During our 2013 Women’s Forum, there were a variety of breakouts that covered relevant topics for women’s ministry leaders.  We are going to run a series of blog posts written by our breakout leaders, so keep watching. This first one is by Jean Roberson, ministry consultant for Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU). The topic of pornography continues to affect our women and our families. Women’s ministry can make a difference.

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During the conference A Struggle for Purity: Winning the War Against Pornography (wmu.com/projecthelp), individual women shared bits of their stories of how their husbands were addicted to pornography or how a loved one was addicted to pornography.  For some, they personally struggled with the addiction. I was wrapping up the conference and turning off the microphone when I saw many women talking in small groups.  I went to touch base with them to see if anyone needed to talk. These women did not know each other.  They were from all different places.  But they were the same. In that room, God brought together total strangers but He knit their hearts together to support each other.

“I’ve never met anyone who knew what I was going through.”

“It is so nice to know that other women go through this.”

“I haven’t been able to share this with anyone, and it is good to find people I can talk to.”

There is so much information available (covenanteyes.com) about the biologically addictive aspects of pornography. You can read about the neurotransmitters that are released and how they rewire the brain into addiction.  Just as powerfully, though, are the psychological aspects.  Viewing pornography and interacting with pornography is done in secret, leading to feelings of shame. When you combine secrecy and shame, you find a person who is isolated which leads to increased viewing of pornography.  It’s a cycle that we all get caught in too easily.  Even if your loved one is the one using pornography, you still deal with issues of secrecy and shame and isolation.

As Christians, we know that our God is not about secrecy and shame.  These are tools evil uses to keep us alone and trapped.  If we are going to win the war against pornography, we have to begin talking about it and confront both secrecy and shame.  We so quickly run from the light that God brings into our lives, never realizing that light is meant to release us from secrecy.

The theme of this year’s Forum was Filling Up & Pouring Out. In that room I know there were many women who were just empty, isolated in their daily struggle with the effects of pornography in their lives.  I thank God that he found a way to bring those women together so they could pour into each other and fill each other up in Him.

If you are a woman who is dealing with pornography (newhopedigital.com/2013/03/our-hardcore-battle-plan-for-wives/) or with a loved one who is using pornography, you must be intentional to break the element of secrecy and shame.  Find someone who can pour into you and fill you up in Him.  Keep searching until you find that trusted someone who can go before God on your behalf and walk this journey with you. If you aren’t dealing with pornography in your life, will you commit to pray with passion (newhopedigital.com/2013/06/our-hardcore-battle-plan-1-million-women-praying/) about this?  Pray for the women who feel alone.  Pray that our God will destroy secrecy and shame in their lives.

 

Jean RobersonJean Roberson is a ministry consultant for Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU), Auxiliary to the Southern Baptist Convention. In her position, Roberson serves as the director of Christian Women’s Job Corps and International Initiatives. She also serves as team leader for the adult team, including Women on Mission and Adults on Mission. Jean’s role includes planning and communication in the international arena as well as denominational networking and state WMU relations. (jroberson@wmu.org)

Comments

  1. Thank You for addressing the HARD questions. I recently sat in a room full of women as one woman shared her journey and instantly other women began to open up in Thanksgiving to the one.

    • Chris Adams says:

      Hard topics are so important to address in church. If we don’t where will women get the answers? Sonya, thank you for encouraging your women to share the tough stuff!

  2. Hello Im new to this, just found you by accident… But the problem is adultery! In leadership positions. How do you handle it and trust again ?? without destroying the church and their family…

  3. Chris Adams says:

    Cee Cee, thanks so much for joining the blog conversation here. I’d say you deal with this issue as you would any sin in leadership. If you are the leader of a team and one of your team members is obviously bound up in sin of any kind, you’d want to have a one on one or one on two (take another leader with you) to discuss the issue. Ask her to step down for a period of time and allow for restitution and healing. If she is unwilling to deal with it, that is a sign she wants a position without the character lining up with those call calls to lead. Love her and pray for her through it, don’t abandon her but hold her accountable. (Make sure you are in an accountability relationship as well with someone who will honestly challenge you as well). If you are not a leader of the team this woman is on and you are just observing the issue, ask God to draw you to a woman who can help you navigate this journey. It is so hard to be “burned” by leadership in the church through their sins. I just finished a fabulous book by Anne Graham Lotz, Wounded by God’s People. I’d encourage you to read it. Hope this helps a little.

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