Porn Addiction: Confession & Finding Accountability

Jessica was raised in a Christian home and grew up going to church amidst the atmosphere of purity movements and the “True Love Waits” movement. When she was 13 years old, she was exposed to pornography. By the time she was a senior in high school (17 years old), she was full-on addicted to pornography. During this time, she was an active leader in the church, at the top of her classes in school, and engaging in other wholesome activities. She was the picture of the perfect Christian girl on the outside, but on the inside, she continued her struggling with her addiction to porn. Is it okay to watch porn? She’s still a virgin, after all. She’s not having sex, so it must be okay, right? But Jessica soon realized that her addiction was getting out of control. She didn’t know how to get help. At the time, there were no available resources for her, for women, to get help with this.

Q: Thinking back on how you struggled with addiction to pornography behind closed doors, what was the catalyst that made you seek help?

“I need help, but how do you start this conversation?”

Jessica graduated and went off to a Christian college with the hopes of being caught. She didn’t feel strong enough to start the conversation, so she wanted to be caught in the act, so to speak. She wanted someone to “start the conversation” — confront her about her addiction — so that she could freely admit to it.

In her freshman year, she did get caught. The dean of the school and other staff confronted her about her Internet browsing history and spoke about how bad pornography was, but ended with:

“That being said, we know this wasn’t you. Women don’t have this problem.”

She left feeling defeated. She began to question why she had this obsession if women didn’t struggle with it. In her brokenness, she concluded that the women who did enjoy pornography were those who were in that business. At the age of 17, she determined that her future was in the adult industry.

“I became someone’s pornography when I was 17 years old.”

Jessica left that college and returned home. But her story doesn’t here. God moved greatly in her life, and by the following fall semester, Jessica was off to a Bible college.

Q: You said that you had hoped to get caught, but even after getting caught you still didn’t get the help that you needed. Where did your first step toward freedom come from then?

During the fall semester of her new college, they had an all-women’s meeting. There, the dean of women spoke about struggles we choose to “live with” rather than try to resolve. She even stated that some of the women in that very room, at that Christian college, were struggling with pornography. During that meeting, the women were asked to confess and write down any strongholds in their lives and submit them. “My name is Jessica and I struggle with pornography.”

“It’s your last hope. You’ve been holding on to confession because confession is no doubt. If I’m telling you I’m struggling with this, you can’t say, ‘No, you’re not.’ So, if I give that to you, I’m hoping you’re going to do something with it, and I’m trusting you with it. I’m not gonna trust a lot of people with that. If you mess up when I confess to you, I’m never gonna tell anybody again.”

She returned to her room that night with doubts and fear. Shortly thereafter, her dorm supervisor came to her room and said, “Jessica, what you wrote on that paper was brave, and we’re gonna help you.”

Q: What about the Gospel and your relationship with God prompted you to share your struggles with pornography addiction with others?

Beggar’s Daughter started out as anonymous, angry posts lashing out against the Church for failing the women within it. Fast forward to a year later. She was speaking at a women’s conference, during which she led a workshop for women. The was a high response for her workshop — women who were attending other workshops left to attend hers. She had a full room.

She shared her testimony, her journey of shame and struggling, and encouraged the other women to share their own struggles. Against her expectations, this room full of strangers began to share their own struggles.

“There was so much grace and healing that came into that room.”

As she left that room, the moment came where God gave her a choice: a choice to continue with her original plan to become a doctor and be “successful,” or the choice to experience what she experienced in that room — God setting people free. Knowing that there are women struggling with sexual sin, knowing that there are little to no resources available to them and knowing that she could help them, Jessica chose the latter.

“I call it my Esther moment because it was like, ‘God, I don’t want this. I do not want to out myself. I don’t want this to be the label that I have for the rest of my life…but I want them to be free.’”

Q: What are the pros and cons of confessing anonymously?

Pitfalls of Anonymous Confessions:

  • One-sided Confessions.
  • People want the relief that comes with confession, but don’t want the hard questions and self-reflection that comes with accountability.

It’s difficult to follow up on a confession when the accountability partner doesn’t know who you are or anything about you. Thus the confessor feels justified in their continued struggle because they felt they haven’t been properly helped.

Q: What are some of the things you’d like women to know about before they confess? How do they need to prepare their minds?

Prepare your heart in grace.
The idea of women struggling with sexual sin is still relatively “new” because it is not discussed often. Prepare your heart and mind to realize that though it may look like rejection, it’s not. Others just don’t fully understand how to respond to your confession or how to help you.

Be prepared for accountability.
When you find someone who is able to help you, be open to a relationship of accountability.

Be realistic in your expectations.
Confession doesn’t mean that the ball is in your accountability partner’s court alone. They are not to be at your beck and call and it is not their responsibility alone to keep you accountable. You bear some responsibility for your accountability.

Q: Final Encouragements?

Have hope.
The conversation is changing! People are talking about this and people want to help. Be hope-focused in your recovery and move forward.

The point is to become more like Jesus.
You don’t need to find “former porn addicts” to help you. Find a woman you respect for how she lives her life and how she loves God. Ask her to help you do that.

LEAVE A COMMENT:

Is there anything holding you back from confessing and getting accountability for your porn addiction? Leave a comment below so we can help and encourage you.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *