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Why do people run to porn again and again?

One of the tasks of a good friend or accountability partner to someone who is entrenched in pornography is to help them understand their own heart.

Why do they run to porn again and again?

Solomon reminds us “the purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water” (we often can’t see our own motivations), “but a man of understanding will draw it out” (Prov. 20:5, parenthesis added). A wise friend helps to draw out of others the deeper motivations they are unable or unwilling to see in themselves.

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As an accountability partner, it is important to understand the allure of pornography: What deeper motivations keep men coming back to it again and again? What are good accountability questions we can ask to get to the root of the problem?

1. Porn is easy, but relationships are hard.

Relationships, especially our closest relationships, involve work.

Every day we are required to care what’s going on in others’ lives. We must put up with sour moods, offensive behavior and selfishness—both in ourselves and in others.

In contrast, porn offers men a feeling of risk-free intimacy.

Pornography offers men a fantasy world where they are required to know nobody, require no romance and no self-sacrifice for the benefit of others. And for many men the payoff is great: not only can they avoid the messiness of real relationships, they can also feel the delight of a million virtual women catering to their every whim.

Good Accountability Question: Has there been a relationship in your life recently that has been unusually difficult?

2. Porn is comfortable, but life is stressful.

In life things go wrong. Expectations are frustrated. People let us down. Tragedies happen. We get sick. We get tired. We get into sharp disagreements. Life is stressful.

Porn, by contrast, offers a very comfortable world where nothing goes wrong. Porn offers a ready-made setting where we know we will get exactly what we want.

Of course, we know it’s fake. It’s like professional wrestling or “reality” TV. As Chris Hedges says in his book Empire of Illusion, the success of these forms of entertainment lies not in fooling us that these stories are real. “Rather, it succeeds because we ask to be fooled. We happily pay for the chance to suspend reality.”

Good Accountability Question: Have there been any stresses in your life recently that have brought on a feeling of pressure or strain?

Luke Gilkerson Luke Gilkerson is the general editor and primary author of the Covenant Eyes blog. Luke has a BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies from Bowling Green State University and is working on an MA in Religion from Reformed Theological Seminary. Before working at Covenant Eyes he spent six years as a campus minister. Luke and his wife Trisha live with their four sons in Owosso, Michigan, and they blog at IntoxicatedOnLife.com.

More from Luke Gilkerson or visit Luke at http://IntoxicatedOnLife.com

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