Pornography AddictionWomen & Pornography

Your Girlfriend’s Into Porn… Now What?

TWO DAYS AGO HE WAS THINKING OF BUYING A RING, NOW HE DOESN’T KNOW WHAT TO DO.

So he asked me.

It’s a story many of us share.  A young girl, raised in a Christian family, raised to be a good wife.  By all accounts the makings of a great woman of God, but, just below the surface something is not right.  A little suspicion led to a little investigation.  A little investigation led to the discovery of a huge porn addiction.  She denied it, but then a second party discovered it and confronted her again.  Two strikes and she came clean- addicted to porn and masturbation since she was thirteen years old.

The man who wrote the e-mail is studying to enter the ministry and dearly loves this young woman.  He went through all the right steps of courting her and appears, from the depths of the e-mail and the heart behind it, to be a great guy.  But now, he is confused.

Could she be a stumbling block to his ministry?

It’s the story every single female porn addict fears intensely.  Nearly any single girl trapped in this stuff has “I’ll never be able to get married” on her Top Ten List of Fears.  We are afraid that every guy we meet, the second he hears the “P” word or the “M” word, will freak out and take off for the high hills.  For many of us, it’s as good as leprosy– forever exiling us from life, love, and happiness.  I could have been angry that he asked- even furious.  Good-for-nothing preacher boy wants to ditch the girl because she’s got a little dirt under her nails.

Instead I hurt for him.  He loves her dearly and doesn’t want to hurt her.  He isn’t the guy that runs for the hills.  He’s the guy that takes one in the heart, gets the wind knocked out of him and then doesn’t know what to do next.

Does he leave?  Does he stay?  Does he move forward?  Does he wait?

He’s probably not the only guy in this situation, just the first to speak up and ask me this question.  So, here’s my thought for the guys out there.

 It’s OK to ask that question.  As I have mentioned before here, porn is not a bad habit.  It is not as trivial as picking your nose or chewing your nails. Nor is it a hopeless cause, but it does have to be approached with caution and that approach needs to be tempered with grace.  If you are looking for a flawless woman, you will not find one.  Does that mean you settle for a broken and rebelling one?  No.  Does that mean you run from the broken and rebelling?  No.

First, check your own heart.  Why does this matter to you?  The issue itself is important.  This is not a question of “Is it that big of a deal?”  It is.  The question here is why.  Does it matter because she is a woman who is hurting herself and is falling short of God’s potential?  or does it matter because you don’t want to marry a woman with a past?  You were looking for a trophy wife and instead have found some gold-plated rust.  Are you worried about you?

Once your heart is right, figure out where hers is.

You can play hard ball grace or slow-pitch grace

If she is hiding, unrepentant, unwilling to be accountable, lying and defending her sin, then you’re playing hard ball.  There is little room for gentleness here at all.  She needs to be broken, but you are not the one to break her.  That is God’s job, and you are best to step back from the relationship.  Do not leave solely because of her sin, because that will burn a bridge you may not be able to build again.  Instead, help her.  Pray for her.  If you love her, get on your knees and fight for her.  She’s trapped.  She may not see it yet, but she is trapped.

You are a man (at least that’s the hope) and as such are a natural born protector, defender, and leader.  Practice protecting, defending, and leading through prayer.  If she rejects that, then yes, leave the relationship.  She has made the choice. Don’t run just because there is a sin, unless you plan on divorcing your future wife the first time she covets your neighbor’s baking dish.

Do not bribe or use your relationship as some kind of bargaining chip.  If you win that gamble, you will lose in the long run.  She will ‘change’ for you and that never brings lasting change or freedom.

If she is broken and on the road to healing, then congratulations, you found yourself another human being.  We are all broken in some way and on our way to healing.  This requires a gentle grace, a calm supportive grace, a steady grace that takes it easy on her, leaves room for her to mess up and lets her get back up again.  We all struggle with something, right?  If not, then you need to check your pride meter; it’s on full.

A couple weeks ago, I called in to speak with my friend, Matt, on a radio show and I asked the question:

“What do you have to say to women who say, ‘A man could never love me?'”  I think the answer is great for both sexes. 

When it is all said and done, every relationship is different, and I am no replacement for God (not even close). I know women who are married who have or still do struggle with pornography.  It is not as rare as some men might hope, just like it is rare to find a man who does not struggle with pornography.  Every one of those marriages is doing just fine, because the woman was either on the healed, on the road to healing, or willing to heal and her husband was willing to walk that road with her.

We are all broken to some level and we all have baggage, the beauty of love is being able to help carry that baggage.

 
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3 comments

  1. “The question here is why. Does it matter because she is a woman who is hurting herself and is falling short of God’s potential? or does it matter because you don’t want to marry a woman with a past? You were looking for a trophy wife and instead have found some gold-plated rust. Are you worried about you?

    Once your heart is right, figure out where hers is.”

    So very well said! A great reminder of 1 Samuel 16:7.

  2. Hi Jessica! 🙂 My only caution to this coulple would be to not rush into getting married any time soon. As a married woman who has been addicted to porn, once you get married it is so much more difficult to deal with the effects of a pornography addiction and the healing that needs to happen.

    Yes, healing takes place over a long span of time, but if I could do this all over again I would have waited until God healed my heart significantly. That’s difficult to measure, I know, but once you get married, the healing process becomes so much more complicated for everyone involved.

    Once her heart has had a little time to heal, I think this couple will have such a wonderful opportunity for a fulfilling and intimate marriage.

    1. Thank you, Amy. I agree with you. As a single woman, looking back over my journey, I know marriage would have completely slowed that process. It would have felt like nothing was wrong since I was married or nothing could be wrong since I was married. It is very important that we have ‘whole hearts’ before we try and bond them with someone else. I just don’t want people to be afraid of marrying porn addicts. We are women, after all, people, and people make mistakes, but you are right, the damages of this sin are deep and need to be healed, or else the husband becomes the new pornography.