Every Thursday night here in my corner of the world, I participate in a church service called Celebrate Recovery–it’s a church service and small group time aimed at helping those with hurts, habits and hangups. Yes, it’s for those struggling with staying clean, but if we’re honest, you don’t need to abuse chemical substances in order to have an addiction. Some of us love our food a little too much. (As I awkwardly look around the room and raise my hand for that very same bad habit.)
I don’t want to use the word addiction lightly as I’ve come into contact with many throughout my lifetime who have lost everything to an addiction–their jobs, their family, their savings, and even their lives.
I’ve not struggled with an addiction like this–so apparently debilitating. My addiction was much more inwardly abusive, attacking my mind and my spirit. The addiction no one likes to talk about: pornography.
It started innocently enough when I was younger. And then as I tried to convince myself I had control over it, the more I realized it controlled me. And it’s affected a lot.
It affected how I viewed sex. It was so easy to see the women in the videos as objects. As a very-near feminist, this is hard for me to admit.
In addition to this, I can admit that my past obsession with porn and masturbation has to a degree affected my own sex life as a married woman (marriage being the proper context for sex…in my humblest opinion). Because I was impatient in waiting for love, because I didn’t trust in God’s perfect timing, I got hooked on something to try to take the place of the loneliness I felt. I lost out on God’s best for me for a long time.
He showed me that my obsession with sex was an idol that was keeping me from all that He had for me. It took a while, but within a couple of months of this heart-to-heart with God, I finally made the decision to stop viewing porn–Cold. Turkey.
In God’s infinite grace, He allowed me to meet my amazing, God-fearing husband about 6 months after I cut porn out of my life.
Roger takes me as I am and loves me more than I could ever deserve. He treats me like a queen. In his earthly love for me, he shows me just a glimpse of the love God has for me.
Tonight, I will be giving my testimony, and this addiction will be included. Even though I truly believe God has broken this addiction in my life, there are still times where I have to guard myself doubly against attacks of wanting to view it again. Your mind truly is a battlefield, after all.
I may not know what it’s like to lose my job or my family over my old addiction, but I do know what it is to miss out on God’s best by chasing what I thought was best for me. It’s not something I’m proud of. It’s not something I share lightly. But maybe if you’re reading this, and you’ve struggled or are struggling with pornography–maybe this will help you to know you can change. Things can be different. But it takes a reorientation of your thoughts that can only be done by God. Lord knows I didn’t have the strength to do it myself!