Breaking Free From Porn Addiction

If you’re in bondage to pornography or another sexual sin, following are the action steps you can take to start moving toward freedom. This is written in the context of marriage, as many men wait until they’re married before they seek out help. The wife’s healing is integrated into her husband’s recovery, as you will see below.

All lying must stop.
Isolation, hiding, and lying feed lust. Many wives report that their husband’s lies hurt them far more than their sexual sin. You and your spouse can’t begin the healing journey until the hiding and lies are removed from your marriage, which means the truth needs to come out. You will also need to stay accountable to your spouse on an ongoing basis to rebuild trust.

Isolation can no longer be your way life.
You must meet with another brother, or a support group, at least once weekly for the rest of your life for the purpose of encouragement, support, accountability, and prayer. This is the way the Christian life is meant to be lived; we were never meant to live in isolation.

Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire;
he breaks out against all sound judgment.

Proverbs 18:1

This is the same for wives. Ladies, you need the support of another sister for your healing journey as your husband needs another brother.

Cut off the stumbling blocks of lust in your life
If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.
Matthew 5:29-30

You’re in an all-out war, and there are no neutral parties. If lust isn’t killed you will be defeated; there’s no prize for second place.

In practical terms this means that the porn stash gets burned. If watching movies at home takes you down, shut off the cable service and all incoming channels. If the internet is a problem you can try setting a password on the browser, or installing a porn blocker, but understand that this isn’t a fail-safe solution. I have yet to hear of a porn blocker that couldn’t be disabled or got around when someone really wanted to do so. If internet porn continues to take you down then you need to take more drastic action, which could mean shutting off all internet service.

If there’s a relationship you’re involved with that’s sexually inappropriate, cut off all ties immediately, even if this means getting a new job or relocating. If hotel porn is a problem and you can’t leave the TV off, then have the TV removed from the room, don’t take trips alone, or stop traveling. If you have to, get a new job where you don’t travel.

Whatever it takes, do it now. There must be no compromise… it’s kill or be killed, cut off the stumbling blocks under your control or allow lust to keep taking you down. We live in a culture filled with sexual sewage, and the temptations aren’t going to subside, it’s going to get worse. Apathy is an open door for lust to take more territory.

I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil.
Psalms 101:2-4

Deal with the roots that drive lust
Accountability and cutting off the stumbling blocks are the beginning to the process of finding freedom from sexual sin, not the end. The emptiness and pain in your heart that drive you to lust must be dealt with.

Those who struggle with sex addiction often have 3 things in common – they’re isolated, they have unresolved lies that have been embedded in their heart for years, and they haven’t accepted God’s grace at a heart level. Discuss the roots in your group, and have your brothers pray for you, asking the Lord to replace the lies with the truth. Or work with a qualified Christian counselor with experience in this area (I offer counseling to men, wives and couples if you’re interested).

Rewire your brain
Abstinence from porn, consistent vigorous exercise, and prayer rewire the brain from porn use. This process can take 6-9 months, depending on how long you’ve been viewing porn.

Go After God Hard
Ask Him to reveal Himself to you and expose and remove the lies in your heart that keep you from accepting His grace. Ask Him to change your heart. Ask Him to lead you to the group or individual He would have you be accountable to. The Lord changes lives, not programs, and He is willing to heal your heart. You’re hungry for God’s love, so go after the One you’re hungry for.

These are the first steps that will get you on your way. There’s more to the healing journey than what is in this article; lasting freedom involves a character overhaul.