Can I be free from Pedophilia? I don’t think the sexual feelings will ever go away this side of heaven. It is possible that God could do a miracle and rewire a person’s brain, and I believe that might happen for some people – God treats us all as individuals. But that’s not been the case for me, and the sexual feelings are still there. However, I am free from pedophilia in the sense that it doesn’t rule my life.
I used to be held captive by it, daily. Unwanted thoughts would tumble into my mind, which would lead to fantasies. The step between fantasies and taking action can be a small one. Pornography is one of the first steps toward harming a child. Feeling guilty and ashamed would occupy the rest of my day.
The tension can be overwhelming at times. A friend described it as a faucet that’s running, but there’s no drain. It threatens to overflow and make a horrible mess. Where can we find help?
Jesus said that he would bring freedom to the prisoners chained in darkness. I so desperately needed his help, because I couldn’t escape on my own. In the Bible, God lead his people out of slavery in Egypt. He said he wants to do that for all his children. I know I am a slave to pedophilia. It troubled my past, bullies me now, and threatens my future. How can God lead me to freedom? How will Jesus break these chains?
The answer: A new life.
Jesus starts a new life inside you that’s different from the old life. That may sound weird, but it makes perfect sense. If I ask Jesus to be part of my life, he brings something new. It begins small, but when I choose to share that new life with him, it gets stronger. Little by little, it overcomes the old.
The new life is a spiritual life. That’s where the expression “born again” comes from. It’s like being born a second time. It’s hard to explain unless you’ve experienced it, but it’s definitely different. It’s like seeing new colors – how would you explain it? All you can do is say it’s “like” this or that…
It’s like hope that you can stand on. It’s believing, but you can know. It’s like being happy, except it’s a joy that goes beyond any reason you can find. It’s like being loved, and it’s a love that makes you greater. It gives you purpose like a fire burning inside. It’s being clean, because you’re continually washed from the inside out. It is the best experience in all the world to be loved by God and to let him give you his new life!
The choice belongs to you and me every step of the way. God will never force himself on a person. He is very humble. I know that I could choose to walk away at any point. I could tell him, “No”. But, where would I go? With him I found love and life.
Each time I choose to follow him, that new life gets stronger. I do not look at inappropriate material. I turn my head, rather than stare. I do not allow my mind to fantasize. I have strict boundaries with children. Feelings of attraction may come, but they do not occupy my thoughts or rule my daily life. God has led me down a path of freedom from pedophilia.
I recognize that these are behavior choices, and someone will say that I’m curing myself without any help from God. I don’t believe that’s true, because I know from personal experience that my own willpower was never enough to sidestep sexual attraction. If God is real (and I believe he is), a relationship with him must have profound effects. We humans are influenced by the company we keep, and I recommend anyone spend time in the company of Jesus. It will change you.
When God looks at you, he sees you as a new creation in Christ. You have a new identity that was created when Jesus rose from the grave. You are in the process of living that out – “growing in every way more and more like Christ” (Eph 4:15). Yes, those feelings of attraction remain; pedophilia is a physical condition that affects our neurons. But, you are now a child of God, and you are walking step by step forward with him.
Pedophilia gave me shame, isolation, and the risk of harming others. God has given me love, healthy relationships, and the freedom to live again. I know that pedophilia will present a challenge until I go to heaven, therefore, I guard myself. But, I’m not in chains anymore. Jesus set me free.
(Jesus) found the place where it is written: The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”