True Story: How Michael Overcame Porn

Our stories matter. Each of us has a compelling story to tell. When we share, we can’t always anticipate how our story will impact the people around us, but sometimes the impact is significant.

Jesus made it very clear that “in this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). But, what will you do with those troubles? Think about the apostle St. Paul. If Paul had been permitted to visit all the churches he wanted to visit instead of being imprisoned, he would have never had a reason to write his letters! But, he embraced his “trouble” and used it for the glory of God.

how michael overcame porn

This year, we released Overcome Porn: The 40 Day Challenge app for iPhone, and we’ve recently made some great enhancements through a new release. (Don’t worry Overcome Porn is also available in an e-mail format.) Below is a testimony, raw and real, from Michael, an early challenge participant.

My porn addiction started when I discovered my dad’s stash when I was a kid. Back then nobody knew about the Internet, so when the magazines inexplicably disappeared I was forced to quit. Then I went off to a Christian college with strict rules including expulsion for porn. For about a decade, I was porn free due to accessibility issues, but I never really dealt with the heart issues, and I believed getting married would solve the problem.

In 1993, I married a wonderful Christian woman, but it quickly became apparent that our libidos were quite different. Probably over 90% of our disagreements over the past 22 years have been over the frequency of sex. Around 2000, we got Internet in our home. Due to ongoing disagreements about the frequency of sex and the removal of accessibility issues, I started watching porn. I justified it as a way to fill in the gaps. It seemed harmless since I wasn’t physically cheating on my wife.

Over the next 15 years I watched porn with varying but increasing frequency. Many times I tried to quit in my own strength, but I always failed. Increasingly divergent libidos caused me to become angry at God. Angry that He gave me a desire He would not allow me to fulfill His way. Often after rejection from my wife, I would head to watch porn saying, “God, since you can’t provide your way, I’ll take care of it.” I also suffer from frequent migraines (sometimes as much as six days a week), so I used porn to “medicate” the pain.

How I Overcame Porn

This past summer I went to summer youth camp with my children as a counselor. All the messages were on prayer, and I kept asking myself why my prayer life was so pitiful. Every time I asked myself that question, the Holy Spirit would hit me with one word “porn.” I once heard, “Prayer keeps you from sin, and sin keeps you from prayer,” and that was certainly true for me. I decided I had to do something about porn. I had at various times read material from Covenant Eyes, so I turned there and found Overcome Porn: The 40 Day Challenge.

I started the challenge with every intention of succeeding without the accountability or abstinence parts. About five days into the challenge, I became convicted that I needed to follow the advice of the challenge and find an accountability partner and try abstinence to reset my brain chemistry. I scheduled an appointment with my pastor and an elder at my church. I also confessed my sin to my wife. My pastor was wonderful. He met with me weekly during the challenge, and his support and prayers were a tremendous help. I asked the elder, who is also a friend, to be my accountability partner. His prayers sustained me through the early days of the challenge

But I am most thankful for my wife’s help, prayers and support. Her immediate and unconditional forgiveness of past sins was nothing short of a miracle from God. Her forgiveness drove me forward to succeed like almost nothing else did. I had inflicted a deep wound, yet she offered Christ-like forgiveness. There were a few days she apologized to me for anger at what I had done. I told her I’d take a few bad days after giving her 15 bad years. She was also my greatest accountability partner since she was with me at night when I often crept away to watch porn. I had permission to wake her, and several times I did just that. Or I would just hold her hand while she slept when I was tempted. That gave me strength to not leave the bed. But by far the best part was setting aside kid-free time every day to pray and talk together. The increased intimacy has been a tremendous blessing for both of us.

How My Freedom Changed My Family

I have been porn free for nearly 90 days now, and I can say the blessings have been manifold and unexpected. I am reading my Bible and praying more than I have in years. My wife and I feel closer than we’ve felt in years due to our efforts at improving intimacy. Our floundering sex life has blossomed, and my wife seems more beautiful each day.

My daughters know nothing about what I was doing or that I quit, but they must sense something is different because they have responded. My teenage daughter hadn’t sat in my lap or let me kiss her in years. Now she regularly comes and sits in my lap to chat, and she lets me kiss her sweet forehead before bed. I even get hugs which I hadn’t gotten in years.

Since I am no longer “rewarding” being awake at night, sleeping has improved. I don’t wake as much at night and am far more likely to sleep through the night. My wife says she feels like she has a new husband. According to her I’m more patient, compassionate and loving. I have also had a noticeable reduction in migraines. I had no idea porn was affecting so many areas of my life.

I highly recommend Overcome Porn: The 40 Day Challenge to anyone who wants freedom from porn. It has been a tremendous blessing to me and my family.

Friends, I am not making this testimony up! It was received months ago, and I recently traded messages with Michael only to learn that he is now one full year porn-free, and Covenant Eyes continues to be the encouragement he needs through our blog and browser.

In Overcome Porn: The 40 Day Challenge, you’ll get 40 days of:

  • Gospel-centered articles and videos to encourage you in purity.
  • Prompts to help you think through your struggles.
  • A tracker to chart your progress.

Both men and women will benefit from what the challenge has to offer. Maybe Overcome Porn: The 40 Day Challenge is exactly what you need. Don’t wait–maybe today is the day for your fresh start!

And, once you overcome porn, let us know. Because your story matters.