I Could Battle an Addiction to Pornography

I could battle an addiction to pornography…

There I said it…

I hate to admit it, but I must…

Now, let me explain…

I’m not an addict…

I’m not practicing an addiction…

I never really have…

I have just learned enough “by experience” to know it wouldn’t take much…

I have a wandering eye problem…

I don’t know many honest men who don’t…

Pornography grips a man’s mind and heart like nothing else…

I also have sat with dozens of men whose life destruction started with a pornography addiction…

I also know that addiction usually starts as temptation…

You don’t have to be practicing an addiction to be tempted towards an addiction…

My dad was an alcoholic…

The last 15 years or so of his life he wasn’t a practicing alcoholic…

I saw him avoid situations which could tempt him to give into his addiction…

He knew where he was vulnerable…

Do you?

It I wasn’t careful with my time; if I didn’t have people monitoring my internet usage, I could soon be held captive by images that would haunt me long after I left a site or page…

The fact is…if I chose to glance it would soon become a gaze…

I would soon be a statistic…

Again, just being honest…

I have to discipline myself not to sin in this way…

Who is bold enough to be honest with me?

What accountability measures do you have in place to keep you from battling an addiction to pornography?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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38 thoughts on “I Could Battle an Addiction to Pornography

  1. You're right it is easy and I can't honestly say that I've never looked. My governor is my relationship with God and my love for my wife. Even though we are in difficulties now (relationship with wife, not God), I police myself because I can see how much good He has done in my life over the last couple of years and I want to do nothing to jeopardize that; even though my wife is distant from me.

    I find a greater temptation in the women at the local YMCA in the workout area. I go there several times a week with one or two of my sons and you can get almost as good a show there; without the obvious nudity and sexual touching though. I have had to make a covenant with myself to just not look and that can be very difficult.

  2. We meet Jesus in our sin. Not when we think that "we can handle it". Our honesty bring me back to mine… I'm also honest ? Do I have the strength and the humility to share my addiction ?
    Ron, you just blow me out ! Our post just give me one burning desire… run in the arms of Jesus.
    I need to recognize that my humanity brings me to death, and only Him can transform me inside-out.

  3. My wife and I never hold anything back from each other. In this regard she has access to my computer, ipad, etc. Being completely honest, I know all the tricks to cover my tracks and I've taught her what to look for.

    Why? Because I was there. I struggled with pornography for years throughout high school and college. It's no joke and I've watched it completely ruin people and I am only 30.

    Thanks Ron. I was in a room with some other men as we helped design a men's section in a prominent Christian magazine. We discussed whether or not it would deal with issues like this or not. The answer ended up being no because some people were tired of hearing about it. Broke my heart that people would rather brush a serious felt need under the rug because "they don't want to hear about it"

  4. I appreciate your honesty and willingness to talk about this, Ron. I use X3 Watch, which helps. I think the most important tool in my arsenal, however, is maintaining an open and honest relationship with a couple of my good friends. We're committed to being brutally honest about when we struggle with this stuff. Software and monitoring systems are good things, but they're no substitute for friendship and accountability.

  5. Well to be honest, my accountability partner in all I do is God. I say that not to just be the correct "christian" answer but because I know he is so deeply involved in , not just my life but in everyone's life. I know that God is personal in my life.
    I know that he not only judges my action but he also judges my intent. He knows what turns my head, he knows my thoughts, my wants, or even my plans before I know them.
    To think that your "alone" when you look at porn is to be in total denial that God even exists. "for there is no place you can go where I'm not there." The biggest thing that I've learned on my walk, is that God is yearning to be involved in absolutely everything we do. To pray without ceasing, is to talk to God about everything. There is dialect to be had with the most high God. He is not just a amazing mathematician who "knows the hairs on your head", he in the one who notices the smallest details about you, like "wow", "today you lost 19 strands of hair." Who do you know that knows you well enough to tell when you got them all trimmed? "he will not forsake you or leave you" even when the lights are off and all the doors and windows are closed. He's there. Dude! He's there.

    • God is a great accountability partner. I do believe he calls us to accountable relationships within the body, which is one of the reason He gives us guidelines to look for in finding leaders…for example….

  6. I hold myself accountable to my family. My home office is in the family room. My computer faces the room so that at any point my wife or children can come up and see what I'm looking at. While I was in college I had an accountability partner who was blunt enough to ask me how I was doing. Having a real accountability partner is one of the best ways to stay away from that stuff.
    Twitter: ericspeir

  7. resisting temptation gives power to temptation, treat the cause not the symptom.
    Rick Warren recommends identifying the 'lie' behind your sin/temptation, what is it promising you?
    Greg Baer calls porn a form of 'imitation love', pleasure. It is only tempting if we do not have real (fulfilling/overflowing ) love.
    Old news really, if you are not experiencing a genuine intimate connection with God then porn is the least of your problems (I suspect more pastors are more worried about being 'found out' than their intimacy with God).

    my 2 cents

  8. Thank you Ron! I have been free of alcohol for over 3.5 years and don't miss it at all – thanks to God who blessed me greatly by removing the obsession of alcohol. I have been impacted greatly by a loved one w/an addiction to pornography – greatly impacted – and I wont give details – but it is awful to be impacted by that addiction or any for that matter. Thanks so much for your honestly, blog & ministry.

    Praise God for his work in all of us.

  9. I had an addiction. It's the addiction that started when I was 15 and my friend gave me a videotape with a porno on it. It culminated 15 years later in my being thrown out of ministry and publicly humiliated because I had the addiction. I lost my job, I lost my friends and I eventually lost my marriage. I see my sons two days a month and it's a continual reminder that I was a pornography addict.

    And even today, there are times I struggle with that wandering eye or the gaze that lingers a little too long. It's a daily battle for purity and some days my white robe gets the mud on it. And I hate that.

    I have X3 software, my wife has access to every system and every password, I have men with the permission to ask anything at any time, to look at my computers or phone at any time. It's part of the reason I probably get too transparent with other believers…the addiction hid in the dark corners and it almost destroyed me.

  10. Not saying that abstaining isn’t important and that these tools don’t gave value and that accountibity isn’t vital, but it does absolutely mo good to refrain if you are not “gazing” upon God.

    Just before I saw your tweet, I came upon this quote tweeted by JR Vassar.

    Robert Murray McCheyne: ‘It is the look that saves, but it is the gaze that sanctifies.’

    Gazing upon Christ, His Cross, His holiness, being swept away by His beauty I have found to be the only deterrent. I struggle with lust everyday, and sometimes it strangles my heart. My prayer for myself is that His Word increasingly becomes sweeter while my sin becomes bitter.
    With a nod to CS Lewis, I want to wake up one day and ask myself, why am I making “mud pies in the slums when there is a holiday in the sea?” awaiting me.
    Twitter: rwren

  11. Preventative measures are great things to have. Filters, software (I use Covenant Eyes), and wives knowing passwords are all fine things to do. However, for all of the "could be's" out there the greatest step you can take is to be honest and real with yourself and your God. For years I used all of the accountability software available but was still viewing pornography and entering adult chatrooms daily! For men in the hooks of an addiction to lust the old saying, "where there is a will there is a way." Good addicts will always find their way around any software out there….just like I did. What changed me and put me on a road of recovery was RADICAL HONESTY! I am an addict and my issue was not the internet…it was my lack of connection with God and trusting HIM to be my shield.

    Remember that the difference between an alcoholic and a sexaholic is that for an alcoholic to get his drug of choice and must go out and take the five minute ride to the liquor store. For a sexaholic to find his drug of choice he only needs to take a 3 second journey into the images he has stored away in his mind. The reality is that I do not ever need to look at a porn site again to see images. Sadly I have those images stuck in my mind from years of looking at them. But I have learned that this is not my issue…my issue is my lack of connection with God. That is where I must start, continue, and end each day.

    For all my brothers living in the shadows I encourage you to not only have accountability on the internet but to get honest with yourself. The great change for me came when I took a step into recovery because I was going to die otherwise. I did not do it to get my wife back, save my family, or even save my job (though those were noble reasons) I did it because God had more in life for me than what I could find on a XXX website. That decision to connect with Him for a full and real life is what changed me. Because of that I don't have to have a filter on my computer…my aversion to pornography flows from my living relationship with Him and taking daily steps to surrender my life, will, and addiction over.

  12. 1. My wife she knows all my passwords and has access to my phone computer etc. 2. I used to have a great blocker that my wife had the password but when I changed computer I don’t have it anymore. Any suggestions? Thanks Ron for having the guts to tackle this topic on behalf of men.

  13. Ron, I will be honest with you and admit that I too could be addicted. It is so easy to "just look" this one time. Then before you know it, you gaze and then stare and then it consumes you. Thank you for admitting this so that others know they aren't the only ones.
    Twitter: Ron_Lane