She was my best kept secret. No one knew about her. Neither she nor I would ever breathe a word. I didn’t even see a problem with my relationship with her. It was normal, natural, healthy. All was well, until this secret began to destroy everything in its path. She began to ruin my marriage, my relationship with God…she was ruining me. It was time for me to slay the digital mistress.
I always viewed pornography as something men dealt with. That’s, in a way, what I learned as a teenager. Men lust, women are lusted after. So, with this in mind, I thought of sexual purity as something I didn’t need to worry about. When we think we are impervious to sin, it’s that much easier for us to stumble and fall. (Read my full testimony here.)
My struggle with pornography began with sheer curiosity. I knew many teenage boys in my school looked at it, so I became curious. Initially, I didn’t really understand the appeal. It was violent. Frankly, it was sexist. It was…gross. But, as I entered adulthood, I realized how normalized pornography was. Adults freely talked about it, as if it was just a normal part of their day, like brushing their teeth or cooking supper. In many ways, being a part of this porn club made me feel like a “real grown up”. I wasn’t the goody-goody little Christian girl who’s afraid of upsetting Jesus anymore. I was a mature women who isn’t afraid to embrace her own sexuality. Over time, I just grew accustom to it. Much like people grow accustom to cigarettes or alcohol. The first time, you don’t like it, but you keep doing it. And then, you’re addicted. And that is exactly what happened to me. I became addicted.
This would be one of the moments when I wish I could go back in time and slap my younger self for just being so dang stupid. This was spiritual immaturity. I was listening to the world more than I was listening to the Word. The world said that porn was normal, it was part of healthy sexuality. But, Lord knows that I knew better. I knew what the Bible said. I knew I was sinning when I watched those movies. I knew I was participating in an industry that degrades women. I knew, with my eyes, I was committing adultery against my husband. I knew I was warping my own view of sex. I didn’t allow myself to think about it. I’d just hurry up and do it and then pray later.
Porn began to become quite an issue in my marriage. See, for a while, my husband and I just accepted this digital mistress into our bedroom. That’s what most couples today do: they look at porn together. Until I began to feel jealous. I felt possessive. My husband’s eyes are for my body only. I didn’t want him looking at other women. And I REALLY didn’t want him lusting after or having sexual thoughts about other women. So, we slayed the digital mistress. We agreed there would be no more pornography in our house. For a while…
My husband held up his end of the bargain. I really wanted to stop, but I just couldn’t. I knew the Holy Spirit was convicting me of this. I knew. But, I was weak. What I wanted in the moment took precedence over what God’s plans for me were. This sinful habit was becoming more important than my marriage, than my family. I needed a bail out. And finally, I prayed, and I asked God to give me the strength to overcome this. Show me the way out. (1 Corinthians 10:13) And He did. God is faithful like that.
First, God told me that I needed to confess to my husband that I had been hiding this porn addiction. I needed to tell him that I had been sinning against him. Really, God? Why? I don’t wanna. No, seriously. I had a total tantrum before our Sovereign Lord. I really did not want to do this. Please, God, anything but THAT. But, I obeyed God. I told my husband. He was upset. More upsetting to me was that he was disappointed. But, being the good man that he is, he forgave me.
Second, I made a promise to my husband and a promise to God. From this moment forth, I will not look at porn. Never again. I will live the rest of my LIFE without EVER AGAIN contributing to such a demeaning and degrading industry. As a matter of fact, I will try my best to help others do the same.
Thirdly, I had to beg God’s forgiveness. This was tougher than I thought it was going to be. I told God I was sorry. Lord, please forgive me. It was the same line I uttered as a kid when I would tell a lie or shove my sister. God wanted more than that. He wanted humbleness, honesty, and sincere penitence. I knew it. He wasn’t satisfied with my pathetic excuse for an apology. I couldn’t even hold back the tears. I fell face down. I was sobbing into my quilt. It was my sin, my porn addiction, that held Jesus to that cross. How many times to I sin when I knew better? And all I could do was cry and thank God for his mercy and grace, which I am certainly not deserving.
Fourthly, I had to forgive myself. After cry-fest, I collected myself. God wasn’t mad at me. He forgave me. He loves me. I needed to accept His grace and mercy. I couldn’t live in shame.
Lastly, I had to create a plan. How do I move forward? Fortunately, God had a few ideas. I know this is a revolutionary idea, but when you find yourself tempted to look at porn, you could show your spouse some attention and have sex with them instead. I know, it sounds crazy, but I’m just throwing ideas around. Seriously though, quit porn and watch how your sex life changes. But when you’re alone, you need a plan. My plan? Read the Bible. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, He threw God’s word at the devil. So, I followed His lead. When I was tempted, I got into the Word. This has also greatly improved my relationship with God. And I would also urge you to stay away from triggers. I gave up television shows that contain nudity. Even shows like Scrubs, which are pretty clean, I’ll skip past any sort of sex scene. While it’s not porn, it’s close enough. It’s just too close to sin. I need to go in the opposite direction.
I’ve been porn-free for about 6 months. And it is only by God’s faithfulness, His promises, and His mercy that I was able to successfully slay the digital mistress.
Written by Kristin Geckle