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Why Can’t I Change? Secrets to Overcoming Porn

Last Updated: August 4, 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.

“I really need help. I could stop for a week but after the week I lose control. I really need help.” – Covenant Eyes Blog Comment

Many people realize that porn is destructive but still find it impossible to break the habit. Why is change so difficult? Is there a secret to finding freedom once and for all?

In our work helping people overcome porn, we’ve had thousands of people come to us with these questions. To help answer them, we partnered with Dr. James Reeves, the founding pastor of Fort Worth’s City on a Hill Church, and created Life Change: A Biblical Journey to Freedom. Using the structure of 12 step programs and rooted in biblical teaching, this workbook walks you through the process of finding real freedom from pornography.

Where do you begin?

In Life Change, we find the starting point to a porn-free life. It’s not intense hatred of porn and its effects on your life. It’s not self-control. It’s not even a deep spiritual commitment. It’s more basic: You have to know what you’re fighting for. Dr. Reeves writes, “If you don’t know what you are fighting for, the reasons to give up and give in will crush your resolve” (9).

Too many people see quitting porn strictly in negative terms—”I just need to stop this behavior.” But an effective strategy to stop watching porn begins with a deep understanding of why you should stop. You need to know the benefits of overcoming porn as well as the consequences of continuing to watch it. Life Change wants you to slow down and take the time to reflect on what you’re fighting for.

Here are two things you’re fighting for in the battle against porn. Be sure to check out the Life Change workbook to find out more!

The Battle of the Brain

“We are in a fight for a healthy brain. Porn not only impacts the brain, but it actually changes its structure. The fight against porn is literally a fight for a healthy brain…. You need to understand that long-term porn use changes the neurochemistry and structure of the brain and makes porn feel like a physical and mental requirement to get through life.” (Life Change, 10)

Knowing how porn affects our bodies and our brains, in particular, gives a crucial advantage in the battle. Don’t worry, you don’t need to become a neuroscientist to quit porn! However, Life Change gives basic information on how the brain works and what porn does to it.

Chris Mckenna, the found of Protect Young Eyes and the digital marketing manager at Covenant Eyes, explains how understanding the brain helped him discover why porn was so tough to quit, “I started to understand the very real scientific possibility that I could teach my brain to crave porn more than my wife.”

The Battle for Relationships

“We are also in a fight for healthy relationships. We were created for an intimate relationship with God and with each other. I have heard it said that, ‘Life is relationships. When relationships are bad, life is bad. When relationships are good, life is good.’ I think most of us can agree with the general truth of that statement.” (Life Change, 12)

We’ve previously written about 6 ways That Watching Porn Affects Your Relationships. When you decide to battle against porn, you’re making a positive decision to fight for your relationships. We often think of porn as a private activity that doesn’t affect anyone else. In Life Change, Dr. Reeves explores what it means to fight for your relationships with God and others.