18-Y-O Christian Girl's Open Letter to the Church: The Truth About Porn and My Addiction

By Anonymous

Due to privacy, I want to remain anonymous. I want to share this message with the church, and I want it to be heard by many people- it's a very serious issue for me, and for many other kids my age. I'm an 18 year old girl. Below is a copy of what I wrote: In Christ, Me.

"A Letter to the Church from an 18 year old Christian girl: The Truth about Porn.

I'm going to cut directly to the chase. Society inside of the church is absolutely kidding itself when it assumes that pornography isn't a big deal or a strong temptation for not just men and women, but kids.

Folks, I'm 18 years old. I have been a Christian as long as I can remember, and a serious one at that. I grew up in a large home-schooled, reformed Presbyterian family. Really, the last place on earth you'd expect to find a struggle with pornography. My story is a sad one because it could have been prevented a long, long time ago. My first encounter with pornography was when I was 8 years old. 8. Freaking. Years. Old. I should have been outside riding my bike and playing with chalk on the sidewalk. Instead I was locked in my bedroom on my sister's computer, because I was curious about what a naked body looked like, and I was too afraid to ask anyone. I had no concept at that age of what sex really was, or what the human body was meant for. All I knew was that it was something NEVER TO BE SPOKEN OF. And that somehow mommy's and daddy's had babies when they slept in the same bed. The sad thing is that the only reason I sank into porn, and at such a young age, is because I was ashamed of asking. Let me put in a side note to Christian parents: STOP SHELTERING YOUR KIDS SO MUCH. It will damage them. I've been determined for years that when I have children, I will be open and honest with them from the first time they recognize a difference between boys and girls about what sex is, what It's for, and the fact that it's a GOOD thing. I don't want to be the parent who finds out that their child has been googling pictures of naked people because they aren't sure what it is, and they were curious. It gets worse. I knew it was bad, but it was thrilling. I didn't understand it at all, I just knew that it was weird and I couldn't seem to look away. For a year I sat at the computer looking at porn, not even knowing what it was, and not even understanding the extent of the damage it was doing to me. Eventually, thank the Lord, I was found out. My shocked parents confronted me, and helped me get over it by not allowing me on a computer for 6 months. That's not the end of it though. I also had difficulty with masturbation from a young age and that was before I even saw porn. It felt good, and all the sudden I had a problem that would stick with me for probably the rest of my life.

When I was 12, I looked at porn again. I was hitting puberty, only a couple months away from getting my first period, and my hormones were changing. I was alone at a computer with the door shut, and saw a racy looking video on the youtube home page. I regret to this day clicking on it. I then just kept clicking, until 2 hours later I felt like I would throw up. I lived with that guilt for a long time. It hung over me. I couldn't get over it. I couldn't accept God's forgiveness. I just kept calling out to God to please please please forgive me. I was repenting over and over again without realizing that God had forgiven me. One night I finally struck up the nerve to confess those videos to my mother. She showed me grace, and prayed for me. The only thing I wish my mother had done differently is that I wish she had kept me accountable. I wish that she had come to me and asked me regularly how I was doing with that sin- if I had committed it again, and if I was okay, because when a year or so later I saw some more porn, I was too scared to bring it up myself. It started when I was a small child with looking up pictures of naked people. It grew to seeing videos on youtube of girls dancing in front of video cameras half naked, and from there to curiosity about homosexual sex, both male and female. As twisted as it sounds, I thank God that He placed in me an utter abhorrence for male pornography. I've seen some, but I've always looked away. I began viewing more explicit videos, mostly lesbian, of women having sex. I even got into reading some porn literature-sex stories. Brothers and Sisters, I've seen, read and heard so much.

Pornography is a very real struggle, not just for men, and not just for Christian men. Not even just for Christian men and women, but for your CHILDREN. For the beautiful, innocent kids who go to church every Sunday, who munch their cereal down in the mornings before it's time for school. Those sweet children, for all you know, may be eating themselves on the inside for the things they've seen and are addicted to. Please. Stop pretending. There is nothing I wish more than that my parents knew, and not only knew, but proactively cared for me to help me stop my addiction. Don't make your children view sexuality as something to never speak of. Talk with them often and freely about it, so that it's not a hidden temptation. Ask them what they've seen and done without judgment or grave tone and expression, which will scare them into lying. Don't make them feel ashamed. Make them see the sinfulness of it, and the need to repent and ask God to help them, but don't, by any means, make them feel scared of confessing it or of being open about it. If it helps, share with them YOUR struggles with such temptations, when YOU were a kid. There is NOTHING that makes a kid feel able to confess, as knowing they aren't the only ones. Trust me, I know. I've been there. It's a lie that every kid involved in porn believes- that they are the only ones. Firstly, I wanted to show you the realness of the danger of porn in the church, and among the young girls in particular.

Lastly, I want to plead with you about what the church is really for. Enough pretending that we're all so great. Jesus didn't come to heal the healthy. He came to heal the sick. The church isn't for people who have it together; it's for the messes- the wrecks- the ones who hate getting up in the morning because their life is in shambles. Yes, God sanctifies us through time. BUT ENOUGH PRETENDING. I say, out with the fake smiles, the "hey, how are ya" "great you?" "okay bye" conversations! In with the honest, "brother, I'm struggling." "sister, I've been very tempted" conversations. THIS is what the church is for. We are the body of Christ. The body doesn't work if one limb ignores the disease in another limb. The body WILL DIE if the brain doesn't sense the pain in the rest of the body. If we are a body, and we are running a race towards a finish line, we can't get there if the ankle is going to break, and out of shame for breaking, keeps it a secret from the rest of the body. Brothers and Sisters- be real. Be the sinners you are. Strive for holiness, as God is holy, but be honest. Especially when it comes to pornography, so many people treat it as a sin far worse than other sins. Who are we kidding? It's NOT about the sin itself. It's about WHO the sin is against. Pornography is no more shameful than lying. It's no less shameful than bitterness. We are sinners, each and every one of us. We all struggle- some of us with the same things, some with other things. But we are all in the same place. So my proposition is this: Let's start acting like the Body of Christ, and start supporting each other when we fall. Don't be afraid to confess to a friend what you're going through. And friend, when someone confesses sin to you, love them. Love them because Christ loves you, and you are just as sinful. Love them because YOU UNDERSTAND. WE UNDERSTAND. We are there with each other. We all know the pain of sin, the pain of guilt, the frustrations of falling over and over again. The church is so much more than a place to sing worship songs and hear a sermon. It's a place where sick people come and say "help- I'm sick." It's a place where sinners can wrap their arms around each other and say, "God is forgiving. And I know this because I'm a sinner too." My friends- be aware. Be aware of the sin around you. Stop shunning it, because in so doing, you damage the younger less mature ones who don't know how to deal with it. Deal with it head on. Fight it. Remember the armor of God? Have you noticed how there is no armor for the back? That's because in order to fight, you don't turn your back to it. You have to fight face forward. Sin, including pornography, is sick and twisted. It has deformed the beautiful image of God. We can't ignore it. Let's start being open with each other. Satan flees when we stand up to our sinful habits and say no. Satan flees when we are strengthened through Christ. Stop kidding yourself that you can deal with it on your own. You can't. Trust me. I've been trying for 10 years. The best mile marker in this struggle for me was when a couple months ago, I owned up to a Christian friend my years-long struggle with porn. And guess what I received in return? No judgment, no disdain. I received love, compassion, and of all things I didn't expect, I was built up for have the humility and STRENGTH (here I was despairing of my weakness) to own up to it and be honest. Love one another.