By: Allie Joy Hudson
4 min. read
Who is Jason Castro?
Jason Castro is a singer, songwriter, and American Idol finalist. He is passionate about his love for Jesus and his family. He’s married and is now a father of four. But he also has a difficult past. Castro struggled with a porn addiction that he carried into his marriage.
Castro’s story teaches us a lot about secrecy and shame. Though on the surface he appeared as a devoted Christian and husband throughout the course of his addiction, there seems to be a pain behind his eyes. Jason Castro also shows us the incredible freedom that Jesus offers us through openness and intentional community. His story looks like many of ours, and I love the hope that it gives us. Recovery is possible. Let’s dive in.
The Weight of Shame
Castro’s porn addiction began in high school, carried over into college, and then continued while his career was taking off. When he went on tour in 2008, despite being in a committed relationship with his now wife, Mandy, Castro continued watching porn and eventually slept with a woman he barely knew. He describes his sexual encounter as the natural next step after being entrenched in porn for so long. “I hate saying this. It’s embarrassing, but I guess, I was just addicted to pornography,” he says in a 2016 interview with I Am Second.
Castro recalls that he felt the immense weight of shame on his life at this point. The shame kept him up at night, and then he would watch porn again the next day. This cycle had a hold on him. Satan used shame as a powerful weapon in Castro’s heart, just like he does to so many of us.
Jason told Mandy about what happened a few months later, and the couple broke off their engagement. A little while later, Mandy forgave Jason and the two reconciled and got back together under the threat of divorce if Castro ever looked at porn again.
Carrying the weight of his past sins and the threat of losing his wife, Castro tried in vain to quit his porn habit once he and Mandy married. He quickly fell back into watching porn, though, and a wedge continued to grow between the couple. The Castros needed help, and quickly.
Freedom Through Transparency
With shame hiding under the surface and creating a wider and wider rift between Jason and Mandy, the couple was really struggling. Friends invited them to a 12-step recovery program, and this group proved to be transformational for Jason and Mandy Castro. The people in this group modeled openness, vulnerability, and transparency as a means to experience freedom. This filled Castro with something he hadn’t truly experienced before. A few months later, Jason Castro eventually followed his group members’ lead and confessed his porn habit to his wife and to his support group.
This confession started a long journey, but Castro says this moment was pivotal for him. Once he confessed his sins, he was able to bring them into the light and to truly experience the freedom that is sharing your deepest secrets and then receiving the grace, forgiveness, and mercy of Jesus.
James 5:16 tells us to “confess your sins to one another.” When we follow this command, we open ourselves up to true community and to real grace. Jason Castro is a changed man now. He is honest with his wife and now tells her about any time he “take[s] any step towards [porn].” Their marriage is thriving. “I’ve done some things, but I’m able to be free of those things because of Jesus Christ, and now I’m a free man,” Castro says joyfully.
Related: Can a Marriage Heal After Porn?
The Hope Behind His Eyes
Jason Castro’s story is a powerful reminder of the grip that shame can have on our lives. But Castro also reminds us of the great power that transparency has. When we bring our sin into the light, it cannot thrive there. “It feels good to be known,” Castro says. Although the process was long and difficult, Jesus changed this man’s life.
I was fascinated watching two different videos of Jason Castro, both of which he recorded with I Am Second. In both videos, he talks about his faith. While he was a Christian in both, his eyes look so different in the 2010 video (recorded at the beginning of his marriage while he was still addicted to porn) and the 2016 video (after he had found freedom from porn).
In the first video, there is a haze over his eyes. With every word that he says about his love for Jesus, though I don’t doubt what he says, it looks like his hidden shame and guilt have a visible weight on him. In the second video, his eyes look bright and clear and joyful. Jesus freed him! [If you have twelve minutes, I highly recommend watching Castro’s 2016 interview. It’s open, honest, and so hopeful.]
Jesus can free us too. If we submit ourselves to Him and truly let Him work in our lives, we can know the grace that He freely extends to us. Choose today to let Him in, to open yourself up to a community of believers you trust, and to receive Jesus’ mercy, healing, and grace. The way of following Jesus is full of freedom, hope, and life.
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Allie Joy Hudson is first and foremost a daughter of the King. She has worked with Proven Men for two years and serves as the Content Manager. Allie graduated from Liberty University with a B.A. in English and minors in Spanish and Psychology. She completed her Senior Honors Thesis on the presentation of postmodern sexuality in short fiction. She enjoys reading, writing, playing the viola, running, singing, and photography. Allie is passionate about her ever-growing C.S. Lewis collection, cultivating relationships, and proclaiming truth in the twisted arena of postmodern sexuality. Allie lives in Pennsylvania and is overjoyed to be married to the love of her life.