Dear Precious One,
I have been where you are. I am no stranger to the shame that you feel. Although they are now in my rear view mirror, the horrible self-hate, the embarrassment, the sexual desires that I feared I could not control, the depression, the regret, and so many other emotions were all too real to me not long ago.
When I was about 11 years old, I came across a hidden stash of pornography under a relative’s mattress. Very quickly I began intentionally seeking out what I accidentally stumbled across. And what I began to seek out intentionally, I quickly became addicted to.
Pornography didn’t come alone though. I also became highly addicted to masturbation, and when I became an adult I added as many as two dozen anonymous sexual encounters to my addictive cycle. I “knew” I was alone, I was hopeless, and something was desperately wrong with me.
I have no doubt that you’ve also experienced some (if not all) of the above emotions and thoughts. But I am happy to tell you, you are not alone. You are not hopeless. Nothing is wrong with you. You deserve to know the truth.
What is the truth? Part of the truth is that some numbers indicate that as many as 40% of Christian women struggle with pornography. Again, you are not alone. The truth is that you, like all women, are broken. Nothing, however, is wrong with you. Most importantly, the truth is also that hope exists for you. Yes, many women struggle with a sexual addiction. But many women have been set free!
Have you tried again and again to be free? Promised yourself you won’t look at porn again? Or have you been sickened by your secret habit of masturbation that you just can’t break. Do you despise that over and over again you have told yourself that you will save yourself for marriage, only to give yourself to yet another man? Has all of this left you feeling like you don’t want to try again?
If you answered yes to any of these, then you are ripe for a miracle, and I have good news for you!
Lift up your head. You have a God who knows exactly where you are at. He loves you. Yes, He loves you. You, the one who is convinced that if anyone knew your secret they would despise you. He knows all about it, and not only does He love you, He is not mad at you. He sees you right where you’re at. He sees what you struggle with, and it doesn’t make Him want to turn Himself from you. Quite the contrary, He is turning Himself toward you, offering you something more.
Please, don’t let your past keep you from your future. God has so much more for you than you are living in now. I know how it feels to struggle for years, and try to quit a habit that you hate. I know how it can paralyze one from wanting to try again. Don’t let yourself be paralyzed. There are springs of fresh water waiting for you, please do not settle for drinking from a mud puddle.
I know what it is to have tried so many times to stop that believing in hope seems terrifying. But, I also know what it is to keep trying and to repeatedly start again at the same place of crying out to the Lord for His help in our brokenness.
He is the One, after all, that we truly are looking for in all of our sexual acting out. We, as women, crave intimacy to our core. Jesus can provide that. An endless need requires an endless resource. There is only One who can qualifies to meet our need. I think we know that’s not a man, an orgasm, or pornography. Those things only leave us empty.
If you don’t give up, and you keep allowing yourself to get up, eventually you will be victorious! One day of not acting out will turn into one week. One week will turn into one month. One month will turn into one year!
There’s so much waiting for you on the other side of this. I can assure you, it will be the fight of your life. But I can also assure you, that it will be worth it to have this in your past as a memory. What awaits you is an end to the mounting shame, the disconnected relationships with others, the self-hatred, and every other negative thing that comes with your bondage. A life of freedom from the shame of your sin, the true intimacy that your heart craves, and a life of integrity can really be yours. You’ll be able to deal with your emotions in more healthy ways, experience liberty from the pain of abandonment, and actually enjoy the abundant life Jesus came to give you.
Freedom is possible, dear heart. The door stands open before you. Will you walk through it?
Someone who has been where you are, and hopes to see you on the other side
As a man reading this, I can tell you that I have heard this same story from men many times. What frustrates me is almost every time I hear it, I hear them say that freedom is possible, that you can walk through that door to freedom. Or you can lay down your sexual addiction at the foot of the cross and walk away. I’ve heard it many different ways. The problem is I’m not really hearing much about HOW freedom from this addiction was attained. Walk through the door to freedom… I feel like I have done this numerous times only to walk right back. I’ve laid down my burden and addiction only to pick it back up again. I’ve given it over to Jesus only to take it back again. How did you make this day of freedom turn into a week, turn into a month, turn into a year? I hear these stories of how freedom is attainable. I believe this, I truly do. What do I need to do to get there? Walk through the door to freedom, lay down your burden, give it to Jesus, stop battling on your own. As if I haven’t attempted this a thousand times before.
I’m sure there is something I am missing, I just want to know what it is. Is it different for every person? Do I find it on my own? Or is it simply that my heart hasn’t yet been fully seeking Christ? Then what do I do to get to that point? It’s just been a frustrating fight for me.
Hello, Andrew – brother, I’ve been there. I still struggle mightily with lust in my thoughts, but I’ve found that a few, specific steps when I go back to them, pull me back out. It’s that daily commitment that I need to keep coming back to. Here are a couple blog posts with some practical things that have helped me over the years. Will I continue to struggle for the rest of my years? Maybe – but I continue in hope that it becomes less and less so that God’s mighty plan can become greater and greater…one day at a time.
Hi Andrew, not just porn but for any negatives, when you wake up in the morning, no point telling yourself not to think about it. The more you don’t want to focus on a particular thought, the more you will think about it. Instead of “i’m not gonna watch porn today” how about “I’m gonna spend time with….. doing… ” – that takes your mind off porn or whatever other thoughts you don’t want to be thinking about.
Hello. I am a sunday school teacher and a former addict. You are right – there is something missing in all the advice that is out there on how to overcome. The advice is correct, however it just doesn’t complete the picture…..only part of the truth is stated. The only way to overcome sin is through the power of the Holy Spirit. Specifically, the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. If you read the book of Acts, you will quickly see that a sign always accompanied the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Read Acts chapter 2, 10, 19 for example and you will see that when people received the initial baptism of the Holy Spirit it was always accompanied by the evidence of tongues. In John 3:5-7 Jesus tells Nicodemus that he must be Born Again of the water and the Spirit. Then in 3:8 He tells him a sound will accompany everyone who is born of the Spirit. That sound is tongues. So you need the baptism of the Holy Spriit which is the power of God unto salvation. Please repent and pray that God will fill you. Then and only then can you rise to walk in newness of life.
Thank you very much for this letter. It is indeed very encouraging.
what was the matter with my comment that you didn’t post it?
Please how do I get the protection from xxx
Hello, David – here are 3 simple steps that might get you on the path to freedom and healing: https://www.covenanteyes.com/2010/05/13/3-biblical-strategies-for-fighting-lust/
Thank you. I’m now on the other side with you, but I was struggling with self-doubt and guilt. Thank you for sharing! Please, pray for my husband because he’s still struggling with the grips of SA.