I hate that I struggle with porn. Help!

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I hate that I struggle with porn. Help!

Jan 31, 2002 |J. Budziszewski
Question

I'm a 19 year old college student. I became a Christian when I was 14, and it changed my life big time, man! I was so close to God, and I was highly respected by my friends as being really spiritual. People I knew at school who didn't even believe in God would come to me for advice. I'm not trying to brag, but I know God was using me a lot.

Then, a few months after I turned 17, I made a huge mistake. Some friends of mine got into pornography, and they sucked me in, too. Whenever I was home alone, I would turn my computer on and find whatever I could. I became addicted really fast. I knew how bad it was, and I prayed to God to help me stop, but I kept getting into it. I've quit off and on now for several years. Needless to say, my spiritual life has hit rock bottom.

I recently have made a huge effort to get my life right again, but the more I try, the harder it becomes. It has got so bad that some friends and I trade porn with each other and talk about sex all the time. Masturbation has also taken control of me. Although I've still been able to save myself for marriage, I don't know that I can hold out much longer. I know that other guys struggle with this, and I know that God is disappointed, but I know He's waiting on me to come back to Him. I love God with everything in me, and I know that He won't bless my life with this in it.

I want out so bad. Even if you can't write me back, I just ask that you pray for me. I'm at the bottom of a dark pit, screaming to get out. I'm about to turn 20. I never dreamed that I'd still be struggling with this now. Please help. Thanks, man, for listening.

Answer

Of course I'll pray for you. There are also some practical things you can do to change.

  1. You must want to change with all your heart. Jesus asked a sick man who came to him, "Do you want to be healed?" Good question. People don't always want to be.
  2. Recognize that you are in the grip of a besetting sin, and that you can't deal with it alone.
  3. Find an accountability group for people with your problem, get into it, and stay with it. The most well-known accountability groups are "Twelve-Step Groups" modeled after the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, but adapted to other addictions or compulsions such as sex or cocaine. You can find Twelve-Step Groups in any sizable town or city. Often they are hosted by churches.
  4. If you try therapy, be sure to look for a Christian therapist. He should also be one with experience in dealing with compulsive behaviors.
  5. Get rid of those friends you mentioned — drop them cold. Get new ones who don't have the same problem. A sexual compulsive trying to stay pure around old porno buddies is like an alcoholic trying to stay sober around old drinking buddies. It can't be done.
  6. Avoid temptations. I know that sounds obvious, but have you thought through what it means? Study your life and see what you need to change. For example, if you find that you can't trust yourself to use the computer without looking for pornography, then get rid of the computer. You can live without it. If you find that you can't trust yourself to take warm baths without masturbating, then switch to cold showers. If you can't trust yourself not to stop at the porno hangouts on the way home from work, then change the route you take to get home. Or join a carpool.
  7. Keep praying. I know you feel spiritually "dry" right now, but don't worry about your feelings. It isn't the feelings that make the difference, but staying connected with God. Pray every day, even if you don't feel answered, and repent and get up no matter how many times you fall.
  8. One of the people associated with Boundless has set up a website to help people who are burdened by addictions to internet pornography. The address is www.pureintimacy.org. I think you'll find some ideas there too.

Thousands have been ensnared by pornography, but thousands have found liberty. May Christ our Liberator bless you with the true freedom of His service.

Grace and peace,
PROFESSOR THEOPHILUS

Copyright 2002 Professor Theophilus. All rights reserved.

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