Defeat Lust & Pornography
Defeat Lust & Pornography 3 minute read

Kirk Franklin, Porn Addiction, and Walking Trees

Last Updated: April 2, 2015

One of the most frustrating things I found in my search for freedom from porn addiction was the slowness of my progress. Why, if God is so good and so powerful, did he not heal me at once?

I was recently thinking about one of the strangest Gospel stories: the story of the blind man’s healing outside Bethsaida. Several of Jesus’ own disciples were natives of Bethsaida, and Jesus had performed many miracles there. In this familiar setting the blind man is brought to Jesus by certain people begging Jesus to touch him. Jesus led him by the hand outside of the small village, spat on his eyes, laid hands on him and asked, “Do you see anything?” The man replied, “I see men, but they look like trees, walking.” Apparently his vision was still cloudy, foggy. Jesus laid hands on him again and this time his vision was completely restored (Mark 8:22-26).

Why progressive healing?

It’s the only text I know of that shows Jesus healing in this manner. I’ve read and heard a whole host of potential reasons why Jesus would do this. Some say Jesus was showing the blind man, and hence us, that He is sovereign over healing: he chooses how it is done. Some believe that Jesus was building this man’s faith: he was brought to Jesus by others but had little or no faith himself. Some believe that Jesus is illustrating to his disciples how he will heal their spiritual blindness and confusion: slowly and progressively. Some see this merely as a two-stage healing: one natural, the other supernatural. The spit on his eyes merely separated his eyelids that were gummed shut; the second act of laying on hands was to perform the miracle of new sight.

We simply aren’t told the reason why.

Pornography Addiction

I’m learning more and more that sexual addiction, such as pornography addiction, has a very real biological element. Repeated visits to pornographic websites condition our bodies to receive endorphins and enkephalins (chemicals in the brain). These chemicals are highly addictive. We literally carry within us our own source of addictive chemicals.

I recently read an interesting transcript from the “Hearing on the Brain Science Behind Pornography Addiction and the Effects of Addiction on Families and Communities.” One of the contributors, Mary Anne Layden, Co-Director of the Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program at the University of Pennsylvania, calls pornography an “equal opportunity toxin” and highlights both the biological and psychological effects of repeated pornography use.

I love what she says here:

There are no studies and no data that indicate a benefit from pornography use. If there were a benefit, then pornography users, pornography performers, their spouses and their children would show the most benefit. Just the opposite is true. The society is awash in pornography and so in fact the data are in. If pornography made us healthy, we would be healthy by now.”

I remember the very real physical side of my addiction. It was like a drug shooting through my system. I remember times lying in bed, thinking of going to visit internet pornography, literally shaking and convulsing as I thought about it.

Kirk Franklin’s Testimony

Over two years ago Kirk Franklin appeared on Oprah to speak candidly about his pornography addiction. He first viewed pornography at the age of 8 and struggled with addiction for nearly 22 years. He talks about how “it was literally like a drug calling me.” On the show the founder of the Sexual Recovery Institute in Los Angeles, Rob Weiss, said the drug for pornography addicts is “their own neurochemistry . . . I talk to guys who say that hours and hours and hours go by, and they’re not even aware of the time change because they’re so filled with adrenalin and dopamine and serotonin.”

Will Jesus Heal Me of My Addiction

All this being said, being delivered from pornography addiction is not unlike seeking the Lord for other types of physical healing. Jesus the Great Physician needs to come and heal not only our spirits and our minds, but also our bodies as well.

But will he heal us progressively or at once? I’ve met men who fall into different categories, but most of the time the healing comes gradually.

Like the blind man, I want be healed right there and then. Jesus, instead, takes me by the hand and takes me somewhere else, somewhere unexpected. Like the blind man, I expect Jesus’ first touch to make me whole. Jesus, instead, wipes away the grime and grit first allowing me to see the root of my pain and my sinful choices. Like the blind man, I needed to be brought to Jesus by loving friends, people who didn’t want me to stay the way I was. Jesus, again, shows Himself both amazingly good and incredibly sovereign in my journey towards being whole and living holy. Like the blind man, I begin to see . . . and Jesus, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, does not leave me among the walking trees: He finishes what He starts.

  1. Hk

    Hello. I’m 22 years old. I started masturbating at 14 years. I’ve always kept this and it’s like emotionally breaking me down and eating me up slowly. I’ve always wanted to stop. I’ve not seen Someone I can tell. It’s not out of fear. This is Africa and such is considered highly imoral yet many are dying in it secretly. It feels like chains have been tied on me. I really want to stop this act and not. Please help.

  2. P

    P
    My husband and I are our 60’s. He is always on his phone on nasty porn sites. I say nasty because it involves anal sex multiple people of all ages etc. My husband thinks it is perfectly fine but I find it totally against what God wants for us. I am in fear frequently that he is on these porn sites and of his bullish way he speaks to me want me to perform sex acts I simply cannot. My sex drive has dropped since I grew older plus this stuff is just plan nasty
    I only see one way out that is leave a marriage of 26 yrs.
    do not publish my email address

    • Kay Bruner

      I am so sorry. Of course you get to have the boundaries that are right for you. You also have the right to be treated with respect at all times. Speaking to you disrespectfully and pressuring you for certain sex acts are clearly not respectful, loving behaviors. In fact, as a therapist, I would call that verbal and sexual abuse. Here’s an article that you might find helpful: A High View of Marriage Includes Divorce. I’m so sorry that you may indeed need to leave this relationship. I hope you’ll find a therapist for yourself, and maybe check into the online resources at Bloom for Women. Whatever he chooses, you can choose to be healthy and whole.
      Peace to you, Kay

    • P

      Thank you for your comments
      One correction we have been married 36 years not 26 which makes it all the more difficult
      I did move out and still feel very scared and sick to my stomach
      How do I tell our adult children why I left

    • Kay Bruner

      You are so brave!

      Tell your children the TRUTH.

      Peace to you,
      Kay

  3. Regina ezell

    I want some advice. My husband is so porn and addicted to sex I am so tired of him. I wanna save my marriage but he’s wearing me out and he’s 57 yrs old.

    • Kay Bruner

      Hey Regina.
      Well, you can’t save a marriage by yourself. The other person has to be onboard as well. If your husband isn’t willing to do his part, then I think you have to honestly assess the situation and decide what healthy boundaries will look like for you, in the face of this reality. Here, here, and here are some articles that might help.
      You might also reach out for support with a therapist, a group, or in the online resources at Bloom for Women.
      Peace,
      Kay

  4. Anonymous

    I am 16 and have been addicted to porn for most of my life. I was born in the church so I knew it was a sin. Everytime I try I just fall back to it again. The guilt constantly eats me alive. I reached out for help 2 years ago I believe I was saved for few months but I fell off the wagon. I have said enough is enough and stopped, I have pulled my self closer to God and everytime I’m always reminded and it hurts cause I want to do it again. I need help.

    • Kay Bruner

      Hey there. When you say that you’re 16 and you’ve been addicted to porn for most of your life, that waves a red flag to me as a therapist. It sounds like you must have had very early exposure? A lot of folks don’t know that deliberately showing an underage child pornography is included in the definition of sexual abuse. The reason being that explicit sexual content, and especially the violent and demeaning content of today’s online pornography, can be traumatic to children. When children are traumatized, they act out and may repeat the traumatizing behaviors. I would suggest that if you can find a therapist to help you, that would be great. Talking to a trusted friend can be helpful in reducing the shame and stigma. And I would suggest some yoga as well as a way to calm and soothe your body.

      I always like to reassure adolescents of either gender that masturbation is normal! It feels good, and it’s a part of your whole self, which includes your sexuality. It’s private, but it’s not shameful. It shouldn’t take over your life, but it’s fine as a part of your healthy physical self.

      Problems arise with masturbation, as with many other good things, when we use it as an unhealthy coping mechanism when we are overly stressed, upset, etc. We can all be vulnerable to using good things–food, wine, exercise, Netflix–to cope in unhealthy ways. Instead of feeling our feelings and processing through them, we substitute a behavior that feels good in the moment but didn’t actually solve the problem and may in fact produce more problems.

      Unfortunately, there is huge shame around sexuality in Christian circles. Often, shame itself becomes the problem, as you feel distressed over shame from masturbation, you then masturbate to feel better in the moment.

      Here’s a short animation on interrupting shame cycles that you might find helpful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vmz9aB-hlr8

      Peace, Kay

  5. Isaiah

    I’ve been struggling with this devilish monster which am desperate to stop it ,to an extent that I can break my phone but am so scare to share it with a fellow.I believe that Jesus will never let go of me and please help me in prayers and advice

    • Chris McKenna

      Hello, Isaiah – I’m sorry that you’re still struggling. What have you tried? Do you believe you can quit? If you don’t believe it’s possible, then it won’t happen. Do you believe that the Cross of Christ that you gave you life to can break even your sin? Or, do you believe that it only works for everyone else’s sin? These are the big questions that you need to ask while getting alone so God can look you in the eye and lovingly answer. Would you read one more thing? Here: https://www.covenanteyes.com/2012/04/23/how-to-quit-porn-6-essential-steps/

      Best, Chris

  6. JERRY WAINE HARDEMAN JR.

    Hey, I struggle with porn,some times I can go a full day or week without watching it or doing the do,and I feel great.Then sometime later I return to it,and it frustrates me.Its like am I making progress or not? i’m just 22,love Jesus,and I want to be free of this monster. I’ve been struggleing with this for a few years,i got baptized last year,and it seemed like the feeling came on me even stronger. I need help.

    • Chris McKenna

      Hello, Jerry – I’m so incredibly sorry you are struggling. It is a tiresome loop to be caught in, to want so desperately to “never do it again,” and have victory for a day, and then fall right back into the trap. But, I’m also glad that you’ve admitted your struggle here. I’m going to ask what might seem like a strange question, but here it goes…how badly do you want to quit? I mean really. Do you seriously want to do whatever it takes in order to break free? Even breaking your phone? Going to counseling? Speaking openly? Whatever it takes? Until you can say “yes” to that question, porn will continue to own you. This post lays it out: https://www.covenanteyes.com/2012/04/23/how-to-quit-porn-6-essential-steps/ This one also provides some tough steps: https://www.covenanteyes.com/2016/06/30/stop-looking-at-porn-you-sicko-part-1/.

      I truly hope that you find the freedom you so desperately desire. It will be hard work. But, all things worth having in life require effort. Grace-driven effort.

      Peace, Chris

  7. Mmadu

    Hello all! I wanna say that its 100% possible to overcome porn addiction, I used to be addicted to porn before now, but now i am free! To anyone who believes, anything is possible, hence I wanna say that the first step to being free is to stop being afraid of porn. When the thought of porn comes to you, does your heart still leap? Fight that fear with the word of God(meditation) like:

    the thought of your believe in Jesus alone! I mean this:
    “my believe in Jesus” should be your back fire when the thought of porn comes. . . This helped me a lot in my recovery from porn process. Catch you later.

  8. Rick Leye

    Hi All,
    I don’t recall when I got hooked but I know it started with ” loose magazines” those that had just enough truth but the last 2 pages had some explicit material . I then progressed to books like HR( will not give full names) this was certainly before the Internet became mainstream and later progressed to Internet .
    All of what has been mentioned above are quite true.
    1. This cuts across both believing and unbelieving men.
    2. Is there support for women out there.
    3. I think because it is something we grew into. We have to make the necessary changes both physically and spiritually before it is whole. There is a place in the bible where a man with demons was made while but if his house is clean then 7more powerful demons will return and the state of the man will be worse than when he was made whole. We need to confess to one another but whom ? Our spouse , a therapist , our pastor , a friend from another church . ( finding that person to confess to must be part of the process and the most difficult)
    without going through the process I feel we make Jesus a fraud as without you doing what has to be done physically – going to bed earlier than 11pm. Cancelling that HBO channel , giving your wife the phone and computer passwords. Fasting and praying to overcome your doubts and unbelief. It aids the process and journey to complete healing.

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