Don’t Judge!

Other people were judgmental and rude. Not me.

It’s amazing what different seasons of life will reveal if you let them. After having our first son, it was like God ignited a bomb within my soul that exposed some major sin in my life. I am sure many moms have this aha moment, but I was completely caught off guard. It’s crazy how sneaky pride is in our lives, convincing you that you aren’t a judgmental person. “I’m not judging her, I just won’t be doing it THAT way.” I would tell myself pre-childbirth.

Sure, I never said anything out loud (at least not to that person) about my thoughts on how wrong they were. But slowly my perception of other mother’s would be one of pity. Such a shame that they just couldn’t get their act together so their lives would be better and they wouldn’t have to be so overwhelmed. “I won’t be like that”, I said. “I will learn from their mistakes and we won’t have all these problems.” I scrutinized and analyzed these mothers who allowed me to see their messy lives and silently chose to write them off as far as potential mentors went. They clearly weren’t the ones I wanted to be watching and learning from. I was exceptionally harsh with one friend in particular. Her life was entirely different than mine, from the type of marriage she had to her personality. This is the same friend who was brave enough to declare in front of me and all my friends that she had looked at porn, when everyone around me was expressing disgust at the thought. And so I found myself mentally separating myself from her and placing myself on a pedestal. I would be different.

“Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.” – Proverbs 16:18

Well that fall came and it came hard. It turns out I was not different. It turns out, I was worse. I am confident God was disgusted with my prideful heart before my journey in motherhood even began and he proceeded to remove it as quickly as possible. I am thankful, but it was extremely painful. I was going to be one of those moms who does everything right. You know, like all of those mom bloggers. I would have a natural birth at a birthing center with no meds. I would nurse my child for a year and never use formula. I…….I…….I would do none of those things. After five days of labor ending in an emergency C-section (that’s right, five freaking days), an intense and difficult recovery, major difficulties nursing leading to a switch to formula at six months, and countless other “failures,” I was in a dark and depressing place. “I am a failure. I can’t do anything right. I hate myself. I…….I…….I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE!!!” 

You know what’s funny? That same friend who I judged so harshly, is the one who told me I was not a failure. This mom who I viewed as doing it “wrong,” was the one who encouraged me every step of the way through my horrible labor. She was the one who told me that it was ok to use formula, even though she herself never had to use it for her children. She accepted my failures and had grace on me. She did not judge me in my hour of need (even though she never struggled in the areas of motherhood that I was struggling in). She was there for me and prayed for me and answered the phone when I desperately needed a friend to talk things through.

My pride was exposed even more for what it really was, and I was brought lower than I had ever been before. “I can’t do this anymore.”

It’s true. I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t continue in my pride. Thankfully my story didn’t end where it does for so many others. I stopped looking at myself and started looking at Jesus. I stopped trying to do it by myself and reached out for help. I took myself off of that pedestal and brought myself low at the feet of my King.

“And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” – James 4:6

Oh, thank God for that grace.

Ted Talk on Porn Addiction

I came across this interesting video concerning porn addiction. Now, granted it is only discussing the perspective on how it affects guys, but it is definitely intriguing nonetheless. Take the time to watch this video. It could change your future sex life and save you from painful years whether you are single or married.

Porn Within Movies

Pornography:  the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement.

My husband and I watched a movie the other day. It was an R-rated comedy and there were more than just crude jokes in this movie. It had two sexual scenes that lingered on women’s bare breasts. My husband looked away and I glanced over so that I could tell him if it was over or not.

Now, most people would argue that sex scenes in movies are not the same thing as pornography. I mean you aren’t watching people have sex and all you are seeing is breasts or butts. Based on the definition above though, I would beg to differ.

Anything intended to cause sexual excitement is pornography. But for women, especially married women, there is something that can be just as detrimental to viewing material that explicitly shows other women’s bodies.

After seeing this movie, I started to look at my own breasts with disgust and became slightly depressed with my own physical appearance. I mean how could my own breasts compete with the airbrushed, stimulated, perfectly angled and lighted breasts of women in the movies? I know all of this logically, but even so, subconsciously my mind goes there and I become dissatisfied. Thankfully, I have the Holy Spirit who told me to tell my husband immediately what was going through my head. My husband was able to encourage me and build me up and that was the end of it.

So, while I may not have been sexually stimulated by the sight (only because my husband takes good care of my physical needs) it was still harmful. Too often I think married women believe they are able to handle sexual scenes in movies better than their husbands can simply because most women aren’t as visually turned on. But while men might be more tempted to view more forms of porn and, in turn, sexually withdraw, women are tempted to look at themselves with disgust and sexually withdraw. Both are equally sinful.

What is my point? I think my point is that as wives, we need to stop allowing porn into our hearts. Whether it leads to the same outcome as our husband’s is not even the point. The point is that porn harms every single person that is touched by it. So whether the porn you are viewing is through videos, movies, models in magazines, or books, you need to strongly analyze the way you are treating your sex life and how those things are affecting it.

A good sex life is important for a good marriage. And while it certainly isn’t everything, it is very important. Anything you are consuming that causes you to view yourself as less desirable is not worth it. Anything that causes you to withdraw from your husband is sinful.

You may not be viewing porn as the world thinks of it, but I want to leave you with something that Jesus once said to the Pharisees who boasted about how they didn’t sin like other people did.

“You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too.” – Matthew 23:26

I don’t mean to be harsh, but the truth isn’t always easy.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

–          Philippians 4:8

My Testimony II

Picking up where I left off: I began to take my sin more seriously starting in my Senior year of high school and that is also when porn/masturbation really started to take a toll on my life.

In a stretch of about three years, I became truly addicted to pornography. I may not have viewed it as often as other porn addicts do, but I had no self-control and would watch it in the family living areas on my newly acquired laptop even when my family was home. I began to despise myself and feel depressed and cried out to God like I had never done before. I wanted it to end. I couldn’t keep living life in this way.

He told me what to do: “Tell someone.” I knew that is what he was asking of me, that it was where the end of my misery would have to begin. But in so many ways that sounded like the worst idea ever! If I told someone, they would look at me differently; with disgust, shock, horror, and disdain. They might even tell other people I knew and then everyone would know me for what I was. Girls just didn’t masturbate and girls certainly didn’t watch porn. No one would understand this.

But I knew I didn’t just have to tell anyone, I had to tell a certain friend. I didn’t. I told my mom. It was the worst decision I could have made because at the two years that were the hardest, I added another year of misery to my life. My mom promptly tried to forget I ever told her and was embarrassed and the subject was not brought up again until after I got married and I was confident in who I was.

A year later, I was at an event about sex trafficking at our town’s college. They talked about how women were often trafficked and used for porn films and the people viewing them couldn’t distinguish when a woman had been trafficked. I wanted to throw up.

Some of my girlfriends started to talk about how they can’t imagine anyone viewing porn let alone any women. “I mean how could women view pornography? It’s so disgusting!” My friend that I knew I should tell was there and piped in saying that she used to look at it. What? I wasn’t alone.

I finally worked up the courage to talk to her and things began to change from then on. I obeyed Christ, and immediately found peace and the freedom that I always had. I no longer allowed my desires to control me, but prayed and studied God’s Word even more. I began to take Jesus more seriously. I still struggled with masturbation until the day I got married and it could still be a very real struggle for me if my husband ever dies or we have a rough patch in our marriage. I know that I am not immune to my body’s physical desires. But the lust is no longer there. I haven’t looked at porn intentionally since the day I told my friend and confessed my sin to another person.

Since then, I would say that I am a completely different person than I was during those three years (and I wasn’t even very bad in the outward sense). My desires are more like Christ’s desires and He has transformed what I really want from life to be more Holy. I will always have sins and issues that I need to work on, but sin is no longer my master. Jesus Christ is. Once I was able to wrap my head around what Christ truly did on the cross, I understood that every sin I had done and every sin I would commit was washed away by His blood.

And now I can honestly say that I am excited for the day that I get to be in my Savior’s presence in eternity. He is just so much better than all the pleasures that this world has to offer. Now, my greatest desire is to please God.

And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. – 1 John 2:17

Feel free to leave me any comments or thoughts you may have on this topic using the form below. Also, if you would like to share your own testimony, please email me at mtorik89@gmail.com and I will respect your anonymity.