Porn Proof

Pornography is a drug most people you know are using.  Whether we know it or not, everyone is affected by it. Even if you haven’t used the drug, you will be affected by someone who has. This is not just a private problem, it is an epidemic that is changing the way our culture approaches sexuality and the way our brains are wired.

For the sake of definition, porn is anything that causes immoral lust in us. New research is showing that viewing or fantasizing about lust-inducing media releases the same chemicals in our brain that cocaine and heroine release (Read more here).  What does this mean? Porn addicts crave a fix of porn just like a druggie craves a fix of drugs.

Don’t believe me? Research proves that porn is a growing epidemic and the startling fact is the group consuming it the most is not dirty old men, but teenagers.  Here are the facts:

  • The largest group of internet porn users is youth ages 12-17.
  • The average age of first exposure to porn is 11 years old.
  • 90% of youth ages 8 to 16 have been exposed to porn.
  • Every second, 30,000 internet users are viewing porn.
  • Every second $3,075.64 is spent on Porn. That is $96,993,383,040 every year. More money than Hollywood and the Gaming Industry make combined!
  • 30% of porn addicts are women. (stats from www.fightthenewdrug.org)

Porn is no longer a male issue.  It never has been. Lust is a human issue, not a masculine issue. And with the growing trend of emotional pornography found in books like 50 Shades of Grey and visual pornography found in movies like Magic Mike, it’s obvious that our culture has picked up on porn that appeases women.

There are some who say porn is just an art. A way of making money between two consenting adults and if artistically displayed is not a big deal.  People who say this fall in one of three categories:

  1. They are deceived. If you look at the destruction and brokenness that porn has caused, calling it an “art” is just plain naive, delusional, and dangerous.
  2. They are addicted to porn themselves. When we are hooked to something we can’t shake, we find ways to rationalize or minimize it.  Calling porn an “art” is a perfect rationalization of a destructive sin.  It’s like calling poison water.  Water nourishes us just like art does but if you drink poison thinking it’s the same as water, you will die.  If you view porn as art, you will slowly die spiritually, emotionally, socially, and intellectually.  
  3. They are benefited by the porn industry. If your business or cause is benefited by the progress of the porn industry, you have a reason to define it as an “art”.  This is a classic example of elevating money over morality. “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:10).

I am not speaking about this topic as a pastor pointing a finger. I am speaking of this as a man who has this thorn in his side. When I was 11 years old, a neighbor showed me porn and said it was what guys look at when they feel alone.  That moment was a turning point in my life. A point where porn dug it’s claws into me and refused to let go.  Thankfully, over the past 16 years I have been on a journey of discovery, healing, restoration, and freedom.  Many incredible people have helped me find victory over this depravity.  Every single day I continue to stand my ground knowing that sin is crouching at my door. I must continually subdue and master it so it has no room to master me (Genesis 4:7).  I want to live a porn proof life. The kind of life that is not porn-resistant out of fear, but porn proof out of victory.  I am becoming someone who has been there, done that, and has realized it’s not really what I want and it’s not worth it.  

How do we live a porn proof life?  In a world supersaturated with pornographic images, how do we develop an immunity to it? How do slam the door on this sin? We must develop an offense, a defense, and a strategy.

OFFENSE

Most people have a defensive stance against lust.  When temptation strikes, they react instead of being proactive before temptation strikes.  The secret to living a porn proof life is to stockpile resources, thoughts, ideas, Scriptures, and truths which enable you to ignite a proactive offensive game plan against lust.

Ephesians 6 informs us that Scripture is a sword we need to fight evil.  It is our only offensive weapon against the temptations of Satan.  How do we use Scripture as our sword? Read it, memorize it, marinate in it, study it, talk about it, and write about it. Here are 20 Scriptures you can use as an offensive weapon against lust: Battle Scriptures.

Ephesians 5:3 says to have not even a hint of sexual immorality. Why? Because a hint of sexual immorality is like a snowflake. Send that snowflake down a hill of temptation and watch it turn into a snowball of sin.  We live offensively by melting the snowflake of temptation before it turns into sin. We melt the snowflake by foreseeing the destruction it will cause and realizing it will not be worth it in the end.  Learn more about the destruction of lust by gleaning from this incredible well of information: www.fightthenewdrug.org

DEFENSE

How do we resist giving in when we feel driven to sin? “Happy is the man who doesn’t give in and do wrong when he is tempted, for afterwards he will get as his reward the crown of life that God has promised those who love Him” (James 1:12). We resist lust by remembering the reward.  Sin is fun for a season but it leads to destruction and death when it is full-grown (James 1:15). The reward of resistance to sin is connection with God and the true satisfaction that He offers.

Satan is a chemist who spins cocktails of chemicals which mimic the experience of God’s presence.  He can never create the same experience of connection and intimacy God gives, but he tries to mimic it.  So, when Satan tempts us, he promises the same satisfaction that God gives but he can never deliver on that promise because all he has to work with is generic chemicals. He has no access to the real deal. Only God does. We were made for only one addiction and that is to God’s presence.  The God Addiction leaves only satisfaction and joy in its wake, not hangovers of shame. What we really long for in times of trial is intimacy with God.  The greater the desire to sin, the greater the potential to worship. When we take the desire to sin and invest it into our pursuit of God, we will receive more satisfaction than we thought possible. That is the reward we receive when we resist lust.

Lastly, to develop a defensive stance against lust and porn, we need iron friends and filters. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” When temptation strikes, we need to first run to God and then to our Iron Friends. These friends help us process what we are going through when we find sin knocking on our door.  We are too close to our own stories. We need Iron Friends to ask us what was going on when we were tempted, where we were, why we were tempted, what time it was, and how it happened. Having a trusted friend who will walk with us through these questions is priceless.  Instead of accountability partners who heap guilt, shame and law on us, we need friends who will speak the truth in love and bring perspective to our predicament.

Along with friends, we need filters.  Not having a filter on your computer is like sending your five-year-old into New York City in the middle of winter without a coat on.  Not only will he get lost, but he will freeze to death with no protection against the cold. The internet is a vast world with many dangerous sites.

No matter how old we are, we need protection from the seduction hiding behind the sites. In my opinion, Covenant Eyes is the best internet filter on the market.  Included in your membership is access to filters for mobile devices as well which is vital since this is the fastest growing access point for porn.  Why would a teenager risk watching porn on his mom’s computer when he can hide anywhere he wants and watch it on his smartphone or iPod? One of the most powerful resources I have used to overcome porn is Covenant Eyes’ Overcome Porn App that leads you through 40 days of growth in freedom over lust.

STRATEGY

We can have an offense and a defense against lust, but if we don’t have a strategy for living in victory, it won’t happen. To be proactive against lust, what is your game plan? Do you have one? How do you plan to grow offensively against lust? When you get tempted, what will you do? Who is an Iron Friend who can keep you accountable and encourage you?

Job 31:1, 11-12 says, “I have made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman…For lust is a shameful sin, a crime that should be punished.  It is a fire that burns all the way to hell. It would wipe out everything I own.” Covenant is crucial to victory.  Covenant is an agreement between two parties who live in community and keep each other accountable.  Who are you living in covenant with? Have you made a covenant with God about your purity plan of action? Write it down.  Show it to friends and parents. Ask them to walk with you so you can stand strong in honor, integrity, and purity. Live a covenant life with an offense, a defense, and a strategy and you will be on your way to living a porn proof life.

RESOURCES

This is only the first blog post I will write on this topic. There will be more to come.  Until then, I want to give you some of the best resources I’ve found in my fight for sexual integrity. Check out each of these resources.  Let them inspire, challenge, and encourage you.  And then pass them on….

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