If you’re reading this article, you may be searching for answers to a problem that’s eating you alive: pornography. If so, let me assure you— you’re doing the right thing by getting help.
Pornography is more dangerous than you may realize. It isn’t just about what you see. With each illicit image comes a destructive attitude that lodges in your brain and saturates your thinking. Those attitudes seep into your heart, polluting all your relationships—with your spouse (if you’re married), your family, and your God. Solomon gives this fatherly wisdom in Proverbs 4:23:
Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.
A pure heart flows with peace, contentment, and spiritual strength. But you must “guard” your heart to keep it pure. Your eyes are the gateway to your heart . . . so to “guard your heart above all else,” you must shield your eyes. If you want peace, contentment, and spiritual strength, you must shut off the sewer of sinful images. How?
The Bible gives the answer in one word: repentance.
To be free from the bondage of sexual sin, repent! I’m talking about more than confession. To confess is to admit, to agree with God that it is wrong. Repentance is a deliberate turning away from it, changing your mind, removing all traces, relinquishing all connections—so that Christ reigns supreme, as He longs and demands to.
Are you ready to do more than make promises, to make a real change? It won’t be easy. In fact, this could be the hardest thing you’ll ever do. If you’re serious about this, you need a strategy. Maybe I can help with an A-B-C-D plan.
First, A: ACKNOWLEDGE the impurity. Acknowledge the bondage. Acknowledge the involvement. See the pornography industry for what it is—an abominable entity that preys on the vulnerable, distorts God’s healthy design for sex, and destroys innocence and beauty. Tell God your struggles . . . and tell another person, someone you trust who can help you. The first step to victory is an open admission of the battle.
Second, B: BREAK all connections. Stop the cycle! Unless connections are broken, the pattern of temptation, sin, and shame will keep repeating itself. Get rid of your Internet, if that’s what it takes. At least, get a service that filters the content that comes to your computer, phone, television, and any other device you have. Get away from the pornography! Get rid of it! You’ve got to stop looking at it. Whatever that takes, do it!
Now, the most powerful step, C: COMMUNICATE your need. This is where a filtering program with an accountability feature is so helpful. Find someone of the same gender whom you trust to talk to about your problem, view your Internet usage, and help keep you clean. If you’ve never been truly honest with another person before, you’ll be amazed at how freeing it feels. Somebody who cares about you is there for you, and you’re there for that person too.
Finally, D: DETERMINE to abstain. Say to yourself, “I have viewed my last pornographic image. This is over forever.” Don’t just think it. Say it out loud. Repeat it as often as necessary. For most users, pornography fills a deep emotional need. That’s the reason it’s so hard to let go. Identify that need, acknowledge it, and begin to meet it with something positive. Read the Bible with a yearning to know Jesus more intimately. I know, I know. That’s just what a pastor would say. I am a pastor, but I say it because I know it’s true.
Let Scripture feed your soul. Let Jesus fill your emotional needs. Join a small group at your church. Fill your time with activities that are good for you—exercise, enriching hobbies, community service, dates with your spouse, engaging books. Stop indulging in sin, and start investing in life.
A final word: Depending on the severity of the problem, you may need a professional counselor and/or a recovery group to help you break through. Reach out. You will not regret it.
If you need encouragement, or would like to schedule time to speak with a Pastor Terry Boyle, please ring our UK office on 0800 787 9364. Our Listener Ministry staff are available to listen, answer questions, recommend resources, pray with you, and help you plan a course toward healing. Our phone line is answered Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Thanks for reading this article and for taking it seriously. With God’s strength and the support of some friends, you can conquer this problem. You really can.