As a pastor who has seen people struggle with this for years it can be disheartening. Becoming desensitized to porn and unhealthy images is difficult enough but with our culture walking down this road makes it even harder. As someone who has struggled and worked hard to break free of porn I believe Jesus has reset my dial. I have been able to feel less and less like porn is a normal part of what I see on a daily basis and this helps me be a better pastor.
First if you are stuck in this addiction and are acting out I believe direct intervention is needed. Getting help by confiding in trusted allies and becoming know is a first step. Finding help and support will make a difference and help you take steps to a healthier pattern of behavior.
After we have started acting correctly we still have a continuing problem of desensitization. This is attacking us from all fronts and takes diligence from us. The problem is there are various answers in how to avoid this problem. I believe certain things may trigger you that don’t trigger me and vis versa.
Here are a list of 10 things I do to help me stay away from becoming sucked into the desensitization process that eventually leads to harmful behaviors.
1. Don’t read mens magazines
These magazines are a minefield for people struggling. From the pictures to the articles its not going to help you. It can get us in many ways if its not tainting your eyes it will not help your imagination. I even know people who only use the family friendly isles at grocery stores so they don’t look at the front covers of the magazines.
2. Be careful with your T.V.
Talk about desensitizing us in a quick fashion. The Victoria Secret adds would have been considered soft core a few years ago. I have trained myself and my son to look away and not watch these commercials. I also stay away from T.V. shows like Jersey Shore which show inappropriate behavior as normal. Doing this, I believe, speaks volumes to my wife and daughter. They see that we are trying to honor them and God by keeping those images and thoughts out of our minds.
3. Read reviews before watching movies
This can be a great idea to help you. I’m not saying remove all “R” rated movies but if they are triggering you and you find yourself thinking about the provocative scenes for too long then you may want to look at that.
4. Don’t let your gaze linger
This will make a difference in your thoughts and attitudes toward sex. Lingering eyes don’t help you or your relationships at all.
5. Share your passwords
My spouse can access anything on my computer. If this can’t be done with your spouse at least find someone who has access to your computer and allow them free reign to your computer.
6. Use your computer in public
The temptation is removed when everyone walking by my office can see whats on my computer
7. Let others help
When my spouse is uncomfortable with a movie or a show I should rethink watching it. Letting others help you in this journey is essential, especially those who are less desensitized than you.
8. Take your thoughts captive
This is a continual process that makes a difference. Everyone admires beauty but Sin happens when we start to stare to long and let our imagination run with unhealthy thoughts.
9. Stay in the word
I am amazed at how my focus changes when I’m in the word. For pastors try being in the word not for study but for the expressed intent of allowing Gods word to change us.
10. Talk to people
“Checking in” and talking about real issues can give you great fortitude when facing temptation. We are not meant to travel this journey alone.