In our recent Let’s Talk About Porn post, we shared some resources for anyone struggling with pornography. We shared online tools, but also brick and mortar resources. As you set down roots where you are planted, we want you to know the local ministries that serve your region. The internet is a great tool for connection, but it’s important to know who is down the road ready to pray for you and with you.
One of the local ministries highlighted in the pornography resource post was Freedom13, based in Ruston, Louisiana. While they help people with pornography issues, they seek to serve anyone in any kind of sexual sin. Freedom13 Ministries works to edify men, women, boys, and girls on God’s design for sex and the importance of a relationship with Jesus Christ. We were able to speak with Lindsey Crawford, Freedom13’s Executive Director.
What was the inspiration for Freedom13?
LC: The vision for Freedom13 Ministries came during the time I served at a crisis pregnancy center in my hometown. My heart broke after I saw woman after woman agonize over her decision to parent or not parent once faced with the fact that she was now pregnant.
After talking with a group of college students, I learned that more women than I realized were suffering from poor relationship choices and many were addicted to pornography. I then had to ask myself, could it be that as the Body of Christ, we have done a poor job of preparing our young people to live in a sex-saturated culture?
It is my opinion that we, The Body, have been a poor example INDEED, if any example at all, of how to live a life honorable to Christ in a culture that has gone sex-crazy. It is not, however, too late to do something about it! Freedom13 Ministries exists to show others that God designed sex on purpose and with purpose—to glorify HIM.
Do you deal with pornography addictions?
LC: Yes, we do and women struggle just as much as men. The first time I ever encountered someone with a pornography habit was on a college campus. One woman after confessing her addiction to pornography said, “I am a virgin and a Christian and I don’t feel like I am either.”
Freedom13 recognizes pornography as a serious issue. Yes, it is a sin issue, but pornography has become a stronghold within our culture. Don’t misunderstand me—a mistake I believe Christians make is giving weight to sin. In the eyes of the Lord, sin is sin; no sin is bigger than another.
But pornography is sneaky. It’s sneaky because we can hide in our homes behind a computer screen. We think no one has to know, no one has to see. But the truth is—God sees. And those things we tend to do habitually in the dark, behind closed doors, have a way of gaining power. It’s a classic tactic Satan, our enemy, likes to use.
Pornography has us by the throats. Truth is, none of us is exempt from it affecting our lives. It is coming for our homes, our marriages and our children. Freedom13 equips men and women on how to safeguard their lives against pornography, against any sexual sin for that matter.
Freedom13 equips men and women on how to safeguard their lives against pornography. What is one thing a person struggling with pornography can do today?
LC: Here’s the deal—anybody with a pulse can change his or her behavior. Anyone can get rid of his smart phone or add a filter to his computer. Don’t get me wrong—those are good things to do if you struggle with pornography. I have three small children that I am raising, and you can bet I will be doing everything I can to safeguard my home.
My point is anyone can modify his behavior. Someone who really wants to change his way, someone who really wants to get beyond this issue in his life has to get to a place where he is so completely and utterly desperate for Jesus Christ to work and move in his life. In other words, a person must get to the end of himself and realize he has exhausted all resources and he cannot do this on his own.
Something/Someone bigger, higher, mightier must intervene. That Someone is Jesus Christ. He is the only One who can truly do what it takes in our lives to get us beyond the devastation of sexual sin. Freedom13 Ministries educates, equips, and empowers men and women through the message of hope, redemption, salvation, restoration, healing, and accountability found in the Bible, God’s Holy Word.
How can we as spouses and/or parents start a conversation about a healthy Biblical view of sex?
LC: I promise as a parent you want to be the one who has the conversation about sex with your kid before that creepy kid at school does. It is my belief that information on sex does not shatter innocence; bad information on sex shatters innocence. After all, God created sex, and I think as parents we should treat it as something to look forward to once you are married.
Sometimes Christians act like it’s a taboo topic even within the context of marriage. This is crazy to me! I can’t tell you how many times I hear of newlywed couples who get to their wedding night and the bride is terrified to have sex with her husband, because she has heard for so long, “Don’t have sex. Don’t have sex. Don’t have sex.”
Instead of the message of DON’T, let’s preach the message of DO. DO honor God with your lives. DO live your lives for the Lord. DO risk it all for the Kingdom of Christ. DO live a life of purity. DO wait until marriage. DO have sex when you are married, and DO have fun while doing it. God knows, we need more happy marriages in this world!
If a person reading this struggles with the shame of sexual addiction, what advice would you give?
LC: First, realize shame is just a feeling and it comes straight from the pit of Hell. The devil loves to keep us feeling ashamed. As long as we feel ashamed, the longer we’ll keep our secrets to ourselves. The Bible says in Isaiah 54:4 (ESV), “Fear not, for you will not be ashamed; be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced; for you will forget the shame of your youth…” Freedom13 Ministries helps others realize that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is FREEDOM!
There is no condemnation in Jesus Christ; the sooner a person caught up in sexual sin can figure that out, the better. Romans 10:11 (ESV) says, “For the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.’” Believe that Jesus Christ loves you, that He died for you, that He is alive and wants to have a relationship with you. Repent of your sins. Ask Jesus to forgive you for the things you’ve done.
Find a mature Christian with whom you trust and tell him or her about your addiction. If you are married, I would start with first telling your spouse. There is so much power and freedom in finally confessing your addiction to someone. It is the hardest and scariest part, but I promise once you do, the burden will be lifted and your journey to healing will finally begin.
Ask that person (the person you confided in and/or your spouse) to help get you in touch with someone who deals with sexual addiction, who is a Christian, and who can help in getting you an Accountability Partner (if you are married, your spouse should always be at least one of your Accountability Partners).
Pray. Prayer is our biggest weapon against sexual sin. Find a Bible-believing church and GO regularly! Walk and live in your FREEDOM!
Disclaimer: These are general suggestions and opinions. I am not a Licensed Professional Counselor. If you have a serious addiction beyond the help of a friend or spouse, please call the professionals and get the help you need.
For more information visit Freedom13 on Facebook.