Alcohol and Drug Addiction Counseling
Not all individuals are at the same level of motivation when addressing alcohol and drug addiction. HeartLife counselors operate from a biblical perspective. God desires that we overcome and live in freedom. His desire is that we reconcile the relationships impacted by addiction. Our focus is to challenge individuals for a better understanding of the personal and relational consequences of their choices.
Alcohol and drug addiction affects the emotional, spiritual, and relational areas of life. Regardless of the substance or activity, addiction becomes a controlling force in the life of the individual and the family. Those impacted by addiction realize that it is often a “generational issue.” Our approach is a holistic one with God’s redeeming power at the core. We offer individual, group, and family support for those impacted by this devastating problem.
While God is the key element of change, each person must assume responsibility for their healing. Someone once said “we make an idol, and then the idol makes us.”
We will walk with you to find freedom from the bondage of addiction.
Sex / Pornography Addiction
HeartLife’s Goal and the Church’s Role in Healing
Pornography and sexual addiction are prevalent problems in the church and society as a whole. It seems as though everywhere you turn, someone is losing their job, marriage and even their family due to pornography and sexual addiction.
Sexual sin is defined as any violation or omission of God’s prescribed pattern of sexuality as outlined in scripture. In its most basic form, sexual addiction involves compulsive sexual thoughts and/or demonstrating compulsive sexual behavior that deviates from God’s intended model of biblical sexuality.
Sexual addiction and pornography are artificial ways to find true intimacy and connection apart from authentic intimate relationships. Addiction to pornography and sex is an inherently relational disorder.
Causes of Sexual Addiction
One of the causes of sexual addiction is isolation. This struggle can look different in each individual, but essentially this means most people who struggle with this are disconnected relationally. Typically, they have few or no friends and are often described and known as “keeping to themselves.”
At HeartLife, we emphasize the value of building healthy friendships as an indispensable component of healing for those who struggle with sexual addiction. Individuals struggling with sexual addiction need to know that they are not alone and there is a band of brothers willing to collectively pursue the wisdom given to us. As the apostle Paul tells us:“Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith and those who call on God out of a pure heart.” -2 Timothy 2:22
2. Guilt and Shame
Not only is isolation a key cause of sexual sin, but guilt and shame are two other key components that drive our brothers and sisters into this destructive cycle. Guilt is represented by the idea “I have done something bad,” whereas shame is the idea “I am bad.” Guilt is an issue of “doing” and shame is an issue of “being.” Guilt is a much easier issue to deal with than shame. With shame, people feel defective at the core of their being.
All people who struggle with sexual sin place shame as the essential issue that must be addressed, and we are here to help those who struggle understand their identity as a child of God. For those who struggle, it is important to understand the dynamic of how they use “distorted” sex to attempt to cover shame, when in fact, they are deepening it.Sexual sin must be addressed in context of relationships in which we can be loved at the very core of our being.
3. Dealing with Relational Pain
The final issue that drives sexual sin is a failure to deal with relational pain in a healthy way. Many people, but men in particular, struggle with this issue and have difficulty appropriately expressing emotions like fear, anger, sadness or disappointment in healthy ways.
People who keep emotions to themselves, or feel unworthy or isolated are at risk. They use pornographic images to anesthetize the pain they are experiencing inside. The body of Christ needs to be a safe place for those who struggle with sexual sin. The church must balance grace and confrontation in such a manner that it leads to repentance and restoration.
It has been said “the young man who rings the door at the brothel is unconsciously looking for God.” The same can be said of those in our culture who pursue sex and pornography outside of God’s design. Our hope and prayer is that the church begins dealing with these issues as Jesus did. He dealt with what was transpiring in the “heart,” not merely behavior.
Sexual sin is an attempt to connect in a distorted way. May the church be a safe place where those who are broken and hurting can come and kneel and the feet of Jesus and receive healing and restoration.