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I’ve shared in depth my personal battle with pornography. I know the effects it has on a person, as well as on their families, marriages, relationships, and friendships. If you’re still looking at porn, it’s time to stop. Here’s why:
- It changes the way you look at all women (and/or men). Porn teaches you that women are only their breasts, legs, etc. It dehumanizes them. So when you see women in real life, you only see their breasts, legs, etc. This is a huge problem. Every man or woman you see is only 0.05% their body parts and are 99.5% their vulnerabilities, hurts, fears, insecurities, personalities, strengths, weaknesses, flaws, pasts, family roles (daughter, mother, wife), jobs, likes, dislikes, etc. How can you be in healthy community with women when you are focused on their body parts? How am I going to let you be in community with my wife or daughter when you are focused on their body parts? And stop lying to yourself about this. You do this, and it’s automatic. Porn has trained you like its pet dog to think this way.
- Porn changes the way you view sex. Dr. Gary Wilson of YourBrainOnPorn.com says, “Internet porn is as different from real sex as today’s video games are from checkers.” Imagine someone (your spouse) wants to sit down to play checkers with you, but you think you are sitting down to play online Halo. This isn’t going to end well. And neither is your marriage.
- Porn physiologically changes your brain chemistry. That’s pretty scary. I don’t know about you, but my brain is something I value.
- Porn causes erectile dysfunction. Also pretty scary. I don’t know about you, but erectile function is something I value.
- Porn depresses you.
- Porn demotivates you.
- Porn removes your confidence in interacting with the opposite sex.
- Porn wastes hours of your time, at a time. Imagine all of the productive things you could do with the time you’ve wasted in your past looking at porn.
- If you’re a Christian, porn creates a double life. You have to keep it secret. You go to church and feel distance in your relationship with God. You wonder if your spouse will find you out. You wonder what your pastor would think if he found out. You are constantly looking behind you.
- Porn will destroy your marriage. And/or your future marriage.
- If you think you will be able to stop looking at porn once you get married, because “you’ll be able to have all the sex you want” and won’t have a need for porn, you are so incredibly mistaken. Every married person reading this just laughed at you. And every person, like myself, who thought marriage would cure porn addiction, feels sorrow for you. Marriage actually makes porn addition worse. One, because there’s so much more on the line so the ramifications are much worse. And two, because it’s your outlet from the difficulties of married life. So the temptation doesn’t lessen, it heightens, because porn will always be easier than working on your marriage.
- Porn funds, supports, and perpetuates the abusive, evil, heinous sex-trafficking industry.
- How will you teach your kids to not look at porn, when you are still looking at porn?
I fully understand the feeling of wanting to stop looking at porn, but being unable to. I lived most of my life under that enslavement. I’ve met many people who tell me they want to stop looking at porn. But when I talk to them about how to do it, the reality is they don’t want to stop, because they aren’t willing to do the practical steps of what is necessary. Here is how you stop looking at porn:
- You cannot do this alone. If you think you can stop looking at porn by making a good-hearted decision to do so, or by making a private commitment to God, you are flat out lying to yourself. You won’t stop. Period. You’ll fall again, tell yourself it will be the last time, and the cycle will just continue. Talk to trusted people about your porn problem. Talk to them regularly and include them in all of your action steps. Refusal to do so is simple stubborn pride, cowardice, and foolishness. And I do advise that you eventually bring your spouse into this conversation, but follow these (click this link) instructions first.
- It starts with eliminating online porn. Online porn is the most accessible type of porn available and is the primary culprit of feeding porn addictions. If you have a person in authority in your life, buy Covenant Eyes (for your smartphone, computers, and other mobile devices), and set it up asap. If you think this is a waste of your money, you obviously aren’t ready to quit looking at porn yet. You obviously still love it more than you love your spouse, your family, and your relationship with God. (You also need to cut off any other access points to porn you have. Confess these access points to the people you are sharing your action steps with and have them walk alongside you to cut these things off…e.g. cable TV, on-demand services movie services, etc.).
- Can you still find porn that isn’t online or via your television? Sure. But the more you talk about your porn problems with those around, the more these issues are exposed to the light, and the less likely you’ll be to pile in the car, drive to your access-point, look a human being in the eye, and purchase more porn. Temptation for porn is like a bonfire. Every time you look at online porn, you are throwing more wood on the fire. Once you eliminate online porn, your body’s addictive thirst for porn in general will curb itself.
- There needs to be a retraining of how your brain processes the opposite sex. This is where the real solution comes in. This is the dismantling of the tank.
For the sake of brevity of one blog post, if you talk to people with authority in your life about your porn problem, and you buy Covenant Eyes, you will definitely be on the right path.
The rest of the path is simply learning how to stop living in fantasy and learn to embrace reality. You’ve been given one reality, embrace it. The opposite of “life” is “death”, but it is also “fantasy”. You cannot live on fantasy food, fantasy air, or fantasy water, so why do we think we can live on fantasy sex and fantasy relationships?
The grass is not greenest on the other side, it’s greenest where you water it.
Embrace the grass you’ve been given. Invest in it. And be amazed at what happens.
Here’s a sermon I preached in the fall that will guide you down this path of relearning how to embrace your reality, rather than being continually enslaved to fantasy. A fantasy that only sucks the actual life out of you: