Fr. Christophe LePoutre is the director of the Fellowship of the Inexhaustible Cup, an organization committed to honoring Our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos, by acquiring and maintaining quality sobriety and purity as a way of life. Fr. Christophe introduces us to a very serious form of addiction that plagues modern society like never before: sexual addiction. Lust has existed since man’s separation from God in the Garden. With the invention of television, film and now, the Internet, sexual addiction has ensnared many millions in its net under the pretense of satisfying a basic human need and desire.
Shedding light on this topic is essential, because we are living in a day and a time when there has never been more destruction of souls than in this area of sexual impurity and immorality. God intended for sexuality to be holy and within the bonds of a loving marriage between a man and a woman. Instead, sexuality has become a tool of the Evil One to destroy the lives and very souls of those who become sexual addicts. As with all addictions, however, there is strength and hope available to those suffering from sexual addiction.
To begin with, we must understand that God gives us two choices with regards to how sexuality can fit into our lives in a healthy way and in keeping with His desire for us. The first is to live a life of celibacy which is to completely abstain from any form of sexuality. This is a calling that not all can answer, but for those who can, it provides a way to live one’s life that honor’s one’s body and God’s desire that we be sexually pure. The other way is to join together in the sacrament of holy marriage, blessed and sanctified by God and the Church. In marriage, sexuality can be embraced in the way that God intended, is a healthy way for a man and a woman to share their love for one another and to bring forth children in the family unit that is best and most beneficial to society.
Sadly, our society today has reduced sexuality to a bodily function, something to do because it feels good with no consideration for the oftentimes destructive consequences that it brings such as unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and the casual tossing aside of someone after we have finished with them. Lust, and the unending need to satisfy it, ultimately leads to the sexual addiction and, like all addictions, can never be satisfied. It can begin with something that many of us think to be innocent enough, admiring an attractive person. We see a beautiful woman or a handsome man and admire their appearance. But soon enough, that admiring glance turns to lustful thoughts and fantasies that are not only inappropriate, but destructive when it goes too far. Marriages have been destroyed, crimes of passion have been committed and all of society is reduced to mere body parts when we forget that God intended for sexuality to be a holy expression of love for each other and for Him who gave it to us.
For the addict struggling with sexual addiction, there is an organization dedicated to providing the same 12-step help that so many others do. Sexaholics Anonymous, whose headquarters are in Nashville, Tennessee, provides a 12-step fellowship to those suffering from sexual addiction. The organization was founded by a man who suffered from addiction to lust and initially attended meetings at Alcoholics Anonymous even though he was not an alcoholic. Thanks to the fellowship of his brethren at AA, he created Sexaholics Anonoymous following the same 12-step method used by AA to treat addiction.
For the sexual addict, there is hope and help to be found at a local SA chapter, in the loving embrace of our most Holy Mother and in the grace of God who can help us to be restored to a state of sexual purity.