I have struggled for years with pornography. I feel ashamed and guilty. Is there hope for me to recover from this?
It is almost impossible to escape sensuality in today’s world. Sex is on the television, in the movies and in our music, in advertisements, in our books and on public hoardings. Sexual sin is creeping around our high schools, flaunted across our universities, and hiding in our churches. And of course, sex is on the internet. Pornography and sex-related sites make up 60 percent of daily web traffic. Many people across the world today struggle with pornography and the guilt and shame that comes with it. It must have creeped in – like all addictions – quite innocently by inappropriate touch or wrong visuals that you were accidentally exposed to, when young. Some repent sincerely, but fall back. The vicious cycle continues.
When people have an addiction to pornography, they need to deal with their issues with intimacy first. You are seeking a deep connection with a human being, which a screen cannot provide. Godly intimacy with a spouse – within a godly marriage, is holy. Proverbs 5:18 states, “Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe”. Married couples need to know they have sexual pleasure at their lawful disposal. Young men and women need to know that sex is good, intimacy is godly. And that reality is much different from fantasy. The vulgar images on the screen are just an illusion of that intimacy that you are desperately seeking – but it is neither godly, nor fulfilling. You may need to work with a Christian counsellor, read the Word daily, spend more time in prayer and seek to marry a good partner – as the Bible says, “If they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion” (1 Corinthians 7: 9) Marry a person you are genuinely attracted to – spiritually, emotionally and physically. Then cultivate a healthy relationship with your spouse, be always open to deep communication and daily prayer together. Walking off or staying silent and resorting to other empty things to fill that void – is not a sign of godly behaviour – and can destroy any relationship.
If you are single, you may be using porn as a resort to de-stress. Pornography can be a strong distraction, as chemicals that flood the brain during an orgasm are strong. Find other ways to relieve stress, like exercise or spend quality time with people, nature etc, so you don’t have to resort to pornography or sexual sin of any kind, as an outlet.
Recovering from an addiction to pornography requires fervent prayer, maturity, patient hard work to cultivate healthy relationships with the opposite sex and a more realistic perception of sex itself. Guilt and shame will not give you the freedom that you desire. Do anything you can, to avoid tripping. Don’t let the enemy make you fall. Go forward in the strength of Jesus. Each day that you have not fallen, is a day closer to your freedom.
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