Here at ChristianAnswers.Net, we get numerous emails from men and women of all walks of life who struggle with an addiction to pornography (often coupled with an addiction to masturbation as well). Such addictions are not partial to race, financial, social or marital status, Christian or non-Christian.
Often those who contact us looking for help have told no one. They suffer in silence. As we have counseled others and researched how best to help, we have compiled the following information we feel may be helpful to you if you struggle with such addiction, or work with those who do. Here are some biblical ways that can help in the journey toward restoration and healing:
- Spiritual Salvation
The single biggest factor in combatting such an addiction is to come under the authority of Jesus Christ. If you are not yet a Christian, it's like having a major arsenal to fight with, but choosing the pea shooter. We certainly don't want to present false hope, however. There are many Christians who struggle with sexual lust. Having Christ as the head of your life doesn't mean you will always be victorious. Yet there are others who, after accepting Christ, are totally delivered from their addictions. There is no predictable outcome.
If you'd like more information about how to become a follower of Jesus Christ, please visit this helpful resource page elsewhere on ChristianAnswers.Net.
The Billy Graham Christian Worker's Handbook suggests the following essential ingredients to prayer:
Daily confession of all known sin
[See: Psalm 51 | Mark 7:20-22 | 1 John 1:7]
Daily renunciation of conformity to the world in all its forms
[See: Romans 12:2, 6:13-14]
Cultivation of an intimate relationship with Christ
[See: John 10:10, 15:5-7 | Ephesians 3:14-19 | Philippians 3:10-14]
A daily offering up of one's body as a “living sacrifice” to God
[See: Romans 12:1 | 1 Corinthians 6:19-20]
Worship and praise in prayer
[See: John 4:23-24 | Philippians 3:3 | Revelation 4:8-11]
[See: Philippians 4:6-7 | Colossians 4:2]
Supplication or petition
[See: Philippians 4:6-7 | Hebrews 4:16]
- Scripture Memory
Visit our on-line Bible and study center
Memorizing scripture is an often overlooked weapon that should be in every Christian's arsenal. The following passages deal in some part with lust and sexual immorality:
Not only should Scipture memory be a regular part of your life as a Christian, reading the Bible regularly should as well. We offer a one-year plan and a three-year plan that can help assist you get through reading the entire Bible.
Secrecy is often the enemy's biggest weapon in trying to defeat Christians. If no one knows of your personal moral failures, there is no one to help lift you up in prayer, encourage you, or be accountable to. Accountability helps avoid these problems. In an accountability relationship, you choose a confidant that you can be honest and open with about your addictions. Be sure to choose someone of the same sex, and it often helps if that person is of some spiritual maturity in their walk with Christ, and not of a condemning spirit.
CovenantEyes.net is an online service that provides a great help in this area. Their site states: "…While [Internet] filters can provide some help, they can also block acceptable web sites, creating frustration. Filters can also be turned off or bypassed, rendering them ineffective. The Covenant Eyes Program removes the secrecy and privacy of using the Internet. Covenant Eyes promotes self-control and personal discipline, and the individual is held accountable in their Internet use." It works by logging the address of each Web site visited, then compiling a list of visited sites that can be viewed online by an accountability partner of your choice. Users of this program often find their temptation dramatically reduced and often leave altogether now that they know someone is monitoring their web usage.
- Activity Changes
Simply a change of habit can do wonders in keeping you from temptation. For instance, if you are most tempted when you spend time on the computer after your spouse has gone to bed, then make a commitment to stay off of the computer during that time. If you know that a certain street you drive down causes you to lust due to certain establishments on it, or prostitutes that hang around, or alluring billboards, find a different route of travel.
Stephen Arterburn in his book Every Man’s Battle talks about retraining the eyes to “bounce” off of the things that instill lust. For men, this might look like looking away as soon as you see a female jogger. “Bounce” the eyes away immediately and don't look back. The same applies to the magazines at the grocery store checkout line, or billboards, or television programming or commercials. A habit can be formed in around two weeks, and with constantly trying to bounce the eyes remarkable improvement can be noticed rather quickly.
It goes without saying that, if you haven't already done so, be sure to destroy all pornographic materials—magazines, books, videos, stored pictures or mpeg movies on the computer, etc. If some friendships cause you to fall to temptation, seriously consider severing those relationships.
Computer monitoring (as mentioned above with Covenant Eyes) or Internet filters are a must if you spend any time on the Internet at all. There are several to choose from. Among the choices are the following:
AFA Filter—single profile, with no password overrides. This means no guessed or cracked passwords, resulting in maximum protection for children and adults. About $40/yr.
Hedgebuilders—free to pastors, missionaries, and Christian schools. Others pay a small fee.
- Counseling / Support Groups
Some people may feel that they need professional assistance, or counseling for past or present sexual sins. There are many worthy organizations that exist. Here is a sample to start with:
- Barnabus Christian Counseling Network—provides quality counsel and therapy at a reasonable cost, through certified professionals, to individuals who prefer the cyber-space environment
- Faithful and True Ministries—provides help and hope for those suffering with sexual shame due to sexual abuse, sin and addiction
- National Association for Christian Recovery—a coalition of
ministries dedicated to helping the Christian community become a safe and helpful place for people recovering from addiction, abuse or trauma
- Pure Intimacy—a practical resource from Focus on the Family for individuals who want to overcome the grip of online pornography and affairs
- Renewal from Sexual Addiction—promotes the healing of addicted individuals and their families through the development and implementation of Christ-centered programs, materials, and services
- Savior's Hope—a ministry that seeks to heal the wounds caused by sexual abuse (for both victims and families of victims)
- Setting Captives Free
- Victims of Pornography
There is much misinformation related to sexual issues. Sadly, many men and women learned about sex from the school locker room or other such place as a young teen. Pornographic materials also teach grossly incorrect information about women. So it may be necessary for some to reeducate themselves from accurate resources. Here are some books and videos that may be helpful:
- When Good Men Are Tempted
- Every Heart Restored: A Wife’s Guide to Healing in the Wake of a Husband’s Sexual Sin
- The Silent War
- An Affair of the Mind
- Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction by Patrick J. Carnes, PhD
- Faithful and True: Sexual Integrity in a Fallen World by Mark Laaser
- Sex, Lies, and Forgiveness: Couples Speaking Out on Healing from Sex Addiction by Burt and Jennifer Schneider (used only—no longer in print)
- She has a Secret: Understanding Female Sexual Addiction by D. Weiss, Discovery Press
- The Sexual Man by Dr. Archibald D. Hart
- A Way of Escape: Freedom from Sexual Strongholds by Neil T. Anderson
- Freedom from Addiction: Breaking the Bondage of Addication by Neil T. Anderson
- Secret of Eve: Understanding the Mystery of Female Sexuality by Dr. Archibald D. Hart (used only—no longer in print)
Face the fact that you may not be saved. The Bible speaks of false apostles, false teachers, false prophets, false brethren and false conversion (see Mark 4:1-20).
Come to the realization that when you give yourself to pornography, you are committing adultery (see Matthew 5:27-28).
Grasp the serious nature of your sin. Jesus said that it would be better for you to be blind and go to Heaven than to allow your eye to be offended, and end up in Hell (see Matthew 5:29).
Those who profess to be Christians yet give themselves to pornographic material evidently lack the fear of God (Proverbs 16:6). Cultivate the fear of God by reading Proverbs 2:1-5.
Open your Bible at Psalm 51 and make it your own prayer.
Memorize James 1:14 and 1 Corinthians 10:13 and quote them when you are tempted.
Make no provision for your flesh (see Romans 13:14). If you can't control yourself, you have to then get rid of every access to pornographic material--the Internet, printed literature, TV, videos and movies. Stop feeding the fire.
Guard your heart with all diligence (see Proverbs 4:23). Don't let the demonic realm have access to your thought-life. If you give yourself to it, you will become its slave (see Romans 6:16). Read the Bible daily, without fail. Quote the Word of God when you are tempted (see Ephesians 6:12-20).
The next time temptation comes, do fifty push-ups, then fifty sit-ups. If you are still burning, repeat the process (see 1 Corinthians 9:27, and 1 Corinthians 7:9).
Author: Ken James of Films for Christ
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