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Porn . . .

Sarah Martindell, April Oberholtzer & Aidan Gscheidle

It Distorts God’s Image in Us

Two of my friends faced a real struggle when they learned their boyfriends used porn. Both relationships ended. And they aren’t the only ones I know of that have ended this way.

guy on computer2 TSP 87626111How could pornography cause so much pain and destroy so many relationships? Porn isn’t novel anymore; it is easily accessible. Yet instead of making us numb to it, the availability of porn increases our dependence on it. Almost no one is immune to its power.

Where does God fit into the picture? God created our beautiful bodies; but pornography exploits our bodies. We are created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). Our beauty, our talents, and our capacity to love are like brilliant colors that adorn the image of God. Porn may warp the colors, but it can’t erase them. It may damage relationships, but God brings redemption.

Several of my friends have said that by the grace of God, they are able to abstain from porn. They have come to honor the image of God in the people around them. May God help all of us to see one another as brothers and sisters, beautifully created in the image of God.

—Sarah Martindell

It’s Not Just a Guy Thing

girl reading magazine2 TSP 78747266Often, my friends and I hang out after work and talk about issues that face the church today. Recently, we discussed pornography. When the conversation turned toward men and the emotional and spiritual support that could help them overcome their addiction, I felt the need to point out that pornography is a women’s issue as well.

Although more men than women seem to struggle with pornography, it is not a one-gender issue. In the same way that a man who is anorexic grapples with the stereotype that only women have eating disorders, a large number of women contend with the false assumption that only men have sexual addictions. As a result, many women suffer in silence instead of reaching out and asking for help. I hope that we, as Christians, can provide the message of the gospel to all who are struggling, no matter what their gender or the nature of their addiction.

—April Oberholtzer

 

DIG DEEPER

Our Brokenness Can Be Redeemed by Grace

devozine Healing TS 124037970Perhaps you and I are broken sexually because somewhere deep inside, we simply want to know if we are loved. At the heart of the gospel is the answer: Yes, we are loved mightily. God loves and forgives the prostitutes, the porn producers, the addicts, the abusers, you, me. This is grace: God claims us all as God’s children.

In the riches of God’s love and mercy, we find redemption and restoration. God gives us a better life, freeing us from captivity so that we can participate in God’s kingdom of goodness and righteousness.

As a former porn addict who was seized by the power of God’s relentless affection, I pray that you may realize the enormity of God’s love for you and that, assured of this love, you will seek a redeemed sexuality, healed in God’s mercy. Let each of us draw near and open our hands to grace.

—Aidan Gscheidle, 17

—from devozine (July/August 2014). Copyright © 2014 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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