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. Woman in Need of a Miracle

    I recently discovered that my husband of over 10 years has been having Homosexual Affairs with many men. I knew he was into Gay Pornogroghy and had tried to help him stop for years. I never imagined he would take it outside of our bedroom. I’m trying to fight for us as I’m willing to stick with him if he’s truly repentant and willing to set some pretty steep boundaries for him & us. So far, he doesn’t appear to be truly repentant but rather angry, hostile, bitter. I’m told that when truly repentant, you will be clothed with humility & be willing to do whatever it takes. Is this true to some who have gone true this? Does this Humility come over night or does it take time? What are some things I should be looking for? As a wife trying to help, what should I do or not do? Thanks so much!
    God Bless!!

    • Kay Bruner

      First of all, in any marriage where there have been multiple affairs and the offending party is not repentant but rather angry, hostile, and bitter, I would say this: the marriage covenant is broken, and you are free to leave the marriage. You are under no obligation to attempt to fix something that your husband is breaking, over and over. In fact, you are INCAPABLE of fixing what he has broken. It would be his job to do so, and clearly he is not interested in this.

      No doubt your husband feels deeply ashamed, and he’s projecting that shame onto you with his anger. However, you are not the problem and you can’t make the answers. That’s up to him.

      Here is an article called A High View of Marriage Includes Divorce, which may be helpful to you.

      Secondly, it sounds like your husband is gay. Maybe he hasn’t been able to admit that to himself yet, but his sexual orientation appears to be very clear and fixed at this point. While it is true that some gay people choose to enter into and remain in mixed orientation marriages, it sounds like your husband is not able to maintain the vows he has made, and you are suffering the consequences.

      He doesn’t have a choice about his sexual orientation; the medical science is very clear that sexual orientation is an inborn trait. Here is a review of current medical science by Christian doctor Joani Lea Jack. Being informed about the reality of the medical science is very helpful.

      He DOES have a choice about what he does with his sexual orientation, however. We all do: straight or queer. We get to decide how we want to manage our sexuality, what our morality looks like, and how we live out our personal values. Your husband is making really clear choices! I think you have to accept the reality of his choices, even if he is not able to at this time. He is doing what he’s doing. You’ve been trying to change him for 10 years. It’s not working.

      YOU also get to choose: is this how you want to live your life? No matter what your husband chooses, YOU can choose to be healthy and whole. Find a therapist who’s experienced with trauma who can help you process all this. Check out the online resources at Bloom for Women, which are trauma-informed as well.

      Peace,
      Kay

    • Jason

      Hi there, i understand that your post is a year old now and im not sure where you are at with your marriage, but I myself have gone through similar feelings as your husband. I have been married to an awesome woman for just over ten years and i have been living with an addiction to porn for over 5years secretly, it wasnt discovered by her until a few months ago. It statrd out innocent and found myself overtime needing every minute i had free. It went from heterosexual, once that got boring it was homosexual and transexual pornography. I felt shame and guilt each time, but i could not stop it at all. It eventually led to chatting with other women, men. Homosexual conversations, sexting, chatting about what it be like to be with them and i had no willpower through this all and the people i encountered online through this preyed on that, particularly other men who knew just just how to make me weaker and weaker and get me to talk about things that i thought id never do or even think. While i did not take that addiction to a physical level, i dont think i could guarantee that it would’ve never gotten to that point. It very well could have. And i thank God every day for the day that she caught me in my darkest time of sin. At that time i knew of God and but i didnt have faith, and it is solely because of my wife staying and her faithfulness to God that i have grown my faith exponentially since then. Yes, i still have urges and temptations and in fact i went back to it a couple times and each time my wife knew it and she still decided to love me and be with me. That is nothing but the awesome power of the Lord working in her. I cant tell you what you should do or not do, everyone’s situation is different and i can only help you by telling you mine. Have i had homosexual thoughts? Yes, but for me it wasnt a part of life until this addiction took hold in my life. And yes, they are hard to overcome and the farther you go the more they become indebted inside you. But i can say we all worship a God that overcomes anything that we give to him. And i do have faith in that. More than ever in my life. I feel terrible for the women going through this with their husbands, because i let my wife down so much and i know how much pain that creates for her, myself and us. God Bless you in your future, whatever that my be and know that you are most certainly not alone!

  2. Anonymous

    I am 15 years old and I’m suffering with extreme porn and masterbation addiction. I feel huge pain in my heart that doesn’t stop. I was born a Christian believer and I have been baptized, the only problem is that the old man rises in me everyday and it became a habit; porn+masterbate= shame. I really want to change and grow with God but I can’t stop it. I’m ashamed I have no one to talk to and feel alone, and if I dare to talk to someone I’ll be shamed fore the rest of my life. And what kills em overboard is that I’m talking to this girl and we have lined each other for months and we haven’t dated because I haven’t asked her out and it’s Because of this issue. I get confused do I like her or not because of the shame. PLEASE PRAY FOR ME AND HELP ME!! I can’t afford the program but please someone guide me !!!

    • Kay Bruner

      Hey there.

      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 theproblem and may in fact produce more problems.

      Unfortunately, there is huge shame around sexuality in Christian circles, and you are so wise to recognize that the shame itself is part of the problem. In fact, at this point I suspect that your formula might start with shame itself, and as you feel distressed over shame from masturbation, you then masturbate to feel better in the moment.

      You might like this short animation I made recently, Interruping Shame Cycles.

  3. Ayanda

    I been masturbating for 6 years now and I always wanted to quit but it always seems impossible. I dont know what to do now.

  4. John hayword

    If your addicted to porn and women like I was there’s only one way out and that’s through the Holy Spirit. Another word for Holy Spirit is “kundalini”-Sanskrit. The Holy Spirit is the ONLY way to bring God in through you. All the other stuff I tried like bible prayer etc only leaves you on the outside. If you want God in the inside to show you real signs then you need to find a teacher or meditator instructor to help physically activate this force within you. This force is very much Christian Jesus called it the Holy Ghost and said for us to all to go within our own “closets” to pray and that closet he’s speaking of is meditation. Sounds Hindu like or Buddhist like buts it’s not all religions pray to the same God and they all access him through the same way. It’s the only way path to God and the other path is to sin and misery. Seek a teacher, keep searching “within ” and not without until you find the only solution which is God.

    • Sheryl Davis

      Kundalini is witchcraft that has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit. This is total deception. This man is telling you to leave the Bible out and prayer and Gods Word says to hide my word in your heart so you may not sin against me. Be careful not to listen to everyone go to the Lord and ask Him. Meditation isn’t of God except for meditating on Gods Word. Sir I pray that you get the truth.

  5. jordan

    i dont get how people change and quit. ive tried that for years but ive never succeded as much as i hate it i end up watching it

    • Chris McKenna

      Hello, Jordan – if you take certain tough steps, I bet you can break free. It’s tough, tough work. Try reading this: https://www.covenanteyes.com/2012/04/23/how-to-quit-porn-6-essential-steps/ (also, the key is you won’t be able to quit by yourself. Remember, it’s “self” that keeps taking into the mess, so it stands to reason that “self” isn’t the solution to getting clean).

      Peace, Chris

  6. My porn addiction all started when i was around 13 – 14 yrs of age, Im 18 now, when I invited one of my friend for a sleepover. That night my parents were fully asleep next door while my friend locked my room door and opened up a porn site on the internet. At first I felt this intense excitement of watching these videos. My mind was grasped into this nightmare ever since. I started out watching softcore (semi-naked) and ,as I matured, this lust for porn reached to a higher stage, moving to hardcore porn (full nude & sex). Around 4 – 5 years of this secret I came out telling my mum, I got delivered so many times but I could never be able to reach more than 2 weeks without pornography and masturbation. I read my bible and I always feel guilty turning to it because of my immoral ways. There was this girl that I had a crush on, she was in the same University as me, and every time i see her i always feel love for her in my heart that I do not want it to fade. In my mind, I want to put her as the only girl I wish to love, but a strong temptation of viewing pornography always have a huge hold over me. This makes me so frustrated and I always ask God for help and I always wish I never made any friends in my life. I wish I was lonely (so i wouldn’t be dragged into their diseased perverted ways). Anyway they are not the one to blame because It was my choice of becoming there friend. I hate myself to the core. One side of me,sometimes, thinks of committing suicide the other side is fear that God will throw me into the depths of hell and i will regret for eternity. What have I done with my life? That’s a question haunts my life everyday.

    • Chris McKenna

      Hello, Alvin – I’m proud of you for leaving your comment on the blog because this is a very difficult area. I’m deeply concerned about your comments about suicide – here’s the truth…you have unmeasurable value! Your life is a precious gift and a blessing to this planet. Please find someone you can talk to about your struggles. Whenever you feel tempted, turn that trigger towards something else, even reaching out to someone you trust (I know it’s uncomfortable to talk to someone about this). To be very direct, you cannot recover from this on your own. Christ and community can get you there. The Cross of Christ is not powerless against your struggles! Surrender.

      If you don’t have anyone you can talk to, and you start to have suicidal feelings again, promise me you’ll call this number: 1-800-273-8255, if you are in the United States. If not, please find that trusting friend.

      God is for you! Alvin, you can get through this, and it will be hard work, but it’s worth it. Remember the strength you have in Christ – Romans 8 can remind you. The cross of Jesus Christ IS strong enough to overcome everything. Even this.
      Peace, Chris​

  7. Willy Corea

    Hello, I was curious how did the voice sound when it said this isn’t how you are going to find a wife?

    I struggle with the same sin and sometimes I hear a voice right before I fall into porn and it stops from falling into sin, but the voice is my voice, but a lot softer. So I get really confused and wonder if it’s the Holy Spirit.

    I hope one of you could help.

  8. Jay

    I found a program that works really well in breaking the addiction called the Conquer Series, it’s an amazing program that teaches how to change your brain with the help of Jesus .www.conquerseries.com

    • Chris McKenna

      Hi Jay! Yes, we love the work that Dr. Roberts is doing. I’m so glad that his program has worked for you!

      Peace, Chris
      -Covenant Eyes

  9. Depressed

    I am girl aged 24 and i have been addicted to porn ever since i was 10 years old.i started mastubating when i was 10 and at age 11,i started practising what i saw in porn with my small brother and some friends my age or slightly younger.my brother was young and so innocent and i destroyed him.i practised lesbianism at age 12 .if you all think you are sinners then i am the worst. i dont want God to forgive me for i will always go back to my vomit of pornography. Samson had one last request that he asked God to do for him .i also have one last request to God please may he end my life.my sin is too great and its a burden i am carrying daily .Lord have mercy and take my life Many people look up to me and they think that i am a good person ,but only God and me know the truth.i have tried so many times to break lose from this demon but it seems to be taking forever and the addiction is getting stronger by day.the longest that i have ever stayed without watching porn was 2 months and i reached that far because i wanted God to do me favor.so i thought if i could sin then instead of God blessing me he will punish me.i am a big mess right now and it has reached a point were I don’t really care about life but only porn.Even if i have an exam the next day i can spent the whole night surfing the internet for porn.There is nothing that I don’t know about porn.i know everything and it sucks.i cant get those images,those videos out of my mind.i don’t know how to help myself.

    • Kay Bruner

      Hey there. I am so, so sorry for the pain you’ve been in for so long, and so glad you reached out here for help.

      First of all, I want to let you know that if you are thinking of harming yourself, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is open 24/7: 1 (800) 273-8255. Suicide is never, ever a solution. It just creates more pain and destroys more lives through grief and suffering. So please reach out for the help that you need when you’re in a critical state.

      Also, I think you need a counselor. You can find directories at the American Association of Christian Counselors, and also at Psychology Today. Find a safe person to process your emotions with, someone who can help you find healing and hope.

      Finally, you need to know that you’re not alone. Many women struggle with porn and find healing! Here’s a link to our resources for you.

      You are God’s precious, beloved child, created in his image. Your life has value; it’s not disposable. God knows what he’s dealing with when it comes to human beings. Not one single person has been perfect since the dawn of time. That’s why Jesus showed up–to bring us healing and hope and new life. That’s all available to you, and there are good, safe people to help you walk that road to freedom. I hope you’ll reach out for help today.

      Blessings, Kay

    • Believe me I know what’s like, I understand the feeling.
      Especially when you give your life to Jesus so many times that you lose count.
      I recall being sexually abused as a little kid, that abuse made my life a mess as I grew up.
      I sexual abused other kids, got involved in porn, masturbation and the rest of the filthy sexual nonsense. Came to the point that I got tired of life because I looked innocent that you wouldn’t guess that I could do such.
      One thing I’ve learnt is that God sees the imperfections in us, but he wants our life to be a torchlight to those who are going through the same things we’ve gone through. Your life is a testimony, dear.
      Because He makes all things good in his time.
      My life is not yet perfect though but I’ve seen a bit of what He demands from me.
      Stumbled across a page on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Izzyrecovery

    • Kay Bruner

      Thanks so much for sharing this powerful message of hope. No matter what’s been done to us, no matter what we’ve done to others, God is in the business of redeeming and restoring. He loves us with an everlasting love. Our names are written in the palms of his hands. Nothing on earth is more powerful to heal than that love. Blessings to you, Kay

  10. John B

    I have yielded to lust my entire life. No self control. I have always believed in Jesus and the Bible. Recently I stopped looking at porn and stopped masturbating. I am married. My wife and I were going through some problems. We are working on improving our relationship. I have repented and turned from sin. I wish to grow stronger with my relationship with Jesus. Sometimes I wish he would speak plainly with me. I am not sure what to do. How can I come to some level of peace? How can I be sure of my status with God? I spend free time watching Christian videos on youtube and trying to read my bible and learn more and more. I am unsure what to do next. I have always freely shared my beliefs with others. Do I need to baptized in order to receive the Holy Spirit?

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