I am a repentant, forgiven, redeemed, washed white as snow, recovered porn addict. I am trying to answer God’s call to be transparent. To share a message that will educate women on a biblical perspective on sexuality and empower them to make God-honoring choices. I am also an angry, hurt, and confused woman who has recently been told that I cannot share my message “50 Shades of White: Biblical Sexuality for Women” at an event for which I had been hired to give this talk. This is because the organization had decided they did not want the word “porn” associated with their group.
But this is a timely and important topic that needs to be discussed. Consider the facts. 70% of the men and 30% of the women in America are addicted to porn. Which means if you are not personally addicted you know someone who is – in fact statistically you know several men or women who are struggling in this area. The average American child sees their first porn between the ages of 8 – 10. It is the number one download on smart phones. It is an industry that brings in more revenue annually than professional football, baseball and basketball combined. The porn industry is ravenous and it is looking for more users. Particularly women and especially our children. I am not being alarmist. These are cold, hard facts. Google “pornography addiction” and you will see that I am actually being conservative in the numbers I am using.
As a Christian community we must engage in this conversation. Last year over a dozen churches had the courage to bring me and God’s message to the women in their church. The response before and after these events were overwhelmingly positive. If we as a church do not engage in the hard stuff then we are choosing to forfeit the teaching of right and wrong and the moral standards of our time to the secular culture at large. As parents we need to discuss difficult topics such as pornography with our children though a Biblical filter.
And while we strive to train up our children in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6) we need to remind them as well as ourselves the importance of repentance, confession, forgiveness, and grace. This needs to be an essential part of our personal relationship with Christ as well as our relationship with the community of believers around us. Repentance means I recognize the sin for what it is and ask for forgiveness. Billy Graham once described sin as any word or action that falls short of God’s will. To be able to recognize sin we have to be grounded in God’s Word.
1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” As sinners we so often fall into the trap of ranking sin. Gluttony, padding a resume, telling a little white lie is more socially acceptable than something like pornography. To be able to label someone else’s sin as greater than our own makes us feel better. But in that labeling and finger pointing comes judgement which scripture warns against repeatedly. Roman’s 2:1 says, “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things (sin).”
Part of our process after we repent, confess, are forgiven and receive grace needs to be a testimony to the work God has done in our lives. Uncovering our hidden sins and shedding God’s light on them defeats Satan and gives God the victory. Revelation 12:11 says, “They triumphed over him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. . .”
So here is my testimony: I made poor choices that resulted in an addiction to pornography that hurt myself, my marriage, and my family. I repented of that sin and confessed that sin to God, my family and fellow believers. God is faithful and just. He sent his Son to die for my sins on the cross. He forgave my sins and purified me from all unrighteousness. And at every possible opportunity I intend to testify to God’s amazing work in my life and share the message He has placed on my heart, “50 Shades of White: Biblical Sexuality for Women.”
Precious Father – Thank you for loving us enough to send your Son to die on the cross for our sins. Please help us to focus on and recognize our own sin. May we repent, confess, receive your forgiveness and receive and extend grace in return. Lord, when things get tough help us to stay the course and be obedient to your call on our lives. Amen.