How Do I Break My Porn Addiction?

Porn addiction is at record levels. The pervasive use of the Internet, ease of access to porn sites and advertisements that push nudity make porn hard to fight. 50 percent of men look at porn regularly. 25 percent of all Internet searches are porn related. A third of those looking at porn on the Internet are women.1

The results are devastating. Men and women are rotting from the inside out as they drink from the toilet. Porn tears apart marriages. It emasculates men. It cuts off male leadership at the knees.

If this is you, what can you do to break free?

In counseling Christian men, I give them a four step plan.

  1. Confess your porn. If you are married, this means telling your spouse. This is difficult. It takes courage. Don’t wimp out. It must be done. You are sinning against your spouse. You need to confess this sin to them and ask forgiveness. This particular temptation is like a mushroom. It grows best in darkness. Confessing the sin of porn lets in the light. I also encourage you to confess your sin to your pastor and/or a mature Christian of the same sex you can trust. You need someone who can do the hard work of loving you and asking you the tough questions, at least every week and maybe every day. You will be amazed how confessing the sin of porn to your spouse and getting help from someone who cares about you crushes the claws of that sin which is deeply embedded in your psyche.

  2. Get radical with porn. This may mean installing a password on your computer that your spouse is the only one who knows it. It may mean installing an Internet filter like Covenant Eyes. It is usually appropriate to make, and stick with, safe surfing rules, such as no computer use after 9:00 pm. No computers hidden in the bedroom. Be honest. If you find yourself crafting ways around these helpful guardrails….. GET RID OF THE INTERNET!!!!!!! I am serious. Cancel the Internet. Get a phone that doesn’t have a browser. Cut the Internet out of your life. That may sound too radical, but it is biblical.

    “Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the fire of hell. Matthew 18:7–9 (ESV)

    Origen, an ancient church father, took these verses very literally in his struggle with sexual sin. He castrated himself! I don’t believe this is what Jesus wants us to do. We are not to be known as, “The church of the missing body part.” What do these verses mean? Jesus wants us to be radical in cutting off the gateways sin uses to take control in our life. If the Internet is a gateway you can't control, cut it off, JUST DO IT!! If your job is a gateway to an affair with a woman in the office, do whatever you must cut off the gateway. Quit your job and find another one before you fall into sin. Do whatever you must to cut out of your life avenues for sin that you no longer have an ability to resist.

    Will you ever use the Internet again? In my counseling, I have seen men go back to using the Internet after the unhealthy addiction to porn was broken in their life. That is usually at least a year or more later.

  3. Replace the joy of porn with a greater joy. Porn is the thrill of sex, without the work of intimacy. We are hard-wired by God for pleasure, especially sexual pleasure. This is not wrong. God created us as sexual beings, and in the boundaries of marriage, we bring great glory to God with an active sex life with our spouse.

    The joy of porn is described by some to have a high similar to crack cocaine. Because we are built by God as pleasure seekers, we must find another joy to take porn’s place. What could possibly be a greater joy? Is there a pleasure more satisfying than sex? Yes! The greatest pleasure is enjoying God’s love for us through Jesus Christ. We are commanded by God to intoxicate ourselves in God’s love for us through Jesus, the greatest pleasure of all.

    How do we do intoxicate ourselves in God’s love for us through Jesus?

    • Read the Bible -- I recommend you start in one of Paul’s letters, such as Ephesians or Romans. Each day read a chapter, write notes and pray over what you read. God will use his word to open your eyes to his amazing love for you through Jesus.

    • Pray-- Each day, take time to pour your heart out to God. He doesn’t just listen to us but his Holy Spirit works in us, gives us the ability to enjoy him and he cultivates a passion for Jesus inside our heart and mind.

    • Read Christian books -- God created language. He created written language. There are amazing books available to help you grow in Christ, manliness and fight the porn addiction. I recommend The Resolution by Stephen Kendrick. This is a great book on what it means to be a man and how to fight for purity.
  4. Don't Sit, Serve. With your newly discovered free time, you will find yourself sitting around the house. Before you know it, you will find yourself getting into something unholy to satisfy the porn craving as your brain shifts into a sexual mode when it's idle. Men, we are created to work. We are created to serve our children, wife, and church. When we are serving, we are not sitting on our couch getting into trouble. When we serve, we do others spiritual and practical good. Get involved serving in your church. Do anything practical. Pull the weeds. Offer to paint something that is old. Don’t wait for people to tell you things to do, use your energy to find things to do and then go do them. A truck that carries a full load pulls straight. Don’t be afraid to load yourself up with practical acts of service. You will be amazed at how much good you can do and how much straighter your life will drive.

    I pray these four practical steps help you beat the addiction.

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