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Miranda Writes: Porn Doesn’t Have to Be the Norm, Part 2




by Omar Miranda



Last week we began our talk discussing the important issue of pornography and addiction. Today I want to discuss the dangers of porn, female porn addiction, how to know if you’re addicted, and how to stop and stay stopped. There are a couple Web sites I want you to visit while reading this week’s column, so get your browsers ready.

Dangers of pornography

I want to direct your attention to a short article at the Pure Intimacy Web site. It is titled “Subtle Dangers of Pornography,” and it talks about five principal symptoms of a “‘pervasive disorder’ linked to consumption of soft-core pornography like Playboy and Penthouse.” Ever heard of voyeurism, objectification, validation, trophyism, and/or a fear of true intimacy? These are the five symptoms that are explained. This is important info, so please go to this site—http://www.pureintimacy.org/piArticles/A000000551.cfm—and read it. Then come back here and continue reading.

Female sexual addiction

One third of all sexual addicts are women. Female sexual addiction tends to be more relational than sexual. At the root of the female struggle is the strong desire for intimacy and wholeness. Oftentimes a woman will develop a romance or relationship addiction. Romance novels (even “Christian” ones), the media, and the culture endorse a false picture of what love is supposed to look like. Women compare their situations to the media standard and basically decide that God and their boyfriends are not enough. They feel the need to have certain relationships in order to be whole. These women will be more apt their entire lives to struggle with affairs, cyber relationships (aka chat rooms), and fantasy.

Mark Laaser, a Christian and a sex and porn addiction expert, stated in an interview with Kyria.com: “Historically we would have said women are addicted to romance novels or women are addicted to chat rooms. That’s still somewhat the case, but it’s changing. . . . Culture is rewiring the female brain. . . . Women are getting rewired to be more visual and aggressive.”¹

The solution

I hope that I have made you aware of the dangers of pornography addiction. It is my goal that everything about you will be free and available to love God and to serve Him totally—and you can’t do that if you are addicted to sex and porn.
Now that I’ve educated you about the depth and seriousness of the problem, I want to give you hope. And there is hope in Jesus. God freed me from an incredibly vicious addiction to sex and pornography, and He can do the same for you—if you let Him.

Let’s take an honest assessment about where you are right now. As you read this, ask yourself: “Do I have a problem?” Think about it, and be honest.
The assessment I want you to take comes from an awesome Web site that Mark Laaser is involved with. He not only has studied this issue and is one of the world’s foremost experts, but also is a recovering sex addict. I refer kids and parents to this site many times a week. It is full of great information about pornography and sex addiction. Upon first glance, people tend to think that this is bad information, but it’s actually quite good and helpful. If you went to the doctor because you hadn’t been feeling yourself and the doctor found out that you had cancer, in order for the doctor to treat it properly and save your life, two things would have to happen: (1) you would need to know what type of cancer you had; (2) you would need to know how far along it is.

The questions are like that cancer diagnosis. They will help you take an honest stock of if you really have a problem and how bad it is. You have to know these things before you can move on. By the way, knowing this information is good news, because you can actually deal with the problem straightforwardly.

Here is the site: http://www.faithfulandtrueministries.com/self-assessment/self-test/. Go to it now and answer the questions (and be honest in your answers; your life and the lives of people you know and love may very well hang in the balance). Come back here when you’re done. Because of space restrictions, all this information can’t be printed here, but I’ve found this to be true: If a teen thinks he or she is addicted, they’re probably right on the money. Not sure how to answer these questions? Ask your friends and trusted adults who know and love you and will tell you the truth; then listen and make changes.

Now that you’ve taken a complete and honest stock of where you are with this issue, if you are addicted, then this next information is for you. If you know of somebody who is addicted, tell them about this information. Don’t let it go to waste. Everywhere I go teens tell me that they know somebody who is addicted—friends, siblings, parents, boyfriends or girlfriends.

Now that you know what you’re dealing with, you and I can work together on overcoming this issue. When we began our time together, I promised you that I would give you some things that you could do to overcome this issue. These steps don’t come from a book, but out of many years of personal struggle and letting God teach me. I want to remind you that I am not a “Super Christian.” I still think, say, and do things most days that I must confess and repent from.
For a deeper discussion of getting out of the muck and mire of pornography addiction, I’d be happy to talk with you in person or e-mail you some other information about how to begin having real and honest conversations and interactions with people. Now, without further ado, here are six things that you can do today to get free and remain free and clean from porn addiction.

Squashing porn addiction

1. Be honest with yourself and acknowledge that you have a problem.

2. Confess your sin to God and ask for His forgiveness. Once He has given it, believe Him! First John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (NIV).²

3. Be accountable to another person. Tell someone you can trust about your addiction. Proverbs 27:17: “Just as iron sharpens iron, friends sharpen the minds of each other” (CEV).³ Ecclesiastes 4:9, 10: “You are better off to have a friend than to be all alone, because then you will get more enjoyment out of what you earn. If you fall, your friend can help you up. But if you fall without having a friend nearby, you are really in trouble” (CEV). Galatians 6:1, 2: “My friends, you are spiritual. So if someone is trapped in sin, you should gently lead that person back to the right path. But watch out, and don’t be tempted yourself. You obey the law of Christ when you offer each other a helping hand” (CEV). James 5:16: “If you have sinned, you should tell each other what you have done. Then you can pray for one another and be healed” (CEV).

4. Dispose of all pornographic material and any gateway material. For example: music, romantic novels (even “Christian” ones), magazines, etc. Matthew 5:27-30: “You have heard that 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. If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell” (NIV).

5. Change your thought patterns; then your behavior will change as well. Romans 12:2: “Don’t be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him” (CEV).

6. Pray about your problem and read your Bible daily. Connect with God every day and rely on Him for deliverance and strength. John 15:4, 5: “Stay joined to me, and I will stay joined to you. Just as a branch cannot produce fruit unless it stays joined to the vine, you cannot produce fruit unless you stay joined to me. I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you stay joined to me, and I stay joined to you, then you will produce lots of fruit. But you cannot do anything without me” (CEV).

Sex is a wonderful gift from God. It cements a husband and wife together and brings them closer to each other and to God; but the devil has twisted the wonderful gift that God has given us and has promised us the illusion of intimacy—but there is a high price to pay. God created the marriage relationship between one man and one woman to contain healthy sexuality; any other way to have sex is dangerous to one or both parties and can cement people to the wrong kinds of things. Pornography offers intimacy at the cost of a real working relationship.

Someone who becomes addicted to pornography begins to see people simply as a means to an end for their personal satisfaction. Pornography at its core is a selfish act, and the only focus of the person looking at it is to receive those feel-good “drugs.”

Addiction is a process, and pornography is extremely addictive. Healthy, intimate, godly relationships take a lot of work. For a man to get to a woman’s body—in a healthy relationship—he must first have her heart. The ultimate intimacy shared by a man and a woman in a godly, committed, married relationship is a deep intimacy—most clearly culminating and cemented through the sexual act; but pornography has turned this on its head. The purpose of a pornographic relationship is not true and deeper intimacy, but the feeling of intimacy without any of the work! It’s sex for sex’s sake, and that’s when it becomes hurtful to self, God, and others.

God wants us to ultimately be free from any addiction—but especially from this one—so we can focus our attention on loving Him more and sharing that love with others.

Until next time, remember these things: God’s way is always the best way. Life is full of decisions, so make yours good ones. Put God first in your life, and you can’t go wrong.

Feel free to contact me: you can e-mail me at omarmiranda@earthlink.net; or you can keep up with me on Facebook; or you can read more of my stuff on Miranda Writes, at www.insightmagazine.org; or you can check me out or send me a message at my Web site, thriveatlife.org; or you can reach me via snail mail (slow!) at the address printed below.

In Christ,
Omar Miranda, certified Christian counselor
Abundant Life Ministries
155 Earl Street
Plainville, GA 30733
Phone: 1-770-354-2912

¹http://www.kyria.com/topics/marriagefamily/marriage/helphealing/12.28.html
²Scripture quotations credited to NIV are from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
³Scripture quotations identified CEV are from the Contemporary English Version. Copyright © American Bible Society 1991, 1995. Used by permission.

Omar Miranda is a Christian counselor with 20 years’ experience working with youth in public and private middle and high schools. He’s married and has two kids. He enjoys teaching the youth at his church, reading, writing, gardening, and camping. He’s a recovering knucklehead who spent a lot of time in the past doing stupid stuff away from God. He’s been back with God for years now and is eager to share what he’s learned from his experiences by answering any questions you may have about life, the Christian life, Jesus, spiritual matters, and relationships in his column, Miranda Writes.





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