8 Ways to Fight Porn Addiction

Some tips for starting the healing process.

If you discovered a cancerous tumor in your body, you would do whatever you could to get it out of you, right? And if there was anything you could personally do to increase your chances of survival and healing, you would spare no expense, right?

Overcoming addictions is no less significant.

King Solomon once counseled his listeners: “Guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23). The condition of our heart determines everything else about our life. Cancer can kill our bodies, but it cannot destroy our heart nearly as effectively as something like pornography, which weighs down and hardens our hearts.

In order to defeat addictions like the disease they are, we need to attack them with a multi-sided strategy. We need to treat them like Stage 4 cancer.

Humble Yourself

The single most important step to escaping the disease of pornography is to acknowledge your weakness and your need for God’s help. Stop minimizing it. Stop making excuses. Admit your sin. Accept that apart from God’s grace you are weak, imperfect and stuck. Humble yourself before God and confess your sin to Him. He will be sure to welcome you, to walk with you, to repair intimacy with you, to heal you.

“But He gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble’” (James 4:6).

Cancer can kill our bodies, but it cannot destroy our heart nearly as effectively as something like pornography, which weighs down and hardens our hearts.

Get in the Light

Carefully and appropriately come clean with those closest to you. First and most importantly, if you’re married, your spouse needs to know everything. Gently, boldly and courageously put it all out there at once.

Share it in an evening or a time when you have some space to grieve and talk and rest afterward. If you and your spouse agree that it would be helpful, find another couple you can trust to walk through this with you and meet with periodically.

Secondly, share with your pastor or spiritual leader and possibly seek out professional counseling. If you’re a leader in your church community, volunteer to take a break from ministry so you can have the time needed for the healing process.

Third, find two or three others you can trust (of your same gender) and share your situation with them, asking them to pray for you (and your spouse if you're married) and to check in on you semi-regularly to see how you are doing with this.

Starve It

Coming off porn isn’t like weaning yourself off coffee or a sugar. It’s not something you can moderate or allow “just a little bit” in your diet. Think of pornographic electronic and print images as food for the tumor. Starve it.

Clearly define the situations you know will increase temptation. Take a break from the screen, especially social media, television, YouTube, whatever has become your tool of choice for feeding the tumor. Unplug completely for a while if you have to.

Install protective software on your electronic devices (such as Covenant Eyes). For a while, you will continue to be haunted by the images in your memory. The good news is when you stop feeding the disease; the images will fade and fade until they eventually disappear altogether.

“Jesus taught His followers: And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell” (Matthew 18:9).

Establish Alternatives for Times of Temptation

Develop alternative and replacement activities you can readily engage in when temptation arises. Plan ahead for an activity or ritual that is enjoyable, easy and God glorifying (and maybe ideally involves the spouse) to do at any time when those temptations arise. Take a quick walk, text your spouse or a good friend, whatever might serve to refresh you and turn your spirit toward the light.

Reduce Stress

Stress causes you to pursue coping mechanisms that bring you comfort and a sense of control. All of this new emotional work you are doing in your head, heart and relationships will require more of you and can ironically drive you further into your use of pornography as a stress reliever.

Recognize this as a possibility and for a season, limit your responsibilities wherever possible. Reducing responsibilities will give you more time for what’s most important at the moment: additional time in prayer, in reflection and reading, in conversation with trusted advisors and much-needed time with your spouse if you are married.

Get at the Root

People use coping mechanisms like shopping, food, alcohol and pornography to cause or defer certain types of feelings. In order to beat the addiction, you must discern the deeper causes for your behavior and address them at the root. Changing your behavior will only last so long unless you address what’s causing you to pursue the behavior in the first place.

As you clean your head and heart of the debris caused by pornography, refill your head and heart with healthy content.

You Might Also Like

Find someone who can help you discuss who you are at the core and can help you discern why you are doing what you do. This can be a pastor or a wise friend, but you may find the best success with a professional counselor. Nothing beats the opportunity to be listened to by someone whose expertise is helping you know yourself.

Renew Your Mind

As you clean your head and heart of the debris caused by pornography, refill your head and heart with healthy content. Re-engage with Scripture. Consider other books that may encourage you and help you to know yourself better as you begin the healing process. Suggestions include:

- The Genesis Process for Change Group: Michael Dye.
- The Search for Significance: Robert McGee.
- Every Man’s Battle: Steven Arterburn & Fred Stoeker.
- Wild at Heart: John Eldridge.
- Verses for consideration and memorization: 2 Timothy 2:22, Ephesians 6, Romans 6:13-14, Proverbs 24:16.

Be Patient

You didn’t get to this point in a month. You may not get out in a month, or six months, or even a year. But only you can answer the question: Where is my life headed if I don’t commit to whatever it takes to beat this disease?

Be patient and gracious with yourself and commit to the long haul, the marathon of deliverance. Jesus has made a way for you. The Holy Spirit will be with you. Your Father in heaven is cheering you on.

Top Comments

Melissa Vargas

1

Melissa Vargas commented…

From the book selection I assume you believe this to be a problem only men have. Why? Enough research shows it's a problem for women as well.

Brianna Smith

9

Brianna Smith commented…

Add better books. This isn't just a men's issue, and that stereotype is preventing women from engaging this conversation more regularly to repent, receive grace, and start healing and the road to redemption.

2 Comments

Melissa Vargas

1

Melissa Vargas commented…

From the book selection I assume you believe this to be a problem only men have. Why? Enough research shows it's a problem for women as well.

Brianna Smith

9

Brianna Smith commented…

Add better books. This isn't just a men's issue, and that stereotype is preventing women from engaging this conversation more regularly to repent, receive grace, and start healing and the road to redemption.

Please log in or register to comment

Log In