Archives For June 2012

Are you sick of all this “telling” yet?

Good.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to drag you through some needless agony here. Penance doesn’t help solve a bad habit. But if you’ve done the hard work of telling God, then telling your spouse, about your porn habit, you’re ready for this next step.

You need a trusted friend who knows your struggle and will keep you accountable to pure living. Old habits die hard, and when you’ve failed, you need to be able to ‘fess up to someone who will both love you and hold your feet to the fire a little bit. Here’s how you can take that step today.

  1. Think of a friend who you know will love you no matter what. You’re about to bear your soul to this person. You should have a reasonable foundation of trust already built with this person.
  2. Think of a friend who’s committed to living a pure, godly life. We cannot give what we do not have. If your friend doesn’t give a rip about their own personal purity, how in the world are they going to help you? They don’t have to be perfect. Heck, they may even be as screwed up as you! But they need to be moving forward.
  3. Think of a friend who can keep their mouth shut. And commit to keeping your mouth shut as your friend reveals their struggles to you, as well. This is a trust relationship. Break that trust, and you’ll be starting over from zero.

If you don’t have a friend like this, it’s time to get some new friends. Seriously. It is.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a friend like this, call them today. Tell them you’ve just installed “X3Watch” on your computer and/or smartphone, and you’d like them to take a look at the Accountability Report that lands in their inbox every 2 weeks.

Done. Now all you have to do is continue the conversation.

There, wasn’t that simple?

Read the Whole Series:

  1. Porn by the Numbers
  2. Why Porn is Killing You
  3. Telling God about your Porn Habit
  4. Telling your Spouse about your Porn Habit
  5. Telling your Trusted Friend about your Porn Habit
  6. How to Get Help: Quitting Porn for Good

“Do I have to?”

 Telling Your Spouse about your Porn Habit

Your Marriage is Worth It

I can hear the objections already. If you’ve confessed to God that you’ve been involved with porn and want to stop, that’s a fantastic first step. The next step (if you’re married) is to tell your spouse. Why?

  • You’ve been sinning against them. God provided you with a spouse as the source of your sexual fulfillment. That does not mean that they are required to be available 24 hours a day to carry out your every fantasy. That simply means that you’re involved in a sexual relationship with them and only them. Period.

I don’t know how much you read the Bible, but it’s more practical than you may think. Proverbs 5 is a great reminder of the kind of purity God expects us to maintain in the marriage relationship.

15 Drink water from your own cistern,
running water from your own well.
16 Should your springs overflow in the streets,
your streams of water in the public squares?
17 Let them be yours alone,
never to be shared with strangers.
18 May your fountain be blessed,
and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19 A loving doe, a graceful deer —
may her breasts satisfy you always,
may you ever be intoxicated with her love.
20 Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife?
Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman?

Who knew the Bible was so explicit? And helpful? God gives us some straight-up wisdom here. The fountain of sex should be kept private, between you and your spouse. It seems simple, but I’ve watched a lot of people get this wrong, and pay a high price for it. It’s time to start guarding that spring. Don’t let anyone else in, either in person or electronically.

“But I’m not married.”

Yet. And don’t forget, the people featured in porn are victims of visual adultery. You wouldn’t want someone gawking at your daughter or wife, would you?

So here’s a few tips toward coming clean with your spouse:

  • Choose the time and place. This is a serious matter, and needs to be handled face-to-face, not by text or facebook. Sit down with your spouse and give them your undivided attention. Then do what’s hard but necessary. Tell them the truth.
  • Tell them it’s been a struggle for you, but don’t go into extraordinary detail. It’s unnecessary and can cause more harm than good.
  • Expect them to be angry and hurt. Feelings of betrayal are appropriate for your spouse. They will need time to process, and most likely will not understand. This resource may help them.
  • Ask them for forgiveness, and accountability. Tell them you’ll be adding them to the new accountability software you’re installing on your computer and smartphone.

If you take this step, you’ve truly committed to recovery. Hang in there. The next step is coming.

Read the Whole Series:

  1. Porn by the Numbers
  2. Why Porn is Killing You
  3. Telling God about your Porn Habit
  4. Telling your Spouse about your Porn Habit
  5. Telling your Trusted Friend about your Porn Habit
  6. How to Get Help: Quitting Porn for Good

Help begins here.

If you’ve struggled with porn, you’re not alone. Many see nothing wrong with it, thinking that it’s harmless. You know better. Your conscience tells you it’s wrong. You sense the negative effects of consuming the “fast food” of sex, a far cry from the meaningful fulfillment God intended for the marriage relationship.

Now the question becomes, “What do I do about this?” Many people discover that, once they’ve decided to make a change, they don’t know where to begin. You make a commitment to never look at porn again, but then you do it again shortly. Panic sets in. “How do I get out of this? I’ve been looking for so long, and I’ve tried to stop so many times, but I always go back.”

The Psalmist gave us a great starting point to begin winning the battle of secret sin:

16 Come and hear, all you who fear God;
let me tell you what he has done for me.
17 I cried out to him with my mouth;
his praise was on my tongue.
18 If I had cherished sin in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened;
19 but God has surely listened
and has heard my prayer.
20 Praise be to God,
who has not rejected my prayer
or withheld his love from me!

 He calls all who respect God to listen. This is his story of how he cried out to God from a desperate place. If he held onto sin, he’s convinced that God would not have listened. So he must have made a decision in his heart to align his thoughts with God’s, to redefine what He was seeking and pursuing. He came to God in desperation, but wasn’t rejected. He didn’t get called stupid or worthless. He found God ready to answer and love him. Now he is joyful because of how God has answered his prayer.
  • Is that your decision today?
  • Are you ready to make a break from porn?
  • Are you ready to seek forgiveness, cleansing and purity from Him?

All you have to do is ask.

I know. It sounds too simple. Forgiveness, cleansing and purity, just for the asking? It’s outrageous. But do not be confused. The lavish price was paid by our savior when He, the pure One, was nailed to a cross. Then the victory for our future was won when He was brought back from the dead.

Maybe there is one more thing you have to do.

Believe. Agree with God that it’s time to walk in a new direction, away from sin and toward a new hope. Agree that God’s word is true. In it He says,

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

If you’re in your right mind, you know you’ve sinned. The good news is that if you confess it to God, He’s ready and waiting to forgive you.

  • Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could experience forgiveness?
  • What would it be like to be purified right now?

Want to find out? Pray with me:

“Father, I know I’ve been full of sin. I’m so sick of getting sucked into this trap, and I want out. I’m asking you to forgive me because of what Jesus has done for me on the cross. Thank you for His sacrifice for me, for Him laying down His pure life in exchange for mine. Come purify my heart, and empower me to live a new life tomorrow. Amen”

Read the Whole Series:

  1. Porn by the Numbers
  2. Why Porn is Killing You
  3. Telling God about your Porn Habit
  4. Telling your Spouse about your Porn Habit
  5. Telling your Trusted Friend about your Porn Habit
  6. How to Get Help: Quitting Porn for Good
 Why Porn is Killing You

Why Porn is Killing You

In “Porn by the Numbers” I highlighted a few stats collected by our friends at xxxchurch.com . No matter what slice of information you sample, the numbers are staggering. More pornography is available today, and viewed by more people, than any time in history.

As access to pornography has proliferated, so has cultural acceptance of it. What was once a “dirty secret”, stashed away shamefully, is now much more out in the open. It is referred to and made light of in popular culture. Along with the widespread acceptance has come a new tolerance of what was once considered too sexual. What was once acknowledged as “soft core porn” now permeates magazines, advertisements and almost every surface that can be covered by an image. Sex sells, and apparently, business is booming.

Here’s the tricky part. No matter how accepted porn becomes in our culture, it is still corrosive and destructive at the core. Do not be fooled, porn is not a natural part of our sexuality. It is a distortion of it. The viewer of porn is harmed by it in more ways that one.

Why Porn is Killing You

It’s guaranteed to never satisfy:  The progressive nature of porn exposure ensures that we will never be satisfied with viewing the same amount of porn as we used to. This progression, similar to other physical addictions, ensures that a constant pursuit of more and more graphic content is the norm. In order to achieve the same “high” from porn tomorrow as we did yesterday, we must consume more of it, or more graphic versions of it. Sexuality, being an appetite, is influenced and distorted out of its intended shape by the consumption of low-value, high-volume “foods”. The result is growing dissatisfaction with porn itself, as well as the authentic sexual relationship God has designed for us.

It kills our chances of real sexual intimacy:  Consider this, if you are single, and a consumer of porn, how in the world could your spouse satisfy you on your wedding night, or any other night for that matter? If you routinely fantasize about, and in fact view, fake and distorted sexual acts that can be changed at the click of a button, then how could a real, live human being ever match up? They can’t. And they shouldn’t. Attempting to fulfill our sexual needs with anyone other than our spouse is going to lessen the chances of our spouse being able to fulfill us sexually. Did you get that? Let me rephrase it. The more we consume porn, the less satisfied we will be with a real sexual relationship with our spouse. Want a better sex life now or in the future? Ditch the porn.

It kills our closeness to God:  God has designed the sexual relationship of a husband and wife to involve much more than physical pleasure. The physical pleasure is best and most fulfilling when it falls under a life-long commitment of two people who are intimately familiar with each other’s needs within and without the bedroom. God knows exactly how we are wired. He designed us!  His plan always leads to the greatest fulfillment, not emptiness.

When Jesus said, “anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28) he was holding out for a higher standard than what was popular at the time. He highlighted the state of the heart, even if it didn’t result in acting out physically. If you’re a Christ follower, you understand that the cycle of guilt and shame involved with viewing porn can become so overwhelming that you want to walk away from your faith altogether. When we’re losing the battle with lust, we don’t exactly feel like we can approach God. The truth is, sin becomes a wedge that drives us further and further away from Him. Darkness always flees from the light, and if the darkness within us is growing, we tend to shy away from the very One who can cleanse and heal us.

There is good news. This cycle can be broken. Stay tuned for the next installments in this series.

Read the Whole Series:

  1. Porn by the Numbers
  2. Why Porn is Killing You
  3. Telling God about your Porn Habit
  4. Telling your Spouse about your Porn Habit
  5. Telling your Trusted Friend about your Porn Habit
  6. How to Get Help: Quitting Porn for Good