When I was s a fifth grader, my friend opened my laptop and introduced me to pornography. At the time, I didn’t know what pornography was, but I did know that it was something new and exciting. Years would go by before I rediscovered porn.
In college, after experiencing date rape (my first time having intercourse), I had many questions about sex. My curiosity led me to my reliable friend, Google. As I began typing in my questions about sex, I was intrigued. “So this is what sex is supposed to look like.” I truly believed that…
As someone who serves in ministry with my own history of struggling with pornography, women often pour out their stories to me with a sigh of relief. While sitting on my living room couch, Jessica shared her struggle with porn:
I was exposed to pornography as a first grader by a childhood friend. I had no idea the lasting effects it would have on me as I got older. While I didn’t understand what it was or why it was bad, I innately felt that it was wrong—that alone filled me with shame. Shame followed me through my life until, for the first time, I heard another woman share that she struggled with it too. That defeated the biggest lie I was believed: that I was in this alone.
There are many women in your church who have similar stories to Jessica. Some may sit next to you on a Sunday and others may be leading Bible studies—they all worry that someone will find out about their secret. I’ve had women from across the spectrum confess their struggle to me, from new believing college students to experienced church leaders. Sadly, the influence of porn in the church is almost as dominant as it is in the world.
Many women have faced the terrible trauma of sexual abuse and rape. How can a woman heal and recover from such deep pain? In this episode, I share my personal story of sexual brokenness and how the grace of God intersected with my pain to bring lasting healing and freedom. Wherever you are in your journey, may my story bring you hope and courage.
Looking for a speaker for your next youth event? Invite Joy Skarka Skarka to talk about pornography and purity with your youth group. Below is a video from a purity conference in Burleson, Texas. Joy spoke on freedom from pornography for teen girls.
5 Ways Parents and the Church Can Help Teens Live Pure Lives
Pornography and masturbation—two words we almost never hear from parents or the church, yet teens are asking questions about them. Children begin watching pornography at younger and younger ages, possibly around four or five years old. Porn becomes a child’s sex education. To help teens live pure lives, we must intentionally invest in their lives and talk about sexuality.
5 Ways Parents and the Church Can Help Teens Live Pure Lives:
1. Have open and honest conversations
One youth pastor shared, “When asking our youth whether their parents ever talked about sex, not one raised their hand.” Parents barely talk about sex past the one time “sex talk.” Talking about purity should be a continual conversation, not a one time talk.
With tears in her eyes, hesitating to ask, she whispered, “Will my future husband still love and forgive me?” My new friend had a fear common to women who have found freedom from sexual sin. Jesus freed her from the chains of pornography, but currently she was gripped by the chains of fear. Have you had this fear or other fears about your future spouse and marriage because of your sexual past? (more…)
How far can my boyfriend and I go physically before it becomes a sin?
Christians ask this question all the time, so if you are asking this, you are not alone. You are normal and your desires are normal. Being physically attracted to your significant other is a good thing. If you weren’t physically attracted, I would recommend you break up. Our challenge then becomes, what do we do with these desires?
Our churches are filled with conflicting beliefs. Some Christians believe kissing is okay. Others argue you shouldn’t kiss until your wedding day. Some Christians think that everything but vaginal sex is okay. Others argue that sex includes more than vaginal sex. What do we do with these contradictions?
In this post, I will answer ‘How Far is Too Far,’ share some personal stories, and provide some practical tips to live out purity in dating. (more…)
Addicted to pornography? Desiring freedom but feeling alone? Looking for a new devotional? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this new and FREE resource is for you. This inspiring reading plan on Bible.com is for women that struggle with pornography and seek FREEDOM. God has created each of us with a desire for intimacy. We often seek to satisfy those feelings with fantasy and pornography that leave us feeling guilty, empty, worthless, and trapped in a vicious cycle. This cycle of sin robs us of the joy and freedom we were designed to live in. (more…)
In the midst of the guilt, shame and pain of sexual sins, painful thoughts fill my mind, “I can’t believe I sinned… again. Does God hate me for my addictions? Will I ever find freedom?”
If you are struggling with sexual sin today, I’ve been in your shoes. I’ve spent a lot of time talking about finding freedom from sexual sin and the importance of fighting for purity on the blog, but I haven’t spent enough time talking about grace.
To help you better understand grace, here are a few definitions. Grace is the beauty of following Christ.
Grace is unmerited favor.
Grace is God loving us when we don’t deserve it.
Grace is God’s riches at Christ’s expense.
Grace is the divine means by which God makes Himself everything we need.
When we mess up, God gives us grace. When we feel shameful and defeated, God gives us grace. When we hide from Him, God gives us grace.
Just like Adam and Eve who hid behind fig leaves after they sinned, we run, hide, and build our own fig leaves. What fig leaves are you hiding behind? (more…)