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Why porn won’t be enough during this pandemic

This title probably brought mixed feelings for you, especially if you’re struggling with pornography. Before this post begins, I want you to know that God is not ashamed of you. He loves you.

You may wonder how could I assume that if you’ve opened this blog that you have at some point, or are currently, struggling with pornography?

Well, the number one porn site in the world reported that they had over 42 billion visits this year, averaging 115 million per day. That statistic alone is overwhelming. The Freedom Fight recently conducted a survey of over 1,200 Christian college men and women from over thirty different campuses across the country. These aren’t your average college students; they are involved in a campus ministry and consider their faith vital to their lives. Of these growing Christian men, 9 out of 10(89%) watch porn. 3 out of 4 use porn monthly or more(74%), while 6 in 10(61%) watch porn at least weekly. Of the growing Christian women, nearly half watch porn and one in four(24%) watch it at least monthly.

Since the beginning of the pandemic of CO-VID 19, I knew that this would be a perfect storm for college students who are trying to escape this prison of pornography. Isolation and anxiety are the biggest triggers for running to pornography. Now, more than ever, we are all longing to find connection and satisfaction. The problem is, we are in what feels like a relational desert with no hope of water.

IT WON’T BE ENOUGH

Each of us longs to be fully known and fully loved. This is a good and God-given longing.

“. . .the young man who rings the bell at the brothel is unconsciously looking for God.”― Bruce Marshall

Every fiber of your being was made to enjoy a relationship with God. The problem is that we often try to meet this good desire by going to something that will not fulfill the deeper longings of our heart. Porn, while it promises fulfillment and connection, is not the answer to your longing. It is a “broken cistern” as the prophet Jeremiah tells Israel:

“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” – Jeremiah 2:13

Even though the women and men in pornographic videos are communicating “I want you…I love you” (which is music to our ears), in reality, they are speaking to a camera and to an audience of billions. You and I long for authentic intimacy and connection, not this. It’s a broken cistern, never actually giving you water, but guilt and shame. Porn is simply not enough!

I HAVE BLOWN IT… NOW WHAT?

If you are like most Christians pursuing freedom from porn, you have made vows that you will “never do this again”. Yet, over and over again you have returned to the dry and broken cistern of porn only to feel overwhelming amounts of shame and guilt. After 10 years of counseling and discipling students, and being freed from the prison of porn myself, here is my answer to “I have blown it, now what?”

  1. BEGIN WITH CURIOSITY

Spend some time reflecting on your sin when it comes to pornography. Watching porn is always about something deeper than watching porn. Instead of simply making a vow to stop looking at porn, graciously ask yourself:

“What triggered me running to pornography? “

“What was I really longing for?”

 

  1. REMEMBER THE GOSPEL

When you think of the expression on God’s face when He looks at you, what do you imagine? Oftentimes, I have heard from students that they believe God is disappointed or angry with them after they have fallen into sin. The reality is that God’s word tells a different story. The story of the prodigal son is a perfect picture of God’s heart for His children who are enslaved to sin:

“But while he (the son) was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”  

– Luke 15:20

Cover to cover, the Bible tells a story of a God who is gracious, slow to anger, and steadfast in love! Why does the Father have compassion and embrace this son? Why is our God’s face not filled with disappointment? Because Christ has already paid for the sins of God’s children (1 John 1:9).

  1. PREPARE FOR THE STORM

When we first found out that we were about to be required to quarantine and stay home during this pandemic, we began preparing for what was to come: we went out and bought groceries (and toilet paper).

In a similar way, after we have confessed our sin and experienced the power of the Gospel, we have to prepare for the storms and temptations that will surely come in the days ahead. Below are some practical ways to begin to prepare:

Seek Community and Accountability: Confess your sin to a brother or sister in Christ (James 5:16). Allow them to bear your burdens and pray for you!

Fast and Pray for deliverance and protection (Matthew 6:13)

Meditate on and Memorize Scripture(Psalm 51, John 4:1-42, 1 Corinthians 10:13, Psalm 119:9, Lamentation 3:22-23)

Enable “Screen Time” restrictions or delete apps that lead to sin on your phone

Download Covenant Eyes

Sign up The Freedom Fight 30 day challenge

ReadUnwanted: How Sexual Brokenness Reveals Our Way to Healing, by Jay Stringer

Originally published on cobirmingham.org.

 
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