Extra Virgin :: The Unmentionables Part 2
On Extra Virgin this month I’ll be posting a series about The Unmentionables: things of a sexual nature that we find especially difficult to discuss. Because the subject matter is both sexual and sometimes explicit, I recommend this series for adult women only.
Pornography is a huge issue these days, with a whopping 15% of Christian women and 64% of Christian men watching porn at least once a month. Almost everyone is directly or indirectly affected by porn, but it’s still a hard subject to discuss. If you are addicted to pornography, here are some truths that can help ::
Remember the cross
You may feel covered up in guilt and shame, but Jesus died to take away all of that.
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
In other words, God made Christ, who had no lust, to be punished as a porn addict for you, so that in Christ you might become sexually pure before God. Good news, right? Remember who you are (a child of God)! Remember what Jesus has done for you (loved and rescued you)! Sexual sin isn’t some unique sin that the cross can’t atone for. You are sparkling clean in his sight.
Remember that sexual sin is still sin
You should stop. I know that’s, like, the worst advice ever, but it’s the best I can do. Even if you can’t tell, porn is hurting you. It’s hurting your relationship with God. It’s hurting your relationship with people you love. It’s so bad for you. You should stop.
And you’ll need help, so the first thing to do is tell someone. It’s best to find someone who will be helpful (an older, wiser Christian), but any person will do. Start going to counseling. Read some books. Ask God to help you want to change.
And as a bit of encouragement, know that it is possible to change. As Tim Chester says,
I used to think that sanctification [changing to be more like Christ] was a bit like pushing a boulder up a hill. It was hard, slow work, and if you lost concentration you might find yourself back at the bottom. But it’s more like a boulder rolling down a hill. There’s something inevitable about it, because it’s God’s work, and God always succeeds. The sad thing is that often I try to push the boulder back up the hill. I say in effect, “Don’t change me yet—I like doing that sin.”
It’s important to remember in a situation as overwhelming as porn addiction that God will do all the heavy lifting. His death takes away the punishment of your sin. His powerful Spirit will give you a new heart that desires to do things God’s way. Stop hiding and turn to him for help.
I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (Ezekiel 36:25-27)
(Top photo via Cuyana)