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Overcoming Pornography: Recovery or Redemption?

Last Updated: April 20, 2015

Guest Author

Want to write for the Covenant Eyes blog? Share the story of your journey to freedom from pornography. Let us know how you overcame porn or how Covenant Eyes has made a difference in your life or the lives of those you love.

Jim loves God. He appears to love his wife and kids very much; he’s a leader in the church. He looks a lot like you and me.

Jim, however, has a secret. He’s been living a double life for some time. At first it bothered him a lot, but not so much anymore—he has developed a calloused heart. His conscience is seared from neglect.

That could explain why he is so indifferent to a sin that is eroding the very foundation of who he is and what he says he values most. It would not be near as hard to understand if he was faithless, foolish, or openly rebellious. While people tell him he’s a “good man” all the time, Jim knows he is living in a house of cards. He has been keeping up the façade for so long that even he’s been able to compartmentalize his sin. That’s why Jim did not confess, but had to get caught.

The World’s Perspective: Recovery

The world would say Jim is a sex addict. He is driven by a desire that he cannot control. He can’t help himself, at least not without sex addiction counseling. Even then he will always be an “addict in recovery” at best.

There are no shortage of theories about the physiology, emotional dysfunction, and addictive cycle of a person struggling with pornography. We can learn from this for sure, but the issue goes deeper. Jim is in trouble.

He is “addicted,” but, unless we look past the symptoms and cycles of behavior, we too will be tempted to think there is little hope for real freedom. The revolving door of recovery dooms him to a more damaging cycle of conforming, performing, falling, shame, more sin, more therapy, more performing…where is the hope in that?

Read the rest of this article on BiblicalCounselingCoalition.org…

  • Comments on: Overcoming Pornography: Recovery or Redemption?
    1. Dennis Bailey on

      pray for me i feel like have forgotten about god,just feel empty

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        I know that feeling, Dennis. It is an awful place to be. Do you have anyone in your life you can talk to about this?

      • Brian on

        Dennis, I don’t know you at all but I can relate to what you are going through. I’ve sinned horribly against the Lord in so much sexual immorality and I used it as a means of my hurt, pain, and loneliness and instead of going to God about it and pouring out my heart to Him about it I decided to take matters in my own hands and try to relieve the pain but all it did was bring more pain and on top of that guilt, shame, regret, and emptiness. Pornography and other sexual immoralities leaves you empty. It left me empty and since I done it habitually it left me depressed for a long, long time and I felt the emptiness in my soul. The only way our hearts and our will can change is to go to God and ask Him to show us the cross of Jesus Christ, asking Him to cleanse us from our sins and to give us a fresh glimpse of the cross.

      • Rob on

        Sounds like you are still in the fight. You may have been knocked down but you still have fight in you brother! The very mention of God in your comment suggests you know the true source of life.

        I’m telling you…God used your brief comment to inject my soul with a dose of encouragement & hope: not only for you but for myself. I happened along on this blog bcuz I have been pressed against a wall feeling hopeless against this struggle. My faith and hope for you reached around and grabbed me, too. I will be praying for you by name. Plz pray for me, too! Peace!!

    2. michelle on

      It seems nobody ever talks about women who go through this, it is always the mans story. Well I do need help I am a woman who also has problems in this area. I am tired of being this way I pray and say no more I am not going to do this anymore(Pleasing self in what ever way works for that moment) for me it is not the sex act it is that other female organ down there that just wont stop wanting more, it physically hurts to not mb sometimes, but I dont like what comes along with that. This has been going on since I was four years old I am now 52, I have had enough I need help. just on facebook to look up old friend looked her first name and boom naked girls and guys so yes I kept looking and took care of myself in the process.HELP!!!!!

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Hi Michelle,

        We have a whole section of our website dedicated to women who struggle with this. You can click here to get a list of some of our best resources, or you can browse information in our “Women and Porn Addiction” category. You might also really benefit becoming a part of the DGM online community.

    3. J.W on

      Please pray for me ,i have fallen back down into self gratification with porn I can’t seem to brake the hold it has on me ,I am able to for a while but then i have another relaspe,later on down the road.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        J.W., relapses are very common for people trying to break away from pornography. I recommend you find ways to break your access to porn. That might mean eliminating access to the computer or certain places. That might mean finding some really strict accountability. While this is not a long term solution, it is helpful to get a forcible distance from porn in order to clear your head, begin using your time more effectively, and giving you room to mediate on why the draw of porn is so strong.

    4. Mike on

      Please Pray for me, I that I watch porn, I’m been dealing with this sin for over 12 years and fighting it for about four, I’m seen amazing progress but lately this year I m been struggling more, I have confessed to some Christian brothers before, but I need real accountability, I don’t have any brothers who will fight with me, dont have friends. I have covenant eyes, but no accountability partner I trust, I have attended a big church for four years but never really have I connected to people, I want to live in true holiness for God and honor women in heart, I want to get married one day. I feel like this sin is getting deeping, I have read wired for intimacy, and everymans battle and porn free church. I read the word and confess the word, but I feel even worst the I realize how dangereous this is. I just turned 26, I been delivered from drugs and alcohol and bipolar disorder meds. Lately been feeling depressed in irrated, Even when I stop looking at porn, I still feel trapped by guilt and condemnation with makes it have to build new relationships. It’s really starting to affect my emotions. I don’t know what else to do, I believe I can be free, I will never quit fighting, but I need help, I feel like I’m on a island. I need brothers and sister to walk with me, I do this on my own.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Hi Mike. Wow, I can really identify with where you are right now. When I was 26, I was in a very similar place.

        It is hard when we can’t seem to find 2 Timothy 2:22 in our lives: “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” This verse is telling us to RUN, but more specifically to “run from” something, “run to” something, and “run with” others. Often we know what we’re running from and running to, but we have no one to run with.

        My recommendation is to not remain passive in this pursuit of airtight accountability. If you can’t find it among your peers, look to the elders of your church for help. Don’t let the apparent apathy around you get you down. Tell the elders of your church you need to have a gathering of men in your church that will help one another to fight this sin head-on. You are not the only person in your church struggling as badly as you are. You are not alone. Others need exactly the same thing you need. Let your desperate need be known and be patient for God to work through your church to raise up an army of men who will fight sin alongside you.

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