Welcome to The Beaten Road blog! I want to start this blog with some blunt truths because I want you to know from the beginning that this is a place to come for information that is real and usable. I’m not much of a frosting kind of guy, I tend to lay it out and let you sort through it for what you can use.
First, I understand (though I did not at first) that everyone is different. My experiences are not carbon copies of yours. My temptations, triggers, and lies were mine, not everyone else’s. That said, as I write you may feel I am accusing you of all my shortcomings and you may also fear your spouse will believe things of you that aren’t true because of what I’ve said is true of me. There will be many things that I dealt with that you never have, but I also believe you will run across things that, as I describe them, you may recognize for the first time in yourself. So, reader discretion is advised!
Second, my qualifications for speaking on this subject are only this. I am a Christian who has found freedom in Christ from the bondage of Satan. I spent 14 years addicted to pornography before finding the courage to quit for good. Through the help of my wife, counsel from others, research into the science of addiction, and circumstances that I can only attribute to God’s grace, I have been clean for nearly 6 years now. In all honesty, that’s not that long, and I recognize that fact. I am not writing as one who has it all together, or as one who no longer struggles with temptation. I am writing as one man who went from living for porn to finding satisfaction in Christ I never thought possible. I want to share some of the ways I finally broke my addiction, not because I have some proven formula that will work for every man, but because I know that it is possible to be free, and I want you to know that, too.
It is possible to be forgiven.
It is possible to never seek porn again.
It is possible to rebuild your marriage and for your wife to heal from the damage you have inflicted.
But it’s going to take blood, sweat, and tears.
It’s going to demand the blood of the Savior, the sweat of your conscience, and the tears of a humbled and contrite heart.
It’s not as simple as saying that you’re not going to look at porn anymore. Staying clean is going to take gut wrenching honesty, embarrassing moments, and safeguards that you probably currently think are plain stupid. It takes living a counter-cultural lifestyle and being willing to look like a fool in front of others.
In other words, it is going to take the death of your pride.
One of the biggest things that keeps people addicted pornography is PRIDE! “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look…” (Proverbs 6:16-17a). God hates our human pride. It is an abomination to Him. Why? Because it keeps us from Him!
It is fascinating that when I was looking at pornography, I was completely self-loathing. I tried so many times to stop and couldn’t. I hated myself for my continual weakness and the destruction I saw in my life because I COULD NOT STOP! Yet that whole time one of the things that held me in Satan’s grip was my pride! I couldn’t let people know the truth. I had told some about my pornography use but always in a past tense. Something I might still struggle with (if I was close enough to them to admit that) but still something past. Most people didn’t know I had any issue at all. My pride would not let me be honest.
Without honesty you will never leave pornography’s grasp.
Spend your nights in empty prayer, try every trick you can find online, install all kinds of restrictions and filters, but without being honest with yourself, God, your spouse, and everyone around you, you will never be free. Honesty only comes with a great big helping of humility. Brokenness. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise (Psalm 51:17).” Pride does not live in a broken and contrite heart. I was afraid what people would think. I was afraid people would treat me differently. I was fearful of hurting people who trusted me. I was fearful of doing more damage than I had already. But as long as I allowed fear and pride to dictate my actions, I was going to make things worse. I was not getting out of my sin. I was not living for Christ. I was living for self and my version of God. You must find the pride in your life, the impulse to self-protect, and replace it with a broken and contrite heart that is driven to live in righteousness before God.
Stay on the beaten road, friends.