The year 2004 began very bitter-sweetly. My addiction to pornography was no longer a secret. That first look at porn at age 12 and the 30 years of addiction that followed had imploded on me. My wife had discovered what she suspected. I was visiting numerous porn sites and was having an online affair. Adult chat rooms were a common visiting place. All my self deception came crumbling down in a smoldering heap.
The painstaking process of healing this very broken marriage would take years to accomplish. Many people were used by God to see us through the long, difficult, yet growing and strengthening journey. We began with pastoral counseling, which lasted a few months and got us headed in the right direction. However, I was still unable to shake the addiction to pornography. Was it better? Yes, but far from a thing of the past. What did stop was the online affair and most of the chat room visitations. Viewing pornography of every kind was continuing. In fact the more stress I faced, the more of a powerful “fix” I needed. To this day when I think about the porn websites I’ve visited, I get nauseated.
Introducing Covenant Eyes
Even though recovery began in 2004, I wish I could say it was over instantly. It was not over. Times of stumbles and falls were far too frequent. I was beginning to relate well to Paul, who wrote of a “thorn in his flesh,” a “messenger of Satan” who constantly caused him misery. I begged God to remove my thorn, but no deal. I learned to embrace what God told Paul. “My grace is sufficient” was the message. I’m no Apostle Paul, but I get the whole thorn concept. I was introduced to Covenant Eyes in August 2008 during a conference. I immediately knew I needed to get the software loaded on my computers at home. As soon as I installed Covenant Eyes, I found an Accountability Partner and began recovery. I wish I could tell you I never slipped up, but in spite of Covenant Eyes being in place, my addiction was stronger than I was. It had taken deep root in my mind. During those moments of failure, my Accountability Partner did his job and called me out. For over four years he was there for me. Godly Accountability Partners and much prayer have plugged the dike.
The Blessings of Accountability
In the five plus years with Covenant Eyes, the software is and has been on every computer I’ve owned and smartphone (iPhone and Android) I use. If you use Covenant Eyes in the manner in which it’s designed, it will help you enormously. If you install it and choose not to have an Accountability Partner, you are significantly reducing the effectiveness. You cannot fight this battle alone! Without Covenant Eyes as a defensive weapon in my arsenal to fight my addiction to pornography, I’m not sure where I’d be today. God used it to help me defend myself. The Reports to your Accountability Partner are a must! And knowing the software is watching 24/7 trained my mind to think of other, far more healthy places to go on the Internet, and in many cases, just avoid it altogether and spend time with my wife and kids. One unexpected side effect of having Covenant Eyes on my laptop computer happened a few years into recovery. One of our daughter’s boyfriends was over in my absence and was on porn websites. Covenant Eyes caught the activity and ended the activity when I was notified. It’s protects your family in your absence. Protect your children and install Covenant Eyes today!
Porn Has a Global Impact
In recent months God put in front of me the human trafficking industry which preys on children as young as six years old, with the average age being around 12 years old. Many of these children wind up being sold and prostituted. The porn industry is supported by this trade, and a great number of illegal child and adult porn films are made using these sex slaves. Adults and children alike are lured into the dark underground of human trafficking under false pretenses. What’s even worse to me was the realization is that I was feeding this industry with my habit and addiction. I prayed for God’s forgiveness through a rain of tears. I can’t help but wonder how many of those involved in this sickening trade were introduced to porn at a young age, as I was. How many of them may have been steered away from it with a product like Covenant Eyes? With a filthy industry like that on the prowl, unfortunately Covenant Eyes has a long life expectancy. I for one am very grateful they are here.
Photo credit: geomangio