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Posted by on May 25, 2020 in Blog | 0 comments

Alia’s Story – She Left the Porn Industry Behind

I always knew I would enter the sex industry.

My understanding of worth and beauty was so entangled with that of the porn stars I had grown up idealizing, that entering the industry was inevitable. Leaving, on the other hand, was something I never expected.

My earliest memories are intertwined with pornography and abuse. My understanding of myself as a young child was that I held no worth except for the times in which I was sexually exploited. I was never treasured, loved, or valued daughter. I was burdensome, disposable, interchangeable. I was praised only when adults told me how beautiful I was or when my abuser expressed what a good job I’d done during my exploitation. 

A feeling of otherness was deeply rooted in my heart. This feeling kept me bound to trauma and the enemy’s lies, far past the duration of my abuse. As a teen, I put myself in situations that reinforced this cycle of victimization. My sense of worth was utterly dependent on what HE said of me. Whoever HE was in my life at the time.

I thought I found a family in the porn industry

As a young adult, the porn industry reinforced this for me. Those ideals of beauty and value I was groomed with flourished in this industry. I remember finishing a shoot early in my career and going out to eat with the other “talent” and crew thinking, “this must be what family is.” I felt wanted there, they didn’t just discard me after the shoot like other men in my life had, and for the first time, I had control of what I would or would not do with my body. Or, at least, the illusion of control. 

My first time in church

A friend who owned an adult film distribution company brought me to church for the first time on Easter 2013. I was indifferent towards God, and I assumed he was indifferent towards me as well. I had no anger towards him, and I blamed him for nothing. I understood there were so many who were worse off far more deserving of his love. My understanding that Jesus died for my sin was a proclamation of guilt, not a demonstration of immeasurable love. This one encounter with the cross set into motion a series of events that would eventually lead me to freedom.

That Easter, the Holy Spirit exposed a piece of myself I had boxed up with my childhood dreams, the idea that there could be something better, something more. What I saw in the families of the pastoral team at this church destroyed my world view. I saw families that loved each other, men that valued their wives, daughters, and other women simply because they existed simply because the Lord created them to love and be loved. Christ loved them as he loved me. I was exposed to love. It was so terrifying; I ran for the next three years. I was angry and hurt. I journeyed deeper into the industry, sacrificing all boundaries and crossing the final lines I thought I never would in hopes that I could still medicate this wound on my own.

I surrender

Consumers of pornography aren’t the only ones deceived; performers are equally misled. We’re told we’re loved, valued, and important, but are manipulated and exploited. By New Years’ 2017, I was ready to die. I was lonely, brokenhearted, and desperate. This desperation led me into a willingness to do whatever Christ asked of me, to give up anything he wanted. It was only then that I could comprehend he wanted nothing FROM me and everything FOR me. He both had and was the answer–the balm in Gilead, the living water. My career in the industry worked for a while. It did medicate my pain, but every day I had to journey back out to that well in my shame and receive my daily dose. What Jesus offered needed only to be taken once. Staying in Godly boundaries for our lives may take daily, sometimes hourly, work as we unlearn destructive or worldly habits, but his one-time gift of grace is sufficient to cover every failing.

The risk of rejection is real

The enemy tells me every time I share my story, that I will be rejected. He says that although Christ has redeemed me, made me whole, and even pure, no one is Christ-like enough to see me that way. Satan tells me that no man will ever be enough like Jesus to see me as pure and faultless as Christ does. He tells me the same things he has said to me since I was a child: “You are different.” What has changed is that while I still get my value from what “HE” says, my “HE” is now Christ. He has given me the gift of walking into each new opportunity and taking that risk of being rejected. That risk is there, it is real. But the Lord’s unparalleled approval and acceptance are greater than any rejection. 

Redemption has changed my life from medicating, and survival to one of contentment and abundance–an abundance of love, of challenge, of dreams, of fellowship, and always of grace–an offering extended equally to us all.

 

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Posted by on May 18, 2020 in Blog | 0 comments

How I Overcame Childhood Trauma

Abuse: treat a person with cruelty or violence, especially regularly or repeatedly.

Unfortunately, childhood abuse is common, and if you have experienced it, whether physical, verbal, or sexual, I want to say that I am sorry for what happened to you. No excuse in the world can excuse what that person did to you, but I want you to know that there is still hope for you. You do not have to be a product of what you went through. You can and will overcome the emotional trauma that you experienced, and I want to help you get through it.

I have experienced much abuse in my lifetime, mostly verbal and some physical. Abuse, in any form, is detrimental to one’s well-being. Abuse will make one feel inferior, insecure, unworthy, and unlovable. This is a classic attack from the enemy, to make a child of God feel like they don’t belong. The enemy wants you to question who you are so that you can’t act out who you indeed are. If you don’t know that you’re worthy, then you will act unworthy. If you don’t see that you are entirely accepted, then you will act rejected. So, the enemy will put people in your life, even as a child, to mistreat you so that you will end up lost and confused. He does this because he doesn’t want you to live out God’s call for your life, so as a child, he begins fighting for your soul.

I thank God for what I went through

I hated my life when I was a child, but now, I thank God for my childhood. As horrific as it was for me at times, Genesis 50:20 says, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for my good. He brought me to this position so that I could save the lives of many people.” My pain gave me purpose. I have a massive heart for people because I know what it’s like to be in a low place in life. I know what it is like to be mistreated, so I will never mistreat others. The enemy intended to harm me with the abuse he sent my way, but God intended it for my good to save the lives of many.
How did I get to this place in life? I had to forgive every person who abused me in life. This isn’t an easy thing to do, but with God, it is possible. To be set free, you must forgive. To fully forgive, you must view your abuser with merciful eyes. As the old saying goes, “Hurting people will hurt people.” If that person hurt you, then ask yourself, “Who hurt them? What abuse have they gone through in life?” When we feel sorry for those who hurt us, it makes it easier to forgive them. If they truly knew better, they would have done better.

My abuse caused me to make inappropriate decisions.

I ended up on drugs, in the porn industry, and I became verbally abusive to people in my life. The abuse you’ve endured has probably had a similar impact on you. You might have a lot of anger, maybe porn has become an escape to you, or perhaps you battle with insecurities because the person who abused you robbed you of all confidence.

I bet the same is true for those who have abused you. The abuse they might have endured caused them to harm those around them, and sadly you got caught in the crossfire.

Today, let’s choose to give them grace. Let’s look at them with eyes of mercy. Let’s pray for them. Unforgiveness is too great of a burden for you to carry. Give your cares to God; He cares for you.

Let’s pray together

“God, I trust you. I believe that you are making all things work together for good. I don’t want to hinder my life any longer by holding onto unforgiveness. So right now, I choose to forgive every person that has hurt me. I will no longer allow my past to dictate my future, and I will not transfer my hurt onto others. Father, heal my heart and give me the strength to help those in need. Jesus, you are my Lord and my Savior; lead my life, and please fight for those who have hurt me so that they can find you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Forgiveness can be a process.

I encourage you to process with a trusted friend or counselor. When you give forgiveness, God gives you freedom. If you’ve been battling with porn, forgiving is one massive step in the direction towards healing.

XXXchurch has workshops to help you find freedom from porn and to better your marriage. Check them out at X3workshops.com and enter code: COVID19 at checkout for 50% off.

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Posted by on May 11, 2020 in Blog | 0 comments

Victory Over Porn

Are you struggling with a recent loss due to COVID-19? I imagine you have lost something in one way or another, and I know it can be a tough pill to swallow. 

A loss often leads to grief. When something completely overturns our expectations and changes everyday living, it can cause us to live in fear and scarcity. I know for myself, I rely on an income to get me by because I have bills to pay. I don’t think you are any different. If you lost your job and are experiencing repercussions of that, I want to encourage you to keep your mind and heart above the darkness. In times likes these, we get to choose to become a victim or a victor, and we get to decide whether we will fall into addictions or if we will step into opportunities. 

 

Why is it so hard to be a victor?

In times like these, it can be so hard to think like a victor and step into opportunities, I know firsthand. The challenge often comes from a mindset of “Why me?”,’ “that’s not fair,” and so on… Sure, we all believe we deserve a fair outcome, but really, life is not a respecter of people, and with this, we can get dealt a hand that we may not like. This can lead someone into feeling emotions such as grief, depression, rage, fear, boredom, loneliness, anxiety, and resentment. When emotions such as these are felt, its because our thoughts are revolved around being the victim. When life is hard, and we react negatively as a victim, it becomes nearly impossible to think positively, to act kindly, and to be the person you know you want to be. This becomes a recipe in one’s life, and it’s the unfailing recipe that leads to addictions.

Touching on pornography for a second, we see that most addicts to porn are stuck in a cycle of playing victim, they resent a particular circumstance, begin hating others and hating themselves, and are stuck feeling like they deserve something. Hence, they watch porn and masturbate to “get” what they thought they “needed.”

 

What is a victor?

A victor is someone who chooses to “see the glass half full,” or one who decides to see the opportunity rather than the present circumstance. This is nothing more than a mindset, and it’s when we choose to think differently about our conditions will we be able to adopt this “victor” life stance.

What if I am addicted to porn right now? Well, a victor is someone who chooses to see that this addiction is doing more damage than they had initially anticipated. When porn becomes a daily/weekly thing, it will, of course, harm you, but it will also begin to hurt those around you. A victor decides to get out of denial, see the issue for what it truly is, and make the decision to say NO MORE. Fighting the battle is the beginning to winning the fight, and in my eyes, the victor is not just the one who has the victory, in the end, it’s also the one who makes the right choice, to start the journey to success today!

 

5 tips you can do right now to become a victor:

  • Choose to be a victor, not a victim

As you have already read, some changes are needed to go from victim to victor. It is a mentality switch, and it begins with you making the decision. Yes, you may think, “I have made this decision before, but it didn’t work for me” Well, most people make decisions, but have no plan in place to follow through with. What I am recommending you to do is:

– Make the decision

– Create a game-plan 

– Refocus your thoughts

– Work the game-plan

 

  • Focus on what you can do

It’s incredible how so many people go through life without purpose, without joy, and without an idea of why they do what they do. Well, if you have some extra time right now, like most of do, why don’t you begin to ask some of the BIG questions in life?

“What do I enjoy doing so much that I could help other people by doing it?”

“What am I gifted in that I could turn into a vocation?”

“What can I do today that if I do it, it will help me take the next step tomorrow?”

Questions like these are SO helpful! In this season right now, questions like these may be the key to you finding out how you can make some money and support yourself. I know that would be a game-changer for most of you! This is also a fantastic time to start learning something new, which could be a part of you becoming an expert in the field of your passion. Take the time to get excited about learning! To learn something of purpose is one of the most fulfilling things on this earth.

A quick story to share what happened with me: When I started Secret Habit, I knew I wanted to help people, I knew I had a story of freedom from porn, and I knew that not many people were helping in the area of porn addiction. It would NEVER have been my first choice of “what I wanted to do,” but what I realized quickly is that when I worked on Secret Habit, I was more fulfilled than any other time… I challenge you, in this season of uncertainty, to step into something that you were made to do!

 

  • Be a light in the darkness

You have something to share; everyone does. I never thought that I did while growing up, but, if you are reading this blog, you believe I do. What if you wrote a blog, did a live stream, wrote a song, played an instrument, started a Facebook group? There are so many ways you can be a light in this time where people are stuck at home, afraid, and unsure of what to do. It’s an excellent time to ask the questions that need to be asked and unleash the passion and gifts inside of you. 

When you begin to work on purpose, it’s incredible how you will almost automatically become a victor! When someone has a purpose in life, they will become free from the shackles in their life, and this is how people quit things such as pornography. If something such as a purpose begins to serve you and fill that hole in your heart, the things that you previously used to numb the hole become unnecessary, and you outgrow the need for them.

 

  • Be aware of triggers

When we are in a place of emotional strain, we will begin to be triggered by circumstances going on in our lives. Losing your job is only a circumstance, but what it does to you may be destructive. Be aware of what is going on inside your mind before it traps you in the cycle of negativity, leading to falling into the victim role. It would be wise to take some time to write the triggers that send you into an emotional tailspin. Sure, some of them may be tough circumstances that seem justifiable, and some past trauma may be getting brought back up, but some may only be revealing that you have an unhealthy outlook on life. It’s so important to do this so you can live proactively, rather than living in reaction. 

To identify a trigger, you may need to look back at the last couple of days and think to yourself, “What caused me to feel rage?”; “What was I feeling the last time I relapsed?”; “Who in my life makes me feel stressed?”, etc. There are so many revealing questions you can ask, so begin asking. You will be surprised at how much gets revealed in such a short period.

 

  • Stay Connected

You are likely feeling isolated, regardless if you have COVID-19 or not, being forced into isolation is a challenge. This season can lead to a lack of connection, but sadly, if we’re not proactive, it may lead to a new habit of being disconnected.… Humans are created for relationships, and without them, our hearts grow weary. Ask yourself, “What are some things I can do today to start getting connected?” 

Heres a few examples that come to mind:

– Plan a video call with a friend

– Join or start a Reddit, Facebook, or online forum group

– Get some friends to play an online video game

– Find a language app and trade your English expertise for someone else’s first language expertise

– Learn some new games, or read a book as a group with those who you live with

 

To conclude:

As you may see, our take on helping someone overcome pornography addiction is much more about the internal than the external. We are all about assisting people in changing their lifestyles and seeking what is right, rather than continuously avoiding what is wrong. If you knew how amazing life was without porn, then you would do whatever it took to get free from it. 

 

RESOURCES for you in this time:

 

“If you knew how amazing life was without porn, then you would do whatever it takes to get free from it!”

 

– Shawn Bonneteau
SecretHabit.ca

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Posted by on May 4, 2020 in Blog | 0 comments

Does Marriage Make It Easier to Quit Watching Porn?

Have you ever hoped marriage would be the solution to your sexual problems?

Today, you will learn the surprising truth of what it’s like to get married if you’ve ever struggled with pornography…hint: it’s not what you think.

Marriage does not necessarily make it easier to get free from porn. After I got married, I continued to struggle with pornographic fantasies—even on my wedding night. Those of you who are married know what I’m talking about.

For those of you who are not married, I want to warn you and prepare you so that if and when you get married, you’ll be ready. And in the meantime, you can appreciate the gift of your singleness even more.

Here are three reasons why marriage does not make it easier to quit porn:

#1. Your wife is not a sexual object.

Sometimes people think, “When I get married, all my sexual desires and urges will finally have a God-approved place to go, in bed with my wife.” The problem is you’re still objectifying her. You’re bringing a pornographic style of relating to your marriage.

In other words, you’re still making sex all about you. It’s completely self-centered. You’re not focused on your partner. You’re thinking about yourself: “What do I want? When do I want it? How do I want it?” In porn, you get to be in control of all those things.

In a real relationship, if you want to have a fantastic sex life, you have to think about the other person: “How can I love her? How can I serve her? What does she need right now?” You need to exhibit Christ-like character in your sexuality: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

When you are filled with the Spirit, focusing on the other person, and you’re both loving each other (not scheming about how you can get what you want and release your sexual urges), it unlocks a new level of intimacy, because that’s how God designed it.

God did not design your wife to be a sex doll for you.

So please know that when you get married, it’s not like you can have whatever you want all the time sexually. Also, you’ll go through seasons like having kids when there will be months without sexual intimacy. You won’t have an outlet for orgasm, and the foundation of your freedom from porn will be tested.

Whether you’re married or not, you still need to learn that so that when those dry seasons come, you’re prepared because you know how to meet those sexual longings and urges in a healthy and holy way.

Your wife is not a sexual object. I don’t know where we got this idea that “If she’s my wife, then it’s not lust.” It’s still lusting if it’s self-centered if it’s objectifying if it’s dishonoring. God designed sex to be an act of mutual participation, connection, and intimacy, not a replacement for porn.

#2. You will be hurt by each other.

Ultimately porn is a way that we cope with pain and stress. And if you think marriage will take away that pain and stress, think again. You will be hurt by each other, and when that happens, you will want to return to porn for the numbing and escape that it was providing for you.

Just like pain is a part of singleness, pain is a part of marriage. Going through conflict is part of marriage. Trust me; there will be times when you feel the same old urge to cope with life through pornography and masturbation…even when you’re married.

There’s one more reason why marriage does not make it easier to quit porn. In fact, it makes it three times harder:

#3. Marriage requires triple recovery.

If you’re secretly using porn and your wife discovers it, three healings need to take place, not just one.

The first one is your healing as an individual. You need to get free from pornography.

The second one is your wife’s healing as an individual. Because of your secret sexual activity, she’s going through something called betrayal trauma. So she needs help.

The third one is your relationship. The relationship itself needs to heal. Trust has been broken. It takes years of work with trained professionals to rebuild trust in a marriage.

So why does this matter?

First of all, if you’re not married, now is the best time to get free from porn. Right now, you only have to focus on your healing—not three cures at once.

If you wait until after the wedding, you will cause incredible amounts of damage to yourself, your spouse, and your future family. Trust me: this becomes very expensive very quickly, and the marriage doesn’t always survive.

Why not quit porn now and save your marriage before it starts? That’s what my ministry, Husband Material is all about. We offer content, community, and coaching to help men outgrow porn.

If you are married, there are some fantastic resources out there for you too.

Check out Best Sex Life now and Recover in X3workshops.

Ultimately no matter what stage of life you’re in, now is always the best time to quit porn —for your faith, your family, and your future!

 

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