“It’s pretty difficult to believe God loves and accepts you after you wake up in a strange man’s apartment with a massive hangover,” said Carole, a 31-year-old single, school teacher. “I’m acting in a way God does not approve, so how do I approach Him when I need His help? I just can’t bring myself to be honest and contrite with Him because I’m so ashamed of the things I am doing to degrade my body.”
Like Carole, many Christians who engage in sinful behaviors find it difficult to take the actions necessary to build a relationship with Jesus. At the core of our struggles is the over-powering emotion of shame. Shame serves as a barrier between us and our Lord and Savior and it limits our ability to engage in meaningful prayer, scripture reading, meditation, and Christian community.
“It’s difficult to pray to someone who you believe is judging you as a failure,” Carole continued. “I desperately want to reach out to feel His comfort, but I can’t bring myself to do it. I believe He wants nothing to do with me.”
For Christians like Carole, it’s difficult to read about and comprehend God’s unfailing love when you believe your sinful patterns disqualify you from His love. It’s also challenging to interact with Christian brothers and sisters when you feel unworthy to be around them.
It’s a question I hear quite often from clients, “why can’t I stop looking at porn?”. And I tell them all the same thing. They have not learned to feel their emotions.
I realize that sounds a bit odd, but I assure you at the heart of a man addicted to porn is a man whose heart has trouble feeling. Our struggle with pornography is really the pursuit of emotional intimacy. The problem is most men don’t know that. In fact, they wouldn’t know emotional intimacy if it hit them in the face.
In my clinical practice, 9 out of 10 men who present with a pornography addiction also have an extremely low emotional IQ. What this means is three-fold:
They can tell you when they are angry, sad, happy or afraid. These are called secondary emotions. However, they struggle to identify their primary or true emotions. For example, what are you really feeling when you say you’re angry?
If they can identify what they are truly feeling (primary emotions), they can’t articulate them in a constructive manner. They struggle to share and be vulnerable with others.
But worse of all, they can’t determine what others are feeling beyond secondary emotions. They lack the ability to empathize and seek out additional information from others who are expressing their emotions. Instead, they want to shut down the individual, fix their problem, or runaway.
Beyond the sex/porn addiction, a man’s low emotional IQ it’s the single largest complain women have about the men in their lives. They are emotionally disconnected. We don’t allow ourselves to feel emotions. And as I tell my clients: “you need to feel to heal”.
If you want to manage your pornography addiction, make increasing your emotional IQ part of your recovery process.
Age Verification to prevent children under the age of 18 from accessing online pornography is set for rollout in the UK. The House of Lords approved the final piece of legislation relating to guidance for the new UK Age Verification system this week (Dec. 11, 2018), with final sign-off from the House of Commons poised. Enforcement is anticipated to begin in early 2019.
Here are some common questions and issues that are being raised.
The following is an interview I did for Pure Sex Radio, in which I reviewed the 9 Reasons Why Men Abuse Sex. I came up with these reasons during my work with men to help them manage their sexual and pornography addictions.
Pure Sex is sponsored by BeBroken Ministries. BeBroken is dedicated to the healing of individuals and family dealing with sexual sin. You can learn more about BeBroken Ministries at its website: https://2.bebroken.com