Porn addictions do not discriminate.

For the last few weeks, I have been writing about how we need to change the way we talk about sex in church; sex is not just for men, but for women as well. However, the same applies to porn. It is not just men who are getting addicted to porn, but women as well. Nevertheless, we say porn is “Every Man’s Battle” and don’t acknowledge the battle that many women are fighting on their own in secret.Rend your heart book

Today Beth Nyhart, author of Rend Your Heart & Not Your Garments is going to talk about her past struggles as a female porn addict.

Here’s Beth:

If you met me at 16, you would have seen a tall red-headed girl who had been homeschooled her whole life.

As we talked you might have learned that I loved music and drama, that I wanted to be a missionary when I grew up, and that church was a second home to me.

I doubt you would have been able to guess that I was addicted to pornography.

In the early 2000s my youth group was all about purity culture. Teen girls wore silver rings and wrote letters for their future husbands to open on wedding nights. We learned to kiss dating goodbye, and that saving yourself for marriage was a pivotal part of being a Christian.

I’m not saying that any of that was bad. But it didn’t help me.

When the topic of pornography came up it was addressed to the boys, because everyone knew that men are sexually stimulated visually. The girls were taught about modesty and finding our emotional fulfillment in Jesus. I sat through these teachings nodding and taking it in but all the while feeling like something must be wrong with me. It seemed like I was a deviant foul-hearted freak of nature sitting in a group of innocents. If nobody taught girls about porn that meant girls weren’t supposed to be dealing with porn. I was obviously the only one.

That’s a lie.

I can catch them more easily now that I’ve had a decade of practice. Satan has whispered that lie in the ear of so many young women who look around wondering if anyone can help them, then lower their eyes in shame. The accuser taunts, “No one can help you, if they even knew about you they’d be disgusted. They think you are a good example to the other girls, but if they knew what you were doing last night you’d never show your face here again.”

My double life started at the age of 8 when I was first introduced to pornography and it continued until I was 18 and finally found a way to confess my sin and get help. One of the characteristics of pornography is that as you indulge in it, the compulsions escalate. Your body develops a threshold to what you are feeding it and you find yourself needing a harder hit. In porn terms that means it needs to be more degrading; more taboo. And you’d better believe that Satan is on board with inventing new lows as our addiction-ridden brains need stimuli. This is one of the reasons that PornHub’s 2018 year in review stats show that the most searched for types of porn are homosexual, underage, incestuous, violence, animated, and porn with multiple participants. If you are wondering why animated is on that list, it’s because the human body has limitations, but animation opens up a world of disgusting possibilities.

Another one of Satan’s lies is that getting married will solve the problems you have with lust. But as you cultivate a desire for pornography and train your body to become aroused by the variety of porn out there, what you are doing is creating desires in yourself that a monogamous marriage relationship will never be able to fulfill. Just being allowed to have sex isn’t enough when you’ve rewired your brain and body to respond to pornography.

I was caught in what I call a sin/confess cycle.

I would indulge in pornography and then feel such shame that I’d cry out to God in desperation. I prayed that He would change me, take this temptation away, or fix whatever was broken inside of my body. Over and over again He would give me the same answer: confess.

Confess. Not just to God, but to another person. Admit out loud what I had been doing and that I needed help. That was unthinkable. I could never in a million years confess this sin.

But God has a way of driving us down to the end of ourselves and forcing us to face what He asks of us. After years of emotional and spiritual turmoil I knew that this was never going to go away on its own. I started praying that God would give me the strength to obey Him in the act of confession, and He was faithful to provide for me.

My temptations didn’t go away overnight.

I had 10 years of habits to unlearn, I had a relationship with the Holy Spirit that was old and new at the same time. I had to re-internalize the basics of Christianity that hadn’t been able to impact my heart before in quite the same way. But I surrounded myself with people who knew my struggle and were willing to walk through it with me, and I thank God for them every day.

Sin is the same across the board, though the earthly consequences may vary (There are amazing Christian therapy and recovery programs for people who are dealing with addictions). The woman struggling to contain the bitterness in her heart and the woman struggling to control her sexual urges are both separated from God by their sin. And both of them need to deal with it!

The basics of how to deal with sin are:

Come to God with a broken and contrite heart over your sin (Psalm 51:17)

Ask Him to provide everything you need to live a godly life, which when dealing with sin is the right opportunity, person, and strength to confess and repent (2 Peter 1:3)

Obey God in the act of confession (James 5:16)

Accept the forgiveness that He offers you through the blood of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:7)

Surround yourself with other believers who will walk with you, hold you accountable, and encourage you (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

Daily allow the Spirit to transform you by renewing your mind (Romans 12:1-2)

confessions female porn addict 683x1024 - Confessions of a Female Porn Addict

The thing about sin is that we are all universally unable to handle it in our own willpower.

We need God to do all of the work for us, and only by surrendering to His work in our hearts are we conformed into the likeness of Christ.

As I speak and write about sin, my heart’s desire is to invite people to come out of the darkness and into the light. God has so much for us, so much peace and purpose that He generously lavishes on us. But so many people spend their lives ensnared in sin and unwilling to let go of it. Satan might be telling you that your sin isn’t that big of a deal, or he might be telling you that your sin is the worst ever and nobody can find out. But either way, he is wrong.

Your sin is common. Unextraordinary. The typical fallen human experience. I’m not afraid or impressed by the depth or the breadth of it. Your sin is rotting your heart, keeping you from true fellowship with God, and hurting your church body every day you don’t deal with it. And your sin is completely 100% deal-with-able.

Don’t wait another moment to come to God with your hands high in surrender. Turn yourself in and trust your soul to the One who is in the business of redeeming weakness for His glory.

Beth NyhartBeth Nyhart, Author of Rend Your Heart & Not Your Garments.

Beth Nyhart is a Christian leader, business owner, wife, mother, and a recovering porn addict. God is redeeming her story as she uses it to educate churches about how to confront the sin nature in every member of the congregation.

Connect with Beth on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!
Rend your heart bookRend Your Heart & Not Your Garments: A Heart-felt Plea to the Church Filled with Secret Sin

Secret sin is an epidemic in the church, and it’s time we learned to address it. Get your copy here!

5 Secret Sins That Are Ruining Your Church

Every human being is born with a sin nature, and the majority of us walk around on earth trying to hide it from each other. It’s a little silly if you really think about it. Something we literally all deal with on a daily basis that is in an outright war with the Spirit of God within us, and we like to pretend we have it all under control? Read the post on my blog!

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