Pornography has a secret.
Pornography’s story—and its allure—is that it bares all, and that the woman (or man) you see just loves to have sex and loves for others to watch.
Porn’s secret is that even with all it shows, it hides exponentially more.
Pornographers keep this secret because what’s hidden changes its story, and changes it so substantially that when people learn it, they may never think about porn the same again.
Over the past several years, I’ve learned a lot about what porn is hiding. Most importantly, I’ve learned how much it hides of the woman you’re seeing—the real woman.
It hides that when she was little, she wanted the same thing any little girl wants. To be loved, to be cherished and protected, to be someone’s delight just for who she is, not for what she can do for them.
It hides what happened in between—that she was broken. It hides the sexual abuse, and how this hyper-sexualized persona is a futile attempt to take back control of her own body.
It hides the men on the other side of the camera. It hides that some allowed things to be done to her she didn’t sign up for and didn’t want. It hides how when it’s hurting her, they’ve responded with “keep rolling,” and told her if she doesn’t finish the scene, she won’t get paid.
It hides her loneliness and what it’s like for her when she goes home after a shoot. It hides the worried mom and dad back home, or worse, hides the family she ran away from because they didn’t care where she ended up. It hides the alcohol and drugs she keeps nearby to numb the ache.
And it hides that what she wanted when she was a little girl is what she wants deep in her heart still.
Jesus sees. For him, the secret is the real story, the only story that matters. He sees more in the pages of pornography than we can imagine. And for this—for her—he went to the cross, let himself be exposed naked, beaten, leered at, spit on.
For those of us who have indulged in pornography, Jesus invites us to walk with Him, and to let Him heal our eyes to see the real woman. The more men do, the less porn tempts.
A good friend recently was walking through a parking when he discovered it was littered with pornography. There was a time when this would have been more temptation than he could handle. This time, though, he combed the parking lot and picked up each page and threw them immediately in the dumpster.
Love for her compelled him and love for her kept him from temptation.
Don’t get me wrong. This man’s walked a long, hard road of restoration, he’s learned to walk with Jesus in this area of his life, and Jesus has changed him*. He knows the true story.
I hope more and more men will embark on the long journey of restoration, will do whatever it takes to break free from the illusion porn’s trying to tell.
And I hope she hears about it, and feels loved in a way that begins to re-awaken hope that there is One who cherishes her for who she is not what she can do for Him.
Walking with Him for her,
* This is what Regeneration is about – helping people deepen their relationship with Christ that those caught in sexual sin can walk in freedom.
P.S. For examples of Jesus truly seeing a woman whom others viewed with eyes of lust or scorn, see Luke 7:36-50, John 4:7-26, John 8:1-11.