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Discovering Practices for a Porn-Free Life: Biz Gainey’s Story

Last Updated: June 7, 2021

Victory Stories

Every day at Covenant Eyes we hear inspiring stories of victory over porn. Here are just a few of them.

BizBiz Gainey has been married to Melissa for twenty years, with three children. He serves as a pastor of a local congregation committed to soul keeping and spiritual formation for the sake of others. He uses accountability software on every electronic device he owns and meets with a group of men who long for freedom and flourishing in all areas of life. He blogs about desire, sacred rhythms, porn addiction, and poetry on disruptusrenovatus.com and theshapeofdesire.blogspot.com.


Three decades ago, pornography captured my heart. I was twelve.

In those days (the early eighties), a kid had to go to extraordinary measures to obtain and consume porn. Once I consumed, I was hooked. I would remain hooked—addicted—to porn for the next 14 years.

By the time I faced my addiction, I was 28 years old, married, in ministry, and expecting my first child. Everything was beautiful. Except for the reality that porn had captured my heart.

Though it took a while for my wife to catch me, eventually she did. She walked in on me viewing porn through the local cable programming (yeah, the dark ages). Consumed, I failed to hear her footsteps as she entered the room. Though I tried to switch the channel, it was too late, she had seen enough.

She was heartbroken and humiliated. For the first time, I began to see clearly the power of my addiction!

I remember the moment as if it were yesterday. Caught in a self-inflicted porn consumption prison, I heard her voice say, “Everything about you is beautiful. And then there is this filth.”

I reached for her. She cringed. I tried to speak; to tell her how sorry I was. She glared. At that moment, my very presence was revolting; my touch was nauseating.

It was the absolute low point of my marriage. Looking back on that moment now, over twenty years later, I see that it was also the beginning of a new path.

Yes. Out of the ashes, beauty has formed.

Perhaps you have been there yourself. That moment when you thought you had lost it all, and you—and you alone—were to blame. Even as you read this, you feel trapped; trapped by not just one, but more than one such moment in your life—as have I.

Take heart.

As one trapped—for nearly two decades—in a relentless cycle of porn addiction, I want you to know that you can be free. Your life, marriage, home, work, family, etc. can flourish. Porn addiction doesn’t have to be the last word or the defining reality of your life!

I am now 46 years old. My wife and I are flourishing. We have three wonderful children, ages 17, 15 and 13. I experience freedom from my addiction on a daily basis. I have for some time! It is possible for you too!

I would like to share (as a fellow struggler—not an elitist victor) two practices that promote my freedom.

  1. The Practice of Confession. By confession I mean completely owning my junk—without qualification. This one is tough. True confession demands a willingness to surrender my right to justify my behavior and trust in the freedom that confession brings. Of course, confessing before God is crucial. I learned, however, that confessing to my wife and family is just as important. This step is as crucial as it is frightening. I urge you: come out of the shadows and confess today—to someone, somewhere! Personally, I began confessing to another male whom I trusted. Over time, I began confessing to my wife. Though painful, it has birthed wonderful freedom and meaningful intimacy. Even now, I participate in a weekly online group that encourages the practice of confession.
  2. The Practice of Community. Porn is a highly individualistic and non-communal practice (yes, it is a practice). As such, porn seduces me into isolating myself from and trampling on community. The practice of community means that I try to live a vulnerable and authentic life in the presence of those whom God has given me. This commitment creates space for and shapes my soul and desires in healthy and life-giving ways.

I am not perfect.

I still struggle.

There continue to be—to this very day—forces at work inside of me that I don’t fully understand. I find that, when those forces fire, I revert to practicing the rhythms of dysfunction rather than freedom. In those moments, I run back to the basics—the practice of confession and community. Essentially, the practice of freedom.

I like the guy I become when I practice confession and community.

He’s free and, as it turns out, others like him too!

  • Comments on: Discovering Practices for a Porn-Free Life: Biz Gainey’s Story
    1. anon on

      Our story is very similar to yours only my husband has not confessed to our children (now ages 13 & 15). At the time of my discovery they were 11 & 13 and I lied about my crying saying it was just hormones. He too is doing well thanks to CE (all 4 of us have it) and an accountability partner (it took some convincing to agree to the accountability partner but he finally agreed). His accountability partner’s wife is my only support and she believes that her kids and my kids never need to know. I figured if anyone was going to tell the kids it would be my husband when he was ready. I don’t feel good about lying to the kids about my emotional state over the past 2 years but he has turned away from porn and I don’t want the kids to lose respect for their Dad. I have read one other article from CE called “What Should I Tell My Kids About My Husband’s Porn Problem?” and it says “Teens need the straight up truth.” If so, how do I convince my husband? If I tell them without his approval I fear it will set us back. How important is it for them to know?

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        I think it’s essential for them to know. There are several reasons I think this.

        First, an overall healthy-family reason. Children may not know the facts of what’s going on at home, but they know the emotions. And when they know the emotions but not the facts, they will make up a story to explain the emotions, and almost inevitably that story is self-blaming. When there’s stuff going on, it’s better for them to know the truth than to make up a story.

        Second, your kids are going to deal with porn, one way or another. Either they will struggle with it themselves to one degree or another, or they will date and marry people who have struggled with it. When those struggles come, they can either remain silent about it like you guys are so far, OR they can know exactly who to turn to: their parents, who have walked this road before them.

        Third, this idea that the only way your kids can respect you is if you’re perfect is just dumb. Yes, it will be hard for them to hear and they may struggle with anger, hurt, and fear as they grapple with this information about their dad. But they’ll work through it. And when you’ve been really honest and vulnerable with your teenagers about something so painful and difficult, it builds an epic foundation of trust for their future relationship together with you both.

        I say all these things to you now because when my husband was in recovery, he wanted to tell our kids and I thought it was the most idiotic, insane thing anybody ever wanted to do. But he did it, and it was terrible for a while, and now there’s a harvest of peace and trust between us and our kids that nothing can destroy. And, they know they can tell us ANYTHING, and they do. One of my friends said, “How do you get your kids to tell you this stuff?” We don’t do anything, other than go first, and then they know they can be honest and survive it, too.

        I wouldn’t trade that away for any kind of so-called “respect” based on secrets and lies.

    2. Real Problem on

      I honestly don’t understand America and its prudish nature. Know what a real problem is? Starvation. Disease. Cancer. Poverty. Being in prison. Joblessness. These are real problems with real suffering. Looking at porn is so far down the list I can’t fathom all these guilt ridden articles. In your article, you mentioned “forces at work inside of me that I don’t fully understand”, well those forces are very easy to understand — it is called biology. Men are hardwired for sex. Denying this fact doesn’t make it any less so. Here is a very good article on this: http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/03/23/brizendine.male.brain/ . There are tons of others if you take the time to look.

      Here is a quote from that article for those who don’t want to read it … “Perhaps the biggest difference between the male and female brain is that men have a sexual pursuit area that is 2.5 times larger than the one in the female brain. Not only that, but beginning in their teens, they produce 20 to 25-fold more testosterone than they did during pre-adolescence. If testosterone were beer, a 9-year-old boy would be getting the equivalent of a cup a day. But a 15-year-old would be getting the equivalent of nearly two gallons a day. This fuels their sexual engines and makes it impossible for them to stop thinking about female body parts and sex.”

      I get it that Christians are unrealistic and guilt ridden and cling to some Puritanical notion that never really exists in real life. I understand. But you are fighting biology. A biology that God created. So less guilt is needed and more understanding and more perspective. Porn is not that big of a deal. Period. Why Christians want to fight a biology God gave them is beyond me. It is ludicrous and foolish.

      So there is your answer to what is inside you that you can’t quite understand.

      Reply
      • Alex on

        Your point? You have stated a biological fact. Biology doesn’t tell us what is right or wrong. I’d encourage you to enlighten yourself with information regarding the detrimental effects pornography has on the prefrontal cortex of the human brain.

        Your silly notion that a larger sexual pursuit area in males is an excuse to act like an animal is astounding to me. Men have a larger stomach than women do, it doesn’t give men the excuse to be gluttonous, does it? Get real.

    3. Ron Bartolo on

      I appreciated the honesty of how the author shared the hurt his wife felt the first time that he was discovered. My porn addiction has left deep scars on my marriage and family, and it is the easiest thing to try to minimize the devastating effect that this has upon a woman’s sense of being loved, security and being wanted and valued by her husband.
      There is so much self-delusion with this sin! Only Christ can set someone free! Amen.

      Reply
    4. Bill Goldman on

      One contributor above seems to have no difficulty accepting that God made us with impossibly conflicting desires: viz. that sex exists for our benefit as human beings, but also it exists so that men (?) can go off and privately pleasure themselves with film of women instead of following the example of any of the great couples depicted in the Word of God, starting with Adam and his newly created wife. Is God a creator of contradictions? I think not.

      Reply
    5. John on

      Honestly i think you make the issue too dramatic. Yes porn is one of the snares of the wicked one in this times which is no good but you are far too critical to your men almost make them look like criminals. Porn is a bad habit like smoking, its worsen your quality of life, its detrimental and for the person is best to quit but it takes will and time. Dont expect people to be perfect in this world of moral degradation, encourage them to strive for perfection. Be a good parther a good and supportive wife.

      Reply
    6. Dan on

      These two practices have become so Holy Spirit inducing my life very deeply recently. Like the author, I began wrapped up in porn at a very early age. I was a church-going young man and very active there. In my early twenties I entered the ministry. I submitted to the Lord so much of my life; sold my home, most of our possessions, and followed God to seminary not knowing what He had in store. I had even given up old habits, such as swearing and smokeless tobacco. But there was one door in my life that I had not let God enter, that was porn. As a minister, there were Saturday nights that I would work on my message for the next morning only to try and hurry through so that I could get my porn fix. My ministry must have been such a mess and weak for the Lord. Eventually I went through a period of depression and we left the ministry. Now almost twenty years later I have still had that door in my life. I have opened it at times to God, only to later change the locks and keep Him out. Porn is such an isolation situation. A few years ago after changing churches, I let one of the men I met there into my struggle. He has been a great support in the pursuit of my victory, but he is only one person with limited time. There have been many times that I have been ashamed to contact him when I am struggling because “I don’t want to fail him” or “I can handle this myself.” Other times I just wanted to dwell in my porn addiction. Last week I went to a couple of the elders in my church and shared my struggle (which they already knew) and called on them to help me as well. Today I have an accountability team to surround me with strength and support to pursue the victory. Messages recently in our church have been on the matter of “family,” being a part of the family of God in the local church. I have been called to community through the Spirit and I know that these two steps are going to be important in the victory that I know God has for my life!

      Reply

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