The night I publicly confessed the secret that I had hidden for over ten years, I must have gone back and forth in my mind dozens of times. I wanted to be free from the sin that so easily entangled me, but I could not stand the thought of my close Christian friends looking down on me. What if my dirty laundry became my “outfit of the day” every time they saw me, or what if they no longer wanted to associate with me once they knew the truth?

Shortly after my confession, when I began to speak one-on-one with others about my struggle with masturbation, I found it difficult to even vocalize the word at all. I would frequently substitute self-pleasure for masturbation, because it sounded less repulsive. After all, the connotation of that word is not only negative in the Christian perspective, but it is considered to be straight up dirty, and the fear of being stigmatized and seen as dirty was enough to keep me from being completely open about my hidden sin.

The Underlying Issue

Unfortunately, many women find themselves in a similar predicament. They desire to have clean hands and a pure heart before God, which is required to ascend His holy hill, but fear of a tainted reputation causes them to hold onto that which makes them unclean, so they silently slip further into the ever-widening cavern of sexual sin. But how can we be lifted from a pit, if no one knows we are in it? Cloaking our sins may conceal them from the prying eyes of others, but they remain entirely visible to God, and until we learn to view our lives from His perspective, we will not fully comprehend the reality of our spiritual state.

Gaining New Perspective

We all have the propensity to not only lie to others about the state of our hearts, but to lie to ourselves as well. Some of us may refuse to accept the reality of who we have become, because we are afraid of what we will find once we allow the Light to expose our darkest crevices, while others may convince themselves that there are no crevices to be searched. Meanwhile, the sin that we meant to temporarily hide in the closet, ends up taking complete residence in our hearts and turns us into “whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside, but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean” (Matthew 23:27).

Most of us do not realize that this transition has taken place until we discover that communicating with God seems to be more difficult than usual. I counsel quite a few girls regarding sexual addiction, and one commonality I find in every story is that the further they get into their addiction, the less connected they feel to God. 1 John 1:5-9 gives us some perspective on why we feel this way:

God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Facing the Reality of Pornography

At some point in our lives, the fear of losing fellowship with God has got to outweigh the fear of losing face in front of others. Currently, that may seem like an impossible task for you, but reread the last verse in 1 John and be comforted. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. The One who gave this promise will also be faithful to complete the good work He started in you. Yes, there is a harsh reality concerning the subversive nature of pornography, but the even greater reality is that nothing is too difficult for God.