Your Brain on Porn

Watching just 5 hours of porn has been proven to significantly alter how people think. Find out the 5 distinct ways porn warps your brain, as well as 3 biblical ways to renew your mind.

53 thoughts on “Why are so many Christians addicted to porn?

  1. Stop it, Luke! Stop putting out such good blogs! I must now link to this one on our blog.

    I also think that the Christian community is very condemning of sexual sins and hush hush. We model to our communities our condemnation by not talking about it.

    Many ministers are ill-educated in helping people in sexual sin. They say something is wrong with you if you do this. They say you are not the Christian you need to be. Very behavioral-based.

    These attitudes add to the gap between my struggle and God’s standard. I am led to believe that I am abnormal, when in fact I share a common struggle. I become afraid to share further struggles and spiral deeper.

    Non-Christian communities talk with more liberality about sexual things. They are not taboo subjects, they are often encouraged. Popular culture teaches that being sexual is the “normal” thing and provides the “condom” message for having sex “the right” way.

    Good stuff.

  2. Pastor Dave’s advice to the addicted
    One of the hardest things for a man to do in any situation is to admit we’ve done something wrong.
    Porn is the Secret Killer, It delights in staying in the Dark.

    Seems that no matter how many times i have blown it my family still loves me!
    I have also come to believe one of the greatest family building ties you can make is when you humbly stand in front of your wife and kids, and say “I have blown it, I cant say I won’t do it again, but will you please pray for me and help me through this thing that is secretly killing me and my marriage.”

    Now this is the hard part, her reaction.What do you do when she reacts in anger? When she reacts in fear? When she yells “how can I ever trust you again”? When she kicks you out? Your character has already proven you unworthy of trust, now what?This is your greatest moment, all of heaven is breathlessly watching your reaction…..

    Now what?…
    You earn her trust even though it might seem like you’ll never get it. You do your best to prove to her there is nothing to fear. Seek counsel from a Pastor even though most he might look at you like you have the plague, and would never admit they struggle with some of the same temptations? And finally, Yes, the right thing to do is admit you have sinned to your wife. No matter the reaction, and confess your sin to a close and “godly” brother in the Lord, if not Satan will continue to pull you down until you make the trade….

    Make the trade?….
    Most men would rather trade their family, job, ministry and close friends for porn!Hard to believe? It happens everyday….. and counting.Dont let Pride and the fear of getting caught steal your life, family, and all that God wants to bless you with.Suggested reading: the book of Hosea found in the Bible. Let the healing begin.

    By the way I know its not as easy as 1. 2. 3. But just take the first 3 steps:
    1. Confess
    2. Take your thoughts captive.
    3. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind….. and always trust the Lord
    ……..Pastor Dave Hallahan

    See My Testimony…
    http://www.mountainfamilyministries.com/pastordavestestimony.

  3. Very helpful. God has a great plan for me but porn is holding me back. I will be victorious. God’s plan for my life will be fullfilled

    • Peter I feel the same way. In my heart I feel like God wants to bless me in ways I cant imagine, but porn just takes control.

  4. Excellent Post, I read an article on Pornography and I wanted to pray for the addicted Christians. I searched for some numbers or % of addicted people and I came to your site. The solution you gave is the exact one that was in my heart. We are pigs by nature, we cannot be controlled by behavioural classes. Instead we need to seek for a change from this Pig nature to a nature of Cat that keeps itself clearn all the time. It is not a behaviour change but a change in nature (heart). God has blessed us with every spiritual weapon that we need to attain his divine nature and escape the lusts of this flesh (2 Peter 1 -4).

  5. What made me feel a ton better, is how every detail you mentioned described my situation exactly, everything I was feeling and everything I was going through. I felt like the only “bad” Christian who was suffering – but just because someone else could describe it that dead on, let me know that I’m not alone – someone else understands. Thank you

  6. My reason for addiction, is depression.

    I get depressed, because I haven’t had any succesful relationships, and therefore, I get sasifcation seeing others

  7. I dislike the fact that pornography is so often pushed under the rug, when in reality it’s an issue that affects every man with Internet access. I loved how true this was, we just need to remember to carry the cross and die daily.

  8. I wanted to find out how big porn is with Christians when I came to this blog. The one thing sexual-sin-issues do for the child of God is to isolate that person, not so much because of how horrible it is (all sin is horrible), but because Christians to day are ‘taught’ by ‘church culture’. The same exclusivist teaching teaches against children of God who have been divorced (against their will), and also the single Christian: they are excluded from service in the body of Christ by church leadership and mob-belief church-goers. I imagine this would be one reason so many Christians get hooked into porn: ‘church’ condemnation and loneliness. Your scriptural dealing with this problem ( I have been sinking deeper and deeper into hard core porn I wanted to commit suicide as my only way of escape) confirmed what, in my darkest hour God in some undefinable way, showed me: IT IS THE PERSON OF CHRIST JESUS I NEED, not more determined effort. As we say in my country, “Ahsante” – or, Thank you, and God bless you for ever.

  9. I think the church has serious problems Scripture says, if a person is filled with the Spirit, there is no lust. Christians are not reading the Bible. I fear that as time goes on, the percentage will wax worse and worse. To bread the this, start reading God’s work, and no porn for 21 days, and pray about it and usually a habbit can be broken in 21 days, but, God’s Word must be also read.

    There will be more people in hell cuase of sex more thin any other sin and where there is no repentance.

    • Hello Leah, Like you I have struggled with porn since my father introduced me to it as a 10 year old boy! I struggle every day. I like sex a lot but it only seem to be porn that I look at, I would like to meet someone who knows what this is like so that we can help each other in our problem, I feel that if that person can learn to love me as you also need someone to love maybe it would help us become free, And with a loving and caring church I know it would work. If you would like to chat, please let me know ok. God Bless someone who understands you XXX

  10. I am a woman who has struggled with sexual sin since a child. I asked my aunt for prayer every day to fight porn temptation. It didn’t work. I also joined a free online website that promotes purity. That didn’t work. Now my life is destroyed.

  11. This is very inspiring thanks for posting. I have been struggling with porn addiction for about 9 months now. It began as a way for me to escape problems and now I feel like I can never really be free from it. I continually go through that cycle you mentioned above and I really do want it to end. I feel like there’s nothing I can do, and as a result I have given up on trying.

  12. timeless truths you have shared here, thanks. i thought you knew my case as it you wrote this. thanks thanks. praise the Lord there is hope…

  13. Hello sir I read post and I can say that it is well much of a wake up call I am a 14 and every non religious site I have been to says masturbation is healthy and normal PS i am a girl and sometimes even religious ones too. I have only told my cuz about my addiction but i feel like i should tell you also at times i feel worthless because of this and guilty to go to church thus driving me away so is it bad to look at God as a mighty discipliner? Or to even it out plz help

    • God is a mighty discipliner…but in the sense that a parent disciplines a child. God’s not a cop, out to catch you…he wants you to be pure and holy.

      Keep going to church. It may not feel like it helps, but skipping out will only harden your heart to sin.

      Crystal Renaud, one of our partners, heads an online ministry specifically for females struggling with pornography. You might want to check it out.

  14. As I was reading this blog, I became one with Christ. What am I saying, I am saying that I opened up my heart to Him and repented of my sins. I am a woman, an Evangelist, and a Believer of God’s Holy Word; but I am having difficulty with pornography & masturbation! Not that pornography is holding me back, but I find myself infatuated by “false love, false hope, and false joy” between two or more people.

    Although I know that God’s love is true and everlasting, I find myself wanting something that I am not supposed to have. I am an addict! I believe the root goes deeper then just being an addict. I have been rejected by other Believers of Christ, I have been rejected by some family members, friends, class mates; I have been physical abused, mentally abused, socially abused, emotionally abused, and I have allowed pornography to fill those “voids.” WOW! This is the first time I have ever been this open.

    My desire is that God heals this addiction! I want to be healed. I want to be free…”for whom the Son sets free is free indeed.” I want my Savior to fill all of the voids in my heart. No excuses! Just truth!

    I want to be transformed by the renewing of my mind through Christ Jesus!

  15. WOW!!! I have just watched porn right after quiet time with the Lord…..felt that dark gloomy guilt again, and came searching online. This is my first time posting on a blog, and im crying hoping freedom finds . I Love Jesus Christ My Lord with all my Heart, I know I Do….But these trips to Darkness makes me doubt that, like do I really Love God. I hate myself at times because I feel that Gods purpose is on hold in my Life. I see all these things mention by Luke in this Blog and im expecting change, not in Behavior But in Heart, the flesh nature don’t die, but God can create in me a Clean heart and Renew a right spirit within Me……I Thank God for you Luke and All who poured their heart out……I will pray for you guys

  16. It seems like you’re filling up your need for porn with a religious addiction. Talking about Jesus with your buddies gives you an emotional charge, which will suffice for the porn. Still an addict, just getting your junk from another source.

    • I’ll happily be “addicted” to Jesus over porn any day. What’s interesting is that you take this as a problem. Why would being “addicted” to the most glorious being in universe be a bad thing?

  17. Here’s why I think I am addicted to porn as a Christian. One its relatively easy to keep my reputation and still indulge in sexual sin. I can keep it secret in my own home and the addiction does not have clear cut consequences such as something like an eating addiction would. Secondly, its relatively manageable. I could look at porn and I wouldn’t have to do much to rearrange my life. I can fall out of obedience and step right back into obedience. I could try going out and having sex with women but that takes a lot of energy and commitment to a lifestyle. Because I’m in a terribly split of wanting to please God and my flesh, I don’t find myself running from God very long before I run back. Third, did I mention reputation? Which leads to the Fourth. As a Christian I usually assert my own self-reliance by the works of the law. Not just to god but to people. So porn is a pretty good choice for people who are self-righteous. One because you can sin and manage your reputation, but also it comes down to the inability to let God control my life. In religion, you do to get. So I feel spiritual restlessness (stress, loneliness, etc) and therefore I pray or do good works to not feel restlessness. I am the one who then controls the state of my being. As is with porn. I feel restlessness and use porn to not feel restless. I am the one who controls the state of my being. But I think true surrender is embracing the restlessness and circumstances in light of the character of God. I feel restless, and I trust God. He may comfort me, he may allow me to suffer. I can’t control what he wills. But I do know he’s good. Yet, he may allow me to suffer. I need to be at peace with that. We won’t be fully complete and satisfied until he returns and his new kingdom is established. This life will hurt. God asks us to bear it and trust him. God will be with us, he will give us his grace so we find rest and relevation, but it doesn’t happen on my command. He dispenses as he wills, And as he wills is certainly what is right because my comfort or satisfaction are not the center of the universe. He alone is. So we trust him in the momentary trial of suffering for his return. That’s a scary place to be, if your heart isn’t fully ready to trust him and you aren’t willing to get off the throne that is rightfully his.

  18. Christians are addicted to porn. just like the rest of the population. Before the VCR/VHS you would have to go into a pretty bad neighborhood for porn, now internet porn comes to you, even if your not looking for it.

    The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. Matthew 6 22

    it will make it irrelevant

  19. Im 37 years old attractive and fit, and never had a girlfriend despite years of prayer. I know that it is wrong but I refuse to feel guilty about looking at porn. I’ve had rejection when I was young so I never have had the confidence to approach women, the few interactions I have had with them where I thought I had the beginnings of a relationship, I’ve been(friendzoned) I’ve had deliverance ministry, played on worship teams, otherwise done the christian thing. I’m tired of praying without any answer so I refuse to feel guilty about watching porn. I am the closest Ive ever been to paying for sex. A relationship is unattainable for me,.

    • Sounds like you’ve made up your mind about this, Geoff. I’m not sure if you’re looking for someone to convince you otherwise, but I’ll give it a go.

      First, you have done a great job diagnosing the issue: you have never had the confidence to approach women because you’ve learned (through experience) that relationships are risky and there is the possibility of rejection. So you rush to porn where you know you will experience at least some parody of intimacy. In this sense, you are right: porn is safe because it is predictable. Women in porn don’t turn you down.

      Second, your admission that you are very close to paying for sex is a great indicator of where you are in your fixation on porn: it has whet you appetite for more. I pray it doesn’t come to this for you. Not only does this put you at incredible risk for health problems, it also makes you a contributor to the massive sex trade crisis in the world right now.

      In a recent post I wrote called “6 Reasons Men and Women Are Drawn to Porn,” I talk about what drives us to the place of being hooked on porn. In your case, porn offers you relationship. You desire intimacy, but you don’t like its risks. You want to be close to others, but you don’t want to be vulnerable. You want a real relationship, but you want to be the one in control. Porn gives us the illusion of feeling “connected” but not have all the mess of a real relationship.

      In contrast, the gospel of Christ offers you something far better. When we desire intimacy with others, but we fear the risk, we need to run to God as a Father who is sovereign over our relationships. Relationships are risky. Hearts can be broken. Emotions are messy. But God promises that everything we go through will work for good for those who love Him and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). God can and will take all our relationships, even our failed ones, and use them to conform us to the image of his Son (v.29). Knowing this, we can pursue genuine intimacy with others in a godly manner, not run to the fake security digital sex.

      You have a choice, Geoff. Pursue a real, godly relationship with a real woman, resting in a firm belief that God is in control despite any rejection you have ever felt or will ever feel. Or pursue porn because it is “safe.”

      I recently wrote a post for the Biblical Counseling Coalition about my own addiction to porn. In that post I talk about this same struggle: being single, lonely, and unwilling to pursue intimacy with others. But in the end, I came to the conviction that my porn problem was ultimately about my faith. Who was I going to trust: porn or God?

      I know you refuse to feel guilty about this. I also know you’re smart enough to realize that you are angry at any God who would tell you porn is wrong when it is your one connection to any form of sexual intimacy and release. Believe me, I get it. I used to hate God because of this issue.

      But give this some thought: Don’t trade your soul for pixels on a screen or fantasy sex with a hooker.

  20. I have totally loved this article… i have struggled with Porn addiction for quite sometime,but thsnx be to God who always causes us to triumph in His Name-I am an overcomer

  21. Geoff. when looking for a girlfriend for a lover. you might think women reject you. but most women will use rejection as a tool too see just what you are really made of, as in just how bad do you want them?
    you need to learn that most real and meaningful female relationships aren’t found with the click of a mouse! most women who are worth anything is not going too just jump right into bed with you! find Adult christian single group in your area, if you want intimacy? you will find the girl god want for you. she may not be the stuff you find with the click of a mouse, and then again, she might just surprise you! and just because she may not be the most gorgeous women on the planet. give her the chance, because she may just be a victim of the same rejection that you have been dealing with! with the same desire that you desire! the desire of being desired!

  22. Hi, brothers and sisters in JESUS. Reading this article, I have been touched. I confess I’ve watched pornography. Nearly 20% of the time, I break free through prayer and 80% I give in to the feeling. I wouldn’t say I am addicted to porn…..or am I? I do not turn to it often…or do I? A couple of times a week…yeah, who am I kidding. I mean, when I am in a relationship with a healthy intimate life, I don’t watch them. I am in the process of divorce and intimacy was a part of this. She neglected me in the fullest, intimately and affectionately, but ended up cheating on me and Facebook’d 3 other men stating how bad she wanted them in the bedroom, had sex with one while we were separated, and sent nude photo’s to others. I did read their responses when she was away from her phone. Talk about a confidence collapser. My heart, at that moment, was stripped of its right to pulsate. That’s hard, man. She, also, was telling 2 others she loved them. I, then, felt I needed to turn to the Book of Hosea “a wife of harlotry” and I tried to stay as the LORD’s love to Israel. I cannot imagine GOD’s hurt in this book. I consulted family, preacher, and church members on the matter. It was becoming a regular that I would cry in church, I admit. Needless to say, I couldn’t do it and she wanted me gone for good because she said “I can’t be the Christian wife you need me to be.” (sex was included in that). I state this because I used porn in my marriage when I was neglected. Watching porn never made me feel better, on the contrary, porn seems to be a “domino effect” of negativity in my life, until I repented my “mental” fornication (Mt.5:27-28). Its not porn that starts in me….its what I go to when my thoughts are not enough. I will say this, that porn leads to more sins and will make you do things you normally wouldn’t do in a sober mind, if you embrace it. I am not sure what constitutes as “addiction” in the biblical sense. I am reminded of (Heb.10:26/ Jn.14:15) which beats me down, “O wretched man that I am!!” :( . I hate porn and I hate everything it stands for. Porn doesn’t “spice” up sex lives, it damages relationships, and creates an illusion that women will be this way in the room as to do anything you want to with them. You can’t approach women with that mindset. That’s why its a fantasy because not all women are into what’s being potrayed in porn. Some have limits. My X had plenty when we were intimate. I have watched porn debates with Christians and pornstars. I have watched testimonies from pornstars and hearing their confessions of abuse in the industry. I truly hate watching others whoring in front of a camera and saying its a “business” industry. Its degrading and embarassing. I can almost feel the evil that surrounds it and there is no love involved. Shame on me for knowing the power of Christ that has always delivered me and turning the flesh The Scriptures(Rom.8:7) says, “the carnal mind is at enmity with GOD.” I read my Bible, study the Scriptures, watch JESUS movies, and I go to church. However, the moment I have an urge, my flesh overcome my spirit, almost easily and quite shamefully. Please, pray for me as I will pray for the deliverance of you all. I, also, notice its hits me at night when I am alone at home. I work night shift and on my days off, so much time to think….”idle hands are the devil’s playground.”

    Like stated above by some, I have no confidence to approach a lady, as so badly as I desire a woman with a heart of gold for GOD. All my relationships were women that didn’t care for GOD or didn’t acknowledged Him. I can’t blame anyone but myself for that. What I went though in these relationships with faithless women has my mind in a mix on how to be. I am like a dog that’s been hit with the paper, now try and pet me….I lower my head in confidence to be that missing link in a godly woman’s life. The one I am divorcing now says she loved GOD, but she did it with her lips, not her heart (Mt.15:8). The Bible says you will know a tree by its fruit (Mt.7:16, 20)…she never had any. GOD has NEVER failed me…..it is I who have failed GOD.

    Lastly, (Lev.18:5-30) pretty much lays out the only person you are to see naked (in the sense) is your wife. And (Ps.101:3) states, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.” This would place porn in that category. Thank you so much for allowing me to confess myself to you all (Jam.5:16) and I pray we all get back on our feet because what out eyes see should be of light (Mt.6:22-23). In closing, (Pro.3:5, 6) “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Amen

  23. I ‘am’ stuggling with porn addiction and your article is helpful.. But, I want to ask u but something entirely different
    I’ve been feeling down for some time now and books/articles suggest I’m depressed.. I’ve talked to God about it and all, but there’s not much change..
    I know He loves me and “is” helping me, and I try to start each day with Him.. But minutes later finds me angry(sometimes for no reason) at my mom or dad or anyone and then I feel bad about that and then my whole day just spirals down.. I don’t know if u understand what I’m saying, but I just so desperately want to find joy, fEel the kind of assurance u have, know my life has some purpose….

    • Have you been able to talk to someone about your depression. There are some great resources you can get about that. Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness is a great book.

      Another possibility is that you might need a change of diet, environment, or even medication if there is a chemical imbalance in your body. I know some Christians are against these kind of changes for problems like depression, but there can be physical reasons for psychological states. It might be worth looking into physical/neurological causes. Of course, in the end, medicine or proper nutrition can help your body, but only One can help your soul. Seek His face during this time and lean on the best wisdom the body of Christ has to offer.

  24. So I really appreciated annon comment from Dec 22, 2013. Thought it interesting in terms of timing, i.e so near our celebration of the”virgin birth” I love Jesus, and struggle with porn and other issues of sexuality, partially because of a very unhealthy upbringing in a non-practicing Roman-Catholic home, where I was sent to Roman Catholic school. I agree that sex is divine, but here is a challenge in our christian story; the christ came to be a human without being conceived the way he has made the rest of us to be concieved, i.e through sex. I find this hard and it may even suggest that somehow sex is bad. I think a mistake we make as christians is seperating the world and our lives into secular and sacred. All of what God has made is sacred; even the very disturbing people both victims and perpetrators in the pornography that so many have admitted to watching. For me one of the strength of this sight and blog is that christians are talking about something we usually don’t talk about and I think this will help all of us> I feel I have been blessed by the time I spent here. I confess that I came to the sight after porning, feeling bad and searching for non-christian help in dealing with porn. The other sights I’ve seen in the past that identified themselves as christian were much less honest or helpful in my opinion. Too fire and brimstoney, not nearly loving enough. May God’s unfailing love and grace continue to abide in you and all of us who travel this life knowing and growing closer to God and each other. I wonder if there is a sight like this for muslims or budhists?

    • Hi Mike,

      I know most of Christian resources, so I’m not aware of what help there is for other religious individuals.

      Thanks for sharing some of your story. I agree that there is sometimes a wrong message that gets communicated when the virginity of Mary is held in high esteem. Of course I believe Jesus was born of a virgin. But when people (such as priests or nuns or other clergy) give up the prospect of married life and sex, it is not because they deem sex as bad. It’s rather the opposite. Think of the tradition of Lent: if I hate onions and I decide to give up onions for Lent, you probably would think my sacrifice isn’t worth much. That’s because we only truly sacrifice the things that we think are really valuable. The same is true for those who living a life of singleness: their sacrifice is a testimony to the goodness and great value of sex, not its ugliness. It would not be a sacrifice unless it was deemed good in the first place.

      I hope you continue to find help here!

  25. What a wonderful forum for everyone, especially we christians to share our struggle. Let’s remember, we live in a world that became cursed when Adam and Eve fell away from God, before humans began wearing clothes. That’s where our struggle with porn began, so don’t crucify yourself into a state of suicidal depression. Christ already paid our debt for sins. Once we choose to live life by His instructions,
    He promised to walk with us on a daily basis, as go through all the struggles of this imperfect life on planet earth. We must stay in communication with God through prayer, bible study, online community groups like this one, and off line live support. Churches are still having difficulty opening up and facing porn as a regular topic. Something that must be discussed and dealt with, not in a shameful way.
    We will all be struggling with something until otil Jesus Christ returns to take us back to a life of perfection. God doesn’t threaten to disown us when we “fall off the wagon” and view porn. If maintaining our salvation in Christ Jesus was based on our efforts, we could never do it and God already knows this. That’s why the bible says Christ saves us alone, lest anyone boasts that it was from their own efforts. As human beings dealing with the biological urges God put in every living creature, to reproduce, we have to come together in prayer and support of each other. Pornography takes up a huge amount of time in everyone’s life, so we have to ask God to help direct us to loving support groups, like this one. Get involved with support groups out side your home. Just like A.A. meetings continue for the life of and alcoholic, we’ll all have to continue supporting each other through prayer, verbal & written communication and unconditional love. Not because we’re all “crazy”, but because we’re sexual beings in need of help to manage this powerful, beautiful amazing part of our lives called sexuality. Can’t spread much of the gospel to the world, if porn is taking up all the time. That’s the valuable resource satan is robbing from us. Love you all. We’re all a family here. God bless!

  26. I read your blog and it is really useful,
    I am a teenager and
    i always try very hard to restrain from porn and masturbation,but sometimes my thoughts are overwhelming and i fall into the trap.
    also when I am restraining from porn I try my level best not to look at thing that triggers the thoughts but mostly the problem is some of my friends who takes porn as a norm and casually talks about it .
    when they see that I am not looking at girls in my class the wrong way they tell me that something is wrong with me and that i have no future with women (most of these are non Christians is that the problem??) this triggers some feeling and i fall back to porn .
    what do i do??

    • I would explain to them why you don’t want to look at women that way. Tell them that lusting freely after women is neither manly nor honoring to them. They aren’t pieces of meat. They are people who deserve respect. Tell them God created them in his image, and that means not looking at them with lust in your heart. Manliness is not measured by what you take from women, it is measured by how you give in love to others. Tell them they can ridicule you all they want. You are going to treat women as sisters, not objects. You are preparing yourself for marriage to one woman, and the way you treat women now prepares you to treat her like a queen some day. And if they laugh at you, tell them you’re pretty sure girls would appreciate your perspective far more than theirs.

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