Defeat Lust & Pornography Young man praying for victory against porn.
Defeat Lust & Pornography 2 minute read

Striving, Falling, and Getting Back Up: Persevering Against Porn

Last Updated: April 3, 2023

Most paths to victory from porn involve many twists and turns. They can include setbacks, discouragements, and even feelings of failure. But freedom is possible, and you can join the countless others who have experienced victory over porn. The following story was shared by a young man who experienced many setbacks in his journey, but he has persisted and encourages the rest of us to persevere against porn.

I have been struggling with a masturbation addiction since I was about 12 years old. I am 29 now. Even when I am not watching (or listening also in my case) any form of pornography, the tendency to return to compulsive masturbation is there.

In the past, I couldn’t make it a day without watching pornography or masturbating multiple times. It would not be an exaggeration that I have lost entire weeks of my life to masturbation. It may even be months.

Despite big victories in the past, the biggest one being free of pornography and masturbation for more than an entire year, I returned to my old habits in December of 2017. Since then, I have been struggling again. Even then, I had a time from 2018-2019 where I was masturbation and porn-free for 3 months. Yet I relapsed.

This year, I went through the STRIVE challenge, and that has blessed me tremendously. However, on Day 13 of the challenge, I relapsed and couldn’t get my streak going again. Right now, I am taking the 40 Day Challenge, which I have already failed on the second day. But I keep going regardless.

Today marks the third day I haven’t masturbated, watched, or listened to porn or other sexually explicit material.

This is a victory, for, despite all these setbacks, God has given me the will to keep on fighting. I still feel like I am stuck in a hole, but through the free resources I got from Covenant Eyes (Hobbies & Habits, Your Brain on Porn, and the STRIVE Sobriety Plan), I have found guidance on which areas of my life I need to make a change.

Those months and years I have been masturbation-free in the past have shown me that freedom is definitely possible. So even though I feel guilt-ridden and broken down by my recent relapses, especially a heavy binge that cost me several days last week, I want to repent wholeheartedly. I acknowledge my addiction as a sin before God and do not wish to continue living in it.

And I do have hope. This is something that I didn’t have when I became a Christian seven years ago and couldn’t make it a day without multiple relapses.

As a reminder to myself and all those who recently relapsed:

Staying in the fight despite all setbacks is a victory on its own. Praise God for that.

“God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore the joy of your salvation to me, and sustain me by giving me a willing spirit. Then I will teach the rebellious your ways, and sinners will return to you” (Psalm 51:10-13).

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