The Stats Say a Majority of Christian Men in America Are Using Porn

The Stats Say a Majority of Christian Men in America Are Using Porn

The Stats Say a Majority of Christian Men in America Are Using Porn

If you’ve been in hiding since you found out your husband is addicted to porn, can I share some statistics that could make it less scary to share your story and get the support you need to heal? The key is that although you may think you’re in a rare minority and feel shame about your husband’s habitual adulterous sin, you’re actually surrounded by other women in the very same situation. We just don’t know each other’s stories yet. Or, that wife doesn’t realize her husband is addicted to porn yet. When I started sharing my story, I depressingly found most wives I’ve shared with have their own story of some kind of sexual sin devastating their marriage.

This is an emergency. Way past epidemic proportions. I sure didn’t know these stats before my husband’s situation came to light:

“AT LEAST 63% OF PRACTICING CHRISTIAN MALES, AND 20% OF PRACTICING CHRISTIAN FEMALES, AGES 13 AND UP, USE PORNOGRAPHY AT LEAST TWICE A MONTH.”  PORN PHENOMENON – THE BARNA GROUP (https://pursuepurity.com/thefacts/)

The next question to ask is, are all these Christians addicted to porn? Faithful and True has a simple definition of sexual addiction: “Sexual behavior that has a negative effect on one’s life.” (https://faithfulandtrue.com/self-assessment/). Notice that doesn’t relate at all to the frequency of the compulsive sexual behavior. If a married man is telling himself or telling you that “it’s not that big of a deal, I don’t use porn that often” – that’s like trying to say, “I don’t commit adultery very often, just a couple times a month.” Any amount of adultery is going to cause spiritual and relational devastation, whether or not the spouse knows about it yet. The consequences for our marriages and our children are too costly to not get help.

If you’re still hoping you and your husband can deal with this on your own, did you know studies have shown that porn is just as addictive as cocaine or heroin? (https:// www.desiringgod.org/articles/pornography-the-new-narcotic). Ever heard of someone just deciding to stop using heroin on their own and succeeding? Nope!

Fellow wives, how can we continue to not talk about this openly in our churches and pretend it’s not happening? Hiding, denying, and minimizing is what your husband has been doing. You don’t have to follow. It’s not your shame. Every addict is medicating pain from deep wounds they haven’t let God heal – wounds that happened way before they met you. The addiction predates you. And that means it’s not about you, and it’s not even about sex.

There’s a lot of conflicting advice out there about who should know your story. I know this because I’m the researcher type. I left no stone unturned in the shock of finding out my husband had been hiding a sex addiction. Some resources say only tell one safe person, some say don’t tell your kids anything, some say share with only your counselor. Only your pastor. At the end of the day, it’s your choice. But let me tell you, shame loses its power when things are in the light. I pray you and your husband experience that truth.

Maybe your family taught you to bury problems, deny, figure it out on your own. Mine did. Jesus graciously let me experience some other big losses and problems where I realized I would need the help and support of other believers to get unstuck and heal before I found out about my husband’s betrayal.

I first told my pastor’s wife because she had chosen to be appropriately vulnerable with me about her dad’s sex addiction, and I knew she would have wisdom and experience on the subject. If you are reading this and you’re on the side of things where the searing pain of sex addiction is in your rear view mirror, please humbly ask God when and where you should be appropriately vulnerable with those around you so they know they can come to you for support - no matter if your marriage survived or if it didn’t. It was so hard to find “success stories” in the early days of my shock. Marriages and families all around you are in the stranglehold of sex addiction, and the enemy of our souls is whispering very loudly in their ears that they are alone, no one will meet them with compassion and grace, there is no hope, the shame will never end. If God has pulled you and/or your husband out of a pit, testify of his infinite goodness and faithfulness to you.

“I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O Lord. I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation.” Psalm 40:9-10 ESV

All of the things that have been most helpful so far in my journey of healing from betrayal trauma involve sharing my story: meeting with a counselor who is an expert in sex addiction/betrayal trauma and has lived through it herself, making myself keep going to church and telling our small group about our situation so that we are not hiding the truth and they can pray for us, committing to attend a weekly Captives Free wives group. I was so thankful to find that our group is not about venting. Instead, it’s about grieving well, speaking scripture to each other, going to Jesus who intimately knows what it feels like to be betrayed and to forgive, and working through gospel focused material written by experts in the field of sex addiction.

Your story isn’t finished yet. God knows we need him desperately, and we need a community of believers around us to weep when we weep and rejoice with us when we rejoice. We need sisters to pray with us and for us and tell us over and over to keep our eyes on Jesus. Our husbands need to hear stories from men who follow Jesus and don’t use porn anymore. The God of hope is bigger than this porn epidemic. You can choose to trust Jesus over fear and share your story. You are not alone.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 NIV

J.I.