1. Admit there is a problem.
2. Tell someone. Accountability can be the difference between victory and defeat.
3. Seek counseling. Both the husband and wife should seek professional help to save their marriage.
Helpful Ministries for Overcoming Addiction
Speak to a CBN Prayer Counselor at 1-800-759-0700
Pornography: It's Always Personal
By J.J. Kirk
Tiger Woods, John Edwards, Jesse James—the names in the headlines change, but the allegations remain the same. Every week another celebrity is brought low because of sexual immorality. And they’re just the tip of the iceberg—sexual addiction reaches deep into our society and takes many forms. Most of the time, the catalyst for this obsession is pornography.
Pornography is part of a multi-billion dollar industry that preys on the weak and hides behind the first amendment. It demeans women, ensnares men and destroys families. It’s often billed as the victimless crime. But it’s not—the result is the same—total destruction of another family.
It’s Always Personal
It was mid-morning when they found her leg in the landfill. Several hours later, in the sweltering summer heat, when her body appeared. She’d been shot once, through the head, and her body dumped in the trash. Who was she—another nameless statistic? No. She was my best friend, Jennifer Blagg.
Her story is inexorably linked to mine. Although our struggles took place in different states, at different times, we both had similar lifestyles. Jennifer and Mike Blagg had one child. We had three children. Both families were evangelical Christians. We attended church regularly and both our husbands held positions of respect within the church. Both men were secretly addicted to pornography.
It seemed like a safe enough, although slightly dirty habit. It’s not like they used drugs or even drank. After all, what they watched and read really had no real effect on the way they lived their lives—at least that’s what society would have us believe.
Contrast and Compare
My husband traveled frequently with his job. Pornography is easily accessible, especially in a city where no one knows you. Most hotel rooms come equipped with televisions that show x-rated movies for only a small fee. Strip clubs are an easy way to wind down after a hard day at work. Women willing to talk to lonely men are only a phone call away.
Jennifer’s husband didn’t travel as much, and although he wasn’t spending time in hotel rooms, he too, was frequenting nightclubs and bars where nudity and coarse jocularity were the norm. Both men were young and good looking, with beautiful wives. Why did they stray?
How did my husband’s addiction start? He looked at adult magazines as a young child. He stumbled onto them and those pictures are still with him today.
What about Jennifer’s husband? What actually started his addiction? We may never know. Even though court records show the depth of his addiction, he still denies that pornography was or is a problem in his life.
We do know both men began slowly, looking at pictures and watching x-rated videos, before moving onto the internet and its bottomless pit of images. Their addiction ramped up from there, easily fed anytime of the day or night.
My husband moved on to strip clubs and phone sex. But the weight of hiding his addiction became more than he could bear. One afternoon, he sat me down in our living room and confessed his problem. My world shattered. I’d had no idea about his secret life. After his confession, we sat and cried, holding onto one another as we prayed for him, our marriage and our children.
But my husband didn’t stop there. He acknowledged his need for help. He sought counseling and accountability by reaching out to men in our church. He was determined to find release from this secret sin.
Jennifer’s husband chose a different path. He insisted his Jennifer view internet images with him, claiming they would improve their marriage. Neither of them said anything to anyone about their struggle, isolating themselves from potential help. When our family moved to the same town as Jennifer, she and I instantly became best friends. I shared my husband’s struggle and victory over pornography—I never knew Mike had the same issues—and then they moved.
She and I never lost touch, still talking on the phone several times a week. Her journals show that his addiction escalated. One day she called me in tears, but couldn’t bring herself to tell me what was wrong. Her words still haunt me. “I just can’t talk about it. It’s too horrible. Pray for me—for my family.”
Ten days later she and their daughter disappeared. More than seven months passed before they found Jennifer’s body in the landfill and arrested Mike. Her daughter has never been found. The court records show that Jennifer and Mike fought about pornography shortly before he shot her, wrapped her body in a tent and dumped her in the garbage. He’s now in jail, serving a life sentence without parole, convicted of murdering his wife.
My husband still has temptation and occasional slip-ups, but has experienced victory over his pornography addiction. Most importantly, he’s taken the fight to the next generation. As our children became old enough to understand, he opened up about his addiction, refusing to let his secrecy be a stumbling block for his sons.
We have a responsibility to take a stand and expose this corruption in our society. It’s important to share our stories of temptation and triumph, empowering others to do the same. Sexual addiction can destroy lives, but with God’s help, it doesn’t have to.
Send your e-mail comments on this article to J.J. Kirk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are some national ministries that we can recommend:
Desert Stream Ministries
Founded and directed by Andrew Comiskey, author of Pursuing Sexual Wholeness
and the Living Waters program, this ministry brings the healing power
of Jesus to men and women struggling with sexual and relational issues
such as homosexuality, sexual addiction, and sexual abuse. Ministry
groups are held throughout the U.S.
P.O. Box 17635, Anaheim, CA 92817-7635
This worldwide interdenominational organization ministers the transforming
power of the Lord Jesus Christ to those affected by homosexuality.
P.O. Box 540119, Orlando, FL 32854
This website provides resources such as a daily three-minute Bible study
to help those struggling with pornography to stand strong and resist
Faithful And True Ministries
This ministry features the resources of Mark Laaser, Ph.D., author of
several books on sexual addiction.
6542 Regency Lane, Eden Prairie, MN 55344 www.FaithfulAndTrueMinistries.com
Focus on the Family
This ministry features the resources of author Dr. James Dobson and
other Christian experts on a myriad of topics including marriage, the
family, pornography, and unfaithfulness.
www.Family.org and www.PureIntimacy.org
Heart to Heart Counseling Centers
Features the resources of Dr. Douglas Weiss, a counselor, lecturer and
author of such books as Faithful and True: Sexual Integrity in a Fallen
World and 101 Practical Exercises for Sexual Addiction Recovery.
5080 Mark Dabling Blvd., Colorado Springs, CO 80918
This Christian-based addiction ministry uses a 12-step support group
P.O. Box 2208, Oakhurst, CA 93644
Pure Life Ministries
This ministry offers the resources of author Steve Gallagher, plus residential
care, phone counseling, help for wives of men in sexual sin, and Men
of Purity Weekends.
14 School Street, Dry Ridge, KY 41035
Sought Out, Inc.
Based in Virginia, this ministry proclaims sexual redemption in Christ
from pornography, adultery, and same-sex attraction.
P.O. Box 62019, Virginia Beach, VA 23466
Stone Gate Resources
This ministry features the resources of Dr. Harry Schaumburg.
11509 Palmer Divide Road, Larkspur, CO 80118 303-688-5680 www.StoneGateResources.org
Theophostic Prayer Ministries
Pastors, professional counselors, and lay ministers use this method
of prayer counseling to bring the healing power of Jesus to people with
a wide variety of emotional wounds.
P.O. Box 489, Campbellsville, KY 42719
What If? Freedom Ministries
Phil and Bobi Naukam founded this ministry to assist others in escaping
the grip of pornography.
P.O. Box 470252, Tulsa, OK 74147-0252
Every Man's Battle: Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory
at a Time, by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker with Mike Yorkey,
Waterbrook Press. (This book also contains sections written especially
for the wives of men who struggle with pornography.)
Pure Desire: How One Man’s Triumph Can Help Others Break Free From Sexual Temptation
By Dr. Ted Roberts
Living with Your Husband’s Secret Wars By Marsha Means
An Affair of the Mind By Laurie Hall
Porn Nation: Conquering America's #1 Addiction, by Michael Leahy
Breaking Free: Understanding Sexual Addiction and the Healing Power
of Jesus, by Russell Willingham, InterVarsity Press.
False Intimacy: Understanding the Struggle of Sex Addiction,
by Dr. Harry Schaumburg, NavPress.
At the Altar of Sexual Idolatry, by Steve Gallagher, Pure Life
Ordering Your Private World, by Gordon MacDonald, Thomas Nelson
Personal Holiness in Times of Temptation, by Bruce Wilkinson,
Walk Thru the Bible Ministries.
Faithful and True: Sexual Integrity in a Fallen World, by Mark
Laaser, Ph.D., Zondervan.
Addicted to "Love," by Stephen Arterburn, Servant
The Final Freedom: Pioneering Sexual Addiction Recovery, by
Douglas Weiss, Ph.D., Heart to Heart Counseling Center.
More Discipleship Resources
More CBN Teaching Sheets
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J.J. Kirk is a freelance writer and editor with a passion for life’s stories. She loves to share her 16+ years experience in the field of writing through mentoring and teaching others. Learn more at www.thewriteconversation.blogspot.com
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