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Porn: A Weak Link On Your Character Chain

Last Updated: May 22, 2018

Joel Hesch

Joel Hesch is an author and founder of Proven Men Ministries, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring families and helping men break free from porn and sex addiction through a 12-week daily workbook study and accountability. After breaking free from his own 20-year addiction, Joel created “the proven path for sexual integrity.” His vision is to help 1 million people experience victory from strongholds of porn and sex addition.

You’ve heard the saying “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” Depending on the strength of the links, the force needed to break it could be large or small. If every link can withstand a strong force before it breaks, the chain is strong. But, if just one link breaks under a weak force, the entire chain is weak. That’s why it’s so important to identify and strengthen a weak link.

chain links

Knowing your weakest link

This truth plays out in many arenas. For instance, a sports team can either be classified as “strong link” or “weak link.” A strong link sport, like basketball, means the team having the best player typically wins. It only requires one strong player to be great. A weak link team, such as soccer, does not depend upon a superstar. In fact, having just one great player on your soccer team does not translate into victory. The strength of the overall team determines success.

Just like a chain or a weak link sports team, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. Pornography is a weak link in a person’s character and spiritual life. You might be strong in some spiritual disciplines, such as prayer, study, charity, or helping others. But if you allow a porn-filled secret fantasy life to exist, you won’t live a victorious life. Porn is that weak link which will break and ruin whatever the chain was holding together. In this case, the links are your character, which makes up your personality and determines who you are. Your character links hold your life together. Think of these links as the mental and moral qualities distinctive to you. They make up the way you think, feel, and behave about yourself and others.

How porn weakens your character

What happens when you allow porn to eat away at one of your character links? Like rust, porn will keep eating away until finally the weakest link breaks.

Porn pushes you to hide in fantasy to the point that you end up only having shallow relationships. You must keep putting others at a safe distance so they don’t discover the rust. To keep dabbling with porn, you must constantly put on a façade. You must keep secrets. You can’t let others know the real you.

The weak porn link will affect other areas of your character too. Porn fills people with selfishness and pride. They think they deserve more than they have, such as a little pleasure or stealing the image of another for our selfish purposes in their self-made fantasy. They eventually begin to see or treat others as simply objects for pleasure.

Porn also leaves you discontent with the real world and the real life God has for you. Think about it. When you fantasize about the person in the picture, aren’t you really saying that you wish you had something or someone else? Of course, desires in and of themselves aren’t bad, but porn takes it to an unhealthy level. You camp out in a fake world that revolves around your sense of entitlement.

If you’ve allowed porn or lustful fantasy to invade your life, you have two choices.

Option 1: Hide or ignore the weakest link

You can keep pretending all is well. You can ignore the rust and even a damaged link. But that means you must not only hide, but lie to yourself that your character isn’t really affected.

In the end, it will eventually catch up with you as the weak link finally breaks and ruins your character and your life. Not really much of an option.

Option 2: Face reality and provide reinforcement

It’s time to face reality. Porn is the weak link that will destroy your character and any hope you have at living a healthy and joyous life. Therefore, porn must no longer be an option. You must be willing to do whatever it takes to rid that rust from the character chains of your life before the weakest link breaks.

The best way to provide reinforcement to your character links and keep porn and fantasy from overtaking your life is to man up, which involves two things.

First, you need accountability, which is what we refer to as a network partner.¹ You need a safe man in your life that you can count on for both encouragement and accountability.

Second, you should go through a daily workbook study focusing on gaining and retaining sexual integrity to build up the weak links. The goal is to learn how to dig up the roots that feed lust and replace them with godly character and relationships. Because it takes eight weeks to drop old and form new habits, the study should be at least eight weeks (and ideally 12 weeks). In addition, the study should include life lessons and homework so that you can strengthen the weak links.

By combining study with weekly encouragement and accountability, your weakest link will become strong and allow you to live the life God intended in real and healthy relationships without fear of being found out a fraud.

¹Joel Hesch, Proven Path to Sexual Integrity (2016), at pp. 70, 184-86.

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  • Comments on: Porn: A Weak Link On Your Character Chain
    1. Riley White on

      This make not make the role call but porn is a double edged sword.I first saw porn at a peep show.I was 19.It was 1972.I was stunned.Raised in Alabama in a traditional southern family i was taught from a young age that girls,women,ladies,were special.They were different.They were incapable of doing things the rest of the world did.They were to be respected,protected,and treated differently.The porn i saw was a young lady giving the now deceased John Holmes head.It ended with his sperm all over her face.How could this be i thought over and over.What could cause this lovely young lady to do this?.Then i thought of the people standing around filming and recording the scene and it further stunned me. I was drawn to it.
      You mean all these women around me could do these things i thought, screen or not they would or could be willing participants?.I was blessed with better than average looks, came from a family that believed in college,was involved in athletics,soon discovered what time in a weight room would do to the body and used it all to recreate the scenes i saw in porn..Girlfriends were first.Then nites out picking up girls even when i had a steady girl.A typical night would be to consume a little porn and to the singles bar i headed.Most of the time i would be doing what i had viewed earlier at some point early the next morning.Maybe sooner.If not then the girlfriend would do as soon as i got to her.In those days porn was tame compared to what is available on the net in 2017.I continued that behavior for 40 years, in a relationship or not,married or not.I could write a book.I sometimes wonder if i was taught wrong or if Playboy and Deep Throat was always there, just kept silent.It changed my views on women.They were objects,not people with love and compassion and burdens.How they looked and what they would do sexually became all that was important.I lost a lot of good ladies along the way as you would imagine.I still fight the urge to look at porn.I give in occasionally.At 61 it does not do what it used too.Nor does the woman i have now do what the 20,30,40 year old women of time gone by did.The stuff out there now is ,in my opinion,amazingly sick stuff.Watch anything you want.Maybe it was always there just hidden better.You dance with the devil,the devil dances back.Man has always perverted whatever it was or is to the utmost.God said it and He oughta know.I am forgiven.In Christ i am a new man.That old man still wants to raise his ugly head at every chance he can get.Thats why its called a battle between the two natures.The sinful vs the spiritual.Porn is everywhere.The ads we look at the sitcoms we watch the routines stand ups use.
      Its a sad state of affairs overall.Even sadder as Hell keeps filling up with people who had no faith or lost it porn still keeps pushing its agenda.A good wife has become hard to find.God gave me one that i did not deserve.Thats humbling.I think that porn in any shape form or fashion is straight from hell.When a man or woman consumes it or is involved in it they have shook hands with the devil himself.

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