Readers discretion is advised. This post may not be suitable for all ages.
For your knowledge, I have arranged some statistics:
50% of all Christian men and 20% of all christian women say they are addicted to pornography.
9 out of 10 boys were exposed to pornography before the age of 18.
6 out of 10 girls were exposed to pornography before the age of 18.
The porn industry generates $13 billion each year in the US.
2,353,972,959 is the number of searches for pornography since the start of 2014. (and growing every second.)
I know, statistics really hit home for some people but for some they’re just numbers. Lets just say you have 30 people in your youth group (15 boys and 15 girls). That means 10 boys and 7 girls have watched porn (purposefully or on accident), that also means 7 of those boys watch it everyday as well as 3 of those girls. A third of your youth group is gripped by lust. And even though this was just hypothetical, the sad truth is that it is real.
Porn is a struggle for today’s youth – whether we choose to acknowledge it or not.
Now time for your main course…
I was driving on my way back from Joplin today, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. In the tough times, when life hands us lemons – we will always reach for lust rather than love. We will do the thing that makes us feel better but will not do the thing that will heal us. Well, duh Stephanie – everyone knows that. The problem is that, sometimes we don’t notice the difference. We just want the pain to stop…
When I was in kindergarten, I lived in Tennessee. My dad was in the military and my mom worked for the school district. My mom and dad had some best friends, who had twin boys who were about 7 or 8. I went to “daycare” at their house everyday until someone could come get me.
It was a normal day like any other, I went to “school” and went to daycare. Except this day will forever be seared in my mind. The boys told me they wanted to play a game – 7 minutes in heaven. They had overheard their older brother talking about it. I had no clue, so I said yeah! That sounds fun..little did I know – it was far from it. They took me into the closet, and they molested me. I didn’t know that’s what they had done, they seemed happy and no one noticed so I figured this was the norm. This continued, and it didn’t matter where we moved, who I knew, or how far I tried to get away from those kind of kids or adults – they always found me.
I was in first grade, when i watched a rated R movie with my parents (typical in today’s society) and I saw my first “scene.” I looked at it in awe, and kindled a fire that would last years. I watched my first porn in first grade, and I didn’t do it for pleasure – to me..it was the closest thing to love that i could understand. Twisted isn’t it? How lust defined the very thing I thought was love. I watched porn everyday for 11 years straight. If I missed, I would go through withdraws. I felt like no one loved me, and that was my only source of love.
Then insert my teenage boyfriend. He was tall, dark, and handsome – at least for an 8th grader he was. We held hands all the time, text everyday, talked on the phone forever. He was my first kiss, and my first I love you. I thought – He is the one! Then one day we were walking to the park, he stopped me and kissed me…and he wouldn’t stop, he got on top of me. My heart was screaming finally, someone loves me! Simultaneously, my mind screamed this isn’t right, get away! So I did, I pushed him off, ran home, locked the bathroom door behind me and began to weep. I was so confused, didn’t that mean he loved me? Didn’t that mean I was worth it. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks – those people did not love me…they used me. It was in that moment, I decided I would never love, I would never trust, I would never feel again. I was going to protect myself at all cost.
Brick by brick I built up my walls. Nobody in…and nobody out, and that was just how I liked it. It was a lonely life, watching everyone outside my walls have fun, I was just trying to survive, to live without pain, to live without people.
Fast forward 3 years. One day, driving down the road with my dad to Kentucky, I was listening to a song a friend recommended to me. Lead Me To The Cross – by Hillsong United.
Lead me to the cross – Where Your love poured out – Bring me to my knees – Lord I lay me down – Rid me of myself – I belong to You – Lead me, lead me to the cross
Wait, what? His love was poured out? But that’s so wasteful, there isn’t a lot of control for pouring things. Sometimes you give too much, sometimes you overflow, sometimes you have way too much. Why is the world would God do that, and why would He do it for me?
Me – a porn addict. Me – a suicidal cutter. Me – a worthless girl. Me – a broken, helpless mess
How awesome is that? It was a few days later I gave my life to the Lord. Now, I’m not gonna lie – everyday is a battle. Some days are harder than others, and some days I fail. But God spoke to me today and I sat in awe of His wisdom, and caring touch. Hopefully, it will bless you as much as it did me..
Porn is not a relief to your stress or pain. People will hurt you, betray your trust, you will feel lonely but porn is not intimacy – it is simply physical relief. God has loved me intimately, personally, He knows everything about me, down to the molecule. And that was what blew my mind. Here I am, abusing myself – so others wont have a chance to do it first. All the while – God is more relentless, more in pursuit, more in love with me…His daughter…His princess.
All desires are depleting
All wounds are slowly healing
All pain is leaving
God is blocking my own self-harm and giving me the love I have always craved, desired, and longed for.
What a savior. He pours out purposely to overflow.
If you know the struggle, if you need freedom – call on Him. He is our ever present help, and He is right there with you with open arms and love.