There is an epidemic sweeping across our world. It’s targeting our young people, but the truth is that every single person is vulnerable to it. You won’t be hearing about it on the news anytime soon. There is no vaccine or medication to protect us from it. It’s infiltrating our homes and leaving behind sickness and even spiritual death. Pornography is ripping apart our families one quick high after another and almost no one is talking about it.
The truth is I don’t like to talk about this topic. In fact, I used to literally feel sick to my stomach talking about it. But I’ve been so overwhelmed by pornography’s impact on our world that I cannot keep silent about it any longer.
Take a look at some of these statistics. They are STAGGERING:
- 11 years old - the average age of first porn exposure
- 12-17 year olds - The largest consumer of internet pornography
- 90% of 8-16 year olds have viewed porn online (mostly while doing homework)
- 20% of men access pornography at work
- 40 MILLION U.S. adults regularly visit pornography sites
- 47% of Christians said pornography was a MAJOR problem in their home
- 17% of all woman struggle with pornography addiction
- 1 of 3 visitors on porn sites is a woman
- The porn industry brings in 57 billion dollars worldwide. (To put this in perspective, porn revenue is larger than all the combined revenues of professional football, baseball and basketball franchises.)
- Child pornography generates 3 billion dollars annually
- Source: http://www.mykidsbrowser.com/pornography_stats.php
If this doesn’t make your heart sink, I don’t know what does. You see, these statistics admit the harsh reality of the world we live in and unfortunately, we as Christians are not exempt: porn has been, is, or will be something that will affect your marriage or your family.
It was only a few months before our wedding that it happened to me.
One evening, while spending time together, my husband (fiancé at the time) confessed to me that he was struggling with a porn addiction and had been since he was in 8th grade.
My heart stopped and my stomach turned sick.
I was devastated.
In the course of the next few hours my world fell apart. Everything I believed about our relationship felt like a lie; I felt betrayed. I felt like a scum had just covered our wonder relationship and tainted the entire thing. Somehow that I night, I remember hugging my fiancé (who was overwrought with guilt) and telling him that I still loved him and forgave him.
The next few months were a whirlwind. After a few weeks of depression, followed by a new resolve not to let Satan destroy the relationship God had given us, I laid out the ultimatum that if it ever happened again, he would lose me, no questions asked. He met with our pastor who was doing premarital classes at the time. We prayed, we cried, we kept walking together and strangely enough, I felt overwhelmingly confident that God didn’t want me to call off our wedding.
And now here I am, quite a few years later and overwhelmed by a more amazing marriage than I could have ever imagined possible. I seriously can say that, thanks to the redemption of Jesus, my husband is one of the most incredible Christian men I have ever met.
I’d be lying if I told you that first year or two after that night in my apartment were easy. They were some of the most challenging of my life. But starting that night, God pushed my husband to do something he had needed to do for a long time: confess what was done in darkness and bring it to light.
But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” - Ephesians 5:11-14
With that confession came a new freedom and the start of a brand new lifestyle for us. You see, Satan loves to keep us alone and struggling; broken, with no way of escape. The hard truth is, without the power of Jesus Christ in our lives, we cannot escape the chains of sin that hold us.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. - Galatians: 5:1
Marriage is built upon truth and intimacy, even if that truth is the last thing we want to know or hear.
For the first few years, of our marriage, I struggled to believe that my husband's past had not ruined what God had intended for our sex life and our marriage. Yes, sex was great, but I couldn't help but feel sad by the thought that porn had stolen the innocence and intimacy that should have only been my husband and I’s.
But the more I learned about God, His character and what He is in the business of doing (redeeming broken people), I had a reality check.
You see the truth is that dirty scum that I’d felt come into our marriage, had actually been there all along. As two broken sinners, the perfect intimacy that was originally God’s plan was already broken. Neither of us were coming into our marriage perfect. But here is what is crazy awesome: God took two broken, scummy people and out of the ashes that should have been our lives and our marriage, he has brought something beautiful.
We have both found MIRACULOUS HEALING from what pornography stole from our relationship. In addition, God has added to our marriage: discipline, self control and honesty, not to mention a deep reliance on the Lord. He has not only healed the brokenness of where we were, but brought us to a whole new realm of love and intimacy with each other and, even more amazing, a deeper love and intimacy together with our amazing God!
If you, your spouse, or someone in your family is trapped in porn addiction/struggle, THERE IS HOPE in the power of Jesus Christ. I hope you will join me in the next few weeks as we continue to discuss this topic. overcoming-pornography-the-struggle, overcoming-pornography-the-moment-of-truth, overcoming-pornography-thoughts-for-the-struggling