EQUIP Shorts: Helen Thorne, 'Purity is Possible'
Sex, porn, fantasy, erotica - words and topics that make most Christian women blush. Sisters, we need to get real with each other and change the conversation.
In the past years, I've spoken to more and more women about the taboo topic of females engaging with porn and fantasy. Amongst Christian women, one common theme emerges - they feel like they are the only ones looking/feeling/thinking these things. I hardly hear anyone talk about these things. Most sermons address men as the ones with the sexual urges, and women as needing to beware of the lure of an Austen novel when it comes to romance. While this might also be true, it leaves a lot of women who are struggling with fantasy and porn feeling trapped.
Enter Purity is Possible, an incredibly on point book by Helen Thorne. In this book, Helen deals quite frankly with the facts: 1 in 5 Christian women are now looking at porn. This book is more timely than ever. When women are obviously reading porn in public and when porn is being sold at the supermarket checkout, you know something is wrong with how our culture views sex.
This book is a joyful book. Helen reminds us that, even in a broken and sinful world, we can see true beauty in Christ. Helen deals with a topic that can so easily lead to a heavy burden of guilt and shame by constantly pointing us to the one who takes it all away - Jesus Christ. Helen is not writing to make her readers feel guilty. She is writing to make you aware of your idols, and to remind you of the truth: Christ accomplishes what your idols never can. Christ satisfies like your idols never can. Christ loves like your idols never can.
Purity is Possible gets to the heart of the fantasy issue - idolatry. People are using porn to achieve intimacy, relationship, to alleviate loneliness, to experience what we cannot, to take control. But these are all false gods that will only ever turn our eyes away from the true and living God. Purity is Possible recognises the issues that lie within our hearts, even before we begin to fantasize, and tackles them head on.
But I've never struggled with these things...
Purity is Possible is not just a book for those who are struggling to escape the sexual fantasy trap. It is a book for all women. We have a responsibility as sisters in Christ to care for one another, to present everyone mature in Christ. Our churches and our bible studies aren't discussing these issues, but clearly there are women dealing with these things. Don't say "this isn't me". Read this book and prepare yourselves to care for your sisters in Christ.
Three Christian women were brave enough to share their own stories over on my blog here if anyone is interested: https://hereinthewaitingroom.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/the-secret-struggle-christian-women-and-porn/