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Defeat Lust & Pornography 4 minute read

The Deeper Longings Behind Your Porn Use

Last Updated: January 23, 2023

I was exposed to porn at the age of 12. When I first saw it, part of me was shocked and disgusted, and another part of me felt exhilarated and curious. I began seeking it out regularly and soon became addicted. I tried stopping through my own willpower, making promises to God to quit, and agreeing with friends to confess every time I went back to it. Nothing seemed to work. I hated porn and wanted to be free, but I also couldn’t imagine a life without it. Unbeknownst to me, my porn use was serving a deeper purpose in my life that demanded attending to.

After 12 years of addiction, God set me free, and today I’ve been free for over 9 years. What was the secret? Many things, but one of the greatest keys He used was helping me discover why I went to porn and the deeper unmet longings in my life.

Do you question your porn use?

As Christians, we can be quick to condemn our porn use, get accountability, and simply try to cease the external behavior, without exploring the deeper reasons we might be drawn to it, and what we actually might be longing for in our lives. Questioning our porn use will get us a hundred times closer to freedom than simply condemning it. Only then can we discover what we are truly longing for and know how to find it fulfilled.

The reality is that porn use is not random, it’s a signal to be answered. Let me explain. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Everything we do flows from our hearts—the good things we do, the bad things, our thoughts, and our actions. So we must question what is going on in our hearts and what are we longing for.

Do you understand your desires?

God creates every human being with desires—or heart longings—that drive everything we do. Throughout the Bible, we see seven, including our need to be accepted, appreciated, safe, and have our feelings affirmed. All porn use is an attempt to have one or more of these longings met when we are unable to find healthy ways to fulfill these longings.

Porn use, like many other emotional or behavioral struggles, is not random. All of these things are signals to be answered. Signals for our deeper God-given longings that are going unmet or have been outright rejected.

Biblical Examples

This is seen throughout the Bible:
● In Genesis 3, after turning from God and his ways, Adam and Eve were naked and afraid so they hid. They experienced an unmet longing for acceptance, and instead experienced shame, and as a result, hid.
● In 1 Samuel 21-24, David was anxious when Saul was seeking to kill him. He experienced an unmet longing for safety, and as a result, hid in caves and grew anxious.
● In Job 3, Job experienced unmet longings after losing his health, wealth, and family, and he grew so depressed that he wished he had never been born.

Personal Examples

Perhaps you:
● Watch porn to find pseudo-acceptance or love when you feel rejected.
● Seek out porn when you don’t feel pursued in your relationships, and desire attention.
● Didn’t feel affirmed, safe, or accepted at times in your developmental years, and porn
became a place of solace for you.

As I began my healing journey, I discovered the purpose porn served in my life. Growing up, I experienced deep hurt, confusion, and trauma. I experienced bullying, my father’s anger, and a deep sense that I didn’t belong anywhere. As I entered middle school in a new town, I felt the pressure to fit in and was bullied. Enter porn. I went to porn in an attempt to experience nurture, acceptance, and safety. Every time people weren’t there, porn was. Every time I felt rejected or inadequate, I could experience pseudo-love and acceptance through porn. It gratified, but it never satisfied.

Commit to a life of no secrets.

As part of my healing journey, I got together with a few other guys. We committed to a life of no secrets and to text and talk constantly throughout the week. Every time an unmet longing came up, we reached out to connect and experience the healthy fulfillment of that longing. Don’t get me wrong, the process of quitting porn was one of the hardest things I’ve ever walked through.

Years of therapy, recovery, and daily support from people were difficult yet so crucial as well. Ultimately, porn use became a thing of the past as I found what I was truly longing for in God and healthy relationships.

God invites us into freedom as we begin to question our porn use and the deeper unmet longings behind it, rather than simply condemning it. He invites us into freedom as we begin to answer the signal behind our porn use and experience the fulfillment of what we were looking for in it through Him and one another. We can experience true acceptance, appreciation, safety, and the fulfillment of our deepest desires and longings as we reach out, get vulnerable, and connect with God and others.

  1. david carlson

    Thank you so much for sharing your story it is so on target about how we use destructive habits like porn to attempt to meet identifying our deepest emotional needs and how it is critical that we meet those needs with our relationship with God and others!

  2. Brent Wiseman

    Yea I agree with what you said for me I don’t have many friends and don’t know how to be one because I am 58 and porn use I have blocked but lust can be problem for me can relate to articles because I feel all of those things .

    • Keith Rose

      Thanks for sharing your comment! Have you tried connecting with people through a support group, such as the Samson Society? https://samsonsociety.com/

      Blessings,

      Keith

    • Dan Walch

      Revive 40 and Christian counseling have saved me from porn. My marriage is still a work in progress because I ruined my wife’s trust in me. I am a new creation in Christ and continue to strive for that vertical relationship we God.
      PS I am also 58

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