My husband has penned the last few posts on this topic. For years, neither of us wanted to talk about porn. We had no desire to be vocal about its part in our life, let alone talk to others about it. But the power of God and the joy of the freedom found in him, bring out our feeble voices. So, this is our story and we are fervently praying it will encourage others with their own stories. Jesus has overcome all darkness and with his strength, you can too. If you missed the first two parts of my husband's story you can find them here: Overcoming Pornography: The Struggle, Overcoming Pornography: The Moment of Truth
It is said that you don’t know what you don’t know. This was true for me with pornography. In the midst of the battle, there was simply so much I didn’t know. However, in the years since I overcame this sin, God has revealed so much to me. I’d like to end my portion of this blog series, by sharing some thoughts with those still struggling with pornography.
Thought 1: Humble yourself and confess your sin.
If you’re addicted to porn, it means you’ve failed over and over on your own to overcome it. The time has come to confess it to another Christian so you may experience healing.
"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed." - James 5:16
This is going to require you to humble yourself because the moment of truth is a shameful time. Pornography is a terrible sin that carries a lot of guilt and it is the fear of this sinful side of you being revealed that has caused you to fight against porn on your own for way too long. However, you must overcome any pride or worries, and see that the freedom you’ll gain is worth it.
Also, be encouraged and remember 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
When you humble yourself and confess your sins, God is good and loves you. He will forgive you for your sins and pick you up. You may be at a very low point when you confess, but God will bring you up from there and rebuild you into a new creation.
Pray for the humility to confess your sin to another Christian.
Thought 2: Consider everything a loss.
After you confess your sin, you need to be ready to live out Philippians 3:8, “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.”
If you are addicted to porn, the truth is you lack self-control so you need to take tough, practical steps to overcome it.
Are you willing to have a filter on your computer that tracks every site you visit? Are you willing to give up your awesome smart phone for a standard flip phone that just makes calls? Are you even willing to not have the Internet in your home? (When I was first married, we had no Internet in our place and would go to the library instead to use it.) Are you willing to cancel your cable or satellite TV so you aren’t tempted by shows?
These are tough steps you need to take. Be honest with yourself. You’ve proven that you are not able to overcome these temptations so get rid of them. God is worth more than a phone, or 200 TV channels, or the Internet, so consider them all a loss so you don’t fail and sin.
Thought 3: Gain self-control.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." - Galatians 5:22-23
Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. In order to gain self-control, you need to grow in your relationship with God. This means getting in the Bible and working on your prayer life. It really is that simple. Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
While I say that this is simple, it often isn’t. While you may believe in God, your love for Him is weaker than you know (it is something I didn’t know). The truth is an addiction to porn damages your relationship with God. Day after day you are choosing yourself over Him. This same temptation will arise when it comes to spending time with God. Your sinful nature is going to want you to do something more fun or easy. You must overcome this urge and begin investing in your relationship with God. You can’t have a strong relationship with someone you never spend time with, and the same is true with God.
Thought 4: Win early.
You need to overcome sin at its earliest moment – when the first thought of it enters your mind.
"Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." - 2 Corinthians 10:5
Do you allow yourself to look at the magazine covers in the grocery store line? Do you watch the trashy TV commercials? Do you allow yourself to check out the girls you pass throughout the day?
Let’s continue being honest; the answer is yes. These sins all start as a thought, so you need to work on overcoming them every day. You are used to giving yourself a free pass, as if these actions don’t matter, but they do. The way you win the big battle is by training yourself to win the little battles each day.
Final Thought: God is worth it.
“My people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols. Be appalled at this, you heavens, and shudder with great horror,” declares the Lord. “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” Jeremiah 2:11-13
You have the Spring of Living Water. However, right now you are digging your own cistern thinking you can do better. The pornography you are pursuing will never bring you lasting satisfaction and joy. So stop digging! See the mistake you are making; become appalled at it; shudder with great horror! Return to the Spring. God is so worth it! He will help you overcome it just as He did with me. To Him be the Glory!