Sin Girls Don’t Talk About

Sin Girls Don’t Talk About

I remember the first time I heard a girl confess she struggled with it. I was in college and had just joined a campus ministry. The girls on my team were gathering to share testimonies, our stories of life change (John 4:7-25, 39). 

And one of the girls? Incredibly courageous. 

I remember tears welling up in her eyes as she told us she was introduced to porn when she was super young – maybe 12? I can’t remember. But that unfortunate introduction led to years of captivity—she had been enslaved to porn and masturbation. 

 “I always thought it was a guy sin—that something must be wrong with me,” she told the group. But one day she sat in a circle much like ours, and heard another girl share her testimony. For the first time in her life, she realized she wasn’t alone (1 Corinthians 10:13).  

My new friend’s courage led to a really sweet night for our group. One that I’m personally glad I remembered years later. We heard story after story of God’s faithfulness to bring the dead to life. His faithfulness to restore the broken, and heal the wounded, abused, the hurting, and the hopeless. Because that’s what he does! Everyday. At all times. It doesn’t matter what the sin is. God delights to meet us in our brokenness. We don’t have to clean ourselves up to come Him. But with sins like hers—we don’t always believe this to be true.  

A lot of times, for us? Sexual sin is scary. 

But if your scary sin is secret sin, you’re probably a slave to it.  

Maybe you’ve tried to stop.  

“This’ll be the last time.” But it wasn’t. You’re tired. 

Or maybe you’re confused.  

If you’re like I was, maybe you’ve never heard girls talk about porn. I thought my new friend was brave, but I also thought, “that’ll never be me.” (So, if you’re reading this, and you don’t know what I’m talking about when I use those words—PLEASE, ask a trusted church leader or your parents. And if you’re anything like me, and curiosity is killing you, I want you to go read Proverbs 14:12 and Proverbs 4:14-15. And then call a trusted leader in your life and tell them you’re curious. Ask for help.)  

Maybe you’re offended.  

Sometimes blogs or articles like this can feel like somebody’s pointing their finger at you. While Paul does point out we can become slaves to sin, he also reminds us every day is a choice. You’re not too far gone, and I know the struggle is real; but remember you have a choice. Paul says, “Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God which leads to righteous living” (Romans 6:16 NLT).  

Or maybe you don’t think it’s a sin. 

“The Bible just says don’t have premarital sex. I’m not doing that, so I‘m good, right? Besides, it’s not like I’m addicted to porn.” Or, “I don’t know if I’d even call this porn really—it’s not that bad …” Ever thought like that? I’ve been there. But you know what God’s word says? Sexual immorality (that’s all impurity or inappropriate sexual longing) must not even be named among believers. Why? Because it isn’t healthy or right for God’s people to be entertained by sin—and in this case, porn and masturbation are acts that cause us to be entertained by sex outside of marriage (Ephesians 5:3).  

Lastly, maybe you’re afraid. Or ashamed? 

Maybe you think this will be the sin you take to the grave, or the sin that goes away when you get married. But what if you didn’t have to be afraid or ashamed?  What if you could talk about it? … And what if it doesn’t go away when you get married? 

As your big sis, I’m here to tell you that there’s bad news and there’s good news.  

The Bad News: Sin Always Leads to Death 

Some of us know this far too well. What started off as curiosity and a lot of Gossip Girl or Nicholas Sparks turned into a full-blown addiction – maybe it’s porn and masturbation? Or maybe for you, it’s vaping? Either way, you know what it’s like for one moment of curiosity or excitement to trap you in a downward spiral.  

 Not sure if you’re trapped? Ask yourself these questions: 

  • How many times have you said, “This will be the last time?” 
  • Do you count the days between “times?” 
  • Justifying it with, “well it’s only once a month…or once a week?”  
  • Ever want or feel like you need “just a little bit more?” 

If you answered yes to any of those questions, you’re probably living in the bad news: Sin leads to death.  

Anytime you feel an urge to sin—that is to think, say, or do anything that doesn’t honor God, you’re being tempted. “And remember, when you are being tempted, don’t say, ‘God is tempting me.’ God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death” (James 1:13-15). James is literally saying that just as a baby is conceived, born, and grows up, so too does our sin.  

It’s really helpful to think about James’ point: Sin that grows up guides you into the ground. It leads to death.  

But we have to be careful, because this can get really confusing really quickly. If you’re a believer in Christ, your eternity is secure not because of your performance; rather, your eternity is secure if you have faith in the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus (Romans 10:9-10; Ephesians 2:8-9). James is not saying if you keep sinning you will go to hell. That’s not his point. He’s saying if you keep sinning, your life is not going to head in the direction you want it to go. 

If you’re a believer in Christ, James is pointing out that if you continue in sin your life will decay and decay and decay. Instead of experiencing the abundant and full life Jesus intends for his kids, you’ll experience the opposite: a life that declines (Proverbs 10:27, 11:19; John 10:10).  

For me it looked like this: I was never exposed to porn. But I had a relationship with a guy in high school that wasn’t great. When I got to college, and started to hear girls talk, I got curious—was I missing out on something great? At first, I just wanted to know about it, “this will never be my problem,” I thought, “so there’s no harm in learning about it.”  Then, one thing led to another, and years later I found myself struggling with masturbation and lustful thoughts—and no one knew.  

I had no community. 

I was lonely.  

I was the church girl. “I’m not supposed to struggle with this,” I thought, ashamed and embarrassed. 

I was afraid of what other people might think.  

But I needed help. And that’s where the good news comes into play.  

The Good News: Your Sin Doesn’t Have to be Your Story.

For me, I realized I wasn’t living authentically and needed to get to a place where I was surrounded by believers who regularly confessed their sin and helped hold each other accountable to flee temptation. Later in chapter 5, James goes on to say, “Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” To my surprise, when I got around a group of girls, who loved Jesus and wanted to help each other look more like Him, I was met with grace and compassion.  

They reminded me that there’s no condemnation for those who are in Christ (Romans 8:1). They cheered for me—and celebrated my confession. They didn’t celebrate my sin; rather, it was my courage to share that they celebrated. They reminded me of what was true: “As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly” (Proverbs 26:11). They didn’t want me to be like the dog (a gross illustration, I know), so they celebrated my courage and helped me think through ways to combat the temptation.  

Matthew 5:30 says, “If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.” Now again, this could be confusing—If you have placed your faith in Jesus, your eternity is secure (1 John 5:11-13, John 5:24). In this verse, Jesus is speaking in hyperbole (extreme exaggeration to communicate a point.) I mean, if Jesus really wanted us to apply this verse literally, the human race would be incredibly crippled (and everyone would be left handed)!  

Jesus is saying we should be willing to take extreme measures to run from sin—missing out on something is better than letting our sin lead us to devastation and destruction.  

Missing out is a wonderful thing if it means we’re fighting sin. For you, that might mean deleting Instagram or TikTok, maybe you install CovenantEyes on your computer or sleep with your bedroom door open (1 Corinthians 10:13). It might be a sacrifice, but it’ll be worth it. 

Jesus doesn’t expect perfection, because we can’t be perfect. Paul understood this reality (Romans 7:21-25). But at the same time, grace doesn’t give us a free pass to sin (Romans 6:1-3).  

So, when we mess up, we run to the light. We confess and pray for one another that we might be healed, we remove from our lives whatever might be contributing to the temptation, and we remind ourselves of truth. We remember that God’s mercies are new every morning and his promises have no end (Lamentations 3:22-23). There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ (Romans 8:1). God loves you. So much so that he sent his son to die on the cross for us, taking the punishment we deserve for sin. But the story didn’t stop there, because he rose from the grave, and by believing in him, we can find new life in him (Romans 10:9-10). He’s the ones who transforms us— on our own strength, we’re powerless. But thanks be to God, He gives us the victory through Christ Jesus our Lord (1 Corinthians 15:57). I hope and pray you’ll find the victory and freedom I did. 

Love you guys. 


Emma is on staff at Watermark Community Church in Dallas, Texas and is leading a ministry called Join The Journey—a daily Bible reading plan aimed at helping all believers regularly get into God’s Word and understand what they’re reading through resources like journals, podcasts and more! Emma graduated from Texas A&M with her undergraduate degree in English and continued her education, studying the Bible, through the Watermark Institute. In her free time, Emma, passionate about her generation knowing the story of scripture and how to study it, creates equipping resources for her peers. You can find out more by visiting understandingmybible.com or by visiting her Instagram, @_emmadotter_

Sad Girl Hours

Sad Girl Hours

As a little kid, I hated studying for tests—mainly because I couldn’t memorize all the information fast enough. Memorization always took longer than I wanted it to. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not sure anyone actually enjoys studying for tests. But as hard as I tried to cram all the information into my little middle-school-aged brain, I couldn’t do it quick enough; and that is what would frustrate me. It always took more time than I wanted.

And while I’m no longer in school, and all the tests are behind me, there’s one thing that isn’t: sadness. And disappointment, unfulfilled expectations, a glimmer of hope, and maybe a little anger all mashed into one. And I’d really love it if these feelings would turn off (especially the sadness), but they just won’t. They linger, the sad girl hours.

And, ya know? For as much as I used to hate that phrase and kinda laugh it off like any other meme, it’s now become something I’m all too familiar with. Because just like I wanted to fit my studying into a short time frame and be done, we sometimes want to put a box around all our negative emotions and move on … be done. But sometimes, they linger; or at least they have for me—especially the sadness.

Nearly every little girl dreams of her wedding day. Picking out a dress, marrying Prince Charming, Dad walking you down the aisle? Fairytale type stuff. This time last year, I thought I was on my way to living out that fairytale. I was dating my best friend, and our best friends were best friends—like literally, they are married to each other. He was the best man in their wedding, and I was the maid of honor. We became friends, then we started dating, then we started seriously dating—like premarital ministry participation looked at rings started seriously dating, and I thought that fairytale was on the way. In fact, I thought it’d be coming, really, any week.

And then it didn’t.

To my surprise, my best friend, the man who I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with, had been lying to me. And it all came crashing down.  Tears filled my eyes as I heard phrases like, “I can’t say that I love you, and I can’t say that I don’t,” and “I’ve just let other people’s pressures and expectations drive me to take steps forward I shouldn’t have been taking…starting months ago.”

And when that friendship ended, the sadness started. The unfulfilled expectations started. Anger started. Hanging onto a glimmer of hope started…then he got a new girlfriend. And the sadness started again and again, and just when I’d think it had passed, it’d be back.

I don’t know what sadness you’re facing. Maybe it’s heartbreak? Maybe it’s cancer? Maybe you lost your job, or a loved one? Your marriage is falling apart? You didn’t get into that college? Not making the grades?

Maybe it’s a conglomeration of several of those things. I don’t know what’s making you sad or angry or frustrated or whatever, but I do know that, for you, those feelings are real. And they’re hard.

About 10 months into persistent feelings of disappointment, I started asking the question, “At what point should I be concerned that my sad feelings aren’t going away?”

“Learn from your pain before it leaves.” That’s what my friend JP says. I hadn’t learned, so now I’m glad it hadn’t left.

And honestly, for the past 12 months, I’ve wished I’ve had a big sister who’d walked through loss, or disappointment, or feelings of grief even, that linger for a long time so I could learn from her; but I don’t have a big sister. So, for just a few more paragraphs, I want to be your big sister. Here’s some encouragement and a couple things I’ve learned.

Remember what’s true, and when you can’t remember, make sure you’ve got friends who do. 

There’s this big passage in Exodus 6 where Moses goes to the Israelites and is like, “You guys. This is the best news. God? He sees us. He’s going to save us—we don’t have to be slaves anymore! He’s gunna be a father to us.” And it’s this crazy encouraging passage that people quote often…but they typically leave out the next verse. “Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and harsh labor.” (Exodus 6:9)

The Israelites, blinded by their present disappointments and tough circumstances, missed the good news. In your sadness, fight to remember the good news—even if you have to ask a friend to remind you of what’s true. And since I’m your big sister for the time being, here are some reminders:

  • Jesus gets it. He sees you. He hates that you’re facing those feelings and circumstances, and he’s with you. (Hebrews 4:15)
  • It’s not forever. Jesus told us life on this earth wouldn’t be smooth sailing. (John 16:33) But the rough waters aren’t forever. (Revelation 21:4, Psalm 40:1-3, 30:5b)
  • And He’s King over it. (1 Corinthians 15:57)

The reminders are important because it’s not enough to just vent. In fact, venting can actually be dangerous. Proverbs 29:11 says, “a fool gives full vent to his soul.” So, all those frustrations or circling thoughts you need to air out? Make sure you run them through the truth of God’s Word and that you’ve got a friend or pastor nearby to help shepherd you. It’s healthy to let other people into the things you’re thinking and experiencing, but it’s unhealthy to air them out and breathe them back in again. Take in truth.

God does something special in the pressing. 

John Piper says to savor, or treasure, the special promised nearness of God that comes when storm clouds seem to move in over our lives. And I found that frustrating for two reasons. One, because God’s felt pretty far at times over the past year. And two, because he basically said, “enjoy this season, because you’ll miss it when it’s gone.” I was honestly like, “Are you kidding me John?! Enjoy sadness?!”

He wasn’t kidding, because Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is near to the broken-hearted.” He’s near. He stores up our tears and doesn’t let anything come into our lives on accident. (Psalm  56:8; Colossians 1:16-17) But even though He knows our days better than we do, He still wants to hear from us—and that’s one way we experience that special nearness Piper was talking about.

There’s a special intimacy that comes when we honestly pour out our hearts to God. The goal of prayer isn’t to change God’s mind. It’s an opportunity to trust Him with the honest desires of our hearts—even when they aren’t met. He cares about you. He wants to talk to you. He’s for you. Remember that. If you’re a believer in Christ’s life, death, burial, and resurrection, you’re on God’s team.

And here’s the deal. This pressing is for your good. And I know that’s the last thing you want to hear. Because it’s a lot harder to believe God works everything for good, when life doesn’t feel very good. (Romans 8:28) But, those times when life doesn’t feel great, could possibly be some of the most formative, valuable, refining, faith-strengthening, and developmental times of your entire life. Romans 5 tells us that God uses the hard circumstances in our lives to strengthen our character and solidify our hope—and this hope “doesn’t put us to shame.”

So regardless of whether the sadness you’re currently facing has been caused by your own poor decisions, another person, or it’s just the cards you were dealt, you can trust that God is up to something through it. We might not always understand it, but when we can’t see what God is doing, we can be sure that when it’s all said and done, we’ll be glad He did. (Isaiah 55:8)

Emma is on staff at Watermark Community Church, home of The Porch, a Tuesday night ministry that reaches thousands of young adults across the country. Emma graduated from Texas A&M with her undergraduate degree in English and continued her education, by studying the Bible through the Watermark Institute. In her free time, Emma, being passionate about her generation knowing the story of scripture and how to study it, creates equipping resources for her peers. You can find out more by visiting understandingmybible.com or by visiting her Instagram, @_emmadotter_ 

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