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From Porn to Purity

Psalms 119:37 Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways. 

Countless people are trapped in the sex industry. They are either actively involved in human trafficking or providing DVDs or literature for the market. However the worst of these are those who fight the silent war of pornography addiction as consumers. The shame and devastation of porn addiction kills marriages, robs people of their dreams and hope. It used to be that people took risk to visit the “adult bookstore”, but not today. The internet with its endless supply of temptation has enslaved many unsuspecting surfers, including Christians. Yes it’s true, even our church pews are filled with addicts on Sundays who struggle week after week in silent shame. Although pornography addiction is more common in men than women that gap is closing fast. For women it is not so much the imagery as it is the emotional intimacy that’s so alluring in the internet chat rooms or explicit novels that are found on the book store shelves. However the results are the same.

Buying the Counterfeit

Many may ask “What’s the big deal?” or “Its only entertainment!” Or “God created our beautiful bodies” Beloved…viewing pornographic images erode healthy relationships and can easily become a pathway to adultery and broken families. Worse… is that it keeps the Christian from fulfilling the calling on their life and experiencing intimacy with God. Humanity was designed by God for intimacy. We see this clearly in creation where it says” It is not good for man to be alone (Gen.2:18) The desire for intimacy should be naturally fulfilled with a loving heavenly Father an close relationships with family, friends and one’s spouse. For some reason, people often fail to connect on that level and have difficulty developing close relationships. When people feel empty on the inside it creates an emotional vacuum that Satan likes to fill with a counterfeit intimacy. Most pornography addicts cannot tell you what they are trying to fix, only that they know something is missing. True intimacy satisfies the God given need but the counterfeit never delivers what’s promised. Instead it leaves its victim feeling empty, worthless and trapped in a vicious cycle of shame and self-hatred. The more a person uses pornography the more it separates them from healthy relationships which leads to loneliness which leads right back to the emptiness. The imagery is not the problem.

The Heart of the Problem

The problem is that a lie that is attached to the heart and it is that….Sex equals intimacy. For many these lines are not only blurred but are almost invisible. Likewise freedom from pornography comes with dealing with the heart-the deepest core of our being. Jesus emphasized the importance of the inner life “For from within out of men’s hearts come evil thoughts, sexual immorality..(Mark 7:21) Any addiction whether it be porn, over eating or substance abuse I believe is a result of being broken on the inside and never being healed from that brokenness. Therefore trying to stop the behavior is pointless without addressing these issues. Sometimes addictions begin as a result from sexual trauma at a young age. Many I have ministered to have been harmed in this area and continue to walk with a limp until God heals and breaks the lies off the heart. Unless the root is pulled up the fruit will continue to be produced.

A Toxic Thought Life-Renewed

The first step in freedom from porn is to come to grips with what it is. It’s another form of sexual impurity that’s an abomination in Gods eyes. Yes sexual sins are different from other sins and the bible makes that clear in 1.Corthians 6:18 Secondly we need to understand and agree with God that if we do indulge in pornography that it’s a choice we make and we ourselves are responsible. No one gets free from any sin without taking responsibility before God. While temptation comes in many forms and on many fronts it is us who decides what we do with them. As long as we are waiting for circumstances to become different and we do not take steps to get victory, we will be waiting in vain. We are the ones who need to break free, with God’s grace. Lastly, overcoming pornography involves acquiring a new mindset, which hates it, which is repulsed by it and which doesn’t want to get anywhere near it.
Every sin has a reward system or we wouldn’t do it. It either makes us feel or look better, even if it’s for a moment. Christianity is not just about avoiding sinful physical acts but also about “mental purity.” All of our thoughts are subject to Gods scrutiny and that’s why we are encouraged to take control and responsibility for our thought life. The bible teaches us to focus on the things that are pure and lovely and the things above and not of the earth. This does not and cannot happen on its own. If the heart and mind is set on fleshly desires it cannot please God and will eventually become seared and defiled making it difficult for the heart to be changed and the mind renewed.

Living Higher with God

If you are reading this and are in bondage to pornography (or any other sin) I can tell you by personal painful experience that you will not escape until you have a “holy hatred” for what it does to your relationship and intimacy with God! Love for your family and spouse won’t do it. Neither will the fear of losing employment and financial ruin. Until your life is lived for something “greater than yourself” (God) victory will elude you. At that place of desperation, Gods grace enters and becomes the agent and inspiration for change and healing and a higher life.

Bill Stallings<

CFM