This is a bit long but I see the need for it more and more. Please read it prayerfully!
It started out innocent enough. My 1st exposure to pornography was when I was around 10 years old. My siblings and I found a magazine in an alley by our house. Being the oldest I felt the responsible thing to do was take it to my parents to dispose of.....while rapidly flipping through it on the way home.
A few years later I became a Christian. My past was all behind me. I was ready to embark on a new beginning....
....I became a Christian at the same time I hit my teen years. I now understand 2 verses in the Bible where Paul describes a conflict between his actions and desires. The 1st verse is found in Romans 7:15 Paul says, "For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate." The 2nd verse is Romans 7:19, "For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep doing." As a teenager it seemed that my desire to listen to my hormones was as strong as my desire for the Lord.
I never thought much about purity as a teenager. Sure I knew sex outside of marriage was wrong and I was committed to remaining a virgin until I was married but I never thought much about remaining pure in any other way. Girls were always desirable to me and having a girlfriend was always a major focus in my life.
Then one day in my early 20's I met the woman who became my future wife. I thought my life was now complete. Two years passed and one day we discovered my wife was pregnant. We were overjoyed. Unfortunately the last 3 months of my wife's pregnancy I encountered porn magazines unwrapped in a local store. I knew I should turn away. I knew I should walk away. Instead I became a porn addict.
Pornography is like a beast. However it doesn't necessarily look like that at first. It is more like the old 80's movie Gremlins. Just as in the movie, the little creature looks so cute and innocent at first, many people don't think anything is wrong with a quick peek down a woman's blouse as she leans over. Most people won't blink during a movie that shows a couple in bed if only a little shoulder or back is shown.
We lie to ourselves and justify the actions of Hollywood. For me, watching a movie like that was no problem. Then as my standards lowered and my arousal went up I would justify a glimpse of a breast because come on every movie showed it and there was no avoiding it. I was mature I could handle it. In reality I was cheating my wife and family bu trying to fulfill my desires outside the bounds of marriage. I was an adulterer according to Scripture! (Matthew 5:28)
The longer I looked at these things the more desensitized I became. I was not offended by an nudity. I hid my problem for years and as my addiction grew my standards continued to decline. What started as a "taste of pleasure" became bitter waters that soon moved over my head. I was drowning in my sin and no one but God knew.
Sadly He knew and I did not care...I was hardening my heart. I would feel guilty, pray and ask forgiveness but never tried to get His help to stop,. I tried to justify my sin and tell myself God would continue to forgive me. I was trying to manipulate God. If God wanted me to stop her would have to do more to remove the temptation. My thoughts and beliefs were becoming twisted as I embraced this growing beast. A beast that was consuming me. If not stopped it would destroy my life, marriage, my whole world.
One day, as my life was hitting rock bottom spiritually, physically and emotionally, Christ revealed himself to me in a real way through a man in our church who confessed his own addiction and recovery from porn. Over the coming months God began to convict me of my sin and showed me how I needed His cleansing blood of forgiveness. He showed me how to gain victory in this area. I was led to both an online ministry and a friend who shared with me how my identity is in Christ. I was able to begin a path towards freedom. I can say today God has given me victory in this area!
The best gift has been a complete restoration of my marriage. God renewed and restored what I had allowed the enemy to destroy. My wife and I are more in love than ever.
The beast can be stopped.....if we let Christ live in us and through us. If we truly surrender to Him and let Him lead our every step. He can truly give us a new heart. (Gal. 2:20)
If you need help in this area please contact me today!