Why Is Sexual Integrity So Difficult?



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Carl Thomas

Pastor | Live Free Founder | Lover of Jesus, Philly sports, fitness, tattoos, sarcasm, and craft beers.

It’s only the second week of the new year and some of you may already be feeling the squeeze.

Even though less than two weeks ago you vowed this year would be different (as it pertains to your unwanted sexual behavior), you are already seeing that those good intentions are far more difficult to follow through with than previously thought.

But why? 

Let’s be honest…

Why is living a life of sexual integrity so difficult?

Why is it such a struggle to consistently make the right sexual decisions? For years when I was struggling with this stuff, I would’ve asked the same question. Quite frankly, sometimes it just doesn’t seem fair.

But here is what I have come to realize over the past decade of freedom.

It’s not that difficult.

Hear me out. 

Now that I am a decade past my porn addiction, the truth is staying away from porn and those sorts of things is not that hard. I don’t walk through my day feeling like I’m in some sort of huge struggle. Yes, I know those temptations are out there, but it’s not difficult to just say no when needed.

And let’s be honest… isn’t that what we were all after?

Real freedom? Not only being sober, but also not feeling like you have to fight every day for your sobriety. That is the goal, right?

And so the reason that walking in sexual integrity and maintaining sobriety feels so difficult for some of you is not because it’s actually hard.


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Looking at porn is not natural.

It’s not part of our DNA. 

Unlike breathing, our unwanted sexual behaviors are not an innate reflex. But once you start to compulsively engage in these behaviors, your brain starts to see them as a natural solution for feeling better. And when that happens… Yes, abstaining from unwanted sexual behavior can feel very hard.

And unfortunately, it’s not going to get much easier until you start to rewire your brain and undo all the damage you’ve done through abuse over the years. In other words, living a life of sexual integrity feels difficult because you’ve made it difficult neurologically speaking. 

You took something that’s not natural, not healthy, and not ideal for problem-solving and made it part of your normal existence and daily life. And once your brain begins to see porn use, masturbation, and those things as an appropriate solution to life’s problems, it will turn to those maladaptive measures all the time.

However, the good news is that when you start to break free of these habits, you will see these things start to get easier or at least feel easier once you start doing the work and living a life of sexual integrity.

That said, here’s what you need to understand. 

Seeking out sexual integrity in your life is not difficult, but it is a challenge.

Being honest, consistent, responsible, faithful and humble, are character traits that don’t just come natural to our broken minds. 

– We don’t default to honesty and accountability.

– We don’t run towards openness and transparency.

– We don’t naturally put others before ourselves. 

– We don’t embrace the process of deep emotional healing.

However, doing this stuff is not difficult. You won’t have to experience physical pain or torture when you commit to these practices. There are no massive burdens to carry or torturous elements to endure.

There is just the challenge to your comfort zone you’ll need to come to terms with and can overcome if you commit to doing so.

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