A4P Guest: I am a born again Christian man. I am 22 years old, a senior in one of Universities in Ethiopia. I lead a Christian fellowship in campus. I’ve been following you, probably, since day one. I grew up in church and I don’t exactly know when I came to Christ. The only thing I am sure of is that I am in Christ, not in the world. I have devoted Christian families. Both my parents serve in the local church. I have one younger sister. I have a healthy childhood as far as I can remember. I am telling you this so you know my background. I heard many people saying, “People who have problems with porn have no healthy background and childhood history.” So, my story is a bit different. My background is good and healthy. Here is my question. I struggle with porn for the last five years. I tried pretty much everything, praying, fasting, crying and confessing my sin to brothers but I’m still in it. I sometimes come to it once a month and sometimes, every day, trying to take over my entire life. I get too obsessed with it 24/7. I love God and want to follow Christ faithfully. I have no desire to be in the world. All my visions and dreams are to live and die for the glory of God but this thing is in my life. Where shall I go? Where is my healing? I don’t want to quit fighting but at the same time, I am tired! Very tired and frustrated. Does God care?
A4P: Thank you for following this page for the past six years (because you said, “since day one”).
Let me start from your last question: Yes, God cares. God cares about you more than you can ever know and understand because you are in Christ, in His only Son that He gave as a sacrifice to our sin. So, yes, God cares about you. The Bible says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
About your background, praise God! Yes, there are lots of benefits to come from a healthy family. However, at this point in history, everybody is exposed to porn and it seems like porn is not discriminating between people. It is affecting the life of people from all walks of life. Even many devoutly religious and spiritual people/ministers/pastors secretly struggle with porn.
But still coming from a healthy family, having a healthy childhood history help a person in many ways. For example, your struggle with porn cannot be the same struggle as the person who came from a divorced family or an alcoholic father or a sexually promiscuous mother. So, even if you are still struggling with porn, I believe that your freedom from it is not too far away because of your healthy background.
That being said, I pray that what I am about to say may shine some light in the darkness.
First, know this. Porn is a powerful thing.
Its power lies in illusions and imaginations, created by cinematography. Because human brain wiring is naturally unable to identify truth from fiction, it loses its capacity to think and reason when a show is presented to it with voice and picture.
That is why the word of God says, “Flee sexual immorality.” 1 Corinthians 6:18a.
Some people try to rebuke porn. I don’t know if you’ve tried that but if you have, you know that porn goes nowhere. Rebuking is not the answer but to do as the word of God says: TO FLEE! TO RUN AWAY from it!
Second, you are not going to porn to take care of your sexual urges and desires.
I know this sounds perversely counterintuitive. Most people actually describe it this way: “When I desire sex, I go to porn,” as if that was where they get their fixes. However, porn cannot appease sexual urges and desires but intensifies them.
And you go to porn anyways because you accepted without any doubt its lies and promises, one of which is, “One day you will find a porn movie that will fully satisfy you sexually.” But you know for sure that there is no such porn video.
Third, you are going to porn because you are addicted.
When you watch porn, you impact part of your brain called “a reward center.” When that center is activated, you get a drop or a surge of dopamine which in turn hits the decision making area of the brain, that sends “do it again” message. Then you go ahead and start from A to get to Z, Z being a surge of dopamine.
That means, the question of sex is thrown out of the window and now it is the question of addiction that is handled here, to get that drop of dopamine. That is why now researchers are saying that porn addiction is the same as cocaine + marijuana (combined) addiction, means, at times, it is considered as a severe addiction that requires intervention, such as rehabilitation.
So, coming back to your specific story, I think you need to carefully find out the lies that got you hooked. Remember, the lies are hidden but they are there. Let me give you some examples of the lies I found from young people who have similar backgrounds and struggles:
– The word of God is not practical. If it was, it would have rescued you from porn. So, no point to meditate on the word of God.
– Pointless to try to stop watching porn. You CANNOT! Period! Accept the fact.
– Compare to others, you’re not watching porn for many hours. You watch for a minute or two. So, it can’t defile your spiritual life that much.
– At least you’re still a virgin. You’ve never slept with a woman. So, compare to others, you’re in a much, much better place.
– Everybody is doing it! Why do you worry about it so much? People accept it as part of life.
– When you get married, this thing will leave you. So, find a wife.
Let me take the last lie as an example and explain.
Marriage is designed by God and God did not design marriage to heal porn addiction or any addiction. What the above lie says is: “You are going to porn because of your sexual desires. And since you are going to have a sexual outlet in your marriage, you don’t need any porn,” but the truth of the matter is people watch porn because they are addicted, not because they get sexual pleasure. There is no sexual pleasure in porn.
As a crazy man goes to a dry well to drink water, people who are addicted to porn watch porn to get sexual pleasure.
Addiction messes up people’s brain, especially their brain’s ability to make a rational decision using its common sense: “I don’t get any sexual pleasure by viewing porn. All I get is suffering from anxiety, fear, guilt, shame and all that. So, I am not going to watch porn anymore.”
This is a kind of thinking a rational mind can do but not the mind of an addict.
So, when a person who is addicted to porn gets married, he/she doesn’t stop watching porn.
Help has to be sought for the addiction before getting married or porn addiction has power to destroy a beautiful marriage.
I hope and pray that whatever I said today will bring you closer to your victory! And the last thing you do to yourself is to quit fighting against porn! So, don’t ever quit! ///