Replace a vicious cycle with a virtuous cycle. Pray for God to help you replace your desire for porn with a stronger desire to be holy. Stop fueling the vicious cycle of porn addiction by refusing to give into the temptation to use porn, and keep in mind that every time you resist temptation, you weaken its power over you. Begin a virtuous cycle of sexual purity by filling your mind with thoughts about God rather than porn, which you can do by making spiritual disciplines like Bible reading and prayer a habit.

Cope with your porn triggers in healthier ways. Now that you’ve already identified what triggers you to turn to porn and have committed to breaking your porn habit, it’s time to respond to your porn triggers with other activities that can help you rather than harming you. If you’ve been using porn when you’re stressed or tired, arrange your schedule so you can get more sleep and rest. If you’ve been using porn for a physical release, start to exercise regularly instead. If you’ve been turning to porn to deal with boredom, add some healthy adventure to your life, such as by working on a service project, traveling to a place you’d like to explore, or taking a class to learn a new skill.

Enlist others to support you and hold you accountable. Meet regularly with some fellow Christians you trust for support and accountability while you’re healing from your porn habit and trying to establish healthy habits. Honestly confess the ways you’ve been struggling, and set goals to grow closer to God in specific ways.

Look beyond the ugliness of porn to see the beauty of a holy life. Ask God to give you a vision of what He wants your life to look like, and use that knowledge to motivate you to resist sin like porn use that can mess up God’s great plans for you. Read the Bible often to keep God’s visions of beauty, sex, marriage, and singleness in mind. Remember that God values inner beauty more than outer beauty, He created sex as a good way for married couples to unite in covenant love, and singleness is just as much of a gift from God as marriage because it offers unique opportunities to grow and serve. Choose to reject the false glory that porn tempts you with and instead embrace holiness to reflect more of God’s real glory. Keep in mind that you’re not really what porn may try to make you think you are – an animal, a pervert, an addict, a victim, or a fool – but you truly are a beloved person who God made in His image, who can reflect His glory in the world.

Adapted from Closing the Window: Steps to Living Porn Free, copyright 2010 by Tim Chester. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Ill., www.ivpress.com
Tim Chester is involved in The Crowded House, a church-planting initiative in Sheffield, England. He is the author of Awakening to a World of Need, The Promise of Salvation and The Message of Prayer.

Whitney Hopler is a full-time freelance writer and editor.  You can visit her website at:http://whitneyhopler.naiwe.com/.

Publication date: April 3, 2011