Without further ado (because this is how I blog)…
If you really want to quit looking at pornography here are a few things that helped me quit and have continued to help me stay quit:
A brother (our premarital counselor who has now passed to his reward) once pointed out to me that pornography is all about fantasy. I was running away from hard things in life to a fantasy world where I didn’t have to deal with it. He told me to stop running and simply “Turn and face it!”
This has become one of my personal mantras ever since. I’ve realized that, most of the time, I turned to pornography when I really needed to do something else, and if I would just turn to what I should be doing and tackle it, the temptation to mess with pornography was much more conquerable.
Before this mantra became part of my life, I would often try to distract myself from pornography by playing video games, hiking, etc. But then when I got back to trying to work I still had the same undesired project in front of me and regularly would fall into temptation at that point.
Recognize when you’re running from stress to pornography and instead turn and face the issue.
When I finally started letting people know where I honestly was right then, things started to get a whole lot easier! There were a few people I had told that I struggled with pornography, but I painted it in a way that made it sound like I was beating it and was just tempted by it once in a while. Once I actually was honest about how involved I really was right then and how recently I had spent how much time looking at pornography, I was much better equipped to stop. We get so caught up with not letting people know about this particular sin that it leads to so many OTHER sins. If we would just let people know, it would remove the “need” to cover up with more lies and deceit.
When I told Brittany about my pornography use we pretty well stopped watching movies. I stopped playing video games, didn’t use the internet for anything but email, and no longer had access to the internet on my phone. Brittany had to be in the room and able to see the screen for me to use internet, and even then I avoided it as much as possible.
I realize this doesn’t exactly work the same for many single guys, but finding a way to limit your use by getting internet out of your house and off your phone and only accessing it at one point (the library, a trusted friend’s house, etc.) might be a good place to start.
Don’t give me one of those lines about how you need it for this, or that, or your job, yada yada yada. Are you serious about saving your soul and getting out of pornography? Then ditch the phone, ditch the internet, ditch the TV, and stay out of the theater!
“And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” (Matthew 5:29-30)
Cut off the source of temptation!
Find someone you can contact whenever you are tempted to view pornography. Find someone with whom you are close but not equal; someone you can look up to and explain to them what you are fighting and how you need help. Be open about your addiction to pornography. Promise this person that if you ever look at it again you will tell them, and set consequences in place that they will help you follow through with.
It’s really hard to find someone like this because it needs to be someone with whom you are close but not too close, but also someone trustworthy and respectable. But you can find this person and they are worth finding!
When and if you choose to return to the modern digital age after a detox period, cover every device you use with accountability software. Not because you are a terrible person who can never be trusted again, but because you are a righteous person who understands he has weaknesses and needs to carefully guard against them. By this point you should know as well as anyone, you can’t always be trusted with some things.
Maybe you have stopped using before and fell again. Maybe you’ve already tried some of the practices I laid out above. Try again. You can still quit for the last time. I don’t know how many times I quit for varying amounts of time before I quit six years ago. But that was the last time I’m ever quitting because I’m not ever using again. You too can quit and never have to quit again!
Keep on the beaten road! If you have some methods you’ve used that work, please share them in the comments. We want to add as many resources for people as possible.