Many Christians have seen the movie "Fireproof." In this movie, the husband struggles with an addiction to pornography. At first, he doesn't think it's much of a problem, even though it causes him to fight with his wife a lot. Throughout the course of the movie, however, he realizes that if he is going to save his marriage, he needs to quit. He breaks his computer and throws it in the trash finally, not that all porn addicts need to do this, but for some, such drastic measures might be necessary. Here are some practical tips on overcoming an addiction to porn as a Christian.
Be humble and admit that you have a problem. You will not overcome anything until you first admit that it is really a problem, and realize that you do, in fact, want to be different and over it. The first step in any recovery program is to admit that you are powerless over whatever your problem is. You have to come to see that in your own strength, you can't do anything to solve your problem or overcome your addiction. It is not until you are able to admit this that you will be willing to get help from God and others. You have to be humble and see that you can't overcome your sin alone. The Bible says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," but you have to ask Christ for that strength. If you think you can go it alone, God won't help you, because he does not force his help on us. Jesus said, "You have not because you ask not." You have to ask for God's help to get it.
Pray. The most important step to overcome any sin is to pray. And don't just pray casually; do spiritual warfare in prayer and break the strongholds in your mind and in your life. Confess your sins to God, being specific to get victory over them. In Mark 11:23 Jesus says, "Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them." This is how you need to pray, with faith, believing that God will help you in what you are asking for his help. If you believe that God will help you overcome your addiction, He will. But you have to believe. Also, the mountain Jesus is referring to is our problems. It is whatever seems to be a mountain in our own lives. That is what we need to have faith that we can overcome, with God's help. Jesus said, "According to your faith, it will be done to you." How much you will be able to overcome anything will depend on how much faith you have that you can overcome it, and that God will help you overcome it.
Confess your sin to others. The Bible says, "Confess your sins to one another and pray for each other that you may be healed." You will not be healed of your addiction until you confess it to someone. This doesn't have to be someone you know. You can pay a counselor, preferably a Christian counselor, who is paid to keep things confidential. Also, most churches have free lay counseling that you can get. You just need to tell someone. As long as your addiction stays secret and in the dark, it will grow. When we bring sin into the light, only then can it get better.
Get in a support group, preferably at your church. Most churches have a Celebrate Recovery program, which is an amazing program. Or just look at the website of the biggest church in your city, and they will probably have the program. The times should be listed on the website. You can't overcome any addiction alone. You need people to hold you accountable to your desired recovery. You need people that will ask you the tough questions. Ask someone to be your accountability partner, and ask them to text you every day, or as often as you need them to, and ask you how you are doing in regards to your problem. If you have to "report" to someone else, in a sense, it will make you a lot less likely to do the wrong thing. And be honest with your accountability partner. Make sure you find someone that you can be totally honest with, whoever that may be.
Be honest and take a moral inventory of your life. Ask yourself how viewing pornography has affected every area. Here are some questions to ask yourself and possibly journal about: How has looking at pornography affect my relationship with God? How has it affected my relationship with my spouse (or partner)? How has it affected my relationship with my friends? How has it affected my job?
Work on your relationship with your partner. Think about why you are looking at porn? Does it have something to do with your relationship with your significant other? If so, openly talk with him/her about things you might like to change in your relationship, such as being intimate more often, but do this with gentleness and respect. Don't demand certain things. Express your feelings about things that you might wish were different. Forgive your partner for anything in the past and make plans that both of you will strive for a better relationship in the future. Watch marriage videos online; go to marriage seminars, etc. Get an older Christian couple to mentor you two, and tell you their stories in general terms, and how they learned things the hard way. Don't give graphic or sensuous details about your addiction. Go to marriage counseling. Talk to your pastor, etc.
Work on your relationship with God. If you are sinning a lot as a Christian, obviously you need to work on your relationship with God. Ask yourself how you view God and to what degree you want to follow Him. Do you really believe what the Bible says that there will be consequences for sin? Do you really love God? How much do you love God? Jesus said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." One of those commandments was to never look lustfully at another person, unless it is your spouse. Do you want to honor God with your life? These are all things you need to honestly ask yourself. See where you stand with God. Paul said, "If any man thinks he stand, take heed, lest he fall." That means that you may think you are standing firm in the faith, but you need to not get too arrogant. It's possible that you think you are saved, when you are really not. Jesus said, "Many will say to me in that day 'Lord, Lord, did we not....' I will say 'depart from me. I never knew you.' " He said "many" will say that. Not just some, but many. So "test yourself and see" whether you are really in the faith or not.
Be careful when you tell your partner about your addiction. Depending on personality, one might file for divorce or break up with you as soon as you tell them. According to the Bible, any kind of marital unfaithfulness is grounds for divorce; this includes looking at pornography. You might want to wait until you have been "clean" for many months or a year, for example, to tell them. They may need to see that you really are better first, if they are going to stick around. Marriages can be restored and healed after such things, but it is very, very hard. Once trust is broken, it is extremely hard to get it back.
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