In this latest episode of the Voice series we catch up with TD Benton of White Collar Sideshow. TD talks a great deal about his struggles with pornography and how he makes it a priority to stay open and accountable with those he loves. Great stuff in this video … Watch it!
TD Benton: Pornography addiction for me was consuming my mind, consuming my thoughts. Everything I was doing had revolved around porn addiction. My wife and I have sold everything we own to do a performance based on the testimony of an addict and the insanity that goes through our minds. Recently, I have found myself struggling again. My brother died at the end of October and God felt like a million miles away from me. We do a whole show that’s based on pornography addiction, it’s in your face and it talks about seven nights a week living breathing pornography. When my brother died I went through a lot of anger and frustration, I started finding myself back in pornography, even doing shows and talking about struggling with pornography. I was trying to recognize in my mind, “God I can change this, I can change this”, and not allowing Him to change me. I was just really trying to figure out so no one would find out all over again. My desire for God went down to about 10th or 100th on the list of things to do because that was consuming my mind all over again.
We tour 24/7, it was my wife’s iphone and I would download free internet browsers that erase everything you do. I found this browser while I was playing a video game on the iPhone. I thought it was interesting that I was struggling with my brother’s death and going through all these different emotions, that pops up, and all of the sudden my whole mind set goes back to places I never thought it would go again. I thought that doing a performance based on that ministry would keep me accountable but I let my pride get in the way all over again.
Being able to be honest with my wife all over again. I had a friend who called me who plays in a band called Sleeping Giant. He says “Dude, you travel around the country telling people to be brutally honest, to share your life, to help other people realize that they’re not alone, and you not sharing this part of your life, makes you a liar”. He was exactly right. That sparked me to be honest with my wife, to find freedom through Christ. Through that honesty I was able to get my focus, my direction back. So another stepping stone to what we do in our performance is talking about honesty, just being transparent and hopefully allowing other people to throw back up on me.
TD Benton: So for the past eight years of my life my wife and I have used a program from Covenant Eyes. Obviously XXXChurch has downloadable software as well. That has been a huge part of recovery for me where my wife sees every questionable website I go to, every time I get online, what time I get online, what pictures I’ve looked at, every video that I’ve watched, it’s integrity at its finest. It’s certainly hard to do what God calls us to do outside of our homes when we can’t even walk out of our bedrooms or our RVs without feeling guilt and shame. When that kind of covers us, the desire for God, it just feels like He’s gone. “Where are you? I need you now.” In our human minds it just consumes us so much with guilt and shame and wondering who’s going to find out and in order to get it off of us we have to be honest, we have to be able to share that. I felt this burden just lifted like the monkey off my back was lifted, true freedom and a new desire for God. Not only that, but a new sense of love for my wife, seeing her forgive me and knowing that God forgives us over and over.
Is pornography dangerous?
TD Benton: I would say for myself and my wife that pornography is certainly dangerous because the focus is not your relationship with your wife, not your sex life with your wife. It becomes images that you’ve seen and it becomes more and more and more. If I go back to that then all of the sudden it feels like my relationship with my wife is not honest anymore, that I don’t have any integrity in my marriage or my character as a male. My relationship as being a leader has kind of been thrown in trash, my maturity is just not respectable. As a husband dealing with porn, its really just about being honest in our marriage, having that trust, knowing that we’re one unit and if I’m allowing that in then I’m allowing something in that will destroy our marriage. For me, I want to have that integrity, I want to mature, I want to grow, I want to have character and I want to build a relationship with my wife focused on looking at her in the eyes and loving her heart and serving her. For pornography with me, it takes all that desire away, my desire is more about having that consume my heart rather than where God is in our relationship and how Jesus can be my desire and my freedom in our marriage. I don’t want that being a part of my life, as soon as it comes into play I’ve got to get that off my chest and have integrity.