Thursday, March 18, 2010

things we don't talk about...

After teaching at an event a grown woman came up to me, jittery and embarrassed, and admitted she was addicted to porn. She knew she had a problem, but she didn't know what to do, where to go, or who to tell.

After teaching at an event a woman came up to me, jittery and embarrassed, and admitted she was addicted to porn. She knew she had a problem, but she didn't know what to do, where to go, or who to tell. Except this woman was 15 years old.

Two separate women, two separate days, two separate generations, both struggling with the same issue.

The young girl who approached me looked angrily at me as she admitted her addiction through sobs. It was as if she thought I was going to yell at her or condemn her. I grabbed her hand and told her it was okay. No it's not, she shot back. It's not okay! It's a sin! In a moment of clarity I realized she had bought into the lie claiming her sin as the chief of all sin. The apple had been bit and the lie continues to spread.

Research from Evangelical Christian women reveal 40% of women have participated in sexual sin in the past year and 20% of are addicted to porn (46% of men). Personally, I think the percentages are higher. Instead of keeping our sins as dirty little secrets, we need to talk about them. We need to admit to them. We need to confess our weaknesses and seek intervention.

Let's stand on what we know:
If you are struggling through this or would like further information, I really suggest you visit Anne Jackson's blog and Dirty Girls Ministries resource page. More importantly, you're not alone.

Questions? Comments? Stones to throw? Better yet, does anyone have the most current research about men and women in the church who are addicted to porn?

20 comments:

Delaina said...

My husband and I had been dealing with our own sexual issues until we found these two amazing books. Every Woman's Battle: Discovering God's Plan for Sexual and Emotional Fulfillment and Every Man's Battle: Winning the War on Sexual Temptaion One Victory at a Time. This has helped so much. I even stopped behaviors I didn't realize I was doing. It is hard in the beginning to tackle these situations, but once I started cleaning out my mind I felt better about myself. This book has also given me the tools I need to teach my children, at the appropriate age, about virginity and how truly special it is. I wish all the luck to those two women.

Bianca said...

Hi Delaina! Nice to meet you :) Thanks for the references. I've heard GREAT things about those books!

:B

christy said...

I don't have any stats, but my coworker leads a men's group at our church regarding this issue...his only complaint is that our church is pretty conservative about the topic and he wishes they would be more open about it...he also wishes there would be more support groups for the wives...

I am always fearful for my sons...so yes I might act like the internet nazi at home, but then i feel like a hovering parent...i also feel like that when it comes to tv...when i was 14, mtv had videos, nowadays...its all drinking and partying and cussing and fighting and practically having sex...and not only with the opposit sex...ayayay...

I think it's awesome that there is support for women now too...

Anonymous said...

Hello Bianca:
I did a research on that subject at school and I was so shocked to see how high the percentage of women (especially Teenagers and Young Adults) is addicted to this massive monster that is one click away from anybody. I also conducted an interview in Campus and I was so surprised to see that 6 out of 10 girls admitted that they have watched Porn or had been exposed to it, or regularly rent o buy it.
This massive monster is a disease like any other addition and people who has get trapped on that web really need our help, a compassion from us not being judgmental with them.. Let’s remember it is an addiction and like any other addition it is a battle you face every single day. But there is hope, there is GOD with his mercy and we only have to admit to him that we need help and will do it. One more thing just because women do not brag like men do about watching port, it does not mean that we do not watch, parents keep your kids protected, this monster is as I said before just a click away.
The Production of Pornography is a $10 Billion a year industry in the U.S with more than 10,000 new films being made each year General Motors, ATT have become involved with this industry. GM with DirecTV

MaddiePie Creations said...

My 13 year old son is addicted to porn. He works with his youth minister on this each week. He walks to school to help out set up for Wednesday night service and they spend some time talking about the issues. He absolutely won't talk to me or his dad about it. It is so helpful to have someone that he will talk to. Sometimes...i wish there was a resource for me...so I would know what to say and how to help him through it.

the BLAH BLAH BLAHger said...

The summer after high school graduation, I was hanging out with some friends and someone popped in a terrible movie...we watched for maybe 30 minutes and seriously laughed our butts off at the absurdity and ridiculousness of the film. I haven't given it much thought, but just now I realized that I was already desensitized to what I was seeing, even though I'd never seen one before. I guess it's because kids back then (and gosh, probably even more so now) were talking about sex in such a lackadaisical manner...it wasn't sacred anymore amongst the masses. THAT is what I find really sad...and truly, it doesn't surprise me to hear that younger and younger kids are getting into online porn, etc, though it profoundly devastating...

D said...

Wow, I give you 976,485,526,875,245 kudo points, brownie points, etc points! People are so afraid of this issue. My old youth leader used to mention it here and there, and still people got mad at him.

But there was never a time where it seemed safe to come out and admit it. I felt I admitted it to God, that's all that matters. There were only few people I trusted, but they already knew I was addicted to pain medications, and had eating disorders, and on and on and on. I couldn't imagine what they would think of me after. I was a children's ministry teacher, I was in leadership for the youth group, I loved Jesus, I didn't drink or smoke or go to parties, I was a really good kid.

Until I realized, GOD needs to be my satisfaction, HE needs to be my desire, I need to be addicted to HIM.
I felt nasty. I felt so sick, even to the point where I questioned my sexuality. I thought something was wrong with me because I thought "don't only guys and homosexuals watch this stuff?"

I don't want to say I conquered it all by myself. I don't want to say the temptation isn't there still. I don't want to say I'm completely healed.
But I will say, the Lord hears, works, heals, cleanses and protects our hearts and minds, but only if you ask Him.

Lori said...

There is an amazing bible study called UnVeil: Lust Free Living written by Lowell Seashore and Jamie Book. There is a men's and female version. I have personally seen it set many women (and men) free from sexual issues. Check it out at lustfreeliving.org

Michelle said...

I wonder if anyone is surprised that this issue is so prevalent in the church? We live in a culture that is OVERLY saturated with sexual images. We are exposed to things on daytime, network television that make me blush. On top of that the church (I'm generalizing... please forgive) seems to not want to talk about sex in any form other than to tell us growing up that it is the ultimate No-No.

And then we wonder why we get all confused and drawn into warped ideas about sex and seduction?

I'm totally with you Bianca. Until the church can start being open and candid about sexuality... and until we start protecting ourselves and our children from the seemingly never-ending assault of images and language we will continue to see increases in people struggling in these areas.

Thank you for bringing it into the light. The fact that people keep it hidden away in the dark only creates an environment of SHAME. Once it's brought into the light, once people can talk about it, it will lose much of it's power. And then we can deal with it just as we deal with other issues.

I've actually been reading on the Jewish culture and the way that sex (in marriage) is approached. It is not some mysterious taboo thing that is never talked about but is known & celebrated. Imagine if we took that approach in the Christian church?

For everyone struggling with this issue... I firmly believe that there is freedom. That it's no surprise that so many struggle with this given our society's and religion's discomfort with it. Thanks for bringing it out into the open for discussion Bianca. And I also recommend Anne Jackson's blog. :) She's always KIR.

Bianca said...

GREAT insight and book recommendations :)

Thanks for your help!

Steph said...

Just so you know, there is something wrong with your comments...

I typed out a LONG response to your post, and the internet ATE IT. :(

Arg. I don't have the emotional energy to do it again... blerg.

Jason said...

Dirty Girls is an incredible ministry and I HIGHLY recommend them.

I looked at your stats about women participating in sexual sin and I know the number is higher. I can't scientifically prove it but I know it.

How? Because in the just over a year between my divorce and coming together with my now-wife I had relationships with over a dozen women who were "good, Christian women." Some of them even said they were going to hold out for marriage. They all talked about how Jesus was the center of their life. None of them held out.

I'm not saying that to brag and honestly it makes me a little sick to think about it. I'm just stating it because I know when people get asked questions for surveys you rarely get the whole truth. If guys were honest about sexual sin, you'd see stats in the 90th percentile.

The church needs to get real...and we as believers need to be real. If we keep letting things like this hide in the darkness it will consume us. We need to show grace and understand to those who need help and most of all...help them.

I know I never would have broken free without help and support from real followers of Christ.

Carrie LeighAnna said...

Thanks for talking about this. It's so important that girls don't go under the radar and think they need to hide this and "get over it on their own." And you know that.

Really, I can't say thank you enough.

Stephanie said...

I’m 19, I innocently stumbled onto porn when I was around 9, and I’d say I’ve been addicted for at least 6 years. I hated myself for it and tried quitting countless times, but in the end I either didn’t want to or didn’t have the willpower to get out of the hole I started digging myself into 10 years ago. That was then. Now, for the first time in my life, I feel like I might have it in me to fight. I’ve repented to God, begged for His help, and I’ve been “sober” now for 5 weeks. Sometimes each day is a battle but I’m still hanging on. I’m not asking for help here, I guess I just have questions for anyone who will answer. I know James 5:16 and I don’t like it. Like really, really, really don’t like it. Is it totally necessary? There are very few people in my life that I trust enough and I’m scared of how they might react and of losing their respect. I’m scared of disappointing them. These are people that I have to look in the eye nearly every single day. Isn’t confessing to God enough? Isn’t God powerful enough to fix this without the help of my friends? I’ve been hearing about the need for public confession lately from a lot of different people and the thought of it makes me want to puke. Keeping my mouth shut seems to be working so far (granted it's only been 5 weeks)…so can’t I just let it go unsaid?

Oh and I’ve watched Anne and Mike Foster’s video before and I know about Dirty Girls Ministries. Thanks to them and people like you, Bianca, I’ve gotten to where I am right now and I never want to turn back. Please keep talking (and encouraging it!) because people like me really need to hear it.

Traci Michele said...

Hey there! Thanks for writing about these "not so pretty" topics! I admire you for that!

I was wondering if you have a blog button I could post in my sidebar?

http://www.ordinaryinspirations.blogspot.com

Thanks,
Traci

Anonymous said...

Hi Stephanie,
I do not know you but I will be praying for you, The Lord knows your heart and He loves you sooooooooooo much and will give you the strength. Love from a sister in Christ. :)

Bianca said...

@Christy: I think you can learn a lot through @MaddiePie and her son's struggle. No matter how much you try to safeguard your house, most likely your children will encounter it at some time. The question should be how are you going to react to it. @MaddiePie (aka Brooke) is allowing other people to speak into this. Kudos and applause to her and her hubby!

@Blah, blah, JJ: Thank you for candidly sharing this! Big ups, girlfriend.

@D: WOW. Thank you for your honesty and candor. Hearing people openly discuss this is inspiring and the exact dialogue we need to be having! Thanks once again.

@Lori: Thanks for your recommendations! I have heard of one of those series. Awesome :)

@Michelle: Preach it! I agree with everything you've said... 100%. Dude, can I visit Seattle and have game night with you and Annie? Come one!!!

@Steph: If the comment is over 400 words, it eats it up. Eeeek. But I appreciate your effort and comment love. The fact that you wanted to is awesomeness enough.

@Jason: I TOTALLY know those stats are low. Furthermore, women are afraid to talk about it becuase it's a "man's" issue. Thanks for chiming in on the conversation! PS I really liked your blog post!

@Carrie: Thank YOU for reading and offering you insight!

@Stephanie: YOU ARE A BRAVE SOUL and I thank you for KEEPING IT REAL. Thank God you spoke out! Women need to know there is freedom in this.

@Traci: I'm so sorry but I'm a blogging lame-o! I have no clue how to make my blog share friendly, but I'm working on a NEW blog that will have some bells and whistles! Hang on... :)

@Anonymous: Thank you for your love and support of Stephanie. It's so awesome that we can come here and discuss this stuff in love.

Love from Detroit,
:B
4:43am

mac said...

Hi,

the question after all these comments is for me:

Where begins the addiction to porn?

Is it a sin to look a porno on tv once? What if you and your husband or wife like it and you look it together more than once? What about the actors in pornfilms?

Where begins the addiction and where the sin?

If you struggle with yourself and you feel bad, let it be if you can. If you can't, I know, there are a lot of people out there who can help. The only thing you have to do is to trust in yourself. You can do it...

Hope God is great enough to help us all...

mac

Crystal Renaud said...

thanks so much for addressing this issue and pointing women to our ministry. may more and more women find freedom through the dialogue you've introduced this week. blessings to you.

Crystal Renaud
Director, Dirty Girls Ministries

Stephanie said...

@ Anonymous, thanks so much for the prayers and love. It makes me smile to know that someone I don't know would care enough to pray for me. I really, really appreciate it. =)

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