Maybe I haven’t given men enough “credit” for their own struggle with pornography and lust.
I guess when things become common, they become comfortable, and when they become comfortable, we become complacent, and when we become complacent, we become ignorant, and when we become ignorant, we become calloused, and when we become calloused, we forget that we all need grace.
I was in an article reading mood lately, and stumbled across an article by Deborah J. Thompson entitled “Pornography’s Pull: Michael O’Brien’s Journey Toward Healing.” For those of you who don’t know who Michael O’Brien is, he is the former lead singer for the Christian recording group, Newsong. Their song, “Christmas Shoes” still makes my mom cry… every. single. Christmas.
Michael is not the first Christian recording artist to fall to the snares of pornography. A number of years back Clay Crosse confessed to being in the same boat.
It’s hard for us to have our perceptions shattered. When we look at someone in a public ministry, our automatic assumption is that they have life together. We can forget that they are real people, with sin natures just like the rest of us. God does not give them some magic potion that protects them from sin.
As hard as it is for us to realize no one is perfect on this side of Heaven, I think it’s harder still for them to realize that they have sinned from such a public platform with the name of Jesus stamped all over it.
Many statistics were mentioned in the article. I will confess, being who I am, I skimmed the stats hoping to find something thrown in there about women struggling with pornography. It would have been a good opportunity for the author to just throw that out there, but nope. Didn’t happen. Instead, the article did address how pornography affects a man’s wife and how husbands can overcome the damaging effects of pornography and lust in a marriage.
It would have been another frustrating “all about men” article for me, until I read this:
Michael reflects, “There is so much secrecy and fear. I should have been kicked out of NewSong for the things I was doing. That would have done more good for me than bad and made me realize how serious things were. I was consumed with guilt, shame and all the things that happen when you hide sin. And God wants us to feel that — it’s a blessing so that we will run to someone we trust for help who is Christ-centered.”
Secrecy and fear. Guilt and shame.
I thought, “Really? There is secrecy and fear for men??” Maybe the ‘boys will be boys’ attitude hasn’t permeated as far into culture as I thought. Still, this is a major problem because if statistics tell us that a majority of Christian men struggle with this and they are still afraid and feel alone, what hope is there for Christian women??
Oh, how we need a dialogue of grace that reaches both sides of the fence! Would you join me in praying for that? Ask God to open the eyes of His body to understand that we are still a broken people in need of His power, and His grace.