Christian Marriage Advice

'So ashamed' photo (c) 2005, kotiki - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/Today’s Wifey Wednesday is a guest post is by Jennifer from A Beggar’s Daughter, who is involved in a ministry to help women who have been addicted to porn. We often think that porn users are all men, but that’s not true. 30% of people who look at porn on the internet are female. And they’re hurting, too. Thanks, Jessica, for sharing your heart with us today!

We hear so often about women who find their husbands struggling with pornography. The sorrow is crippling, the uncertainty overwhelming. There are questions: “Why am I not enough?” “How could he do this?” “Does he still love me?”

But when a woman has locked horns in her own battle against lust, those questions become facts. I no longer question if I am enough; I am convinced I am not enough. I know no one could love me. I doubt I even love me.

I was exposed to pornography at the age of 13 and if it had come with a warning label that read: “Danger: Consumption will result in a lowered self-esteem and a lost love for life” I am fairly certain this story would have ended differently. Instead, pornography came wrapped in a shroud of lies about being beautiful, appreciated, accepted, and loved. It did not have a warning label, but it was still poison.

My years in pornography were the lowest of my life. Daily, I battled guilt and feeling like a hypocrite for saying I love Jesus and that I was ‘waiting for marriage’ when actual intercourse was probably the only thing I was not doing. I locked myself in my room at a Christian college and became pornography for men. I spent years feeling defective, convinced that I was a lost cause. I was convinced I was beyond God’s help, and beyond the reach of His grace. There was this overwhelming feeling that I had to be free first and prove I was worthy of His love.

It is interesting how those feelings we have toward God spill over in how we feel toward others. If God was incapable of loving me for me, flaws and all, then how could people love me? How could I ever have friends? How could I ever be married? Who would love this gross and disgusting person? They say beauty is on the inside, not the outside, but I did not feel beautiful outside or inside.

Even after I confessed and was discipled and walked down a path to freedom, I struggled with real life and relationships with people. I was having major issues with being single at 22, when my master plan had dictated I be married at 21. Life was just- empty. One night, I found myself face to face with an ugly thought that had been growing in my heart for years, “You don’t deserve love.”

I had never been face to face with that thought before. I behaved like I believed it; I just didn’t know I believed it. Realizing I felt that way about myself was crippling. Women want to be cherished. We want to be loved. It’s part of who we are, and here in the core of who I was, I believed I was unworthy of love. Sure, God died for me, and led me to a life of freedom from addiction, but could I really ask for more? Could I really have a life of joy, and fullness? Could I love and be loved?

The overwhelming answer was, of course, Yes! That’s the whole reason for Calvary, and the whole reason He came, but would you believe I still resisted? Sin had broken me so much that I was even afraid of getting close to God.

Lust is more than just a sin; it is an all out assault against who we are created to be as women. We are created to be cherished; lust teaches us to be used. We are created to be compassionate; lust teaches us to be aggressive. We are created to be a beautiful, almost mystical, with a heart that must be pursued. Lust turns beauty into sexiness and tells us to let it all hang out and that our hearts are really just a collection of our weakness. Lust brings with it a chain of lies, lies that we can hold on to even after we have conquered the sin of lust in our lives. Worst of all, though, lust drives us away from the arms of our Divine Lover.

Christ says He has come to set us free and that when He sets us free, we are free indeed. Free means free. But His promises get so much better. He tells us that He came to bring life, but not just any life, an abundant life- a life to the full and overflowing.

Like Eve, hiding away behind a tree and fig leaves in the Garden of Eden, we make feeble attempts to cover the darkness that rests in our hearts. While we may do a great job of lying to others, God sees right through our fig leaf aprons, but, like He did with Eve, He longs to clothe us. He wants us to draw near Him not so He can give us a good firm talking to and put us in spiritual time out until we get our lives together. He calls us to Himself so He can remove the tattered inadequate dignity we’ve scrounged up and replace it with love, value and freedom.

He does not promise that to the spiritual elite; He promises that as part of His character. He says, “This is why I came. This is who I am. This is what I do.” This is the God who is the same yesterday today and tomorrow. This is the God who praised the harlot who worshipped at His feet. This is the God who pardoned the adulteress sentenced to die. The God who dined with prostitutes. He loves you and longs for a relationship with you. That is who He is, and rest assured, no matter what you do, He is not going to change who He is.

Will you do me a favour and share this post on Facebook? Just click the share button below. We may not believe it, but many of our friends are secretly involved in porn, and this is a message they need to hear!

Jessica is a 26-year-old teacher living in Washington DC.  In 2009 she created Beggar’s Daughter, an online ministry for women struggling with pornography and lust,  after finding freedom from her own seven-year battle with pornography.  Since then she has been blessed to be able to share her story and speak out about understanding true purity in a culture that mocks it.  Her ministry has been featured by Covenant Eyes, Author Leslie Ludy and The Porn Effect, where she is a frequent guest writer.

It is her desire to bring hope and truth to women who are trapped in sexual sin.  She also serves as a counselor and speaker for Rockville Crisis Pregnancy Center where she speaks about purity, abstinence, and abortion.  In her spare time, she writes, cooks, and hikes.  Her e-book Devotional “Love Done Right: A 40 Day Journey From Lust to Love” helps women overcome the bondage of porn.

Visit her website: http://www.beggarsdaughter.com

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