that one you will prefer the most. I will not take that freedom from you.
In my posts I will try to discuss some popular thoughts and believes about masturbation of different origins, which I will comment based on the experience and knowledge and the answers to these same questions, which once I bore myself… These answers were the life giving gifts which I received, so I am eagerly extending them to others.
Those answers directed me to choices, which afterwards brought very beautiful and joyful fruits in my life and freedom for others as well… And those choices let me taste the real pleasure what it means to be good gift for other and be able to freely love, to rejoice in the goodness of opposite gender without extra dark thoughts or images and to rejoice in my own sexuality without the ugly flavor of addiction to masturbation and pornography.
So, please, do understand my humble excitement to share those answers with you or someone, who desperately wants to know, if freedom is possible, if chastity exists, how to persevere in good, when facing intensive temptations etc.
Even if you are one of those, who rejects the idea of God immediately, I still encourage you, in the privacy of your heart, be honest towards yourself and to look to the fruits of the choices you are making today in regard to your sexuality and to what direction those fruits are leading you to and those around you; also to look to the todays reality of yours – on what answers these your choices are based on and from whose authority those answers are coming…
Spend some time thinking what exactly those choices are bearing in you, what life for you and others around you they are producing. Most importantly: please, please – choose those ones, which bring more life and love! Because you are worth for more, and everyone around you! Be blessed!