Breaking The Chains of Pornography Addiction
Modern technology like smartphones and high-speed internet has made pornography more accessible, affordable, and anonymous than ever making it one of the biggest problems facing the church of today. It is wreaking havoc in the church by suffocating the spiritual lives of believers, destroying marriages and families, and diminishing the effectiveness of pastors.
Pornography is a widespread and serious problem. It hurts your spirit and infects your mind with unclean thoughts. It damages your relationships. Looking at pornography causes you to lose the companionship of the Holy Ghost.
Getting over the addiction is not easy, but it is simple—decide now to stop looking at or thinking about pornography.
1. Cry out to God for grace to change.
(Titus 2:11-14; Psalms 107; Romans 5:17; Psalms 34; Jeremiah 3:21-25)
Apart from the grace of God, we are powerless to turn from sinful habits. Psalm 34:17 says, “When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.” If you find yourself burdened by the sin of lust, cry out to God for deliverance and the grace to change. Christ can give you a new heart, restored joy, a clean and restored conscience. True change cannot happen apart from God’s grace, so as you continue to read, pray for God’s grace to apply these principles.
(If you don’t know Christ, or are not sure whether you do or not, you need to believe the gospel of Jesus Christ before any of this article applies to you.)
2. Pursue a deeper love for both God and the Gospel.
(Ephesians 2:1-10; Titus 2:11-14, 3:3-8; Romans 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Matthew 22:37-38)
The root of all porn struggles is idolatry—you love to lust more than you love God. Seek to develop a deeper love for God and a deeper appreciation of His love to you in the gospel. Worship Him for His holiness and grace. God not only provides us saving grace in the gospel, He provides a sanctifying grace that prepares us for service, which is integral to who we are in Christ (Titus 2:11-14). Ask God for a deeper love for Him and deeper understanding of your place in the gospel.
An important part of loving God is rejoicing in the goodness of God’s good design for sexuality: sex between one man and one woman who are committed to each other in covenant for life.
3. Equip Yourself
Anybody who knows anything knows you’re supposed to pack food for a journey. And we can’t travel to freedom without spiritual food.
Nothing fills our spiritual stomachs like God’s Word. This daily provision helps to keep our perspective in the right place. And God has provided people to write some great books and blogs that can help us keep our minds on truth.
We need to equip ourselves, for the journey to freedom is accomplished through dependence upon God’s resources.
4. Hate Your Sin.
(Proverbs 8:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:8; James 4:4-10; Psalms 51; Matthew 5:4)
Pornography use is idolatry in God’s eyes and is poisonous to relationships with Him (1 Thessalonians 4:8; Jeremiah 2:13; Jonah 2:9). Realize that this sin could destroy you, your family, your marriage, and your witness. Realize the people you lust after are made in God’s image and doing something that will damn them to hell if they don’t repent. Ask God to give you godly sorrow over your sin and practice true repentance (2 Corinthians 7:8-13). Hating your sin and not just it’s consequences means doing everything you possibly can to change, even uncomfortable things.
5. Treasure God’s Word.
(Psalms 119:9-11; 1 John 2:14; Romans 15:4; Romans 12:1-2; Colossians 3:16; Psalm 1; Joshua 1:8)
Those who use pornography believe a number the lies telling them that their sin isn’t so bad, it’s not their fault, or a little lust is permissible. We need God’s Word to confront the lies we believe and teach us about God’s beautiful creation in human sexuality that will give us greater angst when we see His created beauty marred by the destructiveness of sin. We need to memorize, meditate on, and treasure God’s words. His Word alone is the sword of the Spirit that will help us the battle against the habitual sin of lust.
6. Remove sources of temptation.
(Matthew 5:29-30…Romans 13:14; Hebrews 12:1-2; Isaiah 57:14; Ephesians 5:3)
Remove all sources. They’re not worth the risk. Jesus said in Matthew 5:29, “If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.” Perhaps we ought to start wearing pirate patches to church! Or, better yet, we need to understand that Jesus’ point was to remove all sources of temptation. His context was committing adultery in the heart by lusting after other women.
Here are a few possible sources you might need to think about removing.
- The drive to work that takes you by stores that sell pornographic material – Go a different route.
- The pretty girl who cuts your hair – Go to a male barber. (Or an ugly girl. Sorry, I had to say it.)
- The Internet – Get Covenant Eyes!
- Those lingerie magazines that come to your wife – Discontinue the subscription. (And don’t tell me you like to read the articles.)
- The smartphone on your hip – Disable the Internet browser, or get Covenant Eyes software for it.
7. Be accountable to other believers.
(Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Proverbs 27:17; 2 Timothy 2:2; Galatians 6:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:11)
One of the lies that sin can make us believe is that we are alone with nobody to help us. God has given us the church and the opportunity to have spiritual friends who can help us in our fight against sin. Pray for godly accountability that will drive you away from sin to the Savior. Look into accountability programs like Covenant Eyes or X3Watch that can help you be accountable, but realize an email report does not take the place of life-on-life accountability or remove your sinful desires.