10 minute read

Paul vs. Porn: How the Old Apostle Delivers a Death Blow to a Modern Addiction

Last Updated: January 13, 2020

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

Why are so many today seemingly hooked on porn—I mean, other than the seductive naked people?

More than one in three (39%) Christian men and one in eight (13%) Christian women say they believe their use of porn is “excessive.” Many of these would describe their use as “addictive.” Leaving aside the medical question of what “addiction” actually is, it seems many Christians feel their use of porn is not merely sinful, but out of control.

Addiction is an ugly thing. When that familiar craving comes, it seems to wash over us like a wave of compulsion. The heart begins to race, the blood pressure rises, and the mind is consumed with one nagging thought: “Just one more time.”

And the million-dollar question every addict has is this: How do I make it stop?

The Apostle Paul answers this question in Romans 6.

Addiction as Sin-Slavery

Long before the word “addiction” was adopted by 20th century medicine, the word had a different flavor—the term was not necessarily medical. The 1884 Oxford English Dictionary said addiction was “the state or condition of being dedicated or devoted to a thing, esp. an activity or occupation; adherence or attachment, esp. of an immoderate or compulsive kind.”

For many, this is how they feel about pornography: they feel a compulsive draw to it, an attachment, a preoccupation.

Rather than use medical terms to describe our compulsions, the Apostle Paul used familiar terms of the marketplace—in particular, the institution of slavery.

Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? (Rom. 6:16)

Paul here is talking about debtor’s slavery: giving oneself into slavery to pay off a debt. What’s so startling about Paul’s analogy, however, is he only posits two potential masters: sin or obedience.

This is one of the controlling themes of Romans 6: sin as a slave master. In Paul’s mind, this is one of the essential ways to describe everyone’s sinful condition, as a kind of slavery. It is not merely the so-called sickos and the junkies who experience enslaving compulsions. It is everyone. There is an addict in us all.

The question is not whether you will belong to a master. The question is: who or what will be your master? As Bob Dylan said, “You’re going to have to serve somebody.”

How Porn Slavery Works

How does sin operate as a slave master? Paul explains in Romans 6, when our master is sin, we “obey its passions” (Rom. 6:12). The word “passions” is an interesting word in the original Greek language: ἐπιθυμία (epithumia). It means more than a desire or a drive; it means over-desire or overdrive. The word is not so much about desires for evil things as it is an inordinate desire for good things.

As Tim Keller says, this is the essence of “idolatry” in the Bible: when we turn good things into ultimate things, and in doing so they become our masters.

Everybody lives for something. Everyone has things in their lives that make them feel either significant or secure. Most of these things we desire are not evil in and of themselves, but the desires have become “ruling desires.”

For the porn addict, pornography has become the most effective delivery method of his or her idols. The addict has over-desire, and porn is the release valve to satiate that desire.

  • For some addicts, their idol is the affirmation and respect they get from beautiful people on the screen. In their fantasy world, the hot girl or hot guy never turns them down and the external beauty of that person is a trophy signifying their own sexual prowess or worth.
  • For some addicts, their idol the enjoyment of a relationship, never being alone. Porn provides a parody of this. In porn, the pseudo intimacy is on-tap and made-to-order.
  • For some addicts, their idol is comfort. Porn provides that place of refuge or escape from a life where they feel powerless or hurt.
  • For some addicts, their idol is the sense of personal autonomy. In the fantasy world of porn, the addict takes center stage, and nothing he or she wants is forbidden.

How Christ Sets Us Free from Porn

Here’s the short answer:

The reason our idols rule us is because of the power we’ve given them to define us. Our idols make us feel good about ourselves, make us feel secure, and we get hooked on the affirmation, the power, and the comfort.

We can only be set free when a new master comes into our life that gives us a profound new identity. Only the risen Christ can do this.

Remember the Meaning of the Resurrection

For Paul, the resurrection of Christ was a watershed moment in the universe.

The resurrection is more than just proof that Christianity is the true religion. For Paul, Jesus’ resurrection is a prototype of where all creation is heading. From the sin-scarred ashes of this world, some day God will resurrect a new creation. Christ is the firstfruits of those who will be raised from the dead on the Day of the Lord (1 Cor. 15:20-23). Some day, all of creation will follow and be free from corruption, decay, and death (Rom. 8:18-23).

Paul says when Christ died and rose from death, “he died to sin, once for all” (Rom. 6:10). This fact is at the heart of Paul’s argument in Romans 6, so we can’t miss it.

Jesus was born into this realm of sin and experienced all the temptations we face, all the limitations of living a body subject to weakness and death. He then experienced the ultimate price of sin by dying for our sins on the cross. He experienced all of this without succumbing to sin Himself.

But Jesus has now “died to sin” and experiences resurrection life. The devil cannot touch Him. The world cannot subject Him. His body is no longer perishable or weak. He now experiences what all Christians will someday experience: complete freedom from this sinful realm. Christ, in his humanness, is a foretaste of what all Christians will become.

Remember Your Union with Christ

Between the resurrection and return of Christ, God does not leave us hanging. We have been “united with Him” (Rom. 6:5), Paul says. The Spirit of Christ dwells in us (8:9).

Paul here is speaking to the baptized, the converted, those who have committed themselves to Christ (6:3). He says we have been “united” to Christ. The word used here is σύμφυτος (symphytos), which is a horticultural word meaning “engrafted into the root.” We are so profoundly united with Christ, all He has belongs to us.

This is union not unlike a marriage. Imagine a man who works hard throughout his life and becomes unbelievably wealthy as a result. His wealth and honor are his by virtue of what He has done. Now imagine that person getting married to a poor woman: his wife now shares all his wealth. Her new wealth is hers, not because of her labor but because of legal union. Her name has changed, her status is elevated, and her estate is unbelievably enormous—all by sheer grace. Her life is profoundly new.

So it is with us. We are united to the one who has died to sin, the one who now experiences resurrection life. The Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is in us, giving life to our mortal bodies (8:11).

Our relationship to our old master, Sin, is profoundly severed because the Spirit of the living Christ is in us.

Yes, we still live in the presence of sin, but we are not under the power of sin.

Consider Yourself Dead to Sin

“So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 6:11). Paul does not say we are dying to sin (a process). He does not say we should die to sin (a command). Because Christ’s resurrected life flows in our veins, we should consider ourselves already dead to sin. At times, you may not feel it, but it is true.

Interestingly, this is the first command in Paul’s letter to the Romans. Everything Paul has been saying about Jesus and our union with him has been leading to this application. You already know Jesus died to this sinful realm. You already know Jesus rose from the dead. You already know the Spirit of Christ has come into our lives. These are the core historical events of the gospel—Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and Pentecost. Now, Paul says, you must “consider” these things.

The word translated “consider” is an accounting term: it means to add something up. When a child adds up how much money is in her piggy bank, at the end of the counting she doesn’t have any more or less in the bank than when she began. The only thing that has changed is her knowledge about the value of what is there. This is what Paul means. You have died to sin, so now reckon it to be true; reconsider it; meditate on it; get the idea of your new identity deep into your soul.

Often, the power of porn is the looking feeling of inevitability. When we get the itch for pornographic pleasure, we might resist for a while until we finally say to ourselves, “Well, I might as well do this and get it over with. The tension will build until I can’t take it anymore. It’s going to happen sooner or later.”

But what if we could say to pornography, “No, you are not an inevitability. I am united to the living Christ. It is my destiny to be like Him.” We must consider and reconsider and reconsider again—every single day—that we are new creatures (2 Cor. 5:17).

Our new identity is as real as Christ’s risen flesh and bone.

In his pre-Christian life, St. Augustine was ensnared by sexual lust, but after he surrendered his life to God, he gave himself single-mindedly to the work of Christ’s kingdom. One day an old mistress of his approached him on the street, seductively suggesting he follow her home. Augustine was cordial but turned her down. It occurred to her, “Maybe he forgets who I am,” and she said to him, “Augustine, it is I!

“Yes, I know,” Augustine replied, “but it is not I.”

Make Each Part of Your Body a Weapon for Holiness

“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness” (Rom. 6:12-13).

The following metaphor might be helpful as we think of what Paul is saying:

Picture a large plantation owned by a cruel slave master. Day after day, generation after generation, slaves are subjected to back-breaking labor and harsh labor conditions. Eventually the slaves begin to believe, “The only way for me to be happy is to keep the slave master appeased.”

Then a new master comes into town and purchases many of the slaves for himself, only this master is kind, gentle, and fatherly. He frees them and adopts them as sons and daughters. Slowly, they begin to feel a new sense of dignity.

But the old slave master is still just right across the street and his voice still carries a great distance. He still barks commands at his old slaves. Out of habit, when the slaves hear their old master’s voice, they instinctively begin doing what he says. As if driven by autopilot, they obey the old master.

Then their new father comes along and lovingly reminds them, “Stop. Wait. Remember: this is not who you are anymore.”

This metaphor captures some of what Paul is saying in Romans 6:12-13. The old slave master Sin still wants to reign and will bark orders at you, and your body, with its ingrained sinful habits and old passions, obeys.

Paul is saying, “Snap out of it! Remember: this is not who you are anymore.” Paul tells we need to act like “those who have been brought from death to life” (v.12)—because we are!

How do we do this? We do this through the daily choice—the moment-by-moment choice—to become an instrument in God’s hands. The original word translated “instruments” is perhaps better translated “weapons.” If this doesn’t instill us with a sense of nobility, I don’t know what will. Instead of being used by our old slave master, we can be effective weapons in God’s hands to fight back the kingdom of darkness.

Paul gets extremely practical here. He says we do this by presenting our “members”—the various parts of our body—to God.

  • Rather than give our hands to pixels on the screen, we give our hands to God to do useful work (Eph. 4:28) and to lift them to God in prayer (1 Tim. 2:8).
  • Rather than give our feet to sin to walk over to our laptop for comfort, we present our feet to God to carry the good news to others (Rom. 10:15).
  • Rather than giving our eyes to one more online seduction, we open our eyes to really see the needs around us so we can give generously to others (Matt. 6:22-23).

Changed By Love

The multi-award-winning Vietnamese language film, Three Seasons, features a touching story about a poor cyclo driver named Hai and a beautiful prostitute named Lan. Hai is in love with Lan but could never afford to be with her. Night after night Lan services her customers in the fancy hotels, and every night, when her job is done, she has to leave for her home. She dreams of being wealthy, dreams of a better life, dreams of getting to spend a whole night in one of those grand hotels. Instead, she lives the squalid life of a prostitute—enslaved and abused.

One day Hai wins the grand prize in a cyclo race, and he blows all the the prize money on one night in an elegant hotel—he wants his night with Lan. Viewers of the film expect a steamy sex scene, but instead, Hai tells her he doesn’t want to have sex with her. Instead, he asks her to rest. He only wants the privilege of watching her fall asleep.

One film reviewer comments:

He has only purchased her a place as an actual guest in the normal world she dreams of joining, and he asks only permission to watch her fall asleep in it. Slowly, comfortably she falls asleep. And he’s gone by the morning, having demanded nothing from her except the chance to fulfill her desire to belong. But something snaps in her. She finds she can’t go back to her old job of prostitution. Having experienced for the first time someone who used his power to serve her, rather than use her, she gets a new sense of her own dignity. She’s not the same person. She’s changed by the transforming grace of selfless love.

This is how the gospel changes us. The more we come to understand the love our new master has for us, the more our old master looses his grip. It is by more fully grasping the immeasurable greatness of Christ’s love—seen through his death for us—that we are filled with the fullness of God (Eph. 3:18-19; 5:25). Christ now sits at the right hand of the Father (1:20), the position of greatest honor and delight. The Father bursts with joy for Christ, and yet He feels the same for us because we are seated with Him (2:6). When we stare into the face of God, we stare into the face of complete acceptance.

Porn no longer needs to enslave us because our old ruling desires no longer define us. We have been given a profoundly new identity in Christ. And like Augustine, when lust comes knocking on our door and says, “It is I!” we can reply, “I know, but it is not I.”

  • Comments on: Paul vs. Porn: How the Old Apostle Delivers a Death Blow to a Modern Addiction
      • Dale on

        This is a powerful word from Him! Thank you for sharing. I sense freedom in it!

      • Colby Bandelier on

        Great article! I struggle with porn on a weekly basis. I don’t view it very often (once every 3-4 weeks) but it leaves me feeling disgusted with myself afterwards. I am a single male and I am thinking until I get a handle over this sin issue, God might want me to remain single.

      • donovan on

        I think you mean “looming sense of inevitability” darn you autocorrect!!

      • Brain on

        So wonderful article.. Pure, Clean, Hopeful.
        Mr. Luke Gilkerson, Thank you so much

      • Luke on

        What a beautiful article. I felt tempted before reading this but now feel the grace to battle on. 78 days clean.

      • Mark on

        Thanks so much for these reminders of God’s great love. Yes, it is true that we are set free in Christ if we only “open the door” to this love as we enjoy fellowship with him. God truly delights in us and we can delight in him, not in the counterfeit pleasure of pornography.

      • Philip Skala on

        Praise God for the victory we have in Christ! May we who know Him walk in Him and His Spirit and count ourselves dead to sin but alive to be used by Him!

      • E.Tucker on

        Thank you Minister Guilkerson for not only sharing God’s wisdom but the testimonies which adds flavor for my soul
        God Bless you and family👑👑👑

    1. Scott Vogel on

      I went through the Conquer Series with a man at my church. The Conquer Series is a very helpful tool.

      Reply
      • Jim on

        Wonderful

    2. Anne Andrews on

      Hi! To the author, and also those with husbands and those struggling with a Pornography addiction. After 9 years of marriage, I found out my husband had a deep addiction to Pornography of over 15 years, which means he was well into it before we were married. Our whole marriage was based on lies. We attended endless counseling sessions, marriage counseling, inner healing seminars, etc. He was powerless to his addiction and is now in 12 month Rehab for sexual addiction. The above words may be true, however, in the face of true addiction, a live in Rehab with counselors of high level experience in sexual addiction, is the only way to go to enable a true path to recovery.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Hi Anne,

        So sorry to hear your story. I know a lot of guys like your husband: nothing seemed to work until they found a good live-in recovery program.

        Perhaps this is unintended, but it sounds as if you are saying people aren’t truly addicted to pornography unless a live-in program is their only hope. This seems like a much narrower definition of addiction than I am using, but perhaps that is your intention. Addiction is a somewhat fluid term; even medical professionals differ on how to describe or define it, so I’m not surprised we might have different definitions.

        I would only say that it is important to be aware there are a lot of guys who would describe themselves as addicted to porn who don’t ever pursue professional services. As this article says, I’m using the term in a much broader way.

    3. Real World on

      Now let me tell you how the real world works and not some BS story about a John and a prostitute. In America, the John may get set up by the police and have his life ruined no matter how good of a guy he is. The prostitute would not have been touched by his kindness because she is a woman and women are all about money. She would not be grateful. She would not have a life changing event. She will walk all over the kind guy like she has done her whole entire life because she has passed on kind guy after kind guy in her quest for riches, wealth, and comfort. She will go back to turning tricks because it is easy to screw for a couple hundred dollars an hour. Working 9-5 for minimum wage is hard.

      That is the real world. Girls pass on good guy after good guy when girls are young and have amazing looks. Then by the time they are old women and their looks have faded girls wonder why their life stinks —- well dear you passed on good guy after good guy. You only have yourself to blame. Stop blaming men. Blame yourself.

      Also, why do we put women on a pedestal? That we as men have to have the “privilege” of watching them sleep? Women cause all sorts of problems in society and most people who have been married with time come to find that they aren’t worth it. Simply aren’t worth it. This notion of marrying for life sounds great but the reality is that it isn’t that great. It is a lifetime of suffering. Enough of putting women on a pedestal. Men are told to follow the bible and all will be well. What they don’t tell you that women don’t follow a thing in the bible and your life will be a lifetime of bondage.

      But what do you expect from a book where people actually believe bushes talk. Amazing really. People won’t believe in life on other planets even though there are trillions upon trillions of planets. But somehow, human beings believe in a talking bush as if God couldn’t figure out a better way to talk to mankind. A lot of the bible is nonsense. Sorry, it is just nonsense. From surviving in a whale to a burning bush.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Sounds like you have a lot of thoughts. Let me see if I can deal with them one at a time.

        1. Are John’s set up by the police? Yes. Not sure what the relevance it to the article, but no disagreement here.

        2. Are women “all about the money“? Certainly some are. You’re sort of over-generalizing, don’t you think?

        3. Are women in prostitution ever changed by the kindness of men? Sure. I know a lot of folks who work to liberate women from sex work and are transformed by their efforts.

        4. Do all girls pass up good guys? Some do, but not all. Again, this is over-generalizing.

        5. Are women not worth marrying? I think a lot of older, happily married men would disagree with you here.

        6. Can the God who created the universe make bushes talk? Yes. It would be a bit odd if He couldn’t.

      • Tim on

        I would echo Luke’s comments about women and marriage. I’ve been married for 7 years to an incredibly supportive and loving woman that has told me time and again “even in a tent”. Meaning that even if we live in a tent (poor, homeless) we’ll be happy because we have each other.

      • Marc on

        service to anyone is not for weak. I pity those of such jaded, hateful hearts. So I will keep following Jesus no matter how much nonsense it may be. I hope your heart may someday be happy again

      • Marc on

        I had 2 women divorce me and now am married again. My first marriage lasted 14 years and agree with alot of what you said. I am 55 and have been a follower of Jesus since the age of 16. I am presently married to a wonderful women of 57 for 22yrs. We still love each very much. She adores me and treats me with much respect. I would do anything for her and she for me. I thank God with all my heart for such a wonderful relationship with her and my Lord Jesus.

      • Ryan on

        God gives us the conviction of the Spirit as the primary source of bringing about repentance and belief. But that doesn’t make it blind faith. There is enough compelling evidence through His Creation and His Word to believe. There is no evidence of life on other planets, but some believe in that simply because there are so many planets. Yet you question a Creator God for using a burning bush as a sign. The point is not just that the bush was on fire, but that the bush was not being consumed by the fire. That would be a pretty impressive display. As for the whale there are many modern stories of men surviving after being swallowed by a whale. Just google “modern Jonah.” Never the less, in Jonah’s case, this is God that we are talking about. Not really a tough thing for Him to pull off.

      • Patricia Smith on

        Oh taste and see that the Lord is good !

      • JustAGuy on

        I think you only have part of the truth. I say this not as a man married to an emotionally healthy woman with a good heart but rather as a man married to a woman with a good heart who is emotionally broken due to things she experienced as a kid. Intimate sex has always been absent from our marriage….When we did have sex, she disociated and was present emotionally or sometimes mentally. I felt like I was raping her no matter how tender or romantic or loving I was. She has her issues with anger and selfishness and anexiety too. Over time I withdrew, I became resentful, I became angry, I turned to other women to find validation, a sense of being loved, I turned away from God and didn’t attend church for over 10 years…,,,so I understand why you feel the way you do. But in recovery, I have seen men heal, husbands and wives remarried after divorce. Women who are emotionally healthy come along side broken husbands and both heal together with God’s help and blessings. I suppose I I may be here to help my wife heal her past hurts. I could feel enslaved and trapped or I could feel called to love and to serve even in my pain. I’m writing this now after recently relapsing and I hurt. I could run from God, but I am reminded of what Jesus’ disciple said when asked if he was going to leave too, the disciple replied, “where else can I go, only you have the words of life.”

    4. Justin on

      Great article! Awesome word pictures and really good responses to some of the sharp comments. Been on both sides of this issue struggling and counseling, it’s real and powerful but even more so is the God we serve.
      Thanks for the witness.

      Reply
      • Patricia Smith on

        I am a living witness of a savior, healer, and provider whose name is Jehovah.
        He does not lie, cannot lie, and is the same God who brought us out of Egypt through the sea
        and watched over us then, now and forever……..

    5. Jack on

      Outstanding article (as always). I love how you connect our new identity to resistance. (“yes – but it is not I”!!!) This is sooo true!

      Reply
      • janet on

        That was powerful to me too

    6. Nathan Edmonds on

      It is REALLY important for men who are caught up in pornography to start with an article like this. It will keep their minds and hearts on biblical truth instead of thinking that behavior modification will have lasting value. Unfortunately, being mind and heart educated will not be enough for the vast majority of guys. They will need a structured and proactive lifestyle to overcome porn. They will also need to be supported by, and in regular accountability with, men who have overcome porn themselves. Reading an article like this can, and will, inadvertently heap more shame on men that genuinely want to change, but haven’t been able to because of a huge dependency on porn they have developed. They will read this article, agree with it all 100%, then feel even more shame because they will return to porn soon after. If this is you, get out of the porn rut and start with a Pure Desire group in your area. While not a perfect program by any means, it has still changed my life. It is not a quick fix. It can take 3-5 years to overcome a deep porn dependency, but you can and will change by the grace of God.

      My point – read this article, then actually do something about, (ie: find a Pure Desire group)

      Reply
    7. Tim on

      I cannot fully express how much of a blessing this article was to me. Thank you so much!

      Reply
    8. Joe on

      This is a great article to show anyone who is struggling with addiction that wants to stop but does not know how. I am in that situation where addiction feels inevitable even though there are long stretches of time in between events. It is a hopeless feeling that brings guilt and sorrow for a few moments of false pleasure. This article is empowering to help fight addiction even though it is a daily battle. Please pass this along to anyone you know that might benefit from it. Even if you plant a small seed and you think it goes unnoticed it might be the first step to recovery.

      Reply
    9. Xavier on

      Hey, Luke, can you believe I’m just reading this article all the way through? A month ago, I glanced at it but for some reason didn’t bother to read beyond several snippets of it.

      Anyway, what an essay of superlative quality, man! Your magnum opus to date on this blog, I’m sure. I found myself in overall agreement with you, but that’s ancillary to my appreciation of the word mastery you exhibit throughout. Besides being a coherent monograph on the spiritual and mental weapons needed to vanquish the enemy (i.e. pornography), with all the writing devices you employ to support your thesis, the piece is a fun read (which always carried a premium with me, even from the postgrad crowd).

      Congratulations on doing great justice to the topic!

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        How kind, Xavier. Thanks for your encouraging words.

        Truth be told, the article did have a “magnum opus” feel to it as I wrote it, only because I was drawing from thousands of little snippets I’ve written about over the years and trying to tie everything together. I’m glad it was both clear and enjoyable. There are times I wonder whether things only make sense in my own brain. :)

    10. Matt on

      Great article. However on many of these articles I haven’t found a clear cut response to masturbation. I’ve been on an upward trajectory of overcoming pornography addiction as a 24 year old male having greatly decreased it’s frequency over the last several years and now having a consecutive 4month sobriety over it. However like many men, I still struggle with masturbation. I often wonder if I just replaced one with the other but masturbation was a part of the pornography addiction. I’ll go 2-3 days without masturbating, sometimes with ease and others with struggle to get to that point before I cave. What are your thoughts on this?

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Matt, I would say in your instance masturbation involves lusting over the pornography in your mind, so it is certainly part of your pornographic habit in some respect.

        There’s much that can be said about the habit of masturbation.

        1. First, it is important not to be taken in by the lie that not masturbating is somehow unhealthy for a man. This is a common lie men hear today.

        2. Second, it is important to get a clear idea in your mind why masturbation is wrong for you. I recommend this article to help you explore that.

        3. Third, consider the strategies you are using currently to stop the use of pornography and now apply them to masturbation as well. The battle lines you draw may need to look different, since masturbating without pornography is far easier than masturbating with it, but the same strategies can be used nonetheless.

    11. JeremiahP on

      I have often viewed myself as the harlot of Hosea, destined to ruin the life of someone dedicated to God. I am glad that I can rest in Christ, and I don’t have to dance for the dirge any more. I am something more, redeemed by my new Lord and able to happily serve Him.

      Reply
    12. Jim DeSart on

      I have found that many of the nice girls turn to the bad boys because the nice guys at church haven’t been taught to man up. The good women respond beautifully to a man who treats them in a Godly way, and actually has the guts to be proactive. I have been married to a wonderful, beautiful woman for 7 years and she has been an unqualified blessing in every way. Don’t sit there waiting on a fantasy. Become a man who God can trust with a good woman. After all, they belong to Him not us.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        I’ve noticed similar trends, Jim. It is sad when so many men refuse to be proactive when it comes to pursuing good relationships.

    13. Keith Walheim on

      This was by far one of the most helpful, convicting and encouraging articles I have read in the 40 day challenge. Thank you so much for what the Spirit is doing through your writing and praise God!

      Reply
    14. Zimasa on

      Can you help with my problem, I love to look at lesbian phonograph, and it gives me great pleasure and I will endup mastubating, and I love reading their stories of they have sex, I have been trying to quit but to no avail, I will go a month with out looking at it, then I will go back again, can you help me, I am born again.

      Reply
      • Chris McKenna on

        Hello, Zimasa, I’m sorry that no one has replied to your comment. Is there anyone you can talk to about this? Where are you obtaining access to the pornography that’s causing the problem. You are incredibly important and an amazing child of God, but your own strength may not be enough. Do you have anything on your device that can filter out the bad stuff?

        Chris

    15. Reuben on

      Thank you Luke for this amazing article. I am a 15 year old boy trying to stop my lust for porn. This is truly the most helpful article of the 40 day challenge. Reuben

      Reply
    16. Josiah on

      Still one of the best articles I’ve read to date on this topic. Truth never gets old!

      Reply
    17. Frans Indroyono on

      Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you….
      This article help me.

      Many thanks…

      Reply
    18. Thomas on

      Thank you for this interesting and hopeful article. I’ve always thought I could control this issue (pornagraphy and masterbation).
      I realize I cannot. Hopefully, by applying these truths i can begin a new direction.
      Thanks again,
      Thomas

      Reply
      • Kate on

        Thank you so much for this Article.
        Indeed, the truth will set us free.

    19. MJ on

      This may be the best devotional that I have ever read, and I have read many. God gave this to me right when I needed it most! Thank you, for including this!

      Reply
    20. Ygal Thasi on

      When sin knocks at your door saying: ” it is I”, say “I know, but it is not I”

      This St. Augustine’s quote is still giving me thrills.

      Reply
    21. Quincy Alvarez on

      My name is Quincy and I have been set free from pornography addiction for over a year. I have seen how this terrible enterprise harms more than just the people doing the act, there are things connected to the pornography industry as stated in the 40 day challenge on YouVersion Bible app. Seeing something that was terrible through pornography was the reason I am not going to watch it ever again, in Jesus Name. And yes Jesus is the fulfillment and pleasure that He created us for, to be in true intimacy with Him. The same Holy Spirit that rose Jesus from the dead can rescue anyone from pornography and break the chains. I wanted to share this message for encouragement for anyone who reads this. You are free in Jesus Name!

      Reply

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