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Posted by on May 13, 2021 in Blog | 0 comments

Porn in The Church: A Wife’s Perspective

When I was growing up I never heard the words sex, porn, addiction, or masturbation in the church.  

I remember feeling alone and like I was going to hell when I started viewing porn in 6th grade when I went to a friend’s. Every Sunday, every retreat, every chance there was an altar call I was up at the front, raising my hand or saying a prayer. 

Never telling anyone about what I had seen. I never asked for help because I was sure I was the only girl in the world that looked at these things.

Thank God I was able to stop on my own at a young age but the images and scenes I watched were etched in my brain forever.

I watched my father who battled with addictions, including sexuality, confide in men at church and then be treated as if he never said anything. No accountability. Don’t ask, don’t tell. 

That is until things became more public than the church wanted and asked him to leave if he didn’t confess in front of the church and stop.  

I watched a Christian ministry I was a part of in college bring in XXXchurch and realized that some churches weren’t afraid to talk about hard things. Through this event, my then fiance told me about his addiction to porn. 

It started to bring things to light for him. Although it brought awareness and a new fight in my fiance to stop, there was no real accountability.  XXXchurch came and went, that Christian ministry never talked about sex or porn again. 

Even in college with other fired-up Christians where many things were talked about… Porn, masturbation, and even sex weren’t discussed.

I watched my now husband confide in amazing men in church. He was vulnerable and open in his battle and was met with blank stares and crickets. It was assumed that since he said he was fighting it, he didn’t need help. 

We moved to the church we attend now and almost cried as one of the Pastors talked about his own struggle with porn in the past. I watched as my husband could no longer keep hidden the dark secrets and confided once again in Christian men.

This time he was well received and given back accountability. 

When I realized I couldn’t go through this alone I reached out to women in our church. They didn’t bash my husband or change their perspective of him. They didn’t brush my feelings under a rug and tell me “no matter what, you stay and be a better wife then he’ll stop.”

Some listened with empathy, hugs, and encouragement from their own stories. Some couldn’t help but be excited about the freedom we were both going to have and the testimony we would have to help other couples get through it. 

We have never felt more hopeful to share uncomfortable things at our church. And with the help of XXXchurch and their recovery programs, we were able to experience true freedom.

My husband had a friend or two who have known about his battle and randomly checked in throughout his life since I’ve been in it but not in the way I would have wanted for him. I know there are people in our lives who pray for us and have never told us. And for that, I am so grateful.

But overall I think many don’t want to ask. It might embarrass them or the person they are asking. It’s uncomfortable. They don’t know how to help. They don’t know how to ask. I get it. 

Until we are able to be vulnerable and talk about hard, uncomfortable, dark things we will never have freedom. The secrets will stay secrets because it will feel like no one else struggles with it in the church. 

It starts with testimony as a leader. Our Lead Pastor is a recovering alcoholic. He openly shares his testimony of sobriety at least once a month. Other pastors have openly shared struggles as well. 

It starts with the church body to face someone’s battles, not brush it under the rug. It took courage to share their fight, their secret. It will now take courage for you to get uncomfortable and continue to be a part of that journey with them. 

It takes small group leaders to create a safe place who aren’t afraid to talk about deep things.

It takes accountability partners reaching out often.

It takes women supporting other women asking how their recovery and their husbands’ recovery is going. 

It takes the spouse that battles to speak out and bring awareness. 

It takes a wife to not be ashamed of what has happened in her marriage and be brave to speak out. 

Because this journey is hard.

Although we have confided in many and shared our story with a few, the whole world doesn’t know. So, even as I write this I have to get over the fear that anyone from our church could read this (not just the ones we chose to confide in), my husband’s or my family could read this. 

And God forbid the community found out. Realizing the fear of not wanting to publish this is a realization of how much more work I have to do in my own life and how many out there are still hesitant to share because of fear. 

As more people get vulnerable and share hard things I can’t help to think a ripple effect will take place. More awareness. More tools. More accountability. More confessions and with that, freedom. 

Some churches have come a long way with hard topics. I have been blessed to watch churches grow in this area. Unfortunately, I know many churches can still be the same as when I was young.

My prayer is that more are partnering with organizations like XXXchurch. That more are bringing freedom and speaking about hard things, even if it is uncomfortable. 

I encourage you to know that sharing your story will break chains. 

When Paul and Silas were in prison they weren’t the only ones who had their chains broken. (Acts 16:16-40) Help be a chain breaker in someone else’s life. 

Create that kind of atmosphere in your church.

It starts with you.

 

 

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