Have you been paying lip service to sobriety? Then it’s likely that you haven’t been taking the necessary steps to really give yourself a fighting chance in the battle against your addiction.
I talk so often with men, women and teenagers who buy into the lie that they are going to take a stand and give up their pornography addiction tomorrow, and as a result, they do nothing today.
“I’m going to buy that Internet filter and accountability software tomorrow.”
“I’ll share my struggle with my accountability partner when we meet next week.”
“I’ll throw out my porn DVDs and magazines later today.”
Or, those that I work with that continue to struggle with their pornography addictions repeatedly fail to draw a clear line in the sand regarding what is and what isn’t appropriate for their lives, or if they do draw a line, it’s drawn in chalk instead of permanent marker. Today, they decide that they will never watch R-rated movies because R-rated movies often include a tempting amount of sexual content, but tomorrow, one of those R-rated movies looks pretty good, and so they tell themselves that they will just watch this “one” movie, and one becomes two, and then they are right back where they started. Or, after a big day filled with struggle and porn surfing, they decide that they are going to go cold turkey and give up porn for good, but the next day, when they see the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition at the store, they rationalize that it’s not really hardcore pornography, so they make the purchae and open the door to another big night of struggle.
If you are serious about being free from your pornography addiction, then it’s time to back your talk up with serious action steps. Some that I recommend include:
- Writing down your goals and the motivating factors behind your goals. (For example: “I want to be free from my pornography addiction because it hurts my walk with God, it causes pain and damage to my relationship with my wife and it places my leadership over my family and children in jeopardy.”
- Share the goals and motivating factors behind your goals with two trusted accountability partners.
- Set up a set time to discuss your progress, to admit any failures, to set up strategies for progress and to meet together with your accountability partners every week. Make honesty a habit.
- Get rid of all pornography, movies, magazines, images, books, apps, music, contacts, video games, etc. that may cause you to struggle. Take it to a landfill, put it out in the trash on trash collection day or even burn it in a fire pit so you aren’t tempted to bring it back in the house.
- Get a strong filter and accountability software (like our X3watchPRO) on all of your Internet-enabled devices.
- Make it a practice to look away. When that sexy commercial comes on TV, switch channels, stare at the ground, get up and out of the room, etc. so that you are not watching it. When a sexy woman or man is walking down the street, look away. Save your heart, your body, your mind’s thoughts for your spouse.
- Memorize scripture. When you struggle, use the scripture and pray.
- Consider taking an extreme stance. If cable TV or even regular TV causes you to struggle, get rid of it. If Facebook causes you to struggle, delete your profile and never go back. I’ve worked with men and women who have gotten rid of their Internet because it’s just that important. Do whatever it takes so you can be free.
- If you are struggling, call your accountability partner immediately and pray together. If you can’t get hold of one person, call someone else. Go outside, get away from the environment that is causing you to struggle. Don’t buy into the lie that if you do it “just this once”, you will get the urge out of your system.
- Remember that God’s grace and forgiveness is big enough to cover all of your sins, and even if you’ve had a history of repeating mistakes, a new, fresh step can be taken right now. Right at this very moment, you can make a step towards freedom and take real action to overcome your pornography addiction.