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Anonymous:
I was addicted to pornography for 9 years. And I sometimes struggle with it, but I can rest assured it’s not an addiction anymore. And I’m a female.

Amen, sister! Thank you for sharing this. You’re proof that despite the struggle, we can beat the addiction and move on to better. Here’s to more and more victory in Him.

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An ongoing discussion about victory over sexual addiction.

The introduction here.

Part One, excuses and myths, here.

Part Two, the science, here.

Part Three, the soul, here.

Part Three and a half, the soul, here.

Part Four: I’m Ready To Cut It Off. Here.

Part Five: Quitting Isn’t Enough. Here.

Unless you’re in denial, you don’t just use porn when you’re “bored.”

A life overwhelmed, a mind undisciplined, and a heart calloused will find the quickest path to escape, and for men that’s usually going to their room with the lights off and pants down and laptop open. In that private dark space where at last you’re in control, that’s when you’ve lost it the most.

There’s a mess of reasons you turn to it and can’t seem to stop, and unless we dig through the cycle together, you’ll only be scratching the surface with behavioral clean-up. Triggers, trauma, upbringing, worldviews, and your sense of self-worth will all play into why you use porn.

It’s never about the porn. Let’s dig deep.

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An ongoing discussion about victory over sexual addiction.

The introduction here.

Part Two, the science, here.

Part Three, the soul, here.

Part Three and a half, the soul, here.

Part Four: I’m Ready To Cut It Off. Here.

I call myself a recovering porn addict, but I’m much more than that.

When we identify ourselves by what we are not, we hardly know where we are going. When you finally quit porn and you’re cheering your new journey and sharing with people who are rooting for you, then when you fall again it can be even more devastating than before.

I thought I had this, you might say. And it’s back to binging, self-loathing, and might-as-well resignation to your addiction.

What happens to so many Christians is not a spiritual downfall to lukewarmness, but an incomplete picture of God’s Epic Story.

We are saved by His Grace — but that’s not the end. We are saved from something towards something better.

And if you want even half a chance of defeating porn — of sin and Satan and the grave itself — you’ll need to know not only what you’re called from, but what you’re called to.

So then, three things you must know in destroying your porn addiction once and for all.

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Edit: The conclusion is here.

Hello blogger friends!

Just letting you know that Part Five of the Quitting Porn series will be posting on Monday, March 12th.  I’m praying that even a few words written there will be helpful in our fight together.  It probably won’t be the last post on it and I’ll always take questions.

It hasn’t been easy talking about a fifteen-year addiction but I’m grateful for all your interest. Thanks for the prayers, support, and encouragement.

Here’s the introduction. All the other parts are linked there. After Monday, it will total seven parts.  I’m prayerfully considering to make it a book.

God bless you, friends! Let’s fight with God and kick the crap out of Satan, together.

You all are like a second church to me. Love you guys.




A testimony from Mark Driscoll’s website by Jake Johnson, a staff member of Mars Hill Church.

Excerpt:

“If you are struggling with porn, the first step to recovery is to be truthful with yourself about your sin, and the second step is being truthful both with God and with those whom you love, including your church.

“… I took my wife to lunch and confessed my sins against her and how I had hid my sinful and idolatrous addiction to porn from her for over six years.

“It was the most fearful moment of my life—and the most freeing. For the first time in our marriage, my wife knew who I really was and I no longer needed to spend so much time and energy worrying about whether she’d find out. Rather than fight the battle alone, I was now able to make restitution and have my wife and my church community fight with me.”

Continue Reading at Mark Driscoll’s Site


Read Related:
– Porn Addiction: An Introduction
– Question: Quit Porn, But What About Masturbating?a>
– Question: So Porn Is A Sin?
– Question: Porn Killed My Feelings For God, Now What?
– Question: Just used porn, what do I do?


An ongoing discussion about victory over sexual addiction.

The introduction here.

Part One, excuses and myths, here.

Part Two, the science, here.

Part Three, the soul, here.

Part Three and a half, the soul, here.

Part Four: I’m Ready To Cut It Off. Here.

Part Five: Quitting Isn’t Enough. Here.

So you’re ready to quit porn. You’re tired of the bleary-eyed, bloodshot, guilt-choked, late-night excursions, tired of the excuses and rationalizations and filthy mental loops, tired of feeling disgusted with yourself at church and with your mom and after a retreat and anywhere near children. You’re done.

Let’s ask: How serious are you about this?

Do you really understand that running back to porn to solve your angst or fill your boredom or release your tension is no longer a viable option? That you must absolutely, unequivocally, once-and-for-all never look back to porn? That’s scary for some people. Like cutting off a limb or moving halfway around the world. But if you’re ready to quit, there can be no room for thinking it’s optional. As of quitting, you are dead to porn and alive to Christ.

This is where addicts get stuck. In the back of every self-deceived mind, buried deep under religious behavior and emotional promises, is still the root of the problem: self-worship. We desperately wrestle for control over our options. We maintain a tenuous connection to what destroys us because we cannot — will not — imagine life without it. We hate enduring the pain of withdrawal. We love too much the ten second pleasure of a visual buffet even if it costs our sanity.

Short-term thinking, however, always short-circuits the human life. When you cannot let go of what controls you, you have become less human, not more.

If you’re not serious about this, don’t waste time finding out how to quit porn. I’ve wasted a lot of other peoples’ time in the same way. I knew all the right methods, techniques, reasons, and theology to quit porn in my own strength. They didn’t work. I had to make a final, final, final decision. Long-lasting change did not happen until I grew serious about my true identity in Jesus Christ. If you don’t care about that, there’s no point in quitting anyway.

So first get serious about quitting before you find out how to quit. And know that you can’t merely quit from porn, but move to and by the grace of God.

You must also know, as I’ve said many times, that effort is not legalism. The journey of grace in Christ will require some sandpaper sculpting, crazy chiseling, painful spiritual surgery, and yanking out every fiber of deeply rooted filth through the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s not easy, and you can’t just pray it away or “think harder” about the Gospel. You wouldn’t do less than that, but it’s concurrent with your striving. The Gospel says it is finished, but do everything to stand. Know God’s promise, but make every effort for holiness. Know the Kingdom of God has already come for you, but make every effort to enter through the narrow door. Apostle Paul already had the prize of Christ, but says, “I beat my body to make it my slave.” Of course we rest in what Jesus has done, but a truth faith is a faith that works.

If you’re serious, let’s get started. This will be quite long so please read it in spurts or when you’re in that right mood.

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Anonymous asked:
i just masturbated to extreme pornography 4 minutes ago. im a christian. i am riddled with guilt. what do i do? i am tired of this. but i feel like a hypocrite

My friend, let me talk to you two ways.

First, you need to know you’re loved. God loves you in Christ, I love you in Christ, your church (despite some of those “perfect Christians”) love you in Christ. Jesus died for you and that’s an un-erasable fact, regardless of how many thousands of times you used porn or kicked small children or ran over helpless animals. It’s not a logical love, but God’s ways do not fit into our puny 3-lb-brain categories. Even right now, with your guilt-ridden pants around your ankles, God still sent His Son to bleed for you on a dirty Roman crucifix and there he saw you 2000 years later in that chair deserving of all that wrath: forgiven. Believe it, and you get the grace.

Secondly: you’re called by that love to your true self. How serious do you take that? When I knew I had to quit porn, I refused to go back. Apostle Paul said “I beat my body and make it my slave,” not to win God, but because God had won him. I had always tried to quit porn before, but like most boys, I was never very serious about it. I always knew deep down it was an “option” for me. Not one time did I say, “I can’t go back to this — I refuse.” And that went on for fifteen years.

One day after another failure with porn, I happened to look up and saw my own reflection. I imagined this is how God saw me: every time. And His small still voice: You’re better than this. I didn’t just save your life, but I saved you to a life. The first thing I did, I went James 5 and confessed everything to a close friend at church. He was shocked, but we prayed. I bawled like crazy, and so did he. We prayed for a very long time that night, and many nights after. I told more friends, got two counselors, and soon was openly honest. A culture of confession done right is already half the battle won.

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Facingfugue asked:
Hello! Your posts are a blessing. I see that you come from an area of knowledge in the psychology area as well spirituality . I have been struggling with anxiety attacks for the past two years. Do you have any advice coming from a perspective of a Christian as well? I have been doing C.B therapy but it really is not helping a lot. I used to be very depressed because it made me feel helpless, but Christ has been my refuge and HE has been my joy. The anxiety has been much harder to work out though

Thank you for your kind words!  I’m not sure I’m too knowledgeable about psychology but it does interest me a lot.

I’ve also suffered from depression for as long as I can remember. There was a suicide attempt in 2004 and I have cut myself before. CB therapy (Cognitive Behavioral) can be good for pointing out certain patterns and schemas, but may not be as helpful for treatment as you already know. 

Both therapy and the church can be really bad at handling depression.  Some people stuff it with drugs and others will say it’s “all in your head, get over it.”  Those who do not go through depression have no idea how debilitating it really is. 

There’s probably no formula/advice/plan I could give that’s 100% effective, but I can try to help from experience.  I’m also assuming that you already highly value prayer, reading the Bible, relying on the Holy Spirit, and attending church.  Medicine is also totally appropriate. That’s all the air warfare; here’s the ground war.

1) Be as honest as possible. Without being a victim about it, let people know what’s going on. Tell somebody. I made the mistake of hiding it too often.  Not that you want to announce it with trumpets, but even one or two close friends or your pastor should know when you’re feeling depressed or anxious. Some people will definitely be uncomfortable and ungracious, but then those people aren’t the ones who get you anyway.

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An ongoing discussion about victory over sexual addiction.

The introduction here.

Part One, excuses and myths, here.

Part Two, the science, here.

Part Three, the soul, here.

Part Four: I’m Ready To Cut It Off. Here.

Part Five: Quitting Isn’t Enough. Here.

The Process of Porn

Porn is degrading to both the user and the industry because it caters to the base animal nature of all of us. If you think that’s prude or close-minded, wouldn’t it be more open-minded to call it what it really is? If it’s not prostitution, it’s pretty close.

But I understand the “moral argument” does not always persuade, much less motivate, to quit porn. For the hundreds of sermons I’ve heard vilifying alcohol, drugs, clubs, Internet, indulgent eating, laziness, or video games, none of them ever sustained a change in behavior. Because all of them spoke only to behaviors, not the basics.

If you’re addicted to porn, you’re most likely after something else. As much as the hipster contemporary all-aware self-aware blogger will tell you that masturbation sometimes “just happens,” we know that a variety of factors gets us there. Sex between two people doesn’t just happen — even casual sex requires multiple variables to align before happening.

Something is happening when a guy has sex with himself while watching two random people have sex. There are impulses, drives, forces, desires, biology, psychology, philosophy, and mental schemas at work that motivate a person towards (and away from) self-worship.

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A Look At Porn

December 10, 2011 — Leave a comment

An ongoing discussion about victory over sexual addiction.

The introduction here.

Part One, excuses and myths, here.

Part Two, the science, here.

Part Three and a half, the soul, here.

Part Four: I’m Ready To Cut It Off. Here.

Part Five: Quitting Isn’t Enough. Here.

An overview of rejecting the spiritual.

We have heard the term spiritual battle along with the terms spiritual warfare, the warrior’s prayer, putting on the armor of God, fighting the devil, and the weapon of God’s Word. Christians casually blame Satan for car troubles, missing homework, computer glitches, technical difficulties, church drama, the economy, political conflicts, addictions, cynicism, and the common cold.

Other times we casually dismiss Satan as an outdated, archaic Greek idea of light versus dark in personified literature that must be upgraded to scientific research and empirical data.

In between this, the rational person certainly believes both must be true: that science explains the physiology of why things happen, from car maintenance to economical breakdown to mental disorders, but that also something deeper is at work which is hidden beneath our physical frame of reference. This is no “god of the gaps.” This is not an unfathomable mystery of superstitious proportions.

Threaded through the fiber of all of people is a spiritual thickness weaved so tightly in the human story that hardly anyone acknowledges it. We’ve dressed it up with pseudo-official language so we’re not accused of New Age sensibilities.

But it’s there. There is a functional dynamic driving the human spirit that is so largely chaotic and pulsating that we run in fear of it, attempting to box science into a vacuum where no variables exist. It’s like that physics formula for the trajectory of a cannonball which assumes there is no wind, no atmosphere, no imperfections on the cannonball, and no outside forces acting upon the shot fired: a soulless, emotionless construct that simply does not exist in the real world.

We must account somehow for the unpredictable spirit of the complex mind and the forces that act upon it.

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Quote: Danger

November 30, 2011 — Leave a comment



[In confronting your friend about an addiction]
You are at a critical moment. Pay attention to the relationship. You are raising these issues because you love him. You are not confronting him for your benefit, but for his. Don’t let the person blame and defend. Stay on track, and don’t give in to your own frustrations or fears. Don’t play by the person’s defensive and attacking rules. Don’t take the insults or disrespect personally. Keep in mind that this person is most likely in danger. The fact that you have been hurt by his words and actions might not be the most important issue at this moment. Whatever disrespect you hear is ultimately disrespect toward God himself. You are witnessing a person who wants radical independence, and you know that any life other than that of faith and dependence on Christ is doomed to failure.

– Edward T. Welch


An ongoing discussion about victory over sexual addiction.

The introduction here.

Part One, excuses and myths, here.

Part Three, the soul, here.

Part Three and a half, the soul, here.

Part Four: I’m Ready To Cut It Off. Here.

Part Five: Quitting Isn’t Enough. Here.

My podcast series “Cutting It Off” — here.

Why Do I Use Porn? Why Can’t I Stop? Here.

Every question submitted about porn on this blog, here.

**Updated: May 2013

For the podcast episode based on this post, click here.

The science behind porn addiction will not surprise you.  It can be easily mocked as apocalyptic research with an old-fashioned bias, but excuses to use porn are also biased by the hand down your pants. Objective evidence of pornography’s effects has one goal: to show how much porn screws up your brain. For some that will be enough to quit.

Obviously, something serious is happening in the neurology of a person who will not stop using porn.  Constant exposure to graphic, unreal, out-of-bounds sex doesn’t just go in one hand and out the other (bad pun). Like the heroin addict or the gambler or the alcoholic, several key things are happening.

Much of the following research is borrowed and not my own. Please keep in mind that the term “addiction” is a serious term and might or might not apply to you, but it’s worth investigating. I don’t mean to over-dramatize here or make a big show of scientific language, but porn use does have a particular undeniable effect on the brain.

Sources include Craig Gross’ Pure Eyes, Eyes of Integrity, and Dirty Little Secret, and William Struther’s Wired For Intimacy. I’ve read and re-read these important resources and highly recommend them to you.  There is also research from Mark Driscoll’s Porn Again Christian, Michael Leahy’s Porn Nation, Mike Wilkerson’s Redemption, Tim Chester’s Closing The Window, and David Powlison’s tiny booklet Slaying The Dragon. Where possible, I’ve tried to research articles and current news behind pornography and the porn industry. And of course, there is personal experience with addiction plus countless hours spent with young and old porn addicts.

The Addict’s Path:

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