The Crisis of Unwanted Sexual Behavior
The statistics associated with unwanted sexual behavior in
our world are staggering. The Society for the Advancement of
Sexual Health conservatively estimates that between 3 percent
and 5 percent of all Americans can be classified as addicted to
This represents an alarming nine to sixteen million people.
Additionally, 64 percent of thirteen- to twenty-four-year-olds
intentionally watch pornography at least once a week.By the
time children become teens and young adults, 62 percent of
them will have received a sext (sexually explicit image via text),
and 41 percent will have sent one.
And if all that were not enough, the average age of initial involvement in prostitution for girls is estimated between fourteen and eighteen years of age. Pornography is the most predominant form of unwanted
sexual behavior, infiltrating every aspect of the places we live,
work, and worship.
Consider these statistics:
• Porn use will nearly double the probability of a couple’s
• Approximately 35 percent of all Internet downloads are
• Porn sites receive more monthly traffic than Netflix,
Amazon, and Twitter combined.
• Porn is a $97 billion industry, with as much as $12
billion of that coming from the US.
• About 57 percent of our pastors and 64 percent of
our youth pastors struggle or have struggled with
Lust-Centered Approaches Are Ineffective
The overwhelmingly standard “religious” response to sexual
brokenness has been to address it through the lens of “lust
management,” even declaring war against it. This approach
has oversimplified and trivialized a far more complex issue
within human sexuality.
Efforts to eliminate lust will set us
up to manage our sexual lives with a tourniquet. We spend
the best years of our lives attempting to stop the flow of lust
through darting our eyes from beautiful people, slapping rubber bands around our wrists when we have sexual thoughts,
and asking accountability partners, in an attempt to stay vulnerable in community, to keep account of what erotic websites
I think we can all agree this cannot be what
God had in mind for sex and community. The reality that
more than half our faith leaders and the great majority of
Christians view pornography should indicate that our strategies have proven ineffective.
Our inability to succeed in purity only compounds our
pain. And then, in our pain, we default to the same ineffective
treatment plan. We spend time in prayer, fast, pursue accountability, and hope that God might change us.
The complexity is that the underlying issues that drive our sexual lust and anger do not get examined.
How many of us have ever asked God to help us understand
our brokenness? Your current framework for understanding and treating your problems will likely need to be abandoned. The underlying issues; neglects, abuses, parental inversion, a lack of understanding our intrinsic value, will keep us chasing love and acceptance from parents, significant others. We will use accomplishments to try and prove our value and look for someone to accept us based on performance as we are out of touch with our intrinsic value.
Resource: “Unwanted” by Jay Stringer