Culture

I confessed my addiction to porn – and no one judged me

Rebecca Lim // January 3, 2020, 6:25 pm

addiction to porn

“With eyes closed and no one looking around, if you struggle in this area, please raise your hand so we can pray together.”

I took a peek. Many hands were raised. Slowly, I raised mine as well. 

I was introduced to porn at the unbelievably young age of 11 years old. A classmate of mine had written a salacious piece of fiction between a girl and her teacher, which was gleefully passed around the whole class. It was detailed, graphic, and very, very new.

Soon, I was searching up pornography on the internet and was hooked. Yet, at the back of my mind, I knew what I was doing was something that should be hidden. This was shameful! No one in church talked about it, and moreover, no one at home would even dare to breathe a word on the topic.

I knew I was sinning, but I could not bring myself to stop.

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And so, my addiction continued. I was terrified of anyone knowing about my secret, especially since I was a second-generation Christian. I grew up with the church, and looking around, I didn’t see anyone like me, a struggling, sinning, Christian.

Instead, everyone around me was picture perfect – stainless, pure, exactly what a Christian should look like. If anyone found out, I didn’t know what I would do. What I would say? How would I be looked at? Would I be judged or kicked out of church? What if my parents found out?

I pushed down the fear, resolving to keep my silence until I had gotten over the problem by myself.

At a Kallos Conference in 2017, I attended a workshop on sexuality. At this point, I had gotten so used to fear. My secret was my best friend, one that I didn’t want, but a best friend nonetheless. However, it was still tough living in fear. Unconsciously, I would be hit by feelings of shame when I remembered my sin, and I couldn’t seem to pull myself out of it.

“I promised God I would stop”: My struggle with sexual addiction

When the speaker asked if any of us would like prayer in the area of sexual sin, I could not bring myself to raise my hand. I was so afraid that I didn’t dare to ask for prayer from others. I couldn’t bear to be judged, to have others know about my secret publicly. Still, a part of me wanted to come clean.

After the session was over, I decided to follow the small voice inside of me encouraging me to do so. Praying for God to give me courage, I pulled my church leader aside and confessed about my struggles. There was no shocked gasp. Instead, she thanked me for being brave enough to share (what?) and led me in prayer.

Instantly, I felt a lot lighter. Someone knew about my secret and didn’t judge me! I was not alone in the struggle any longer and finally, finally, someone was there to help me. It was a freedom that I never knew I needed.

Of course, after that, I still struggled. I still felt shame, but I could go forward and talk about it. God gave me the courage and the people to help me, and I thank God that He gave me the opportunity to take that first step. The chains of six years were finally beginning to loosen.

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Two years later, Kallos organised a session on how to break free of pornography, I hesitantly agreed to attend it. Surprisingly, I realised, I wasn’t alone. One of the speakers had felt the same way that I had, gone through the same things that I did, and walked out of this addiction, freely.

I wanted what she had. I wanted to be able to come into God’s house without a sense of shame, to be able to draw closer without holding back a part of me and to walk with God in freedom.

Things have become a lot better since I learnt how to walk out of porn’s grip. Being able to talk about my struggle was a crucial first step. Shame and fear have less control over me now that I realise that all of us struggle, one way or another. I have learnt that all my fears of being judged or shamed were lies and that I need not have feared sharing my deepest secret.

Although the journey out of porn addiction is long and can take years, one thing that stood out to me was the love shown to me by my community. In the beginning, I believed that it would be Christian women who would judge me the hardest for my sin. And yet, it turned out to be the complete opposite.

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Coming clean allowed God to guide me towards other Christian women who have gone through the same struggles, and they are a living reminder to me that God is really all-powerful, and He can help me to overcome my struggle, no matter how hard it seems.

Truthfully, these people who have listened, encouraged and made me accountable have been some of His greatest blessings. There is something so powerful when women band together, pray for each other and reflect God’s love to one another. I know I am not alone or defeated in this – no one is.

I hope this encourages you to step out and come into the light, and I pray that God will continue to guide your path, and show you His limitless love.

This Valentine’s Day, Rebecca will be joining a community of young women at Kallos’ 2020 Conference, “Real Talk”, a conversation on issues related to love and sexuality happening on February 14-15, 2020. For more information and to register, visit their page.

THINK + TALK

  1. Have you experienced similar struggles with sexual purity?
  2. What are the temptations that make it difficult to remain sexually pure?
  3. How can we stand firm in the face of sexual temptation?
  4. Do you have someone to be accountable to? Find a friend or leader who can walk with you this year.