It’s a gut wrenching experience to admit that you are sexually attracted to children. It took me quite a while, but the evidence was undeniable. I might be out at the movies with friends, and realize that a cute boy stole all of my attention. And then, there were butterflies in my stomach helping at the after-school program.
My feelings seemed to have a mind of their own. The thinking part of my brain didn’t want to think about it… like a bad dream I just hoped it would go away. I have never harmed a child, or even acted inappropriately. But, at 16 years old, I discovered my very existence was inappropriate.
Sexually attracted to kids? It just seems so crazy. I can still find adult women attractive, but there’s no denying I’m attracted to minors. It’s that quick breath when your first see the other person. There’s also those funny feelings of having a crush, or even a sort of dreamy romance. How could a person’s sexuality be so mixed up that children affect them this way, instead of adults?
I went online and found there are plenty of individuals who are like me. What I didn’t know is that a person’s attraction can be either toward boys or girls (usually one or the other), and that the age range can vary. For example, one person might be attracted to boys age 4 to 9, and another to girls age 12 to 14. Some people are also attracted to adults, but the pedophilia is primary.
What is similar is how each person describes their attraction. Regardless of the age or gender preference, they talk about it with the desire and dedication found in any country love song or some quote from Shakespeare. This may sound detestable to the average person, and it may be. Nevertheless, it’s clear that pedophilia involves a person’s core sexual/romantic capabilities.
Also, I have never come across an individual who chose to be attracted to children. It’s something they discovered about themselves, and often with much confusion, anxiety, and shame. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a pleasant “coming out” story.
Some people with pedophilia believe there is nothing wrong with being sexually involved with a child. Others believe it is harmful and would never act on their attraction (but they accept their feelings). Still others hate themselves, become isolated, and may attempt suicide. Whoever they are, the person with pedophilia is often conflicted, unequipped, tempted, and alone.
We read in the news (or may know) of people who have abused children: A teacher, political figure, church leader, or the deviant 18-year-old from down the street. It’s a scary thought. I believe children are ALWAYS harmed when sexually involved with an adult. The capacity for a healthy, romantic relationship comes with maturity, and there is always an imbalance of power between an adult and child that removes the equality of adult romance and turns it into abuse.
But what are we to do? What am I to do… with myself?
I know Jesus is real. I have often asked God what he thinks about me, and what I should do with my life. Pain, discovery, and years have helped me find a way through life with pedophilia. I know that God wants to live life with each one of us, and that Jesus died to make a way for saving you and me.
If you’re a pedophile, can you believe that God isn’t ashamed of you? He isn’t mad because of the feelings you have. He thinks about you with love, and is ready to walk side-by-side with you toward a good future. He can make a way for you to have love and intimacy in life, and never harm a child. With all my heart, I pray you let God find you.