Mental Illness Recovery Story,  Chapter 16

Celibacy Struggles

Jesus says in Matthew 5:28: “But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart”. Several years ago, God told me it wasn’t His will for me to have a mate. “It will interfere with my purpose of you. You will make great change to your world. However, I will give you friends to do things with.” That is what I believe God said to me. Being without a woman for basically my entire life has been a real hard path to follow, but I am willing to do it for God’s purposes.

However, trying to be celibate has led to much masturbation. Having “impure thoughts” while masturbating is the sin I used to struggle with the most. For years, It had been the transgression I feared the most condemnation after committing the act.

When masturbating, I used to have fantasies of having forced sex with a woman, who in real life is married. That “lust” represented the “sin of adultery” in my mind. Accompanying these former fantasies of mine were “graphic, violent imaginations” I had when fantasizing about her and sex. Even though I knew I had no desire to commit these horrific acts in real life, I fantasized about “violent sex” anyways, with the objective of finding some way to release aggression (from my abuse as a kid, including my sexual abuse) in a way that wouldn’t harm anyone except in my imagined world. But in reality, it harmed me psychologically and emotionally, as I felt great shame and at times, self-hatred, after having committed these acts in my mind. Even though I regretted having the fantasies, and tried really hard not to have them, it became an obsession to do them, as I would try to release pent-up aggression from my abuse I experienced from my stepdad.

In my subconscious fantasies, I portrayed my stepdad as being the “woman” who “I handcuffed” during my masturbation experience. The reason why “my stepdad” was the “woman” is that females are generally considered a weaker gender in most cultures today. And the reason why “I handcuffed her”, is that I imagine being “in control” of the abusive men of my past , something I never experienced as a child. The “violent acts” I inflicted upon “my past abusers” represented my pent-up desires to release aggression on those who hurt me before. Also note that most of “abusive acts” I did to the “stepdad-woman” are the same or similar acts of abuse done to me as a child. So, in essence, when I masturbated, I fantasized about being in control of the stepdad in my mind. Even though these “violent acts” in my fantasies were committed in a safe, nonthreatening environment (aka my bed and fantasies and not in real life to someone), I still felt much guilt and shame after committing the sins of shame and hateful violence. I really badly desired not to masturbate, and especially, not to have violent fantasies. So I prayed to God, when I would masturbate, that He would enable me to do it in a way that would be more pleasing to Him. I also went through much therapy over the fantasies and over the pains of my abuse, and today I am proud to say, I haven’t had not even one “bad fantasy” when masturbating in over two years. God has helped me to overcome that formerly addiction of mine. To God, I give the glory!


What helped to ease my mind after committing these sins was to realize the love and power of God’s grace, and the fact that Christ still died for me (and you), in spite of all the sins God knew I would commit in my lifetime. That an all-knowing God truly understood all my abusive hurts and pains, and that I have always an advocate named Jesus who is on my side. Jesus bore the punishment for all our sins –  all because God desperately wants to spend eternity with me and other Prodigal Sons.  

Listen to these inspirational songs, related to the theme of this chapter:

Casting Crowns – All You’ve Ever Wanted (Official Lyric Video)

Danny Gokey – Rise [Lyric Video]

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