My freedom story has been filled with shortcomings, failures, and disappointments. Porn was a part of my life for so many years. Time and time again, I swore that I was going to change.
“This is the last time, and then tomorrow I’ll stop forever.”
It was an all-too-common statement before my nightly binges.
The Dark, Heavy Feeling of Despair
The worst part was the feeling right after. The heavy dark feeling immediately after completing the act. The feelings of shame and regret as I messed up yet again. So many times, I cried out to God with so much guilt about what I had just done.
“I’m so sorry, God.”
“I promise to never do that again.”
I do believe that I genuinely meant it. The deep feelings of shame and guilt I felt were so strong. I hated that feeling and never wanted to feel that horrible feeling again. There was not any part of me that wanted to repeat the same mistake a few days or weeks later because that feeling of despair would return. It always did.
Just as where there is lighting, there is thunder, where there was porn immediately, despair followed.
Yet I continued to live in that despair.
Finding a New Rock Bottom
I came back to it over and over and over again. For years and years. My early teens were when it started, and it didn’t stop until my early 20s. Yet the majority of those years, I felt like I was genuinely trying to quit. I was not proud of what I did. I didn’t like it. I hoped and prayed to get away from it. But I couldn’t.
No matter what I tried. No matter how strong I wanted to be, I would always fall eventually. At one point, I went around nine months away from it. But then I fell right back into it. It got worse and worse until, eventually, I hit rock bottom. Of course, this was a new rock bottom since I had hit my older definitions of rock bottom many times before. But this time, I truly reached a point that I didn’t think I could possibly reach.
But enough about the problem—this is a freedom story, not a story of hopeless surrender to this despair!
Finding Freedom in Jesus Christ
My freedom was found not because of a specific program or filter but through surrender to and complete reliance on my Savior, Jesus Christ. Christ became my comfort and joy. I learned to no longer seek porn to feel better. I learned to seek Christ to fulfill the hole in my heart I had been endlessly filling with porn.
Learning to Replace Porn
What did this look like? During my addiction, I had often turned to porn and porn-related things when I was lonely or hurting. Now, I turned to Christ consistently every day, no matter what my feelings said. Turning to Christ became a habit. I pursued three separate relationships and was rejected three times. Each situation was confusing and had a lot of misleading messages causing my loneliness and feelings of rejection to be magnified.
Turning to Christ, Alone and in Community
Yet throughout that year, I did not turn to porn for comfort one time. I did not do this with any strength I possess; but Christ, in His grace, comforted me every single time so that I could get through the moment of hurt and rejection and still be okay. Christ’s comfort came through time alone with Him and time in His community. Christ brought along a community to surround me and help fill the loneliness I was feeling.
Freedom in Accountability Through Relationships
My point is not to discredit filters and accountability. Those are important. Covenant Eyes is something I am currently using as a source of that needed accountability.
However, I would like to emphasize that there is not something special in the filter and accountability itself, but there is something special in brothers and sisters in Christ coming together to support one another to freedom. What truly sets people free is accountability through relationships. We, as humans, are created to be in relationships. Isolation is the surest way to be in chains to pornography forever.
A relationship with Christ and Biblical relationships with others are the surest ways to pave the path to freedom. Freedom from porn is a battle. The enemy wants to do whatever he can to keep millions of men and women in bondage to that evil industry. I believe the horrors of that industry are worse than we even currently realize.
Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
We, as Christians, cannot continue to support it through our consumption. For too long, millions of Christians have paid tribute to that evil empire. It is time we said enough. It is time we came together as the body of Christ and supported one another with Biblical accountability and community to help pull each other out of the pit to freedom.
This is what Covenant Eyes does, and I truly pray that you will choose that accountability if you have not already. Saving a few bucks a month is not worth continually falling prey to the whiles of the devil. Make the decision now.
You will not regret it.
“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever. the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:31-32, 34-36).
No more excuses. Lay down everything at the foot of the King. Be willing to give up whatever it takes to be free. Abide in the truth that comes from Christ. Not by your own strength but by complete reliance on Christ and the community he has brought into your path. You are not reading this by accident. Covenant Eyes is a fantastic resource you can take advantage of. You have the opportunity to choose a new life for yourself.
The choice is yours.