(UN)ASHAMED: No More Secret Shame

We love Jesus… so why are we still dealing with these issues?  In this series, we address how the gospel frees us from the shame associated with our daily sins and struggles, and then helps us overcome them.  

 

By Kathy Johnston

 

Pornography is a very touchy and uncomfortable subject for many, particularly those in the church.   But it’s a serious issue that is causing devastating damage to marriages, relationships, families and entrapping many Christians.  To not talk about it is wrong.

 

One of the largest and most popular porn websites, PornHub, recently published their analytics from web traffic to their site for 2017.   The stats are simply staggering. Here are a few:

 

  • Enough porn was watched in 2016 on this one website that all the data would fill 194,000,000 USB sticks. If you put the USB sticks end to end, they’d wrap all the way around the moon.
  • In 2017 alone, Pornhub got 28.5 BILLION visits. That’s almost 1,000 visits a second, or 78.1 million a day
  • In 2016, 91,980,225,000 videos were watched on Pornhub. That’s 12.5 videos for every person on the planet.
  • Also, more than 4,599,000,000 hours of porn were watched on the site in just one year. That’s equal to 5,246 centuries.

 

And that’s just one porn website!   Here are a few more statistics:

 

  • According to Covenant Eyes, a site that filters pornography sites, 79% of 18 to 30-year-old American men watch internet porn at least once per month.  76% of 18 to 30-year-old American women watch porn at least once a month.
  • The Novus Project, states that “according to recent data, 90% of young men at age 18 have been exposed to pornography-much of which is hard-core (meaning it often involves violence and overtly explicit imagery). Of the 90%, the average age these young men were sexualized by pornography was between 8-11 years old.  Similarly, 60% of young women by the age of 18 have been exposed to porn as well. Almost 80% of this exposure, which isn’t always voluntary, is happening in the perceived safety of their homes.
  • Porn sites get more visitors per month than Netflix, Amazon, and Twitter combined

 

This should not only cause us alarm, but it should call us to action!  This is not just affecting non-Christians. What should we as Christians do with this information?

 

Paul tells us this in Ephesians 6:10-13  “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”

 

The word “scheme” here is defined  as “an elaborate and systematic plan for a course of action designed to achieve a major or overall aim”.  

 

Sisters, we have to be wise!  Satan’s overall aim for every human is bondage, slavery and death, and the truth is we are in a constant battle against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.  (Ephesians 6:12)

 

Although men are still the majority of internet porn consumers, there is an ever increasing number of women who are being drawn into it. And to be completely honest, I think we women are overlooking a very cunning “plan of action” that the enemy is using to entangle us as well.  It just might not look the same as it does for men.

 

Definition of pornography according to Merriam-Webster:

  • the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement
  • material (such as books or a photograph) that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement

 

Many years ago as a very young mom, I got addicted to reading romance novels.  I even joined the monthly book club where they would send a box of books every month.   I would sit and read for hours while the little ones napped.

 

That seems innocent enough right?  But it’s not innocent, because eventually you begin to wonder why your own husband doesn’t say things to you like the hero in the book does. or he doesn’t sweep you off your feet when he comes home from work  or whisk you off to romantic destinations. You begin to put unfair and unrealistic expectations on your husband. And eventually you become dissatisfied because your husband never can compete with the perfect “romantic” men in these novels.

 

Thankfully, the Lord convicted me several months later and I ended up throwing the whole box of books into the fireplace and cancelling my subscription!  

 

Some of you may be thinking,  “Oh come on, it’s just a harmless romance novel!”

Here’s what a secular online addiction treatment website says about the effects romance novels (and TV shows and movies!) can have on women:

 

  • Last year, more than 50 percent of all the books sold in the fiction category were romantic in theme, indicating a strong pull of the love stories to help readers release stress during difficult times. However, recent articles and posts, including from Utah’s KSL.com are quoting experts in pointing out that the books may not be mere light reading. Instead, the books may be compared to pornography, responsible for new cases of sexually-based addiction and sexual compulsion, and linked to serious levels of dissatisfaction between women and their partners.  Some therapists suggest that the romance books create similar changes in thought patterns and sexual ideas as pornographic materials may create for men. Dr. Juli Slattery, author and psychologist, said in recent posts that romance novels have the unique ability to create changes at the emotional level when women read them, similar in intensity to the sense of release or pleasure a man may receive from viewing pornographic materials.

 

My purpose for writing this blog was never to bring anyone more shame or condemnation, believe me, I’ve had enough of that in my own life and understand the harm that brings.   My hope is that it causes some open discussion and opportunity to examine our hearts regarding what we read and what we watch.

 

And more than anything, my hope is that if you are someone who struggles in this area, that you will know that you are not alone! Satan wants to keep you isolated and keep you hiding in shame.  There is freedom and grace for you!

 

God loves you!  He sent his Son to die for you, to set you free and help you fight the battle.  You were created for a specific purpose to bring God much glory. He delights in you!  

 

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, (Ephesians 2:4-6)

 

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.  (Ephesians 2:10)

 

If you are struggling with sin or addiction of any kind, please know that Jesus loves you more than you know.  He is not mad at you. And there are others here in this community of believers that have been where you are and would love to come alongside you and help you come to a place of wholeness in Christ!  Feel free to contact us!

 

Here are some really good resources for anyone that wants more information on this subject:

https://www.covenanteyes.com/e-books/

https://www.crisismagazine.com/2016/romance-porn-women-addicted-think

https://erlc.com/resource-library/articles/what-you-should-know-about-women-and-pornography

 

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