I am writing to my brothers and sisters in Christ who are battling with an addiction to pornography. I want you to know—God can rescue you. In this post, I’ll share some research on porn and the negative impact it can have on us. Then, I’ll share how God rescued me from it after being addicted for many years.
According to research from PsychCentral, 40 million Americans regularly visit porn sites —
70% of men aged 18 to 24 visit at least once per month, the largest consumer group of online porn is men between the ages of 35 and 49, and Sunday is the most popular day of the week for viewing porn.
What society views as a normal activity, is actually something that is damaging sexual health, harming relationships, contributing to mental illness, and is influencing sex slavery.
For thousands of years, images have been created to tell a story. From the walls of ancient caves to sculptures, people have used imagery to showcase aspects of the human experience— including sexual activity. Some have considered sex scenes and nude images a work of art, while others consider it obscene.
Despite which side of the spectrum we fall on, the power and possession images have over the mind and behavior of people is evident. For the ancient world, the debate was centered around images and art. Today, it’s centered around pornography: the filming of sexual activity to be shared with viewers on a screen. Film and technology allow mass access to imagery more frequently and primitively. Viewers can watch sexual activity as much as they want, whenever they want.
Why do people, especially men, find pleasure in or desire to watch individuals or groups of people engage in sexual activity on a screen? In most cases, those showcasing sexual acts on screen are complete strangers to the viewer. The viewer has no physical connection or relationship with those they are watching. However, the viewer is aroused by the imagery and compelled to perform sexual acts with themselves through masturbation or brought pleasure by the mere sight of it.
Somehow, The imagery on the screen virtually penetrates the mind and emotions of the viewer and posses them to engage. The viewer is brought pleasure by the sight of something they can’t physically touch and their mind is stimulated and changed by every image they see.
Before I go any further, as mentioned earlier, I was a viewer of pornography. For 16 years, I frequently viewed it. I was exposed to it in 1997 at the age of 10 years old. From 10 to 26 years old, I derived pleasure from images on a screen. From VHS to internet websites, I watched other people perform sexual acts with one another for half of my life.
So how did God rescue me from porn?
For those of you who’ve read my prior blog posts, you know that 2012 was a pivotal time in my life. During that time, I spent some time incarcerated. God used that time to discipline me and reveal the darkness I had inside of me. I had an encounter with God. I realized how pornography made me feel comfortable around strangers having sex. It distorted my moral compass and made my brain believe things about sex that were not true in real life. Honestly, I didn’t understand the true purpose of sex. Unfortunately, I viewed real life like porn.
Once I realized this, I had a decision to make. That day, I gave my darkness to God and decided to walk in the light. I turned from porn. I surrendered to God and allowed Him to rescue me. From that point, I learned the true purpose of sex. I learned that God created sex exclusively for man and woman, who are married, to procreate and find pleasure in it. He created it as a form of intimacy between two people who know and love one another. Once I accepted this truth, I gave up everything that caused me to watch porn. I sold my iPad and iPhone and bought an old phone with no internet connection. When my mind became clear and free, I read the Bible more and watched only rated PG movies. To this day, I close my eyes on sex scenes. I reserve anything related to sex for my marriage. This didn’t happen over night. I had to work at monitoring what I viewed. Moment by moment, year after year, the desire went away.
It’s been 7 years since my rescue and I haven’t watched it since. Here are three things God did to rescue me:
1. He disciplined me. “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” Hebrews 12:6 ESV
2. He forgive me. God’s forgiveness through Christ Jesus released the guilt and shame that came with watching porn. “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”Romans 5:8 ESV
3. He made my eyes healthy. The less provocative things I watched, the less I desired them. “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” Matthew 6:22-23 NIV
I’m not subscribing a formula for rescue. I’m simply sharing my testimony with you. 7 years later, I have my iPhone and iPad back. I share all social media outlets with my wife for accountability and follow people who don’t post sexual content. God has been faithful to me. I know it is by His spirit that I am free. Scripture says,
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV
I pray that God would answer your prayers and set you free from the battle against porn addiction. I pray that God would rescue you and provide you with a way of escape. I’ll leave you with this scripture:
“O Israel, keep hoping, keep trusting, and keep waiting on the Lord, for he is tenderhearted, kind, and forgiving. He has a thousand ways to set you free! He himself will redeem you; he will ransom you from the cruel slavery of your sins!” Psalms 130:7-8 TPT
Your Brother in Christ