Pornography isn’t that big of a deal….that’s what I used to think.
How I Got Addicted to Porn
When I was 14 years old, my dad and I bought one of the first satellite dishes. It gave me access to hundreds of channels including pornography nearly any time I wanted to see it.
We didn’t keep the satellite dish forever—but it began my addiction. All throughout high school I purchased magazines and developed a very unrealistic view of sex and an extremely unhealthy view of women. I didn’t see anything wrong with what I was doing.
I Wanted Out...
That all changed in May of 1990 when I accepted Christ…and my life was changed. I knew pornography was wrong and not what God wanted for me, but I had sown the seeds of a porn addiction into my life for more than five years. I wanted the desire to look at porn to go away overnight...but it didn’t.
In fact, I struggled with it for the next 10 years. Porn was my “secret sin” no one knew about. (Tweet This!) The struggle was real and emotionally and spiritually intense. I doubted my salvation, I almost walked away from the ministry, I thought that God hated me…I just could not get control of the addiction.
When The Internet Happened
In 1996 I was introduced to the Internet…and that’s when things almost spiraled out of control. It wasn’t a big deal at first…I was just going to “research and see” what was out there so I could be a “more effective minister.”
I lived a roller-coaster life with my porn addiction. I would do really good for a while, even going months without looking at porn…and then BAM…I would surf the Internet for several days in a row, yielding to the lure of the enemy’s voice.
Finally in March of 2000, I decided I was done and going to get free from this addiction. I was getting married in April of that year and I knew a pornography addiction would destroy my marriage.
I can honestly say for the past 14 years I’ve been free of my porn addiction and I thank God who has provided me the strength.
I know I am not alone in this struggle and the good news is you can be free from it too.
Here are 5 steps that helped me overcome this addiction and that I still follow today.
1 - Ask for accountability I am not talking about finding someone who has the same problem as you and you both confessing that you “messed up” that week and then feeling OK because you were not the only one to sin. I am challenging you to find someone who does not struggle with the problem…and ask them to get in your face. One of my best friends, Clayton King, and I made a pact: If he or I view porn, we have to write the other person a check for $1,000. It might not work for you—but there have been times I have been tempted & thought about my checkbook!!!
2 - Get away from the web This is tough for an Internet junkie…but it is SO important. Jesus said if your right eye causes you to sin then gouge it out…so I don’t think it is a stretch to say if your computer cauuses you to sin then get rid of it. I had to take this step…for about five years I did not have the Internet in my house because I did not trust myself. This may be the first step you need to take.
3 - Do not travel alone Men, under no circumstances should you travel alone if you are struggling with porn, especially if you are in the ministry. Temptation is real so having accountability with you when you’re traveling is such a big deal.
4 - Tell your wife She has a right to know…and she can pray for you in powerful ways. I told Lucretia about my struggles before we were married…and she still prays for me and holds me accountable today. This will hurt her…and it will put a strain on things…but if she finds out in some other way — and she will — then not only does she feel like you cheated on her but she feels lied to as well.
5 - Ask God to help you to develop a healthy view of women When I realized, “That woman is some man’s daughter…and when I have a little girl I don’t want other men viewing her in a lustful way!” I have to admit—this one really impacted me. I have a daughter and I want her to be treated with respect and not as an object for someone’s self-gratification!
I have been there—I have struggled—and I have overcome it (Tweet This!)…and the same Jesus who lives inside of me lives inside of you. You don’t have to live with this addiction. If you need help you can start here or feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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