Why Medicating Shame’s Pain with Porn Never Works

Shame is as old as Adam and Eve…well, almost.

Genesis 2:24-25 says, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.  And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”

In the beginning God created mankind in His image, male and female, naked, and completely without any shame. Wow. Can you imagine living without shame? Picture a world void of the pain that shame heaps on so many?

This is so profound especially as we view our sexuality as God created it. Pure. Unbroken. Cherished. The only truly perfect gift ever given to mankind.

But Adam dropped the ball and the entire world, including human sexuality, became fractured. A nice history lesson you say?

The Source of Pain and Shame

To understand any real solution and find healing, we must first understand the problem and it’s source.

Many pain medications are designed to simply numb the pain, rather than actually heal the underlying problem causing the pain. If you break your leg, they will likely give you something to ease or remove the pain, but that will not heal your broken bone. If you have the flu, you get rid of it by killing the flu germs running through your body, not by making the flu symptoms go away.

The emotional pain of sexual brokenness has a source, and it’s shame.

Pornography is a pain medication for the shame many men and women experience. For the sex or porn addict, acting out sexually is a symptom. The rush and high of the climax is used as medication. It numbs the pain, but only temporarily. Unfortunately, shame’s pain returns after the high of the drug wears off. As with any reoccurring medical issue, we must identify the cause of our shame and root it out if we want to experience relief from the symptoms.

The source of my shame took root around the age of twelve or thirteen. My dad, without any malicious intent, left a wound when he said, “Why do you have to be so stupid?” Those words were only reinforced by bullying and by siblings who had no intent to do so. But, nevertheless, those words hurt and left lifetime scars.

Proverbs 18:21 states, Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”

Identifying the Source of Our Shame

Finding the wound(s) that fuel the shame you fight can be difficult at best, and nearly unbearable at worst. Words were the source of my wounds. I’m fully aware some of you reading this have been deeply wounded by emotional, physical, or  sexual abuse. I cannot fully understand your pain and won’t pretend to.

Related: What Your Sexual Fantasies (Might) Reveal About You

Experience and education tell me the traumatic nature of those injuries calls for professional counseling. It’s not weakness to admit that and seek it out. In fact, trying to handle it on your own is unwise and dangerous. It’s courageous to ask for help.

Proverbs 20:5 says, “The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.”

If it were not for a godly counselor in my life, I’d still be trapped in the rut of pain fueled by shame in my life. For any who may think I’ve got it all together and live struggle-free, allow me to tell you I still see that counselor regularly. I’m free from porn and masturbation’s grip, and have been for a decade, but that doesn’t mean I’m free from temptation or life’s pains.

You can search for a counselor anywhere in the USA at Pure Community. This resource lists many counselors, support groups, intensive workshops, and much more help for men and women.

Related: Silence–The Sound of Female Sexual Shame

Be Encouraged

Shame and the pain it brings do not have to be terminal. It’s a foe that can be overcome. Understanding shame’s source and  participating in community (including counseling) can help you uproot it, as well as prayer, daily does of the gospel message, and lots of hard work.

Freedom from pornography and sexual addiction is possible. After 30 years addicted to porn and masturbation, Christ set me free. He used many people to help accomplish his work in me. Was it easy? Nope.

It is possible for you or your spouse to be free too, but attempting it alone will not work. It will not come easily or quickly for you either, but it is worth it!

In any battle, you have to know your enemy to defeat your enemy. You can reclaim your freedom with the help of wise, godly, experienced people fighting with you behind the enemy line.