Monday, December 31, 2012

Epidemic

New post!  I know that you, my two faithful readers, are so excited that you can't stand it.  Try to contain your enthusiasm so you can focus on the next few paragraphs of my rambling. 

Today, boys and girls, I'm going to start with two definitions.  Why?  So I can wow you with my vocabulary skills and show off how smart I am.  (Yeah, right!).  But seriously, onto the definitions.

Definition #1: Pornography - the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement.

Definition #B (just seeing if you're paying attention): Epidemic - affecting or tending to affect a disproportionately large number of individuals within a population, community, or region at the same time. 

Pornography is an epidemic.  It's ruining lives, tearing apart marriages and destroying families.  More people than we want to admit are suffering from some sort of an addiction to it.  Some don't even realize it.  Some want to stop and can't.  We talk about other addictions without flinching; alcoholism, drug abuse, hoarding and gambling just to name a few.  We even have television shows that deal with some of them - Hoarders; Doctor Drew's Celebrity Rehab.  But not pornography.  It's uncomfortable and awkward to talk about.  We prefer to just sweep it under the rug and act like it isn't a problem.  But it is.  I am willing to bet you that many of the people that you know are struggling with pornography right now.  They are hiding in the dark, logging onto the internet in a dark room somewhere to get their fix.  They are your son, your Dad, your friend, your neighbor, your teacher, your pastor, your favorite athlete, your husband, your wife, your girlfriend or boyfriend.  It's an epidemic people!  It needs to be dealt with.  But until we are willing to have a conversation about it, it's not going to go away.  Just like any other addiction, it can and does control your life. 

Some people will disagree with me strongly on this topic.  And that's okay.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion.  Some think 'it's okay - you're just looking' or 'pornography is normal - everyone looks at it sometimes'.  Those are the things we tell each other and ourselves to keep this topic at bay.  Sexual images are everywhere we look.  You can't watch television or go to a movie without some sexual innuendo or image being thrown in your face.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I'm no prude.  But by the same token, I recognize the damage pornography can do and does.  It's tearing lives to shreds. 

Have you been there?  Sitting alone in your house surfing the internet, wrestling away the thoughts, telling yourself you aren't going to do it again?  Or after you do, that this is the absolute last time?  Guys, it's time to face this head on.  If you are struggling with porn, I sincerely doubt that you can deal with it and stop on your own.  I suppose it's possible, but I doubt it. You need to tell someone - someone close to you who will hold you accountable.  It's going to be one of the toughest conversations you've ever had to have.  But it has to happen - you have to step out of the darkness and into the light.  Once you do, an enormous weight will be lifted from your shoulders.  Find a person you can trust and talk to about it, someone you can call if you need to.  Get some software that reports every questionable web page you go to, and have it email your accountability partner that list of websites every time you are on the computer.  XXX Church is an excellent website and they have many tools that you can use, some free, to help in the fight.  We should be meeting in our churches to talk about ways to step up the fight.  We should be talking to our children, our families, our friends about this.  There is strength in numbers. 

If you are reading this, and you are struggling, please please please talk to someone about it.  That is the first step.  Talk to me about it if you need to.  Just do it. 

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