I do NOT want to write this post. So, God, if we are going to do this and go “there” then this one is really up to you! I messed up and I feel embarrassed, ashamed, and guilty. And I really do not want anyone to know. God, apparently has other plans. Which may be why He named my ministry “Living the Life Transparent.”
In October of 2013 God brought me out of a 5-year addiction to pornography. Although I have been tempted many times in the last 4 ½ years I have not given into the desire to use pornography. Until Sunday night. I cannot begin to tell you how hard it was to write that last sentence or how badly my using porn again scared me.
Yes, once again I am worrying about what people will think. Not my husband – although he is the one most directly affected by my addiction. Whenever I consume pornography I set my husband up for failure as I compare him to the unrealistic fantasies portrayed in the porn. No man can live up to that because it is not real. I am also being stimulated by something other than him which is a disservice to both of us and to our marriage bed. This is why I needed to confess my use of porn to him the next morning and asked for forgiveness which he gave.
Scientific studies have shown that the same part of the brain that lights up for alcoholics and drug abusers lights up for those addicted to porn. A recovering alcoholic cannot have just one drink. And as a recovering porn addict I cannot read just a little pornography. And yes, I need to truly understand that I will be a recovering porn addict for the remainder of my life. Not a “recovered porn addict” as my pride would have me believe.
Different people have different triggers. Part of the battle is in realizing what our triggers are and steering clear of them. When I did my first purge of materials from our house in October of 2013 I kept some of my favorite books both in hard copy and as electronic files on my e-reader. I knew them so well, had read them so many times, that I knew I could skip over the explicit parts that I should not be reading. Which I did for the last 4 ½ years . . . until Sunday night. Among other issues pride blinded me to the danger. I really believed I was over my addiction and could handle it. I was wrong.
So where does this leave me as a Christian who was tempted and failed? On my knees repenting and confessing my sin to God, asking for forgiveness, and receiving it from a loving and gracious God. Digging into His Word for comfort, for strength, and for guidance. Getting up, dusting myself off and moving forward. Forgiving myself.
Humbled, realizing I cannot do this in my own power. Knowing (once again) that I need to care less about what other people think of me and more about pleasing my Savior and being obedient even when it is uncomfortable (writing this blog). And last, but not least, getting rid of every last electronic or physical copy of material that could trip me up in the future.
Precious Father – Thank you that no temptation has seized us except that which is common to man. Thank you that you are faithful and that you will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear. Thank you that when we are tempted you provide a way out for us so that we can endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13) Amen.