Prayer For Those Addicted To Pornography
Helping Wives with Husbands Addicted to Pornography
If you are a woman who has any leadership role at all in a local church or ministry, chances are great that other women will think of you if they need to talk to someone during a time of crisis.
As a pastor’s wife, I have had women come to me with everything from parenting questions to requests for Bible study recommendations.
Some of the most heartbreaking moments, though, have come when women have come to me in tears asking for help after finding out that their husbands have an addiction to pornography.
I listen to these women, and my heart resonates with every word they say. I don’t just hurt for them, I hurt with them—because I, too, have been in their shoes. I know what it’s to pull up a browser history and sit in numb shock at the list of websites that appears.
I know what it’s to listen to my husband confess yet again that he has given into the sin of lust. I know what it is to watch him the corner of my eye when we go out, wondering if he is attracted to the women who walk by.And I know what it is to feel shame over my own body, assuming that if I were skinnier or prettier, then he would not be tempted to look elsewhere.
As I have dealt with this battle in my own life, and as I have struggled with trying to help others while hurting privately, the Lord has helped me gain a few key insights that may be helpful for you if you are ever in the position of counseling a wife through this hurt or if you are ever the hurting wife yourself. Any type of counseling involves both listening and talking, so here are a few ways you can listen well to a hurting wife and a few things she might need to hear from you.
1. Focus on her story, not someone else’s
The word pornography immediately brings up images in our minds that may or may not be true in every case. You may have known other men addicted to pornography. You may be married to one yourself. But every story is different, and you must make sure you are not interjecting another story into hers.
Her husband may be involved in some of the more explicit forms of pornography, or maybe his struggles wouldn't even be labeled pornography by some. Some men need intensive, long-term counsel, and some just need a friend or mentor providing accountability.
He may have confessed on his own and is actively fighting this sin, or he may have gotten caught and is not repentant at all. It’s important to try to get an accurate picture of the situation so that your counsel can be effective. To be clear, you do not need to know details.
You just need enough general information to be able to provide or enlist the best help for that situation.
I went years without ever talking to anyone because I was so ashamed for anyone to know.
Pornography is one of those sins that is so hard to bring into the light because it carries a weight of shame that many other sins just don’t carry.So if a wife has come to ask for help, there’s a very good chance she is embarrassed and needs you to respond to her with love and support, not shock and horror.
She may have really struggled with wondering if she is betraying her husband by sharing with you. When I did finally open up to a few ladies about my story, I was scared they would think my husband was a terrible person. You may be legitimately surprised or even shocked to hear her story, but you must communicate love and grace if you want to be any help at all to this wife and her family.
3. Let her tell you how she feels, which may or may not be how you expect her to feel
Many women will feel devastated, heartbroken, angry, scared, ashamed, or any combination of these. However, I once counseled a woman who was in a relationship with a man who struggles with pornography. She asked, “Is it a bad thing that I don’t feel more hurt by this?”
She was able to see his sin as independent of herself and was not taking it personally.
However, so many people she had talked with expected her to feel heartbroken, and she was starting to think something must be wrong with her.
So we need to really listen to what a woman is feeling and thinking without assuming we already know. She needs to be able to communicate those emotions to you. Only then can you meet her where she is and begin to help.
1. Preach the gospel to her
More than practical help or even a listening ear, she needs to hear the gospel as it applies to her situation. If her husband is a believer, remind her that even this sin is covered by the blood of Christ.
Help her remember that Christ died to break the strongest chains (even chains of addiction) and that with the help of the Holy Spirit, there is hope for her husband to walk in victory. If he is not a believer, remind her that his greatest need is Christ even above the need to stop looking at pornography.
Show her that her worth and identity are rooted in Christ and His love for her, not in anything her husband does.
2. Remind her of grace
Remind her that she, too, is a sinner in need of grace. When I realized that there were sins in my own life that followed the same pattern of temptation, indulgence, shame, and remorse, it really helped me to start looking at my husband with eyes of compassion instead of hurt.
Suddenly I could empathize with his battle. If he is a believer, help his wife to remember that he is also her brother in Christ and is struggling with sin and needs grace in much the same way that she does. Also, help her see God’s grace working in the situation.
Is her husband repentant? Did he confess on his own? That’s grace. Has God protected him from progressing as far down the road as this sin could take him? That’s grace. Is he willing to fight this sin? That’s grace. There is grace to be found even in the most desperate situations.
Help her find it.
3. Help her to respect her husband
Even when he has sinned against her in this way, she is still called to respect him. As she processes through her emotions, she may speak disrespectfully of him or disclose some ways that she has been treating him disrespectfully.
I’ve talked with women who responded to their husbands’ confessions by taking their phones away and refusing to allow them access to any of their computers or media. There may be some similar steps that need to be taken. My husband has used filtering and accountability software, and we have a passcode on Netflix that only I know. However, these are steps that need to be decided mutually.
Help her remember that she is his wife, not his mother, and it is disrespectful for her to treat him a disobedient child. Also, she may need a gentle rebuke if she is speaking disrespectfully about him or to him. It’s very easy to lash out at the one who has hurt us, but she must be very careful not to sin against him in her response to his sin.
4. Tell her that his sin is not about her
My husband was first exposed to pornography in middle school and was addicted before I even met him. By the time we were newly married, when I first started finding out about it, he had been entrenched for more than a decade. But I still thought it must be my fault. If I were prettier, skinnier, and could satisfy him more completely, he wouldn't struggle.
These were lies, but I believed them. And almost every other woman I’ve talked to has believed them as well. My husband told me over and over that his sin was not about me, but I refused to believe him.
Again, it was only when I saw that the pattern of his sin was so similar to the pattern of sin in my own life that I began to realize he was telling the truth.This sin had a hold over him that had nothing to do with how much I weighed.
Repeat the truth over and over to her—his sin is not about her. Unfortunately, sometimes he may tell her that it is her fault. Don’t let her believe this. He is responsible for his own body and his own sin. Nothing she has done in their relationship gives him an excuse to sin in this way. His sin is not about her.
5. At the same time, encourage her to avoid withholding intimacy from him
This is a very delicate conversation to have. A wife who feels betrayed and hurt by a husband who has been unfaithful, even if only with his eyes, is not ly going to be in the mood for intimacy. He needs to be patient and understanding with her in her hurt, and in some cases, a more extended time of abstinence may be wise.
However, God created both men and women with a desire for sexual intimacy, and He created marriage in part to provide a safe and holy place for those desires to be met.
If she is refusing to meet that need in her husband, gently help her see that she is not loving him well and that she is ly making his struggle for purity more difficult.
It’s not healthy or loving for her to use sexual intimacy as a punishment or reward for his current level of victory.
Help her see that God can give her the grace to be intimate with her husband even when she may not feel it. She needs to see that sexual intimacy is a source of ministry and comfort in a marriage. It bonds a wife and her husband nothing else can.
This act that she feels she never wants to do again may be the very thing that starts the healing process. Encourage her to ask God to help her be intimate with her husband, and remind her that God can redeem a marriage devastated by pornography.
6. Finally, pray with her
Let her hear you intercede on behalf of her heart and her marriage. Let her hear your affirmation of God’s power to heal and restore what has been broken. Thank God for her husband and her marriage and for the work He is doing.
Pray that her husband would gain victory over this sin and walk in purity and that he would desire Christ above all fleshly desires. Pray that she would be a wise and loving helper for her husband and that God would heal her hurts and help her speak truth to herself. Pray for protection from the enemy.Thank Him for the cross, which breaks all the bonds of sin in a believer’s heart. Let her hear you pray these prayers of hope over her.
She may not be ready to hear all of these things at once. It may take much time and patience. But if she receives compassion from you and knows she is loved by you, then God can use that to keep the door open for you to continue helping her.
Keep Your Eyes on Christ
The tragic reality is that pornography is becoming easier and easier to access at younger and younger ages.
You may actually end up using much of these helps to counsel the mother of a child addicted to pornography as more and more teens and even children are exposed.
The statistics are alarming, and one thing we can assume from them is that women's leaders will be approached with these stories more and more. Our hearts will break and we may be tempted to despair, but let me leave you with one encouragement from Scripture.
At the end of a long list in 1 Corinthians 6 of those who will not inherit the kingdom of God, including the sexually immoral and the adulterer, Paul says: “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:11).
As you minister to these hurting women, do not despair. Their hope, their husband’s hope, your hope, and our hope is in Christ, and He alone has the power to transform. I can testify to His faithfulness to me over the years and to His power to help my husband finally walk in victory. Keep your eyes on Christ, and point hurting women to do the same.
The battle for sexual purity is on the rise. How can women’s leaders be ready to help others fight the good fight? Here is more content on sexuality issues plaguing today’s church.
Prayers for Addictions
This «Prayers for Addictions» page
to help and encourage those
who are fighting an addiction battle.
~ ~ ~
We have several prayers
including an audio prayer.
~ ~ ~
Before we share the prayers on this page,
we first want to share the other pages
that we have on this topic.
POWERFUL Addiction PRAYER
Prayer for Yielding to God and following him more closely
For tips on Conquering Addiction:
«How to Stop Drinking and other addicitions»
For more Power Prayer:
Addiction Spiritual Warfare Prayer
For Addiction to Pornography go to our page:
Get Free from Pornography
For Becoming a VICTORIOUS CHAMPION
Champions for Christ!
Prayer for Help
You know what I crave.
You know my struggles.
I call out to you.
You have all the answers on how to be free.
Cleanse my thoughts and cleanse my body.
Renew my mind as I read your Word.
Guide me through this valley to a place of victory.
In Jesus’ name I pray,
Copyright © 2015 Beth McLendon of Inspirational-Prayers.com
Next we are going to present an
Addiction Prayer from Ora Mosley.
Your browser does not support the audio element.
Prayer for Tobacco and other Addictions
Next, we present to you the following devotional-prayer.
It is specifically written for a
Copenhagen tobacco addiction.
Nevertheless, you can use it to fashion a prayer
that meets your specific need.
Every heartfelt prayer
is a welcome prayer to the Lord.
Friend and Enemy
Oh,what a friend I have in you my dear Copenhagen; you've always been very closeto my heart.
Thrugood times and the bad, you've never abandoned me. I've entirely depended onyou thru the most horrific times of my life. You truly have been my bestfriend. You have always sought me and wrapped your arms around me. You haveplanted seeds of desire for you; how great are thou.
Ihave protected you from wicked people who have talked poorly of you. I have hiddenyou and justified our close nit relationship. How dare someone talk badly aboutmy best friend….you can't be the sin everyone is saying. You must love me….and never would you mean to bring harm to me. You've been a great and powerfulforce in my life.
Mydearest friend Copenhagen,my newest friend, Jesus Christ,
has convicted myheart about you.Hehas shown me the darkness of our relationship. The lies and deceit that youhave taught me has trickled into other parts of my life.
Youhave attacked my integrity, my faith, and my direction toward the Lord.
Youhave warped my mind and now I must rewire my thinking. You have also attackedmy lovely wife with lies and deception.
You'rethe same snake that deceived Eve in the Holy Garden. You are the Prince of theEarth, but no longer the reigning source of my heart, mind, and soul. In thename of Jesus Christ, I release you into the hands of the Father; may his willbe done.
I plead the blood of Jesus Christ of Nazareth over my wife, family,and me. I demand you to leave with your lies and deception immediately! I'm anew being in Christ, and I firmly stand on this from this day forward.
Copyright © 2008 Tim Miller
Used by permission
I encourage you to say these often:
I will dwell on the good, godly things
that God puts into my life.
I will satisfy myself with the good, godly things
that God putsinto my life.
Note: We also invite you to the «very» bottom of the page
to read a Food Addiction Prayer
written by a visitor to this site.
We invite you to the bottom of the page
to read several new addiction prayers
from another visitor to this site.
~ ~ ~
Please consider writing your own original prayer for addiction
and sending it to us on the form below.
We all need each other.
We also suggest that you look through our Full Armor of God pages.
Those pages are designed to add strength to our life.
Here is an example:
The Shield of Faith
They are all posted on our Bible Devotions page.
Prayers for Addictions
«Save me, O God, for the floodwaters are up to my neck. Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire; I can't find a foothold. I am in deep water, and the floods overwhelm me.» Psalm 69:1-2 NLT
«O Lord, I have come to you for protection; don't let me be disgraced. Save me and rescue me, for you do what is right. Turn your ear to listen to me and set me free.
Be my rock of safety where I can always hide. Give the order to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. My God, rescue me from the power of the wicked, from the clutches of cruel oppressors.
O Lord, you alone are my hope.» Psalm 71:1-5a NLT
Back to the top of Prayers for Addictions
Please share your thoughts.
What Other Visitors Have Said
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page…
Rescue from the leavened quicksand
Heavenly Father; I cry out to you to help me … for I am sinking fast into the leavened quicksand. Addiction is pulling me into the deep darkness of despair …
My God is able
I pray for the addicts, I pray for the children in the cross fire, I once was lost, (life of an addict) but now I am found. I ask this for my son. …
Trusting in YOU L-RD
Yahweh Rophe Only YOU can change the path of my son. I repent for the days of his childhood when I failed him because of my addiction to alcohol. I feel …
Addict for too long
I need you father god , addiction to drugs has left me alone , I need you for you are the only one who really knows me, and has never left my side , I …
Take one if you will and slip away another day. A day used someone else walked, yours gone you just talked Not to add but …
I have a sex addiction
Pray for me that I loose the desire to just have sex with anybody it could be a stranger and I don't care I just want to have sex. I meet people off line …
Forgive him bring him your light
Pray fir my lost soul son who is wrapped up in drinking, drugs, smoking. He is depressed. Suffers form sleep path era and wastes his money on indulgences. …
Dear lord please help me hold on I am tired and I can't be strong. My life is crumbling from the inside out. I am worthy of your love I have no doubt. …
My child don't you know how it makes my heart grieve To see you struggling so just to believe? Don't you know that I love you — that my heart breaks …
How Do I….
How do I let go of all of my grief? How do I turn to You and completely believe? How do I let go and hand You my fear? How do I trust You with …
Look To Me
Look to me my child when you're down and out. Hit your knees and call my name when you're full of doubt. Lift your heart and your eyes to the heavens …
Unworthy of You, Your grace and Your love. Unworthy of Your Son sent from above. Unworthy to even utter Your name. I'm just a lowly sinner …
The Devil is Calling
The devil is calling; please help me be strong. For what he is asking my heart knows is wrong. He plays on my fears as he calls out my name. But …
I need help from addiction
PLS pray for me to be forever free
She wrote: I am in a world wind of darkness. I can't break the addiction of drinking, my finances are getting worse. I need to find a job or I will loose …
Prayer for Food Addiction
Dear Heavenly Father, You alone, know ALL my needs, and all my body's needs, having created it. Food has been my «comforter» for wayyyy too long. …
Click here to write your own.
Back to the top of Prayers for Addictions
The Role of Priests in Ministry to Those who Struggle with Pornography
By Fr. David Songy
Note: This article is part of the USCCB «Clean Heart» series and is a companion resource to the USCCB formal statement Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography; a printed pamphlet version of this article and others may be purchased at the USCCB online store.
Priestshave a unique opportunity to minister to those who struggle with pornographyuse or addiction, since the confessional is a true sanctuary: a safe, sacred place tofind healing.
Priests accompany people from birth to death as spiritual fathersand have the advantage of experiential wisdom, having heard many stories ofsuffering, anguish, and wounds, as well as accounts of healing, forgiveness,and hope.
The following suggestions are meant to help the priest in thisspecial ministry.
1. Be a witness to the joyof chastity through an example of faithful celibacy
«AllChrist's faithful are called to lead a chaste life in keeping with theirparticular states of life» (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2348).
The greatest help a priest can give to those whostruggle with pornography is to testify to this common bond in a life ofchastity and the hope of being able to love with the tenderness, purity, andpassion of Christ.
While a common misperception of priestly celibacy is that itleaves a man unfulfilled, empty, and incomplete, a priest who fully embracescelibate chastity offers an entirely different perspective.1 Hisvocation is a call to donate himself freely, not to a particular spouse, but tothe Church herself, and to be a spiritual father to many. He has the privilegeof loving and caring for all of the people the Lord sends his way. A priest'sexample of living joyful celibacy can inspire others to embrace thischallenging but life-giving virtue.
Our example of chastity asordained ministers . . . helps show the world that it is possible to perseverein virtue with the help of Christ and that it is a gift, not a burden. —Create in Me a CleanHeart, p. 25
2. Become educated on the widespread availability of pornography andits effects on men, women, children, marriages, and families.
Numerousresources are available regarding the pervasive influence of pornography on all levels of society.2Priests who are unfamiliar with the Internet and its effects should educatethemselves on the insidious nature of online pornography so they may offerthoughtful guidance.
For example, neurological and psychological studies haveshown that pornography is highly addictive and has a similar effect on thebrain as cocaine does on a person with a drug addiction or as alcohol on aperson with an alcohol addiction.
3 Men and women may use pornographyin order to seek comfort for emotional wounds, for «recreation,» or (morecommon with women) a desire for romantic connection. Use of pornographycan cause a deep sense of shame and low self-worth.
A person struggling withpornography use requires the help of someone who is both mature and informed tohelp navigate the situation.
3. Make the Sacrament ofPenance and Reconciliation readily available for the faithful.
Ifa priest makes himself available for his people, they will come to confesstheir sins. It may be necessary to consider being available at severaldifferent times and days during the week in order to reach the widest number ofparishioners. Most importantly, he must be ready to give sound advice in theconfessional.
Know what makes pornographyuse not only a moral problem but also an addiction.
Pornography use is a moral and spiritual problem, andmay—but not always—be an addiction too. Learn to recognize the signs andeffects of addictive or compulsive pornography use. In general, an addiction ispresent when the person is experiencing withdrawal and tolerance.
Withdrawalmeans a person feels uncomfortable or even physically ill when he is unable toconsume a particular substance (e.g., alcohol) or engage in a behavior (e.g.,porn use).He or she may become obsessed with acquiring or viewing pornographyand may take increased risks to view it, such as accessing it at work.Tolerance refers to the need to have more and more of a substance in order tofeel satiated.
A person addicted to alcohol needs to drink larger quantities ofalcohol, and a person addicted to pornography needs to seek out more, and moreintense, material.
For example, someone may begin looking at homosexualmaterial even if they do not feel real-life attractions to persons of the samesex, or a person may begin to pay for websites that offer more hardcore,extreme content. A man or woman with an addiction to pornography may continuetheir behavior despite adverse consequences to themselves or their loved ones,and they may feel helpless to stop the behavior.
Recognizing the harm causedby the sin of pornography, let us call the faithful to the Sacrament ofReconciliation often, making sure that it is clearly and readily available. —Create in Me a CleanHeart, p. 25
A confessor should encourage a person who is addicted, oris showing signs of becoming addicted, to seek the help of a professional.
Haveavailable a short list of trusted counselors, recovery programs, twelve-stepmeeting sites, and other useful resources.
Also, encourage a person who has aproblem with pornography to look at this sin in relation to his overallspiritual life and key interpersonal, Church, and social relationships.
Assess the specific problemof the penitent and his willingness to pursue help with this sin.Askpertinent questions, yet not too many. A confessor needs to ascertain the readiness and maturity of a penitent toreceive help, and it is important not to come across as overly intrusive. Thegoal is to understand and to lead the person appropriately to the next step inthe healing process.
Possible questions include:
″ How long have you had this problem?
″ How often and for how long do you fall into
″ What advice have you received before that hasbeen helpful?
″ What have you tried that has not worked?
″ Would you help with this?
Offer practical advice
″ Suggest short-term strategies, e.g., moving acomputer to a public area, utilizing filtering software or leaving one's mobiledevice with a parent or spouse at night
″ Help them to identify events or behaviorsthat trigger Internet use: drinking, travelling, visits by in-laws, problemswith a boss, etc.
″ Help them to explore underlying issues:anger, loneliness, grief, anxiety, loss, etc.
″ Help them to consider the quality ofrelationships they have and how these are influenced by the use of pornography
″ Suggest that they consider how they view thepeople in their lives and whether they tend to objectify others
4. Boldly preach onchastity and tactfully refer to pornography use in homilies
Thekey to formation in chastity is to focus primarily on love versus sex. Whatleads to serious sins against chastity is less a matter of the attractions oflust than a difficulty with loving real, concrete people. This is whypornography is so insidious.
A person is able to engage in sexual activity thatdoes not involve the complications of relating to a real person. Humanrelationships require suffering, hence the etymology of the word»compassion»—»to suffer with.
» People who choose online words, pictures, andvideos are able to objectify others to the point that such «relationships» are preferable.
Boldly preaching on chastity is not a tirade against theevils of society projected in a moralistic tone; rather, a homily challengespeople to love and respect others as Christ did.
Each Sunday the priest shareshow the Scriptures proclaim the Good News that Christ has made it possible forpeople to love each other just as God has loved us. Tactful references may bemade to pornography as examples of how society is leading us to avoid trueexpressions of Christian love in marriage.
It would be better to point out theisolating, objectifying, illusory nature of pornography than to focus primarilyon the inherent sexual sin.
5. Learn of the localsupport groups, counselors, etc., who can help parishioners struggling withpornography use
Ina current assignment and every new one that follows, prepare, review, andupdate a list of resources. Ask the former pastor, current pastoral staff members, or the appropriate diocesan office for resources that are available inthe area.
Meet with potential counselors or ask more than one person about asupport group one might refer others to in order to make sure that it would bea good fit and would give advice consistent with Catholic moral teaching.
Haveseveral referrals available, if possible, as it gives greater freedom to thoseseeking help.
6. Seek healing if, as apriest, you are struggling with pornography use, so you may effectively helpothers
While it is a sad truth that prieststhemselves are not immune to struggles with pornography, perhaps a deeperconcern is when a priest who is struggling does not seek appropriate treatmenthimself. This is not a challenge that should be faced on one's own.
When apriest does not avail himself of help, he is not able to prosper in his ownspiritual life and may even be contributing to the problems of others. A fatherwho struggles with pornography ly would feel very conflicted in trying todiscuss this issue with a teenage son or daughter.
wise, the priest whostruggles with pornography use may find it difficult to effectively guide themany people who come to him on a regular basis for help in this area.We must not isolateourselves. If any of us or our brother clergy is struggling with pornography,may we not be afraid to acknowledge this and to seek help immediately. —Create in Me a CleanHeart, p. 26
The words of St. Paul may be helpful here: «For when I amweak, then I am strong» (2 Cor 12:10). The problem is not with being weak andfalling into sin; rather, it is in refusing to turn to God after falling.
Itmight be more comfortable for a priest to insist to himself, «I didn't reallymean it!» than to reflect more honestly:»Yes, I am weak. Lord have mercy on me, a sinner.» True mercy is a powerfulhealer. The priest only needs to ask for it and not to be ashamed at hisweakness. As St.
Basil tells us, «It is humility which often frees the one whomost frequently and gravely sins.»
For more information,including the full text of Create in Me a Clean Heart,please visit www.usccb.org/cleanheart.
1 While most priests in the Latin Catholic Churchlive out their call to chastity through a promise of celibacy, there are alsomarried priests in both the Eastern and Latin Catholic Churches. These priests,too, demonstrate the joy of chastity by being faithful to their marriage vows.
2 See the work of theNational Center on Sexual Exploitation (http://endsexualexploitation.org/); The Social Costs ofPornography: A Collection of Papers, ed. James R.Stoner, Jr. and Donna M. Hughes (Witherspoon Institute: 2010); Peter C.
Kleponis, Integrity Restored: HelpingCatholic Families Win the Battle Against Pornography (Steubenville, Ohio: Emmaus Road Publishing, 2014); and J.BrianBransfield, Overcoming PornographyAddiction: A Spiritual Solution (New York:Paulist Press, 2013).
3 Studies include S. Kuhnand J. Gallinat, «Brain Structure and Functional Connectivity Associated WithPornography Consumption: The Brain on Porn,» JAMA Psychiatry 71.7 (2014): 827-834 andD. L. Hilton and C.
Watts, «Pornography addiction: a neuroscience perspective,»Surgical Neurology International 2.19 (2011). See also William M.
Struthers, Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2009) and Morgan Bennett, «The NewNarcotic,» Public Discourse (October 9, 2013).
Fr. David Songy, OFM Cap., STD, PsyD, is a psychologist and president of SaintLuke Institute in Silver Spring, MD.
The Role of Priests in Ministry to Those Who Struggle withPornography was developedas a resource and approved by Bishop Richard J. Malone, Chairman of the Committeeon Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth of the United States Conference ofCatholic Bishops (USCCB). It was authorized for publication by the undersigned.
Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield
General Secretary, USCCB
Scripturetexts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970, Confraternity of ChristianDoctrine, Washington, DC, and are used by permission of the copyright owner.
Excerptfrom the Catechism ofthe Catholic Church, second edition,copyright © 2000, Libreria Editrice Vaticana–United States Conference ofCatholic
Bishops, Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2016, United States Conference of CatholicBishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved.
Forthe full USCCB statement on pornography, Create in Me a Clean Heart, and additional resources, visit www.usccb.org/cleanheart.
A Letter to the Woman Addicted to Pornography | Catholic Dating Online — Find Your Match Today!
Last modified: August 17, 2018 By Chloe Langr
Dear Sister in Christ,
You didn’t mean to get addicted to pornography. No one does.
And you don’t want to battle against the temptation on a regular (sometimes daily!) basis. But you can’t seem to shake off the desire to return to the images or the words. It’s they have a hold on you and they keep coming back, no matter how hard you’ve flung them away in disgust.
“The Struggle Is Real” Is Really Real
We live in a world that has ingrained into our minds the idea that pornography is a ‘guys issue’. Yes, many men do struggle with an addiction to pornography.
But the reality of the situation, the reality you’re living, is that an estimated 30% of those addicted to pornography are women.
Even more startling, 60% of girls are exposed to pornography before the age of 18. That number may skyrocket if women were to be honest about the fact that pornography addictions plague their lives.You don’t have to be part of that statistic. You don’t have to hide and pretend that everything in your life is going perfectly. It’s time that we stop thinking about pornography as a problem only men deal with and start recognizing reality.
When you go to Catholic conferences, sometimes the crowd is split into separate sessions for men and women. In their sessions, men often hear authentic conversations about the danger of pornography in their lives.
But it’s not quite the same in the women’s sessions. You’re often left wondering if you’re the only one in the room struggling with pornography. But even worse, admitting that you struggle with this problem makes you feel even more isolated.
Addictions are hard things to shake off. Sometimes pornography can feel such a huge problem in your life that it’s overwhelming. You wonder if there is even a way the mess it’s created.
You Feel Alone, But You’re No
Let me be the first to say that you’re not alone in this battle. You surrounded by those who want to help you escape from the chains of pornography. But you also are not alone in your struggle or your desire for those images; statistics can tell you that.
It’s possible to break free from the bondage of an addiction to pornography – but it’s easy to continue to live in denial or shame. Recognize that pornography is damaging, unhealthy, and hurting your relationship with a God who loves you enough that He died for you.
Dating someone will not erase your addiction. Even the sacrament of marriage won’t heal the wounds that pornography has left in your life. But with God’s grace, you can leave pornography behind.
What is the truth underneath how we feel?
It’s time we stop hiding behind pornography and address the issue at the heart of why those images pull us in. What are you desiring in your life that is being filled by pornography? Instead of ignoring that cry of your heart, and muting it with the presence of pornography, dig down deep.
The devil hates when we let pornography keep us in bondage. Fight against the temptation to keep your struggle hidden. You’re not a horrible person because you struggle with an addiction to pornography. You’re not unlovable. You’re not worthless.
You’re loved by God right where you are — you’re created in His image. You’re loved. You’re worthy. Bring your struggles into the light of the sacrament of confession. Name the struggle out loud and be forgiven.
Are you struggling with an addiction to pornography? There are resources to help.
– Matt Fradd recently released a new book, The Porn Myth. In it, he talks about why pornography doesn’t enable women, how we actually can protect kids from pornography (a daunting task in today’s culture), and why porn is addictive. He busts the myth that only men struggle with porn and dedicates a chapter to talking about women who also are affected by pornography.
As he explains the purpose of the book Matt emphasizes that if you want something to flourish, you have to use it in accordance with its nature.
“Don’t rip sex its obvious relational context, turn it into a commodity, and then expect individuals, families, and society to flourish.”
This book isn’t anti-sex. In fact, it’s because Matt is for sex that he takes an anti-pornography stance.
“Lest I be misunderstood,” he writes, “the purpose of the book is not to rob us of the pleasure of our sexuality, but instead to insist that perhaps sex can be more pleasurable when it isn’t on tap or made-to-order.”
– Audrey Assad is a Catholic music artist. She gives an incredible personal witness about her struggle with pornography. She also writes a letter to women as recovering pornography addict. She traces the path of pornography through her life, beginning in childhood. She also talks about the beautiful grace and mercy of Christ. She’s brutally honest and raw as she tells her story.
– Fight the New Drug is a website that was created to inform the world about the science, facts and personal accounts to help spread the harmful effects of pornography. You can get the facts about how pornography affects the brain, the heart, and the world
– In the fight against pornography, it’s important to remember that you’re not fighting the battle alone. The Victory app was created by Life Teen and one of its many great features is the accountability button.
If you’re triggered to turn back to pornography, pressing the accountability button will send out a message to your accountability partners and ask for their prayers. Other features include daily check-ins, a calendar that helps you keep track of the days that you’ve been pornography free, and daily inspirations.
– Pornography addictions thrive on secrecy and shame. To help combat this, Ron deHaas founded Covenant Eyes, an internet accountability and filtering company.
If your electronic devices offer temptations to return to pornography, Covenant Eyes offers monitoring for your devices. A report of your internet history is sent weekly to a trusted friend, and the conversations that come from the report can help you find freedom from an addiction to pornography.
Come back to the love of the Father and lean on other women as you strive for the freedom Christ wants for you. Be vulnerable with other women in your life. When you open up about your struggle, you take away some of its power over you.
Don’t give into the temptation to lie about this struggle. Ask others to hold you accountable by connecting with someone and asking them to check in with you and see how you are doing.
Nothing is bigger than God, not even the deepest, darkest secret in our hearts.
There is hope. You’re not alone. You are loved.
Your Sister in Christ