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How Freedom From Porn Brought Mental Health

Last Updated: October 30, 2023

I first started following Jesus in 1998 when I was in the 8th grade. But by then, I had begun viewing pornography on the internet and struggled to control myself at times.

When under stress, I went to porn.
When lonely, I went to porn.
When angry, I went to porn.

Emotional Wounds Led Me to Porn

My family was not a safe place for me to show and process emotions, and porn became very appealing as it allowed me to feel like I was emotionally connected to what was happening on the screen. Unfortunately, this only led to deepening shame and loneliness that grew the more I went to porn.

This led me to feel more lonely, angry, and stressed, and the cycle fed itself. Over the years, I have gone to great lengths to hide my porn use out of fear that I will be abandoned by those who love me because they would be disgusted and ashamed of me—the very same way I have tended to feel about myself!

Covenant Eyes became a helpful tool to me as my porn use surfaced in my marriage when my wife discovered my internet history. I was both mortified and relieved when she found out. My history with porn was truly a challenge to our marriage, but through counseling and softening of both our hearts, my porn use has drastically reduced, our marital intimacy has increased, and my overall happiness in life is at an all-time high.

Pornography Harms People

Over time, I have come to understand that pornography is not simply an art form or a harmless stress reliever as I sometimes tried to convince myself. Many have argued that what a man does in the privacy of his mind is no problem, especially if it doesn’t harm anyone. But thanks to Covenant Eyes and other sources, I have learned that pornography is just the tip of the iceberg of systematic oppression and enslavement of the people who are used to create the content that I indulge. Young people are lured into the industry and their lives are destroyed. They are coerced into a downward spiral of drugs and sexual abuse from which many never recover fully.

I have learned that my casual, seemingly “harmless” viewing of pornography fuels this awful system by driving demand for more and more content. Said another way, my use of pornography enslaves others. Jesus came to set captives free, and if I am going to follow him, I want to follow him to freedom for both myself and others. Freedom for myself means cultivating honest and open relationships with others, especially my wife and close friends. Learning to receive and give Godly comfort (2 Corinthians 1:4) and to walk alongside one another toward wholeness is key.

Honesty and Openness Are a Lifestyle

Covenant Eyes has helped me construct a lifestyle in which I can remember that my goal is to be open and honest about myself. Internet accountability is a lifeline for this. Freedom for others means I am trying to participate in God’s liberation of the oppressed.

Romans 12:17-18 says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Using pornography puts me in the position of oppressing those caught in the industry’s grip, but resisting and fighting against pornography is an act of solidarity with those people.

My journey toward mental health and freedom from pornography has led me to pursue a Master of Arts in Counseling. I am passionate about helping people, especially adolescents, to discover healthy living and form secure relationships. Covenant Eyes has been instrumental in my journey and I heartily recommend it to others.

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