Most of us see porn as a "guy" issue. Men struggle with lust; women are the objects of said lust. In our minds, it has always been pretty cut and dry. Even if it's not true.
With the easy-accessibility (and privacy) of internet porn, more and more women are becoming users. That means more and more curious young girls are looking. And getting hooked. While parents need to monitor their boys' computer and smartphone use, they cannot be complacent when it comes to their girls. Porn affects everybody.
In our ministry at INFO for Families, we know this to be true. We hear it in the stories that parents tell us after our Critical Conversations Event. We see it in the lives of young newlywed girls who tell us that they have been hooked on porn since their college years. And, most recently, we have heard it in the testimony of a college age girl that our family knows well.
Nicole was raised right. She has terrific parents. She was homeschooled for most of her life and was involved in a great church. And she struggled with porn. None of our kids are off limits to a crafty enemy who wants to derail our kids' spiritual lives.
After several years of porn entanglement, Nicole has seen God do a fresh work of restoration in her heart. While she may struggle with the temptation all her life, she is now walking in victory. We are so proud that she was willing to share her testimony on her blog.
Take a minute to read her story below. Share it with your teenage kids. Let them know that if they struggle, you are a safe place of refuge and encouragement. Don't let them silently fight this battle alone. It's just too hard to win that way.
An Open Letter to Girls Who Struggle With Pornography
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
I'm sorry. Not that you struggle with viewing pornography, although for that I am deeply sorry, too. No, instead, i'm sorry for the countless people who choose to walk blindly declaring that "only guys struggle with lust." I'm sorry for the endless amount of confused looks you receive from people you finally trust enough to share your struggle with. I'm sorry for the parents, pastors, and teachers who continue to take you aside from the group so that the boys can talk about lust while the girls are left to figure out how to better dress in order to keep our Christian brothers from stumbling. I'm sorry no one took the time to explain to you God's perfect plan for sex.
I'm also sorry that everywhere you look is yet another half naked person, male and female. That both social media and TV are constantly full of inappropriate portrayals of woman being objectified instead of treated as the precious treasures the Lord intended us to be. I'm sorry that you feel lonely, confused, and dirty. That you feel like less than the beautiful and strong woman you were made to be, and that you feel as if no one in this world understands what you are going through. I'm sorry that sometimes you feel like something is wrong with you. I'm sorry that I took so long to write this.
Trust me, I know how you feel. I understand, because, yes, I too have been there. I have BEEN in your shoes. I have cried out at night, because the shame of struggling with porn seemed like too much for my heart to bear. I have spent hours begging the Lord to give me ANY other sin to struggle with. I have wondered constantly if He still hears my prayers. I never asked for this, never imagined I would be caught in the tangled web of lies that comes with porn. Can I really still love the Lord, and does He love me? Why can't I stop this? Will this ever end?
Believe me, I have felt the rage of something fierce flow through me as pastors have stood on stages declaring that "the ladies in the room won't understand what i'm saying, because only men struggle with watching porn." Trust me when I say that it took everything in me not to stand up and scream, "GIRLS STRUGGLE, TOO! Don't you GET it?! The Lord didn't create sex for men only!" How foolish to think we don't.
I was 16 when I first started to struggle with pornography. A friend at the time encouraged me to try it, telling me it was okay, that everyone struggles with it. My heart was broken at this thought, I pleaded with my friend to stop. -- I would like to stop right here and say that if ANYONE is pressuring you into doing something you KNOW is not okay or you are uncomfortable with do not do it. No person will ever be worth your character, integrity, and, ultimately, your relationship with your Heavenly Father. You deserve to be treated better than that. -- Over time I grew weak and gave into the curiosity of my heart. Long story short, it took a long time for my heart to experience freedom and even longer to lose the feelings of bitterness, pure hatred, and total unforgiveness towards this friend I had at the time. If anything, and I understand that this is hard, I would encourage you to think about how your choices now are effecting you future. I remember sitting down and sobbing with my current boyfriend as we talked about what I have, and sometime still, struggled with.
Girls. My heart aches for you. My souls longs for you to know that someone understands you, and that what you struggle with does NOT, in any way, diminish your worth in Christ Jesus your Maker. I need you to believe that what you are going through IS conquerable, solely because, Christ has already conquered the grave. Scripture never said we wouldn't sin; however, according to 1st Corinthians 15:54 does say that, "Death has been swallowed up in victory." Wow. We already know who wins. Thank you Jesus.
I truly believe that the devil uses fear to keep us quiet, to keep us struggling silently while the rest of the world seems to overlook those slowly drowning in sin and shame. So let's talk about it. John 1:5 tells us that "darkness can not overcome the light," so tell someone. Precious friends, do not buy into the lie that you are alone in this struggle. I did, and it cost me so much joy. You are never alone.
Like I said before, it took me a long time to be okay with the fact that I had to walk down this road of brokenness and shame, I absolutely hated it; however, I am thankful that I now have the ability to "boast in my weakness" for Christ's glory and help other girls who feel alone in this struggle. Be strong - you never know how encouraging your story of brokenness will one day encourage someone else.
Lastly, I think it is important for you to hear that, in the right context, sex is good. Porn not only distorts the true picture of love, but also strips God of all the glory He deserves. God created sex to glorify Himself and bring together two people that they might experience Him more intimately.
If you do struggle with pornography I would encourage you to seek Godly counsel. I know you have been hurt before, people you've trusted betrayed you; but, please try to trust again. You never know who will understand you until after you share your heart. If you truly desire and are willing to work to overcome this struggle, believe me when I say that it will be so much easier with people standing beside you than if you try to do it alone.