Yeah, I know it’s been a minute. Some weeks, I’m pouring these out and then some weeks, it’s hard to get even one message posted on here. Please charge it to my head. I don’t know if we’ve ever really talked about all that’s on my plate, but it’s A LOT.
Anyway, what’s really crazy is that last week, I had a blog message all prepared, but then I lost my notes and so I was kinda frustrated and needed to take a breather. I think I’m ready now, so here we go.
Last week, while responding to some emails, I caught an old episode of “One Tree Hill”—a show I rarely watch, by the way—and the entire story was about one of the main characters (the jerkish brother with the dark hair) trying to maintain a relationship with a girl who wasn’t ready to have sex and so he turned to pornography. Understandably, she was wounded…threatened even, by the fact that she couldn’t and wouldn’t do or be like “those girls”. His rationale was that it was “harmless” and was what he needed to do so that he wouldn’t “cheat”.
Now, I’m sure you’re assuming that this is going to be some redundant message on why porn is bad and how ridiculous it is for him to think that way. It’s not. I actually believe that if you are on this site, you kinda already know that.
Actually, this message isn’t for the person who’s using porn to pacify their urges (I’ll get to you later), but for the person in the relationship with that person.
As someone who battled with a porn addiction (in the sense that it was something I craved and resorted to when I was stressed, bored or trying to avoid “real sex”), I can tell you first hand that no matter how disgusting it may be to you or how much you might “not get it”, you can’t top our feelings about having such a vile thing be such an intimate part of us. Of course, I don’t want to lump all of those struggling with porn into the same category, but I will tell you from my personal experience (I Timothy 4:14-16—AMP), that there is nothing like being so drawn to something, to get a release and then immediately find the very thing that aroused me to be utterly, totally and completely disgusting, nauseating, disturbing…shameful.
Porn is such a love…well lust/hate relationship. When I battled with it, and there are still moments when I am tempted to use it as a distraction, it wasn’t so much that I wanted it, so much as I felt like I needed it. The truth (John 8:32) is that no matter how you see it or use it, sex—in all of its myriad of forms—is a powerful thing. When it’s under God’s anointing, it can bless you. When it’s under the Enemy’s trickery, it can destroy you…but either way, it doesn’t make its hold on you any less real, and on some levels, any less powerful.
Now hear me out. Yes, God is more powerful than Satan and when we surrender to him, we can overpower the Enemy (I John 4:4), but there is so much fear, so much degradation, so much shame around porn that those of us who battle with it tend to isolate ourselves. Yeah, I know it looks like it’s because we’re trying to “sneak a peak”, but a big part of the reality is that we’re afraid that if you see us…all of us…especially the “dirty” side, that you will not love us. On top of that, because we know how creepy and detestable it is, we don’t want to bring you in on it and so…we isolate ourselves believing that we got into it alone and so we deserve to get out of it alone; if we get out of it at all.
THAT IS HOW THE ENEMY KEEPS US TRAPPED.
A scripture that I am holding very near and dear to my heart right now is James 5:16, “CONFESS your faults one to another that you may be HEALED.” To confess, we need outlets. The Godhead, first, but often those around us as well. According to scripture, that is a huge part of the healing process.
A story about Christ’s life, while on this earth, that really moves me right now, is the woman with the alabaster box who, although she had committed many sins and, according to the legalists (Pharisees), should have been condemned for it (oh on the contrary—Romans 8:1), actually washed the feet of Christ with her tears. Do you know what my absolute favorite part of that story is? How Christ responded to the very people who said she didn’t deserve the love and acceptance that Christ was showing her in spite of herself:
“Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, ‘This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.’
And Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’
So he said, ‘Teacher, say it.’
‘There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them
both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?’
Simon answered and said, ‘I suppose the one whom he forgave more.’
And He said to him, ‘You have rightly judged.’
Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman?
I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has
washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.’
Then He said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’
And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, ‘Who is this who even forgives sins?’
Then He said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.'”—Luke 7:39-50 (NKJV)
Now, trust me. I am fully aware of the fact that it was Christ, a perfect and sinless man, who said this and none of us are him. Nor am I implying that if you are in a relationship with a porn addict that you should be a doormat and simply let him/her—and their addiction walk all over you. After all, you should love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:30-31) and guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23). But what I am making the plead for is to look beyond the sexuality of the issue and into the torment that it brings to us.
As a survivor of sexual sin (and as someone who is doing her darnest not to relapse), one thing that I am really coming to see is that it’s not so much the sin, but the consequences of them that keep us from the Lord. The Word says that if we confess our sins, God is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us (I John 1:9). The Enemy knows this and so what does he try and get us to do? Sin, then isolate. In other words, sin and not confess so that we can be forgiven…so that we will stay in the cycle of sin, brokenness and isolation.
There is something really beautiful (Ecclesiastes 3:11) about serving a Savior who believes that those who have been forgiven much will love much…and that those who have been forgiven little will love little. I think it’s because Christ knows that in acceptance, in spite of being sinful (WHICH WE ALL ARE, BY THE WAY—I John 1:10), there is freedom; to know the truth that no matter what, someone will love us…it’s liberating! And the truth is, some of us will only see Christ’s love through those around us…for some of us, it’s the acceptance of what we can see (you) that will point us to having a faith in something that we can’t see (God).
Again, you have to go to the Father about how to handle your personal situation, but I am hoping that this paints another side of the porn picture. Porn addicts who have a knowledge of God are not doing it for kicks…they have a stronghold that is keeping them bound. Trust me, we already hate ourselves more than you do for how it is affecting our lives, but as someone who has overcome a lot of my own sexual drama, I will tell you the one thing that is stronger than the addiction was…
That is love. (I Corinthians 13)
On behalf of us all, please love on us, in spite of us. You’d be amazed what it can do–in God’s way…in God’s time (Acts 1:7—Message).
…and what it can lead us to…and point us away from.