This quote, “Be killing sin, or sin will be killing you” is extremely relevant when discussing action steps against pornography. I am a huge advocate of taking practical steps when it comes to fighting pornography. We need to be on the offensive not the defensive.
I think we have all seen the church handle pornography very ineffectively. When the subject of porn is brought up in church it’s like a game of verbal hot-potato where nobody wants to be the last one to have to speak, which is understandable when half the men in any given church are struggling with porn (The Call to Biblical Manhood. Man in the Mirror, 6 July, 2004.). Even when porn is dealt with all the discussion seems to be hasty, uncomfortable, and usually ends with a prayer that supposedly frees the person from porn once and for all. Luckily, the bloggers of XXXchurch and I are here to initiate an organized attack on pornography in all of our personal lives.
An important part of tackling pornography is identifying the root issue. The root issue happens to be the same for everyone. It is also different for everyone. Allow me to elaborate.
Biblically, I can take the easy way out and explain that our struggle with porn comes from the simple fact that we are fallen. Viewing porn is sin not only because it is lust, but because we are objectifying the people on the screen in order to satisfy our own desires. As fallen beings we have consistently put our own wants before the needs of others because we wish to glorify and please ourselves, not God.
Practically, it is not so simple. There could be any number of reasons why someone uses porn. Being someone who has struggled with porn I know we often want to forget about what we’ve seen immediately after watching porn. However, I encourage you to dwell on why you chose to watch what you did, how you were feeling right before you did, and any triggers that pushed you towards porn.
Look for patterns.
I found I was very loyal to a few specific performers, I liked to see very specific acts performed and I was more likely to use porn when I was stressed out. Examining this lead to me understand my desire for the same performers was out of familiarity. I felt comfortable and in control watching the same ladies. I liked that I could choose what I wanted to see and realized I was using porn because it gave me control.
Pin-pointing the root issue allowed me to formulate a more aggressive and effective plan to deal with the temptation.
So take some time to examine your behavior, preferences, and attitudes surrounding your porn use, and pray God will make these things clear to you and help you articulate your new plan of attack to your accountability partner. If you do not have one of those, get one or multiple here: X3Groups
Identifying the root issue of personal pornography use is difficult because the way we think of our behavior surrounding porn is often subjective and difficult to describe. It’s like attempting to piece together the fragments of a dream in order to make sense of the crazy things that happened. Do your best to make these fragments objective and easily describable. I believe your dream can have a happy ending; just not the “happy ending” you’re used to.
Brett W. Sheppard is a Connoisseur of Fine Things and a College Student studying Social Work.