Destroying Porn: This One's for the Guys

**Note: While this post is intended to educate, challenge, and inform, it is of a particular graphic nature. Please read at your own risk.** 

 Photo by  Jay Wennington

Lets take the gloves off; porn is ubiquitous. 

As technology progresses, so has the consumption of pornography. As a result, porn usage has ruined families, marriages, businesses, churches, and many, many young lives.


There no shortage of stats on porn usage, but in case you missed some, here's a few worth noting:

  • Nearly 9 out of 10 (87%) young men and 1 out of 3 (31%) young women report using pornography.
  • Porn and internet sex shows are markets and proving grounds for victims (of sex trafficking).
  • Nearly 30% of the internet REALLY is porn.
  • “Teen” was the most popular porn-related search term in both 2013 and 2014.

 

According to a Barna Group study conducted in 2014:

  • 64% of Christian men and 15% of Christian women say they watch porn at least once a month.
  • 55% of married men say they watch porn at least once a month, compared to 70% of unmarried men.

First of all, before the world has a porn problem, it has a sin problem.

Porn, like any sin, wants to destroy you. 

Sin, in the simplest terms, is death packaged to look like pleasure. Sin is rubbish wrapped in a pretty package. It's a proper turd covered in confectioner's sugar. It does not want to coddle, it wants to kill you. 

For the briefest moment, it is pleasing, until it becomes overbearing and all consuming. Once the pleasure fades, it drives you to a place of shame and emptiness. Like the Siren's Song, it means to woo you and then bury you - the vice you fall victim to, becoming the very thing you both hate and desire.

This is the price of worldly pleasure and the cycle of sin.

This is the cycle of porn.

But porn, unlike other addictive behaviors, has a bonding mechanism associated with it which is similar to what God intended for men and women to enjoy in the act of making love. In making love, there's a deep longing and passion that should exist between a man and a woman. Sex elicits a connection that is physical, emotional, and even psychological. By design, the act of love making is meant to bond a couple together not temporarily or in fleeting moments of "recreation," but for a lifetime. This yearning and connection is valuable to the family structure, not just for a husband and wife, but also for children. Its a bonding intended to create the kind of unity that helps hold a family together. 

Thus, when misused, this passion, which is meant to celebrate love, actually destroys it.

Whether with the use of a computer, mobile device, magazine, or video, this practice meant to give love, turns in to self love. Sex then, becomes less about celebration and more about recreation. People are not so much united in the process, as they are used and objectified to gratify one's libido. 

But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
— 1 Corinthians 6:17-19

And the more this process happens, the more it carves neural pathways into the brain as a "shortcut" to pleasure. 

Consider this practice in the case of young men, whose frontal lobes (the decision making part of the brain) aren't even fully developed until their mid-20's. Combine the accessibility of porn with the science of addictive behavior...add in the privacy of its practice with the cultural acceptance of self love and what you've got is the perfect case for lifelong addiction. 

Still think porn is a small matter? Right. It's here. So how do we deal with it? 

How can you become "unaddicted?"

Its hard for me to say this, but I was once addicted to pornography. Tragically, it was and still remains the darkest time of my life. 

But there is redemption. There is freedom. Today, I am a happily married  husband and father with two little girls. I'm also actively helping to pastor a local church. My wife and I have a healthy sex life and I DO NOT USE PORN in anyway anymore.

Walking out of what I walked into took some time, and while I can't use this platform to share everything at once, what I can share with you is what has worked for me. 

Like any addictive behavior this is an all or nothing kind of approach. If at any moment you wish to waiver in your resolve, you will likely find yourself right back in the thick of what once held you captive. This is not a half-hearted kind of thing.

Porn is for boys. Men, however, take responsibility for their lives and those around them. If your intent is to simply read this without seeking any real change of the heart, then you should stop reading, right now. I'm being completely serious. Go play Candy Crush or something nominal. This is no menial task, so it might be easier for you to continue living out your adult life with an adolescent mindset, than it will be to brave the tides of change.

Now, if you're for real, then brace yourself. Beating porn is going to take all of the courage and effort you have. This is a fight...and it could be a long one. For me, it was a decade long battle. But through great grace and the help of others, my life is now porn free. 

I believe the same is possible for you, but you have to be committed to see this through to the very end. As long as there is flesh, there will be temptation. You will have to be disciplined, focused, and willing to do whatever it takes. If that's you, then pause, take deep breath, ask God to help you, and keep reading.

 

 

So, what does it take to destroy porn in your life?

 

1. Radical Amputation

If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.
— Matthew 5:29-30

Whatever state your life is in right now, you have to sever the source that is causing you to sin. 

Is it your phone? Lock it down. Seriously, get a flip phone if you have to. Yes, that might make you look lame or out of touch with the modern world, but its better than exaggerating the circumstance. 

Is it your desktop? Get rid of it and stick to using the laptop at your workplace if you can help it.  

Is it magazines? Stop going to that bookstore or gas station. Reroute your drive home and take that place off the map.

The goal here is amputate the source at any and all costs. 

Think about what it is providing you with an outlet to view porn and get rid of it. Now!

**Note: There are several types of software that can help you with this process. I've listed a few of them end of this article.**

 

2. Radical Appropriation

I have made a covenant with my eyes;
Why then should I look upon a young woman?
— Job 31:1

Environment is everything. 

You have to surround yourself with the kind of environment that grows you towards abstention. The idea is to build out your living space in a way that keeps you free from failure. 

If there are current places, even people, in your life that have been an influence of porn, you're going to have to address it.

So you really like that particular corner in your favorite coffee shop, but you know it was a problem for you. Sit somewhere else. If the magazines at a certain bookstore or gas station caused you to stumble, then stop going there. Some of the places you once frequented, you're now going to have to avoid.

It may be the same with some people, too. If the habits of certain friends or family are challenging your new set of standards, then it's probably best to step away for season. In some cases, you may have to step away completely. 

If you have to stay overnight at a hotel, then call in a wingman to stay with you. If you find yourself alone, call the front desk and ask them to remove the TV from your room. Trust me, they will.

You have to plan your environment with your weakness in mind. So, if you find that your most tempted to look at porn late at night because you're still up and tired, then go to freakin' bed already! Or if you're a night owl, go for a late night run and shed some of that extra energy. 

Appropriate your life in a manner that builds fresh, healthy habits over the old ones.

Someone who is looking to cut weight will make certain to rid their diet of sugar-loaded and fatty foods. Much in the same manner, you're aim is to keep your environment free from the "junkfood" of the eyes.

 

3. Radical Accountability

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
— James 5:16

If bad company corrupts good character, then good company can be a game changer. 

You have to surround yourself with the right people. For me, this has been perhaps the most valuable practice of all. For more than two years now, I've been meeting with guys on a weekly basis. Some of them are still learning what it means to walk away from porn, while others are completely porn free. Is pornography the only thing we talk about? No. We talk about life, marriage, work, etc. We do life...together. 

You're going to have to reach out. The goal is transparency. To live in the light (of who God is) you've got to open up to those around you. Find someone you can trust and who will hold you to a higher standard. Ask if they'd be willing to connect or meet with you on a consistent, regular basis. I've just moved to a new city and am already meeting with a group of guys. We meet weekly. Anything less allows too much time to fall back into old habits.

You may not know where to begin or what to say. Don't sweat it, just start talking. Open up and admit your mistakes or what you're struggling with. Dialogue is critical. 

If you haven't yet, you're going have to tell to your wife, fiancé, or girlfriend what's going on. The mere thought of this likely scares you, but you can't afford to go at this alone. They HAVE to know. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be. Stop what you're doing, put on your man pants, and have the conversation. Do it, now. 

You'll find great release on the other side of this conversation. It will expel all of the isolation you've kept yourself in. You need these people in your corner and they can't walk with you through this if they don't even know. 

It would also be good to talk to a pastor - your pastor, if you have one. Having someone of spiritual authority and counsel on your side is invaluable. It will bolster your determination, encourage your discipline, and give you greater peace in times of brokenness. 

 

In lieu of more efforts to create better accountability and awareness, porn is still the church's dirtiest, little secret. Only, in most cases its more like a full-fledged, hulking mass of an issue. 

Unlike the alcoholic or drug user, there's no track mark or redness off the eyes to testify to its use. You can't smell porn on someones breath, but there are some tell-tale signs if you know what to look for and there are some great resources to help you or others find freedom from it.

I've listed some valuable resources below to help you destroy porn in your life.

Imagine the many devices used to view porn, being used instead, to present the gospel and love of Christ. Our culture needs redemption.

Porn may be pandemic, but you can break loose from the cycle. 

Its time to man up and run to Jesus.

 

**If you or someone you know could benefit from this article, would you please take a moment to share it with them?**


Resources

Accountability Software:

Educate - Learn More about the Effects of Porn:

Literature:

 

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