Is Porn Really A Woman's Issue?


Originally posted on 11 July 2014

Staff_Sharon_Dickens

This post was written by Sharon Dickens, 20schemes Director Of Women’s Ministry

I was recently listening to a radio debate focusing on the proposed legislation changes in the UK for Internet use. The premise basically being that when attaching to a server the home user is asked whether or not they want to access pornography. A simple yes or no answer is required. This caused outcry because, apparently, it would be too uncomfortable for families to discuss together and people may have to be honest with their spouse!? On top of this, one of the main presumptions, and one that was soon dispelled by the number of callers, was that pornography wasn’t (largely) a women’s issue. It always surprises me that when it comes to topic such as pornography, child abuse and domestic violence that there are many who would say “Its not a Woman’s Issue!” Women are after more often accepted as the victim and rarely the perpetrator when these topics are discussed.

Pornography is increasingly becoming an issue for women. It’s a subject that is not exactly taboo but, seriously difficult to talk about particularly in Christian circles among the female population. Many women struggle with this secret sin... Click To Tweet Many women struggle with this secret sin never revealing their battle(s) to anyone. Thankfully, the subject of women and pornography has started to get some press of late. Worryingly, some commentators have suggested that, for women, this type of lusting is different than for men as it’s more a lusting after the perfect body image than any overt sexual temptation. I don’t know if this suggestion is borne out of the discomfort many women feel thinking about sex and porn as an issue  for ‘us’ but it just doesn’t ring true in my personal, pastoral experience of this issue.

In 1 John 2:15–17 we are urged, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions, is not from the Father but is from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever”.

When women watch pornography they are looking as lustfully as a man. In fact, most of the women I counsel are viewing same sex porn with alarming frequency. Mark Driscoll in his e-book Porn-Again Christian (available for free here), although written primarily for men, is so helpful to women because he suggests that the main reason for pornography is to fuel masturbation. I would have to agree. When challenged about this, many women confess that primarily the images are used to enhance their self pleasure. This veil of secrecy around women and porn results in spiritual poverty, poor body image (pride), a false view of lovemaking (a massive modern pastoral issue) and doesn’t even come close to easing the loneliness that many women (single and married ) feel. It’s a lie from the pit of hell that this self pleasure will satisfy when we know that it is short lived and leaves us feeling dirty, guilty and shamed.

Many women are struggling in secret, ashamed to tell anyone, largely out of a fear of recrimination. Many are stuck in a cyclical pattern that they cannot and (too often) do not want to break. However we need to “confess (y)our sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed” (James 5:16). We must get some good accountability because killing sexual sin starts with exposure and it ends with no longer being enslaved (Romans 6:6). Of course, exposure is painful, but it is better to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant” than, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness”. If porn in your life is not dealt with quickly then girls I can promise you that this will be something you struggle with throughout your life and it will infest all of your relationships.

So how can a women struggling with Pornography deal with it and how do we as a church help them in this?

1. Good Accountability

This is not something you can run a class and expect 25 women to come along to. That’s a strategy that I’d be surprised if it worked anywhere. This is something that can, however, be addressed with good one to one (or small group) accountability. This accountability must asks the hard questions that no one really wants to answer (and that often makes us squirm). As women leading the accountability session we have to love the women we care about enough to ask the questions that we are most embarrassed to discuss. Women who are struggling with porn need to wake up and smell the roses. This isn’t something you can continue to hide. we need to encourage one another to bring our sin(s) into the light and confess them to God and one another. Find someone you can really trust, who is a good and Godly example, and share the truth. You will not regret it.

2. Repent

God is faithful, just and will cleanse us from all iniquity (1 John 1:9). There is a massive difference between a women who is dabbling/ experimenting and one who is truly struggling with porn. We must see the Holy Spirit fuelled desire to stop sinning. Don’t deceive yourself with empty words and lies. Pornography is idolatry and it must be repented of. In Ephesians 5: 3-6  Paul reminds the church: But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people… For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater — has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.

3. Ask God to help you

“Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!” Psalm 38:22. We aren’t abandoned in our helplessness. We can find freedom and strength in the Cross of Christ. We don’t stand alone and  He will help us to stand firm if we seek him and ask him. Many of us do not have because we simply do not ask. We bury our head in the hand and pretend the problem isn’t so bad or that it will simply go away on its own. It won’t. We need one another, we need deep repentance and we need to ask God for healing and cleansing as we fight the war against porn.

May God help us.

 

Posted by Sharon Dickens

Sharon has over 26 years experience working in the community primarily with families and people who have experienced homelessness. She has two grown up children who are both at University. Sharon has worked at Niddrie Community Church for over 8 years primarily establishing, training and co-ordinationing the women’s ministry. In October 2012 her ministry role changed as she focused solely on 20schemes.

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