The Perils of Pornography
Pornography is one of a man's greatest hindrances to manhood
The adult entertainment industry is one of the biggest industries in America, competing with the NFL, NBA, the Film Industry and Netflix. As a matter of fact, porn revenue is larger than all professional basketball, baseball, and football franchises—combined. With an industry so large and it's content being so easily accessible, it's no surprise that porn addiction has become a norm amongst men(yes, even Christian men).
I know because I was one of them.
I grew up in a southern baptist church so I already knew how God feels about sexual immorality and porn, yada, yada, yada. Out of fear, I stayed away from it for the most part except for a brief stint in middle school but when I got to college 🤦🏾♂️
By then I decided it was time to explore all of the pleasures I didn't have access to during my sheltered adolescence. I lost my virginity when I was 18 to woman I barely knew and felt like THE MAN!
I immediately convicted by God about it through a slight scare with HIV/AIDS and I made the decision to stop having premarital sex(at least for a season). I enjoyed the feeling of sex but knew I was out of line if I started manipulating women for it so I settled for the next best thing; Porn.
Ironically, I had sex before I ever learned to masturbate and fell into porn shortly after because, well, that was the next logical step. As soon as I found a reliable website, I found myself binge watching videos constantly!
I had my favorite porn stars, my favorite categories, my favorite places and times to watch etc. I'd watch it when I was supposed to be studying and day dream about it while I was in class.
The addiction had begun and became a way of life for ya boy!
Eventually, I found myself gradually becoming numb to the conviction of the Holy Spirit to the point that I didn't even ask for forgiveness after I indulged. I was dating at the time and my addiction had adverse affects on our relationship. I saw her as more of an object than a human or potential partner.
Consequently, I found myself seeing other women as objects as well. It became so overwhelming for me that I started to lose focus and become promiscuous in my thinking.
I couldn't see the beauty in the women God created because I saw them as tools to serve me and my sensual desires, both mentally and physically. The more I indulged, the less I felt guilty about it. And that's where it became dangerous.
I looked around as my relationships crashed, my cognitive astuteness dropped along with my grades, and my confidence in myself and the way I viewed myself was at an all time low.
It wasn't until my dating relationship ended that I eventually found Jesus and came face to face with the error of my ways. I then decided to become abstinent until marriage, thinking that would solve my problems. Nah playa.
Jesus did set me free from the addiction but the spirit of lust came and reared it's ugly head once again. And I fell.
And I fell. And I fell and got help then fell again.
I fell into the addiction again because now that I was abstinent. I figured that would be the next best thing until I get married. I made the mistake of opening the door to lust before it was time and because I knew how sex felt, I couldn't wait to feel that feeling again! The deeper I fell into the addiction, the further away from God I felt. I began to see all women as objects again and become arrogant and flirtatious.
I fell into the vicious sin-confess-sin-confess cycle and lost hope in my ability to overcome porn and masturbation. My faith in God wavered but God has been faithful to set me free and has given me revelation of how to overcome.
Typically the feelings we get after watching porn is guilt and shame. Both are lies from the enemy because condemnation brings death. Godly conviction leads to repentance that gives us the opportunity to be free.
Our initial reaction to shame is to hide our sin and hide from God. We delete our browser history and throw away our magazines. We avoid our Christian friends because we feel like everyone knows our sin and would call it out. Lies.
The truth is once we do fall a part of our soul is weakened. We can undo our sin or unsee what we saw no matter how hard we try. We can delete our browser history but not the memories.
The only way to be free is to come clean to God through confession and repentance to receive forgiveness and cleansing (1 John 1:9 , Psalm 51) .
Another vital aspect of temptation to note is that , if we really pay attention, we’ll notice that God really does provide a way out of temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).
I've been ready to find my favorite videos and suddenly there's a knock at my door, random phone calls, pop-ups, the video freezes and starts to buffer, I trip over the computer cord and the desktop shuts off(yes, that really happened).
GOD PROVIDES A WAY OUT OF TEMPTATION!The door is always open, we have to choose to walk through it.
It's also helpful to find a trusted friend you can talk to and hold you accountable about your struggles. As I began to apply the word of God to my life, I came across James 5:16:
" Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective."
It's an encouraging verse about healing when we fall into sin, but for me, it served as motivation for me NOT to fall into porn. I have no problem freely confessing to God because well, I can't physically see Him and I know He will forgive me and not judge me.
But when you tell me I have to confess another human, then I'll tighten up because I fear rejection and don't want to be embarrassed or judged! Truthfully we are healed when we confess to each other and at the same time, now they know our junk and can hold us accountable.
The last point I’ll make is that as with any addiction, the most effective way to overcome it is the deal with the root cause.
Personally, my addiction was rooted in insecurity, loneliness, and self hatred which could all be solved by an intimate love relationship with Jesus.
Self hated in the sense that I felt that I was so sinful that God nor my Christian community wanted nothing to do with me, so I might as well sin my heart away. I learned that sexual immortality is the only sin we commit against ourselves(1 Corinthians 6:18) so I purposely did it because I knew of it's consequences and it was helped me justify how bad I felt about myself. I felt empty inside so porn and masturbation was the only way I felt anything, regardless of it was the wrong thing, I was okay with feeling anything... and that's how deception works.
Porn was also a false sense of intimacy for me. I could get my physical needs met without having to being emotionally vulnerable. It secretly made me feel wanted and "loved" without the responsibility and commitment of a relationship. My favorite pornstar wouldn't hound me about my time or check me on my finances...I can get what I wanted and go about my day!
As I began to grow in God I became convicted about how I viewed the women that would adorn my computer screen, they were broken women who Jesus died for and I was using them for my own pleasure.
My favorite pornstars are God's creation too. They are intensely and vehemently loved by Jesus and they could also be someone's daughter, mom, auntie, etc. I couldn't fathom having a clear conscience if I was watching my daughter perform those acts, so why didn't I have an issue with someone else's daughter?
Repentance was needed and change has occurred. Lust is still a daily battle for me and if you’re a human being reading this, you too.
Historically lust and porn have been a catalyst for the destruction of man marriages, ministries and men and that doesn’t have to be our story. If we guard our hearts, renew our minds, and submit to God and resist the devil, then HE WILL FLEE. Lust is real but the power we have in Jesus to overcome it, is even greater. Keep fighting.
What I would see on the screen only blinded me from reality
Feinin for kitty lead me to a catastrophe
I learned that the misuse
Of these broken-hearted women is only
A quick fix for a deep rooted issue
She’s the girl of my fantasy but how bad is the offer
Cause what if that was my mother? or perhaps my wife or my daughter?
We can choose to be stuck in chains forever but if nothing's changed
Then what feels orgasmic will only numb the pain.
Here are some resources for help with addiction & some accountability apps:
Also check out my music video "Pinky Promise" about love, sex, and abstinence: