By now you know that porn is addicting, and it is dangerous. It degrades people and promotes sexual exploitation. Porn also robs us of our joy and isolates us. But you can experience freedom from pornography.
If you are sick and tired of the never-ending cycle of temptation, sin, and shame, then read on. The truth is that there is hope, but you will have to be intentional about it, and be willing to take the proper steps to get out. A Chinese Philosopher said that, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” I know that the journey out of pornography can be a long one, but in light of eternity it’s worth it. It is worth to be free from porn and serve God with a clean conscience. I too struggled with pornography in my teen years and only when I understood how much God hates it, and got intentional about quitting it, was I able to finally be free of its chains. It’s been so many years since then, however, I still practice these steps all the time to make sure that I do not fall back into pornography’s web of lies. So here are 10 steps that helped me start my journey.
1) Porn is sin, make a decision to quit and repent.
But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:28
Porn is not just a character flaw, but rather a direct violation of God's commandments. Any sin is a direct violation against God. We don’t own our bodies or other people’s bodies whom we lust after. Porn is a perversion of God’s intended design for sex, which is designed for the covenant of marriage. Porn inflicts damage on God’s creation and we have to repent and ask forgiveness from God for violating his intended design and purpose for His creation. Only when we repent and ask God for forgiveness, can the deliverance process really began.
2) Find joy in Jesus and follow the direction of the Holy Spirit.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Galatians 5:16
The most powerful weapon that we have against any sin is the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for our sins. If we find our significance, love, and satisfaction in Jesus we will not run around looking for love in all the wrong places. Furthermore, since God’s undeserving grace is able to deliver you, it is also sufficient enough to sustain you. We were never meant to do it alone and that's why it seems impossible to overcome this addiction. The Holy Spirit is our helper and a comforter, if you give him permission he will deliver you and teach you all truth, keeping you free from any bondage.
3) Cut off all the sources through which you access porn.
And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. Matthew 5:30
Stop watching movies with explicit scenes because this will create a lust appetite for more pornography. Lust is an appetite that can never be satisfied until it completely destroys you. So don’t give yourself a pass just because you can justify it. Make a covenant with your eyes that you will not look at anything that God called sin. Furthermore, get internet filtering on your computer, tablet or phone. This one (Covenant Eyes) requires a monthly subscription but is updated constantly and it works great. Porn can also be accessed through social media apps. So, if you struggle with that, then delete your social media accounts.
4) Have accountability in person and software on your Internet browsers.
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you to be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:1-2
The temptation to see porn it is so overwhelming, and it is easy to give in and regret it later. So set boundaries and safety guards in place before you experience temptations. Tell a pastor or a close friend about your struggle and have them keep you accountable. If you are in a room with a pastor or a friend I doubt you would take the risk to watch porn. Of course having someone watching you all the time is not feasible, but you can install accountability software on all your devices. “Covenant Eyes” and a lot of other filtering software have accountability software included. All you have to do is include the email address of those you wish to see the reports, and the software will report any suspicious activity to them.
5) Watch your language, ask God to clean your heart.
But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you as is proper among saints. Ephesians 5:3
Jesus made it clear that out of the heart the mouth speaks. This means that perverted talk comes from a perverted heart. This cannot be ignored and needs to be dealt with. The Holy Spirit lives in you, He can be grieved. So get rid of all sexual insinuation and innuendos that are perverted, and which grieve the Holy Spirit. Also, you never know how many people around you are struggling with the same thing. Such as, your jokes can cause them to struggle in their thoughts. This does not build up others or glorify God, so why take the risk. Unlike Cain was, be your brother’s keeper. Have your friends’ best interest in mind and stop the perverted talk.
6) Take control of your thoughts.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
You might not have control of what thoughts come into your mind, but you have a choice on which thoughts will set roots and grow in your thoughts. Apostle Paul instructs to think on “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things” in Philippians 4:8. You only have so much real estate in your mind, don’t give into thinking that will rob you of your joy or bring shame and possibly destroy you. Think thoughts that are loving and encouraging toward others, and Christ glorifying.
7) Be productive with your time by serving others.
Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. Proverbs 24:11
King David sinned against God when he was idle and instead of being at war with his army he was lusting after his neighbor’s wife. Stop being idle and rather be passionate about what God called you to do. You cannot win wars by playing on the defensive; you have to go on the offensive. If you are married or single, fight the good fight. Fight for every member of your family and every friend, plunder hell and populate heaven like Reinhard Bonke would say.
8) Learn how to read your Emotions.
Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! 2 Corinthians 13:5
Emotions can be an indicator of what is going on in your heart. Learn how to examine them and know what you are dealing with. A lot of times how you feel will determine your ability to fight against the temptation of pornography. Take inventory of your feelings. If you’re tired, get some rest; if you’re lonely meet with a friend; if you’re angry forgive and let go; if you feel guilty, then you have to repent. Do not allow sin to put its foot in the door because it will eventually kick the door in.
9) Do not wake up love until the right time.
I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the deer of the field, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases. Song of Solomon 3:5
Sex is a gift from God and it is meant to be enjoyed in the covenant of marriage. Any misuse of it outside God’s intended purpose will cause heartbreak and wreak havoc in your relationships and life. So do not awaken love until it is the right time, but wait for it, you will be glad you did. If you think you really can’t wait, get married because according to Apostle Paul “it’s better to marry then to burn with passion” 1 Corinthians 7:9. But keep in mind that marriage won’t solve a pornography problem and it will also come with other responsibilities.
10) Until you get married fulfill your emotional needs through your family and friends.
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this that someone lay down his life for his friends. John 15:12-13
We are human beings with emotions, and all of us desire to be loved and to love. I encourage you that until you find a godly woman if you’re a man, and a godly man if you’re a woman that you would seek to fulfill your emotional needs through family and friends. What I mean by that is to seek a close friendship with your parents and siblings. Seek godly friendships that will love you, tell you the truth, and challenge you to grow. That way you won’t be emotionally starved and seek a companion in a misguided kind of love from broken people or a 2D image on a screen.
These are some steps I took and lessons I have learned. I pray that if you are struggling with this you would seek out a pastor or a spiritual mentor to help you through this confusing and hard time of your life. As always you can contact me. I pray that you walk in freedom and fulfill the call that God has placed in your life. Blessings.