Lesson 6 - Inner Healing: Sexuality and Soul Ties
We Are All Sexual Beings
One of the most important, most controversial, and least understood aspects of God's creation is the place of sexuality in our lives. Genesis clearly spells out God's rightful order of people living together in families, with the adult male and female having different but overlapping and complementary roles. The father provides an umbrella covering of protection and authority to his wife and children. Both father and mother are responsible for nurture of those children, and each is gifted for different aspects of this.
Genesis speaks of the woman being the 'helpmeet' of the man - but this does not mean domination, ownership or control by the man. This is an interpretation forced onto the text by our sinfulness since the fall. The Bible speaks of the headship of the man in marriage, not in terms of being a master, but of taking responsibility. The Bible also speaks of the woman often having a leading role in business, not just in homemaking (Proverbs 31:16). Submission means to walk in harmony and partnership, and applies equally to the male as to the female (Ephesians 5:21).
In parallel with this, the Bible also teaches that we are spiritual beings, created in God's image - higher than animals. With God's Spirit breathed into us, we are primarily spirit, not just a body and mind as Western science teaches.
This dual spiritual and sexual nature is not an accident of 'evolution'. Both are expressions of our being created in God's image. Both male and female are given the gift of creativity by God. Leanne Payne says, "Gender and sexuality are grounded in the Being of God and His creation and have transcendent dimensions. Ultimately masculinity and femininity descends to us by the way of love, it is an attribute of God." (Crisis in masculinity)
The human being is the only created being with the ability to produce offspring who are also in the image of God, and it is done through sex - meaning that sex and sexuality is a glorious gift to us, and a holy thing, not to be abused or misused. But sex is not only for the procreation of children. It is also a way God has given humans to express and enjoy the relationship of love, intimacy and oneness which is only surpassed by the oneness experienced by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the Trinity of the Godhead.
From this reality flow the images used of Jesus and the church as Bridegroom and Bride (Ephesians 5:25-32), and the wonderfully erotic poetry of the Song of Songs, deliberately placed at the centre of God's written revelation, detailing the nature of the relationship between these two.
The western church has for a long time lived with the ancient Greek dualistic worldview that spirit is good and flesh is bad. Some churches still teach that the body, and hence sex, is evil or dirty. David's words in Psalm 51:5 "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me." (AV) was interpreted by some that sexual intercourse itself was sinful! Related to this is the idea held by some that not only did Mary have an immaculate conception, but Jesus must have also had an immaculate birth - miraculously transported from the womb to the outside world without contact with any of his mother's sexual parts. Once you start to construct your theology to support false suppositions, it is difficult to know where to stop.
Modern society has rightly reacted to the view that sex is evil, but has overreacted into licentiousness, saying that anything is right if it feels good. Our sexuality embraces everything that we are and when all that we are is not celebrated in Godly order, it is diminished. We confuse sex with sexuality and fail to value the glory of men, the glory of women and the sacredness of our bodies. Godly sexuality is the expression of the completeness of God's love, experienced through intimacy, pleasure, communication and joy in the fellowship of friends, men and women, fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives.
If we adopt a debased view of sex, then we will tend to understand deviations from the norm as just different expressions of the way humans are made. But, in fact, there is no sliding scale of normality - such as male, homosexual, bisexual, female, lesbian. Our gender is decided by our genitalia - with male and female designed to complement each other. Satan works to destroy our created love order in God and with each other by introducing competitiveness, power and control.
Remember the truth of God's gift to us in John 1:14 "The Word became flesh..."
The Place of Sexual Intercourse
Christian psychiatrist John White says,
Sex is important. On earth it can be the highest and most beautiful expression of the intimacy that God plans between his people and himself. It is the area of which Satan would therefore most want to strike, since it is in many ways the key to all other relationships. To the degree that we are messed up there, we will be messed up in all relationships. (Eros redeemed, p 28)
The poet John Milton, in Paradise Lost, said, "Loneliness is the first thing which God's eye nam'd not good." Loneliness, isolation, and aloneness are not part of God's intention. Community is God's very nature - in this we reflect God's image. God saw that Adam had purpose in caring for the garden and its creatures, but out of all the creatures only Adam was alone, and this was not good, so he created Eve as his helper (Genesis 2:20-22). They had perfect intimacy (Genesis 2:23-25).
At the fall Adam and Eve discovered nakedness - and thus shame and fear (Genesis 3:10 cf Genesis 2:25). This led to disruption of intimate relationship and destruction of community. Out of fear of rejection by God they tried to defend themselves by blaming others, and so moved further towards aloneness, and out of community (Genesis 3:1-13).
The one thing they still had left was the ability to come together as one flesh (Genesis 2:25). Although the true glory had gone out of it and it had become something of a compulsion rather than a free giving of each to the other, it was still a reminder of God's intention and nature. It also meant that they could not fulfil one of their most basic desires, that of having children, without joining with another person in intimacy. Unfortunately the misuse of the results of biomedical research is undermining even this necessity.
Male and Female Roles
Paul's teaching on women produces much argument. But note: it is only in marriage that he establishes an order. I do not believe that Paul intends to make a blanket prohibition of women teaching men. He contradicts this idea in too many other places, in his affirmation of women in leadership in the church and community. Rather, a valid translation of 1 Timothy 2:12 is "I do not permit a wife to teach (implying dominate or direct) or take authority over her husband." The Greek words for 'man' and 'woman' used here are used almost as many times in the context of marriage as they are for the sense of 'male' and 'female'. The relationship between 'teaching' and 'taking authority' is also implied in his instruction on the role of an elder (1 Timothy 3:2).
The world - with its obsession on power and control has distorted the teaching in Genesis, and reinforced it (or enforced it) simply on the basis of the male's superior physical strength and enlarged ego. This has fallen right into Satan's strategy - using the frustration of women to lead them into abuse of their sexuality, and use of witchcraft to get their way.
Sex and Marriage
Along with the gift of sex, God has given us the precious gift of freewill choice. We are not to be driven by our desires or 'needs' - which is how the world sees sex - a primal urge which cannot and should not be denied.
Sex is permitted only within a life marriage covenant. The choice is not open, between sex in or out of marriage. The choice is between sex in marriage and abstinence outside of marriage. This is not an arbitrary law of God or the church - anything else will harm us and bring death and destruction into our relationships.
Sexual union is a spiritual union - but not necessarily a holy union. It can only be holy inside a marriage covenant. The Holy Spirit will never participate in an immoral relationship - there will always be something missing.
A spiritual covenant is established through sacrifice and death. In a marriage covenant each one lays down his or her life for the other, choosing to no longer live for self. This mutual covenant creates a union, a life commitment and ends only at the death of one of the parties. The world prefers to enter into a marriage contract - a contract can be broken, but God ordained the marriage covenant to be binding.
The example of Adam and Eve (Genesis 2:22-24)
The example of God and Israel (Genesis 15:17,18; Deuteronomy 29:12-15)
The example of Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:31,32; Revelation 19:7-9)
Children need to grow up in a union blessed by God, which models to them the real relationship between a man, a woman, and the Spirit of God. Life comes only from God, so conception, birth, individuation, and growth right through to eventual release into teenage, adulthood and marriage, need to take place in the presence of God.
Without the parents modelling oneness, how can the child build a foundation for intimate relationship?
There comes a time when the parents must release the child into his or her own intimate relationship with another. This will be hard or impossible to do if either a parent or the child are not able to be secure in a changing relationship.
But please don't get the idea that sex within marriage is all about children. No, the producing of children is important, since it models God's extending of the love relationship within the Trinity to include others. But the first purpose of sex is intimacy and the total knowing of another person.
The imperative to have children is a result of the fall. Whereas before the man and woman were complete in their relationship, now the woman only finds some sense of fulfilment in childbirth, (Genesis 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:15), and the man is driven to support the family by hard work with little reward (Genesis 3:17-19; 2 Thessalonians 3;10; 1 Timothy 3:4-5). God always intended us to have children, but it was meant to be an easy and natural result of our intimacy, not the difficult and driven thing it has become.
Sexual intimacy, holy marriage, and Godly childbearing are some of the things Jesus came to redeem.
Leaving and Cleaving
(Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5)
All four parents must release their children both spiritually and emotionally into a new and separate relationship. Spiritual headship must be released and handed on.
(Deuteronomy 24:1-4; Matthew 5:31; 19:3-9; 1 Corinthians 7:10-11)
Discussion of divorce creates much heat within the church. I think it is best to remember that marriage is a covenant between two people and God. If necessary, God is able to release us from unfortunate or unwise covenants - but we must go to him about it, not just decide it between ourselves. I wonder what would have happened if Jephthah had gone to the Lord and asked forgiveness for making an unnecessary vow, which the Lord had not asked for? His daughter might not have died (Judges 11:29-40).
Rick Joyner said somewhere:
"I personally do not believe that divorce necessarily disqualifies us from leadership in the church, as this would even disqualify the Lord. We read in (Jeremiah 3:6-8), that God gave Israel a certificate of divorce - was it because He was not a good husband? Of course not. Even with a perfect husband Israel and Judah committed adultery with other gods. Each case must be looked at individually".
No one person is 100% responsible for the breakdown of a marriage. Each carries into it their own baggage - generational iniquity, past sin, abuse, traumas and hurts, with all the ensuing consequences.
Confess any personal responsibility and receive God's forgiveness.
Forgive those who caused the hurt or breakdown of the marriage.
Confess breaking the marriage vows (either willingly or unwillingly).
Ask the Lord to release you from the vow you made before God and witnesses, and to your marriage partner.
Release and bless your former partner.
Godly Sex and Godly Soul Ties
(Genesis 2:18; Ephesians 5:31-33; 6:1-4; Phil 2:1-5; James 2:8)
'Soul-ties' are real bonds which hold us into relationships with other people. When we form a loving, healthy relationship with someone we refer to it as a Godly soul tie. Conversely, when we have a poor relationship with someone (jealousy, hatred, abuse) we refer to it as an ungodly soul tie.
We have soul ties with our family (as a result of birth), or we develop them with other people as a result of the decisions and choices we make (marriage, friendships etc.). Or we have them forced upon us by abusive relationships (fear, rape, cruelty), or we enter into them by becoming 'one flesh' with sexual partners (1 Corinthians 6:16)
God intended for us to relate to Himself and each other in selfless love. We are called to be in a vital relationship with Jesus. (John 15:4,5; 1 John 1:7). Godly bondings energise, they produce life and health in a relationship.
Some Examples from Scripture:
1 Samuel 18:1 - David and Jonathan spirits were as one.
Genesis 2:24 - Adam and Eve united become one flesh.
John 13:23 - The disciple whom Jesus loved.
John 17:21-23; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 1:27 - The believer, united with Christ.
1 Corinthians 6:17 - United with the Lord we become one with Him in spirit.
Some Examples of Godly Soul Ties:
husband and wife
parent and child
the wider family circle
brothers and sisters in the family of God
During any sexual intercourse a soul tie is formed. During a wedding service, vows to each other are made - a covenant relationship before God. We vow to love each other and stay together until death parts us. This covenant is consummated through sexual intercourse - the man and woman become one flesh. A Godly bonding is set up. God intended this and without it there is no marriage.
John and Paula Sandford describe the sexual union thus:
Sexual blessedness, more than any other form of human encounter, depends upon our having become human beings (italics their's). A human being is a person who has a loving, living personal spirit by which he empathises with others and cherishes others more than himself. ... Sexual blessedness depends upon the capacity of our spirits to reach through our bodies to nurture, bless, enfold, enrich, and enrapture the heart and spirit of another. (The transformation of the inner man, p 270)
A Godly soul tie is a Godly one-flesh bonding - a spiritual, emotional, mental, freewill and physical tie. The blessing of God - who is part of this union - comes down on them and nurtures and encourages them. The Sandfords say that the Holy Spirit sings within the sexual union (p 273). Each of the couple now belongs to the other - they can never be separate again. Their body is no longer their own. Paul says do not withhold it from one another except for fasting and prayer (1 Corinthians 7:5).
God instituted the marriage covenant (Malachi 2:14,15)
"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6; 1 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 5:31)
"Adam knew his wife Eve and bore him a son" (Genesis 4:1 KJV).
The word for sexual intercourse in Hebrew is the same word used for "knowing" God and "knowing" truth - it implies a deep intimacy. A different word is used for David's sexual act with Bathsheba, (2 Samuel 11:4).
Godly Sex As an Expression of Worship
(Genesis 2:23-25; Psalm 139:13,14)
We are created to worship God and delight in all His blessings. He intends that in a Godly marriage we should enjoy both sexual relationships and the gift of procreation (creating on behalf of God). As we worship Him in sexual intercourse through the union of spirit, soul and body He blesses the marriage.
Ungodly sex as an expression of Idolatry
(Numbers 25:1-3; Romans 1:21-25)
When a man or woman enter into an ungodly relationship, which disregards marriage, sexual intercourse still remains a spiritual act of worship (an expression of the fulfillment of God's created purpose.) As there cannot be a spiritual vacuum, Satan moves on to the throne. Worship takes place, but instead of receiving the blessing of the Holy Spirit, demons enter as unclean spirits.
The whole of Satanism is interwoven with idolatry and sexual intercourse. "Israel's neighbours in ancient times actually incorporated adultery into their religious rites. Pagans worshipped their gods through cultic prostitution, believing that sex would put them in touch with divine power". (NIV Insight Bible)
Paul enjoins us to flee from sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18-20). Sexual relationships outside the marriage covenant are rebellion to God and therefore cannot be under his spiritual covering.
Where a couple have lived together prior to marriage, the subsequent marriage will not remove the fact of their sin, they will still need to individually acknowledge and confess it as sin.
As all sexual intercourse involves body, soul and spirit, a spiritual bond or soul tie will have been established with past sexual partners. Only God can break such soul ties, but until they are broken they will continue to hold the couple in spiritual bondage even though marriage with a new partner may have taken place - three or more people in a bed!
So often sexual sin has its roots in the hurts and pain of the past. Jesus did not condemn, nor do we condemn. With His love we seek to bring healing and freedom.
Ungodly Sex and Ungodly Soul Ties
An ungodly soul tie is any unacceptable bonding that is contrary to God's plan and purpose for humanity. An ungodly tie is established when a person submits to or is dominated by another. In extreme cases brain washing techniques are used to control and manipulate a person's mind and will. Fear of a person with whom you are in relationship is a likely indicator that some form of ungodly domination is being exercised. (Galatians 5 19-21; 1 John 2:11)
Some Examples from Scripture:
Genesis 4:4-8 - Cain's jealousy led to murder.
1 Samuel 18:7-11 - Saul's jealousy and hatred of David.
2 Samuel 11 - David's sexual demands led to adultery and murder.
2 Samuel 13:1-22 - Amnon's deception and power over Tamar led to rape, incest.
2 Corinthians 6:16 - in sexual sin we become united with that person.
2 Corinthians 6:14-17 - do not be yoked together with unbelievers.
Some Examples of Ungodly Soul Ties:
Do not be misled, bad company corrupts good character" (1 Corinthians 15:33)
Children with dominating, controlling parents.
Parents with undisciplined and manipulative children.
All relationships where there is ungodly dominance of one person over another.
With sexual partners in pre marital and post marital relationships.
All relationships which are abusive (through sexual, emotional, physical or through psychological manipulation).
Through joining with submission to leaders, controlling pastors.
Can be formed with the dead by unresolved grief.
A person unites with an occult practitioner (in cults, witchcraft, idols) by a spiritual connection and commits spiritual adultery and a spiritual tie is formed.
Sex outside of marriage is ungodly sex, but it still forms a soul tie. It is a one-flesh bonding - a biblical marriage is taking place. The couple's spirits and souls are being joined, but this time the Holy Spirit has no part in the union. As the Sandfords put it: "The Holy Spirit will not flow in forbidden places!" (p273) This, of course, leaves the way open for other spirits to become involved. Instead of bringing blessing the enemy gains a foothold into their lives. God says, "I will not share my throne with another." They are in ungodly spiritual rebellion against the word of God.
In 1 Corinthians 6 Paul says, "The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body, for it is said, 'The two will become one flesh.' But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit. Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins that men or women commit are outside the body. But he or she who sins sexually sins against their own body. Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you were bought at a price. Therefore honour and glorify God with your body."
So we become one with the person we have sexual intercourse with, and an ungodly soul tie is formed if this is not our marriage partner. Peter Horrobin does a graphic demonstration of the effects of the interactions between the ungodly soul ties that can exist when the members of a couple (even in marriage) have, or have had in the past, other partners, and those partners have had sexual partners, and so on. He calls it 'Satan's network'. (Equipped for a purpose seminar)
Ungodly sex comes in many forms:
premarital sex - with the intended partner or otherwise. Some say, "If we are going to marry anyway...?" The Bible calls this fornication - flee it. (1Corinthians 5:1; 7:2; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3,4; Revelation 22:15)
trial marriage - "Let's see if we are sexually compatible." What if you decide you aren't? You are already married!
There is an issue of trust here too. Can you ever be sure you can trust your marriage partner to be faithful to you if you know they have already been willing to have sex with someone outside of marriage, even if that person was you? Why wouldn't they do it again? And can you trust others if you know you can't be trusted yourself?
Anything less than a public covenant is not enough. Secret, private agreements are not strong enough to overcome the deceitfulness of the heart.
living together unmarried - the world now says it is not 'living in sin', or even applauds 'living in sin' as evidence of being really able to engage in life - uninhibited by 'evil' social constraints forcibly imposed by Christian 'moralisers'.
Incest, marriage or sex with forbidden relatives - Leviticus 18 and 26 clearly lists the restrictions on incest. The harm done to children by incest is not created by an inconvenient social convention, but is real spiritual and emotional damage caused by violating the way we are made. (Leviticus 18:6-18; Deuteronomy 27:22; Matthew 18:6)
adultery - one or both are married to another person. Matthew 5:27 - Jesus makes it explicit, and extends the idea of adultery from just a bodily joining to looking, lusting and thinking. Adultery is committed in the heart, not just the body. Adultery and idolatry are closely related (even interchangeable in the OT) - replacing worship of the one to whom it is due with worship of another (Hebrews 13:4).
prostitution - apart from the destructive nature of sexual union with someone other than your spouse, the turning of sex into a business for monetary gain perverts every notion of God's intention for intimacy (1 Corinthians 6:13-20).
oral or anal sex (sodomy) - unhelpful for believers. The Holy Spirit anoints the mouth to speak words of blessing, prophecy, and wisdom. The purposes of the various bodily openings are clear, so be wary of other uses. Scripture says anal sex carries a curse. Cleansing ministry is possible. (Genesis 19:4,5; Judges 19:22)
homosexuality and lesbianism - there is healing available for these - and it starts with believing and admitting that homosexuality is sin. In both the NT and OT homosexuality is an abomination to our Holy God. (See Genesis 1:27; Leviticus 18:22,23; Romans 1:26-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9)
Homosexuality is one of the results of the fall, it is confusion about sexual identity expressed in a particular way. The feelings inside don't seem to agree with the outer bodily appearance.
Satan, having cleverly deceived the world is now deceiving the church - "it's O.K. to believe that God created you with ambiguous sexuality, it's O.K. to go with your feelings even though they are contrary to the word of God".
It is not more sinful than heterosexual sin but is much more dangerous - higher percentage of suicides, larger number of alcoholics, addicts, vulnerable to AIDS, etc.
God loves the homosexual, but hates the sin, just as God loves the murderer, but hates murder.
Many homosexuals are not primarily interested in the sex, but are seeking comfort, affirmation - they are lonely - looking for someone safe to love them for who they are - but they are confused about who they are. The sexual expression of homosexuality is often only a by-product of this search. We need a clear message for the homosexual - "God loves you, but you need to forsake your homosexuality and come into God's order of being male or female."
In the power of the Holy Spirit with the love of Jesus we minister healing to the primary cause, while helping men and women understand the difference between their homosexual behaviour and their created sexual identity.
pornography, voyeurism and fantasy - you can't watch pornography and not be negatively impacted by it.
It undermines intimacy with a marriage partner, reducing sex to gratification of the flesh only. It is very defiling. Paul - "Whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are pure, think on these things." Pornography is very addictive, and ministry can be effective in breaking this addictive practice. Pornography fuels fantasy lust and often masturbation is involved also.
masturbation, autosexuality - Many books, even Christian ones, say masturbation is OK, a needed release for unfulfilled sexual tension. However, it is unhelpful for the believer - it is addictive, and encourages fantasy, lust and adultery in the heart. It opens a door through fantasy into the demonic, over which you lose control. It is a progressive strategy of the enemy - it starts innocently and gets worse. Sex with self is based on lies, unreality and false comfort. (Proverbs 12:11b; Matthew 18:9; 1 Corinthians 6:13b)
bestiality - having sex with animals. More common than you might think. Imagine what kinds of spiritual bondings are possible in this kind of sex - certainly the Holy Spirit can not be present - but think of all the possibilities for demon spirits, which the Bible often associates with various animal forms. Sex with animals carries a curse (Deuteronomy 27:21).
transvestism and transexuality - Transvestism is usually men dressing in women's clothes and masturbating. Transexuality is wishing to change one's genitalia via surgery to the other sex. Deep seated insecurity and confusion is at the heart of these problems, and rebellion against the choices God made when the person was conceived. (Genesis 1:27; Deuteronomy 22:5; Romans 1:24-29; 1 Peter 4:3)
sexual abuse and rape - this is widespread, and takes many forms. (Deuteronomy 22:23; 2 Samuel 13:12-15)
All wrong touching is sexual abuse. Be careful - don't jump to conclusions as someone is telling you their story. Don't sigh with relief when it doesn't seem as bad as you had expected - it was 'only' touching. The trauma can be just as devastating. It is violation - it is rape.
sadistic and masochistic sex - bondage, it is common. Look around at the sex shops and magazines and see the paraphernalia advertised. It is totally off limits, even in marriage. It is linked with perversion and fantasy.
Peter and Heather Toth have a helpful distinction which may assist in deciding which sexual behaviours, even between husband and wife, might be risky. They contend that as the sexual act is the highest expression of physical intimacy, then any act which reduces or breaks that intimacy is suspect. For example, if we separate the components of the sex act so that they are no longer mutual, or don't involve the penis eventually entering the vagina, such as in pornography or masturbation (no partner), phone or Internet sex (not even meeting the 'partner'), oral sex (achieving climax separately without entering each other), anal sex (only gratifies one of the partners), then we are breaking intimacy.
The consequences of Ungodly Sex
interferes with relationship with God - "If I regard iniquity in my heart God will not hear me." When someone says to you, "I find difficulty in worship - I am always an onlooker and can't seem to get my worship or prayer past the ceiling," you need to look at whether there is iniquity in their hearts or sin in their sex life and sexual expression.
brings emotional disturbance - God never intended a 6 or 8 year old to have intercourse - they are not physically, emotionally or spiritually equipped for it. It brings negative affects, and emotional disturbance. It does the same for adults - sexual sin brings emotional chaos.
disrupts human relationships - If I am into sexual sin, your spirit will pick up from my spirit interference with our relationship. You might not know what it is, but you will not be comfortable, and the way you relate to me will change. Of course, such discernment will be seriously disrupted by such sin in your own life.
breaks intimacy, either by separating sex from its rightful place within relationship, or by removing the aspects which create intimacy within a relationship.
brings guilt and condemnation - the victim as well as the perpetrator of sexual sin always experiences guilt and shame.
demonisation - especially if we create ungodly soul ties. The enemy now has an established pathway into our lives, to establish a stronghold there. We can reap a harvest of evil in our lives and spirits, of lust, promiscuity, defilement and unclean spirits.
soul ties - establishing an ungodly soul tie with someone other than our partner makes us also a partner to that person's sinful activities and bondages. Why else did God in the OT sometimes decree the wiping out of a whole family or tribe just because of the sin of one man? A soul tie also links us to other partners of that person and their activities. Imagine how many soul ties are formed when a man goes with a prostitute!
Our society is obsessed with sex and sexuality. Image, advertising, the media - what we look like and wear, the music that is in or out, the movies that we watch and books we read. The current popularity of 'reality TV' is an expression of this - at its heart is voyeurism. Our personality and worth are even judged sexually.
There are also other ways in which sex can become an obsession or an addiction. Such obsessions and compulsions are a big topic, and you will encounter them in ministry, so you should be aware of them, but we don't have time to go into them here.
Abusers and the Abused
In prayer ministry you will meet many people - often, but not always, women - who have been sexually abused. Ministry to them, including the cutting of soul ties, will be considered shortly.
However, you will also have to minister to sexual abusers. For every person abused there is also an abuser.
Who is an abuser? - Any of us! Only 10% of them are mentally ill. They are often charming and intelligent, but also emotionally immature and socially inadequate. They are often involved in service-oriented occupations and ministries - counsellors, pastors, prayer-ministers. They have a conscious desire to help others but are unconsciously motivated by a self-centred need to find well-being and fulfillment through those to whom they minister.
Generally, early in life an abuser was:
unwanted, not valued
not nurtured by parents; physically or emotionally neglected
physically, emotionally or sexually abused
torn apart by criticism or smothered by possessiveness and control.
The child responds by becoming strongly performance oriented but with a sense of futility. They believe it is dangerous to express true feelings and thus suppress them. They build defensive walls, since the family is not a safe place.
Later in life they become angry and judgmental, manipulative, fearing intimacy, and have a tremendous need to punish or defile, and a need for gratification which can not be satisfied.
Ministry to abusers and the abused
Abusers are very damaged people - and in need of much love, acceptance, affirmation, and healing - not rejection. They need intercession and forgiveness. However - their sin should not be minimised or condoned. There are reasons for it, but not excuses. They need unconditional love, and loving confrontation. It may seem a cliched excuse, but it is true that most abusers have been themselves abused in some way, and their sin is a poor response to this.
When ministering to someone who has been abused NEVER lay any blame on them for that abuse. It may help them forgive if they can understand where the abuser was coming from, but don't minimise the crime. It is not the abused person's fault that they were abused. They have enough false and true guilt to cope with without this being implied to them.
A key is to go slowly, be gentle, and let the Holy Spirit do the work. It is too easy to reabuse a wounded person you are trying to help.
Most of the sexually abused you will minister to are women (Unfortunately men don't often present for ministry, though there are many abused among them.) In addition to all of the usual things that are done in healing ministry, it is often helpful to do two more things:
Have a safe man present who can stand in for men in general, express his sorrow and repentance for the way men all too often act, and ask for forgiveness. This is often the first time in such a woman's life that a man has ever become vulnerable to her.
As you declare her healing and cleansing, bless some water and ask the woman to drink it as a physical expression of the cleansing that is taking place within her body. Apart from helping her to feel clean, it also allows the Holy Spirit an opportunity to stir up and chase out any demons that still believe they have rights related to the abuse.
The Bible gives no clear teaching about masturbation. Leviticus 15:16 is really about a man being spiritually unclean after ejaculation, similarly to a woman being unclean following menstruation - but says nothing about sin. The story of Onan and his brother is not about masturbating, but about Onan's sin of not allowing his brother to have children.
However, masturbation is certainly sinful under certain conditions.
when it is accompanied by fantasy
when the euphoria following climax becomes a substitute for prayer, thus becoming an idol.
when it is a substitute for godly sex within a marriage relationship and so a breaking of intimacy.
The first two of these conditions can turn masturbation into an addiction and a basis for future and more serious sexual dysfunction. The third is a robbing of the partner, unless normal intercourse is for some reason impossible or undesirable in which case partners might agree to stimulate each other instead.
recognising roots and circumstances which created the addiction, and forgiving appropriate persons, including oneself
lessening the struggle in the flesh - the trying to overcome it by will power which only increases the problem. - by releasing the struggle to the Lord, and beginning to sublimate energies to other outlets
deliverance, if necessary. Sometimes a spirit of sexual lust or perversion must be dealt with, but always in conjunction with healing the roots.
All counsellors and prayer ministers are at risk of sexual failure. Francis Frangipane says, "There are respectable men who love God and seek to serve him, yet secretly in their hearts they are prisoners of Jezebel. Even now they are deeply ashamed of their bondage to pornography, and they can barely control their desires for women. Ask them to pray and their spirits are awash with guilt and shame. Their prayers are but the whimpers of Jezebel's eunuchs." (The three battlegrounds, p 100)
White, in Eros redeemed: breaking the stranglhold of sexual sin, says that sexual sin may be the church's greatest obstacle to effective evangelism. (p 18)
We are under judgment.
Spiritual adultery is a danger for every person who is in a helping role. It involves giving to another person anything of yourself that rightfully belongs only to your spouse. This can be your heart, your confidences, your hopes and dreams, or your pain and shame.
A real danger is that spiritual adultery very often leads to physical adultery. John Sandford, in Why some Christians commit adultery, pp 8-12, explains very clearly the way this happens, and this book should be read by anyone involved in counselling, pastoral or healing ministry.
Restoration of God's love order
Apply God's words in love. Without love and acceptance we increase condemnation. Who is without guilt? "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it" (James 2:10).
Confess sin, acknowledging personal responsibility.
Look for the roots. People involved in sexual sin are usually trying to compensate for rejections and hurts of the past - seeking love in all the wrong places, in all the wrong ways, with all the wrong people.
Share the way of inner healing - forgiving, receiving forgiveness, meeting Jesus in sinful and painful situations, cutting soul ties, renouncing vows, curses, rejecting lies believed, receiving and believing God's love and words of truth.
Speak deliverance in Jesus' name, casting out all unclean spirits and other demonic spirits.
Arrange follow up with Christian fellowship, counselling and spiritual discipling.
"Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits - who forgives all MY sins and heals all MY diseases, who redeems MY life from the pit and crowns ME with love and compassion, who satisfies MY desires with good things so that MY youth is renewed like the eagle's". (Psalm 103:1-5).
Cutting Soul Ties
Jesus is the only one who breaks ungodly soul ties - do it in his name. Call back to the person anything of them in the other person, and send back to the other person anything in them. Some people actually have experienced in ministry the feeling of parts of their scattered spirit coming back to them. One said, "I've never felt so together before!"
Soul ties are not only formed through sexual relationships. There are many other forms of soul tie, both Godly and ungodly - such as between friends, siblings and other family relationships, work and business colleagues, members of organisations (especially occult ones such as the Freemasons), and so on. A good example of a healthy soul tie is the strong bond between David and Jonathan. "Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself" (1 Samuel 18:1). An ungodly soul tie developed between David and Saul, who tried to dominate, control and eventually kill David.
Dealing with each of these soul ties may be carried out in a similar way, substituting confession and renunciation of the different sins as appropriate.
Ungodly soul ties create a bonding which is empowered by Satan and must be broken if the person is to be set free. In Jesus' name we have the power and authority to break bondages that Satan has put upon us and others, through these ungodly relationships. (Matthew 18:18; Luke 10:18,19)
Normally soul ties are not formed overnight and the longer and stronger the tie, the more important it is to sever it. Although it is always best to have someone pray with you, ties can also be broken by the person themselves.
Repent and confess personal responsibility and sin in any ungodly relationship.
Forgive those who have manipulated or dominated us - unforgiveness maintains and reinforces the soul tie.
Renounce any ungodly vows, promises or pacts made within that relationship.
By faith sever all ungodly ties in Jesus' name - just as an infant must have his umbilical cord cut if he is to survive in the natural realm of life, so the Christian must have his soul ties severed, so he can survive and grow in the spiritual realm.
There may be need for deliverance, prayer for healing of the human spirit. There may also be a need for Godly confrontation and ending of any ongoing ungodly relationship.
Ask Jesus to close any doors left open to the occult realm, and to hide the person again in God.
"I now make a voluntary decision to break all ungodly soul ties that have been established between XXX and myself. In Jesus' name I sever that bonding by faith, and cancel all legal rights held by Satan. I ask You, Father, to take away all that XXX has placed upon me of his/her personality and control, please restore to me all that I have given away of myself. Cleanse me from all defilement and guilt received through the relationship. In Jesus' name I speak to every demonic spirit that has taken advantage of this ungodly soul tie and command you to go. I release XXX to You Lord and place the cross of Christ between us. I choose now to surrender myself to You, my only Lord and Saviour."
"We have escaped like a bird out of the fowler's snare; the snare has been broken and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth". (Psalm 124:7,8).
Bibliography and Suggested Reading
- Comiskey, Andrew, Pursuing sexual wholeness. Lake Mary, FL: Charisma House, 1989.
- Frangipane, Francis, The three battlegrounds. Cedar Rapids, IA: Advancing Church Publications, 1989.
- Horrobin, Peter, Equipped for a purpose seminar video set. Melb: Health Care in Christ and Wholeness Through Christ Ministries (Australia), 1998.
- Horrobin, Peter, Healing through deliverance, volume 2: the practical ministry. Tonbridge, Kent: Sovereign World, 1995.
- Payne, Leanne, Crisis in masculinity. Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1985.
- Payne, Leanne, The broken image: restoring sexual wholeness through healing prayer. Eastbourne: Kingsway Publications, 1981.
- Sandford, John, Why some Christians commit adultery. Tulsa, OK, Victory House, 1989.
- Sandford, John and Paula, Restoring the Christian family. Tulsa, Oklahoma: Victory House, 1979.
- Sandford, John and Paula, The transformation of the inner man. Tulsa, OK, Victory House, 1982.
- Sandford, Paula, Healing victims of sexual abuse. Tulsa, Oklahoma: Victory House, 1988.
- Toth, Peter and Heather, Level 2 healing conference information sheets. Elanora, QLD: Anazao Counselling Australia, 2004.
- White, John, Eros redeemed: breaking the stranglehold of sexual sin. Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 1993.