Pornography is not a new trap! It is as old as any other sinful temptation. It was the custom of prostitutes in ancient Greece to write sexual messages or draw sexual images on the wall to attract men. The term ‘pornography’ comes from this context; the Greek words porne (means Prostitute) and graphein (means ‘to write’). It is seldom that one (esp. boyz) escapes this snare during the growing up years of life. A decade or two ago, porn had to be sought out in book stalls in the form of sleazy story books or erotic picture collections. Gone are those days of hard work to get a sinful glimpse. Today, with the web invading our lives, porn has found an easy way to reach us. All too often we stumble upon porn stuff…sometimes from totally unexpected sources and domains. Easy access and privacy make internet pornography the most vulnerable trap for today’s Christians. Honesty requires that we acknowledge this.
All of us (I mean sincere followers of Christ) know that pornography is sinful and deceptive. It corrupts one’s mind and leads to addiction. Porn addicts constantly wallow in the ocean of guilt, hurting themselves and their loved ones. However, they lack the power to break the stronghold like other addicts. “I have vowed 100 times not to, I have fasted several times, prayed over it, but nothing seems to work. I fall again and again.” What must be done? That’s the question asked. I admit I don’t have easy answers or mantras for easy deliverance. Nevertheless, I want to suggest a few things. Try them out! If any of these (or all put together) works for you, praise God!!
• Pray continually and if you can ‘fast and pray’. For some, the suggestion to pray looks so simple and naïve. However, remember that your victory over pornography needs divine help. If you ever overcome it, it is through his power. So don’t loose heart. Keep praying for deliverance. Claim God’s promises when you pray – John 8:36.
• Take Precautions. Only you can identify the context that leads you to porn. Some seek comfort through porn when feeling lonely and stressed. Some seek porn as a way of relaxing and getting entertained. Some probably seek porn to fulfill a vacuum in the heart. Examine yourself: “When do I feel like watching porn?” Take precautions to avoid being in the vulnerable mind state. Find an alternative relief/stress busting mechanism. Taking precautions may involve harsh steps for some. Ex.: Cut-off the net connectivity at home. Just use the office facility.
• Have an Accountability Partner. Tell your struggle to someone who knows you well (and has the ability to keep it confidential). Struggling alone is tough. Open yourself to another believing friend (who knows? He or she could be struggling like you!). One of the biggest hindrances to deliverance is the religious stigma attached to sexual sins. Somehow Satan has succeeded in making us believe that sexual sin is the gravest sin on this earth. Have you noted that it is easy for us to talk openly about several failures in our Christian walk but not about sexual sins? We don’t have to fool each other. We are all co-strugglers in one thing or the other. Share your struggle with someone and pray together. Give freedom to your friend to ask you tough questions and allow him/her to make surprise system checks. Help each other grow and mature.
• Seek Professional Help. Sounds unbiblical or secular? No. There are times when a porn addict needs to get professional help. When things are out of control and you feel your normal life is being affected by your obsession with pornography, it is better to seek help through a trained Christian counselor. Unfortunately, in India we do not have the culture of seeking professional counseling help in times of need, particularly in issues like porn addiction. Recently, I came across an organization called Exodus Asia Pacific that helps people with such issues. Perhaps, one could visit the following website for more info: www.exodusasiapacific.org. One can find good online help as well. Some of the websites in this regard are:
• Prepare yourself for a life long battle. Perhaps, you wish that ‘one-day’ you will overcome porn addiction once for all and become a ‘porn-proof’ person. I have heard some say that they were instantly delivered by God from certain habits, never to face them again. Praise God if He gives you that experience. I believe he does such miracles. Nevertheless, the experiences of several others (including myself) have been different. Porn still tempts me. It is a live snare. I’m called to depend on God and be cautious all the time. Yes. The struggle with pornography may be a life long one for you. Instead of waiting to attain Nirvana (porn-proof state) one day, be prepared to battle all along. With God’s help we can experience victory each day!