Why Giving Up Porn is Risky

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Did you see the cover of TIME magazine recently? Did you hear what the state of Utah declared as a public health crisis? Or maybe you attend a church that isn’t afraid to address this same issue from a scriptural viewpoint?

What are all these people talking about? Porn.

And right now, you might want to look away from this post. Maybe you’re afraid of being judged. Maybe you assume, because I’m a woman, I’m going to be preachy and that I won’t understand. Maybe you just don’t get what the big deal about it is. You think, I’m a man. This is what men do.

If you are one that repeats that last sentence over and over again, you’re right. A lot of men look at porn. One survey revealed that 77% of Christian men between 18-30 years of age look at porn monthly. 36% look daily. 44% admit, or think they might be, addicted to it.

Men are definitely looking. Maybe you’re one of them?

But here’s what I want you to know: I am not here to judge you…

Come follow me over here to learn how my husband took the risk to give up porn and for what he traded his addiction.

Sharing the Pain of Porn: Podcast

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Please come join me on Delight Your Marriage with Belah Rose. We’re talking about:

  • That you are not alone in dealing with porn addiction in your marriage.
  • The real reason men escape into pornography…(spoiler alert: it’s not your extra 20lbs!)
    • The world will lie to us and say we’re not x enough, that’s why our husband’s are addicted, but that’s only because they want to sell you something.
  • How to overcome shame.
  • What can you do to share your pain?

Join me over here!

Four Secrets the Porn Industry Hopes You Never Find Out

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Porn’s power is largely based on the element of fantasy. Whatever you lust for, you can pretty much find it. All those things you’d thought you’d try or acts you think might satisfy you are available at a click. And because these things play out on the screen in front of you, it seems like you’re getting everything you’ve wanted for nothing–no consequence, no repercussion, no risk.

You’re wrong.

I get that you have reasons for turning to porn. My husband did too. And right now, you may think no one suffers a single consequence for what you’re doing. Maybe you’re not married. Maybe you are, but your wife doesn’t seem to care or you’ve successfully kept it hidden. Maybe porn seems to be a safe release for you because of how you’ve been treated and burned in the past.

But maybe this isn’t just about you.

I’m over at Covenant Eyes with the rest of this article. You can read the rest here.

Healing from Porn can be Fun?

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Yesterday at Gateway Church in northwest Austin, they talked about porn.

Porn talk in church on Sunday. God is moving, y’all.

With all that I am, I know God desperately wants healing for His people and He is stirring hearts to bring this issue into the light. Because where light is, darkness has to flee. And anyone who has been touched by porn addiction knows how much darkness surrounds it. It’s suffocating. It’s overwhelming. And Satan wants to tell us that it’s a hopeless situation or that it’s not worth the risk of confessing or that it’s not really hurting you.

Satan is really good at tailoring lies that speak to our exact situation.

But God is also really good at bringing Truth that touches our heart in just the place where we can receive it. Not to condemn us, but to convict us. And this conviction serves to let us know that there is something painful separating us from Him. He wants to show us how we can move it out of the way, how we can break down this wall that keeps us from knowing the fullness of His love and forgiveness. He wants this wall gone because He wants us.

God wants you. Even if you’re a porn addict. Especially because you’re a porn addict. He knows that if you’re turning to anything to fill this aching hole in your heart that what you’re really searching for is unconditional, totally fulfilling, audacious love.

And He has it.

And He feels it. He feels this love, this way, about you. And He’s going to keep after you with the Truth you need to be set free.

I saw this happen yesterday. I saw Truth spoken about porn addiction and healing in a new way.

This couple on stage (members of the church!) sat in front of hundreds of people and confessed the struggle with porn in their marriage.IMG_0657

And they said they were having fun.

FUN, y’all.

In all the testimonies and interviews and articles Craig and I have written about porn addiction and healing, we have never called this fun.

And yet.

I realized what they were saying, what they were exuding on their faces, was that building intimacy is fun. They were addressing hard questions. They were exploring their thoughts on things they had buried for so long. They were getting to know each other on a deeper level. They were learning what it means to really be one flesh.

As they learned that they could be fully known, they learned that they could be fully loved.

And isn’t that fun? Isn’t that a radical idea that our marriages can be places where we can have all our flaws and all our childhood pain and all our early adulthood baggage and still be loved. Still be someone that another person wants to be with? I mean, really be with.

Freedom is fun.

Porn addiction isn’t so fun. But having a spouse who will help you unravel it, who isn’t afraid to explore the real you, is. And the less you feel you have to keep up a facade, the easier it becomes to laugh, to enjoy, to give of yourself freely.

That’s fun.

Of course, it took this couple time to get to where this kind of exploration was fun. And for sure there were hard nights and tear-filled conversations. But the point is, there was more to it than just hard.

There were dates and late nights playing board games. There were road trips with deep conversations. There were revelations and inside jokes.

And how like God is that? To intersperse joy in the midst of pain? To bring moments of laughter when so many tears have been shed? To give us something to hold onto when our world has been blown to bits?

Just like God.

To watch the sermon about porn addiction by Ben Sledge and to hear the Skalko’s personal testimony, click here.

*And Gateway Church, thank you for allowing us to be a part of your Sunday.

An Easter Message for your Marriage

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Yesterday was Easter Sunday, the day where God conquered death once and for all, where He took every sin we could possibly commit and paid for it with the ultimate sacrifice – Himself.

I think about the three days He laid in the tomb from Good Friday to Easter Sunday and the immense grief and darkness that came during that time. I imagine Mary, the disciples, and Mary Magdalene huddled at the foot of the cross, their anguish overwhelming. I envision Mary Magdalene at the tomb when she finds the body of her Savior and friend gone. It amazes me that she was even able to get out of bed to go to the tomb in the first place. Grief can be paralyzing.

The sermon on Sunday resounded with this simple message: Keep moving through grief, even if it’s simply putting one foot in front of the other, because you don’t want to miss the resurrection.

You don’t want to miss the resurrection.

As I sat in church, I pondered how this has played out in my own life, specifically in my marriage. Craig and I wrestled with porn for a decade. For 10 years, I was shrouded in grief, some times darker than others, as porn continually stole joy and safety and wholeness from us.

There were times we were unsure we would make it through. The darkness was so palpable we could barely see any light. The pain was so isolating, the problem so infuriating, the mountain seemingly insurmountable, the waves increasingly pounding against us. How could we ever survive this?

But we did.

It was long. It was hard. It was painful.

It was worth it.

Jesus’ death was long. It was hard. It was painful.

It was worth it.

The Resurrection came. The darkest of dark turned to light. The veil got torn. God won.

Our marriages can experience this same resurrection. While porn addiction feels like a death sentence, Jesus has overcome the grave.

What was dead can be brought back to life. What has been destroyed can be rebuilt. What seems insurmountable can be overcome.

Perhaps all you can do in your marriage right now, whether you are the one addicted or the one betrayed, is put one foot in front of the other.  That’s okay. It’s enough.

God is with you in the moving forward. He is in your every effort. He is there to receive every surrender, to forgive every sin, to trade every weakness for new strength. He’s already assumed every ounce of your shame so you no longer have to wear it.

The resurrection is coming.

Don’t miss it.

**************************************************************************Satan wants you to believe that you are beyond hope. Just as he thought he had won when Jesus was nailed to the tree, he thinks that porn addiction is a death sentence for your marriage.

But with Christ, we can do all things through Him who gives us strength. (Philippians 4:13)

This is not a cliche. This is Truth. May the ultimate resurrection breath new life into your heart and your marriage.

Periscope: How Marriage Can be like a Contact Sport

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Join us here on Periscope (between 2pm on 2/5- 2pm on 2/6) or Katch.me anytime after that! Today we’re talking about how our marriage might look like 2 boxers in a boxing ring and why this kind of contact isn’t fruitful.

There must be a better way. You know what? There is.

*NOTE: KatchTV originally stored all these Periscopes, but KatchTV is now shutting down. I transferred them to YouTube, but they are not perfect. So, if you can just ignore my head expanding randomly, you can still catch all of what I said.

 

#PornFreeFriday Periscope: REJECTION

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Craig’s porn use left me feeling rejected. Why would he choose to look at porn when he had me? Here I was – living, breathing flesh – and apparently, that wasn’t good enough.

Ironically, after Craig’s initial exposure to porn, he kept coming back to it because he realized it was a “safe place” to be act like a man without actually having to be one. Because, face it, all of humankind has to face rejection in real life at one point or another. But with in the world of pornography, he seemed to be free from any risk of not being good enough.

The fear of rejection is something Satan preys on. How do we shore up this weak spot in us? How do we overcome this fear and push into intimacy with our spouse? Watch below to find out how Craig and I were able to overcome our fears of rejection and live free from their bondage. If you are able to view this between 1/22 at 2pm to 1/23 at 2pm, you can watch on Periscope (comment and give hearts). Just go here. If you miss the 24 hour window, you can watch below.

*NOTE: KatchTV originally stored all these Periscopes, but KatchTV is now shutting down. I transferred them to YouTube, but they are not perfect. So, if you can just ignore my head expanding randomly, you can still catch all of what I said.
FamilyLife-Today-Dennis_RaineyBob_LepineDid you miss our story on FamilyLife today? Click here to check it out.

Family Life Today Interviews: A big dose of hope for your marriage!

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Craig and I had the privilege to travel to Little Rock, Arkansas to be on Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine’s radio show for Family Life Today. Here are the links to the three programs we recorded if you’d like to listen. It’s a snapshot of our authentic struggle and filled with lots of hope!

Exposing the Darkness: It takes courage to break an addiction. Craig and Jen Ferguson, authors of the book, “Pure Eyes, Clean Heart,” talk to Dennis Rainey about their dating years. Jen recalls asking Craig if he viewed porn, and Craig admitted that he did, but what guy didn’t? Jen tucked his answer away in her heart. Little did she know that his response would later come back to haunt her.

Rebuilding Trust: All of us bring some baggage into our marriage. It’s when we unpack it later that it causes harm to our unsuspecting spouse. Authors Craig and Jen Ferguson talk about their early years of marriage. Jen shares what it was that first began to alert her to a problem with her husband, like his absence in the middle of the night, or random pay per view charges on their cable bill. It was the lack of intimacy, however, that alarmed her the most. Find out what Jen uncovered about Craig that left her stunned and heartbroken.

Breaking Old Cycles: Pornography is devastating to a marriage. Craig and Jen Ferguson talk openly about Craig’s battle with pornography. Find out what Craig did to break this stronghold in his life. Also hear Jen coach other wives who may be facing a similar situation in their marriage.

Also, our publishers, Discovery House, allowed Family Life to publish an excerpt of our book. To read Craig’s chapter about the 4 common delusions about pornography, just click here.

Blessings,

Jen

How to Travel with Porn is a part of your Life

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Today’s Periscope is all about how Craig and I dealt with traveling while he was in the hardest struggles of his porn addiction.  There are so many temptations to either engage with porn or WORRY about your spouse engaging in porn when y’all are apart from each other. Click the video or link below to hear what Craig and I did that really seemed to work for us while we were away from each other.

*NOTE: KatchTV originally stored all these Periscopes, but KatchTV is now shutting down. I transferred them to YouTube, but they are not perfect. So, if you can just ignore my head expanding randomly, you can still catch all of what I said.

A Couple's Journey to Freedom from Pornography