Choosing to be set free
Understanding the source and meaning of attraction alone will not free us from pornography. To be free from pornography we must come to the conclusion that it is not good for us. Do you truly believe that the pornography in your life leads to an emotional, relational and spiritual death? Apart from all other people and their expectations of you, do you choose to be free from pornography for no one but yourself? In other words, if there were no one around you who cared whether you participated in pornography, would you choose to refrain from it because it is blocking a fulfilling life for you? Most men of whom I asked this question honestly answered by saying, “no.”
This is a test of the human will to determine if we are really willing to give up pornography for a more healthy means of meeting our emotional needs. If you answered “no,” it is not the end of the journey, but rather the beginning of an opportunity. The opportunity is to choose ‘yes.’ You do have a choice to take control of your life. You are in control of your choice to seek out pornography. No person has ever been free from pornography who did not choose it for himself. Conversely, many men who have returned to pornography are attempting to change for the purpose of finally becoming accepted by someone, or to get someone off their back.
If you answered “no,” then I encourage you to seek the Lord and ask him to change your willingness to pursue meeting your needs in a healthy way and resisting pornography. One man made this choice and his action included discontinuing his Internet service in his home. Another man chose to only use his computer in a public space of the home so that he was never in secret. A man who truly wants to be free from pornography is a resolved man, to do whatever is necessary to distance himself from exposure to pornography.
A man who has not chosen to divorce himself from pornography says the use of such determined actions are too extreme. He rationalizes his need for his computer use without restraint and believes that he can control himself. He can control himself, until his urge becomes strong, and then he lapses into an addictive trance and needs emotional comfort. He argues that he can be free from pornography and yet continue to use his computer to access pornography.
The human will is like an emotional gate within us. If we consciously choose to avoid pornography at all costs then the emotional gate is closed tightly. That doesn’t mean that we will never have setbacks. If we keep pornography as a secret and do not take deliberate steps to block ourselves from it then the emotional door is still open and we will continue to access pornography. Most men who continually complete the cycle of the pornography and masturbation experience regret this phase of the addiction cycle in which vow to never use pornography again. This is different than an act of the human will.
The act of the human will to avoid pornography takes place during the moments when we reflect and think about our life and what we truly choose: a life of liberation, or of captivity. The man who willfully chooses to avoid pornography realizes in his spirit that the only way to a fulfilling life is to rid himself of pornography. He is willing to submit to being accountable by using Covenant Eyes and other tools that inhibit his path to pornography. He releases control of access to pornography because he admits he cannot control himself when he is most vulnerable.
The journey to recovery from same sex pornography requires uprooting the source of temptation. The source is the pain, disappointment, rejection and father-wound that has been covered up for years. When we go beyond the surface behavior and uncover the roots of pain, we can overturn the years of coping with negative emotions for which pornography was used to sooth. We begin by turning our will to choose change. We look beyond our circumstances and begin to believe that even though we think our condition is incurable, there is a cure, there is a way. As long as there is a savior Jesus Christ, there is a way to be healed from pornography.
Never give up!
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