I feel you! One of the lowest points in my life was when I struggled with a relationship that was not pleasing to God. Although that relationship has ended, there are definitely times when the guilt I feel about it comes back to haunt me.
Yet, feeling guilty may not be a bad thing altogether. All of us are sinners, and a sense of guilt over something could be the Holy Spirit prompting us that it is against God’s desires. Thankfully, as Christians, we have the hope of drawing near to God again!
Paul says in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (ESV). Jesus Christ through his death and resurrection has fully paid the price of your sins and promises a new life for even the worst of sinners. You are forgiven and adopted into His family forever! Never accept the lies of guilt that tell you that you are hopeless and unforgivable.
So, take the first step to come before God and confess your sins (Rom 3:23); He will forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
Feelings of guilt may still arise, as we live in a sinful and fallen world that will only be made new when Christ returns. Keep feeding on God’s Word (Ps 119:9–11) and focus on the wholeness that Jesus’ forgiveness and righteousness brings. He has the power to help us overcome sin and grow in holiness (1 Cor 6:9–11)!
Finally, seek accountability and support to walk away from sin. Share your struggles with a more mature and trustworthy sister. Pray and encourage one another regularly, so that you will not be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Heb 3:13)!
You are not alone. Although I am a full-time missionary, I struggle with pornography and kept it a secret for several years. The following is what I have learnt in my struggle.
God created us to be sexual beings, and He gave us desires for sexual intimacy. But sin tainted God’s purposes, such that humans created pornography to indulge in sexual desires outside of God’s ordained boundaries.
But before we think about what we must do to change, we need to be convicted of what God has done for us. Reflect on the gospel — God’s grace and mercy given to us through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and our identity as His children. Meditate on Romans 6!
Then, as a response, seek to be obedient to God (Rom 12:1–2). Do whatever it takes to flee from the temptation of pornography. For me, I decided to bring my secrets to light by sharing them with a sister. She became my accountability partner and would check in on me. When I face temptation, I contact her and she reminds me of my commitment to Christ.
Finding healthy ways to express your sexuality will also be helpful. How may you develop the gifts and interests God has given you as a woman and bless others with them?
I affirm your desire to battle pornography. Please check out Covenant Eyes and Dirty Girls Ministries for extra support!