How do I escape pornography addiction?
As I'm sure you can guess, some of the most searched terms on the internet are related to pornography—whether it is to seek it out or to find ways to end addiction. Pornography is everywhere today in varying forms and levels of graphicness. It affects both guys and girls. Satan has indeed succeeded in twisting and perverting sex. He has taken what is totally good and right (loving sex between a husband and wife) and replaced it with lust, pornography, adultery, rape, and homosexuality.
Pornography can be the first step on a very slippery slope of falling into even more immoralities (Romans 6:19). The addictive properties of pornography are documented facts. Just as drug abuse requires a user to always up the ante to achieve the same high, pornography drags one deeper and deeper into hard-core sexual addictions and ungodly desires.
The three main kinds of sin are the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16). Pornography encompasses all of those. It definitely makes us lust after flesh, and it is undeniably a lust of the eyes. Pornography is not something we are to dwell upon, according to Philippians 4:8. Pornography is addictive (1 Corinthians 6:12; 2 Peter 2:19) and destructive (Proverbs 6:25-28; Ezekiel 20:30; Ephesians 4:19). Having lustful thoughts is the essence of pornography, and it is offensive to God (Matthew 5:28). (Note: Lust is not the same as love, which is what you would feel for your husband or wife.)
When a person who claims to be a Christian has become desperately devoted to pornography, without remorse or desire to repent, that person should really consider if he or she is really saved (1 Corinthians 6:9). That sounds harsh, but one who has wholeheartedly made a decision to follow Christ will not make a decision to constantly disobey His Word. This doesn't mean we will never stumble. It happens. But if a person has no desire to change, then that is when we have to worry.
If you are addicted to pornography...
First off, do not despair! An addiction to internet porn is not an "unforgivable sin." God can and will forgive you. Pornography addiction is not impossible to conquer. With God, you will have the power to overcome it.
Second, let me encourage you that you are NOT alone. Pornography addiction is such a solitary thing. Those images you see are ones that will be burned into your memory always, and it hurts. I know it hurts. You feel like you're the only one with the problem, yet there are so many who struggle with it. Take heart that you are not the only one!
God can and WILL give you victory.
If you truly desire to be free from your addiction, here are some steps to victory:
- Confess your sin to God (1 John 1:9). He already knows what's going on, but it is helpful to just get it out in the open. So often, we think we can hide things from God, but honestly, He knows it all anyway. It's best to just fess up.
- Ask God to cleanse, renew, and transform your mind (Romans 12:2). The reasons why you are turning to pornography may be much deeper than you think. Maybe it starts with boredom or loneliness or just plain curiosity. But there is a terrifying draw that pornography has; it's so hard to look away. Yet God can give you the strength to do so!
- Ask God to fill your mind with the things from Philippians 4:8: "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."
- Learn to possess your body in holiness (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4). That is, your body belongs to God, so take care of it as though you are taking care of it for Him by keeping it holy and pure.
- Understand the real reason why sex exists, and wait until marriage to meet that need (1 Corinthians 7:1-5). Sex was invented by God; that's why our bodies desire it so. We were made for this, but God's command is that it is only to be enjoyed in the context of marriage. Sex outside of marriage causes all kinds of emotional and spiritual turmoil that does not help us in our relationship with God.
- Realize that if you take direction from the Holy Spirit to live a holy life, you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). If we truly allow God to direct our actions, He will help steer us away from the temptations that would make us fall into sin.
- Stop looking at graphic images! That seems a bit simple and obvious, but, really, installing pornography blockers on your devices and limiting viewing of sexy media (TV, movies, games, etc.) will help you stop before you even get started. We have some suggestions listed below.
- Find a Christian friend who will pray for you and help keep you accountable. Make sure this is a person you trust to call you out and tell you like it is. That's very important! A friend who will let you get away with things doesn't make for a very good accountability partner. ;-)
Pornography can lead to uncontrollable lust and make it really difficult to experience true sexual intimacy when you're married. Often intense feelings of guilt and despair go along with viewing porn—or show up directly afterward. Pornography is the #1 cause of masturbation, sexual assault, and sexual deviancy. Pornography is offensive to God, which makes it a sin that must be confessed, repented of, and overcome.
But remember, you are not alone. God can give you power. YOU CAN DO THIS.
Sites like XXXchurch.com and X3Watch.com might be helpful. Also, there are great books out there like Every Young Man's Battle by Stephen Arterburn and Every Young Woman's Battle by Shannon Ethridge and Stephen Arterburn.
PARENTS: You might want to DOWNLOAD THIS.
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