A battle is raging among today’s college students. It’s a battle Satan strategically chose to levy against the sexual health of millions of people, imprisoning and ravaging individuals in dungeons called pornography, masturbation, premarital sex, and the like. If you’re flinching at those words, you’re totally normal. Who talks about masturbation in a blog post? How awkward!
But the reality is that those dungeons, otherwise known as common forms of sexual brokenness, are all around you. They confine dozens—probably even hundreds—of people you know, slowly throttling the life out of their captives, fostering shame, altering thought patterns and physical pathways in the brain, making healthy relationships all but impossible, and cultivating deep levels of despair.
One Navigator staff couple that’s chosen to join this battle and spread a message of hope is Mitch and Jaylene Williamson. They’ve decided that the awkwardness of talking about things like pornography is worthwhile if students on campus are consequently given the opportunity to be healed from their sexual brokenness.
The Williamsons recently wrote about the struggle they’ve begun to fight in: “Mitch is speaking at a conference about sexual purity next month – specifically about how freedom is possible from shame, Satan’s lies, and unresolved emotional pain (the main motivators leading people toward sexual sin).”
“This topic has gained more attention in the last several years, and rightfully so. One facet of sexual sin, pornography, has an exceptionally wide use even among those solidly committed to Jesus. No longer is this battle for men only; one source claims as many as 18% of women view explicit sexual material once a month and more than 50% approve of pornography use. A prominent opinion for this trend is that pornography is very accessible, it’s affordable, and it can be used anonymously. There are a variety of reasons why sexual sin is destructive, the greatest perhaps is that it taints one’s perspective of intimacy. Many users of pornography have difficulty being honest, genuine, or emotionally close in relationships. Transfer this to our relationship with God and one effectually stops trusting Him.”
“In our ministry, one way we are combating sexual sin and fighting for purity is examining the roots of the behavior to act out sexually. Most people think they should just stop doing it by willpower alone. With a host of triggers linked with the behavior to act out sexually, just being more disciplined doesn’t cut it. We have learned to look past the sin itself to address what it is that leads a person to sin sexually. The results are very encouraging.”
A story exhibiting those encouraging results comes from another staff person who has entered the battle. He shared about a student he’d been mentoring: “God spoke to Graham* (name changed for confidentiality) and unveiled a lot of areas where Graham had been living Jeremiah 2:13 – “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” One of those “cisterns” has been pornography. “I didn’t even know I was addicted until Saturday.” Graham agreed to start a study on sexual purity with me called Walking in the Light. As we’ve been going through it, Graham has had a renewed sense of freedom. Jesus said in John 8:32, “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
“Prior to this quarter, Graham was a student who didn’t initiate with anyone and kept to himself. But as God breaks down his shame and guilt, Graham has begun initiating with people and is becoming more involved with the ministry. It’s been exciting to walk alongside Graham as he’s started the process of walking in the light. I’m looking forward to see how God will continue to mold and shape Graham’s heart!”
How precious to see a young man who’s allowed Jesus to break him out of his prison cell and is now standing up against Satan, empowered by God’s Spirit, His Word, and the support of believers around him. Let’s be men and women who enter the battle and reach out to the Grahams around us, helping them to taste the sweetness of freedom.