“For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”

I’m a Christian and so is my ex boyfriend. We ended up doing almost everything except actually having sex and I haven’t told anyone (I don’t feel like I can trust anyone to talk to about this). We broke up but continue to talk to each other in a sexy manner (sending pics and such). I feel extremely guilty afterwards, I always have. Yet I keep having thoughts and masturbating and we keep sending pics. It’s wrong, I know that, I don’t want to keep doing this but yet I do. What can I do to stop…it’s literally tearing me apart because I know this is not what God wants for me or my ex.

Hi Kerri.

I’m glad you wrote. I hope this can be the first step for you toward ending this toxic relationship with your ex. Any time we want to implement drastic changes in our lives, we need to take drastic measures. It’s time to cut all ties with your ex.

All. Ties.

If you need to, have a friend stand with you in the room when you call or text him to tell him you can no longer have ANY contact with him, that it’s what’s best for both of you. Ask him to respect your need for this by not contacting you. Then delete his number.

If he disrespects you and keeps calling/texting, block his number. Do what you need to do the break free so you can enjoy the good things God has waiting for you.

Quitting him is step one.

Step two is not quitting you… step two is accountability.

Love yourself enough and have enough respect for your life goals to ask for help from a woman in your life who loves you and preferably shares your goals and your vision of yourself (who you want to be and how you want to live). When you feel the urge to contact your ex, contact your friend instead.

When you get the urge to masturbate, pray; get out of your bed and on your knees. It’s not that kneeling will make your prayers heard better, but it is helpful to replace one bodily action/position with another bodily action/position. There may be times when you need someone to pray with you through the more difficult times of withdraw. That’s okay. That’s what the Body of Christ is for. (If these things don’t work for you over time, you may need to find help with a professional counselor. That’s okay too.)

Finally, give yourself grace.

You’ve repented to God. Walk in his forgiveness.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-9)

This doesn’t mean from point x on you’ll be perfect. It means you depend upon God over and over (like we all need to!). Even the apostle Paul, who wrote much of the New Testament, felt like you are feeling:

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. […]

So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:15, 21-25)

God never gives up on us. When you stumble, give yourself grace; or rather, receive the grace God has already given you.

I hope this helps.

With love,

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