For the Girl that Struggles with Porn or Other Sexual Shame

A few months ago, I received an email from a reader expressing her frustration as she said, “I feel like I'm the only one in my small group that wrestles with a sin this big and dirty and weird! All the other women just share about their insecurities or something generic like pride. It feels like I'm the only one and I'm terrified to say anything. It's like, everyone else has normal struggles, why can't I?”

Isn't it frustrating when it seems like you have it so much worse? When the biggest issues they seem to have are pride, worry, or anxiety? I mean, those are acceptable things to talk about, huh? Not that those aren't legitimate struggles but when you try to compare them to what you're struggling with, it's so easy to believe the lie that your struggle is so much worse and more embarrassing than theirs.

First thing's first: we need to get out of the habit of comparing sins and sizing up our shame.

We're all fighting different battles and just because they look different, doesn't mean that they put us on a different playing field.

We need to get out of the habit of comparing sins and sizing up our shame. Click To Tweet

Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

The playing field is level. God doesn't categorize your sin and put it on a little tiered ladder and then compare it to the girl next to you, so why do you?

Sin is sin, whichever way you bend it and whatever form it takes.

Nevertheless, this subject is a tough one to talk about, especially in Christian circles and in the church.

It's often assumed that men are the only ones that struggle with this kind of thing and that's the furthest from the truth.

I've had several friends open up about their struggles with pornography and the weight of the burden and guilt of it is so heavy because it feels like such a big, dirty, and unacceptable sin because it's so private and personal.

But like always, I'm not interested in sugar coating things or tucking away the tough stuff. So, let's go there.

 

So, what's a girl to do?

It's not like you intended to get addicted to it…it just sort of, happened. And it's not like you WANT to struggle with it…but you just can't shake it.

Does admitting this struggle to the world just make you want to crawl in a hole?

Yeah? Okay, well, that's how you know that you're a slave to the enemy's scheme. Identifying that reality is step one.

A habit or struggle itself doesn't make you a slave to it, the shame that leads you to hide it does.

A sin or struggle in and of itself doesn't make you a slave, hiding it does. Click To Tweet

The enemy WANTS you to believe the lie that you're much worse off than others…that you're grosser, weirder, and dirtier than your friends and other Christians.

The enemy is out to convince you that you are alone, to isolate you so much inside that you believe that you're alone, and to plant so much fear inside of you that you wouldn't dare open up about it.

Sound scary?

It should. This isn't just some theoretical concept to make you feel better about yourself or your struggles. The spiritual realm, Satan, sin, it's all real and something that needs to be taken seriously.

You have to know your enemy and what you're up against. This isn't about passing blame but understanding the gravity of the situation, how he works, and what you can do about it to avoid feeling so isolated, alone, and ashamed.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”  John 10:10 

The enemy wants you to be isolated and not to open up about your sin because sin thrives in the darkness. Why? Because when it's hidden, it's easier to keep slipping into and much harder to crawl out of. Sin has more power in the darkness.

When it's brought into the light, exposed for what it is, and dealt with intentionally, it loses it's power.

Sadly, that fear the enemy starts planting in our hearts early on tends to hold us back from taking steps toward freedom because those steps are awkward, uncomfortable, and vulnerable. And so often we hand fear that power without even meaning to.

Think about it: What if you had a cancer and the doctor looked at you and told you that it was curable and that your life could be spared if you treated the illness properly? However, that treatment would be painful and knock you down and make you feel weak and yucky on the inside…but it would heal you…wouldn't you do undergo it?

But let's say you were afraid of appearing weak or were embarrassed about losing your hair so you chose to forgo the lifesaving treatment.

Even if there was a way out, a sure path to healing and restoration, you avoided it simply because you were afraid to be embarrassed to even need that way out in the first place.

Now, doesn't that sound like the most ridiculous logic you've ever heard?

It's the same when it comes to sins that seems so personal, the ones that make you embarrassed to talk about, because sin isn't something that makes you a better or worse person, it's an illness, a cancer. Before you get all bent out of shape over that reality, you have to understand that it's not an indicator of your character if you struggle with something like this, it's a revelation of the soul cancer we all battle on this of heaven. It's a spiritual battle.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12

So, first of all, this is so much bigger than you. And therefore, the embarrassment factor of it really shouldn't even exist in light of the magnitude of what Jesus has done to rescue, redeem, and restore us from it yet somehow the enemy twists the truth and warps our minds into believing that it does.

I mean, the logic behind hiding it doesn't stand if you really think about it.

Freedom is found in vulnerability and vulnerability is only possible because of the freedom Christ gives.

Freedom is found in vulnerability and vulnerability is only possible because of the freedom Christ gives. Click To Tweet

“Perfect love casts out fear.” 1 John 4:18

So, although everyone's stories and experiences are different, the #1 way to finding freedom, whether that happens overnight or slowly but surely over several months or years, is to consistently and openly bring it to the light — talk about it. In spite of how embarrassed or weird you feel about it, it's necessary to bring it to the light again and again and again so as not to give it power.

You know that old saying, “I need to get this off my chest?”

Why do you think that's even a phrase? Because carrying around a secret struggle, or hiding something deep and personal, is a heavy burden that we were never meant to walk around with.

If something is heavy on our chest, it's suffocating, isn't it? It makes it hard to really live, move, be, and breathe.

Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:22.

While it's important to go directly to God, it's equally as important to confess your sin out loud, to one another so that we can voice it, face the embarrassment we're so afraid of, and experience the freedom that comes from that.

James 5:16 says to, “Confess your sins to one another so that you may be healed.”

SO THAT. SO THAT!!

It doesn't say “so that you may be a religious person” or “so that you may be embarrassed” but SO THAT YOU MAY BE HEALED.

Confessing our sins out loud to one another, to those who can come alongside of us and sharpen us, is a direct pathway to freedom and healing.

When you talk about it, when you confess it out loud to those you trust, that's where true healing and freedom comes.

That doesn't mean you'll never be tempted again or that you'll never trip or make a mistake or even that the healing will happen over night. It means that you are no longer bound by fear, that you walk in freedom because you can die to your pride and have nothing to hide, and you no longer live for what others think but solely for the Lord.

If it doesn't happen over night, don't give up on bringing it to the light. Sometimes the stickiest sins take time unstick and healing is a soul-scrubbing process.

In your weakness, He is strong (2 Corinthians 12:9).

So, keep scrubbing. Because you're not too dirty, never too messed up, and totally, one hundred percent, completely not alone.

You're not too dirty, never too messed up, and totally, one hundred percent, completely not… Click To Tweet

“In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Rom. 8:37

Jordan Lee

Author: Jordan Lee

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3 thoughts on “For the Girl that Struggles with Porn (or Other Sexual Shame)

  1. Jordan – this is probably the most powerful article I’ve ever read from you. I am almost moved to tears with the freedom the truth brings, and this is a truth I know I’m not alone in needing to be reminded of constantly. I am inspired to be the woman I needed so desperately when I was walking through shame of my past. I want to be known for my love – that should a sister confess to me her sin and struggles, I would be one to drop what I’m doing and walk alongside her through the illness. Sin is just what you said – a soul cancer. We need others – SO THAT we may be healed. Thank you for displaying biblical truth in such a touching and personable way.

    Posted on August 10, 2017 at 1:04 am
  2. I think what you do is life changing. That you have the ability to write and to show off Jesus and what he speaks through you and you do that and you do it so beautifully. You allow girls everywhere to know that we aren’t useless that we have a meaning that we have a purpose and that we have a cause that somehow someway God’s going to use us and I like time even when we don’t see it now . And with what you do you help them find their way.

    Posted on August 10, 2017 at 1:28 am
  3. I struggle with porn and I have confessed it to a few trusted individuals. It’s been really difficult to do because I feared judgement, I struggled with the shame and guilt, but I knew I had to walk that out. What I found when I confessed was absolutely none of that. I didn’t feel less then, I felt whole, I felt like I was being my true self…painful struggles and all. And I’ve also found that it’s opened up my relationships with those individuals to a deeper level. And it’s opened up discussion surrounding sexual shame in general which has been huge not only in helping me find support, but helping each other find support in their own sexual struggles. Sexuality and Spirituality go hand in hand and I think our world struggles so much with that today.

    Posted on August 10, 2017 at 12:13 pm