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How To Crush An Obsession With Porn: One Man’s Story

How to Crush an Obsession with Porn: One Man’s Story

Feeling homesick, I tuned into the livestream from my University Church somewhere in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. There was a close-up shot of my friend, Chris. We had taken class together. Often, I would ask him to volunteer on my camera team for the very livestream I was watching. He was easygoing and enjoyable to work with. Now, he was in front of me sharing a dark secret he’d been hiding. I hadn’t even suspected it.

Later, I called him to hear more of his story. He told me candidly. It started like it almost always does. A friend introduced him. My friend, Chris, was drawn into the little animations with the big eyes performing perverse erotic acts on each other. His boyish curiosity was at it’s peak. The seeds had been planted with the Victoria’s Secret magazines he found in his mother’s room.

Then, his parents divorced. Pornography became an escape, a drug, to numb the pain. It was also a way of getting back at God for allowing this destruction in his family. It got to the point that he would wake up at two o’clock in the morning with an uncontrollable urge to indulge. It would not be satisfied until he did. He felt so disgusted with himself, but he couldn’t seem to stop for long.

It all came to a head one Christmas. His dad gave him an iPod as a gift. He hurried to his dad’s office and connected the device to Wi-Fi. After a few clicks, a pornographic video filled the screen. He was glued to the screen absorbing in the vile images. Suddenly, a low voice broke his intense focus.

“If that’s why you wanted an iPod, you can give it back.”

He looked up straight into his father’s large brown eyes. He could see the pain and disappointment in etched across his face. He knew something had to change.

Porn is a big issue for most people. Many are being introduced to porn at an earlier age. It has been difficult to do studies on the effects of porn in men because there is no control group –almost everyone is involved. Yesterday, guys hid Play Boy magazines in their closets. Today, couples are encouraged to watch porn together.

However, studies show porn is linked sexual dysfunction. The emotional effects of porn are controversial and under-researched due to lack of funding; however, countless stories indicate porn has some very concerning effects, such as addiction and dysfunctional relationships. While the research is varied regarding the statistical link between porn and sexual abuse or assault, Mrs. White tells us that pornographic imagery breaks down a person’s ability to control their lustful passions and they become like rabid animals controlled by instinct who eventually lose their salvation. By beholding we become changed.

Pornography also breaks down a healthy outlook on the opposite sex. It promotes seeing the actors as objects, especially women. The sex trade is an industry steeped in secrecy, so studies are limited. Yet the rumors are very believable. Sex slaves are said to be trained on pornography. It is also reported that pornographic films are made of sex slaves while they are with customers. Many customers have said they want to force prostitutes to recreate violent or humiliating scenes they saw in porn.

Aside from the individual health and societal concerns, pornography goes against the Biblical concept of sex. It is not in keeping with other-centered love, a dangerous concept these days. Pornography promotes the concept that sex is for self-centered gratification instead of unselfish, intimate connection with another person. Many men are giving up pornbecause they want to respect women and cultivate meaningful relationships with them.

Going back to Chris and his realization that something needed to change, here are three things he told me helps him gain the victory every day. Honestly, they are simple hacks that can help you deal with any sin that’s taking over your life (if you need more help with overcoming sin, check out this post or this post).

1. Realize something is wrong

He realized porn was becoming an obsession. It was consuming his time and taking him away from his family. It was damaging his relationships. It was becoming an ineffective way for him to cope with life. He realized the harmful effects porn had on his body. That wasn’t what he wanted for his life.

He read an article suggesting his porn obsession promotes sex trafficking and romanticizes sexual assault. He saw how women were being hurt by him watching porn. He noticed how it ruined and skewed his relationships with women. He didn’t want to get to the place where he had to seek out these experiences in real life at the expense of real women.

2. Get out of darkness

Chris finally went to our school chaplain and shared his struggle. Our chaplain prayed with him and gave him much-needed counsel. He started getting the help and accountability he needed. While healing and victory didn’t come all at once, this was a start. He was on the path to overcoming.

As he got more involved in youth ministry, he felt impressed to share his story so others could reach out for the same victory in Jesus he experienced. Like the saints in Revelation, he continued to overcome by Jesus’ blood and by sharing what God had done in his life. At first, it wasn’t easy. What would people think? However, as people came to him with their stories, he realized his was a story that needed to be shared so others could gain victory, too. He was spreading the good news that Jesus really does save.

3. Cling to Jesus

Finally, Chris emphasized the thing that helps him gain the everyday victory is his relationship with Jesus. That means spending time reflecting on God’s word. He had to pray and listen. It meant surrendering his life daily. Replacing his pornography addiction with Jesus was a daily process. No, the temptation isn’t gone. Yes, it’s a daily battle, but by God’s grace, he is overcoming.

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

Hebrew 2:2, New Living Translation

How are you battling pornography or sin in your life? Someone might need the encouragement in your words.

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