This is for someone far more important to God and to people than he knows. If someone else can benefit from this as well, that is wonderful…
Bro, it’s been good to connect with you. I hope you have a heart of anticipation that things do not have to stay the same with you, no matter how long they’ve been the way they are now. At least one thing has been changing—you’ve been getting sick and tired of things as they are. That’s definitely the first step out of anything addictive in nature, especially porn.
There are a few things general things about addictions and a couple things specific to your situation to bear in mind when approaching true freedom and healing here. First, the general…
We are addicts by nature. God actually made us that way. It wasn’t the result of sin. We were created to be addicted to God. Sin brought on tendency towards unhealthy addiction. So, we’re not trying to just cut off addictiveness, per se, but rather redirect it in a healthy way.
We also need to acknowledge when we are dealing with something beyond our own will power. Anything with regards to sexuality is going to quickly be stronger than our will power. The nature of sexuality is one of the strongest human forces God has given us, so perversion in this area is flat out going to take God’s help, and we have to allow Him specifically that place. I encourage you to invite God in, not just in your asking for forgiveness, but seek a surrender to Him that perhaps you have never had in your life.
Now, more specific to your situation, because of what porn is and the healthy things it kills when it resides, we need to take the time to restore and heal a few things: the dignity of women, the sanctity of intimacy and marriage, the respect for your own heart and soul, and the preciousness of girls and daughters, boys and sons, in your eyes, who are all future men and women.
These things seem simple and concise on paper, but we know they take time to work through, especially the longer you’ve been entrenched in certain ways of thinking. But the good news is that you are not so many years away from healing or restoration. While it does take a little time to develop a new habit, it only takes one day of sobriety to already be in a place of victory or freedom. Just one day, free from it. It doesn’t mean you won’t be tempted. Hey, Jesus was tempted in every single way we all are tempted. The sin is in acting upon those temptations: purposeful meditation upon things we shouldn’t be fantasizing about, or other outward actions. So let’s just focus on today. One day at a time. You can’t change yesterday, neither can you deal with tomorrow now. Let’s make today the day.
So, to begin, think on how sick and tired of being sick and tired you are, how bogged down you are with weight, guilt, shame, mental and physical fatigue, frustration…and take yourself back to its beginnings. Remember the initial situations, how it was introduced, and how it seemed like something that was so amazing. It was a lie. All a lie, a deceptive, heartless, python-like snug around you that would eventually keep squeezing with every breath you take until you are suffocating to death. Any perversion of God’s way is a lie that operates this very way. That’s why we need the discretion of His wisdom (as Proverbs 5 talks about).
Think about it—imagine living in a way where your addictiveness and pursuits were completely free of guilt and shame, and you didn’t have to cover up with stories or hide in shadows with anything. This is the life that God has for you personally. You will have this for your life. At this point, your mind may be telling you that you don’t deserve it. Well of course you don’t. None of us do. It’s not about what you deserve or don’t deserve. It’s about His grace that covers, rather floods, all our deficits and cavities within. His love endures forever. You can’t exhaust His supply with your mortality and brokenness. So I strongly encourage you to open yourself up to the possibility of being forgiven and healed.
One final thought for now…we have to see the porn industry for what it is. On the surface, it exploits women, men, sex, marriage, in general and within us. It hates you. It rapes your soul. It lied to you. Yes, several may have been introduced to it beyond their will at first, but there was a point where we took the knife and began stabbing our own soul with it. It promised to feel good, but it gave the sting of death instead.
But behind the scenes of porn, there is a far deeper underworld of darkness as well. There is very high incidence of human trafficking (a politically correct way of saying sex slavery), and so many women and minors are being exploited above and underground. The people in the pictures are not happy. They are not having fun, and they don’t love you, and the vast majority of the women don’t want to be even doing this. She doesn’t love or want you. She doesn’t even know you. And she’s somebody’s daughter, and her intimacy only belongs to her husband or future husband.
It helps to see these things for what they are. It can add strength to resist in times of temptation.
I encourage you to reform new addictive habits, such as time alone with Jesus in a new way with verbal adoration, and reading one or two verses every day as if dating God and getting to know Him in a getaway with Him, and seeking one special act of kindness every week to someone you know or don’t know. Expand your free time with other hobbies. Explore your healthy interests.
And you know as well as I do that real relationship is everything…not pictures, videos. I would go as far as saying all this online social networking lacks the true fullness of relationship, no matter how ‘close’ people get through all this. There’s nothing that compares to face time, no cash equivalent or replacement. So allow yourself to be open more to your existing healthy friendships or making new ones, especially hanging with the right type of guys.
Think of the things that have triggered porn usage in the past the most…boredom, anger, stress, hurt, loneliness. Everyone goes through these exact emotions and circumstances that bring these feelings about. Take that ‘sick and tired of being sick and tired’ energy, along with asking help of God and remembering what porn really is, and create new habits when these situations come along.
Remind yourself that you don’t have to stay in this cycle anymore, and that one day is your focus: today. You can experience that freedom today. It starts with a choice fueled by passion.
Please let me know your thoughts. You know how to get ahold of me. I’m praying for you, and for those you represent that are also struggling. So many don’t know where to turn, or are too ashamed. But there is a way out of every situation, including this.
As a footnote, there are men and women who have exited the porn industry as actors and producers who share the harms and realities, but more importantly, pray for those who struggle with it. They care deeply now about your soul. Bro, we’re all in this together.