2 minute read

I’ll Stop Watching Porn When…

Last Updated: July 29, 2021

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.

All through middle school, I thought, I’ll stop watching porn when I get in high school. I was convinced that older guys didn’t need to watch it.

When I made it to high school, my plan became to no longer watch pornography once I found a serious girlfriend. In reality, I dated the same girl all through high school and that’s when porn became solidified as my escape. I went to porn when I was lonesome or frustrated with her. Even though I was a star student and a role model in my youth group, this secret addiction was my constant companion.

I’ll never forget the day I was having a candid conversation with a guy who had been married fifteen years. I was in college at the time and married life seemed like an eternity away. Jokingly, I mused, “That’s when I’ll stop watching porn.”

What this husband told me, eternally ruined my young perspective and idyllic dream of marriage, “We have sex two or three times a month. A good month is four times and that’s rare.”

Stop the presses. Hold the phone. Turn down the music. What? Two or three times a month? Marriage suddenly sounded like a death sentence, rather than a free pass to frequent sex.

What about you? How many times did you falsely perceive freedom to be just around the next bend? How often did you think that’s when I’ll stop? Marriage didn’t fix it for me. Ministry didn’t fix it for me. Surely having children would help me stop. Right?

Nearly ten years of ministry and four years of parenthood and I was still hooked on it for the same reasons as that young high school kid: an escape from loneliness and frustration. I only watch it two or three times a month, I’d think.

Where do we draw the line? When is enough?

I couldn’t change for external reasons. The demands of a professional career and family life didn’t end my addiction. Honestly, because of the smartphone, those things just pushed me further into my secret life. Church couldn’t fix me. My wife couldn’t do it for me. My kids weren’t even enough to make me stop. I finally grew tired of covering my tracks and constantly looking over my shoulder.

It wasn’t until I decided for myself, and my own integrity, that I wanted to be a new man, a better man, a whole man, that I began to find true freedom.

Today, I am able to speak more openly about my recovery. Tearing off the mask of religion and self-preservation, I am becoming a new man. This step in my relationship with Jesus includes practical boundaries like Internet Accountability software on each of my wireless devices and attending weekly recovery meetings. I have begun walking the path toward deeper integrity. And that path is paved, brick by brick, with vulnerability.


Steve Austin Profile PictureSteve Austin is a blogger, family man and mental health advocate, capturing the story of his life and others in a way that points to God’s purpose and the power of second chances. View his website at iamsteveaustin.com and connect with him on Facebook and Instagram.

  • Comments on: I’ll Stop Watching Porn When…
    1. joseph on

      I really like Covenant Eyes, it extract the hidden hazardous personal internal problem. Now I hate pornography with strong reasons and rationale attitudes! I’m starting feeling the freedom I lost for almost 15 years! God bless you Covenant Eyes

      Reply
      • Steve Austin on

        Amen! Good for you!

    2. Greg on

      “Stop the presses. Hold the phone. Turn down the music. What? Two or three times a month? Marriage suddenly sounded like a death sentence, rather than a free pass to frequent sex.”

      The reality of sexual intimacy in marriage behind closed doors can be pretty frightening; few people like to talk about that, because it’s all supposed to be “rewards from the Lord” for waiting until marriage. Not that such problems/issues always happen, but their frequency is far more common that we want to acknowledge.

      Julie Sibert of intimacyinmarriage.com (and many others like her) are all too familiar with the accounts of marriages that are devastated or hurting badly not just from pornography or sex before marriage, but refusing spouses, etc. It’s a wake-up call for the church in general to take sex and intimacy seriously, and to begin that dialog from our pulpits; not just relegate it to books and blogs.

      Reply
      • Steve Austin on

        I’ll check out the link to the blog you listed. Our local church had a series called “Sex: God’s Gift” recently. It lasted 4 weeks and our pastor handled it with such grace and transparency. We laughed and cried and prayed about this topic as couples and as a church and I think people found some true freedom. You are right–we MUST talk about it. Thanks for commenting.

      • Greg on

        Kudos to your pastor and church leadership! I wish more churches would do just what yours did–and on a more frequent basis (IMO at least twice a year, because it matters)–it’s one of the biggest sin and struggle issues in the church, yet most churches treat it like it’s sin to talk about it.

        Young people especially need to hear about sex–not _details about sex_ (most already know far more than even some adults do) but _biblical truth_ about what sexual intimacy is, and isn’t, and how to cope with a sex drive in a sexually saturated world; whether single or married.

      • ILfarmgirl1970 on

        For the first 17 years of my marriage we may have had sex thirty times. My husband was a work-a-holic, struggled with porn after the ease of the internet, and we both had never been with anyone else.
        Long and very painful story made short, my husband is now completely free of desire for porn, through non-porn educational materials our sex life is very good and frequent, and we are finally enjoying life and each other. This year is our 25th anniversary. I will say none of it would have been possible without repentance, real love, humility, perseverance, as we submitted ourselves to God and each other.

    3. Kerri Stites on

      Praise God for your freedom! I’m so proud of you and excited for your wife and marriage and family! My husband also talks about how God freed him from the trap and hell that pornography is and we still weekly (maybe daily) fight off the residual affects of the years of pornography. Thank you for speaking and God bless your vulnerability so that others find freedom, too.

      Reply
      • Kerri Stites on

        effects? affects? anyway you know what I’m saying. :)

      • Steve Austin on

        Thanks so much for your comment and the encouragement! Recovery is a wonderful thing, especially with a supportive spouse. Bless you!

      • Isah on

        Thank u for dis lovely piece

    4. Steve on

      Thanks Steve, good stuff. Me too. For me a secular counselor suggested I attend at least two meetings of 12 step recovery for purity issues. The first meeting I told my wife there were some really strange people at that meeting. Keeping my promise to my counselor I went to a second meeting and I met myself face to face. I too am a believer in Jesus Christ but I tried everything. That second meeting I knew I had to start 12 step recovery. I told my wife when I got home. I was accepted just as I was in my secular 12 step. I have over 8 years of sobriety now. I knew I needed help. It was just finding the right fit for me. God uses many, many methods to help us with purity. Psalm 50:15 Steve

      Reply
      • Steve Austin on

        Steve, THANK YOU for speaking out. I am so proud of you, man! Celebrate Recovery has been great for me, plus a supportive wife, and finding a local church that doesn’t push these topics under the rug. God is good!

    5. james on

      Is there a free version of Covenant Eyes? My lust (secretly) hurts my family enough. We don’t have a lot of income.

      Reply
      • Lisa Eldred on

        We do not offer a free version, but we do have a couple of options. First, if you have more than two people in your family, Family Accounts are a money-saver: you can protect everyone on all your devices for just $13.99/mo. If you have kids, it’s best to start training them away from porn before it’s ever a problem.

        If you just can’t afford it right now, we do offer free accounts on a short-term basis! Just call our Customer Support Team at 877.479.1119 and ask about our hardship fund.

        By the way, if you’re married and your wife is unaware of your struggles, I highly recommend you open up to her about it, possibly with a pastor or trusted friend present. Let her know you’re taking steps to stop and that you value your marriage more than porn. You might even want to hand her a copy of Porn and Your Husband. This disclosure will hurt her, but it’s still better than her discovering it on her own later.

      • Steve Austin on

        James, I agree. I am praying you can find the courage to be honest with your wife. God will honor your honesty. Shame thrives in secret places. Peace to you, my friend.

    6. Dan on

      Thank you Steve, for sharing this mentality that many of us have. I don’t know how many times I have given myself a mark or a deadline point, saying “I’ll quit looking at porn when…” I have done it several times, “I’ll stop at the end of summer,” or “I’ll stop when school is out” or ”when school begins,” etc. So often that is such a brain talking to soothe my desire to be pure with my desire for porn. I have been reading a book by Bob Sorge, “A Covenant With My Eyes” and he shares how willpower alone will not get a person through the addiction of porn. There must be more than the love for Christ but also the fear of Christ. Not fear like “God’s gonna get ya!” although that may be true as in Hebrews 12, but it’s a fear in the aspect of respect and reverence. I have to fear the Lord as well as love the Lord.
      Honesty with others, as you mention, is vital as well. As hard as it is, because of our silly American independence, we have to be honest with those who hold us accountable so that they can help us to walk not just through but OUT of pornography!

      Reply
      • Steve Austin on

        You have spoken a lot of wisdom here, my friend! It sounds like you are on your way. I am so thankful that you’ve read and commented and I hope the very best for you!

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