Sex & Singleness

Why Am I So Tempted When I’ve Never Fooled Around?

 

Why am I so tempted

You were raised in the church.  You followed all the rules.  You were “warned” about sex and how it was “dangerous” and were cautioned against igniting sexual passion too soon.  “Don’t fool around,” they told you.  So, you didn’t.

By all accounts, you were the perfect picture of physical purity.  Why, then, are you struggling with sexual temptation, or even pornography?

How could the struggle be so real when you were so careful to listen to all of the “rules”?

You’ve never been alone with a boy, sat too close to a boy, gone swimming with a boy, or hugged a boy, so why can’t you shake this desire to have sex with a boy?

What is wrong with you?

Answer:  Nothing, actually.  

Can it be intensified by sexual experimentation?  Absolutely, but that’s not the exclusive cause.

If you’ve always heard that being a virgin and being a “good” girl will save you from temptation and desire, you’ve been sold a half-truth.

Here’s the other half.

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Purity & Freedom, Women & Pornography

Motivation or Inspiration- Which One Do You Need?

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When it comes to developing self-discipline, there are usually two ways to keep growing.  You either thrive with motivation or inspiration.

In the past, I have been asked, “What do I have to do next in my journey of freedom?”  And I really really wish there were some 1,2,3- do this next answer.  There isn’t one, because every person is different and every story is different.  There may be common starting points and common goals, but the journey to get from point A to point B doesn’t look the same for everyone!

It would be like asking a new doctor what you should do next as part of your training program for an upcoming race.  There is no set answer.  The next step for a long-time athlete is going to be different from someone who lives on the couch eating potato chips or someone who is recovering from hip surgery.  Obviously, step 1 is to get off the couch and the last step is to run the race, but there are a lot of different steps in between.

But I realized something while training a couple weekends ago.  Yes, the journey may look different for each person, but when it comes to what helps us keep going, keep trying, keep training- there seems to be two camps of people.

You either need motivation or inspiration.

Knowing which one can be vital in taking the next best step.

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Sex & Singleness

When “Everybody Else” is Getting Married

everybody else is getting married

 Tomorrow will mark my grandparents’ 62nd wedding anniversary (yes, 62).  My brother and his wife just celebrated their first anniversary earlier this week.  Next weekend, I’m going to a bridal shower for a friend from college.

(My mother was quick to remind me that she is the last single friend I have from college… thanks, Mom)

It’s been ten years since I graduated college, and, let me tell you, it never stops.  Yet, “it” never seems to make its way over to me.  There have definitely been times over the last ten years I’ve thought, “Oh my goodness, everybody else is getting married!”  Let me tell you, those times are hard.

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Sex & Singleness

(Why You Need to) Talk to Your Kids About Sex

This post is filled with affiliate links, meaning when you visit the sites and make purchases, I receive a commission at no extra charge to you.  It is a way for me to keep this site running, and I will never promote a product I do not support.  Thank you for your support!

I’ve said it for a while, “Whoever tells your kids about sex first is who they will listen to.”  Of course, I know that’s very daunting, especially for Christian parents.

For whatever reason, Christian parents in general have a really (and I mean really) hard time talking to their kids about sex.  There’s this desire to hold out for as long as possible, with some parents not even talking with their kids at all… ever.

A couple years ago, my old youth pastor contacted me and asked me for some advice.  He was getting ready to talk with the youth group about sex and pornography, and had found out through an anonymous survey that for 90% of the teens in the youth group, their parents had never broached the topic of sex.

90 %

And these were teenagers.  Please tell me I’m not the only one who sees this as a problem.  Parents, do you understand how important you are in this?

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My Life

Thanks for Ruining Father’s Day

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I’ll admit, this is written for somewhat therapeutic purposes.  At the same time, I know hundreds of my readers come from broken, fatherless homes.  For us, fathers day is a reminder of what we’ve lost.  So, forgive me for the raw emotion- the frustration, the bitterness, the grief.  This blog is nothing if not painfully real.

Nothing rips open wounds for me quite like Father’s Day.

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Sex & Singleness

“Boys Will Be Boys” is Killing our Men

-Boys will be boys-

Where do I even start?

The past few weeks have been filled with sexual assault in the news.  There was the case of the high school student in Florida who had sex with several boys in the high school bathroom while dozens more watched.  As a former teacher, that got under my skin.  I’ve had students sneak away and have sex though.  Yes, even at a Christian school.

But this?  The Stanford rape case?  Is making my blood boil.

Few things in life get me fired up, but raping a drunk stranger in an alley, behind a dumpster?  And then passing it off like she wanted it, like she liked it.

Pause.  What woman in her right mind feels it would be just a great idea to have sex in an alley behind a dumpster?  I mean, seriously.  And with a stranger, no less.

But beyond the absolutely enraging details is the complaint of his father that jail time and a national sex offender registry is too steep a price for “20 minutes of action.”  It’s a ramped up ‘boys will be boys’ (with an added sprinkle of ‘my son would never hurt a fly.’)

I have a major problem with “boys will be boys.”  In fact, everyone should, especially the boys.

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Featured, Women & Pornography

An Open Letter to the Set Free Summit

I just finished packing to head home and I’ve done so in an absolute daze.

Seven years.  Seven years I have been doing this and I have never met a more welcoming, loving, and supportive audience.  I cry when I think about how the conversation is changing.  It is moving from one of defensiveness and resistance to one of passion and grace.

Thank you.

To the fathers who came to me with tears in your eyes, weeping over your daughters- thank you.  I challenge you to love your little girls before the world teaches them they are unworthy of such love.  May God give you the strength and grace to love them wholly, no matter who they are, or what they’ve done.

To the women who came to me and for the first time felt free enough to speak the words “I struggle with pornography”- you are so very brave.  I hope you know that.

I cried every time those words were spoken out loud, because, for years you’ve never felt safe enough to share them.  I know.  I’ve been there.  Take hope.

The tide is changing.

To the pastors who came, eager for help and resources, wanting to take the message back to your churches- you are counter-cultural.  You are grabbing hold of the ladder and shaking it up.  Bring it down.

The devil will resist.  Women are his final frontier in this fight.  The church is getting ahead of him.

You bought every last copy of my book, but you can pick up more.  You bought cases of the Sexual Sanity for Women study.  They were not expecting that.  Good thing New Growth Press is right down the road!

Thank you.  Thank you for letting me share my heart, my story, and most importantly, the message of Grace.  If you would like me to come share it in your circle, please just let me know.

That is the message of Grace.  God bless you as you carry it home and apply it to your families, your churches, your marriages, your ministries, your communities, and even yourselves.

It is an honor to carry that message with you.

Don’t lose heart.  This is a fight.  And we will win.

For His Glory, because of His Grace,

Jessica

Women & Pornography

Do Christian Women Really Watch Porn?

Do Christian Women Watch Porn

The first sizable speaking event I had was a conference in Canada in December 2010.  I remember telling one of the male speakers my topic.

“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.”

“Exactly.”

As I prepared to present at the Set Free Summit, I was reminded of the fact that some people still don’t “get it.”  When I mention my topic, the responses are mixed, but one thing they have in common is confusion.

Really?  Do Christian women really watch porn?

The simple answer is “yes.”

But that would also be the shortest blog post I have ever written, so we all know this isn’t going to end there.

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My Life, Women & Pornography

This is no April Fools Joke; the Book is Here!

April 1 is a big day in Beggar’s Daughter history.  April 1, 2009 was the “birthday” of this blog.  And yes, it was a birthday, not an anniversary.  I stayed up all night laboring with a crazy ftp server.  If you don’t know what that means, it’s ok.  To be honest, I don’t know if I do either.

What I do know is it’s been seven years.  Seven.  What better day to release a book than on the seventh birthday of the blog?

I’ve spent the last couple days simply in awe.  I’ll start to tear up a bit just thinking about how God has led, all the times I’ve wanted (and even tried) to quit.  All the times I’ve wandered off only to realize that this is where I belong.  It’s the craziest thing, and right now, in this moment, I stand on the edge of the highest cliff I’ve ever climbed, ready to jump, in a BASE jumping kind of way.  It reminds me of that time last April when I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane.  Same feeling.

Sometimes, when you get to these cliffs, the best thing you can do is look back over all the smaller ones.  Reflecting on how God has led and sustained helps you remember that there’s no reason to be afraid.  There’s no reason He won’t continue to lead and sustain.

So, I thought I’d take you on a little walk down memory lane.  There’s a special something waiting at the end.  It starts with “b” and rhymes with “hook.”

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Featured, My Life

Why I’m Not Anonymous

Jessica Harris Beggars Daughter

The pre-release copies of my book showed up a couple weeks ago.  I opened the box and started to tear up. I’m so relieved that this project is done.  I’ll be introducing you all tomorrow.

One thing I struggled with the most as I worked on it was what to put on the cover.  I could be all symbolic and find some stock image, or I could just work with some cool text design.  Maybe a geometric shape. I even debated using an old (old) glamour-style headshot.

Eventually, I settled on a lovely black and white photo taken by friends a couple years ago.  A black and white photo… of me.

As I looked at my stack of pre-release copies, it dawned on me:  There is no undoing this.  Any sense of anonymity is gone.

Why am I doing this?

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