I just finished reading a book!
The book is Matt Fradd‘s Delivered. It’s a great collection of nine testimonials from men and women who once were or are struggling to be free from pornography addiction.
Yes, there is such a disorder as porn addiction, and if you don’t believe me, consider this article, and this article, and this one too… and this one. (Btw, the last one was made by an ex-porn actress.)
And if you were or are addicted to porn, if you are tempted, if you think porn is harmless, please know that I was like you.
I was caught up in lust starting from a very young age. I remember the first incident was when I was in fifth grade, and it worsened when my family got Internet for the first time (in 1998 – yes, I just showed my age) and I was trapped for ten years.
For ten years I abused women and girls by lusting after them. I abused my imagination, my body, my freedom, my desire to love. I was butchering my ability to truly love and to truly be loved.
Then in 2006, I was Holy Smacked in the face. I was punched with this insight: “The problem with pornography is not that it shows too much, but because it shows too little.”
That’s right. Read that quote again: Porn is not showing too much — it’s not showing enough! So… what is there more to see?
How about all of her? She has a name. The girl is someone’s daughter. She’s someone’s sister. Someone’s granddaughter. The woman is someone’s wife, someone’s mother, someone’s aunt. She is someone’s friend. She has dreams, goals, aspirations. She has a childhood, a history, a whole life-experience. She’s not just a body, she’s not just body parts. She has an irreplaceable soul, a unique mind, a heart made for love.
The most beautiful part of a woman is her. All of her.
And porn blinds us from seeing all of her for who she is. Porn blinds us from seeing anyone for who they are, including the person who uses it. There’s so much more to a person than we can see (If you don’t believe it, look over a copy of Delivered for yourself).
My life changed when I realized this (via the Theology of the Body). Actually, my life more than changed, I felt more free, strong, manly and a follower of Jesus than ever before. I even saw more in girls and women than I could ever see while trapped in lust. Today, whenever I see a beautiful person, I stop and sigh a prayer: “Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for this person, and all her beloveds, for they all have recourse to thee.”
And if she’s especially beautiful to me, then I pray and pray and pray for her to be safe from my lust and the lusts of others. I pray over and over, and thank God for creating and nurturing this person, and I pray for her to become a saint. And by this time, I think so much about who she is that I’m too lost in wonder with God to start lusting.
What just happened there? What exactly?
I just turned the temptation to abuse the woman into a reminder to pray for her and thank the Lord. And guess what: that really annoys the devil. REALLY ANNOYS that leech! And he can’t do anything about it.
Last thing: Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I don’t feel tempted anymore. I’ll be tempted until I die. But now the chains are off, and I know where the gun safe is, and I know how to aim and shoot.