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God put it on my heart to share with the youth groups at Calvary (I’m a youth leader. Yay me) about porn, and its destruction. I didn’t really want to speak up, but God doesn’t like to be ignored–and the sermon “just happened” to be about living truthfully and authentically and coming into the light that Wednesday night.

When I spoke, few of the guys looked me in the eye. I told them all that I’d been friends with guys my age (in my early twenties) who used porn, starting often in middle school or high school, and how it had destroyed them. I encouraged the young men to get help–from a pastor they trusted, or a parent.

Most of the girls looked at me incredulously, or with a hint of repulsion. I understand–the idea of men looking womens’ naked bodies is sick. I didn’t want to “normalize” porn, but I did want to break the chains of it being the “unspoken sin.” That sort of mindset just drives guys who struggle into deeper darkness.

The reason I spoke up was because I was friends with a guy a year or so back who, in his high school years, went to Calvary Chapel. He told me that he’d sought out help from a youth leader, but the youth leader had looked at him with disgust and never offered to help, and my friend had felt so ashamed that he fled, and stopped coming to church.

I didn’t want that to happen to any of the youth here.

I am of the opinion that my friend should have sought out help, even if that one youth leader had had a hurtful reaction to him. But I also understood, because of the shame that porn heaps on a Christian man’s heart.

It takes courage and knowing how loved you are by God, to come into the light and continually seek out active help.

Men like that: who are honest, truthful, feel ashamed but don’t live in shame, and can meet your eyes fearlessly… Well, they are gems. I pray that more young men would follow in their footsteps. They are men of courage, and men of God.