I Was Wrong Too:

Fifteen years later, and I was still drowning in the shame of a terrible porn habit.

I figured if I installed a few internet filters, found accountability partners, and made a few high-stakes promises to God, my behavior would change in no time.

Each one came up short.

Free for a couple of days, then another slip.

Free for a week, saw something triggering on social media, slip again. Free for a month, one weak moment, back to square one.

My ministry and personal life were falling apart. Being a Christian who struggles with pornography was difficult enough, but now I was pastoring a church.

The stakes were higher. So was the shame.

Then, I made an important discovery that changed everything.

It turns out, my approach to getting free was all wrong.

Everything I tried up until that point focused on the ​external​.

Device usage, web screening, behavior modification, trigger management, the list goes on. On the outside, it looked like I was doing all of the right things to get free.

But the real problem was ​internal​.

Porn is a fake connection. In my situation, it was medicine for feelings of neglect. But medication is not the same as a cure. Medications treat the symptoms of the problem, cures treat the cause once and for all.

It’s kind of like taking a lawnmower to a patch of weeds. The yard looks clean for about a day.

Then the weeds grow back. Thicker and pricklier.

That’s what I was doing with my behavior. I was cutting the weeds instead of uprooting them. No wonder I was going around in circles!

When you overemphasize the external and undervalue the internal, cycles are inevitable.

As long as I only dealt with the behavior, and not the root issues, I was bound to keep struggling. I had to address the heart of the matter.

And while that’s a nice theory, it’s not exactly the most fun practically. Who wants to open up the deepest parts of their core identity and explore the insecurities, pride & vulnerabilities that have been festering?

Surely there is an easier way?!

Well… if there is, I haven’t found it yet.

But here’s what I ​can​ say – as soon as I started dealing with my belief system, everything began to change. I experienced more freedom in a month than I had in years.

I started to think clearly. My emotions stabilized. I made better decisions. And I was resisting temptation with greater ease!

I felt confident. Shameless. Clean.

All because I finally focused on the roots of the problem. 

What were my roots?

Root problems are unique to the individual. In my case, I discovered that I had felt neglected for almost my entire life. This was an odd discovery, considering I grew up in a safe home where I was loved & encouraged regularly.

What I realized was that the way love was shown in the home was not the primary way I received love. I need words & quality time to feel loved, but acts of service and provision were the primary way love was shown to me. As a result, I felt neglected.

And it turns out those feelings of neglect were driving me to pornography. Porn is a fake connection. It temporarily medicated my feelings of abandonment.

While viewing pornography IS a behavioral issue, the reasons ​why​ you’re watching are the real problem.

They’re also the most significant clue to your solution.

Because once you tackle root issues, the behavior takes care of itself.

It’s almost 4 years of freedom since I made that life-changing discovery. Once I processed the pain of neglect, reached a place of forgiveness for what happened, and found healthier ways to find connection, my life has been radically different. I’ve started a business, married the girl of my dreams & traveled the world, encouraging others in their journey to freedom.

You can experience this kind of freedom, too.
All it requires is the bravery to look inside, a willingness to own the issues, and a trusted guide to lead you through the process.