4 minute read

4 Perspectives on Pornography From a Christian Filmmaker

Last Updated: July 18, 2022

Keith Rose
Keith Rose

Keith Rose holds a Master of Divinity degree and BA in Sacred Music. Keith worked with the Covenant Eyes Member Care Team for 15 years. He has also served as a Bible teacher, pastoral assistant, and music director at his local church. He's now the editor of the Covenant Eyes blog and the author of Allied: Fighting Porn With Accountability, Faith, and Friends. He lives in Hendersonville, North Carolina with his wife Ruby and daughter Winslow.

Stephen Kendrick is best known as part of the Kendrick Brothers filmmaking team, writing, directing, and producing such films as Facing the Giants, Fireproof, and War Room.

Not only does he create powerful, family-friendly films with a positive message, but Kendrick is also a pastor with a heart for helping men. His unique background and experiences have given him a lot of wisdom concerning the problem of pornography. Our podcast team, Karen and Brandon, sat down with Kendrick, and he shared four perspectives on finding victory over porn.

A Neurological Perspective on Porn Addiction

In his years of ministry, Kendrick has had many men approach him about their problems with pornography. Nobody intends to get hooked on porn, so why does it happen so often?

The neurological perspective helps us understand why porn is such a powerful enemy. God designed sexual experience to bond you to your spouse in the context of marriage. When people try to stop looking at porn, they often struggle because they’ve bonded to it chemically!

There are five different hormones released in the body when you view pornography, and they are all bonding chemicals. These chemicals predictably hook people to porn, whatever their intentions.

(You can learn more about this in Brain Chemicals and Porn, and also 5 Tips to Stop Your Porn Addiction: Recovery 101).

A Spiritual Perspective on Freedom From Porn

When the Son sets you free, you can be free indeed. But when counseling men about porn, Kendrick tells them they’re in for a battle.

To be successful in the battle against porn requires both spiritual and practical measures. The practical steps include things like installing Covenant Eyes on all your devices and being accountable to an ally.

Spiritually, God needs to do a work in your heart to bring about lasting change and freedom. Kendrick has some basic principles to remember:

God has provided everything.

Kendrick emphasizes that God gives us what we need to be satisfied and content (2 Peter 1:3). He refers to Paul’s teaching that says with just food and clothing we can be content (Philippians 4:11). This is crucial for approaching porn recovery from a spiritual perspective.

Pleasure and enjoyment are given to us by God. He told Adam and Eve to “freely eat of all the fruit in the garden.” But, God also gave boundaries for the pleasures we can legitimately enjoy. Anything outside these boundaries is something we don’t need for a fulfilled life.

This means that even though it doesn’t feel like it, you don’t need porn to be fulfilled and content.

Lust begins with ungratefulness.

We’re supposed to be grateful and fully enjoy what God has provided to us. The Bible teaches that we go astray when we become ungrateful for what God has given (see Romans chapter 1). Lust means that we’re dissatisfied with God’s gifts to us and we’re looking for something else.

Pornography is wrong because it is lusting after someone who doesn’t belong to you. The fantasy of porn is a fantasy built on ingratitude for what we have. And because it’s outside the boundaries of what God has given, it’s not going to satisfy you.

It only stirs up more dissatisfaction.  (See How Gratitude Can Supercharge Your Fight Against Porn).

God can change your heart.

Overcoming porn is about more than white-knuckling it through temptation. You can unhook your heart from the lust. God will rewire your brain as you walk in faith and repentance.

Psalm 23 says God “restores your soul.” And that takes us to Kendrick’s next perspective on porn.

A Perspective on Fatherhood and Porn

Kendrick says that our view of God’s fatherhood connects to lust. How so?

Kendrick says:

“If I’m not right with God, I will not sense or feel the love of God. It’s there—but I won’t sense or feel it…. That thing that I’m wired for, an intimate relationship with God, I’m suffocating. And I begin to lust for other things. When I start to struggle with lust, or greed, it is like a warning light on the dashboard of my heart telling me that you are low on the love of the Father right now.”

He goes on to explain:

“If we acknowledge this—these longings we feel are a warning that we’re not feasting on the love of the father—we can catch ourselves, and remind ourselves that we need to run back to God.”

Kendrick says he’s seen men find freedom even after decades of struggle with porn. The change begins with a new experience of God as our loving father.

A Long-Term Perspective on Sanctification

People looking to overcome porn often get discouraged by how long it takes. After making a decision to change, there can be setbacks. (See: How Long Does It Take to Recover From Porn Addiction?).

Kendrick explains that sanctification is a lifelong process. In other words, it can take a long time to overcome a struggle with pornography. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. It’s easy for us to think we can push a button and all our problems will be solved. But, the Christian life is a journey, not a destination.