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Core Christianity: Tough Questions Answered

Help! I’m Addicted to Pornography

by Stephen Roberts posted May 24, 2022

Friends, porn is crushing us. Sexualization is everywhere. Rather than exalting sex, our culture is reducing sex by reducing everything to sex. Since God created the human body for sex, it is easy for us to succumb to this pull to sexualize everything. And when sex becomes ultimate, it means that sexual acts must be constant if we’re going to enjoy this life. Outside of sex with another person, that leaves us with the convenient habit of pornography.

If you are addicted to pornography, please hear this: You are not a pervert. You are not gross. You are struggling with sin like everyone else. You need hope. You need Christ. Do you think he didn’t know about this hidden struggle when he endured the cross? I challenge you to examine the Gospels and find one instance where Jesus shirked back because someone was “disgusting.” If you believe Jesus is your savior from sin, then “your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col 3:3).

Let’s start from this place of peace. Christ has paid for your sin, and you are reconciled to God. You can now go on the offensive because sin no longer has the final word over you. While no set of behaviors will let you overcome this particular sin, there are helpful tools for resisting and overcoming, by God’s grace. To help us along, let’s think of sin as a crime to be investigated—with motive, means, and opportunity. Let’s look at each in turn.

Motive. This is the most important piece to engage regarding pornography—and the hardest to overcome. Why do you want to look at porn? Truth be told, we want porn because we enjoy sin more than we do Christ. We take delight in the fleeting pleasures of porn more than we do the eternal love of Christ. This battle will be fought for the rest of your life because your flesh will always desire a refuge apart from the shepherd-fold of Christ.

Means. Both means and opportunity are easier to engage in the short-term than motive, and this is important. How can you effectively wage war in your heart when you have left sin so easily accessible in your everyday life? Examining the means of sin in this regard is exceptionally important. You no longer must scurry into an adult store to purchase a magazine. You can access porn on any electronic device without anybody knowing. This means to overcome your sin you must cut off your access. Filters are helpful. Putting these devices away is even better. Don’t make sin so easy.

Opportunity. Our desire for sin knows no bounds, so we’ll pursue opportunities to sin at personal cost. We’ll stay up late. We’ll come home early when the family is not around. We’ll find ways to shut the door on our sin so no one can see. When are such opportunities ample for you? A good rule of thumb if you are married: Go to bed with your spouse. Don’t give sin the opportunity. Take away those windows of time that cut you off from both Christ and the people purchased by Christ who love you.

At the end of the day, the fight against sin is only possible if you are purchased by Christ and are resisting alongside his people. Who knows that this is your struggle? Have you confessed this struggle to them and enlisted their support? The need is urgent, and the grace of Christ is omnipresent. Lift this sin before his throne of grace and solicit the help of your brothers and sisters so that together you might overcome by his grace.

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Stephen Roberts

Stephen Roberts is an Army chaplain and also writes for Modern Reformation and The Federalist. He is married to Lindsey—a journalist—and they have three delightful and precocious children.

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