Side note, if you're sitting here and you're listening, being like have really done it, let me just remind you, God is in the business of redemption. Welcome back to Unfiltered Faith podcast with Meredith and stores. And today, we have a very special guest who's been on our podcast before. This is Riley. Hi, everyone. Glad to be back. How do you say your last name? So, Sewel. OK, Riluzole, Meredith and Riley did episode.
You guys can look back in the episodes on porn, masturbation, sex. So this is going to be like the continuation, but I'm in it now, so that's good.
I guess a part of what I struggled with in the past was definitely in high school. As you guys know, back in the previous episode, they talked about when we lost her virginity and I was like pressured. I felt like because everyone in my school was like having sex and everyone was hooking up with each other up until college. I kind of was around the wrong crowd and like partying and around people that were just so condoning to sex that eventually I gave in and like gave it up at 17, I believe, and I'm 21 now.
So after that happened, initially, I did like start to not really struggle with sex, but I was, you know, just OK with it. Didn't really think that it was a big deal and like masturbation to like it was normal for me. It was normal. And like, I felt like I was also exposed to porn at a very young age. You guys are almost as young as 14. And so I was I knew what sex was.
I just never my mom was really good at teaching me to stay pure. So that's why I didn't do that in high school. But when it came down to college, I was like really rebellious. And I decided to. And honestly, if you're just early in college and you're like skeptical and you're around these people, because once you get into college, especially if it's a non Christian university, hookup culture is so normal. You guys, I used to go to college parties even like two years ago or a year ago.
And just it's normal. And it's just like you can go to a party and leave with a guy hook up and and no feelings attached, no nothing. And you could do that the next day. But there is. There is for sure. So like, if you're a young girl right now and you're just freshly in college, like my advice to you is really just and you're walking with God, just really keep praying in the spirit. Keep praying for really good community.
And to add to that, it's kind of like the image I got is like fruit that is that is moldy. You know, if you put one moldy fruit in the bowl of fruit, all of the fruit become moldy. And that's the same power that we have with friendships. We so often think, oh, it's OK, I can hang out with anybody, but they are going to point in the direction that they that they're walking on. Is the direction you're now going to join?
Yeah, because if the same, if you join them as a friend, you're going to walk down there past and be more likely to do what they do, which means you're going to their mold is going to get dumped into your mold.
You know, it's funny because I feel like if I was actually friends with, like you and Meredith when I first got out of high school, I would be completely different. I think it's because I was I newly came out of high school and into college that I just happened to be a part of just run groups that did just and continuously talk about sex all the time. That's like what was a part of our conversations.
Every conversation was about, like, what guy you're talking to, like what dating, how the sex was like. And I was like, I don't know what you what you talk about when you focus on and where you put your energy on, like that's what's going to be on your mind all the time. So if your friends are talking about sex and that's constantly like what's what you're even watching because like we know movies and television shows, like that's the theme of most stuff nowadays.
And we live in a world that is obsessed with instant gratification. And yet God was. But Jesus was countercultural. The things he did, the way he lived, how he had friendships, was completely countercultural.
And so as cool as Christians when we surrounded by people who are obsessed with sex and hooking up and like reality is I can have sex with somebody tonight or I could watch somebody having sex with somebody tonight. But yet Jesus calls us to be countercultural, which is never the path that's easy. The wider path is the one where you go and have sex. With me tonight, the naturopath is the one where you're having to work with Jesus. And I remember this reading this quote the other day and it said, you know, you know that your faith is developing when your path gets nearer and when we get stricter, like even for me, you know, last time I shared a little bit in the last podcast about masturbation, as I have, I've had to decide, you know what I can't watch I cannot watch a movie with porn in it because my mind's going to start activating it.
And I can't watch as many rom coms or there's just or I can't talk about sex all the time or like have super passionate make out sessions because I quickly want to do that. And the thing is, my path is getting more narrow as I am pursuing purity, which. On a side note, if you're sitting here and you're listening, being like have really done it, let me just remind you, God is in the business of redemption with a simple prayer and with just with a simple prayer, God can literally take all that dirt that you feel off you and make you feel as clean as snow.
And I remember that my mom showed tears, showed me the story right before I when I was driving here. And she said, hey, you know, I I had had sex with tons of people, had had a really wild pass. And I met your dad and my and your dad was a twenty eight year old virgin and he hadn't even masturbated. And he sits there and and my mom is like, I need a shower with my mom or I need to start.
My mom said, I need to share with him all the stories of the things that I've done. And he didn't know. So she sits there and she's like, I had sex with this many people. I've been drunk, like, I've done this, this, this. And he starts to cry. And my mom's like, oh, my gosh, he's crying because he's devastated that he's fallen in love with a woman who's in power. And my dad says, no, I'm crying because this is what Jesus would do.
And those moments that you felt the shame and the guilt of the decisions that you made, Jesus sat at the end of your bed and cried. And the thing is, you are just as pure as I am. And let's pray about it right now. And, you know, you deserve that kind of love. And the best sort of source of love is Jesus. And with a simple prayer, he can redeem you. And God is so much more of a god of an inside out like he looks at your heart before he looks at your actions.
And so you put so much weight. We live in a world that's obsessed with sex. And so you put so much weight on the actions that you've done. And God's like, I will forgive you with one prayer will redeeming with one prayer and shame, self-hatred and punishment continue to like, activate and accelerate the pain cycle.
So if you're sitting there thinking and you're you're hating on yourself for the sins of your past or you're putting the shame because last night you watch pornography or last night you had sex with that guy or you masturbate or whatever it is, you're sitting there the next morning and you're feeling the shame and that shame is going to make you want to do it again because it's just like it accelerates the cycle. And so I just want to encourage you that, like, the enemy tries to dress us in shame, but Jesus tries to dress us in peace and you get the choice tonight.
What blanket are you going to wear before you fall asleep? Is it going to be the blanket of peace or is it going to be the blanket of shame?
That's good. I wrote this down. The devil knows your name calls you by your sin, God knows your sins, but calls you by your name. Oh, that's so that's so good.
And to even add onto that, the world perverts our sexuality. The shame, the church often shames it, but the kingdom celebrates it.
And, you know, the thing is the reason why you do these things and you and you fall into these traps. God has such compassion on that. He, like, designed you to with a sex drive and that. So if you go back and if you slow yourself down and realize the reason I wanting to have sex with him or do or watch pornography is because God made me and designed me with a sex drive. And when we start to see the beauty in it, the darkness can no longer when we start to see the light, we turn on the light that darkness can no longer.
So if you declare of yourself, you know what, I did that last night, but God has given me a sex drive and it's beautiful and that's a good part of me and start to declare the beauty and the grace and your brain will start to believe it because words have blood can bring life or death.
Yes, yes. Help tip. If you are horny, that means you're healthy. When I was really sick, both of my sex drive, I had no sex drive. All I cared about was moving out literally when I weighed because I was so underweight and my hair was falling out and like everything was bad. I had no desire for sex and I was kind of happy with it. Well, I lost my shirt. I was like, I'm not a woman.
I have no obligation. Like, no period. My hair is falling out. Know, I was like, I know I was. Yeah, it was the temptation was lust there because physically I didn't have it. Why would the devil want to touch me spiritually, you know, but now that I'm healthy and my hormones are well I'm like Lord Jesus. But there's this verse, it's walking a spirit and you shall not fulfill the last of the flesh.
Galatians five sixteen. And I was just reading this article and she was saying like her hormones are driving her crazy. It felt like I was so relating to that and she literally just cried out to God and journal and was like God. Like what you said, God, thank you for my hormones like but help me through this fight. Tell me not to get tempted because our relationship is so much better than giving into the temptation of lust.
So I was like and I want to stop there for a second and talk about like, so what do you do if you're sitting there and all of a sudden you feel ashamed, you are struggling to get the grace and accept the grace.
How do you respond? And so here are some just practical tips, which, you know, some some of you messaged us after the last episode being like, OK, so I'm I'm watching porn and our master bedroom. What do I do? Which let me say, first of all, 80 percent of of change is awareness and and the rest is you actually physically doing something different. And so the fact that you're even aware of it and you want change for it.
Well. Like, you should be so, so proud of yourself that you're even at that point, we were like, help me. Like the moment you yell out for help and like I always say, like confession is the first step to healing. And so that would be my first number one tip to you is like, I know that this is vulnerable and hard and you're going to be like, no, I don't want to do this. Tell somebody, because when we tell somebody, when we confess, we bring it instantly into the light.
And, you know, real talk. The other day I was like really, really wanted to masturbate. And I was like. He has to get up and I got to taste in my apartment and I was like, Emily, Emily, what's going on? And she's like, I called my best friend. And I know that's awkward as heck, but I was like, Tattie, I really want to do this. And she because I instantly brought her into it and I could have either like I could have either done it or called my best friend and she was like, go for a run.
I was like, OK, I'm going for a run. Because the reason why you masturbate is because you want that happy shot. And the thing is, we want more happy shots when we are in this world, because when you get an orgasm, it releases serotonin like it releases these good feelings and erases bonding chemicals. So you feel good, you don't feel alone. And and so we want that happy shot. And that's why I wanted to do it.
But I can find that happiness and that source of intimacy and a different in somewhere else. So I went for a run because that releases happy shots and I called my best friend. And so I just want to encourage you that when you feel like that also this gave me a sense of hope. Urges and cravings will only last for a typical from 20 to 30 minutes. So if you can bypass the first 20 to 30 minutes, you got this.
I was thinking I was like, this shall pass. Yeah, I think it will with anything you're being tempted to do. And I woke up because then I woke up the next day when I was feeling the urge and I was like tossing and turning in bed. And I woke up and I was like, I I'm fine. The next day came in, I was like, yeah, I'm into. And another practical tip is like, journal about it.
I remember really part of my my journey was when I started to actually physically write it down and realized that that God loved me no matter what I do, that I journal. Because the thing is, you have to realize you have to slow yourself down, because so many times we're on autopilot, though, all of a sudden, like, I want to do it and then we do it, but we have to slow ourselves down and be like, hey, what was I feeling?
Because often we masturbate or we watch porn or we have sex to get that happy shot because maybe we were feeling depressed or anxious or lonely that there's something beforehand that was triggering us, putting us in the cycle of pain and shame. And then that's what's making us want to respond by dragging every action starts with the thought. Yeah, yeah. And not every thought is your own take captive. You thought that's why it's so good to be able to, like you said, have awareness because people then like porn or masturbation is part of a routine at night.
Yeah. Because they're so in the flow of the emotion and like the habit. And you can break it because you gain that awareness and you can retrain your mind in the way, the way you think, even just through the word like it says, renew your mind, do not conform to the pattern of this world, then you're transformed by the renewing of your mind.
So I remember just like doing it and masturbating and being like I feel so much shame and guilt. And I felt horrible about myself. Like I didn't like myself in that moment. And I, I remember, OK, I have to declare God's love over myself. And so what I would say and what I would recommend for you to say is this one simple line. If you have a journal, write it down. God has never loved me more than this moment.
God has never loved you more than this moment.
That moment. Because I did you did it. You shame and guilt can stand there because God's grace is covering you.
And yo, let's let's be honest, because the devil really hasn't changed his tactics. The reason why what happened in the garden was shame. He's been he's been using shame since the beginning of time. But love's been God's tactic and God's response. Wow, leads you to post on that note was so good, I was like. Mind blown, that's why I forgot Riley Silva that he gave his one and only son. Mm hmm. So it's been reconciled back to God like there's no greater love than what God did.
Like Jesus came as a man.
So if God in the flesh he came to Earth, he poured out his love. He knew no sin and became sin so that we might become the righteousness of God.
The Second Corinthians five twenty, anything so good.
But and also, I wanted to say I love how you said to write it out in a journal because I'm reading this book by Dr. Caroline MIF and she says, the moment you take your thoughts out onto paper, you write it down. There's there's a trillion things going on. Physiology like yo, yo, yo, yo, life and in your brain and in your mind, write your own paper. The thought is out.
You're the maybe the tormented thought, whatever, the chaotic like if you don't have a friend to call or someone to tell it to. Because I know when I was struggling with bullying, even if you're. Yeah. You know, tormenting the moment I told someone is when I was bringing light to the darkness and it was exposed because the devil wants to keep you isolated.
He wants to keep you in shame. He wants you to not tell anyone so you can keep living that way. But you need to write. You need to tell someone and journal it out and get into community, get to talk to someone you trust, talk to someone that you know that will actually help you and not bring you even more shame and bring you down. Well, so be very careful also with who you speak to and who with what you share with them.
And just really. Yeah. And if even if you're struggling out in your public, what I do, even as I write in my phone notes and then I look over it and then I write in my actual journal so it doesn't stay stuck in my brain. I want to make this remark just because I think it's kind of going to back what you said about be careful who you tell these things to you. Like even if they are your family member, if you get the feeling like they will shame you or make you feel bad, don't tell that person.
And so my with my story, when I had no basically no friends to tell when I was going through my eating disorder, I told one of our guy friends, just shut up. What are you doing? I'm just going to come in. That's cool. You know, we're talking about masturbation. Yes. So just make sure the person you're opening up to is someone that you can trust in, someone that is going to show you the grace of God instead of shaming you and making you feel bad, because that's just going to, like Riley said, accelerate the pain cycle.
And that's definitely what happened to me as I open up to someone that just made me feel horrible about it. And I just don't want that to happen to anyone else, to just confide in someone that is just a very, like, supportive friend, someone that, you know, will show love, that will just essentially be like Jesus.
Yeah. And just show love and grace and compassion and super understanding instead of like. What do you mean? You know, like just putting you down. And when you pick your accountability partner, ask them to ask you why question. So why did you decide to do that? Why were you feeling like that? Because like I said earlier, self awareness is key for us to overcome an addiction or habit or an action. And so when we become self aware, that's going to that's going to help us slow down and realize why we feeling like that.
Like why do I typically masturbate when I've been feeling rejected? And often, you know, that shame was rooted in something that happened a long time ago.
Child go of shame could go for years and years and years and. Yeah, and just like just stay strong and be like I will pass up this instant gratification. I will push through. Yeah. This pain or this like temptation, you know. And it's like what you said you got up and went for a jog because you substituted that with the temptation. And that's essentially like that's what how you form good habits. You substitute it. Same with food, you substitute with better food.
So you just do something that's better for you in the moment. And sometimes our brain works in the way where if I said, hey, don't think of a white elephant, you're thinking of him. And so what I mean by saying that is so often we're like, okay, I'm not going to masturbate, right? Or I'm not going to watch porn, I'm not going to have sex. And then we research harder. We focus on the not doing it.
And then our brains like not no, not only are you going to do it, but then you fall and you do it. And so instead, I'm just asking you and encouraging you to shift your direction that you're looking at slightly from the sin to God instead of looking at, oh my gosh, Riley, I need to not do this, not do this, be like God, I love you. I declare say like I said before, God, you've never loved me more than this.
A moment, so shift your direction to God, and that is often another something practical that can help you find that freedom.
Heavenly Father, I just thank you for our listeners. God, I just thank you that you love them so much and that you are washing the peace and grace over them right now as they listen like a blanket that's just going to wrap them up. God. And they choose to listen to your voice and not any other voice, not the strangest voice, but your voice that tells them that they are holy, they're righteous, and they're in right. Standing with you, God, that you no longer see our sin, that you've removed it as far as the east is from the west, that we are new Christians in you, and that there is now no condemnation for those that are in Christ and that we can come boldly to the throne of Grace every single morning.
Your mercies are new and your love for us chases us down till the ends of the earth.
And I just pray, Lord, that they they encounter you in a new way after hearing this episode, God. And that they find freedom just by looking at you. Jesus. And I ask all these things in your name. Amen. OK, Riley, where can we find you. So at Riley. So on Instagram and tick talk I also have a website riluzole dot com and I'm currently writing a book. So I'm like 200 pages in. So many publishers are out there.
Hit her up. Well, thank you guys so much for watching this episode and we'll catch you in the next one by.