Finding Freedom from Pornography
- Aaron D'Anthony Brown Contributing Author
- 2023 19 Jan
“For freedom, Christ set us free. Stand firm, then, and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)
“Can a man embrace fire and his clothes not be burned? Can a man walk on burning coals without scorching his feet? So it is with the one who sleeps with another man’s wife.” (Proverbs 6:27-28)
The Modern Day Drug
There is a modern-day drug most people have encountered at least once in life, especially males, a drug that takes possession of the brain like any other well-known narcotic. A drug that has recently prompted the state of Louisiana to enact stronger age-verification laws. That modern-day drug is pornography, and in our current sex-saturated culture, many people find themselves addicted, with males bearing the most numbers.
As younger and younger kids are given access to technology, younger, and younger kids are viewing hardcore pornography. This early exposure to perversion is often children’s, especially boys, first exposure to the idea of sex. And rather than a single man with a single woman, they find things many everyday people would otherwise never imagine, never even know existed.
The people of Jesus’ day struggling with sexual addiction didn’t have access to porn at their fingertips. While they could visit brothels and prostitutes, they were not able to type a single word on a device that would then produce hundreds of images before their very eyes. Today, we have brothels, prostitutes, and so much more. As a Christian living in America, sex seems ubiquitous, and if ubiquitous, then inescapable. What are we to do as we seek sanctity, sobriety, and modesty? Thankfully, Scripture provides us with a timeless answer to these very real struggles.
Porn addiction and all other forms of sexual addiction do not have to claim hold over your life. Whether you’ve struggled for twenty years, twenty days, or just twenty minutes, change is possible. Remember that change is possible.
Recovery is a process, but one that works when you incorporate the right attitude and tools. No matter where you are on the journey, here are some ways you can fortify yourself against the wiles of the Devil.
Consider the Consequences
Before changing any bad habit, you first have to admit that there is a problem. Take time to assess the damage that your behavior has caused both in your life and for others. Some people reflect upon how much time they spent in their addiction and where those hours would have been better served. Others take note of the relationships that fractured because of their addictive ways.
What are some of the consequences you’ve faced in your own life? Porn addiction often takes away from our sleep, work, families, and marriage. We show up to various commitments, if we show up, as a lesser version of ourselves. And if we consider our relationship with God, rather than feeling close, we recognize ourselves as being extremely distant.
Once we acknowledge the problem, then comes the deep desire to change. There is no freedom from sexual sin without a desire for freedom. Is there any feeling in the human body greater than what we receive through sex? Sexual addiction is powerful for this reason and for playing into our innate desire for human connection. In order to overcome, we have to want to do what’s right, then plan accordingly. Diving into God’s word is a sure way to bring about change, as is getting involved in the community, such as a 12-step group.
Though we may want freedom, there will be days when that freedom seems obsolete, pointless, and impossible. Whether we seek out sex as an escape from loneliness, singleness, anger, or boredom, pornography use is intended to fill a void. Do you know what your void is? And if so, what holy and healthy alternatives can you find to replace the porn use? The greater your self-awareness, the greater your recovery plan. You’ll know what to embrace, what to avoid, and when you need to call on the Lord and others for help.
Many have said the opposite of addiction is connection. In our connections with God and people, we find that the substitutions we were making with sexual addiction weren't just inadequate, they were detrimental. Porn broke us down, but relationships built us up. Finding external relationships helps us stay motivated on our best and worst of days. We need accountability when we’re tempted to be dishonest and when we feel tempted beyond what we can bear. They help us get over the finish line.
As you work to grow, a perspective of hope and a constant willingness to change are crucial. Then all that’s left is to commit to that change and recommit every day. There will be days you don’t want to commit, but you have to, and even you cannot say, “I want to stay sober,” with good habits in place you will. Even when your perspective is off, good habits will help you win the day. God can equip us with the tools we need to succeed, but we have to seek Him out wholeheartedly. Scripture helps us understand that we can change, but also that we must have the willingness to do so.
Photo credit: Pablo Heimplatz/Unsplash
Aaron D'Anthony Brown is a freelance writer, hip-hop dance teacher, and visual artist, living in Virginia. He currently contributes work to iBelieve, Crosswalk, and supports various clients through the platform Upwork. He's an outside-the-box thinker with a penchant for challenging the status quo. Check out his short story “Serenity.”