Last week in my counseling class there was a presentation about sexuality and the effects of pornography on men, women, and their families by Pure Life Alliance, a local intra-church ministry that focuses on linking resources between and within churches for recovering from sex addiction or dealing with a spouse who has an addiction.
Pornography and sexual images are at pandemic rates in our country where practically everything from hamburgers to sports cars uses lust or sexual images to sell a product. Songs, television shows, and movies are laced with sexual references and innuendo. Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus’ performance at the Video Music Awards was a display of what has become acceptable- even though it shocked a lot of people- in our culture.
Within the church we have many lay leaders, pastors, and attendees who struggle with this issue. It is something we must approach redemptively and truthfully with men and women. A quote from the presentation I heard last week that I appreciated was, “Sexual addiction is like a bonfire that is out of control. When you feed a fire it burns. The more behavior you put into it the more out of control it comes through. We need healthy community, accountability, and vulnerability in our churches.”
This requires having a safe place to deal with this in men and women’s ministries and partnering with ministries, counselors, and materials to help those within the church deal with this problem. The reason we must do this is to be a part of holistic recovery for people’s spiritual, emotional, physical, family, and community identity and health. I know that volumes can be written on the issue of sexual addiction, but I think that what I want to leave you with is that there is hope through safe, grace and truth-filled community with God and others. It can be overcome by the grace and forgiveness offered at the cross, along with the Holy Spirit’s work to convict and regenerate our hearts to worship God and love him and others with our whole lives.
Here is a good article I ran across in Christianity Today just recently:
A book I would recommend is Porn Nation by Michael Leahy.