Your chances of overcoming your struggle with pornography without a good accountability plan will look a lot like Custer’s Last Stand in the end. It will be deadly and messy, with casualties everywhere.
Yes, a well structured accountability plan is that important in recovery from the grips of pornography. In fact, it is a must. If you think you can handle it on your own, you’re not only in for a nearly impossible fight, you’re fooling yourself.
I know firsthand how true this is. In the first few years of my own battle, all I had was one accountability partner, and I mishandled that also.
I’m going to provide you with what my experience and the wisdom of others indicate are must-have guard rails in your accountability arsenal. I’ve listed the top four here.
There may be other “must-haves” that are situationally dependent. If you have a situation that is not addressed by this list, please contact the staff at Covenant Eyes or feel free to reach out to me.
Must-Have Guard Rails
- Accountability software (Covenant Eyes) on every computer, smart phone, tablet, Kindle, etc; you own and use – Select an accountability partner who will hold your feet to the fire. I strongly advise against asking your wife or girlfriend to be your partner.
- An accountability partner that you can call 24 hours a day and meet with at least once a week – This person must be willing to be in it with you for the long haul. And willing to tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).
- Seek counseling from a Certified Biblical Counselor – This person will guide you along the path to recovery using the Bible as the primary source of counsel and wisdom in your recovery. I skipped this process and paid an unpleasant price for it.
- Be painfully open with your spouse during the recovery process – If and when you fall, and we are quite likely to, do not hide it from her. Don’t share every sordid detail, but if you have any hope of rebuilding her trust, this is a must.
There are other more radical steps that you may have to take if these are not sufficient to give you more frequent and ongoing victory in the battle.
Everything from moving all computers into open spaces of the home, to getting rid of the Internet and cable television altogether, are all on that list of radical measures.
One of the greatest fears in recovery is the shame we feel. We can feel like we are completely alone. Fear of others judging us and outright condemning attitudes. Every one of those real emotions is a lie straight from Satan’s mouth to your mind.
A true brother in Christ is “born for adversity” (Proverbs 17:17) and will come alongside you in love, honesty and truth. He will hold you accountable even when it hurts because he cares and loves you as a brother in the Lord and battle.
This pornography battle is really a sin battle. It’s that simple, but certainly not easy. Luke Gilkerson’s post “The Pillars of Biblical Accountability” is replete with wise insight on this topic.
Truth in Love
A truly biblical accountability relationship is built on mutual trust, respect, and transparency, with Christ-centered love at its core.
Truth spoken in love can still be painful to hear, yet it is incredibly important in this relationship.
Lastly, but really first, bathe this process in prayer. Only God can do the work of God and true healing and freedom come from Him. Pray, obey, and let God do what he does best. Redeem your brokenness.
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