Ladies, the response to the post I wrote last week titled 7 Truths About Pornography was pretty revealing. It demonstrated the reality of how common pornography is in our culture and how it negatively affects those who view or read it. Pornography comes in so many mediums these days, and the sad truth is that children are accessing it at a much younger age.
Pornography is damaging regardless of whether you access it randomly or excessively as an addiction. It’s clearly the devil’s tool to divert you away from God, His commandments and His plan for humanity. But no matter how strong your addiction to pornography, you can overcome it.
One of my most favorite Bible verses is “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 is an astounding truth that says we can overcome any type of temptation with God’s help. And that’s something all Christians should embrace. I certainly have—so much so that it lays the foundation for my second novel, Freeing Tanner Rose.
If you’re struggling with an addiction to pornography, here are some tips for helping you turn away from the sin.
- Understand the truth about pornography. Realize that pornography is a supply-and-demand commodity and the more people want it, the more it’s supplied. Now think about those who are abused for the sake of supplying pornography. In many circles, as my post demonstrated, pornography is considered harmless. But when the truth kicks in, when God is acknowledged, when His design for intimacy between a husband and wife is revealed, we realize that pornography is a horrible, destructive abuse of what God made beautiful. God’s design was for love and procreation. Pornography is for lust and self-gratification.
- Recognize that pornography comes in many formats. It’s not just offered in movies and images, but also written in novels. Unfortunately, even erotica is becoming more mainstream in books disguised as literary fiction. One great example is the book 50 Shades of Gray, which is soon to become a movie. “Sexting” is also considered pornography, and in fact some states prosecute those who send sexual images of themselves or others.
- Admit the problem. I know! You’ve probably heard this a million times, but it’s true that until you come right out and admit that you have a problem, you really can’t solve it. An addiction is something you just can’t get away from. It follows you around and you can’t get it off your mind. You yearn for it, and then once you’re fulfilled in that moment, the guilt and shame kick in. It’s easier to admit your addiction when you feel like this. But when you don’t feel the guilt and shame, then you either don’t think it’s wrong or you don’t want to admit it.
- Know that you’re not alone. 7 Truths About Pornography proved this in the comments section. Millions of people of all ages are addicted to pornography, primarily because our culture has become very sexualized. Celebrities are made famous for sex tapes. Stars are wearing less and less on the red carpet. Our culture has accepted pornography as a way to enhance intimacy or fulfill lust. No, you’re definitely not alone!
- Tell someone who cares about you. This will be the scariest step. Telling someone means that you have to reveal a secret. It opens you up to criticism or ridicule or judgement. But think of it as a penance. The good thing about telling someone who cares about you is that you can have someone on your side and that someone can help to keep you accountable. It also means that you have come to terms with your addiction and you’re willing to fix it.
- Ask God for forgiveness. God is a loving God. And His arms are open to those who turn from their sin and run to Him. His desire to forgive is immense and His Grace will cleanse you of all sin, if only you let Him in. He makes all things new!
- Repent and stick to it. This means turning away from the sin. You can do this by getting rid of all forms of pornography that you have. And block all access to it online. Covenant Eyes is a software program that filters and blocks cell phones and computers from pornography. You may also remove all Internet access from the privacy of your room. I know this may seem extreme to some of you ladies, but seriously, how badly do you want to be rid of this sin and mend that relationship with Christ?
- Divert your attention. Staying away is not going to be easy, especially in moments of sadness, depression or anger. When we feel bad, we tend to hurt ourselves, but that’s because the devil has a hold of our negative emotions. Don’t let him get to you. Don’t let him lead you back. In those moments of temptation, you need a quick diversion. Something to get your mind off your desire. So, consider calling a friend, taking a walk, reading your Bible or praying. “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” Find the escape!
- Get help. My post prompted a lot of suggestions for avenues of help and hope. If you’re struggling with a pornography addiction, check out some of these! Please note that I haven’t had a chance to go through all these websites extensively, but I took a peek at each and they offer tons of advice, resources and support.
- Pray for strength. “God is faithful.” His arms are open. Pray that He helps you in your struggle. Call out to Him in moments of weakness. When you feel tempted, think of Him. He is there for you, so ask Him to change your desire and to guide you away from Satan and his destructive tools.
For those of you battling with pornography addiction, I pray these tips help you and I keep you in my prayers.
Ladies, do you have helpful ways to overcome temptation? Share your story. We so love to hear from you.