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How to Be a Porn Addict’s Best Friend

Last Updated: November 3, 2020

John Doyel

John Doyel has dedicated himself to helping men recover from sexual sin and return to God. He leads a recovery ministry at Vineyard Columbus called 180 Recover. He also writes daily emails of encouragement to help believers recover from porn or sex addiction, which you can sign up for on his website or by emailing at doyel@me.com.

A friend of yours may be a porn addict, but if he’s still struggling, he might not be a really close friend. Everything about being an addict screams isolation and shame. Fear can be a strong motivator to keep them thinking it’s a good idea to deal with their addiction privately and block everyone out from the truth.  It’s a really bad way to think.

I run a ministry called 180 Recovery Ministry at Vineyard Columbus which we began in 2009.  We have over 90 men attending weekly for worship, teachings and small group for confession, accountability, and prayer.  So, I know from my own experience and from hundreds of others that we need daily support and encouragement.

So how do you be a porn addict’s best friend? Start and maintain these three steps.

1. Educate yourself on how to be a good accountability partner.

You will need grace, patience, and kindness to do this. There may come a time when they need a kick in the butt, but others have been kicking them for years, and truth be told, they have been kicking themselves also.  With their guilt meter off the charts, using fear and shame will not help them at all.

The best book I have read on how to do this is Coming Clean by Luke Gilkerson. Both you and your friend should read it and follow it as an Accountability “Bible.”

2. Have daily accountability with them.

When someone begins the journey of recovery and breaking sexual addictions, they will need your support on a daily basis.  Twelve step programs have what they call a “90 in 90,” which means going to 90 meetings in 90 days. Why? Because getting through withdrawal requires daily encouragement.

Related: 5 Reasons Why Christian Accountability Fails

Few, if any, men can get through this long and grueling process alone. The pressure to act out grows exponentially, and men just give up for a thousand rationalizations.

Take a look at this passage from Hebrews 3:

Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today,’ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

We all need daily encouragement. I send out encouragement e-mails every day to over 800 people for this reason. Tell your friend you want to talk with him daily for 90 days. He or she needs to take the responsibility of making the call. Hold them to that commitment.

3. Respond instead of reacting.

When they confess something to you, don’t let the words, “What in the world were you thinking?” or “How could you be so stupid?” come out of your mouth. Addicts are addicted. These patterns of acting out have been developing for years, if not decades, and their choices can at times be insane.

How you respond lets them know if they can trust you. Your response will either encourage them to be more honest or close the door. They will sense rejection and realize you aren’t a safe person with whom they can be completely honest.

It is a fine art being a good friend and great accountability partner. I know how many times I have fallen and how gracious God has been to me. I am reminded of this passage in Hebrews 4 as well:

For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore, let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Being a best friend to a sex addict means they can come to you with confidence and receive mercy and find grace in their time of need.

Related: 3 Lessons Movies Teach Us About Accountability

  • Comments on: How to Be a Porn Addict’s Best Friend
    1. nuts on

      I’m interested in the links mentioned in about the author, but they don’t work.

      Reply
      • Chris McKenna on

        Hi – the links work for me. Can you please tell me exactly which links aren’t working?
        Thanks, Chris

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