Welcoming the New Year with Hopeful Anticipation
Kayla Sullivan • Dec 12 2020
The world around us is in a state of peril, and sadly only continues to decline. COVID-19 swept through our great nation with very little warning. Everyone felt the impact, regardless of age, gender, race, or social status.
Businesses, large and small, either ceased operation completely or had to make drastic cutbacks. Hard-working employees found themselves suddenly unemployed. Many were unable to file a claim and had a rising concern of paying the bills and buying food. And we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the impact that this global pandemic had on our children.
Globally, schools had no choice but to close. Much anticipated sports seasons never arrived. The only way kids could remain connected to their friends was through the use of technology.
But while the world has been so busy focusing on the economic impact, an even greater storm has erupted. Sadly, the consequences of this epidemic will have a long-term, if not a lifetime, impact on the most innocent and vulnerable around us.
The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, also known as RAINN, reported a 22% increase in calls from persons under the age of 18 during the month of March. And while media promotes the idea that sexual abuse happens at the hands of a stranger, 79% of the reports received to RAINN stated that the victim was currently living with the abuser. In fact, 67% of the minors identified the perpetrator as a family member.
Camille Cooper, vice president of public policy for RAINN, shared,
“As a result of looking at the information that we had from those sessions, it was clear that the abuse was escalating in both frequency and severity. So a lot of the kids that were coming to the hotline were feeling pretty vulnerable and traumatized. And it was a direct result of COVID-19, because they were quarantined with their abuser. The abuser was now abusing them on a daily basis.”
When lockdown orders are issued, the home is not always the safest place for children. First, quarantine often places children in direct contact with their abuser daily. At the same time, it removes trusted individuals, such as teachers, from the child’s life. These trusted adults are often mandatory reporters, who are required to report suspicions of abuse. Even if kids are not being physically and sexually brutalized, exposure to violent and perverted content – including pornography – is likely on the rise as well.
Exposure alone can have devastating effects on an individual. Studies show a direct correlation between pornography and sexual violence.
A meta-analysis of pornography consumption and actual acts of sexual aggression in a general population study, published in the Journal of Communication in February 2016, reported that, “…the accumulated data leave little doubt that, on the average, individuals who consume pornography more frequently are likely to hold attitudes conducive to sexual aggression and engage in actual acts of sexual aggression than individuals who do not consume pornography…”
In 2011, Kansas Legislation debated a bill requiring police to report all pornographic content found on the scene of a sexually-based crime. Psychologist Mary Anne Layden, who had experience in treating sexual trauma victims as well as perpetrators, testified in favor of the bill. She shared,
“I had been doing this work for more than 10 years before I realized that I had not treated one case of sexual violence that did not include pornography.”
So, borrowing the term from COVID-19, how do we flatten the curve?
For far too long, this issue has been brushed under the rug. Sure, there are attempts to raise awareness. For instance, pastors occasionally offer a sermon that glosses over the issue of pornography. Statistics outline the problem, but no action is taken to help those who are caught up in pornography and sexual sin. Even if a church chooses to offer a program, it too often falls short of lasting healing.
Many argue that sex is a private matter. Others believe that pornography is permissible, not harming anyone, or declare it a personal choice. This is deceptive and unbiblical.
The health and emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being of the next generation depends on us to do something now. It requires us to deal with the issues that are destroying individuals, marriages, and families. Our generation has to pursue healing, which may require us to break the curses that have plagued our families for generations. If we’re unwilling to do this, we are willingly handing our children over to the things of this world.
Even if we aren’t addicts ourselves, we cannot ignore those who may be. We cannot judge them and turn away, leaving them to battle in isolation. Instead, we must come alongside them.
If you’ve already found freedom in this area, you should not keep that freedom to yourself. Use your testimony as a tool to reach those who feel hopeless. Following the direction given in Luke 8:39,
“Return home and tell how much God has done for you.”
These men and women need godly brothers and sisters who will come alongside them, encourage them, support them, and walk out a healing journey with them. They cannot fight and win on their own. And for most, it will require more than a choice to walk away from sexual sin. They will need to embrace the process of renewing the mind, which can take two to five years. And moreover, often these men and women have been wounded in their past and need to embrace their own healing. A life void of healing creates a cycle where pain then spills over into the lives of others.
The Conquer Series is a powerful cinematic study that has helped more than one million men around the world start the journey to a life free from porn. It explains why trying harder does not work, how the brain has been changed through the viewing of porn, and the importance of renewing the mind. Individuals can begin to embrace the healing process through the powerful strategies that are introduced in this 10-week course.
Warpath, a long-term video-based teaching, takes the healing to the next level. Available exclusively on Soul Refiner, a digital streaming platform, individuals will learn to confidently walk in their God-given identity. They will be given tools that can help them not only continue their journey, but become an asset in the healing journey of their spouse, children, and others.
Continuing to brush issues of sexual sin under the rug does nothing except increase the statistics of violence, sexual abuse, and broken homes. The time to heal is now. You have the chance to change the trajectory of your family’s history. Will you accept the challenge?
The Conquer Series is a powerful cinematic series which is helping over 1 million men conquer porn and walk in freedom.
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