Defeat Lust & Pornography Dan Sheldon
Defeat Lust & Pornography 4 minute read

Dan’s Story: How Christ destroyed my addiction to lust

Last Updated: June 8, 2021

It all started for me in the mid-80s at a young age. It was all innocent enough. My neighborhood friend found his dad’s stash of Playboys and he showed them to me.

Like all addictions, it started small and snowballed out of control. It started with Playboy, but when that wasn’t enough, I started looking at Penthouse, when that wasn’t enough I went to harder and harder material. When the Internet came around it was over, I could look at whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.

From Porn to Sex

Viewing porn started to affect my “real life.” I had many partners and starting acting out some things I was seeing. I didn’t care who the person was as long as I was getting what I wanted. I felt lonelier and lonelier with each partner. I no longer knew who I was.

Then I really hit the bottom. One drunken night at the bar, I had unprotected sex with a girl I met there. I ended up getting Chlamydia. That really scared me. What if it would have been AIDS? I called my friends who are born again Christians. I asked if their offer to take me to church was still open. I started to go to church with them and even answered an altar call. I didn’t feel any different and started right back down the road of sex and porn.

Coming to Christ

A few months later, while I was on the Internet surfing through some really hardcore porn, a voice said to me, “This isn’t how you are going to find a wife, and it isn’t how you are going to be a good dad someday.” I later found out this voice was the Holy Spirit talking to me. The Holy Spirit knew I had always dreamed of being married and having children. I had all but given up on that dream. However, I actually listened to that voice this time. I clicked off the Internet that night.

A few days after that I went on a train ride with my friends. After the ride, we stopped to eat. As we were eating, I started to tell them about my addiction. How I couldn’t get porn out of my life. My friend said to me, “All you have to do is admit your sins to Jesus and accept him as your Savior.” I looked at her and said, “I think I just did.” From that moment I was forgiven for my sins!

The Difference Jesus Makes

My story was just beginning. I started to go back to church. This time it was different: I wanted to change! Everything started in small steps. The first was throwing out all the porn magazines and DVDs. Next, I threw out all the extra “stuff” I collected from my former partners. The next thing was I stopped drinking. When I got drunk I would do things I wouldn’t do otherwise. One of the hardest things to give up was using my phone to sext. I kept that one girl in my phone so I’d still be able to flirt. I was finally convicted of it and told her I could no longer do that. I also realized I couldn’t use the Internet late at night when no one else was around and I deleted my MySpace page because it was too easy to find porn. I was starting to finally be content with being alone.

That’s when God put a special woman in my life. We met at membership classes for the church. I was afraid to be in a relationship because of all the things I had done in the past. I told my future wife everything within three weeks of knowing her. Telling her if she wanted out, that would be the time. She didn’t leave. We were married in December of 2008. In January we were given the news that my wife was pregnant and in September my little boy was born! I adopted her daughter as well! The things I always dreamed about!

Going Deeper with Christ

During that time I still continued to grow. I had a meeting with one of the pastors and he helped me break the soul bonds I had created with all my past partners. I also threw out anything in my house that reminded me of old girlfriends, even if they weren’t sexually related. Later I started to use Covenant Eyes on my computer with my wife and an Accountability Partner getting the Reports in their e-mail. The next step was finding a group of guys who get together once a week for face to face accountability.

Another thing I have been working on is masturbation. I struggled with that when I first came to the Lord. I was taught that with God’s grace it can be defeated! I am also working on getting rid of lustful thoughts and changing my thought process. It took years for me to get to the point I was at and it took time to change that.

Looking Back: 7 Important Steps

The porn problem hasn’t been much of a problem lately, but I will continue to take steps to make sure it doesn’t come back into my life. The most important things it took for me to come as far as I have:

1. I admitted I had a problem

2. I asked God to help me through the work Jesus Christ did on the cross

3. Taking small steps

4. Transforming my thoughts

5. Accountability (both on the computer and face to face)

6. A continuous choice to want to get better

7. I found a good church to help me

I have come a long, long way since I gave my life to Jesus in October of 2007, and with the help of Jesus Christ, I will continue on my walk!


Dan Sheldon is a DJ from Erie, PA. Currently, he does mid-days at the Local Christian Contemporary station 106.3 WCTL. He is married and has two children. In his spare time, he enjoys collecting records and watching professional wrestling (that’s right, wrestling).

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Eoin

    Well, this is a very Protestant conversion story. While it’s certainly gratifying, and very nice, isn’t it a little presumptuous to say that your sins were forgiven? How do you know for sure that you weren’t just talking to yourself? Yes, in the end, it is up to God to forgive, but Catholics have Confession for good reason – because Christ gave Peter and his successors the power to bind and loose, and to formally state that, assuming a valid Confession and true contrition on the part of the penitent, God has forgiven the sin. Protestants, well, *don’t* have that authority, since they’re split off from the line of Apostolic Succession. Christ may very well have forgiven you, but you can’t really claim to *know* that without a Confession.

    • Big Honey

      In Catholocism do you have to pay for the sins you don’t confess if your not aware that you are committing them or sins that you forgot that you commited.

    • ‘Confession’? What does it actually mean?!

    • Danni

      Catholicism is SATANIC confessionals is unbiblical only JESUS my GOD and saviour can forgive sins

    • Interesting opinion. I know you aren’t alone in your opinion, but do you care to share why you say this?

    • Eoin, you are using a single verse taken completely out of context to support a claim of “Apostolic Succession”. In fact Jesus uses two distinct words, “Petros” to describe Peter, and “Petra” to describe the “Rock” on which the church is built. He was indicating that the church would be built on Himself, and Himself alone. He was in fact saying that Peter, a movable rock, needed to lean on the GREAT ROCK which He Himself was. For a few word studies on this verse you can go to for instance http://www.biblehub.com/greek/4073.htm or http://www.trustingodamerica.com/Petra.htm

      Then you go on to say that confession is the only way to know our sins are forgiven. However, the Bible( not man-made authority from outside Scripture) clearly says that our sins were completely and absolutely paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross.

      Colossians 2:14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.

      Colossians 1:19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

      21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death,

      So we can know that the debt that we owe to God has been paid in full, we can never be charged again because the law was fulfilled in Christ and the punishment taken in Christ.

      Please, as a former Catholic I urge you to put your faith wholly and completely in the Christ who rose from the dead, not priests who are mere men.

      On a related note, confession is from believers to believers, ANY believers, not to some special class of person. And yes, confession is important, but apart from Christ no confession will save you from your sins.

  2. Matthew Hendricks

    Hey Dan. It looks like you came to Christ around the same time I did! That’s interesting. I like your post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your life experience.

  3. Scott

    I am encouraged every time I read these posts. I too have an internet porn problem and realize while reading that I have a reserve thought that says “you don’t really want to give this up”. It’s my head that’s trying once again to keep the problem. I’m glad to hear that CE won’t block everything video. The last blocking software I installed wouldn’t let me go to “settings” on my phone. This sounds like you can have an Accountability Partner and still have use of all features on your phone.

    I have started going back to church and have been told by 12-step members to get on my knees and ask God to help me with my problem and to ask that His will be done. It works along with accountability. This software eliminates the need to call someone before I look at porn.

    Thank you CE. I am going to install it now.

  4. Dan Sheldon

    Hi Judy,

    I had a meeting with one of the pastors at my church. He had me write down the names of all the woman I could remember having any kind of sexual contact with (first names only). He then had me read each name out loud. After doing that I ripped the paper in pieces as a symbolic act of breaking all those chains. While ripping the paper up, Pastor was saying a prayer for me and all the women on that list. It may not sound like much but it was very moving to me. I remember being left in tears knowing that God forgave me for all of that and he was giving me a new start with the woman who is now my wife!!!

  5. judy

    Dan, you wrote: “…one of the pastors …helped me break the soul bonds I had created with all my past partners.”

    i’m trying to understand how the soul bonds can be broken as i help others with this problem.

    thanks.

  6. Kerry Lehman

    Good article with good advice. I’ve struggled for a long, long time with this behavior and still do. I also highly recommend you look for a Sexaholics Anonymous group in your area. It is a 12-step program that goes hand in hand with Covenant Eyes on your computer. You will find a support group there of people dealing with the same issue. You can find accountability help, support and people to talk to dealing with the same thing. That is probably the most important step, talking about it to bring the shame out. Shame keeps it a secret and your secret life keeps you doing what you don’t want to do. Bringing things out into the light is the best antiseptic, and you can do it in a loving, nonjudgmental atmosphere there. Look up Sexaholics Anonymous, I believe the website is http://www.sa.org.

  7. Brother Roney

    I want to so badly stop the behavior,stop the thinking,and I welcome someone in my life to hepl me .I no this goes back a long way and I do ok some days and some day it is real hard .I no I have had a problem for years and I really don’t want to live in this bondage any more.I am married and my wife no I love the Lord and I no that He loves me I have got to get to the point in my life that I relly love myself I live in York PA AND WOUD LOVE TO MEET WITH SOME MEN THAT ARE GOING THOUGH THE SEEM THING thank you for you word and I look foward to some director I am a lover of the Lord and I do ministry in the nursing homes ,in churches and where ever I can ,but I want freedom ,I really do any support you can give is very welcomed thank you

    • Dave

      The only way out isn’t easy. Confess it to the Lord and then confess it to someone else, and ask them to hold you accountable. If you continue like you are, you will be caught, and that is a harder road than smashing the habit with help from a brother.

    • B

      Jesus

    • Praise

      Guys I have been struggling with Masturbation and porn for about 4 years. I try to stop but I am always back at it. Sometimes I feel like sleeping with a girl, I have never slept with any before. I sometimes masturbate 4-5 times a day. Porn is a problem aswell.

  8. Mark Henry

    I am single and I must confess that Porn has become a need for me…it numbs me of life’s pains disappointments and frustrations. These days its difficult to sleep without taking a dose of this medicine that has become a necessary evil that I cannot just quit yet.

    I think I am even scared of getting into a real relationship cos that might just be a place to experiment with Sex (don’t wanna hurt God and a lady at the same time). Makes me think loneliness is a better option and when I am lonely, once again I need porn to come to my rescue so I don’t loose my mind from all the stress and challenges I have to face all by myself.

    I know I have tried installing Covenant Eyes once. Quite honestly, It helped me stay pure for a whole month but after a while I had to let it go cos it blocks almost all multimedia websites I access and it was beginning to make work difficult for me.

    Its a downward spiral I have tried for ages to combat…its reaaly a painful one cos this very thing is my purpose in life…”Restoring Men back to Purity via media”…maybe that’s why my case is so slippery.

    Mark

    • Luke Gilkerson

      Hey Mark. Thanks for your honesty. The pain of this struggle can be enormous at times.

      As far as Covenant Eyes goes: Did you try just using the Accountability service at any point? Combining accountability software with a good accountability relationship has helped so many men in your shoes. As far as the filter goes: you probably had your filter settings too low if it was blocking all multimedia sites.

      I hate to hear about the downward spiral of porn. Men get trapped in this cycle of porn-shame-porn-shame, and it doesn’t seem to end. The only way to break the cycle is to do something radical: amputate your access to porn and get honest with someone who is willing to disciple you through this dark time. I’d be happy to talk to you more about what that looks like if you are interested.

    • Dan Sheldon

      I’m sorry Mark, I just now saw your reply to my writing. I assure you that porn may seem to be a “cure” or “medicine” to help you feel better. In reality, it is just adding to your problem. There is hope!

      I totally understand not wanting to be in a relationship. Porn made me feel I’d always be alone. It wasn’t until I gave my problem to Jesus that I became a worthy of being somebody’s husband. I don’t know if you have handed this problem over to Jesus or not but it’s very difficult to be done without him. I tried many times on my own just to fail over and over again. Not to say it will go away overnight, even with Jesus, but that is where the small steps come into play. If and when you fall,don’t give up. Ask for forgiveness and start again.

      I agree with Luke, accountability is crucial in this fight. Nobody can do it alone! I’m not sure if there are different forms of Covenant Eyes but the one I have doesn’t block any sites but it does send a report to an accountability partner. I can go anywhere I want on the internet but I know if I fall, my AP will be tempted to fall as well. I don’t want to be the one to make him fall!!

    • Tai

      Mark
      Have you try the course on settingcaptivefree.com. You really need to renew your mind. You need to have a correct motive to change: to glorify God and not to appear holy to man or not feel guilty afterward. An you need to learn to satisfy yourself in God’s words.

    • Great course. Helped me a lot.

    • Allan Groves

      Hey Mark. Thanks for your openness. I am praying for you. I struggle with homosexuality and at the moment it has a grip on me.

    • roland

      my case is jst like yours mark, am 18 and i think am already addicted to porn. i cant stay a week without watching porn or even thinking lustfully. i have tried getting rid of all the porn materials i have both software n hardware. i have accepted Jesus. i have prayed. but i always end up going back to it again. i can’t even surf the internet these days without thinking of opening a porn website. porn helps me 4get disappointments loneliness frustration and challenges of life. but i know its an addiction bcos most times i cant sleep without watching it. i would love to stop it but i cant even when i try n take 1st steps i always go back to watching it. i think it helps me feel better.

    • i too suffer till this day from the same thing i need motivation ive done it before

    • Abraham Samuel

      Same thing I am going through. And it’s reached to the height that I pray for my death. It’s like I don’t have control over myself and my thoughts. My mind is in such a bad condition that I literally call myself an animal. I thought I liked a girl but then I started having worst thougts about her and I felt like killing myself for thinking bad about her. I can’t tell you how helpless I feel right now. Ive got no one to talk to about this and I keep praying for my death. I tried restricting myself of porn by using some apps on my phone then I myself would find a loophole to access it again. I can’t even share everything. It’s that bad. And know what? I am such an animal I get worst thoughts in my mind, thoughts where I use bad words for God, unintentionally. I do not wish it but I don’t seem to have control on it. And again I pray for my death. But I’m not even dying. I have asked that girl to stay away from me because I am such an animal. Based on these thoughts I realozed probably i never liked her. I do pray for her safety, although but would never go near her. There are just so many things…..

  9. Brian Strobel

    Your story I never knew. It has inspired me to become a better christian. I’m so glad to call you my friend even though we don’t see each other that much. we should try to connect. May god bless your family for their love and support.

    May God Bless You
    Brian

  10. Jane Miller

    This is an inspiration Dan. You mentioned 7 steps…..Gods number of completion! Im so glad you listened to the holy spirit that day!! And Im so glad you found a bible teaching church!! We have all done things not of God and Im glad your one of the ones who surrendered to HIM! Im Glad God is still working on us too! I always tell ppl that just cause your grown doesnt mean God aint done raising you! Im also glad I met you all those years ago! God Bless,
    Love your Sisiter in CHrist
    Janie

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