Female struggling with lust, pray for me

* First I just want to apologize and say maybe some discretion should be used before reading this if you are younger*
I'm a 24 year old female.
I was in a physical relationship with a guy who was not a Christian about a year ago for three months. I was despairing because I felt like I was  plus, was doubting God and whether I believed in Him or not(maybe trying to justify what I wanted to do by thinking that way). Anyway Ive since been in regular communication with my FOC and taking communion , and trying to pray.

However I am still really struggling with lust. I find myself resorting to masturbation/pornography to deal with my sex drive. I often find myself getting extremely lonely and end up on dating apps and sexting/snapchatting with strangers, which makes me feel good in the moment but horrible about myself afterwards for sinking so low, After I do stuff like that I feel so ashamed that I can't even pray or read the bible and it kind of turns into a cycle where I have to keep doing stuff like that to feel temporarily good.

Part of my problem is that I think I don't feel bad about liking sex and having a physical drive. Maybe that is why it is so hard for me. I still kind of want to engage in the behavior without actually physically doing it.

I just honestly don't know how to cope since I've sinned in this way before, to wait for a married relationship, without even resorting to masturbation. With the career path that I'm in (medical school)  it may be a good 4-5 years + until I get married. And I'm really struggling. I just want to know how to drive these desires in a healthy way and maybe ways to hold myself accountable. I have asked my FOC about this before but I'd like to get more input.
Thank you,

please remember me in your prayers.

Egypt45


Comments

  • edited January 13
    Ask Abouna to create an accountability group. I think every other denomination does that.
    Not everyone is obliged to join and definitely gossipers are not allowed but it helps to have people who are strong granting accountability. If it is one person you can have less Shame positive shame compared to two or more people who can provide more opinions and make you aware how you are falling behind the rest and what you are missing.
    It is hard not to be ashamed to repent when people show great care for your improvement by talking to you and setting your mind on spiritual things

    Seeing a priest is not always helpful if he doesn't take the sin seriously though it is good that he is non judgemental of the person but not of the sin. The person needs to feel the holiness of God to leave the sin. That he is grieving the Holy Spirit
    and if it is not cut off it will kill. Just as a loving doctor has to be a bit hard to those with a disease that causes serious harm
    the person must leave with the impression that if he does not take the doctor advise his compassions can not save him and the doctor himself will lose respect for a patient who resists treatment
    I suggested a group because creating a website for accountability can lead to abuse by trolls. Christianforums has a section for men and women that are struggling but I doubt you can write every time you fell
    They might have learned to deal with trolls but maybe not

    Or perhaps going to church meetings and participating in serving even if it is only in discussion can help when the group discusses worldly issues that they feel is an issue even if you don't tell them your sin but they discuss it
    While they tell of their victory and wisdom you feel you don't belong and need to struggle harder
    The bible says he who walks with wise man will be wise but a companion of fools will suffer harm

  • But we should not blame people or our priest for our sins for victory can come through our own relationship with Christ and setting our mind on things above. Read more spiritual things and pray

  • ---there is a story of a monk. One of his weaknesses was his sexual desires. He would fall in this regularly but he used to rise up and say "God I know I'm bad and I don't deserve to stand in the front of you, but if you help the righteous people, this is because they deserve your help, please accept me again and help me overcoming this sin". The young monk continued falling and rising and falling and rising and every time he fell he used to rise up and say exactly the same words. One day he fell and rose up and said the same words, the devil went really mad and appeared to him and told him "Don't you get ashamed of your sins to talk to God with your filthy mouth?" the monk said "Well you hit me with sin and I hit you with the love of God and lets see who is going to win", from that time the devil left him alone and did not fight him with the sin because he did not want him to get more CROWNS for his hope and faith in God.---
  • edited January 18
    hi MikeforJesus, and ShareTheLord, thank you for your replies.
    Thank you ShareTheLord, I really enjoyed that story actually :)

    MikeforJesus, thank you for that idea actually about accountability groups. I don't think my church will be able to do something like that, especially since I'm in an area with a small Coptic community that is a few hrs from where I am..
    However it kind of gave me a push to look for maybe an over the phone/Christian/catholic support group about this,

    and I was led to this Catholic resource called Lustrecovery.org, its a free phone line that connects you to an elderly Catholic priest and it's basically a lust "recovery" and accountability program. It Is free, and there is a specific "shield prayer" against lust that is used, whenever you get tempted, and a daily follow up with the priest with devotionals/questions about the struggle you're having. And journaling about what triggered these behaviours in the past,  prayer, and reading the bible every day.

    It has helped me to be accountable in my prayers...

    and if anyone else wants to learn what the shield prayer is :

    It goes something like this, "Jesus I invite you into my temptation, please remove from me the desire to _______, and I also pray for _____.

    So you first invite God to help you with the temptation, ask for the desire to sin or the temptation to be removed, and then you pray for some one else.
    You pray for someone you may have sinned with/against or who may be struggling with the same sin or something else. But the second part about removing the desire to sin is prayed over and over again until the temptation is removed and the urge to sin is gone... it gets you to really depend on and cry out to God for help in fighting the sin instead of depending on yourself.

    Thank God it has helped, just thought I'd share in case anyone else is struggling with something similar.
    Thank you,
    egypt45


  • edited January 19
    Thanks. I will consider that if my church does not provide the needed services.I mentioned it because addictions are very hard to overcome and even impossible without Christ but when they are overcome we gain back control of our will and are settled for a while. Freedom from addictions is a sign that God is happy with our relationship with Him at that time but if we have sin God wants us to grow in our knowledge of God. God will not grant us victory if we do not put up a fight as Paul said in Hebrews they have not yet resisted to bloodshed striving against sin but as then we have fought enough grace comes to aid us powerfully and give us stability and peace
    We need encouragement to fight which we get from accountability. They help us realise that we have sinned and we need to fight harder
    and we find we are only purified by grace and can only be delivered from the love of sin by grace and only not struggle as much through grace.
  • edited January 19
    God will not grant us victory if we do not fight the sin with the spiritual weapons He has given us and one of them is confession. We repeat sin because we are not perfectly sorry for the sin. Confession is necessary because God guides us to repentance through the priest which makes the priest declare God forgiveness on us through the Holy Spirit gift given to him if he sees we are repenting.
    I am guessing the priest is still human and can not know us completely so he may give absolution because he knows it is wrong to withhold absolution until a person stops sinning because he does not know that he might repent and does not know if he is really trying and God forgives us when we sin everyday not thinking about if we will quit but He still needs us to
    All we know is repentance is a sacrament and an encounter with God and that God works in it to give repentance

    However God can choose to forgive and guide whoever He wants without confession but if one is refusing confession just because he does not want Shame by anyone even a godly person who can guide him and does not want to be humble he will not prosper . In the book of job it is said the below God does not want to give shame for no reason but to treat you so confessing to godly people who are kind but sensitive to sin it helps but it is better they have the talent for that like servants and good monks
    But we must confess to priests also if we are orthodox to grant absolution but I believe some people don't need to confess to a priest and God will guide them to repentance perhaps through a pastor if God thinks their circumstance deserves such mercy but I think it is okay for a orthodox to teach we cannot assume anyone is excused from confession to a priest if they do not think they determine if one can go to heaven or hell they allow that God can forgive them or not

    Job 31:33-34
    33 If I have covered my transgressions as Adam,By hiding my iniquity in my bosom,
    34 Because I feared the great multitude,
    And dreaded the contempt of families,
    So that I kept silence
    And did not go out of the door—

    I believe you can confess to a godly person like we confess to monks. Some of them are not priests and don't have the power to absolve yet it is encouraged in the church to confess to them

    we should not despair if we keep sinning concluding that means we are not perfectly sorry. We can repent in an instant if we are fortunate without there being proof of our changed heart capable of doing more good than what the right thief did. God might choose to grant some people repentance in their final hours but we should certainly not expect that though it is permissible to hope that if we are not trying while we have opportunity

    Ephesians 6:10-20
    10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[a] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

    14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

    St Augustine said "I sat on top of the world when I came to fear nothing and desire nothing but You."
  • What do you think repentance can't be God doing most of the work or it is not true repentance if we are repenting of doing wrong against others such as looking at porn but I guess it can be if we are repenting to God. But we have to repent against wronging others which is what orthodox and catholic believe is involved in confession because what we do to others we do to God. People may perish before we repent but we are not responsible for them they are for themselves but they could be helped if we repent sooner but God because He knows we may repent may not let them be offended by our sins and perish because of us but will give them no good reason to hate Him or His way perhaps reminding them we are all guilty and if they don't accept our repentance God won't accept theirs but will give them even greater punishment in hell. We sin against the whole church when we sin because we stumble them and do not have righteousness by which we get wisdom to instruct others and the right because we are not allowed to teach while being hypocrites as God said whoever abides in Me all will be given anything even wisdom.
    And this is the answered prayer perhaps of a righteous man. Even though the wise can not benefit the foolish by giving them any of their righteousness we are instructed to pray for one another and we believe it helps for some reason.
    We are forgiven through confession and told to fight harder to deserve forgiveness. Accountability does not make us undeserving of repentance because it does not take away our striving but let's us be aware of our sins to stop them.
    However even though repentance is not God doing all the work when His seed remains in us that is we are convicted that we have sinned and that we need to care for our eternal life we hear His voice we follow the Shepherd. And this could be the meaning of he who is born again does not sin the one who keeps His word in Him keeps Himself and the wicked one does not touch him
    His words should pull us from sin
  • Hello,

    I just wanted to say that I thought your post was really awesome - down to earth, honest, and sincere.

    I think sexual sins is something everyone has grappled with also; some to more extents than others. 

    I think what you need is good Christian fellowship/friends. Do you have this? 
  • Christ helps us not to sin if we repent through God that does not mean we are unrepentant sometime we sin because we think we can do it on our own but glory is given to God for making us sensitive to sinning against them. Our sin is bad because it means not even the love of God can keep us from sin and that looks bad on our God but if we have obtained help from God the offense has ceased because if we don't stop sinning it looks like God is responsible for our sin but they don't see how God tries to stop us from sinning and that we are refusing His help through the word and confession.
  • Hi Egypt45!

    I just want to let you know that I sent you a direct message :)
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