Defeat Lust & Pornography Is It Possible to Break Free From Porn?
Defeat Lust & Pornography 3 minute read

Is It Possible to Break Free From Porn?

Last Updated: May 13, 2021

Many people ask me—usually at the end of one of my presentations about the effects of pornography—if it’s truly possible to be free from porn. They feel they’ve tried everything and are beginning to despair. They’re beginning to think that, while it might be possible for some people to break free from porn, it’s not possible for them.

I know that freedom from porn is possible, and I know this for two reasons:

  1. I, and many people I know who have begun to find freedom from porn, have been exactly where you’re at and have felt the same way you feel now.
  2. As a Christian, I know that, no matter how entrenched in porn you are, God’s grace is bigger, and that He is able to do more than we can ever hope or imagine.

Before we engage in practical steps, we need to keep in mind these three important truths in order to even begin battling porn addiction effectively.

  1. You should think about sex.
  2. Freedom is one day at a time.
  3. You should struggle with the temptation to look at porn.

1. You should think about sex.

Australian author Frank Sheed wrote that modern man practically never thinks about sex. He might dream about it, joke about it, write songs about it—but he doesn’t think about it.

What is the nature of sex? What is its purpose?

Sex wasn’t invented by Playboy, Cosmo, or 50 Shades of Stupid. It was warped and distorted by these things.

If we want to know whose idea sex was we only need to look to the very first commandment in the Bible from God to humanity. “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the face of the earth” (Genesis 1:28). And as Dr. Peter Kreeft notes, “I do not think that he meant, ‘I need you to grow pineapples and invent calculators.’” No. Sex is a good thing, a sacred thing. And so is sexual desire.

Christianity is not about the annihilation of sexual desire. It’s about the reorientation of it for the sake of love. Many people get confused because they think that strong sexual desire is the same thing as lust. It’s not. Sexual desire is a God-given gift that should propel us to make a gift of ourselves to another, according to the demands of chastity and prudence. Lust, on the other hand, doesn’t propel us to give, it compels us to take.

Love says, “This is my body given up for you.”

Lust says the opposite: “This is your body taken by me.”

2. Freedom is one day at a time.

If you view freedom from porn as a destination, you’ll almost certainly remain disappointed. This is because freedom is not so much a destination we reach as it is a daily decision we make. Freedom is one day at a time.

Your goal today is not, “Okay, I’ll never look at porn again!” Instead, it’s, “Today I resolve to be the person God made me to be, and one thing that means is this: today I will not get sucked into lust and pornography.”

As Jesus said: don’t worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Real freedom is a lifetime of todays: moment-by-moment choices.

3. You should struggle with the temptation to look at porn.

Many Christians I encounter seem to think that the word “struggle” is synonymous with “give into.” We hear people say, “I’ve been struggling with porn,” and we assume they mean “I’ve been giving into porn”—and that is what they mean. But struggle doesn’t mean “give into,” in fact, it means the opposite. It means “to contend with an adversary or opposing force.”

So now we understand that, I hope you won’t be offended when I say, “If you are tempted to view pornography, I hope you struggle with it, since the only other alternative is to just give in.”

Recognize this: when we struggle, when we “contend with an adversary or opposing force,” we grow stronger. When we struggle with pornography we grow in virtue. It’s not just the virtue of purity we grow in, we grow in other virtues as well: moral courage, patience, temperance, humility, and self-mastery.

If you struggle with pornography, recognize that you have an opportunity—an opportunity to tap into a massive outpouring of God’s grace.

  1. AbdulKareem

    Hi, I’m actually a Muslim and was introduced to porn at age 8. Then I was little, so I didn’t know what that was (no puberty yet) and only knew my older friend enjoyed watching it with me. I stopped thinking about it till I started going through puberty, which of course, led to me masturbating. Once again It stopped during my early 14 years (because I had a crush on a girl and couldn’t stop thinking about her, it’s gone now though) and I told a lot of people how I used to watch porn. They were all surprised, because I was an introvert and so, they didn’t expect such from me. Now that puberty’s really coming in, I’m getting addicted (although slightly) to porn and need help. I think my addiction is due to my patterns, so It’s going to be much more easier to break free. BUT HELP ME!

    • Moriah Bowman

      Hi friend!

      I want to thank you for displaying such courage in sharing your story and asking for help. You are not alone in this, and we want to help you find freedom from porn! I’m not sure how old you are now, but I think that it would be wise to again tell someone you trust about your porn usage. This can be a parent, teacher, church leader, counselor, or anyone else whom you trust. By telling them and asking for guidance, they can walk alongside you and help keep you accountable to freedom.

      Porn addiction is often fueled by patterns in our life, specifically our daily habits and who we surround ourselves with. You should check out our ebook, Hobbies and Habits. It’s free to download and will give you some great ideas for things to do instead of watching porn.
      I hope this has been helpful to you! Please let me know if you have any questions or need anything. Be strong!
      Blessings,
      Moriah

  2. Joshua Navarro

    I just want to thank everyone at Covenant Eyes for what you are doing. I wish I would have known about this resource earlier. I’ve been struggling with porn since I was 12 years old and I am 30 years now. What impacted me about this message with Matt is that we ought to take it one day at a time. My goal every day was to never go backwards and fall into looking at porn again. I was always looking into the future. As if freedom was a destination rather than a decision to live by moment to moment. Of course like many us know this futile approach only leads to disappointment and feeling like a failure. When Matt said that freedom from porn is one day at a time, I was reminded of Jesus’ words and I finally understood what He really meant. Even though Jesus was perfect and without sin. He understood that the process of being set free is one day at a time. Luke 9:23 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me. I’m happy to find out that I’m not alone and that there is a community of people that understand me, who are also seeking to be free from pornography. God bless everyone.

    • testimony

      hmmmm guys hmm my name is testimony.. here at Nigeria.. I guess it a little bit far from where u people are staying right and if anyone can just see this comment right now…. it means like I really need to be free from porn and masturbation…. I know it a really bad thing as a Christian but I just can’t drop it…… pls help me 😥😥😥😥😥

    • Moriah Dufrin

      Hi Testimony!

      Have you tried Covenant Eyes’ Screen Accountability?

      We have found that accountability is a necessary tool in overcoming addiction. You have the desire to change, so take the steps necessary in your life to do so! Also, do you have a friend or mentor who you could share your struggles with? Someone who can walk by your side as you fight against this addiction.

      Blessings,
      Moriah

  3. Jeff Carothers

    The Bible actually talks about sexual immorality and fornication an adultery I believe this actually stems from in most cases a break in the relation that we are supposed to have with Jesus Christ in 1st or 2nd Corinthians Paul addressed a problem with a man who is sleeping with his stepmom and eventually that man was given over to Satan and separated from the body Paul encouraged them to restore that young man if true repentance was noticeable so by that we know in order for those people to see that there was true repentance coming to fruition in that young man’s life they had to have contact with him so I truly applaud the aspect of being accountable but the greatest thing that I’ve noticed is that in Paul’s letters when the people began to argue over who is greater or who they followed or to use their gifts for their own benefits Paul stop them and he said something similar to this he lifted up the name of Jesus Christ he gave them a fresh revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ he reminded them that they were bought at a price he reminded them of the faithfulness of Christ he even called them holy ones we’re talking about a very immature group of people . They were even taking each other to court but the Apostle Paul called them saints of God or holy ones Jesus said when he is lifted up He will draw all men to himself I don’t think that was meant just at the cross it’s when a Christian truly realizes the God is not a candy machine who gives them their choice a Goody’s and realizes that God loves us and he gave his son for us but ultimately it wasn’t so that we could have all this nice stuff and have fuzzy feelings all the time but so that we could be invited into his glorious plan 2 Express His image upon this Earth once again in a Victorious way now we can eat once again from the Tree of Life and we can drink from the living water so that we can see and express and multiply this glorious Christ and subdue through his power and his strength the creepy thing and multiply His image upon this Earth Satan is defeated and his agenda as far as God sees it is useless but we have to step into that reality God invited us into his plan we need to stop inviting him into ours an step into his. By making his heartbeat an his perfect son Jesus CHRIST our greatest pursuit. These struggles will begin to take on a very dim an unattractive light compared to knowing Christ Jesus our Lord. Be fruitful an multiply subdue,takecare,guard, . When adam an eve were told these things,there was no sin they had not fallen yet. The Lord told them how they could subdue the creeping thing he made it clear to them in that Garden there was a pending Danger it was Satan in the form of a serpent God told them not to eat from the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil and that they would die if they did. he told them to eat from the Tree of Life if Jesus Christ is the true vine tree and that by remaining in him we will bear much fruit. So remaining in him becomes the most important Pursuit Jesus’s image must be taken like food is consumed to make our physical bodies healthy Jesus said unless we eat his flesh drink his blood then basically we would have no part of him we wouldnt know his will,we wouldn’t even enter the kingdom of heaven I suggest we stop eating from the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil and start learning how to truly take Jesus Christ as our food and as our drink. A reminder Jesus said when the son of man is lifted up He will draw all men to himself Christ is also lifted up when we pursue God’s greatest passion and that was his son Jesus Christ it’s painted from the beginning and all through the whole entire Bible to the end so I think any type of division that would separate True Believers will ultimately make the bride of Christ dysfunctional and unattractive we must make Jesus Christ are Maine Pursuit and stop trying to gain victory over sin by keeping man’s ideas an his laws to gain victory over sin when Jesus said by pursuing him and his righteousness all of the other things will be given to us Jesus Christ is our victory I pray that I may find in my heart a fresh revelation of this glorious Lord and savior Jesus Christ new and fresh daily I pray the Jesus Christ Lord teach me to take you and you alone as my food and my drink that I may gain your mind and your heartbeat and your expression with other believers who are like-minded amen. I’m sure that some of what I’ve said will be misinterpreted but I hope you can look past my lack of scripture reference and inability 2 use commas in periods where they need to go Jesus made all things by him through him and to him . we cannot have life unless we lose our life We cannot have his life if we keep our life our agenda our goals then we will lose the life he has painted for us

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