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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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  • geo

    this article is intereting

    • LukeGilkerson

      Thanks!

  • CMD

    the Qs are quite poignant, a bit general but true. I observe that Xian r/ships r generally harder to create than say secular ones. Contributory to this is the secular pressure of ‘hooking up’. Peer pressure aside, as one grows older and finds themselves knocking relentlessly on the door of marriage, the frustration and disappointment are real. These need to be countered by Patience. Not easy. “Hope defered makes the heart sick’. Conclusion of the matter is TRUST in God. Yes i feel lonely, yes i feel incomplete (In His image He made them both male and female), but Yes His promises are real. And yes (the painful one) i dont know when they will become fulfilled for me. Trust.

    • John

      agreed. Young Christians these days have no clue how to cultivate relationships of any kind.

  • simon sichone

    Its a good Book which has revealed my thoughts about the subject of porn,thanks very much for such information. But the question remains is porn a good thing in the sight of God?

  • GINGER

    You article is VERY good! My husband and I just separated yesterday due to his sexual addiction and extreme abandonment issues. This article makes so much sense in the light of what I know of our relationship!!!!!!! In these gut wrenching, cob web filled moments it helped bring clarity. I will share it with my 17 and 19 year old children to help them understand a little bit better some of what is going on! THANK YOU!!!

    • LukeGilkerson

      Thanks, Ginger. It is encouraging to hear you say that!

  • Cj

    why is the author of this piece acting as the mouthpiece and spokesmen for all MEN? Nothing irritates me more than that! Like womens conferences that actually turn out to be man bashing meetings where the keynote speaker “ANOINTED” I mean angry at her poor choice in a man and blames everything on MEN. Whats the real reason a man turns to porn? or maintains an interest in porn? The same reason a wife has more shoes in the closet, more clothes in the dresser and more jewelry in the case than her husband…….they CANT get enough of something that looks good, intrigues, excites and makes them feel good! Thats real talk!!!! Most husbands dont want the woman in the porn they want their wives to be like the woman in the porn. SEXUALLY FREE, UNINHIBITED, ADVENTUROUS, SENSUAL and RESPONSIVE!!!! Who wrote the rule that a man has to start the engine, rev the engine, drive the car and win the checkered flag…….WIVES FLIP THE SCRIPT!!!!

    • LukeGilkerson

      The issue of how a wife can help her husband with this problem is another issue entirely, outside of the scope of this article. I’ve written on that in other places on the Covenant Eyes blog, if you’re interested.

      • Cj

        I will take a look at it for sure. And if you get a chance take a look at my response to Pastor Tim.

    • Reality check

      How can you speak on behalf of all wives/women?

      • cj

        Re-read my comments I never said WOMEN OR WIVES because Im careful not to make blanket statements I dont know WOMEN or WIVES but like I told a couple of other brothers and sisters take a look at my response to Pastor Tim. And its really too bad the topic of sex in the marriage is so back burner, its so taboo and few people will come clean and just be real about whats really good in other words whats really goin on. But check out my comments and hit me back.

    • @pastortomweaver

      Cj, you have missed it. I have counseled a lot of men who have wives sexually available to whatever it is they want to do and porn is still a problem. Don’t over simplify this bro. It’s a gospel need, not a “more available wife need”.

      • wjw

        no question its a void that only christ can ultimately fill, but lets stay on point here. Let me ask you this… do ever at times desire or want your wife to be or act a special way in your private moments if you say no then your not being honest.I’m not a porn guy but have i ever watched it , yes! That it a picture that has a tough time going away and to cjs point thats what alot of the problem i! It’s not blaming women or wives not being available cause wives crave things in the bedroom same as guys but we desire it different ways at times, sorry for babbling, lol

      • 4Hischildren

        IMO, porn is nothing more than a brain fed drug addiction. I am in the process of quitting cold turkey and the feelings of emptiness and depression are quite similar (but larger scale) to the sensations I experienced after quitting smoking.

        As an aside, I was a brief attender of SLAA meetings. The mood there was that sexual addiction was inescapable, and could be muted and controlled at best. I don’t believe this and would like to encourage anyone (women included as romance is as addictive to them as lust is to us) that with much prayer and persistence, it is possible to break free. The key is desire; you must push away from the easy temptation while at the same time pressing in towards Christ. Either or does not work, it must be a combination of both dependence on God and resisting temptation.

        Hope this helps anyone that is struggling.

        • Truly

          I totally agree with you about the ‘women included’ comment you mentioned. Thank you for acknowledging that. As a woman, I was thinking the same thing and hope we might see the same level of support for such areas as romance addiction for women.

          • 4Hischildren

            SLAA is not bad. Better if you can find a Christian one though. I left because I found being in a room full of those who chose ‘a creator of your own choosing’ a little unpalatable. I like my Jesus full strength, thank you.

      • cj

        I hear you Pastor and I agree in part, disagree in part because porn is a legitimate tool of the enemy but its also a case by case basis. My wife grew up in a denomination where pants were not allowed, red lipstick and red fingernail polish was a sing, braided hair was a sin, little leaguers couldnt play sports on sundays, no skirts above the knee, jewelry was shunned and lifes entirety revolved around going to church. So no wonder it took her years to sleep nude and not a cotton granny gown, to wear bikini briefs and not granny pantys all the time, to be sexually expressive and not sexually repressive. I dont know if you can identify with that or not but for me when I was into porn it wasnt about wanting the women on the screen but wanting my wife to be liberated sexually. Thank God for deliverance of course and learning how to enjoy not having sex with my wife. And then she got free and came into the knowledge that she had been religious all the time. But thats my story and everybodys different Im sure.

        • ceebee

          Hi CJ..thanks for your response. I just read your post to Pastor Tom. Wanting your wife to be ‘liberated’ (or at the very least, being comfortable with her body) is a normal expectation. God created men and women to share intimacy; unfortunately, for some, intimacy is a struggle for a variety of reasons. You turning to porn was a replacement for what you did not have with your wife. All the porn in the world will not (and did not) liberate your wife. What she needed was HELP, not a resentful husband who replaced her with porn. “Learning how to enjoy not having sex” with your wife is not how God intended a marriage to be.

          • cj

            I can dig where youre coming from and I agree with you porn is a replacement and the HELP that you refer to was to come from who? Yes, God created men and women to share intimacy but the religiosity of most churches teach that intimacy and openess in the bedroom was somehow wrong. Can you believe the one time I addressed sex in a marriage seminar at church a wife of one of the ministers said my sex drive and hunger for my wife was nothing but a “LUST DEMON” and I needed deliverance because “DONT NO MAN WANT SEX ALL THE TIME” So for that 10yr stretch there was resentment on both parts. Me for not being able to enjoy her and her resenting my appetite for her and wanting to enjoy her. So who counsels a couple in this situation? She was too religious to seek secular help and too embarassed to talk to the Pastor. Like most taboo subjects church folks just pretend it doesnt exist.and walk around it. But at the end of the day Porn isnt good and sexual hangups isnt good either.

          • John

            Haha Man there are no lust demons. Just demons. We lust just find without any 3rd party intervention. Lust in and of itself isnt evil. Its just uncontrolled misdirected lust that can lead to evil.

          • ceebee

            It is a very difficult place to be. Most couples will find that their sexual appetites do not match. Many are at the opposite ends of the spectrum. Balance and compromise are needed. My understanding has always been that if the husband and wife are consensual in the ways they are intimate (and I mean just the two of them), it is not wrong. Pastor Tom, am I correct on this? I do not know where the minister’s wife was coming from when she said your sex drive was a ‘lust demon’…perhaps she was uncomfortable with the conversation and maybe there were things disclosed that should have remained b/w you and your wife. When you ask ‘who counsels a couple in this situation?’, my answer would be a Christian marital therapist and preferably a woman therapist b/c your wife would be more comfortable with a woman. AND, lots of prayer because prayer changes everything (go to a Christian book store and buy: THE PRAYING HUSBAND for yourself and THE PRAYING WIFE for your wife–author is Stormie O’Martian). God created us to have a loving, intimate relationship with our spouse. My husband and I have these books too–they are wonderful…the book is filled with prayers which address the common struggles between a husband and wife, including intimacy.

        • @pastortomweaver

          I can completely identify with that, bro. Here’s the deal though. If your wife was never liberated from that oppressive mindset, you are still responsible for your actions. Her past doesn’t free you to look at porn, though I’m sure you will agree with that. This is the beauty of the Gospel. It frees us to love (agape) with no strings attached. Seriously, I feel you on this, just know that whether our wives are Varsity in the bedroom, or they never allow us to touch them again, we must obey Jesus.

    • wjw

      that is exactly right, its how the women act like they really desire n want what is going on. sexually free, unhibited and adventurous, reponsive! But it is a dissapointment waiting to happen in a since that if your girl does not perform or live up too the fantasy expected , its a area that i’m struggling in.

      • wjw

        meaning that if i hold her to a high special scale I’m just missing out and missing great times, thats what i mean about areas I’m struggling in

    • ceebee

      Wow CJ…you are really ticked off here and you do not sound pleased with women in general. You say men want their wives to be like the women in porn…would that be lacking the ability to think for themselves, gullible, augmented and lacking self respect? Hmm, this doesn’t sound like a woman of God. You say men want their wives to be “sexually free, uninhibited, adventurous, sensual and responsive”. But to what extent are you speaking of? To the extent that you always get what you want, when and wherever you want it? If so, there’s already a problem here. The painful truth is that women are not men…that’s the “real talk”. If men are to love their wives like Christ loved the church, I would say that God meant for men to love their wives in a way that does not dictate fulfillment of their desires alone. Loving one’s wife like Christ loved the church, I understand to mean placing a wife’s needs before one’s own. (yes, this requires a great deal of spiritually infused self control). How many women’s conferences have you attended? I’ve attended many and I can assure you that a conference that is Biblically sound is one that teaches women to respect their husbands and be submissive to his needs (but not necessarily to the extent that you are speaking of). I have NEVER been to a conference that was about bashing husbands! Wouldn’t bashing be a sin?? I’m sorry you are so angry and perhaps it has to do with a certain woman in (or maybe not in) your life. Life is hard and it is often unfair–bring your burdens to the Cross.

      • John

        Success in marriage is learning to be unselfish. Its loving the way God does.
        Its not the womans job to perform in such a way the man doesnt resort to sin.
        A man living on the edge of porn and lust and adultery is going to slip anyway.
        Ive dealt with this issue and couples for a long long time. There is only one answer. That is 2 people in a marriage giving their all to Christ and being transformed into HIS LIKENESS.

        If you were to try and take this article and back it up with Scriptural precedence you couldnt. Its a natural view point. We are a supernatural people.

        • ceebee

          Matthew 5:27 ‘But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart’
          Hebrews 13:4 ‘Marriage honorable in all, and the bed undefiled. For fornicators and adulterers God will judge’

          Romans 6:12 ‘Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, so as to obey the lusts thereof’
          Galatians 5:16 ‘I say then, walk in the spirit and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh’
          1John 2:16 ‘For all that is in the world–the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions–is not from the Father but is from the world’

          • John

            Jesus did not make that statement about lust to focus on the sinfulness of men but rather mens inability to keep the law. Jesus intent was to show mans impossibility to keep the law. It revealed Who Jesus was. The bringer of Grace. You are putting Scripture together that DO NOT CONTEXTUALLY GO TOGETHER.

            Context IS NOT about finding Scripture with similiar sounding words but SHARED INTENT of THE SCRIPTURES AUTHOR!

          • ceebee

            I’m not clear why this has turned into some sort of disagreement here. I referenced scripture because of what you said at the end of your post when you wrote “if you were to try to take this article and back it up with Scriptural precedence you couldn’t”. Then I am confused by what you meant by this. Jesus already knows we suck at keeping His laws. He knew it then and before then, now and in the future, He knows we will fail miserably. We know we often fail at keeping His laws, but do we always know HOW we are NOT keeping His laws? When Jesus made a statement about lust, I doubt it was to merely to say His laws were impossible to keep. He brought to light the sin that can occur through what we see and in what we think, so yes, I do believe he was addressing specifically the sin of lust.

          • John

            Yes we do ALWAYS know HOW we are NOT KEEPING HIS LAWS.

            ITS SIMPLE. WE SOW TO OUR FLESH AND NOT OUR SPIRITS!

            No Jesus was NOT addressing the sin of lust.

            CONTEXT

            MATTHEW 5 27 AND 28

            27“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’e
            28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

            SEE? JESUS GIVES THE RELIGIOUS MAXIOM. THEN WHAT DOES HE DO? TAKES IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL TO SHOW THAT THERE IS NO WAY TO FULFILL THE LAW! EVEN IF YOU DO THE RIGHT THING ON THE OUTSIDE YOU CAN STILL BE DOING THE WRONG THING ON THE INSIDE! THATS WHAT JESUS IS TALKING ABOUT!

            JESUS CAME TO SHOW THE LAW IS POWERLESS!

            LEARN TO READ INTERPRET SCRIPTURES. NOT JUST READ AT THEM

      • cj

        I feel you on some points and not on others and to be honest with you I have been to 3 womens conferences and the speakers seem to always segue into making blanket statements about how MEN are what MEN do and how MEN wouldnt be nothing with out a woman. Maybe its an inner city, single woman, single parent thing. I went to be of assistance, to set up, cook, clean and break down but wild horses couldnt drag me to another “SHE WOMAN, MAN HATER CLUB conference……it is what it is. I never said what MEN want because I dont know what MEN want. Take a look at my response to Pastor Tim up top and hit me back, really, seriously! We been together since high school, monogomous and committed but the first 10yrs sexually was not the business. And wifey will vouch for that but anyway read my follow up to Pastor Tim and get back to me I’ll be checking.

        • John

          Interesting points. We live in a culture where males are taught by their mothers from birth how to treat females. Females are taught by their mothers how they should expect to be treated by males. From my research noone teaches females how they are to treat males. Its all one way and thats not how its meant to be.

          • OB

            Hence why the Bible says, Men loves your wives and wives submit to your husband. When a man loves his wife and treats her right, automatically, she submits herself to him. And i cant imagine sexual submission will be exempt. Be a good husband, treat me right & i’ll gladly lapdance for you in the privacy of our bedroom. But do not expect me to be a hoochie or to talk and dress thrashy. A woman needs emotionally fulfillment… get that right & you have everything else right.

    • Guest

      Sadly, I hear this line of reasoning — blaming women for men’s sexual sin — a lot. From Saudi imams and Indian politicians. This should have no place in the church.

      • cj

        This is’nt the blame game as much as it is church making the bedroom nasty and disgusting through religious teaching. If the truth were to be told a woman doenst have to be the porn actress but be sexually free and not repressed. I cant think of any man who wants an actress in the bedroom theres neither pleasure nor satisfaction fake passion and affection. Likewise theres no pleasure or satisfaction in a lack luster bed partner and yes it takes 2 to make a thing go right.

    • OB

      Absolute nonsense…. We try to flip the script, but a man addicted to porn is just that, an insatiable addict. No amount of pole dancing or hanging-from-the-ceiling sex, will be enough for him. He needs to be delivered from that lusty evil spirit, before he can truly enjoy and be content with what his wife can give him. Some of us women are great in bed and we do our bit in keeping things exciting in the bedroom. It is annoying & presumptuous of you, to imagine all wives are prudes, because we all aren’t. But how does a woman compete with a powerful lusty demonic spirit that is bent on destroying her husband’s (& by extension, her) life???

  • Beaver

    The best things in life can become idols….such as family, food, football, etc…if we allow them to become our chief source of satisfaction and identification.

  • http://twitter.com/ChurchedMan Churched!

    For starters, let me say, I like the article, It Offers some interesting insights.

    Nevertheless I have one thing to say, rather than accountability partners for those who suffer from addiction to porn, have we considered fasting partners? Forcing ourselves to do without (food or whatever) for a time while we get nearer to God?

    Rather than sit there trying to say “I’ll help you through this” I wonder (and I only wonder, I have not read the entire book) if perhaps the point of saying “God will get you through this” has been lost.

    Beyond that, one of the things that has worked in the lives of other men I know is constantly reminding them that God is omniscient, God is there when they get “down to business” and isn’t pleased by what is being committed by them. Another principle that needs to be addressed (and again I am only making a case for my thoughts, this was not a bad article and I am not refuting it): In the end, all of us will give an account of our actions to Christ. What man can say he wants to tell Jesus why he was looking at pornography and abusing himself when he had a perfectly good relationship with his wife or he had a perfectly good relationship with God alone to cultivate?

    Anyways. Those are just my thoughts on the subject, the article was good and I enjoyed reading it. The questions seem a bit tame is perhaps my only real complaint.

    • LukeGilkerson

      The questions are certainly tame because they are really only designed as beginning questions. Hopefully each question yields good discussion.

      I totally agree with the idea of “fasting partners.” One of the reasons why accountability falls short of the biblical model is because we skip prayer. James 5:16 does not just tell us to confess our sins to each other, but to pray together. Only then does accountability have the power to heal.

      • http://twitter.com/ChurchedMan Churched!

        Ok, that’s a valid reason for tamer questions. I certainly understand wanting to open healthy dialogue. It is certainly important to give them a chance to make the connections themselves as we talk.

        Prayer and Fasting are massively forgotten disciplines and it’s irked me for sometime that most accountability groups I meet are less about mourning the state of their wicked hearts and less about actually teaching each other to repent than they are about making sure to “be there for one anther”

        If that came off during my reply then I hope you don’t take it personal. Overall I felt the article was good. Thanks for the reply. In Christ, I love you.

        • John

          What you stated is exactly what im talking about. Mourning the state of wickedness. Oh were such sinners! oh boo hoo how can God love us!

          That crap makes God sick to His stomach…if He has one.

          • http://twitter.com/ChurchedMan Churched!

            1. God is pleased with the man who comes to Him with a broken and contrite heart.
            2. Christ was clear that the publican who said “Be merciful to me” while beating his own chest and refusing to look up from the ground was the more likely to be forgiven.
            3. I am not talking about self flagellation, I am talking about understanding that before regeneration we are children of hell, of the facts which face us: the heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.
            4. Mourning when one falls into sin isn’t wrong nor is it likely to make God sick. To say otherwise would fly in the face of the revealed character of God throughout His Word. God adores a broken man who can claim His Grace, He is pleased by those whom say to Him “In your strength alone”>

            None of this is some “boo hoo” as you put it, but rather a way in which a man is capable of putting aside his pride to allow the realization that his continuance in sin afterwards is an affront to the sacrifice Christ endured.

  • dmh

    good article.. however, I think it misses critical chemical aspects of porn addiction, whereby the brain releases dopamine, a vital neurotransmitter with regard to pleasure, experience, reward, and learning. Viewing porn results in a natural “high”. As the images are displayed on the screen, an arousal takes place and the dopaminergic system is triggered just like it would be by drugs such as cocaine. Returning to porn is often much more related to a physiological/chemical dependency than a psychological one…

    • Quelly

      Good contribution! Porn is addictive, thus once you taste it, it’s hard to stop.

    • @pastortomweaver

      True dmh, but if we as men address the Gospel need, the body and its chemistry follows. This, I think, is where Luke was writing from

      • John

        agreed. thinking along these lines only keeps people in a cycle of behavior. If i can explain it? Then maybe im not ‘evil’ after all. This really speaks more to how Christians see themselves.

    • FS

      Not “more,” DMV: “also”

    • LukeGilkerson

      The chemical aspects of porn addiction cannot be understated, but went well beyond the scope of a single article. There are some excellent books on that subject.

    • wright

      Yes there is a chemical component to porn. I work with men with porn addiction and almost all the men are emotionally unaware of their feelings and their own heart. What was their desire behind starting to look at porn. Sex addiction is not about sex.

  • Ber

    Even though it’s not as common women can have this issue as well. I wish it would have also referred to/given a little perspective into that aspect as well.

  • Ray Robinson

    I don’t know if this is applicable to this article but here are some thoughts I’ve never heard expressed?

    1. Men getting older & performing at a lesser level sexually will try to use porn as a way to raise their excitement level.
    2. Men incapable of performing due to sickness or physical disabilities are attacked by porn.

    Please encourage this group!

    • John

      Adam had brilliant reasons for his sin in the garden. If youll notice? God wasnt interested. Israel in its entire history had brilliant reasons why they disobeyed God over and over. If youll notice? God was not interested. God isnt interested in why we sin. Hes not even interested in the sin itself. Hes interested in 1 thing. Our hearts changing. Our lives changing. You guys rolling around in this pig slop is honestly sickening. Im not referring to the slop of porn either. Im referring to the slop of making excuses for looking at the porn. Childish, carnal, and intellectually shallow.

  • skb

    My church has classes to combat porn addiction. The course is taught using great book called Pure Desire by Ted Roberts. It dives deep into the neurological aspects of the addiction. As a recovering porn and sex addict I would recommended this course be taught at your home church.
    Prayer is also key. I pray healing over all the families and congregations who are affected by this desease.

    • LukeGilkerson

      Ted’s course it robust, one of the most in depth I’ve seen.

    • 4Hischildren

      That sounds very interesting. I would like to head up something like that. Is your material from a single source?

      • skb

        We have a course that comes with a Text Book and Notebook. Our mens group meet once a week. Im not sure where our church buys the material but I believe you could search online for The Pure Desire Book by Ted Roberts and find more info about ordering the course.
        Its so amazing. My fellow brothers and I are experiencing breakthroughs from the bondage.

        Blessings

  • Andrew Mason

    These are definitely root issues that increase temptation when one has had a history with lust. Great write-up!

    • LukeGilkerson

      Thanks, Andrew! It is encouraging to hear you say that.

  • Ricki

    Can’t change someone with an addiction, even porn. This is just like any other addiction and all you can do is treat it as it is a chemical dependency.

    • ceebee

      Ricki–we can’t change someone w/ an addiction….that is what prayer’s for.

      • John

        What do you mean? Do you mean we cant change someone with an addiction? Or can a person with an addiction not be changed>?

    • LukeGilkerson

      Even chemical dependencies need sincere repentance. Hopefully that’s what we can help point one another toward.

  • John

    LOL? Does it matter WHY men like porn anymore than it matters why thieves like to steal?

    Im starting to really wonder who runs this website.

    • Joe Rhoads

      Actually, yes, it does matter. In my life I found that I ran to porn because of stress. The more stressful and chaotic life became the more I ran to porn. It was a way for me to stop thinking about the problems. Which led me to realize that I run away from problems. Deeper still, I realized I had (and still struggling with this one) a fundamental lack of trust in God to take care of my life. Salvation? No problem in trusting Him. Provide the everyday resources for life? Yes a problem trusting Him. My only saving grace is that He is patient with me when I fail to trust Him.

      • John

        Dude. It doesnt matter. Bottom line men use porn because they like it. People do drugs because they like them. Its desire based. It isnt need based. It makes you feel good. Thats why you do it. Period. The issue isnt negotiating the mind. Its training your spirit and your body. Read Romans 12. Now maybe it helps with the aftermath of guilt to be able to explain it? But lets be real. Thats BS. When were real with God we can move on. Until then we are doomed in a time loop of failure.

        • Hersh, or is it Harsh

          John, I don’t know if I agree or not (because I haven’t ran all of the posts through my rock tumbler brain yet) but I do like your boldness and RIGHT UP FRONT-ness. Sin has made us self-centered and we want what we like. The rest of people’s “points” may or not be true…. when ya boil it down I think I agree with you. Ahhhh tomorrow I may feel differently, mood swings ya gotta love them!

          • John

            Hmmm. Well all i can say to that is that when our faith is based on the Word of God we wont be so easily swayed by moods and feelings. I know what youre saying but a BELIEF must be weighed by the Word of God and not so much how we feel in the moment! :)

          • Hersh, or is it Harsh

            John, I had hoped that was a given!

          • John

            Man nothing is a given lol. i dont assume anything anymore.

      • John

        Ya know. Ive thought a lot about your post. Theres a great truth in what youre saying here. Reality is ALL SIN stems from the same thing. Not trusting God.
        It manifests different ways depending on the environment but the problem isnt porn, drugs, jealousy, Its our relationship with Him.

    • Cam

      As a kid in maths I was taught the lesson ‘if you know WHY a problem exists, you’ll be best equipped on HOW to solve it’ As a pastor I have seen truth in that from Maths onwards! Doing an article suggesting some tips on why a problem is there is fast less harmful than some of the heresy that gets published on this site!!

      • John

        I am not a lesser of 2 evils person. I believe in the highest standards of the Word of God. There is a Truth and a Power that accompanies that Truth. And the Holy Spirit is the Administrator of that power. And HE doesnt follow any other Truth other than the HIGHEST TRUTH. As long as we are playing in the dirt of our own ideas our own strategies we will continue to walk away dirty.

    • LukeGilkerson

      It matters to the thief if he wants to stop the internal motivations that drive him to steal.

      • John

        We are powerless to stop the internal motivations. You cant stop anything. Thats what GRACE is for! Thats the entire problem with this whole premise!

        As long as the thief is trying to fix himself he is his own god and thats a worse sin that stealing. Again, it isnt a natural issue. Its a supernatural issue.

        • LukeGilkerson

          I’m not trying to be contentious here. Colossians 3 certainly calls us to set our affections on Christ and things above in order to destroy the power of sinful motivations. But following this command we are also told to put to death the things in our members that would turn us away from this gospel-centered focus. That might sound to many like “trying to fix ourselves,” but there is an application for us in it. We are called to act, to obey, and to trust in the Lord.

          • John David

            Yes that is true. But what we use to put our members to death are not carnal in nature but supernatural. Paul called it SOWING AFTER THE SPIRIT. Again SPIRITUAL. Im telling you one minister to another. What youre promoting is trying to psychologically approach the sin nature. It doesnt work. You understand that every religion on planet earth has already attempted this and failed? Buddhism is a great example.

            The weapons of our warfare are not WHAT? THEY ARE NOT CARNAL. MEANING NOT PHYSICAL. MEANING NOT OF THIS WORLD.

          • LukeGilkerson

            All I’m calling people towards is a wider application of repentance. Instead of merely repenting of looking at pornography (which we should do), people can also engage in helpful discussion with one another to unearth the hidden sins that often rob us of a wholehearted focus on the grace of God. As the proverbs state: “The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out” (Proverbs 20:5). One of God’s great means of grace are “men of understanding” who can help us to see the hidden motives of our heart that we are often unwilling or unable to see. In what sense is this approach unbiblical?

          • John

            Im not sure using Proverbs as a baseline is such a good idea. Theres virtually noway to establish a context. Much of it is Solomon almost seemingly brainstorming on paper. Its great but its really hard to get a lock on exactly what hes applying things to.

            I believe motivations are very important. In fact one function of the Word is to spilt the hairs of motivation and mind. However, we are told what our motivations to sin are. Now they manifest differently with different people. But the root core issue is the same. We have flesh. And until we grow up into the stature of the full knowledge of Christ we will struggle with flesh.

            I could say it like this. Pauls main revelation was Righteousness. It was the free gift of righteousness. Now Paul spoke more on this subject than any other. Pauls approach to this was to teach people what it meant to be righteous, how righteousness came, and Who made us righteous. Paul could have spend all his time on unraveling unrighteousness but he didnt.

            The same with Pauls teaching on love. He didnt unravel hate and anger and really dive into those issues. He focused on what love is, Who love is, and what love thinks and does.

            Pauls entire teaching ministry he focuses on what God has done to free us and deliver us from the power of darkness,. He doesnt spend a lot of time delving into the darkness. Why? Because what people behold people usually become. If youre going to hold someones attention to a thing it needs to be from the aspect of 1. God has already freed us from every power of darkness 2. The Word of God is quick and powerful. 3. Our relationship with the Holy Spirit and his co laboring with us to grow is up in Christ.

            See, we can find a million sins of the flesh and focus on each one. I see no point. If you grow up in Christ theres no way any of these can remain a stronghold. Its impossible. It takes faith. I get that. And most Christians want the warmth of a good band aid. As ministers we arent to provide bandaids. We are to provide Spiritual Health. The only way to do that is to provide it in a matter that mirrors what Jesus and His Apostles did. There isnt a single example of Jesus delving into ‘issues’ with people. In fact, the few times Jesus was asked the WHY of a persons sin or disease He almost seemed to blow it off as if not even concerned with it. Why? Because HE was the answer. He came to LOOSEN ALL the works of the devil. You dont walk up to a person in chains and measure their holdings and ask a million questions. You get them out.

          • LukeGilkerson

            I’m not sure I really disagree with the overall thrust of your comment. I believe the Word is powerful. I believe it is sufficient. I believe the Spirit is necessary. I believe the flesh is the source of the problem.

            I disagree, however, that we don’t see Jesus or the apostles delving into personal issues. So much of Jesus’ disciplining ministry was bent around giving his disciples a new perspective, correcting their false beliefs as they went.

            Let me leave this conversation with this final word. The reason I wrote this article this way is because I have personally benefited from this advice. These are the kind of questions my accountability partner asks me. When he does this I become more acutely aware of when I have slipped into attitudes and motivations that put me on a path towards others sins (such as pornography). Since I’ve started this kind of accountability I am much quicker to see these attitudes, repent of them, and set my affections on Christ before lust even manifests itself. That is sanctification and I am grateful to God for it.

          • Cj

            Wow bro you sure did open a can of worms and it seems to draw out some of the most self righteous, non compassionate opinions. The need to be right is so overwhelming its mind blowing. I would have love to see what some of these people would have said in regards to the column on the two lesbians who came to church.

          • John

            Well CJ. Guess what? I read the article about the lesbians. You know what I saw? I saw a person changed from the inside out. Maybe you should read that article again? Notice how she was changed. She was changed because she encountered Jesus. She was changed by the very WORD OF GOD ive been talking about. Thats a great story. Maybe you should read it again. She didnt get hung up on WHY this and WHY that. She let God change her life. Its that simple.

          • Cj

            the articles content got my attention because my oldest daughters mother was a lesbian but is now delivered, walking with the Lord, married with a son and has been faithful to God for the last 8yrs. So Im very close to that source and when she got pregnant I knew she was a lesbian and neither of us were saved at the time we were just messing around. I asked her why she preferred women and she said the reason why was because she like a lot of kids were molested by an uncle and then a cousin and she was turned off from men since then. She chose women just like I chose porn and its okay invalidate, discount, dismiss disregard my line of thought The article only picks up with the girlfriends going to church to act out and we dont know if the why was addressed or not. But after hearing my daughters moms histroy I understood why she turned to men. It wasnt just because she couldnt control her flesh but because she was a victim of abuse. As a side note Im glad your faith saw you through whatever your affliction was and if it was cancer welcome to the survivors club. But my CHILDISH thinking helps me not judge and attack people with a know it all, Im right and youre wrong attitude. This CHILDISH thinking makes me have a CHILD LIKE compassion and makes me want to understand the struggles people go through and it helps me minister. That works for me. P.S. take the cap locks off it makes me think your yelling at me (smile)

    • cj

      It matters just like it matters why your truck doesnt start on the first turn of the ignition.Because you want to know what and where the problem is before youre broken down and cant drive your vehicle.

      • John

        CJ youre not a truck. Youre a Spirit Being redeemed by Christ purchased by God. You have the same power that raised Christ from the dead inside of you.

        Its by This we overcome and ONLY by this. Dont ever compare a natural thing to a spiritual thing.

        1 Cor 2:13

        When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human
        wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the
        Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths.

        • cj

          The principle is still the same wanting to know why something does or acts the way it does. Whether a spiritual thing or a natural thing until the why is examined and or definded how can a person move forward or make progress or change. Growing up as a little boy I never understood why that man was on the gross at church, why that man let them do what they did, why that man didnt fight back. Oh but when I found out why it all made sense and made me want know more about that man. Why is crucial on every level of existance dont you agree?

          • John

            No, i dont agree. Did you even read my post? Did you read the Scripture? I cant even fully communicate the danger of seeing a spiritual thing and pushing it aside because you ‘think’ something else.

            Why Jesus was on the cross IS important. Why? Because it is an issue of TRUTH, REDEMPTION, and FREEDOM. Porn? Its not even in the same universe.

            Exploring why a man looks at porn is so fundamentally ridiculous its like I cant even believe im sitting here having these conversations.

            People sin because it feels good. PERIOD. You know all you need to know about your own sin. What you REALLY need to GROW in is NOT the knowledge of sin but the knowledge of Christ. The Word of God.

            Let me ask you something.

            Why did Jesus die on the cross?

            Why did God raise Him from the dead?

            Why does He sit at the Right Hand of the Father?

            Why was the Holy Spirit sent into the earth after Jesus ascension?

          • cj

            Yes I did read your post and I can appreciate your view it just so happens that mine differs from yours based on my own lifes experience. All the questions you asked why to I wanted to know the whys the fact that he did it told me nothing about him. For me why is important, it may not be important to you but everyone is different.

          • John

            Well man Im going to give you some golden advice for free. Your view? My view? Is not to be based on life experience. It is to be based on the Word of God. Nowhere are we instructed to form out beliefs based on life. They are to be based on the Truth of the Word of God. Nothing else.

          • John

            BTW? If you cant answer those whys? Why in the world are you consider with the why of pornography?

          • Cj

            Do you want to know why you do things? Why you have opinions of things, why you like or dislike people, places or things? People sin because theyre flesh and bone? and thats it? Theres no reason? Jesus even asked WHY………. My God, My God WHY hast thou forsaken me? Unless Im reading a bootleg bible Jesus was looking for an explanation. Why is crucial my friend (Why he died-for the redemption of man-His life for mine) (Why was He raised-because theres power in the resurrecion and the defiance of death) (Why is he seated on the right hand-to be our forever intercessor between God and Man) (Why the Holy Spirit was sent-to be our comforter,guide and revelator) So for me knowng why these acts took place makes me value that fact more. If Jesus wanted and explanation so do I.

          • John

            Dude. Seriously! You are scattering and scrounging. What are you defending? Do you realize you are scattering shooting because you really have no defense for your opinion? Do you also realize the reason you have no defense is because opinions dont need a defense?

            How is it that you cannot fathom the difference between knowing WHY a person looks at porn and the WHY of Jesus going to the cross?

            You are simply arguing for the sake of trying your best to not be wrong. I on the other hand am doing my best to get you to see what the WORD OF GOD SAYS. But you cant even see it. You just see an opportunity to save face.

            Mu advice to you? Humble yourself before the Word of God. No. 2? Ask for wisdom nothing wavering. It takes wisdom to see the difference between the importance of WHY you look at porn and WHY Jesus came as God in the flesh.

            The REALITY that people sin because of their flesh? I didnt come up with that. It comes from the Word of God. See the Word does explain why people look at porn. Why people lust. Why people lie. Why people steal. Why people like yourself are so eat up with pride theyll argue a point that is completely past the point of sophistry.

            According to the Word of God people sin for ONE reason. They give into their flesh instead of submitting to God and resisting the devil. Is it that simple? According to the Apostles John, Paul, Peter, James, and Jesus Himself? Yes. Its that simple. See im not presenting my own opinion. Nor am I presenting new information. Im simply communicating what the Word of God says.

            The entire Bible is devoted to WHY Jesus came in the fulness of time.

            That should tell you that WHY is pretty important. less than 1 percent of ALL Scripture is devoted to telling you WHY you sin. That should tell you if you have any sense at all that that WHY? Not so important.

            When you stop elevating your thoughts and self important ideas above the written Word of God? Youll grow leaps and bounds. Until then? Youre going to keep chasing your tail.

          • cj

            Its not a matter of me being wrong and you being right, you winning the debate and me saving face and how does exchanging thought with another brother/sister in the Lord make me high minded and in need of humbling that pretty high and mighty of you bro. I dont have to defend anything not the bible, not God, Not Jesus, not my own thought or opinion because they dont need it. But why assume I lack intellect (if I have ANY SENSE AT ALL) because I dont/wont agree with your thought? That reminds me of a Pastor that used to tell me Apostolics are right and those Baptist are wrong because they dont share our views. So attempting to insult me my brother wont lead me to agree with you especially when you use the phrase “PEOPLE LIKE YOU” and you dont know me or “PEOPLE LIKE ME” as a matter of fact what am I like? You seem to know a lot of PEOPLE LIKE ME so you shouldnt get frustrated. “PEOPLE LIKE YOU is akin to “YOUR KIND” but theres still time for that I suppose. Anyway youve read my marital history from previous comments and how misinformation by church leaders provided validation for my wife creating a non sexual marital environment. At the time I didnt know the reason WHY I engaged in porn was because it was filling that void of left by the subtraction of sex because I had stopped asking for it and had become content not having sex. After giving my testimony about being involved with porn the first thing the brethren asked me was “The way your wife looks…… would you look at porn?” So Im sorry bro but telling them cause of my flesh just isnt definitive enough. So if you run across anymore “SENSELESS, PEOPLE LIKE ME” feel free to use this dialogue to try and see it from an angle other than your own.

          • John

            IT ISNT MY THOUGHT. YOURE NOT DISAGREEING WITH MY THINKING!

            YOURE DISAGREEING AND IGNORING SCRIPTURE!

            THIS IS NOT AN ANGLE! THIS IS ABSOLUTE TRUTH!

            YOUR MARITAL HISTORY IS IRRELEVANT. YOURE EITHER GOING TO SUBMIT TO TRUTH OR YOURE GOING TO KEEP KICKING AROUND IN THE DIRT!

            I BELIEVE IN SHOOTING STRAIGHT. BOTTOM LINE? YOU THINK LIKE A CHILD. THATS YOUR PROBLEM. YOU ENGAGED IN PORN BECAUSE YOU LIKED IT. PERIOD. YOU HAD A CHOICE AND YOU MADE IT. PERIOD.

            I AM A SINGLE MALE. I AM NOT INVOLVED IN PORN. WHY? I MAKE CHOICES! I CHOOSE TO LOVE GOD MORE THAN HIS CREATION. I CHOOSE TO INVEST MYSELF IN HIGHER THINGS THAN THE MOMENT!

            WHEN YOU GET PAST BEING PEOPLE FOCUSED AND ANGLE FOCUSED AND OPINION FOCUSED AND CARE ABOUT FINDING OUT WHAT GOD THINKS? YOU WILL DO THE SAME.

          • John

            Im goin to tell you what a huge part of your problem is. You AVOID the WORD. You absolutely avoid it. You use bits and pieces to argue this or that but largely you avoid it.

            YOUR ONLY HOPE IN THIS LIFE IS THE WORD OF GOD. BEYOND THAT THERE IS NONE. YOU CAN FIGURE THAT OUT NOW AND SAVE YOURSELF MORE HEART ACHE OR KEEP PROBING AROUND THE DARKNESS ENGAGING IN ‘THINKING’ and ‘VIEWS’ that are apart from TRUTH. MY HOPE? YOUR HOPE? IT IS THE WORD.

            IS THE WORD ENOUGH? YES. PEOPLE THAT THINK THE WORD ISNT ENOUGH ARE PEOPLE THAT DONT KNOW A THING ABOUT THE WORD.

            LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING ABOUT THE WORD ALONE? THE WORD OF GOD HEALED MY BODY. YES THE WORD ALONE. BY ITSELF ALONG WITH MY FAITH IN IT. MY RELATIONSHIP WITH THE WORD ISNT SOME PATHETIC SUNDAY SCHOOL PAMPHLET BIBLE STORY THING. IT IS ONE THAT CONTINUES TO CHANGE EVERY PART OF MY LIFE FROM MY MIND TO MY BODY. NOONE LAID HANDS ON ME. I DIDNT GO TO BENNY HINN. I DIDNT STAND IN A PRAYER LINE. I SPOKE THE WORD OVER MY BODY FOR MONTHS AND MONTHS AND I CAME OFF THE BED OF SICKNESS. IT CAN CHANGE EVERYTHING IF YOU ESTEEM IT SO.

          • John

            People sin because they have flesh and bones. Thats it. Theres no great mystery. Now if you want to make it a great mystery and waste your time and energy and squabble the eternal resources granted to you from heaven by all means…Be my guest.

          • John

            So NO the principle is NOT the same. In fact, the reality that the principle is NOT the same is why I posted that Scripture I guess you didnt deem very important.

            Look. Spiritual things are about TRUTH and reality.

            Physical things are about FACTS and are TEMPORAL.

            The Word of God tells us why we sin. We have a sin nature in our flesh that must be overcome by our submitting and sowing to the Spirit. Notice Paul writes exclusively on how we submit ourselves and sow to the Spirit. Paul doesnt say anything about focusing on why we sin. Why we sin is the easy part. It doesnt need discussion. Overcoming sin that is the part that Jesus made easy when we have a revelation of Him & submit ourselves to that knowledge.

  • Steven Leapley

    I enjoyed the article (think it has some great points) and I have enjoyed the comments, even the ones I do not agree with….

    This is such a ‘touchy’ thing in our society for many reasons.

    I have a lot to say on this (as one who was a porn addict in the past) but Ill keep it brief:

    1. Men are visual creatures..so anything that attracts us visually has potential to distract us.

    2. On the distraction piece…I believe that that porn is an escape, just like anything else can be….it just so happens that sex still remains a taboo subject, especially in the church

    3. Speaking of taboo…..let any man stand up in front of his congregation and claim that God healed him from a drug or alcohol addiction and we tell our little 8 year old Sally to go give him a hug and tell him God loves him…..Put that man up and claim that God cleansed him from a porn addiction and we tell Sally to be careful around him.

    4. That leads to US putting the judgment degree on sin and not letting the Bible speak for us…. This is why we are so divided about the LGBT community…Sexual things are taboo….The Bible speaks clearly that sin is sin….. If we started to treat pornography for what it is, then we can make progress….we ..need to start loving unconditionally all people and treat the sin

    5. Lastly, Sexual energy is the strongest of all human energies (google it and you will see facts on it). The key to ‘recovering from porn’ is more a movement around of energy in our lives (and I am not talking from a new age sense here). When we have focus of purpose, we subconsciously move that sexual energy into other categories…this is why many people are drawn to other people. The key, I believe, is a healthy lifestyle that is ripe with a disciplined spiritual life.

    This is a good start…and I am in the process of writing a book on sexual desire…from a biblical standpoint….

    I want to make the point that until we see porn as a sin and not a ‘special sin’ we will never really make strides to reduce it, especially in the Christian community.

    Thank you for letting me chat,
    Steven

  • http://savejudy.com Neal Campbell

    It’s much simpler than that. Naked women can be beautiful and sex is awesome.

    • John

      lol i love your response

  • John

    GREAT! Now I know why i sin maybe i can stop! NONSENSE! Find me one Scriptural reference in the entire Bible where God ever pulled a person aside and said ‘Lets look at why youre doing this’ N E V E R ! Why? Because it doenst matter! What matters is this.

    Jesus paid for the sin. He sent the Holy Spirit to give us power over ALL sin. Invests yourselves in these truths. This will change your lives. Not trying to mentally negotiate your way out of behavior. No wonder churches are falling apart left and right.

    ROMANS 12

    1.

    12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

    How are we transformed? RENEWING OUR MIND in the light of THE NEW CREATURE THAT LIVES WITHIN US. NOT trying to make peace with the broken thoughts and desires of the OLD CREATURE that is PASSED AWAY.

    This is a FAITH issue.

    • LukeGilkerson

      Hi John. I agree we don’t make peace with our old man. That is certainly not what this post is about. This post is entirely about faith. When we know what we are putting out faith in and repent of it, putting all out trust in Christ, this is when we are sanctified by the gospel. The problem is, many people need to see how they have placed their faith in idols apart from the living God. That’s exactly what each accountability question drives at, as I said in the last section, “The reason accountability partners should ask these pointed questions is not to “psychologize” sins away. Rather, the goal of good accountability questions is to use them as a springboard to focus our thoughts on benefits of the Gospel of Christ more than the pleasures of sin (Heb. 11:24-26).”

      • John

        Accountability is always a tool that can help even when there is no sin. Its a part of the fellowship we are called to with the Father and with each other. There just seems to be a focus here on the sin and the reasons for the sin and not the answer. I believe things are really simple when you approach them from the God-side. They get way more complex the more we approach them from the man-side.

        • LukeGilkerson

          I guess I believe you need to approach them from both sides: we need to know what we are repenting of and Who we are turning toward. Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough in the last section, ”
          The Biblical Goal of Accountability Questions.” I tried to make clear there that the goal of all these questions is helping someone set their affections on Christ and the gospel.

          • John

            Look. I get it. I really do. From my experience we have come to a place where we have concluded Scripture and all of that just doesnt work. We’ve abandoned Truths while paying lip service in the footnotes of our own ideas. So what we do is try and create strategies that promote ourselves and we hope will work better than all that Scripture stuff which obviously doesnt because if it did Christians would be further along.

          • LukeGilkerson

            Believe me, I am with you. I just think we need to be careful when we say “Jesus is enough,” or “the Bible is enough.” Often these are interpreted to mean that God’s grace is only experienced directly, and we leave out one of his chief means of grace: the community of the Church. That is what this post is all about: how should the Word inform our discussions so that we can practice the “one anothers” of the Bible and help each other move towards holiness?

          • John

            I tend to think the Word is more than enough. El Shaddai. Remover of the waters not just the one who dries us off when we get wet. I have a very powerful view and mindset of Who God is because Ive seen miraculous things. Witnessed miraculous things. Ive noted one thing. Miraculous things tend to only happen when God is expected to be miraculous!

          • John

            And believe me. My motivations here are not to be a butt-hole.

  • John

    Romans 12:1

    12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

    THE ONLY VEHICLE OF CHANGE IS CHANGING THE MIND WITH THE WORD. NOT NEGOTIATING WITH IT. NEGOTIATING THE MIND WHEN IT COMES TO SIN IS BASICALLY MAKING DEALS WITH THE DEVIL. WHY IS IRRELEVANT. GOD FILLS ALL IN ALL. HE DOESNT LEAVE EMPTY SPACES.

  • JR

    A lot, over the past year, has been opened to me on this. Confession is one of the keys we have to do, in order for the words, and support, to come into our lives.
    I have had pornographic value in my life for years. I have never liked my looks, and always struggled as an introvert in relationships.
    As a child I grew up with girls in my school calling me ugly and a lot of bullies. As I got older, I found my attraction to a girl a lot easier in fantasy, through looking at magazines and catalogs, and as I got older, it just became easier not to let people in my life. I even have a hard time remembering names of people, male or female, because I just don’t trust, or have a hard time trusting, people.
    The first date I ever had, only happened after a bunch of girls kept coming to me and telling me how much this girl liked me. We went out a couple of times (senior in high school), but she was not a virgin, was the preachers daughter and way out of my league. I finally called her, after our second date, and we had a duel phone line, that I paid for, at my moms house. Her cousin was living with them, and told me to hold. A few minutes later we were talking….and after I hung up, my oldest sister told me never to call her again. Seems she was on the other line talking to the cousin of the girl I was calling, and she was bad mouthing me, saying how ugly I was and wished I just lost her number…so I did.
    I crawled even deeper as a introvert, and though I had friends and family members who tried setting me up, I never felt comfortable.
    I went away to college to find what I was supposed to do with my life, and one girl in the class treated me like someone special. Since we were in the same class, we started hanging out. I liked talking to her, and thought we were friends.
    One day I called her, and was getting ready to go out with some guy friends. I hung up with her, and got back on the phone, but there was no dial tone. I realized she had not hung up all the way, because I could hear her talking to her roommates, and they were laughing and talking about a guy. They were ripping him apart, and I felt so bad….then I realized it was me they were talking about.
    I never called her back and transferred to another college.
    It was so easy to have a fantasy, than the heartbreak of reality. I gave up trying to get close to a woman, and actually a fear of women, those I became attracted to, would feed more of my fantasy life, than reality.
    From grade school, through college, I dealt with bullies, so turning on a television became my life. It didn’t judge, mock or deceive….or so I believed.
    Through that process, I grew from a child with a catalog, to a teen with playboy, to a college student watching adult movies, to a young adult going to strip clubs.
    Through all that process, I went to church, on and off, sang the hymns, listened to the pastor and prayed with the rest in the church.
    The Sunday School was more of a ‘hook up’, than learning about God. I was, from what other guys attitudes and words said, the only virgin.
    When they’d find out, they’d give me play by plays in their ‘skills’ and I felt even more an outcast.
    Don’t get me wrong, I had opportunities with girls…but I never felt right about it. I had two sisters, and I felt if I treated women with respect, they would be given the same. One sister had an abortion just out of high school, and got in drugs and ‘hooking up’ with some of the scum of the earth. She now has a son, and his father is in jail.
    Today, I realize it is a sin…but I still struggle.
    It would be easy to lie and try and cover it up, as many will, but I know that this is a struggle, in most men’s hearts alone, to get out of this.
    The problem for me is, I was going to an apostate church, when it became clear the actions I did, wouldn’t be answered in that environment….but I also know now, that I cannot deal with it alone.
    Now, I can hear the mocking, and jokes some of you are throwing at me, and I guess it is just something I should expect…but when I shared the fact I was a virgin, with someone I worked with, that wore the Christian shirts, necklace, wristband, hat. Said prayers before every meal at lunch and talked about his walk with God…and then mocked me for being a virgin. Even telling his wife, to the point she wondered what was wrong with me, I lost all wanting to go to church or trust the value of what a Christian is.
    It took me years to come back to Christ. And struggles within my own family in the time I listen to pastors, even saying I must really be bad for all the Christian sermons I want to listen to on the radio…I other word, this is not anything I can share with my family, because it would be considered no big deal, to a single mom who parties and gives the ‘milk for free’ (as my mom puts it).
    I have finally found a great valued Christian church…but in this sin I still struggle. I turn from it for a while…and then fall back in.
    I’m not quite sure what I expect from sharing this…mocking…laughing and belittling from those that troll here, and have no part in God. The ‘holier than thou’ that rise above this lustful nature of man/woman…or a pastor telling me I’m going to hell.
    God put it on my heart to share this part of my life, and something this worlds values applauds us in doing, from teachers alone in kindergarten to college.
    One of the biggest downfalls in Christianity…sexual sins in our hearts/thoughts/fantasies/eyes and flesh.

    • Truly

      Thank you JR for sharing. No, not everyone’s got the response you predicted, thankfully. I pray God helps all of us with our struggles and especially in sexual sins because after our drive to eat/drink it is one of our strongest drives. Very much swept under the carpet by a church community uncomfortable in facing and dealing with it. Sad but true.

    • pjsr

      John,
      Thanks
      Your life has both similarities and differences with many testimonies I’ve experienced in Celebrate Recovery, including my own. I’ve found it a ‘safe place’ for sharing, where there is loving and Biblical accountability and support.
      I’ve learned Biblical methods of forgiving past hurts, while taking responsibility for my actions past and present. Confession is an important part of that.
      Thanks again for your honesty.

    • Hazel J Hill

      You should be proud you were a virgin, as you did not sin, and kept yourself for the woman you will love or have now. Those whom mock you are the sad ones, not you. I thank you for putting your story here, as I am sure will help many other people, whom experience the same things you have.

    • JEE

      JR, assuming your testimony is truthful, I want to say that many of us go through very difficult experiences that rob us of healthy, positive experiences and leave deep scars and dysfunctional habits. I am sorry, but I still believe that God has solutions for you. What you have lived could be called a thorn in the flesh. Some thorns are extreme poverty, chronic and weakening sickness, mental confusion, brutal sexual experiences, being hated, abandoned, abused, deprived of the things which God intended for mankind. These things are real and there are no instant remedies for them. I pray that you will find sensitive people, literature or Godly moments in which you are ministered to, because that is what we are called to do, help one another and give our lives for our friends. You are a friend of God. And when you are strengthened, you may be able to reach out to others …

      (2 Cor 1:3 Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
      the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 1:4 who comforts us in all our troubles so that we may be
      able to comfort those experiencing any trouble with the comfort with which we ourselves are
      comforted by God.)

      … who are misunderstood, rejected, and cornered in their secret worlds. But corners only have two sides. There is a whole other space leading to freedom. We are not all cured completely, but there is a spiritual healing and peace that surpasses all understanding. May God bless you. Thank you for your honesty.

  • Joshua Anderson

    this is dead on.

  • michael virimai charle chipere

    Many people are demon possessed simply put,because when the Son of man sets you free,you are free indeed.many need to be set free from the chains of Satan and pornography is one of them,all these other reasons are a smoke-screen.men and women are possessed by the spirit of Jezebel and the only way to set them free is REPENTANCE,that is make a complete 360 degree from the old life, receive the Holy Spirit and focus on the cross.As a way of helping them overcome their weaknesses they must stay away from the sources of their weakness TV,mags,internet and be in good company all the time until such a time when they have matured spiritually.

  • B.J.

    Concider the lonely life of the wife that has an intimately absent husband, that seeks this fantacy world for relational fulfillment which objectifies the value of women. Alot of work and focus has been on bringing the effects pornography into the light of honest discussion. However, what work has been done on helping the wives of these men?

  • douglas

    once u taste it , its difficult to stop , sure

  • Matthew

    1st Corinthians 7.9…it is better to take a wife than burn with passion” and wives look after you husbands’ natural sexual desires and husbands look after your wives, to discourage satan driving you to sin…Paul has many writings on the issue of these relationships…pornography has a tremendous cost to the actors/actresses who participate, and the viewers to harden their views of life life and the demeaning of human life and relationships..

  • jg

    I must admit that I did not read ALL (117 at this point) the responses to this article, so maybe this issue has been addressed. If so, my apology for revisiting it.

    Pornography is not just a MAN issue, many WOMEN suffer from its addictive grasp also. I was introduced to pornography by my second step-father at about the age of 12, along with two of my half-brothers who were 9 and 8 at the time. As a young woman I had very low self-esteem and self-worth, thinking the only way to have a meaningful relationship with a man was to have sex. I know in my now redeemed heart that is not true, and that there is a distinct difference between ‘having sex’ and ‘making love’. Unfortunately, some 40 years later, I have yet to experience the latter.

    Pornography can be all-consuming. The most innocent advertisement, or some less innocent TV shows can send an addict into a death spiral – but I am wandering from the point.

    Ministers, please be aware that there are many women out there suffering from this addiction too – and it is just as embarrassing for them as it is for the men.

    • Richard Caradine

      That is so sad. To desire the latter and never had the opportunity. I pray you get that chance in the proper relationship.

  • Jerry Edmonds

    I too have had my struggles with this. So have many friends. Here is what I believe to be the central issue that I have not heard mentioned. Porn satisfies self. We as Christians are called to deny self. In fact, James tells us that our own evil desires are what drive us to surrender to temptation.

    I know that there is a physiological aspect to this, a dependency that develops, much like an adrenaline junkie (or any other junkie). I know that there are discussions as to whether this issue is an addiction or a compulsion. Perhaps it is both. What I know from experience is that until one takes ownership of this, acknowledging that it is OUR doing and not the result of outside forces, one will not be able leave it.

    The man in the mirror is the real problem.