Defeat Lust & Pornography
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Porn Addiction vs. Satisfaction in God

Last Updated: July 19, 2021

This is not a testimony of “I have arrived,” or even “I have overcome.” Praise God for the testimonies about how someone conquered a habitual sin. We need them. But that is not my story.

I am no Apostle Paul who, with great grace and self-control, lived a celibate ministry enduring countless trials. No, I am a Jacob, a self-deceived trickster who has been wrestling with God all throughout a 13 year night.

Deception #1: Sex is Life

See, growing up I was always the kid with the right answers in Sunday School. Not only that, but I fervently sought the Lord through prayer and the reading of His word. And I was proud of it.

But there was always the siren’s call for as long as I can remember. I would strap myself to the proverbial mast, plug my ears, and blindfold my eyes, but nonetheless I always managed to steer toward the siren’s shore.

I introduced myself to pornography when I was 12. What started as curiosity quickly turned to self-prescribed medication for lonely heart syndrome. I had friends, but no one really understood me. I wanted to go do and be something great, and they all wanted to “ollie” higher on their skateboard or trade Pokémon.

I lived a double life. I genuinely loved the Lord and sought to please him. But I also genuinely thought my life would be so much better if I could just have amazing, passionate, intimate sex. That’s what I really thought would complete me, what would make me whole.

I had the mountain high times with God where I would so intensely feel his presence and joy in my life that I thought I would never sin again. But when that faded and temptation came, I could not imagine how even that God-high could compare to the lust-medicated euphoria.

So I begged God, “Please satisfy me or take my desires away! Change your plans or change my heart! I don’t care! Just stop leaving me in the middle!”

Deception #2: Marriage Will Help

Well, I spent a few years being massively confused about several of my pastor’s applications of 1 Corinthians 7:8-9: “To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”

Somehow after that verse they would tell me that I should not get married expecting it to fix my lust problem. But I couldn’t see it. I was just so lonely. “After all,” I would quote, “It is not good for man to be alone.” Marriage would at least help, I thought.

So I got married. It didn’t help. I just ended up burdening my wife with a weight she could not bear.

I quit porn for about a year, but still struggled with lust. Then came a very long season of very difficult trials. Two life threatening pregnancies, three months of unemployment, six months of underemployment, and six months of working three jobs. Then living with the in-laws while going to school.

On the tail end of this season my porn addiction picked up again.

Satisfaction in God Alone

But something happened the summer of 2011. I had an experience of the presence of God unlike any that I ever had before. I had become fed up with my repeated predictable failures and decided to find out once and for all how I could find satisfaction in God above all else.

I started reading books on heaven because much of my struggle came from the fact that heaven will not have marriage or sex and those are my two favorite things in God’s good creation.

I heard a sermon on 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 that was so full of rich truth that I spent an entire year studying just that one passage (and passages directly related to it).

I wrestled and wrestled and wrestled. I begged God for understanding. I continued to fail over and over.

But something had changed. My thought life radically changed. My prayer life radically changed. I saw myself caring more deeply for my wife and kids. I found myself caring deeply about complete strangers. I found myself more easily turning not only my hands and feet from temptation but also my heart.

I continued to fall into temptation, but not as hard and not as frequently.  I am not there yet, but I see that God is carrying me along.  I have no one to boast in but my Savior. I know where my heart would be without him. I know where my life would be without him.  Only he could make me into who I am today and who I will be tomorrow. Praise God!

What to do if you’re a sex-crazed God-wrestler like me: I highly recommend wrestling with 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 like I did. Read it through several times and then just take it phrase by phrase. Turn each phrase over and over in your mind until you have no more questions left to ask it.

. . . .

Peter-Daniel-JamesPeter Daniel James rans a blog called “From Lust to Love.” The goal of the blog is to show Christian men and women precisely how God’s promises are better than lust’s, while offering Gospel-powered strategies for holistic change.

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