A Woman Won’t Fix Your Porn Habit

Updated on November 28, 2016 in Singleness
0 on November 28, 2016

Not long ago, I was at my favorite coffee shop visiting with an acquaintance who is a recently married, self-professing Christian. He has a new baby girl, so I asked how his daughter was doing. He pulled out his iPad to show me a photo of her, and what happened next was one of the most awkward moments of my adult life.

I looked over his shoulder, waiting to see the picture, and when he put in his passcode, the screen opened to an image — but not one of his infant daughter. It was a screen full of multiple hard-core porn scenes. He gasped a little and jerked the iPad away while I took a step back, startled and unsure of what to do.

“Let me see,” he said nervously, fiddling with the screen, “I know I had those pictures in here somewhere — oh! Here you go!” And just like that, the pornography was replaced with a picture of an innocent baby girl looking at the camera.

“Wow,” I said, feeling rather disoriented, “she’s so beautiful. How old is she now?” And then we carried on with the conversation, pretending everything was totally normal until I could slip away.

A Warped Brain

According to a recent survey, over 60% of self-identifying Christian men admit they view porn at least once a month, and there’s barely a difference if the men are married. If you’re a single man and you believe marriage will curb your porn habit, you should probably know that it’s unlikely. Pornography use typically leads to pornography addiction, and you can’t kick an addiction just because you found a replacement. It’s too late — you’re already a slave.

In “Pornography Addiction: A Neuroscience Perspective,” researchers report that sexual addiction and drug addiction alter the brain in almost identical ways. It explains that “a sexual compulsion can cause physical, anatomic change in the brain, the hallmark of brain addiction.”

But you probably didn’t need a study to figure out that you’re addicted to pornography because you’ve lived this out. You’ve told yourself over and over again that you’re going to stop using it to get a sexual high, but then it’s late, you’re alone, and the desire sneaks in. Your brain thinks, Well, what’s one more time going to hurt? — and almost involuntarily, you’re back in the cycle of binging on porn, getting high, feeling shame and guilt, making promises you can’t keep and then doing it all over again.

Marriage doesn’t fix that kind of addiction because marriage doesn’t offer that kind of quick sexual fix. You can consume porn in minutes and get a sexual high, but sex within a marriage covenant takes time. This kind of sacred sex isn’t a quick fix or an easy out; it’s preceded by emotional intimacy, and it requires generosity both in and out of the bedroom, sometimes delaying your own pleasure so as to ensure your spouse’s.

Sex in marriage is selfless, not self-seeking. But a brain that has been trained and rewarded with instant gratification has very little patience for the investment that sex in marriage requires, and marriage vows won’t magically reprogram what’s already been written.

Throwing It Off

Don’t wait for marriage to set you free from your addiction. Start now and take some practical steps:

Cut off your access to porn. Do it today, and do it for good. This may require you to go to extreme lengths to reduce the amount of time you spend alone on the internet (Matthew 18:9, Mark 9:47).
Get help from close friends and a support group. Groups like Celebrate Recovery exist because it’s practically impossible for you to get free on your own (if you could, I’m sure you would’ve a long time ago).
Be brutally honest with Jesus about your addiction. Throw out the euphemistic prayers about how you’re “struggling.” Tell Him the truth — that you frankly don’t care what His will is because you’re going to get your fix whether He likes it or not. Then ask Him to heal that. You’ll be a lot farther along if you’ll stop hiding from His love and be real about the rebellion that has fueled this addiction from the beginning.
Pope John Paul II once said, “[T]he problem with pornography is not that it shows too much of the person, but that it shows far too little.” It also shows too little of the real potential of sex: a breathtaking, vulnerable and absolute surrender of two people who are holding nothing back, for better or worse.

If you marry one day, you’ll want to experience real sexual intimacy and not be distracted by a brain that’s calling you away to a screen for a quick, lonesome high. And even if you remain single, you want to be able to experience a spiritual intimacy with God that isn’t defined by your unwillingness to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” (Hebrews 12:1, NIV). Spiritual growth and the breaking of addictions aren’t saved for marriage. So make the choice and break the chains now.

-By Joshua Rogers-www.boundless.com

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