“Sure!  I’ll tell her about my porn addiction!  Sounds great!”


“P…p…p-o-r-n?  Umm…yea, some guys look at that stuff…but ummm…”

That’s more like it, right?

I know all about the shame. The worry that the computer will freeze when she comes around the corner. The fear that you won’t hear them coming down the stairs. I remember. What about not being able to look an extremely attractive girl in the eyes, for fear of becoming too “excited”? What about the fear of looking your own mother or pastor in the eyes, for fear that they just “know”?  I’ve been there.

I was engaged once before.  She didn’t know.  Her family was too “clean”. Too polished. Her Dad was a deacon, they lived in the Midwest and they owned a BMW.  She wouldn’t understand the white-trash Alabama boy who looked at that filth.

I couldn’t tell her.

I didn’t tell her.

And when she gave the ring back and went home, I could only blame my own secrets for pushing her away.

Fast forward a while.

Lindsey and I were on our first date.  We had been friends for nearly five years.  I took her to the park, the big pretty one with the three-mile track.  I was brutally honest that night.  As we walked, I told her about the real me.  Not the guy she thought she knew back in Bible college, who preached and taught and led worship.  Not the guy she did the puppet ministry with for the kids in the inner-city.  The real me. The perv. The masturbator. The porn addict.  I told her, “No, really, I was hooked since I was 12.”  I told her about the real me, who would take magazines with me in high school and REALLY do some extracurricular activity during third block.  And as she reached over and held my hand, I knew it was all going to be alright.

She confided in me that she wasn’t the same girl I knew back in Bible college either. She’d lived a little. She’d been reading crazy books about radical grace and healing and love that can overcome any struggle. The fact that she didn’t respond with the judging, knowing glance that I expected, opened me up even more. Her acceptance of me and hope in Jesus Christ that day healed me. And it still does. Knowing that she is my best friend, that she accepted me at my very worst, and that she wasn’t embarrassed by my mistakes or intimidated by my honesty allowed me to draw closer to God and to my (now) wife.

Two relationships. Same guy. Very different experiences. And the uncommon denominator? Honesty.

I encourage you guys, stand up. Speak up. Tell her you need help. No woman who has experienced the radical grace of Jesus Christ and had a true life-change can turn away a man asking for help and healing.

And I encourage you ladies: Instead of a face of disgust, show him a heart of grace. Instead of turning away, open yourself up to Jesus Christ. Let Christ respond through you. Don’t excuse his issues, but walk with him to the only One that can make it all better.

Honesty and true love are two great steps in the healing process.

Actively Training To Imitate Christ,

Steve A.