I’m a male graduate student. I had the honor to hear Maura Byrne, the founder of Made in His Image share her story last year at a talk. To be honest with you, I wasn’t entirely sure that I would take away anything from her talk. I wanted to meet her though, as there was something captivating about an article of hers that I read.
Let me tell you something, I was wrong. Her talk and story left me awe-struck. The fact that she was so sick, yet lived is a miracle. The way she spoke about forgiving the men in her life who have seriously harmed her was inspiring. I thought, How could someone love like that? Maura said it was the “Holy Spirit and grace from the Father.” She smiled as she said it, her face just lit up when she talked about God the Father. It was incredibly beautiful to witness.
I wanted to write this because Maura spoke about the effects of a man’s pornography addiction in her life. I had no idea porn could hurt a woman like that. She was very vulnerable and you could witness the genuine love she had for each person in the audience through her vulnerability. What struck me deeply was the fact that she thought she was “ugly” because of this man’s addiction. Maura is my sister in Christ and I say this with great respect – Maura is a beautiful woman. It put a porn addiction in perspective for me to hear how she suffered. To hear her voice…I mean, this was real. The fact that she is so beautiful, yet deemed herself as “ugly” in the past is both painful and something I needed to hear. She is a brave woman. And her strength and courage was a beautiful thing to behold. I needed to hear her talk. I needed it very badly. I didn’t know porn hurt a woman like that.
I also wanted to write this because I want to apologize to every woman in the world for my disrespect towards them through the use of pornography. Maura stated in her talk, “Love is selfless and pornography is selfish. Love yearns to please the beloved, while pornography is instant sexual gratification, that will never fill the void in your heart for authentic love.”
Ladies, I apologize to you. Please pray for men everywhere who struggle with a porn addiction. Really, we need your prayers.