Pornography is a deadly mistress. She stands poised with promises, willing and ready at a moment’s notice. She strikes unexpectedly, binding her victims into submission. Her voice is sweet, and her tongue drips with honey, promising satisfaction and fulfillment.
But in the end she is bitter, awarding only lies, emptiness, disgrace, and shame. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave. She gives no thought to her victims, and she cares not.
“Now then, my sons, listen to me; do not turn aside from what I say. Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house, if you do you will be giving your best strength to others and your years to one who is cruel” (Proverbs 5:8-9).
This verse is about the adultress, but is pornography not exactly that? She’s cruel, and breaking free can seem, to some, unimaginable. Yet there is hope in the following steps:
Step #1: “If we confess our sins, he if faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
You have to find someone safe and confess to him what you’re doing.
You need someone you can comfortably talk with about what’s going on with you. You can’t go this alone, even if it means Biblical counseling. This person needs to be someone you can tell everything to so that you can call them when you have a temptation or a relapse.
- This is the person who will have the password to your phone to keep you from downloading any apps.
- This is the person who will be at the other end of your accountability software.
- This is the person who will be the one asking you if you’ve looked at anything recently.
- This is the person who will be your most powerful tool in finding freedom.
(Note – Don’t tell just anyone about your issue. Only tell someone that is very safe. If you’re too open with your problem others may use that information against you.)
Everything starts with confession, and there is no other way around it.
Step #2: “If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away… And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell” (Matthew 5:29-30).
This means if your browser is causing you to sin then you have to get rid of it.
- You can’t use social media – Why? Because you can find explicit material there.
- You can’t use email on your phone – Why? Because you can send yourself a link and open a browser this way.
- You can’t use Facebook Messenger – Why? Because you can click on a link that will put in a browser.
Some of you need a dumb phone and you know it. Is it lame and very inconvenient? Yes it is. But restricting your phone is worth living in the freedom of Christ.
Gouge out your eyes, and cut off you hand. Get rid of your access to pornography. All of it.
Step #3: “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”
It’s not enough for pornography to be absent. You have to replace its absence with God’s presence, otherwise you’re just a moral person, and Satan would love nothing more than for this to be the case.
Removing pornography does, however, prime us for a richer relationship with God, and it’s our responsibility to pursue God by replacing old, bad habits, with new, godly disciplines.
We need deep intimacy with the Lord and his Word.
We need deep relationships in community with other believers.
We need worship services to stir our hearts and affections for Christ.
We need communion.
We need to serve the poor.
We need to give ourselves away for the sake of the gospel, and in this we find life.
Pornography’s absence is not our primary objective. Our primary objective is a rich, Spirit-filled, God-honoring life where our works bear the fruit of our hearts.
1. Confess and get total accountability (nothing is hidden).
2. Rid yourself all access of pornography (nothing is in your way).
3. Replace the old with the new (nothing is better).
SOME FINAL, IMPORTANT THOUGHTS IN CLOSING
There is no quick-fix. On average, it takes anywhere from 3-5 years for one to break free from this type of addiction. It takes a long time because your brain has to heal and be re-wired to become healthy again. As it does, your urges will become less overwhelming finally to the point you’ll have some control over them.
But even then, there will always be circumstances that will be rich for a pitfall, and this is why it’s important to get rid of all access to it.
It’s important to know the longevity of this journey but at the same time be so passionately resolved to stop struggling with this sin and to put it to death for good.
We were meant to live in freedom, and I know from experience (I’m getting there) that it is a very sweet and valuable thing, and one of the best blessings I’ve ever received in my life.
There is nothing more valuable than our relationship with God, and if there is sin in the way of it, then it needs to go – not only for the sake of our souls, but also for the glory of his good name.