Your Brain on Porn

Parenting the Internet Generation Ebook Cover

Watching just 5 hours of porn has been proven to significantly change people's sexual beliefs and attitudes. Find out 5 distinct ways that porn warps your brain, as well as 5 biblical ways to renew your mind and find freedom.

33 thoughts on “Paul vs. Porn: How the old apostle delivers a death blow to a modern addiction

    • Great article! I struggle with porn on a weekly basis. I don’t view it very often (once every 3-4 weeks) but it leaves me feeling disgusted with myself afterwards. I am a single male and I am thinking until I get a handle over this sin issue, God might want me to remain single.

    • What a beautiful article. I felt tempted before reading this but now feel the grace to battle on. 78 days clean.

  1. Hi! To the author, and also those with husbands and those struggling with a Pornography addiction. After 9 years of marriage, I found out my husband had a deep addiction to Pornography of over 15 years, which means he was well into it before we were married. Our whole marriage was based on lies. We attended endless counseling sessions, marriage counseling, inner healing seminars, etc. He was powerless to his addiction and is now in 12 month Rehab for sexual addiction. The above words may be true, however, in the face of true addiction, a live in Rehab with counselors of high level experience in sexual addiction, is the only way to go to enable a true path to recovery.

    • Hi Anne,

      So sorry to hear your story. I know a lot of guys like your husband: nothing seemed to work until they found a good live-in recovery program.

      Perhaps this is unintended, but it sounds as if you are saying people aren’t truly addicted to pornography unless a live-in program is their only hope. This seems like a much narrower definition of addiction than I am using, but perhaps that is your intention. Addiction is a somewhat fluid term; even medical professionals differ on how to describe or define it, so I’m not surprised we might have different definitions.

      I would only say that it is important to be aware there are a lot of guys who would describe themselves as addicted to porn who don’t ever pursue professional services. As this article says, I’m using the term in a much broader way.

  2. Now let me tell you how the real world works and not some BS story about a John and a prostitute. In America, the John may get set up by the police and have his life ruined no matter how good of a guy he is. The prostitute would not have been touched by his kindness because she is a woman and women are all about money. She would not be grateful. She would not have a life changing event. She will walk all over the kind guy like she has done her whole entire life because she has passed on kind guy after kind guy in her quest for riches, wealth, and comfort. She will go back to turning tricks because it is easy to screw for a couple hundred dollars an hour. Working 9-5 for minimum wage is hard.

    That is the real world. Girls pass on good guy after good guy when girls are young and have amazing looks. Then by the time they are old women and their looks have faded girls wonder why their life stinks —- well dear you passed on good guy after good guy. You only have yourself to blame. Stop blaming men. Blame yourself.

    Also, why do we put women on a pedestal? That we as men have to have the “privilege” of watching them sleep? Women cause all sorts of problems in society and most people who have been married with time come to find that they aren’t worth it. Simply aren’t worth it. This notion of marrying for life sounds great but the reality is that it isn’t that great. It is a lifetime of suffering. Enough of putting women on a pedestal. Men are told to follow the bible and all will be well. What they don’t tell you that women don’t follow a thing in the bible and your life will be a lifetime of bondage.

    But what do you expect from a book where people actually believe bushes talk. Amazing really. People won’t believe in life on other planets even though there are trillions upon trillions of planets. But somehow, human beings believe in a talking bush as if God couldn’t figure out a better way to talk to mankind. A lot of the bible is nonsense. Sorry, it is just nonsense. From surviving in a whale to a burning bush.

    • Sounds like you have a lot of thoughts. Let me see if I can deal with them one at a time.

      1. Are John’s set up by the police? Yes. Not sure what the relevance it to the article, but no disagreement here.

      2. Are women “all about the money“? Certainly some are. You’re sort of over-generalizing, don’t you think?

      3. Are women in prostitution ever changed by the kindness of men? Sure. I know a lot of folks who work to liberate women from sex work and are transformed by their efforts.

      4. Do all girls pass up good guys? Some do, but not all. Again, this is over-generalizing.

      5. Are women not worth marrying? I think a lot of older, happily married men would disagree with you here.

      6. Can the God who created the universe make bushes talk? Yes. It would be a bit odd if He couldn’t.

    • I would echo Luke’s comments about women and marriage. I’ve been married for 7 years to an incredibly supportive and loving woman that has told me time and again “even in a tent”. Meaning that even if we live in a tent (poor, homeless) we’ll be happy because we have each other.

    • service to anyone is not for weak. I pity those of such jaded, hateful hearts. So I will keep following Jesus no matter how much nonsense it may be. I hope your heart may someday be happy again

    • I had 2 women divorce me and now am married again. My first marriage lasted 14 years and agree with alot of what you said. I am 55 and have been a follower of Jesus since the age of 16. I am presently married to a wonderful women of 57 for 22yrs. We still love each very much. She adores me and treats me with much respect. I would do anything for her and she for me. I thank God with all my heart for such a wonderful relationship with her and my Lord Jesus.

    • God gives us the conviction of the Spirit as the primary source of bringing about repentance and belief. But that doesn’t make it blind faith. There is enough compelling evidence through His Creation and His Word to believe. There is no evidence of life on other planets, but some believe in that simply because there are so many planets. Yet you question a Creator God for using a burning bush as a sign. The point is not just that the bush was on fire, but that the bush was not being consumed by the fire. That would be a pretty impressive display. As for the whale there are many modern stories of men surviving after being swallowed by a whale. Just google “modern Jonah.” Never the less, in Jonah’s case, this is God that we are talking about. Not really a tough thing for Him to pull off.

  3. Great article! Awesome word pictures and really good responses to some of the sharp comments. Been on both sides of this issue struggling and counseling, it’s real and powerful but even more so is the God we serve.
    Thanks for the witness.

    • I am a living witness of a savior, healer, and provider whose name is Jehovah.
      He does not lie, cannot lie, and is the same God who brought us out of Egypt through the sea
      and watched over us then, now and forever……..

  4. Outstanding article (as always). I love how you connect our new identity to resistance. (“yes – but it is not I”!!!) This is sooo true!

  5. It is REALLY important for men who are caught up in pornography to start with an article like this. It will keep their minds and hearts on biblical truth instead of thinking that behavior modification will have lasting value. Unfortunately, being mind and heart educated will not be enough for the vast majority of guys. They will need a structured and proactive lifestyle to overcome porn. They will also need to be supported by, and in regular accountability with, men who have overcome porn themselves. Reading an article like this can, and will, inadvertently heap more shame on men that genuinely want to change, but haven’t been able to because of a huge dependency on porn they have developed. They will read this article, agree with it all 100%, then feel even more shame because they will return to porn soon after. If this is you, get out of the porn rut and start with a Pure Desire group in your area. While not a perfect program by any means, it has still changed my life. It is not a quick fix. It can take 3-5 years to overcome a deep porn dependency, but you can and will change by the grace of God.

    My point – read this article, then actually do something about, (ie: find a Pure Desire group)

  6. This is a great article to show anyone who is struggling with addiction that wants to stop but does not know how. I am in that situation where addiction feels inevitable even though there are long stretches of time in between events. It is a hopeless feeling that brings guilt and sorrow for a few moments of false pleasure. This article is empowering to help fight addiction even though it is a daily battle. Please pass this along to anyone you know that might benefit from it. Even if you plant a small seed and you think it goes unnoticed it might be the first step to recovery.

  7. Hey, Luke, can you believe I’m just reading this article all the way through? A month ago, I glanced at it but for some reason didn’t bother to read beyond several snippets of it.

    Anyway, what an essay of superlative quality, man! Your magnum opus to date on this blog, I’m sure. I found myself in overall agreement with you, but that’s ancillary to my appreciation of the word mastery you exhibit throughout. Besides being a coherent monograph on the spiritual and mental weapons needed to vanquish the enemy (i.e. pornography), with all the writing devices you employ to support your thesis, the piece is a fun read (which always carried a premium with me, even from the postgrad crowd).

    Congratulations on doing great justice to the topic!

    • How kind, Xavier. Thanks for your encouraging words.

      Truth be told, the article did have a “magnum opus” feel to it as I wrote it, only because I was drawing from thousands of little snippets I’ve written about over the years and trying to tie everything together. I’m glad it was both clear and enjoyable. There are times I wonder whether things only make sense in my own brain. :)

  8. Great article. However on many of these articles I haven’t found a clear cut response to masturbation. I’ve been on an upward trajectory of overcoming pornography addiction as a 24 year old male having greatly decreased it’s frequency over the last several years and now having a consecutive 4month sobriety over it. However like many men, I still struggle with masturbation. I often wonder if I just replaced one with the other but masturbation was a part of the pornography addiction. I’ll go 2-3 days without masturbating, sometimes with ease and others with struggle to get to that point before I cave. What are your thoughts on this?

    • Matt, I would say in your instance masturbation involves lusting over the pornography in your mind, so it is certainly part of your pornographic habit in some respect.

      There’s much that can be said about the habit of masturbation.

      1. First, it is important not to be taken in by the lie that not masturbating is somehow unhealthy for a man. This is a common lie men hear today.

      2. Second, it is important to get a clear idea in your mind why masturbation is wrong for you. I recommend this article to help you explore that.

      3. Third, consider the strategies you are using currently to stop the use of pornography and now apply them to masturbation as well. The battle lines you draw may need to look different, since masturbating without pornography is far easier than masturbating with it, but the same strategies can be used nonetheless.

  9. I have often viewed myself as the harlot of Hosea, destined to ruin the life of someone dedicated to God. I am glad that I can rest in Christ, and I don’t have to dance for the dirge any more. I am something more, redeemed by my new Lord and able to happily serve Him.

  10. I have found that many of the nice girls turn to the bad boys because the nice guys at church haven’t been taught to man up. The good women respond beautifully to a man who treats them in a Godly way, and actually has the guts to be proactive. I have been married to a wonderful, beautiful woman for 7 years and she has been an unqualified blessing in every way. Don’t sit there waiting on a fantasy. Become a man who God can trust with a good woman. After all, they belong to Him not us.

  11. This was by far one of the most helpful, convicting and encouraging articles I have read in the 40 day challenge. Thank you so much for what the Spirit is doing through your writing and praise God!

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