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What Can I Do to Help My Friend Who Struggles Sexually?

April 5, 2010

Many of us are in supportive roles for those who are struggling sexually.  You might be a pastor, a counselor, a spouse, or a concerned friend.  You are close to someone who has confessed their sexual sin to you and your friend needs your help. 

What can you DO that will help your friend who struggles sexually? – TODAY

What can SAY that will help your friend who struggles sexually? – TUESDAY

What should I NOT SAY to my friend who struggles sexually?  – WEDNESDAY


Knowing what to say and how to respond can be challenging.  You may have known your friend in one context, and now you know him in a totally new context.  His “big reveal” might be shocking news to you too.  You are probably learning of his secret behaviors and of their deep struggles for the first time.  His behaviors and second life might be a surprise to you.  Or he may have even sinned against you and broken you trust. 

Those who struggle sexually usually have a thin support structure.  Their friends have left them instead of pursued them.  They have been labeled and rejected.  Their friends might have been so hurt by their revelation that they don’t want to be close any more. 

Yet the sexual struggler needs help.  He is sick, broken and hurting. 

If your friend was in a car accident, you would speed to the hospital to be by his side.  You would stay for hours at the hospital to pray, visit with family, and hurt with him.  You would be focused on his pain and his recovery.  You would drop other things that were important to you so you could be a “real friend” to him.  Wouldn’t you? 

We have to treat our friend with sexual struggles like we do a car accident victim.  Your friend just had a major traumatic event happen.  He confessed to a secret life.  His spouse and kids may be on the way out.  He is probably feeling hopeless or suicidal.  You have an opportunity to rush to his side and be a real friend.  God has put your friend in your circle of influence for a reason and for special circumstances like this. 

Even though you are not a trained expert in sexual addiction, you can still help.  You may not be the “skilled help” that he needs, but you can be a support and someone who “walks in the mud” with him.

Your friend’s health and recovery is not up to you.  That should take the pressure off you.  All of Heaven and your friend’s future is not riding on what you do or don’t do.  Your job is to comfort, encourage, believe in his potential to recover, and support.  Your job is to get in the mud with him, get dirty, and help him out in the best way you can.

Here are some suggestions on how to be a “presence” in your friend’s life, things you can say, and things you should avoid saying. 


1.  Be a regular presence – Your words are not as important as your presence.  Stand by your friend’s side.  Visit with him often.  Take him out to lunch.  Spend time with your friend who is freshly working through the effects of the trauma. 


2.  Give your friend a hug – Your physical presence is huge.  A simple thing like a hug communicates your care.  It reinforces a sense of brotherhood or sisterhood.  It also helps your friend know you are pursuing him instead of keeping your distance. 

3.  Pray for your friend – Since your friend’s sexual struggle is beyond his ability (and yours) to fix, take it to God.  Whether you know it or not, you will be the hands, arms and mouth of God as you spend time with your friend. 

Leave a comment on the blog

  1. Daria permalink
    April 5, 2010 1:40 pm

    How do I gethelp for myself? I’ve alenated everyone. Noone could possibly understand and because I’m 43 and single everone either thinks I’m a slut or lesbian because I habe to keep my life so secretive. I’m drowning infear and insecurity. Shame and disgust are the only things fill the void which once used to be a soul.

    • April 6, 2010 8:10 pm

      Hi Daria,

      Thanks so much for commenting on the blog.

      It sounds like you are in such great pain. We want you to know that your situation is not hopeless. There are so many like you that are suffering and hurting.

      It has taken a lot of years for those of us with sexual struggles to get where we are. Change, healing, and purity doesn’t happen overnight, but it can happen. It has happened to us, many others, and can happen to you.

      We just want you to know that we care. Even though we’ve never met, we hurt with those who email us. We pray for those who email us.

      Some questions:
      Q: Do you have anyone you can talk to or reach out to?
      Q: Do you have a counselor, minister, or close friend who can support you during this difficult time?

      Q: What is your story? We want to know how to assist you further?

      We are praying for you right now!

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