Each year Covenant Eyes awards thousands of scholarship dollars to students who demonstrate integrity. This year, we’re doing it again! Check out the application information and pass it along to a student you know or apply for the scholarship today.
The essays below were written by one of last year’s winners who asked to remain anonymous. She shares how her porn addiction began and how she now lives a life of integrity.
Please explain how you use Covenant Eyes, and how it has impacted your life.
Porn is not the end…
For the three darkest years of my struggle with pornography, it felt like an end–an end to innocence, an end to unashamed intimacy with God, and perhaps most detrimental, an end to the dreams I had for the future to be used by God. Covenant Eyes became one piece of the restored truth that addiction was not the end.
Some of my earliest memories are of watching porn with my grandfather. I grew up in a single-parent household; my father was in and out throughout my childhood. While my mom was at work or school, my grandpa was my primary caretaker and father-figure. So while my mother was away, it became habit to crawl into bed with him where he would “educate” me about sex. I spent hours with him looking at magazines and watching videos, hearing his detailed explanations. Around five or six years old, he began asking me to explain back to him everything I saw.
A few years in, I casually spoke about this to my dad’s girlfriend. Horrified, she shared with other family members, and the exposure quickly stopped. However, there was no explanation from anyone–only a broken sense of intimacy with my grandpa and a deep sense of shame that I was too young to understand.
Fast forward to sophomore summer of college. For years I had hidden the past under many layers of shame and extreme modesty. I had normalized my experience with my grandpa for many years, but a conversation with a close friend unsurfaced it as abuse. With it surfaced an unshakeable curiosity that slowly spiraled into a porn addiction throughout the year.
21. A church leader. Addicted to porn. The following three years were extremely disillusioning as they shattered my expectations of myself as a good girl who could be used by God. Instead, God brought me back to the gospel. A broken girl, saved by grace alone, redeemed and strengthened for His good works. Porn broke my independence and self-sufficiency to think I could follow God on my own.
Two years into my addiction, Covenant Eyes became one piece of a strengthened system of accountability and community in my Christian walk. A year into using the service and talking through the reports with my accountability partners, I began experiencing incredible breakthroughs in freedom that after years of struggle I know are only possible by God’s incredible mercy.
I now know He is in the process of redeeming the darkest season of my life to prepare me for a deeper and richer walk with Him where I know I cannot walk on my own. I need His strength and community. I need to be reminded every day in His Word that I am His daughter, His masterpiece, and He has prepared in advance good works for me to do (Eph 2:10).
I thought porn was an end, but God in His mercy made it a new beginning.
Part of the Covenant Eyes mission is to equip men and women to live lives of integrity, to assist people in their commitment to set no worthless thing before their eyes. In your academic, social, and spiritual pursuits, describe how you strive to demonstrate a life of integrity.
“Apart from me you can do nothing.” –John 15:5b
One definition of integrity is the state of being whole and undivided. I believe that as Christians, this is the structure honesty and strong moral principles must find their root in. Am I whole and undivided in my relationship with Christ? Am I daily, hourly aware that apart from him I can do nothing?
I will be the first to admit that I am often tempted to do many things on my own. I’m tempted to establish my moral purity by my own willpower. I’m tempted to calculate and make ends meet on my own knowledge and strength. I’m tempted to teach my kindergarten and first graders on my own love. I’m tempted to try to build God’s church on my limited wisdom and compassion.
Barbara R. Duguid writes in her book Extravagant Grace, “I have heard many Christians say that God would never command something of us that we cannot actually do, but I believe that they are seriously (though sincerely) wrong.” She goes on to describe that sanctification, love, and submission are all things that God calls and commands and yet we cannot accomplish them ourselves.
My struggle with pornography was a much-needed wake up call that purity and the larger process of sanctification are not possible on my own strength. My integrity does not stem from myself but from a unity with God through Christ–apart from Him I can do nothing.
As I look ahead to my future goals to pursue elementary certification so I can continue working in inner city schools, I am tempted to try to love the kids on my own love, complete the work in my own wisdom, come up with the money for school by the strength of my own hands. Yet, I hear God persistently prompting me to a life of integrity. Apart from Me you can do nothing. Rely on Me. Rest in Me. Draw love and wisdom and strength and provision from Me. This, then, is integrity–wholeness, to set no worthless idols of self-sufficiency before my eyes, to draw near to Him, trust Him, and ask Him to supply every need.
Are you or someone you know in college? Check out the Covenant Eyes Scholarship and pass along the information to a student you know or apply for the scholarship today.