Porn Kills Love

Screen-Shot-2014-08-15-at-10.34.25-AM-360x240

My thirteen-year-old daughter and I were chatting last night. She asked me if I knew that the same part of the brain that can be addicted to cocaine is the same part of the brain addicted to pornography. She then went onto tell me a few more facts about porn.

‘Where are you getting these facts Bella’?

‘Oh youth group, Joel did a talk on it’

I APPLAUD a youth group that addresses and educates our young people on the facts and effects of pornography.

I LOVE when I hear of our young people (male AND female) find a safe place and admit they have a problem – finding a place of support, accountability and grace with our youth staff and volunteers.

As many of my readers here are not in our youth group I thought I would share some facts that you might not be aware of.

As you know from my post yesterday I am committed to ‘fasting from indifference’ for Lent.

Indifference: lack of interest, concern, or sympathy.

Indifference is also inconsequentiality. Pornography is far from inconsequential.

Read on…

90 percent of all porn comes from the Internet, Tech blog Gizmodo puts the number of porn sites at 24.6 million, which is roughly 12 percent of total web sites. The University of Montreal study reports that boys start searching for pornography by age 10.

A University of New Hampshire survey of kids ages 10-17 found that 42% said they had viewed online porn in the past 12 months, and 66% of those said that they didn’t go searching for it in the first place. We are living in a digital age where the most hardcore porn imaginable is available for streaming 24/7/365 on a device that fits into our pocket. So even if parents have the most advanced filters in place, today’s teens will still have no problem accessing it if they want to.

How parents address this issue with their kids is based entirely on their parenting style. Parents should be teaching their children one important and fundamental lesson: porn is not sex. Pornography is a hollow counterfeit that resembles an outward appearance of sex but is the furthest thing from real intimate relationships.Nothing will diminish its presence in our technological world, but with an open dialogue and a scientifically backed perspective, parents of the Playboy generation can help their kids of the PornHub generation navigate the online minefield they walk through daily.

Screen-Shot-2014-08-15-at-10.35.25-AM-360x240

PORN CHANGES THE BRAIN

Just like drugs and other addictive substances, porn floods the brain with chemicals, like dopamine. Over time, the brain gets overwhelmed by the constant overload of chemicals and starts to build up a dependency to pornography. As a result, the porn they were looking at in the beginning doesn’t seem as exciting, and many porn users go hunting for more porn or more hardcore porn to get the same rush. Eventually, the chemical release from regular healthy activities aren’t strong enough to register. This leaves the user feeling down or uneasy whenever they go for a while without watching porn.

PORN ADDICTION GETS WORSE & WORSE

The brain releases chemicals when it sees something shocking or surprising. That’s why frequent porn users often find themselves looking for more hardcore material. Also, because they’ve built up such a high tolerance to the porn they’ve been watching, many have to combine sexual arousal with the feelings of aggression.

PORN IS ADDICTIVE, LIKE A DRUG

Inside the human brain, there’s something called the “reward pathway.” Its job is to reward you when you do something that feels good by releasing pleasure chemicals. The problem is, the reward pathway can be hijacked. The way that substances like cocaine and meth make users feel high is by forcing the reward pathway to release high levels of chemicals, porn does the exact same thing. The surge of chemicals pulsing through the brain creates new brain pathways that will lead the porn user back to the behavior that triggers the chemical release. The more the user watches porn, the deeper those pathways are wired into the brain.

Screen-Shot-2014-08-15-at-10.48.44-AM-360x240

PORN KILLS LOVE

In real life, real love requires a real person. Research has found that after men are exposed to pornography, they rate themselves as less in love with their partner than men who didn’t see any porn. On top of that, another study found that after being exposed to pornographic images, people were more critical of their partner’s appearance, sexual curiosity, sexual performance, and displays of affection.

PORN IS INSEPARABLY LINKED TO PROSTITUTION & SEX TRAFFICKING

Men who look at porn have been shown to be more likely to go to prostitutes, often looking for a chance to live out what they’ve seen in porn. In one survey of former prostitutes, 80% said that customers had shown them images of porn to illustrate what they wanted to do. Porn is also linked to the global issue of sex trafficking. Porn is commonly made of victims of sex trafficking and put online or sold to distributors. These sex slaves are drugged, beaten, and forced into doing porn. For porn users at home, there is no way to know the dark origins of the porn they’re watching. Clicking porn is directly supporting the demand for sex trafficking.

10 PORN INDUSTRY STATS THAT NEED TO CHANGE:

★(1) Porn sites receive more regular traffic than Netflix, Amazon, & Twitter combined. (HuffPost)

★(2) 35% of all internet downloads are porn-related. (WebRoot)

★(3) 34% of internet users have been exposed to unwanted porn via ads, pop-ups, etc. (WebRoot)

★(4) Porn increased marital infidelity by 300%. (WebRoot)

★(5) 30% of all data transferred across the internet is porn-related. (HuffPost)

★(6) The most common female role in porn is women in their 20’s portraying teenagers. (Jon Millward. In 2013, Millward conducted the largest personal research study on the Porn Industry in the U.S. He interviewed 10,000 porn stars about various aspects of the business.)

★(7) Child porn is one of the fastest growing online businesses. (IWF)

★(8) 624,000 child porn traders have been discovered online in the U.S. (Innocent Justice)

★(9) Approximately 55% of teen girls living on the streets have engaged in prostitution. (Enough.org)

★(10) Child porn is a $3 billion industry. (TopTenReviews)

I hope this helps and offers a way to meaningful conversation with your children, teens, young adults, and others…be that person to bring up the conversation and help.

Let us take these facts and wrap them in the light – believing the promise that He came to give us abundant LIFE. I fully believe in the freedom that Christ offers to us ALL. No line crossed is too far. There is way back. I have seen many on this road find a place of healing and wholeness, of minds renewed, marriages restored and importantly a place of self-forgiveness.

Thanks for reading,

Love, Michelle

ALL facts and information were taken from fightthenewdrug.org an invaluable place for resources, blogs, honest stories and support.

Further posts:

An honest guest post on ‘a blog about marriage’

http://www.athingcalledloveblog.com/blog/5-ways-to-support-your-marriage-while-overcoming-a-pornography-addiction/overcoming-a-pornography-addiction/

Posts from young guys who are honest about their addiction

http://moralrevolution.com/8-things-i-would-tell-someone-who-is-struggling-with-porn/

http://moralrevolution.com/pornography-and-addiction/

 

Isolation to Restoration.

IMG_9643

Hi friends.

I have been busy these last few weeks – busy resting. Argh.

I returned from Africa and soon enough became quite sick. This resulted in me being admitted into hospital and quarantined for three days. Because I had been to the country of Tanzania in (East) Africa (the continent)

During quarantine I was tested for EVERYTHING and in full isolation, which meant masks/gown/gloves for anyone visiting. The kids embraced the moment. Seriously.

IMG_9656

‘Sorry for treating you like a leper’ the Doctors would say – which opened up a whole other conversation.

I learned that Jesus loves to hang out in quarantine. In fact, He loves nothing more than to step into our quarantine – whether externally forced or self-induced.

During this time I read, I slept, I listened, I heard whispers that can only be heard in silence, I listened to worship and I journalled – a lot.

I received love and care from family and friends home and away – what a gift. Every person needs a community, every person is created for family, look out for them – they’re everywhere.

I was discharged from hospital with a ‘virus’ diagnosis and perhaps being a little burnt out and was encouraged to rest with plenty of self-care.

This is what I have been doing for the past few weeks…

Where exhausted is a little too familiar, where aches and dizziness can overshadow.

FullSizeRenderAnyone know that feeling?

So, besides a little health update and to thank you for your prayers I’d like to encourage you with some musings from this unfamiliar place. So if you have a few minutes grab a cuppa and read on!

I love how the Lord speaks.

I woke at 4.30am last week, with the words ‘He restores my soul’ dancing my mind.

Ah yes from one of my favorite psalms. He restores my soul.

‘Thank you Lord…can I go back to sleep now?’

I woke later to a text from Phil from his Stourbidge, Swanwick, Saskatchewan tour – he wrote this from Psalm 138:3

‘In the day when I cried out, You answered me,

And made me bold with strength in my soul.’

There’s a theme!

I looked up this verse in other versions, some write to be infused with strength.

The Passion translation says this: “At the very moment I called out to you. Your presence came and you answered Me! You strengthened me deep within my soul, And breathed fresh courage into me!

The Hebrew word for soul means a breathing creature – living – alive. Our soul could be described as our mind and emotions – our person – our self. Our heart, character, personality through which we encounter life. It’s the depth of our being. The seat of our will. It’s the breath of life. It’s our natural life that which makes us exist and animates us! You get the idea.

His Spirit is ours to ensure restoration happens. God doesn’t control our soul, it is under free will – we choose whether our soul prospers or dies. It’s about inviting the Spirit into our soul to repair and restore.

The Hebrew word of restoration is rich in meaning: to bring back; to bring home again; to build again; to recover; to refresh; to relieve; to rescue.

There are times when God invites us to walk through obscurity, questions, darkness and confusion to find the truth of who we are. It is here we find the condition of our soul. Remembering what we think and feel affects our physical bodies. I don’t underestimate how emotional upset results in physical upset. The reverse is also true.

We all know life wounds our souls. There are times when the Spirit works through others or situations to bring change. He invites us into a process of restoration. This is why we love offering Encounter God to our congregation. Restoring what was lost from the original design.

What is your soul saying today? What area needs restoration?

He restores my soul. Your soul.

Mr. Buechner captures it well…

“Every once in a while I recognize that I am walking in green pastures that call out to me to lie down in them, and beside still waters where my feet lead me. Sometimes in the way the breeze stirs the palms or the way a bird circles over my head, I recognize that even in the valley of the shadow of my own tangled thoughts there is something holy and unutterable seeking to restore my soul.”

Pray this over your own life…

Lord. Thank you for restoration.

Thank you for the life you breathe into my being.

Thank you that you refresh the fatigue I feel.

Teach me to recognize the green pastures, and to lie down in them.

Help me to allow myself to rest.

To allow myself to slow down. To be.

I invite the breath of God into every area of me that needs restoration.

Into every emotion, every thought, every cell and fibre of my being.

To recover what is lost and stolen.

You are my healer.

You came to give life in abundance.

You are the creator of my life.

Restore me – to be all you created me to be.

Amen.

 

 

Love, Michelle xo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glorious Ruins

Day 13.

burnt out carPic by Phil

I grab my writing moments as Bella has her swimming lesson, it’s the end of the day, the YMCA feels like a noisy public sauna and it’s midnight dark outside.

Today has forced me to focus on a ruin.

You know the type. Where dysfunction, bad choices and pain have created a desolate rubble heap. Where abandonment resembles charred ashes. This ruin has been desolate for too long.

I face this and wonder if there hope in this situation.

A glimmer?

Surely if I stand for anything it’s hope.

So I search for the answer in the One who left glory to be ruined.

I turn to ruins in scripture and find Ezra and Nehemiah. I see the Old Testament temple overthrown and burnt to the ground. I smell a land charred. Desolate. I see the foundations cracked. Gaping. I see the city walls ruined. Defenseless.

Ruins – we see them everywhere don’t we? Fragile humanity.

Ezra focuses on rebuilding the temple, Nehemiah on the rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. What gems did I learn from these stories?

Survey the land before building. Vision gives life. Wisdom leads. Rebuilding needs people. It takes courage. Opposition will come. You will be discouraged. There’s always trouble. Strong foundations are built on praise. Plans are interrupted. There is accusation for those rebuilding. God steps in at the appropriate time. The prophetic voice is strong. The promises of God are yes. The temple was rebuilt. God is intimately involved in our lives. He does the impossible.

These verses:

Ezra. 7:28 Because the Lord my God was helping me, I had courage…

Ezra 10-11 When the workers laid the foundation of The Temple of God, the priests in their robes stood up with trumpets, and the Levites, sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise God in the tradition of David king of Israel. They sang antiphonally praise and thanksgiving to God: Yes! God is good!
Oh yes—he’ll never quit loving Israel! All the people boomed out hurrahs, praising God as the foundation of The Temple of God was laid.

Ezra 8:21. I proclaimed a fast that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions

Then there were these words…. to this song….

Glorious Ruins

by Hillsong.

 When the mountains fall

And the tempest roars You are with me

When creation folds

Still my soul will soar on Your mercy

 

I’ll walk through the fire

With my head lifted high

And my spirit revived in Your story

And I’ll look to the cross

As my failure is lost

In the light of Your glorious grace

 

Let the ruins come to life

In the beauty of Your Name

Rising up from the ashes

God forever You reign

 

And my soul will find refuge

In the shadow of Your wings

I will love You forever

And forever I’ll sing

 

When the world caves in

Still my hope will cling to Your promise

Where my courage ends

Let my heart find strength in Your presence

Thankful to Jesus – the ultimate Glorious Ruin.

Hope this post encourages you, it did me. You are loved.

See you tomorrow!

Love, Michelle xo