It hurts you, too. It hurts every girl (and guy) out there (to admittedly different degrees).
[Before I go any farther–my goal is NOT to belittle the legitimate and horrifying suffering pornography causes women who are involved in human trafficking or even voluntarily involved in the sex industry. My aim is to bring the issue of pornography and objectification of women home to people–I find that when things are in our own backyards, we tend to do and care more about them.]
Feminism. Women’s liberation movement. All these may sound wonderful, but in reality they are enslaving women and making life far, far more difficult.
I am in the minority. I grew up loved by my father. I wasn’t sexually abused. I haven’t been in a physically or sexually abusive relationship. No one close to me uses or has used porn to my knowledge. I am the minority.
And yet? The tentacles of pornography have even reached my safe, secluded life.
Our culture worships sex. Women have been degraded to objects. Everything revolves around how sexy a girl is–our value, our identity depends on our sex appeal. The only way we will find men and happiness is by being sexy and promiscuous, culture screams.
It is in the middle of this culture that the church finds itself today. It is in the middle of this screaming that I have found myself, falling to the ground in confusion, fear, and hopelessness, voices screaming at me the most insidious, heinous lies.
I have been told that I am not pretty enough. I have been told that if I gain weight or become less attractive, the man I love will leave me. I have been told that I am in competition with every single female out there to be the best to win the attention of a man. I have been told that if I am not sufficient, I deserve to be left alone.
This is the culture pornography has created. These are the lies that tear at the heart of women.
I cannot tell you how many times I have compared myself to other women. Countless times have I had anxiety over not being attractive enough to find or keep a man. Numerous whispers of hopelessness and inability to ever measure up to what men are being told to expect from culture and pornography have echoed in my head.
Pornography hurts me, and I am the least of its victims.
But somewhere, as I buckle under the weight of the lies, the pressure, the fear…I find the safest place to fall is also the most natural when one is under a burden he cannot bear–my knees.
I pour out my heart to my Father, begging for His eyes for myself and my sick culture. I pray for strength for the men and women of the church. I pray for the protection of our minds and the purity of our hearts.
Somewhere in all that weakness I find great strength at the feet of Christ.
I am the minority. Pornography hurts me. Christ frees me.
Do I still hear the lies? Do I still believe them sometimes? Sadly, yes. Some things are deeply ingrained and have been ingested for so long that the poisons take time to work themselves out. But I believe in redemption. I believe in the power of the Cross. I believe in forgiveness. I believe God is making all things new when we give them to Him.
I am tired of lies. I am tired of fear. I am tired of the world’s voices. This is my prayer:
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” -Romans 12:1-2
Oh God, great and beautiful Creator of the universe. Sustainer of my life, guardian of my heart, holder of hope and salvation. To your powerful hands I commit my mind. To your voice only train my heart. To your voice only tune my ears. Transform my feeble mind to be strong in You and to believe only Truth. Forgive me for believing lies in ignorance; forgive me for believing lies I knew were false. Transform your weak daughter into a warrior who believes and speaks Your truth in a dark, dismal world.