When you consider that everything that's ever happened to us creates the prism through which we filter our lives and relationship with God, thus impacting everything to do with our lives, suddenly, this subject starts looking very pertinent.
When you think of the word "pornography," does it conjure up the image of a scruffy guy with messy hair in the basement watching porn in his underpants?
Truth is, though I get lots of requests for prayer and counsel from men who are slaves to porn, I recently had an encounter with a pretty young woman who was struggling with that same addiction.
I was already aware this problem existed among the gentler sex. I was awakened to that fact while listening to a Christian radio program on the subject many years ago and was amazed that half the callers were female teens. I'll always remember the young girl who called crying because she felt powerless to resist the lure. A Christian girl, attending her Youth Group, the kids at school started passing around a website address. Desiring to fit in, she logged on. She was hooked. Not only was she hooked but she tearfully admitted she was confused about her sexuality, having found herself aroused by lesbian photos as well as the straight stuff.
My heart ached for her. Still does.
We are sexual beings. Just look at yourself nude in a mirror. Everything about our anatomy screams reproduction. Without the God-given urges we feel, there's no other way would have ever procreated the species. Sex was God's idea (and a great one at that). Leave it to Satan to pervert those desires and turn something beautiful into something so vile and harmful.
I found some 2003 statistics on pornography and its impact on society. I'm sure they're worse now, 5 years later. Brace yourself:
Of the adults admitting to Internet sexual addiction: 10%; 28% of those are women (internet-filter-review.com).
This one impacts women more than we can imagine: More than 70% of men from 18 to 34 visit a pornographic site in a typical month (comScore Media Metrix).
Our young men, even the Christian guys, are being fed a steady diet of nudity and sexually-related lies. In real life, women don't look or act like that.
But perception is reality.
Our girls simply cannot compete.
I was doing premarital counseling with a couple when, on our last night before the wedding, I gave them the opportunity to talk about anything they wanted to get out in the open. Sure enough, the young lady bashfully admitted her fear of disappointing her husband when he saw her body in comparison to all the others he'd been exposed to all his life, if only just at store check-out counters and magazine racks.
Girls, don't be deceived. There are many wolves in sheep's clothing. Outwardly, they may show all the signs of being "good." Inwardly, well...they're a mess. You have every right to get to know his internet viewing habits and see the magazines he subscribes to. Don't be so quick to give your heart away and invite problems later. As a former Singles Pastor, my word of advice was always, "Become what you want to marry." It's the reaping and sowing factor.
Where porn's impact on marriage is concerned, at a 2003 meeting of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, two thirds of the 350 divorce lawyers who attended said the Internet played a significant role in the divorces in the past year, with excessive interest in online porn contributing to more than half such cases. Pornography had an almost non-existent role in divorce just seven or eight years ago."
STATISTICS ON WOMEN WITH PORNOGRAPHY ADDICTION
28% those admitting to sexual addiction are women (internet-filter-review.com).
That was five years ago.
34% of female readers of Today's Christian Woman's online newsletter admitted to intentionally accessing Internet porn in a recent poll and 1 out of every 6 women, including Christians, struggles with an addiction to pornography (Today’s Christian
Woman, Fall 2003). There is much deliverance required and, sadly, too few who even know what that means to minister in that way.
The impact on families and marriages is devastating, affecting women in yet another negative way as their desire to e married and raise children in a healthy, happy home are dashed. 47% percent of families said pornography is a problem in their home (Focus on the Family Poll, October 1, 2003). Add that to drug and alcohol problems, teen rebellion, overeating, domestic violence, workaholism, and everything else that goes wrong behind closed doors.
CHRISTIANS, PASTORS AND CHURCH PORNOGRAPHY STATISTICS
I hear of far too many instances of clergymen having affairs with female Members of their flock. It's no wonder. 51% of pastors say cyber-porn is a possible temptation. 37% say it is a current struggle (Christianity Today, Leadership Survey, 12/2001). In fact, over half of evangelical pastors admit viewing pornography last year.
Roger Charman of Focus on the Family's Pastoral Ministries reports that approximately 20 percent of the calls received on their Pastoral Care Line are for help with issues such as pornography and compulsive sexual behavior.
In a 2000 Christianity Today survey, 33% of clergy admitted to having visited a sexually explicit Web site. Of those who had visited a porn site, 53% had visited such sites “a few times” in the past year, and 18% visit sexually explicit sites between a couple of times a month and more than once a week. These are our Church leaders. When a woman with a problem visits a man with the same problem, looking for spiritual assistance, what else can we expect? Like spirits attract, after all.
The sheep are fairing no better than the shepherds with 29% of born again adults in the U.S. feel it is morally acceptable to view movies with explicit sexual behavior (The Barna Group).
57% of pastors say that addiction to pornography is the most sexually damaging issue to their congregation (Christians and Sex Leadership Journal Survey, March 2005).
SEEKING COMFORT IN AN UNCOMFORTABLE WORLD
We are aliens on this planet. We're not from around here and, therefore, should give up on our attempts at getting comfortable. Such attempts are futile. Nevertheless, because the cycle of pain among women - even the Christian variety - has been going on for so long, our ladies are running to things like valium, extramarital and premarital affairs, romance novels, soap operas, porn and, yes, even religion, in search of comfort. Some may even embrace timidity, manliness, or what's referred to as a "Jezebel" spirit. They're doing that INSTEAD of running to the God of all comfort; the loving Father who wants nothing more than to kiss them and make things better. They need ministry but too few ministers are equipped to minister in the required manner.
Why wouldn't a Christian run to her Christ and, instead, run into the arms of another lover like porn? The answer is obvious: She doesn't know Him. Like a man with homosexual tendencies, throwing himself into Christian service in hopes of cleansing himself and "getting better," many woman expect that sitting in a pew each time the door is opened and attending conferences, even reading Christian books, will all make their problem go away.
Only Jesus has the power to do that. Only He is our Deliverer. Freedom will come when the foul Spirit of Porn bows to His Name and no other.
I've read that the early Church would minister exorcisms to new converts before baptizing and introducing to the Christian community. Great idea!
Here are some promises from Scripture that I hope will encourage you. I followed this with a prayer you may want to print and stick by your bathroom mirror. Remember this: God isn't mad at you. Stop feeling so guilt-ridden and sin-conscious and focus on your relationship with the Redeemer. Jesus suffered for the sins of the world, including YOURS. There’s no judgment remaining, no wrath of God forthcoming, no punishment. The debt has been paid and God is satisfied. Between Calvary, which was judgment on Christ, and the Judgment Day, when all the books will be opened, there is no place for judgment in this world. Yet, most Christians cannot
seem to overcome that sin consciousness that oppresses and supresses them. The price has been paid! You've already been reconciled to God! When He sees you, He sees Jesus! You couldn't be good enough and you're not bad enough to lose your place with Him. This goodness of God is what will bring you to repentance. Don't expect that from church services or Christian books. Start down your road to recovery TODAY!
Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them.
Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid,for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
Now let your unfailing love comfort me, just as you promised me, your servant.
2 Corinthians 1:4
He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.
Thank you, Lord, for being my Comforter. I've been crying out to be comforted since the moment I was born. Now, I feel that I need your comfort - the only REAL comfort that exists - more than ever. I'm tired of trying to overcome and I'm running to YOU - the One who dwells within me who cannot do anything BUT overcome. Be the Lord of my life; the Owner of my sinful nature, my bad habits, my addictions. Thank you for comforting me, Lord Jesus, so that I, in turn, will be better equipped to comfort others who are also struggling with bondages. I thank you, also, for healing me where I've been hurt. Not just physically but deep down in those darkest places that no one can see but you. Thank you for giving me the grace to forgive those who hurt me; they knew not what they were doing to me. I believe you are the One who can Deliver me; increase my unbelief that the things I struggle with are even real. Help me to unbelieve MORE that I am trapped, that I am a victim, that I am a second-rate Christian. Help me to believe more strongly than ever that I am who YOU say I am...redeemed, delivered, healed, the enemy's worst nightmare, part of a Kingdom of Priests and Kings. Thank you, Father. I love you and I pray this in the mighty
Name of Jesus, the Name above every name. Amen!