When I first started speaking, I always got a kick out of the reaction my topic received. Some unsuspecting person would ask, “So, what do you talk about?”
“I talk about women struggling with pornography.”
There was a bit of a pause- you could probably call it awkward. “Hmmmm… well that’s interesting. That’s usually a men’s topic.”
It isn’t your typical women’s ministry topic. It’s far from body image issue and being a Proverbs 31 woman. And yet, it isn’t really that far at all.
For Christian women who struggle with pornography or other sexual addictions, addressing that sin is a gateway to being able to grow in other areas. You have no hope of living a fruitful, vibrant life while hiding in darkness. If you want to bear fruit, you have to be in the Light- that’s how growth works. So, really, there’s no way to get to “Proverbs 31” without first addressing the sins that so easily beset us, one of which is pornography.
Really? Do Christian women really watch porn?
The simple answer is “yes.”
The problem with the question is that it is loaded. It isn’t just a simple yes or no question. There are questions within the question. When someone asks “Do Christian women really struggle with pornography?” They are asking more for an explanation than an answer.
They want to know the who, what, when, where, why, and how. For so long, we’ve talked about pornography as a “guy problem.” Addressing it as a problem among women threatens how we approach the topic for both men and women. It means we have to rethink this. We have to fall back, regroup, and strategize. We risk offending an entire generation of women “who would never” in order to reach the new generation of girls growing who are not only growing up with porn at their fingertips, they are becoming porn.
It is far easier to say, “Well, women in my church don’t really have that problem” or “Well, I’ve never heard of that” and brush it away.
While the general Christian populace is still debating whether there really are women who struggle with pornography, there are plenty of women who are really struggling with pornography.
It’s time for us to stop wondering. Yes, Christian women do watch porn, just like Christian men watch porn, just like non-Christian women watch porn.
Christian women are human, and susceptible to the same desires as every other… human.
That’s not said to excuse the problem at all. That is said because we need to start addressing it.
Our silence is the source of the shame many women find themselves trapped in. Nobody talks about the pastor’s wife who watches porn. The female worship leader, the college RA, the Bible study leader, the babysitter…
And each of those women, those Christian women trapped in darkness while pretending to walk in the light, is in desperate need of hope. They need to know that there is hope, healing, and freedom waiting. They need to know that God’s desire is for their healing and wholeness, not for a list of tasks they can accomplish. More than a Proverbs 31 woman, God desires a whole woman, and that is why I share my story.
Jessica Harris is an author, speaker, blogger, and recovered porn-addict. In 2009, she launched her website where she writes about her journey of freedom, offers insights into the problem of female sex addiction in the church, and tackles other topics such as singleness, dating, and purity. She has shared her story at churches, youth groups, women’s conferences, and college conferences across the nation and has been featured in the documentary “The Heart of the Matter” as well as on ABC Nightline. She has been a guest author for numerous blogs, including Covenant Eyes, Proverbs 31 Ministries, and Sheila Wray Gregoire’s To Love Honor and Vacuum. In 2016, she released her self-published memoir, Beggar’s Daughter, and is currently working on her next book, a Bible study on John 4, as well as a book on sex and purity for teenage girls. Find out more information by visiting her website.