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Ethics & Religion
Column #2,035
August 13, 2020
Overcoming Porn Addiction
By Mike McManus

I write my weekly column to suggest answers for tough moral issues. However, last week I only explored the devastating impact of pornography. I offered no solutions.

This column explores possible answers.

Frankly, I was surprised that organizations which promised answers offered no credible strategies to break free of an addiction to pornography. Since porn is involved in more than half of divorces, I wanted to focus on possible answers .

Fortunately, I did come across one organization, Blazing Grace, created by Mike Genung, with a thoughtful strategy. He spent two decades to break free from his own porn addiction. And he outlined 15 principles for discovering and maintaining freedom from sexual addiction from a Christian perspective:

  1. Modern man likes his theology positive and encouraging: "God doesn't make bad people; you are a good person at heart," they say. From God's perspective, that which is inside of us is desperately wicked. Our losing battle with lust teaches us that fighting sin with our flesh is insane. The more desperate we are for God, the better, for it is the desperate who are more apt to lean on, seek and obey Him.
  2. Justification, compromise and deceit have become a way of life, and must be abandoned. If we are serious about freedom we can no longer play games with lust; we have to choose between God and lust.
  3. Lust feeds on isolation. The only way to break this stronghold is to confess our sins to others on a regular basis. (James 5:16)
  4. We must learn to rely on God's strength. Those who know the searing pain of their brokenness and are desperate for God will refuse to rely on their flesh to overcome lust.
  5. God's standard for sexual purity begins in the mind. When a llust thought first enters the mind it is not sin; dancing with those thoughts and playing with sexual fantasy is. Compromise with lust thoughts leads to external acts of sexual immorality. We must learn to quench temptation when it sparks.
  6. We don't fight the mental battles with lust thoughts by wrestling with the, or trying to shut them off, but by turning to the Lord, praying, allowing Him to fight the battle and, if necessary, asking others to pray for us.
  7. We must cut off anything within our control that causes us to stumble. Compromise spells defeat. Many men continue to live in bondage because they refuse to adopt a take-no-prisoners approach here.
  8. Lust inflates a man's pride to epic proportions; he's self-absorbed to the hilt. Pride also blinds him to the extent of his oversized ego and how he is hurting others. Throughout the recovery process he must crucify his pride by putting others first; serving must become his new way of life.
  9. Those who are married and have committed sexual sin have betrayed, lied to and abused their spouse. Since the man and woman are one flesh, the sexual addict must make his spouse's healing as much a priority as his own. The process begins by rebuilding trust, which can only happen if he stops all lying and hiding. He must then take actions that will prove to his wife that she is is biggest priority, second only to God.
  10. True freedom from sexual addiction comes from the heart. The core beliefs must be examined and exposed to the light of the truth, and any wounds need to be healed. Stuffing or denial of emotions keeps a man in bondage.
  11. Bitterness is poison that saturates the heart with evil, making it more prone to lust or other sins. All grudges against others must be dealt with by providing complete forgiveness, whether the offending party asks for it or not.
  12. One lie can drive a man to despair, anger or apathy, which intensifies the pull to sexual sin. 'I can't be loved as I am. I am worthless. Lust is the best love I can hope for" are examples. . Then there are lies from the other side; "I deserve a little porn to celebrate wife won't have sex with me, so it's OK.
  13. We must launch out into the grand adventure of seeking God alone. It is when we find Him and are filled with His peace, joy and love that lust will cease to be attractive to us.
  14. When God sets us free from sexual addiction, we must keep our guard up. Many have fallen after allowing their pride to convince them of the lie that they're too strong to fall again.
  15. We must continue to grow in the grace of God with humility, obedience, seeking Him staying out of isolation and serving others.

This is a strategy that any man can adopt to save himself from this devastating addiction.

Visit Blazing Grace's Website


Copyright (c) 2020 Michael J. McManus, a syndicated columnist and past president of Marriage Savers. To read past columns, go to Hit Search for any topic.


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