In part 1, of my “Dealing with Porn” series,” I wrote about my previous addiction to pornography and how my wife found out. Like many of you, pornography was my little secret that I wouldn’t tell anyone about. It was my way of releasing stress and tension and in my mind, it wasn’t hurting anyone.
How was it a sin, if no one got hurt? That faulty thinking was exposed once my secret was revealed.
How did I beat my addiction though? In this blog, part 2, I’d like to share with you 4 simple steps that I went thru to fight and ultimately overcome my addiction to pornography.
1. I began my fight against porn by Getting Serious
The first thing I needed to do was admit what I was doing was wrong. In my heart, I knew I was in sin. But I always found a way to rationalize why I didn’t need to stop looking at porn on the internet. I wish I could tell you that because I feared the Lord, I was able to arrive at this conclusion. While I do fear the Lord, my driving force for repentance was fueled by the amount of pain I was causing my wife. I knew I couldn’t continue to lead our family and do ministry with this still hanging over me.
I then repented to God and to my wife. I asked the Lord to forgive me and then I went to Belinda and told her I was going to seek help. I asked her to also forgive me and to pray for me as I entered this journey. It wasn’t an easy conversation, but it was a great first step in repairing the trust that I had broken in our marriage. It also helped that I told her I was now committed to cutting off any access to pornography (more on this later).
2. I strengthened my fight against porn by Getting Educated
After I became serious about overcoming my addiction to pornography, the next thing I did was educate myself about what was really causing this. Even though I was serious about beating porn, I wasn’t ready to tell anyone outside of my wife.
I knew I needed help though. I began searching online for resources to help me. The first thing I read was an eBook by Mark Driscoll called “Porn Again-Christian.” It helped me learn some of the things that caused my pornography addiction as well as re-enforce the need for me to become accountable to someone. And while his resource isn’t big on accountability software, I knew after reading his eBook, that I needed some or else I’d just fall into Satan’s trap over and over again.
3. I intensified my fight against porn by Getting Accountable
I then spoke to my good friend an ordained minister, as well as another brother I hang out with from time to time. I shared my struggle with both of them. I asked them to pray for me as well as to be my accountability partners via covenant eyes (Affiliate Link).
Each week, Covenant Eyes would send them a report of all my internet activities across my computer, iPhone and iPad. I told them to ask me the tough questions and hold me accountable if anything showed on those reports that I had no business looking at. Both agreed and have done a wonderful job of grilling, encouraging and even counseling me based on what I needed. I’m very grateful to these brothers.
One of them even gave me some bible study resources that have helped me tremendously. These were resources crafted by the Navigators Discipleship ministry that focused on extracting the things in your heart that were causing me to sin in this way. I learned what days of the week I was tempted most. What social situations caused me to retreat to porn, the impact porn was sub-consciencely having on my marriage and much, much more. The studies re-enforced in my heart just how displeased God was with what I was doing.
4. I engaged in my fight against porn by Getting Protected
The fourth step for me, and probably the most difficult was to actually get protected. I physically needed to install software on my computer to ensure that one I couldn’t access certain things. Even though I had SAID I was serious and had commitments from strong brothers to hold me accountable, it was a whole other thing to follow thru and install the software and make sure they would get the reports.
Let me say this again. This was the toughest step for me by far. This was evidence, however, that I really was serious and aiming to please the Lord in this area.
After researching several different options, I decided to go with Covenant Eyes. I liked the fact that I could install their browser on my iPhone and iPad. As such, I no longer use the default safari browser on those devices as covenant eyes monitors my internet activity thru their web browser, the only one I have on those devices. My wife has a code that only she knows that prevents me from installing apps on my phone or viewing YouTube videos.
My computer is set up such that I’m unable to browse the internet without being monitored. I physically can’t get on the net without logging into covenant eyes and regardless of what browser I use, Covenant Eyes is on the job.
I love it. These restrictions have actually helped free me.
Many of you are wondering what has made me discuss this in such a public way. We all deal with sin and even though I have been delivered, seemingly, there was no need for me to come forward with this.
A large part of being bound by sin is constantly thinking or even talking about NOT sinning. The devil plays terrible tricks on us by making us feel so guilty about the sin that God has forgiven us for that we disregard that forgiveness, by dwelling on the possibility that we will back slide and sin again. I did not want Satan to have that power over my life any more.
To truly be delivered, the final step in the healing process for me was to discuss this publicly on my blog. Regardless of the consequences, I wanted to share my struggles with you, not only to help free me mentally, but also in hopes that my testimony could also help free you or someone you know.
If I’m honest, I won’t tell you that I am totally perfect in this area of my life, yet. I’m still tempted from time to time to lust and I have had times during the past few months where I have slipped. My mind is renewed though. My heart is repentant as The Lord has been gracious enough to place me around people who are helping me conquer this demon thru counsel, accountability and prayer.
I am happy to say though, I no longer look at pornography on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis. I’m continuously educating myself on what scenarios and situations tempt me the most and placing boundaries in my life to keep my eyes and heart safe. I’m committed to ensuring that God is pleased with this area of my life. This process has made my marriage a lot better.
Ed. Note: We strongly recommend that anyone who struggles with sexual sin, particularly on the internet, should use a service like Covenant Eyes (Affiliate link) for accountability. I use them on every device that I own and it helps keep me honest even when I don’t want to be honest. Our affiliate code, WadeORadio, allows you to try the first month free of charge. You can find out more about covenant eyes here. – Wade
- Have you ever struggled with an addiction? If so, how did you overcome it?
- Did you use some of the steps that I did above? Do you wish you had?