Over the years I have openly discussed my struggle with Pornography Addiction and lust. During that time I have discovered that this particular addiction is far more prevalent than I ever imagined. In fact MOST men suffer from some type of sexual desires that are outside of God’s design for intimacy. If you are unclear as to how harmful pornography can be please read my previous article on the subject.
In this article I want to focus on SOLUTIONS, so I have put together a list of 5 action items you can start today that will help you break free and stay free from the bondage of lust. Here are the 5 steps in the order I recommend taking them, I will elaborate on each step below:
- Deepen your relationship with Jesus Christ.
- Heal the wounds of your past.
- Assemble your Accountability Team.
- Put strong defenses in place.
- Share your struggle openly.
Step #1: Deepen your relationship with Jesus Christ
To be very clear there is one primary reason we get lost in sin. There may be many contributing factors, but one underlying REASON. We do not love God… as much as we can. The closer we draw near to God, the more we will want to honor him with our thoughts, bodies and actions.
If you are honest with yourself, and this is a critical step… you have to approach this with HONESTY… you will admit that when you are lost in pornography you have wandered far from Jesus. You will just feel spiritually weak as you drift further from his presence. That small voice inside, the Holy Spirit who urges you to do the right thing, will become barely audible the more you feed the desires of your flesh.
So your first step on the road to freedom is to spend more time with Jesus. This is the only way to deepen a relationship. Share your thoughts and feelings with him daily and ask him for guidance in all that you do. He loves you and is waiting with open arms. You have being doing life on your terms for how long? As Dr. Phil would say, how’s that working out for ya? It’s time to RUN into the arms of Jesus. What are you waiting for?
Step #2 Heal the Wounds of Your Past
You will never experience true freedom until you have healed the wounds of your past. Earlier I mentioned there are many contributing factors to pornography addiction and lust. Normally these are rooted in past experiences from our childhood. In this step you have to take a detailed personal inventory of who has hurt you and how you have hurt others. You want to find a quiet place where you can be alone and start at your earliest memories. Write down who hurt you, when and what they did. Create another list of who you hurt, when and what you did. When I did my inventory it was 36 pages long! The deeper you dig, the more healing you will experience.
After you finish your inventory you NEED to share it with a trusted person who won’t judge you, and then you need to completely forgive all the people who have hurt you and forgive yourself for all the wrongs you have committed. I really don’t recommend you do all of this on your own, I recommend finding a Celebrate Recovery program in your area. This is the same Christ-Centered 12 step recovery program I used and it was an amazing experience. Most cities have several meeting groups and times.
Step #3 Assemble your accountability team
If you go through Celebrate Recovery they will encourage and help you develop an accountability team. If you are going this on your own, you need to enlist members of your Church for help. Your accountability team needs to be about 2-3 trusted Christians of the same sex as you. Preferably people who have experience in your area of struggle but even better if they have some victory behind them. These people must not judge you as you share your most intimate lustful thoughts with them. They must hold you accountable when you act out and lovingly guide you back on track. For your part, you MUST be completely open and honest with them about your struggle. DO NOT HIDE YOUR BEHAVIORS or what is the point of this whole process? Do you want to be free or continue in bondage? BE OPEN. BE HONEST.
Step #4 Put strong defenses in place
Now that you are working on a closer relationship with Jesus, are working towards full healing from your past and have your accountability team in place… it is time to mount your defenses! It is a WARZONE out there and the enemy wants to destroy your marriage, crush your family, take away your livelihood and kill you!!! Are you willing to let the enemy take everything from you? It is time to MAN UP, STAND UP and PREPARE TO FIGHT! Your Marriage, Your Family, Your Ministry, Your Job and Your LIFE depends on it.
It IS THAT SERIOUS.
First thing, get some accountability software on your computer and devices RIGHT NOW! There are many choices on the market, and the one I have used for years is Covenant Eyes it only costs $15/month and you can load it on unlimited devices and computers. When you get it installed, set up your accountability team to receive its reports each week.
Next, evaluate dangerous territory and triggers in your life. BE HONEST. Can you watch TV alone safely? Can you use Social Media responsibly? What about your smart phone? Is it safe in your hands? If you have to leave something completely behind, DO IT! The stakes are too high. Be HIGHLY aware of dangerous places… do not frequent GYMS, or BEACHES as they will be filled with scantily clad women. Be smart about the choices you make. Do not put yourself in places where you are alone with a woman who is not your wife… even in places that seem innocent, like CHURCHES.
PLEASE do not think you have the willpower to do this on your own. You Do NOT! That is why you are addicted to pornography in the first place. You need to rely on Jesus Christ and submit your will to his. Give up many things in order to save the most important things in your life.
Step #5 Share your struggle openly
This final step will help you maintain a life of freedom from sexual lust and bondage. Sin likes to be hidden in dark corners of your life, places where people won’t see what you’re doing. The more you keep hidden the more destructive the consequences when it finally comes to the light. AND IT WILL COME TO THE LIGHT. God is merciful and God is very patient. But if you do not start taking the steps I have outlined above right now… it is only a matter of time before God intervenes and brings all of your hidden sin into the spotlight.
What has helped me greatly is being very transparent about my struggle, not just with my accountability team, but with the world. It seems the more people that know my struggles the more support I have in this battle. So I encourage you to live your life openly and honestly and talk frequently about your journey.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I write this article mostly geared towards men, as they are more commonly snared by the trap of pornography. But increasingly more and more women are becoming addicted, so this article is really for everyone. It is my prayer that you decide today, right now to be free from this terrible curse in your life. As you take these five steps you will begin to find small victories that will build up to large ones. Soon you will have days, weeks, months and years behind you since you watched pornography.
Then one day your testimony of freedom will point right up to Jesus Christ and give him all the glory. AMEN!
Note: If you have further questions or need more support please don’t hesitate to reach out to me here. God Bless You!