Are you a Christian woman who struggles with pornography? It’s not something you’ll hear talked about from the pulpit. But more and more Christian women find themselves in a battle with porn addiction. The shame and stigma can be overwhelming. Jessica Harris has been there. She wants to remind you that you are not alone. You and your struggle matter to God. If you are looking for hope to overcome, be sure and read this post.
I recently chatted with Jessica on an episode of Your Hope-Filled Perspective about how Christian women can overcome porn addition and sexual shame (listen to the episode here: How Christian Women can Overcome Porn Addiction and Sexual Shame – Episode 212.) She has made it her mission to break the silence, banish the shame, and bring women’s struggles into the light of God’s grace and forgiveness. God’s grace is sufficient.
Be sure to read to the end for a book giveaway!
(If there are affiliate links in this post, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission (at no extra cost to you)).
Three Reminders for the Christian Woman Who Struggles with Pornography
By Jessica Harris
It’s not something you’ll hear talked about from the pulpit. It won’t be the subject of your next ladies’ fellowship tea, but Christian women do struggle with pornography. More and more Christian women are finding themselves entrenched in a struggle we long believed exclusive to men. The shame and stigma that come with being a woman in the church struggling with pornography can be absolutely overwhelming.
If this is you and this struggle is part of your story, here are three things I want you to know.
First, your struggle and story matter to God.
If you’ve grown up in church, you may have heard that sin separates us from God. While this is true, I’d like to point out that it’s true for any sin, and we have all sinned. We have all done things that, by their nature, separate us from the nature of a holy and righteous God.
But that’s not the end of the story. The entire message of the Gospel is a God who cares about reconciliation. It’s a God who so loved us that He came to us even when we were in the midst of our struggle with sin.
Yet, so often we convince ourselves, in the midst of that struggle, that God wants nothing to do with us. We believe He wants us to get cleaned up first before we come to Him when Scripture tells us that He is the One who cleanses us (I John 1:9).
Do not believe that God is sitting back, aloof, disinterested in the intricacies of your story and not invested in your struggle. He is personally invested in your freedom.
Second, freedom is about more than “stop watching porn.”
For a long time, in my own journey as a Christian woman struggling with pornography, I thought freedom was all about not watching porn. If I could just convince myself to stop, then I would be free. I tried every trick in the book to get myself to stop. Each and every one failed, and when they did, I felt more and more trapped. I wanted to stop, so why couldn’t I?
It took finding freedom for me to realize what I had been doing wrong. I had been solely focused on getting rid of an unwanted behavior. I ignored any kind of brokenness or need for healing that motivated that behavior.
The reality is our behaviors and beliefs all stem from somewhere. Whether we acknowledge or even notice it, we have things in our life that motivate us to do certain things, especially things we don’t necessarily want to do.
In his book, Unwanted (NavPress, 2018), Jay Stringer says, “Sexual failures, Internet searches, and browser histories expose our sin, but far more, they are road maps. Sexual brokenness pinpoints the location of our past harm and highlights the current roadblocks that keep us from the freedom we desire…You may not like the ‘map’ you’ve been given, but to navigate your way out of unwanted sexual behavior, you will need to pay closer attention to what it desires to show you.” (page xix)
If you’re a Christian woman struggling with pornography, you may be consumed with a desire to outrun your struggle. You want to keep moving forward and just get over it already. But there are roads that led you to where you are right now and until you address those roads and those wounds, you will keep coming back to this place.
Third, freedom happens in community.
There’s something intensely personal about a struggle with pornography or any sort of sexual sin. It feels intimate and letting someone else into that struggle and the backroads that led us here can be absolutely intimidating. This isn’t something you typically find Christian women talking about over coffee before church on Sunday.
Shame, by its nature, is an isolator. It always has been. From the very beginning, when Adam and Eve knew they had done wrong, they hid. They tried to hide and cover up. What did God do? God pursued. Again, the Gospel is about reconciliation.
We experience the beauty of that reconciliation with God when we live in community with His body. In community, we experience grace. In community, we experience healing. In community, we can banish shame and come to know a deeper sense of freedom.
Does that mean we need to share our stories with any soul who will listen? No. But it does mean that just like our stories matter to God, our stories of struggle and redemption enrich our community. The temptation is to hurry up, find freedom, and tell no one. We fear being labeled or rejected by our community, so we hold back those parts of us we believe they’ll find unacceptable.
The reality is, if you’re a Christian woman who struggles with pornography, you are not alone. I promise you, that you are not the only woman in the world who does this. Studies show that up to 1/3 of Christian women struggle with pornography.
Do you know 10 other Christian women? Then the odds are you know someone else who knows this struggle. And, if I had to guess, you haven’t told her, and she hasn’t told you. In community, you have the opportunity to “go first” and be a beacon of hope, healing, and freedom to her.
If a struggle with pornography is part of your story, please know that there is hope. There is a God who loves you and who desires your freedom. Remember that healing is an important part of this journey, and please do not think you have to walk it all alone.
About Jessica Harris
Jessica Harris is a writer and international speaker who talks openly and honestly about pornography addiction among Christian women in order to facilitate healing. She is recognized as a leading voice on the topic of female porn use and addiction in the church.
In conjunction with this post and the podcast interview, Jessica is giving away a free copy of her book, Quenched: Discovering God’s Abundant Grace for Women Struggling with Pornography and Sexual Shame.
Leave a comment below sharing with us one thing you learned about Christian women and their struggle with pornography and you will be entered into the contest for your chance to win a copy of her book.
You could also share this blog post on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter then comment here to tell us where you shared it and you’ll also be entered into the drawing.
The winner will be selected at random and announced next Monday, May 15, 2023. Continental United States only.