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. hey i just really want to share my problem. . I had given my life to god few months back.. i started getting over all the stupid desires i had in my life… recently while i was chatting wid my ex.. we started getting back together. we do live a long distance life and because of that we sending pictures which were really full of lust.. it happened 2 times and i regretted it so much because i felt very bad of such a thing
    i had made a promise to god that i wont be sending pictures like these and it did happen. I feel really guilty but im fustrated at the same time cause im all alone , my friends abandon me and theres so much stuff going on in my life right now. I really am sorry to God so much and i really need help to be a powerful girl in gods word. i regret what happened and i make sure i wont do it again. I jus want to know if we really want to hear how god speaks to us. . how do we make that happen?

  2. Ken Q

    Hi everyone. I would like to compliment everyone for being kind and encouraging. Many comment areas I see are ridiculous and people are attacking each other. Well done His good and faithful servants.
    Ok I have had the addiction for a long time and I am working hard to get rid of it with the help of Jesus. He has slowly helped me change my thinking and see what porn really is. 1. Porn focuses on self while love focuses on the other person. 2. Porn is lust not love. I now look for only love on the Internet. I now hate porn (but yes I have made mistakes when I am tired) but my thinking helps me to eliminate lust. 3. When I am tired I need to get to bed early. The later I stay up the less chance I can resist. 4. I was married for 25 years and because of my self centered thinking, workaholic approach to work and my total lack of stopping me acting on my need, when I became a Christian, God told me I had to tell my wife and that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I realize the problem is that am lonely so I asked God to help. He is. I now have 3 women that I am meeting that may turn out to be my next lady. It says in the bible if you cannot handle being alone you need to be married. 5. I now put an X on the calendar so I can see my progress. You can get more strength by seeing success in the past. I hope this may help others. 6. I went to a seminar on relationships and the pastor stated that you need to masturbate once every week. I don’t think that is right but I have read it in secular magazines too. I think the point is being missed here. Whether you can or can’t is not as important as what you are fantasizing about. I am thinking lustful pornographic thoughts so for me if I think that way it is not of God. I am and will win this battle for my heart is right and I want to be closer to God so based on that I will fight the good fight and claim the victory. If I can’t Covenant Eyes will be downloaded. I do have accountability people. I just prayed for all of us. God bless and hope this may help even one person. Ken

  3. Asomah Bright

    Hi ,please am also much addicted to porn mpvies .I really don’t like this problem and i want to do away with it in my life .Porn addiction is not really good for my christian life and my relationship with God .I really need help from God

  4. Ben

    I came out as gay in high school long before I saw any porn. Fast forward a decade and I’m right along with most guys struggling with porn addiction. I use covenant eyes to block porn sites, and I find it pretty effective. The whole accountability and church part though never works for me. Christians want me to renounce being gay first before they will help me with a porn addiction. I grew up in a church and was basically thrown out when I came out as gay teenager. It bother me how Christians say anyone who believes in him will have eternal life but small print: you have to change first. I think porn can be really destructive and I find covenant eyes helps me manage those urges, but I recommend not using a church for support unless you happen to fit into their cookie cutter expectation.

    • Kay Bruner

      Hey Ben, thank you for being so brave and commenting here.

      I’m so so so sorry you’ve had such a painful experience with your church’s response to your sexual orientation. It’s an enormous heart-break to me that, for the most part, the church hasn’t yet figured out how to just love people. Period. I know you probably can’t tell from your experience, but there are many of us straight Christians who are praying and hoping for a better day to come.

      Until that day comes, I think you’re absolutely right, a church accountability group is probably not going to be very helpful to you. You might want to look at Sex Addicts Anonymous, or even Alcoholics Anonymous as a more accepting place for help on the accountability side of things.

      I’m sure you’ve figured out already that Christians are not in charge of God’s love for you, but I just want to go ahead and say it anyway.

      Thank you again for your willingness to share. Blessings, Kay

    • Allan

      Ben. Jesus doesn’t tell us to clean up first and then come to Him – because the truth of the matter is, that no mortal can accomplish that. If we give him our heart, and put our full trust in His finished work on Calvary’s cross – He will clean us up and set us free. Ephesians 2:8-9

  5. Sabo

    Really God bless all of you! I have learned so many thing how to stop sexual addicts. Only Jesus is the medicine . pray every more.

  6. Mal

    Hi I am a christian…not sure about all this catholic/protestant stuff but I totally agree that Jesus looks to the heart and not our “religion”.
    Anyway my sad story so far does not have a happy ending. I’m 48 years old and started the porn spiral in the standard way….magazines and masturbation in my teens. I gave my life to God at 18 but didn’t experience much but did start to see how wrong my actions were. Anyway a combination of very low esteem and porn addiction and befriending some very worldly guys led to a decade of promiscuity, including prostitution. I was in deep. God never let go of me and even when I was in the depths of sexual sin I would still drag myself of to church most Sundays….I guess in amongst my hopeless, despairing life I “knew” there was some truth and hope there. Anyway after years of self loathing and medicating on sex and porn God actually gave me a beautiful christian women. We got engaged but a few weeks out of getting married she dumped me cos she thought I would NOT be a good Dad for her son. Well that did it….I told God to stick it and started back into my sinful life ( in retrospect I know that was a test but obviously my faith was very weak and my anger was out of control). One of the girls I met during this stage of life just fell for me and wouldn’t let me go..she was not a christian and to me she was just a one nighter. Anyway long story short we are now married with a 4 year old daughter. I have probably never really loved my wife but just the fact that she loved me and saw some goodness in me just made me think “why not give it a go” :-/. I have been married for 10 years and from a worldly point of view I have a good life – we travel, both have good jobs and love our daughter very much. But our relationship is not close, we hardly ever have sex and of course are “unequally yoked”. Although she suspects I have NEVER confessed my porn addiction to her. I have done Setting captives free and confessed to pastors and trusted christian friends but still can’t shake this enormous monkey on my back. My life is very unfulfilling and dissatisfying. My desire is still to glorify God and live a life of peace and joy but I’m so disappointed and confused with what my life has become.

    • I’m so sorry to hear about your problem, Mal.

      First, it helps, I think, to talk to God about how you can begin to see your marriage not as a means of personal fulfillment but as a means of service (to your wife, daughter, etc.). In the end, many people have the tendency to make an idol out of a spouse’s approval, even when we have “fulfilling” Christian marriages. It is so important to ground our identity in God and His love, seeing our spouses as people to serve.

      Second, I highly recommend you find some great reading from people who live in mixed marriages, like you do. You will probably get a lot out of that.

    • Joshua

      Hey brother! I’ll start by explaining how much you are loved! I too have struggled with pornography, as I’m sure eveyone else has on this site. In respect to your current situation, know you are blessed and have been bestowed a great honor. You say that the love for your spouse does not feel mutual. Know that God has placed a woman in your life that may not have realtion with God. Take this opportunity to tell her about him. I know currently I have found relationship in a woman that I too don’t see myself spending the rest of my life with. EVEN THOUGH I PRAY, I recogonize God is bigger and his good can come from this situation. Her love though, is like none I have seen maybe almost clingy. but like most I felt that I should give her a chance and show Christ through me. Now that we talk about God and share our love for him the relationship grows. When I notice her drifting from focus on the eternal I would let her know. As a father you have a responsibility as the man to tend to your wife and child, like Christ to the church. Rejoice brother bring the good news to your wife and daughter. I assure you. The best way to fight addiction is to fill your life with works. Works of the spirit physically demonstrate Jesus, and rebukes Satan. Many people forget the actual spiritual warfare happening. Take heed demons are at work making one feel guilt, sad, ovewelmed. By what? Jesus Christ payed the price, yes scream it out loud, do a back flip and maybe kick the air. It feels good to get pumped up for our faith. But the greatest tool that Satan uses is being luke warm. We are called to pick up our cross, and live like Christ. You can do this brother. I love brother. It may be hard for you to genuinely love your family. But if anything consider them potential sisters in Christ. You can do this man (jump kick) get pumped up. I love you man. You need to feel on fire for your relationship in him. Identity man, Amen.

  7. Dan Sheldon

    Hi. Been a long time since I have been to this page. Looks like it erupted into something not intended. I am friends with many Catholics. 3 of them are in my accountability group that I still attend every Monday. There is also a Methodist, a Baptist and a Presbyterian in the same group (I attend an Assembly of God church). We gather in the name of Jesus and all theology is second place. We are united in the truth that Jesus is the son of God.

    I have no problem with confession. I believe confessing sins is a good thing.

    Since writing this I have not looked at any porn, although there are times I really want to. That is the time I text my accountability partner and ask for prayer. That’s the time I pray to Jesus myself. There is temptation all around but God gives a way out EVERY time. Question is, do we look for the way out?

    This post was meant to let those who are addicted to porn know there is hope. That hope is Jesus Christ whether you are Protestant, Catholic or even Atheist. Jesus wants you to be set free.

  8. George McAleer

    Ounbbi & Luke: What each of you said was profound. Thanks for your insights.

    Regarding the Catholic/Protestant difference: Come on guys give us a break! I grew up with this stuff.

    I come from a Catholic background, gave my life to Jesus in HS resulting from Catholic and Protestant ministries, went to a Top 25 college (it was Catholic), was in a Catholic charismatic prayer group then, and Top 5 grad school. Mixed with a chronic disease and great work experience when it existed, addiction was sublimated when I was younger, exploded in my late 20s, was reduced by joining SA & later Covenant Eyes, but has became stronger to a point these days by trying to run solo. FYI I was running on my own because I was in the midst of switching between a standard SA group & sponsor and a telephone version of the same. I also foolishly closed my CE Accountability account leaving me on my own for a period of time.

    My wife and I married 30+ years ago. She’s Protestant and we’ve had our issues. But her walk with Jesus appears stronger than mine as I have resorted to porn to “medicate” myself.

    So why am I going public with this? I recognize the silliness, stubbornness, and profundity of the conflict between the Catholic and Protestant churches. In the end it comes down to the condition of our hearts.

    Years ago I read Kierkegaard’s Attack on Christendom and wrote my own paper “Attack on the Catholic Church.” It was modeled after Kierkegaard’s work. For your info Attack on Christendom did not attack Christianity but rather maintained that the state religion of Denmark was a professional scam and not authentic Christianity. My paper seemed good and accurate but decades later I believe that the condition of our heart is more important than the differences between Catholicism and Protestantism. In the end it comes down to what Jesus did for us and the choices we make or don’t make.

    I agree with the both of you that Jesus liberates us from our mistakes. In the end that is the bottom line. The argument over the necessity of Confession as expressed by Catholics will not be resolved in our lifetime. With that in mind let’s state our opinion but be quicker to love and support one another. We will be judged by how we love not by our adherence to correct arguments (Jesus vs. Pharisees).

  9. I wonder how many are there who are NOT porn addicts, especially for men?

    Our mortal life is beset by all sorts of addiction – alcohol, sex, gambling, smoking, drug, work (yes, work too), idols (yes, I mean religions and ideologies, rituals, and religions). Who can free our humanity from its bondage where the purpose of our living is nothing other than the pursuit of power and pleasure (yes, it includes ‘happYness’) in our fallen world?

    • In a very real sense, we are all slaves of sin. That slavery will manifest itself different for each person, but we are all addicted to self.

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