Let’s assume that most of you that are reading this post are engaged in trying to stop your struggles with porn or sexual sin of some sort. If you are checking out this site and others to get help you have engaged in the pursuit of change. You see an area in your life that you don’t like and you want to change it. Perhaps you have tried and tried to get victory in your struggles and have had a few successes, but overall you are frustrated and still having a difficult time having consistent success in not performing the same frustrating compromises you hate. You have begged God to stop this temptation. You are saying just what Paul says in Romans 7, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” You keep thinking, what do I have to do? You even ask God, “Why are You not helping me? Why don’t you just change me so I no longer am attracted to this stuff or want to do this?”
I wish I had a hidden verse that contained the special formula for the “no more masturbation” cure, or the “I can’t stand porn” mindset. There isn’t one. Sorry. I do know that God is taking us all through a process of learning and trusting Him for everything. We don’t really grow when we are on the mountaintops of life. They are fun and restful, but we grow most when we need to trust God. We learn the truth that we really can’t do it on our own and God will help us through. I like to encourage people that when you are stuck in the mud, don’t just stare down at the mud and say, “Man that’s some serious mud.” Instead keep walking through the mud and keep your eyes on the bank. Where success lies, waiting for you to learn how to balance in the mud and keep moving, and to trust God to keep you from falling in the mud and sinking out of sight.
I do believe there are a few keys to successfully making it out of the mud and that are imperative to our winning the battle. First, give your life to God and accept the gift of salvation in Christ. The Bible teaches us that until we accept Christ, it is really impossible to understand His help and how we can grow and live our short time here on Earth as He has intended us to. To love life, have true joy and happiness and live for Christ and then enter eternity with Him when we are done. If you are a regular here, you have heard this a thousand times and this is nothing new. Yet, you may still not be having the success you desire and need. I believe the next important element that is a key to our success is motivation. What is motivating you to change? Commonly it is guilt, fear, embarrassment, condemnation, etc. None of these strongly negative factors will usually lead us to victory. Often the strong desire to just please God is our motivation. You know you are engaged in something that He does not want you to do. But you still are not having the success you desire. It’s not that you don’t want to please God, it’s that you feel that you just can’t get it right and really please Him. Which basically is true, we can’t do enough works to please Him as far as earning His love and acceptance. He freely gives that to us while we were yet sinners and hated Him. So what else can motivate us?
If you read the comments left on most posts here, you will read some from people that will tell you that masturbation isn’t really harmful. Looking at porn really doesn’t hurt anybody because it is just fantasy. Your not having sex with someone. Just looking and getting pleasure and a good feeling that obviously God intends because why else would He make it feel so good. I just spoke to two groups of Jr. High students and High school students about Purity and Porn. The phrase was mentioned, “It doesn’t hurt anyone. It’s done in the privacy of my room and no one knows.” To which my reply is, “Really? Obviously, God does… that’s a bit important isn’t it. But take that given aside, who else does it affect?” How about the wife you will have in 10 years or so that will be unable to compete with the fantasy in your mind about what sex is supposed to be? What about the children you will have that may come across the magazines, or see over your shoulder the porn you are looking at, or over hear the fight you and your wife are having about your struggles? You’re right no one may see you now, but it does affect others in ways you may not have a clue about now. Would this help motivate you to seek success in the struggle? You may be experiencing great condemnation about your struggles. Don’t you dare listen to this. Condemnation is not from God. Romans tells us there is NO condemnation for those in Christ. Don’t put yourself above God and condemn yourself. If God doesn’t, don’t you. God’s word is full of encouragement to help us accept His love and to grow in the valleys of our lives. That is what this life is about. So engage the struggle and persevere. What is your motivation?
How about this…Matthew 22:36-39 says this, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” If you are to love your neighbor, I think we can assume we are to love our wives and children too. We are funny creatures. Sometimes we just won’t do things that will benefit ourselves. I have heard it said, “There is security in bondage.” It’s not what we want, but we know what to expect and we are creatures that don’t often like change. We won’t do what is best for us sometimes, but we will do it for the ones we love, or the ones we don’t even know yet but will some day love and desire to provide the best for. What is our motivation? To love God and do what He desires, and to love those God has put us with and provide the best we can for them. Again, don’t lapse into condemnation for this, feel conviction yes. We won’t make changes until the pain of staying that way exceeds the pain of making the changes. Either way, there is pain and effort needed. Just continue to fight the fight. Persevere. Don’t give up. Get help, accountability, prayer partners, counseling, seek God continually. Don’t look at the mud your in, look at the beautiful shoreline ahead of you.