About the author, Joel Hesch

Joel Hesch is an author and founder of Proven Men Ministries, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring families and helping men break free from porn and sex addiction through a 12-week daily workbook study and accountability. After breaking free from his own 20-year addiction, Joel created “the proven path for sexual integrity.” His vision is to help 1 million people experience victory from strongholds of porn and sex addition.

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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.

9 thoughts on “The Two Most Important Questions to Ask If You Have a Setback

  1. Wow, nice article. I can relate in how I can have an unbelievable high mountain top moment then trip on a rock and it seems I fell 10,000 feet and look at that as another looong horrible climb back up.

    I have decided, no smartphones for me. I get scared to even think of owning one. It’s like I hear that small evil voice saying “get it and you’re mine.” Maybe it’s the Holy Spirit warning me in a more gentle way, but the first is what I tend to hear in my spirit. Maybe that is the problem…the spirit of “fear” I tend to listen too that then leads to anxiety that leads to the reaching out (?) All I know is that the technology we have today makes it soooo easy for anyone to fulfill the lust of the flesh and I know the bible says “not” to make provision for it, so I’m just gonna stay away from those areas I feel I would probably struggle and give in.

    What a battle we have before us, we live in such a sex crazed world which makes this such a hard thing to overcome. I have heard of the brain being able to be rewired and this is encouraging. Today I am 77 days clean. I can feel the tug to lust getting lighter at times when in the past I would have given in with just a light thought. Though, as with another writer mentioning those times of the year when the temptation seems stronger. I think of just how more I will struggle in the summer season. Not all, but a portion of women will leave not too much to the imagination. I thank God that I have a wife that understands this and also understands how visual men are. I say this because I am more opt to share with her how this impacts my struggles and thus “releases” the anxiety that pushes me to reach out to porn. It does not bottle up and lie in wait until that moment I am alone at the house and feel it surface along with the possibility of being bored (two dangers with me). With my wife not being so touchy about me sharing how the half naked woman walking in the store makes me uncomfortable she is actually helping me turn away because the anxiety was released through communication rather than through bottling-up that thought and stewing on it (in fear of her finding out I noticed) until I fulfill that lust with images on a screen.

    It’s a battle I know I’ll take to the grave, but just like other sins that will be taken to the grave also, Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe. Sin have left a crimson stain, he washed it white as snow.

    Thanks CE and keep up that great work with the Dirty Dozen List….awesome research!!

    • Hello, Anonymous, thank you for your honesty and your story. It sounds as though God is turing your misery into possible ministry. I love it when He does that.

      Peace, Chris

  2. Hopefully a husband would confess this sin as adultery and not just “I looked at porn”. Matt. 5:28.
    Perhaps if it is viewed and remembered in this light, a spouse would think before cheating.
    God has a lot to say about all habitual sin.
    No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.
    1 John 3:6 NIV
    Things can always be forgiven, we are commanded to forgive and not be bitter.
    However, there is a big difference between forgiveness and reconciliation.
    This behavior is no light thing to the spouse.

  3. I like and agree with the general content of this information. However:

    “First, the Lord reminded me that I cannot rescue anyone and that my materials only work when they point others to Christ and healthy accountability.

    Second, the Lord whispered that I needed to start asking men who had a setback two questions. Okay, I did not hear an audible voice from God, but it was as clear of a message from God as I have ever heard, and it caught my attention.”

    is a bit disingenuous. I appreciate his saying it was not an audible voice, but if he is attributing something to God, I would like a bit more clarity and/or transparency on this. I’m a bit weary of the “God told me this” backstop many Christian writers use to try to lend authority to their words.

    • Thanks for this! Yes, “God told me” is a power play. If our words and ideas have merit, they can stand on their own.

  4. Hi Joel,

    Thanks for the article. It is liberating in many ways. Up until now, I have always felt guilty when I looked at porn. This made it almost impossible to come to God because I always felt dirty and undeserving of God’s love; almost impossible for God to love such a habitual sinner like me. Psalm 51 and Romans 7 have been my anchor in this battle and as you rightly pointed out, victory is certainly ours. But this can only be possible when we begin to acknowledge that in our own, we have nothing good in us and that it is only through his love and unmerited favour (Grace) that we stand a chance. Thanks again. Emmanuel, UK

  5. I read this article because my husband has used porn in the past. But by the end, I found myself much encouraged and given new weapons to fight my own sins. My compulsive sins include deadening myself to pain in relationships, burying myself in inane web surfing, shutting others out, avoiding giving love to my children, doubting God’s love, and bitterness. As I am struggling to turn away from these sins, I am discouraged when I get to the end of the day and find I spent 4 hours on various meanders through Wikipedia, but couldn’t find time to read my Bible or read a book to my daughters. These 2 questions are applicable to shining the Light of God’s Truth into my own deceitful heart and finding a constructive way forward, rather than piling contempt on myself for my failures and wallowing in more failure the next day. Thank you.
    by the Grace of God,

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