Thought On Pornography

Aug 17, 2005

I know a lot of pastors and church leaders check this BLOG out…and I also know how many men struggle with pornography. Just the other day I saw an article about some pastor that was arrested after misusing the churches computers to download porn, “another one bites the dust,” says the enemy.

It doesn’t have to be that way—I know from personal experience. If you are struggling…or know someone who is…I pray that me sharing my story may help you…or encourage you to seek help.

My dad & I bought one of the first satellite dishes that ever came out, if you are my age (34) or older you remember those things—they were enormous. It was great because we had access to all of the movie channels—what was not so great is that as a 14 year old child I had access to pornography nearly any time I wanted to see it. (And there are not many 14 year old boys who would turn down that opportunity!)

We didn’t keep the satellite dish forever—but it began my addiction. All throughout high school I would purchase magazines and I developed a very unrealistic view of sex and an extremely unhealthy view of women. (Pornography is not ART…it is the enemy minimizing the importance and the beauty and the role of women, they are NOT sex objects, nor do they exist for a mans sexual gratification—they exist to be pursued, loved, cherished, and treated with respect!)

In May of 1990 I accepted Christ…and my life was changed; however, I had sown the seeds of porn into my life for five years…and that didn’t just go away overnight. In fact, I struggled with it for the next 10 years. I can’t even begin to tell you what I went through emotionally and spiritually…I doubted my salvation, I almost walked away from the ministry, I thought that God hated me…I just could not get control of the addiction.

Porn was my “secret sin” that no one knew about. I was not renting movies or buying magazines because of the fear that someone would see me…but any time I had a chance to watch a movie with a nude scene I took it…any time I had the chance to watch HBO or a channel like it—I didn’t turn it down.

And then in 1996 someone introduced me to the internet…and that is when things almost spiraled out of control. It wasn’t a big deal at first…I was just going to “research and see” what was out there so I could be a “more effective minister.” (If you are caught up in it then you KNOW that excuse!)

I admit I wanted to die at times. I would do really good for a while—many times going months without choosing to look at porn…and then BAM…I would surf the internet for several days in a row, yielding to the lure of the enemy’s voice.

Finally in March of 2000 I said, “no more!” I was getting married in April of that year & I knew what a pornography addiction could do to a marriage. I can honestly say that since then I have not viewed pornography in any manner…and I thank God who has provided that strength. Here are some steps that I took to help me…and that I still follow to this day.

#1 - Ask for accountability! And I am not talking about finding someone who has the same problem as you and then both of you confessing that you “messed up” that week and then feeling OK because you were not the only one to sin. I am challenging you to find someone who does not struggle with the problem…and ask them to get in your face. My accountability partner & I have made a $1,000 promise to one another—that if he or I view porn that we have to write the other person a check for $1,000. It might not work for you—but there have been times I have been tempted & thought about my checkbook!!!

#2 - Get away from the net! This is tough for an internet junkie…but it is needed. Jesus said if your right eye causes you to sin then gouge it out…so I don’t think it is a stretch to say if your computer causes you to sin then get rid of it. I had to take this step…for about five years I did not have the internet in my house…I didn’t trust myself. I just recently got this wireless deal—but only because my computer has some accountability software on it…and a record of every site that I visit is sent to a member of our executive team at New Spring. This holds me accountable.

#3 - Do not travel alone! Men, under no circumstances should you travel alone if you are struggling with this, especially if you are in the ministry. Tell your church that you wish to be a man of integrity…that temptation is real…and they need to fork out the money NOW or LATER. (Later meaning they will have to hire another pastor/staff member and pay their moving expenses, etc. because they were to cheap to assist you in your walk!) New Spring never allows me to travel alone…and it has made a difference!

#4 - Tell your wife! She has a right to know…and she can pray for you in powerful ways. I told Lucretia about my struggles before we were married…and she still prays for me and holds me accountable today. This will hurt her…and it will put a strain on things…but if she finds out in some other way—and she will—then not only does she feel like you cheated on her…but she feels lied to as well.

#5 - Ask God to help you to develop a healthy view of women. One of the things that helped me the most was when I began to think, “That woman is some mans daughter…and when I have a little girl I don’t want other men viewing her in a lustful way!” I have to admit—this one did it for me…I do not have children yet—but when I do I want them to be treated with respect—and looking at someone with their clothes off in a lustful manner is not respect—it is self gratification.

I apologize for those who were looking for a more spiritual solution, you know, you wanted me to say something like, “pray,” or, “read your Bible more,” or something like that. But if you are struggling—please be honest with yourself, you have tried all of those things…and you are still stuck. You MUST take action and get some help…or this can destroy you, your marriage, and your ministry.

I have been there—I have struggled—and I have overcome…and the same Jesus who lives inside of me lives inside of you. Please, for the sake of the Kingdom do something about this! I don’t normally ask for this—but if you are a fellow blogger then link people here—or e-mail people about this—the more we can get this message out the more we can help people. I have been as honest as I know how to be…I don’t care what people think about my past…as long as I can help men protect their future it is all worth it to me!