What do people do to curb compulsive sexual behavior? They try a lot of things—and many of them are ineffective.
I often hear people say that they have finally figured out what they needed to do to get freedom from their sex addiction. They say something like, “I promised God I wouldn’t act out any more.” And when I ask, “Have you done that in the past?” They say, “Yes.” “So how has that worked so far?” I ask. So that you don’t get the wrong idea about what I am saying, I am a Christian who believes strongly in the ability and power of God. At the same time, it has been my experience that God often uses therapists, 12-step groups, and other recovering people to help guide sex addicts out of their addiction.
Many sex addicts have believed the lie that the reason they act out is because they haven’t prayed right, believed right, or worshipped right, or that they have some other deficiency in their religious life. But the reason acting out behavior
continues is not because of any of those reasons. Acting out continues because they are addicted! Promises to God, to partner, to self are ineffective in curbing compulsive sexual behavior. For example, although well-intentioned, proclamations like: “I’m going to read my Bible more often,” “I’m going to participate in more religious activities,” or “I’m going to pray more” are well and good if also undertaken with other recovery activities.