Advice for Porn Addicts!

I will never forget a particular day and a difficult conversation.  I had just finished preaching at a conference in England when a woman walked up to me and asked if she could speak to me.  She looked tired and distressed and I immediately took her aside so that we could talk privately.

Her story was so sad.  She told me she had felt a concern for her Christian teenage son for some months and kept pushing the anxiety aside.  One day, she went into his bedroom while he was at school and she found a hoard of DVD's under his bed.  She decided to see what they were.  She sat and stared in horror as she saw some of the most explicit sex scenes and acts imaginable.  Suddenly she realized why her son had become withdrawn and moody and she knew she would have to challenge him.

To me a sad part of the story was that she went and spoke to his youth pastor and asked him for help.  He spent 15 minutes with the boy and that was it!  He told the mother he would be okay. Really?  The young man had been saturated with porn and the youth pastor thought a fifteen minute counseling session was all that was necessary?  I can only describe the pastor as naive or disinterested.  Either way that youth pastor did not help the situation at all.

I know that there are thousands of people who expose themselves to porn.  I also know that there have been numerous studies done to show the harmful effects that porn has on the brain. I have no intention of going into the studies as they are easy enough to access. I do know however, that porn really does distort people more than they are willing to acknowledge.  So if this is your problem, please hear my heart.  This is not meant to be judgmental this really comes from a heart that aches for people to find wholeness and freedom in their lives.

Here is some advice for the wounded and struggling porn addict:

1.  Cut off the source:  The most important thing you can do is to cut the source.  You know what you have to do.  Get filters on your computer, get rid of the porn material you have lying around.  Make sure access is as difficult as possible.  Make a decision from this moment that you will never press that button again and expose yourself to those images.  It is not worth it because it is harming your soul and your brain.  It will also harm your relationships—and I have encountered far too many people over the years with broken relationships, marriages, and families because of power of porn.

2.  Heal the wound:  Do not pretend that you have not been affected by porn.  It has penetrated your mind and you will need healing.  Those images are burned into your brain and you will have to slowly replace them with new and wholesome ones.  This takes time!  But stay strong and healing will come.  Let God's Word become your new addiction. Romans 12:1-2 "...be transformed by the renewing of your mind..."

3.  Don't go solo:  Don't try to do this on your own because you will fail.  Firstly, go to God in earnest prayer.  Seek His forgiveness and His help—He is there for you.  He does not love you any less because of your addiction.  And then I would suggest you find an accountability partner. Look for someone who will be willing to cover you in prayer and to walk this journey with you.  Let them ask you the hard questions and be honest with them.

Perhaps God had you read this blog today because He wants you to come into freedom and wholeness.  Believe me when I say that I do not enjoy writing on this topic.  I am penning these words with a deep burden for people who have this addiction.  It is the new narcotic of the 21st Century!  It can be accessed freely and it is devastating lives in the process.

And so my prayer is that you will find healing.  Make some wise decisions today.  Cut off the source—run to God—seek help from someone and then find healing and wholeness. 

I am and always will be,

recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,

Carol