I almost didn’t post this one. It is a rather sensitive and personal topic.
- You have heard it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
This is a hard one for me. It was a lot harder before Christ, but there are times when I have to check myself and turn to prayer.
I was in kindergarten when I had my first sexual encounter with a neighborhood girl of the same age. We didn’t know what we were doing, which wasn’t much more than looking and touching, but I knew it was wrong. This happened again with another two girls some time later. The first two times it happened the other parties initiated it. But afterwards I began to initiate. And that is where I have the most difficulty. I pray for all of the other neighborhood kids, but especially the two from which I initiated, I hope those encounters haven’t caused them any lasting damage. I try to tell myself that we were all young and didn’t know any better, but still experiences of that nature can have lasting effects.
By the time I was in 3rd grade I had had a several more of these encounters with other neighborhood kids, but by then my direction predominantly changed to the viewing and prolonged imagination of images, which really started when I found a Playboy magazine in the wooded area by my house. I seemed to have an uncanny skill for finding these magazines every time I went out. I was in 5th grade when I saw my first porn movie. I remember the feeling of something shock when I saw it. And I wanted to see it again. And do what they did. It became the “cool” thing for guys to make copies and pass along the tapes.
When the internet came along I spent countless hours downloading images, which on a 2400 baud speed modem was about one picture per hour. But with faster rates came more images and then video.
I know my first experience set off this spiral into sin and viewing women as nothing more than objects for my amusement. But the thing is, that after so many years of having been involved in that world, I was addicted to it. I tried to justify my actions and tell myself “it’s natural, everyone does it”, and not being a Christian made this easier. But I always knew deep down it was wrong. I know this because I tried to hide it and I tried to quit countless times, but I was never successful… Until I came to Christ! Until I had began to view people as image bearers of God. Until I understood the nature of sexual sin. Until I could tell the difference between real love and counterfeit love.
What I struggle with now is an occasional second glance at a woman, or a lingering thought. The temptation to click an internet ad with a picture of a scantily clad woman. I snap myself out of it and turn to prayer, but it still happened. That glance moved to inappropriate areas or perhaps lingered a little too long. That thought that wasn’t of my wife. I wish it didn’t happen. It’s a slow road to rewire my brain away from the consequences of my past actions. I wish that was one of those areas where I could have instant transformation. I have never physically cheated on my wife, but I seem to do it in my heart on a daily basis.
Lord Jesus, I want to thank you for pulling me out of the descending spiral of sexual sin. I ask that you heal all the parties involved in my past perversions. I pray that you reach out to the coerced and abused women trapped in the world of porn, and let them know there is hope, love, and freedom in Christ. That they are your daughters. In jesus name I pray. AMEN!