If I Could Bring The Room Down For A Moment

I have been a terrible, no good, very bad blogger this week. I am deeply sorry. I mean, assuming that bad blogging necessitates an apology which, yes, I guess it could. But work has been, um, lively, and I’ve been trying to figure out how to salvage a book chapter I’ve been working on (my first draft of it was wrong, wrong, so terribly wrong), and then there’s been the fact that I’ve had a standing appointment with the DVR from 8:30-10 every night. That new season of Survivor isn’t going to watch itself, you know.

And here’s the other thing. Earlier this week (well, Monday and Tuesday, to be exact), I talked to a group of older teenagers about pornography. Oh, listen. It was just as light and happy and carefree a time as you might imagine. Except the total opposite of that. I just felt burdened and yuck and maybe a little bit scared. Plus, I am by no means an expert on the topic. I don’t struggle with watching the porn (I’ve started calling it “the porn” because that is the only thing about this particular topic that makes me laugh), but I do have friends and loved ones who are (or have been) tangled up in the mess of it all. Not to mention that I am deeply concerned about what’s going on in our culture as far as the porn is concerned, and I. HATE. IT. I hate what it’s doing to our marriages and our families and our kids. I hate that it’s so accessible. I hate that it grabs hold of our minds and convinces us to pursue an illusion instead of a real-live person. I hate that it drives us into isolation and shame. I hate that there are women and men who feel like they’re empowered by something that enslaves them. I hate that the people who work in the porn industry ever found themselves in a situation where that was an option for them – and I hate that Lord only knows what holds them there.

You may be picking up on the fact that I have Many Strong Feelings where the porn is concerned.

I’m also well aware that some of you may be wondering if you’ve clicked over to the wrong website and BY THE WAY WHATEVER HAPPENED TO TALKING ABOUT TV AND BACON?

So just bear with me for a second. Because there’s a very good reason why I’ve mentioned the porn today: this sermon by Matt Chandler. It’s called “Freedom in the Fight,” and you want to talk about words that are grounded in Scripture, seasoned with salt and full of grace? Have mercy. I cannot recommend this message enough; in fact, I’m pretty sure that I could cross over from “recommend” to “flat-out bossy” because OUR CULTURE NEEDS THESE WORDS. He covers a ton of ground – marriage, covenant, sex, porn, fantasy – and he speaks to each issue in a way that is convicting and edifying without being condemning. The sermon is a tremendous resource if you have older kids / teenagers; and whether porn is an issue in your family or not, this sermon is also a good check-up for anyone who’s single, in a relationship, or married (I haven’t been able to get the words “ferociously committed” out of my head since I listened this past Tuesday morning).

All righty. Thanks for being patient during this departure from our regular subject matter. I’ll try to get back to something concerning TV or bacon in the next couple of days. Or maybe even people cooking bacon while they watch TV. That would be the best of all worlds.

Love y’all.

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  1. Amen, sister! Life isn’t all bacon and TV (more’s the pity!). i am reading your book now (I know! I am the last person in blog world to read it – I am pretty strict with myself about reading books in the order they end up beside my bed or I would have read it already). Loving it, by the way. I have all your characters/family stuck in my head and hear them speaking to me! OK, now you think I am a crazy ….. :)

  2. I love you, Sophie. Just that. :)

  3. I love you, too. You are brave and strong and courageous. Thank you for your willingness to share and blog about it!

  4. I work on a private christian college campus, and I have a feeling I will be passing on this sermon to those I know who struggle with or have friends/family that struggle with the porn. So many things/people make students feel shameful about this topic, so I’m excited to hear and share this.

    On a complete related, yet not related, note- this afternoon I was walking across said campus when the smell of bacon hit me like a freight train. A good, bacon filled freight train. Goodness gracious. I don’t know who was cooking so much bacon that it could be smelt campus wide, but this was one girl who wasn’t complaining.

  5. Blessings for taking on that needful topic!

  6. Go Sophie! Thanks for another great resource. Go girl!!

  7. I love how you express your convictions in such a compassionate, heart-felt manner. Thank you & God bless you!

  8. Amen! So grateful for you using your available platform to speak to the convictions of your heart, Sophie! This is a tool that satan has used so freely via the internet to break and destroy the ministries of three godly men all from one church. It is HIDEOUS! And so prevalent and so insidious.
    I am so grateful for my husband and other men of our church who have refused to avoid the topic, and pray together for protection as well as healing for individuals and families whose lives have been shattered by this ensnaring sin.
    Seeing a broken man weep as the hands of elders were laid upon him and vehemently proclaiming victory by the power of Jesus’ blood over the ugly porn that had enslaved him is something I shall never forget.
    I’ll share the sermon with my husband & my sons & he will pass it on to the other elders of our church.

  9. Amen & God bless you. I’ve really got to stop by here more. Adding you to my blog roll. Great stuff!

  10. I’m so glad you shared this. This is such a HUGE issue that not many people are aware of. I know I certainly had no idea until recently what a big deal the internet has made porn into. It’s scary & absolutely disgusting. Just this week I read these 2 articles: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2135203/Jamie-13-kissed-girl-But-hes-Sex-Offender-Register-online-porn-warped-mind-.html


    I will definitely be listening to that Matt Chandler sermon. Thanks for sharing! And thanks most of all for bringing such a large topic to light.

  11. Loved your enthusiasm today about a very ‘private’ topic that many people do not discuss or acknowledge. And I think it is ruining so many relationships. There is some great information on it in a dvd video series called, “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage.” This did not sound like it would talk about porn, but it was truly enlightening on what porn does to marriages and how debilitating it can be. Thanks Sophie!

  12. Thank you so much for posting! Raising a teenage boy is hard enough without having all of these things right at his fingertips. Back in his dad’s day, it took some effort to get a magazine or a tape, but now as parents we pay to have it right in our house. And the types that are available…just frightening.

  13. I’m with you on the porn issues. I’m raising three girls and two boys. We cannot pretend they are not exposed…even in elementary school and we must teach them how to respond and guard their eyes and hearts. This issue a large part of why my first marriage failed and why my sensitivities are so high. You are not alone and I would desire to hear more about your discussion with the young people. It’s overwhelming.

  14. I never honestly thought much about porn to be truthful. My husband was such a moral man and that’s the way we lived our lives. Until the subject came up in the sermon on Sunday. My kids are grown and the internet wasn’t available when they were growing, nor did we have a computer, an Ipad or any other technical device. So I never really gave it much thought until it was brought to my attention. Yes, there are times when you type in something you are looking for and a questionable site comes up, but it still didn’t enter my mind as “the internet is full of porn”. I will forever think of it as The Porn now thanks to you, but that’s ok. And now that’s it’s entered my world so to speak, I will have to think on it. I have grandchildren who each have an Ipad thanks to the school. I don’t agree with it because according to the internets (your word lol) this week, lots of children have figured out how to break the firewall and get to the porn. Computers are in most every home now. There is good and bad about that to be sure. The few that do not have computers will fall behind in this day and age but those that do, have this to contend with. I know my sons, and they are watchful of their children and so my worry is now the 800 other students who have access to these Ipads and the internet. Good for you for broaching the topic with the young people. I also think that tv has gone downhill and I don’t like to see the women with not much on, all the swearing and the talking about personal parts. I was talking to my younger son yesterday about how tv used to be so good and clean. The Cleavers, Lucy and Desi, Laura and Rob all had to lay in twin beds on tv. Now anything goes and it’s hard to find anything that has nothing to do with sex in some way.
    I am glad you also brought this to my attention as well as the sermon.
    Hugs from Minnesota

  15. Porn. Such a short word for such a terrible thing, I was a teacher and principal and I hated that even the youngest of the school babies knew about sexual matters. Not everyone of them but unfortunately, sometimes the ones who knew shared information because they had seen it all their life and had NO.IDEA. that is not “normal”. I was the one who had to call and say—“I am so sorry that your child heard some inappropriate words this morning at recess” or something similar. It made me sick to my stomach. I hate that some children/teenagers/adults have such a casual attitude about it. Thank you for your post today.
    Now on other matters, I have discovered Wright’s applewood smoked bacon and I am in love with it!

  16. I just love this, Sophie. Can’t wait to listen to the sermon—married for 15 years, 4 kids, 1 girl, 3 boys, so this topic is RELEvant to me. Your words (the ones about bacon and tv and monkey alarms) are super life-giving to me. I only laugh if things are really funny, and every time I read the monkey-alarm post? I die. Thanks for being a source of light-hearted-deep-ness (see: Compassion trip posts) that reflects the heart of the Father so well. xoxo

  17. GOD BLESS YOU!!!! I love you and everything you said in this post!

  18. Keri McPherson says:

    I am so glad you spoke on this topic. I too feel exactly the way you do. It’s such a horrible thing and is ruining marriage covenants. The world thinks it’s harmless but it is anything but harmless. Your right that it enslaves people.
    This my sister was a “meat and potatoes” topic.
    Thank you for your boldness! Blessings to you and yours!

  19. you are the best kind of hilarious and brave…

  20. Speak out, sister! So many things challenging our youth – heck – ALL of us today. Does no one seem to care that among the new TV shows offered this year glorifies mistresses? And how about American Horror Story and its new coven cycle along with two new programs on regular channels about witches? Satan is rejoicing. We have to speak out and protect our young people. God gave us that responsibility when He gave them to us.

  21. Thank you, Sophie. I know that often people don’t comment as much when there’s a serious topic, but THANK YOU for posting about this cancer in our culture. I serve in an outreach to women who work in my city’s sex industry, and it is such an insidious evil because it’s accessible right in our homes. I am certain that there are many women reading who have been deeply wounded by porn — thank you for bringing it up here, and for the link.

  22. I’m amazed and appalled every week by dark places that I feel this world is sliding into in order to be ENTERTAINED. Oh, its subtle. Thanks for speaking out : )

  23. Well damn. He just called out men, women, and the whole of society! I feel so strongly about this subject. The toll that it takes on families can be seen in my own. A husband who was exposed at age 5, and struggles to this day. He is 37. Fantasy is not the word that I would describe, “true reality” is something that is lost. He is in another world where, “everyone does this!” He seriously came to that connection years ago in therapy. ” I thought every man did this, and they just pretend they didn’t?”
    It has been textbook from chatting, pictures, texting, to full on sex with other women. It’s been years and I know that this problem is not about me, or our relationship. He has tried to repent for years before he met me. He has prayed, and tried, and repented over and over. This seriously takes over your life, and you become estranged from your spouse, family and all reality.
    We are going through a divorce now, and he has been diagnosed with a chronic deadly leukemia. My heart breaks for him, and my children because we now know he will not be here to see them grow up. Life and choices do equal consequences and it breaks hearts and souls. I don’t know what I am going to do. It’s hard to forgive like Jesus, when you’ve forgiven so many times. Pornography is terrible.
    What a wonderful sermon. Thank you for sharing.

    • @Katie. So sorry that this has affected your life in such a terrible way. After my husband died, I dated a man who I found out, looked at porn sites. Even though we didn’t live in the same town, I could tell when he’d been at those sites. His voice was different, his demeanor was different. He was always respectful, but because I lived with such a moral man for 32 years, I just could not accept this. And so I moved on, as you have had to. I guess it’s like any other addiction, for that is what it can become. Good luck with everything and especially on the forgiveness part.
      Hugs from Minnesota

  24. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  25. Thank you for speaking up and sharing your heart. What a fantastic message from Matt! Too many other thoughts to share – just thank you!

  26. Thank you, Sophie, for your bravery and I’m guessing, your obedience! Our home has been affected by this terrible “cancer” and a marriage destroyed so we know about which you speak. I pray that even one person that you spoke to would find freedom or better yet, never start porn!!

    God bless you!

  27. As a mother of teenage boys, this is close to my heart. I have a faithful husband who has made the choice to not pursue pornography. I am positive it is a daily choice and I love him more for it. One day, when the boys were younger, he was nearly in tears over our boys purity. wondering how we could protect them in a world where pornography is so accessible. Thank you for touching on this subject.

  28. Anonymous says:

    First marriage ended in divorce, most definitely caused by exposure to this cancer, and the resulting behaviors.
    This marriage has been broken by porn and my son has been hurt by it as well. There is nothing worse, in my opinion, and damages our families, our lives and our very country by the shame and immorality that it breeds. Porn is NOT victimless. There are ripples of victims for every party in the transaction. From those who participate to those who produce to those who view, to the families of every one of them.
    Thank you for speaking out about this issue.

  29. Read your book this past weekend (I thought I was the last person on earth to read it!) and dearly loved it. Reminded me of so many memories from my own family. I grew up in NOLA but both my parents are from the Mobile area. I swear I saw you one day at the Talbot’s in Mobile during my annual shopping trip with my mom and two daughters during Easter weekend.

    ANYWAYS, I will definitely be recommending your book to all my girlfriends!

  30. Terrie Cash says:

    I have several love ones who are in their early 20’s who struggle with porn. It kills my spirit when I hear young Christian girls and their mommas proclaiming a girl has a right to dress the way she wants to and it’s the guys problem that he’s lusting.

    What many people don’t realize is how easy it is to get porn on smart phones and there is no way to go into a history to find it. It’s much easier to to place blockers on computers but no so much on smart phones. Mommas of young men and ladies talk to your guys and girls about porn. It is Satan’s big secret with our Christian brothers and sisters.

  31. Sophie,
    Thank you so much for posting on this. I cannot tell you how many times God has brought the issue of porn to my life recently, and I am definitely getting the message that I need to take note and listen NOW. I do not struggle with it so I am trying to discern where He is leading with it. I just started volunteering with a ministry that works with exotic dancers here in Texas and have felt the very really call to LOVE and serve them. I went to a Trafficking seminar last week and they showed this video by Josh McDowell’s ministry. I am going to be very upfront– it is graphic and it will creep you out. It stirs your spirit in a disturbing way. The other volunteers with the ministry could not finish watching it. I think it shows the very real way porn creeps in and seduces all of those around us. I think it shows the demonic way it continues to pervade our lives and the lives of the ones we love. I would love to know what others think.


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