Music for the Porn Addict’s Soul

The moment she was born
Her mommy and daddy cried
Taken by the wonder of life
From Barbie dolls to ballet shoes
From roller skates to lipstick and rouge
She’s become a lady overnight
Why do I see only flesh and look right past her heart
I try to tell myself I can’t help what I feel – then I remember
She’s somebody’s daughter

– “Somebody’s Daughter”

Several years ago award winning songwriters John Mandeville and Steve Siler wrote these words. John’s pornography addiction had just come to the surface, and he had just attended a meeting for sex addicts. Together he and Steve meditated upon his time at that meeting, and what flowed from their pens was “Somebody’s Daughter.”

I recently spoke to Steve Siler on the phone and for 45 minutes I listened to him share the story of this song, which became the story of an entire CD project.

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Music Born Out of the Compassion of Confession

On this CD project, Somebody’s Daughter: Confronting the Lies of Pornography, John shares the story about that first frightening phone call to his friend, Steve:
It was time to do something. Desperately I dialed the phone over and over and over, trying to reach one of the few men I actually trusted, who had managed to maintain a relationship with me through my increasing absence.

“Hello?” That voice on the other end of the phone broke the trance I was in.

“Hey man, is this a bad time?”

“No, not at all. What’s going on?”

“Well, it’s pretty heavy, and I’m going to need a few minutes.”

“Well go ahead.”

And just like that the dam broke—exploded from deep inside me—all the tears blocked inside my calloused heart, the pain, the regret, the shame, the secrecy. And I sobbed like a baby, like I had needed to for way too long. I just let it all go. I tried to talk through the crying. I laid everything on the table. And when I was finished, to my surprise, there was no judgment. No ridicule. Someone else understood my humanity and committed to walk this out, whatever that meant.

This was the beginning of John’s healing, and it was the catalyst that brought Steve Siler into a whole new world of ministry. He began to research the phenomenon of pornography addiction and began to dream about bringing healing to the multitudes of hurting hearts. (Listen to all of John Mandeville’s testimony.)

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The Project: Somebody’s Daughter

Steve has had over 400 of his songs recorded by Christian artists such as Point of Grace and Avalon. He has received a Dove Award from the Gospel Music Association and a number of No. 1 CCM songs and top-ten singles. Even with the marks of success on his career, he has tried to not let himself be distracted from his calling to touch the souls of hurting people with music. His non-profit ministry, Music For The Soul, aims to change lives through the healing power of songs and spoken words “that resonate with human experience and reflect the redemptive love of Jesus.” This ministry had produced music that ministers to people who have faced a host of issues, including breast cancer survival, the pain of eating disorders, losing a loved one to suicide, and the chaos of Hurricane Katrina.

After hundred of hours of interviews from hurting people and experts on the subject of sexual addiction, what has Steve concluded?

That we, the church, need to go on the offensive. He told me the church needs to stop fighting this problem with a butter knife. Instead of ignoring the problem or shunning those brave enough to confess their struggle, the church needs to hit this issue head on.

His music aims to do just that. The CD project, Somebody’s Daughter, was created over a period of seven years with the input of a dozen Christian men who have won their battle with pornography. I just received a copy of it on my desk this morning. As someone who has struggled deeply with the sin of pornography, it struck a deep chord (no pun intended).

The CD includes music, poetry, scripture, interviews, and personal testimony, not only from the man’s point of view but from the spouse’s point of view as well.

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A Message to Hurting Wives

John Mandeville, the man who called Steve those many years ago, co-wrote seven of the nine songs on the album. His wife, Shelli, sings on one of the songs, Is it Me?

I can’t breathe
This can’t be happening to me
Was everything we had just a lie?
I believed while you deceived me
Faithful while my love was being violated
Nothing is the same
Nothing to hold on to
Where’s the man I knew a day ago?

Is it me? What did I do?
Am I not enough for you?
Is it me? Was I wrong?
I believed our love was strong
Is it me?

I feel sick. Has it really come to this?
Didn’t what we have mean anything?
You lied to me while you lay with me
What am I supposed to do with all the dreams you shattered?

How could you do this to me?! I can tell you’re sorry
Don’t touch me! I need you to hold me
Who’s going to comfort me now? Who’s going to comfort me now?
You disgust me! I know this isn’t like you
It’s over between us. I hope you still love me
I hate you! I hate that I need you!
Only God can save us
Only God can save us

The track that followsIs it Me? is a candid interview with Renee Crosse, wife of Dove-award-winning artist, Clay Crosse. She shares the initial shock and sense of betrayal she felt when Clay first confessed his addiction to her. She also speaks about the beginning steps of recovery.

Clay and Renee Crosse are the authors of “I Surrender All: Rebuilding a Marriage Broken by Pornography.”

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A Life Giving Message

With utmost humility, Steve kept telling me of the ways that God was blessing the project and using it to touch others’ lives.*

The day before the disk was about to be mixed and sequenced a man came into the studio for an interview. He was a recovering porn addict. Without knowledge of the project’s title, he spoke candidly about his addiction and they recorded his testimony:

“You look at . . . your friends’ daughters and you think, wow, that could be the person that you were looking at and lusting over on the computer. And your friends could be doing the same thing . . . to your daughter. And when you really start thinking about that . . . it’s just disgusting.”

Steve had the perfect introduction to the title track.

One day a man was driving through South Carolina and couldn’t find a radio station that would come in clear enough to listen to. Finally he found a Christian station that happened to be playing “Somebody’s Daughter.” He thought of a friend of his who recently had his wife walk in on him while watching pornography, and later sent him a copy of the CD. This was how the CD impacted him:

“I listened to that CD over and over. The spoken testimonies, the songs and the thought of being sexually pure—oh how it spoke to me. That is when I decided enough is enough. Make no mistake about it; God orchestrated the placement of Somebody’s Daughter into my hands. It saved my marriage and my family. This CD is desperately needed to give churches and men’s ministries a resource for impacting the body of Christ on this critical issue” – John Cozart.

That man is now founder of Unshackled Ministries in Orlando, Fla.

Another man named Mark heard the CD and was cut to the heart when he heard it. He had not had sex with his wife in more than 20 years. She had a medical condition that had made sex painful, and they both had agreed that his sexual outlet would be pornography. After listening to Somebody’s Daughter he was convicted about the choice he had made and asked his wife to listen to the CD with him. She got in touch with the years of anger and hurt, and it began a healing process that restored their marriage.

And the stories of healing continue . . .

Perhaps you know someone who would benefit from the Covenant Eyes blog or who needs the CD Somebody’s Daughter. Pass it on.

As always, if you have any comments to make, we’d love to hear them.

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The music project comes with accolades from a number of pastors and counselors including John Fuller (Focus on the Family), Michael Cusick (Restoring the Soul), Dr. Doug Weiss (Heart2Heart Counseling Center), Bob Wood (Celebrate Recovery), Dave Begueire (Man2Man Express), Scott MacCloud (Pure Life Revolution), William Berry (Battle Plan Ministries), and Dr. Mark Laaser (Faithful & True Ministries).