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Porn Addiction Help

Last Updated: February 21, 2014

Luke Gilkerson

Luke Gilkerson has a BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies and an MA in Religion. He is the author of Coming Clean: Overcoming Lust Through Biblical Accountability and The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality. Luke and his wife Trisha blog at IntoxicatedOnLife.com

Freedom from the Power of Lust

“Sex has become the religion of the most civilized portions of the earth. The orgasm has replaced the Cross as the focus of longing and the image of fulfillment.” – Malcolm Muggeridge (British journalist)

Matthew is 23 years old, single, just graduated from college, a committed Christian—and feels helplessly out of control when it comes to pornography. He first saw porn when he was 11 years old—fairly average for a man of his generation—thanks to his dad’s computer and dial-up modem. Matthew can remember those first images like it was yesterday. In the beginning he was driven by an adolescent curiosity to the mysterious world of naked women. But it didn’t take long for masturbation and pornography to become inseparable in Matthew’s experience.

Matthew cannot remember the last time he went more than 3 or 4 days without masturbating, and since the beginning of college, he cannot remember a week going by without looking at some kind of pornography, even if only for a little bit.

If the stats are accurate, about half of Christian men his age have a very similar story.

Ask Matthew if he has ever tried to stop, and he’ll tell you, “Many times.” He might be able to ward off temptation for a few days (maybe longer if he keeps himself busy), but each time he can feel the familiar temptation sweep over him like a thick fog entering his mind, clouding his every thought. Like a bloodhound, the temptation of pornography barks and scratches at the door of his mind until it has driven him mad by the sound of it. Like a siren song, it feels as if his heart is irresistibly drawn to lust. He says he hates his sin, but the thought of resisting doesn’t even make sense to him anymore. In a word, he feels hopeless. He has all but given up the fight.

The Better Question

The details are different for each of us, but the core story is the same. Some of us are married, some single, some engaged—but for the porn addict, it doesn’t take long before this private fixation starts impacting our real world relationships. For some their pornography addiction has led them down a very dark path of other sexual misconduct. For others, their addiction has caused their hearts to turn inward, prompting a long season of soul-searching, self-help books, and every white-knuckle tactic they can think of. But for everyone the question is the same: How can I stop?

This is a good question, but it’s not the best question. It is easy when a particular sin takes over our lives to get tunnel vision: stopping that sin becomes an all-important goal to us. But “How can I stop?” is only a behavioral question. The Bible tells us that sin is not primarily a behavioral issue—though it includes our behavior. Sin is primarily a heart problem. “Heart” is the most comprehensive biblical term for what establishes our behavior, thoughts, desires, and life direction (Proverbs 4:23; Mark 7:21-23; Hebrews 4:12).

A better question might be: How can my heart change? What can be done to transform my internal motivations? At the center of this question is not just a desire to stop a certain habit, but the recognition that our hearts were created for something so much greater than the filth of pornography. We don’t just want to cease being porn addicts. We want our hearts to come alive with a greater affection.

Read the rest of my article on ShelleyLubben.com…

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