We hear from so many people who are frustrated and also who feel disgusted with themselves. They just can’t seem to break free and escape the trap of pornography. There is a continual pull that draws them to it, and somehow they fall into it’s clutches, time after time. As a result, they feel chained and imprisoned by that, which they know they should not do.
They ask the question, “how can I escape it?” … “How can I stop doing what I don’t want to do?” Do you feel that way?
It’s like the Apostle Paul’s struggle, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Romans 7:15-16)
He went on to say, “As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that it, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do —this I keep on doing.” (Romans 7:17-19)
Escape the Trap of Pornography
The Apostle Paul eventually recognized that it was the “law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God —through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
There is victory in Christ as we grab onto Him to help us gain victory over that which He has already conquered. Keep in mind that:
“God did not create us to act on every urge, every desire, as if that would bring about what our hearts truly long for. He made us for Himself, to enjoy intimacy with Him. This requires faith and a daily dependence on His power and guidance. When we acknowledge we have no rights apart from Christ, we finally find the peace and fulfillment that lust and porn promise, but never deliver.
“Have you bought into the porn entitlement? The danger of entitlement thinking cannot be overstated.
“…When one begins to equate desires with rights, a slippery slope of moral degradation is created. If everyone has ‘rights’ to their own desires, then eventually no one has any rights. You don’t have to get stuck there.” (Jonathan, from the Bebroken.com article “The Porn Entitlement”)
Help to Escape
To help you to escape the trap of pornography —the vehicle, which the enemy of our faith is using to discourage you, we would encourage you to read several articles posted on different web sites.
First, the following Family Life article explains the steps you need to take to escape the trap that you have fallen into. We encourage you to read:
• HOW DO I ESCAPE THE TRAP OF PORN IN MY LIFE?
In this next article, Gary Thomas addresses this subject, as it pertains to men who are single. But whether you are single or married, we believe you will gain insights from reading:
• SLAYING THE SECRET SIN: Single Men Winning the Battle
Steve Arterburn understands a lot about being caught up in sexual sin. He’s been there and has done that. For that reason, you can learn from the things Steve has had to struggle through. (Steve is a psychologist who counsels many people in this area of life.) Please read the following Marriagetrac.com and CBN.com articles:
• 10 STEPS TO OVERCOMING PORNOGRAPHY ADDICTION
• HEALING A MARRIAGE PLAGUED BY PORNOGRAPHY
You have to change your environment so you are not exposed to the temptation, which grabs at you. Don’t believe the lie that you can overcome temptation when you don’t do what it takes to flee from its grasp. This sin affects every area of your life, especially your walk with Christ and the integrity of your life with your spouse. DO something about it. Don’t just THINK you can escape by doing things the way you have. It hasn’t worked so far, and won’t work in the future. You are fooling yourself to think otherwise. You have to change the points of temptation.
It’s like what Steve Gallagher writes. Steve is the Founder and President of Pure Life Ministries. He has dedicated his life to helping men find freedom from sexual sin and leading Christians into the abundant life in God that comes through deep repentance.
He gives the illustration:
“A man breaks a bone in his ankle. He knows that if he goes to the emergency room, the attending physician will have to wrench his foot in order to reset the bone. The thought of this terrifies him, so he ignores the problem, even though every step brings wincing pain. Because of his unwillingness to face a moment of greater pain in the doctor’s office, he must live the remainder of his life as a cripple.
“My dear brother, God wants to cleanse you, free you and use you for His Kingdom. Will you spend the rest of your life buried by this sin, unwilling to do the difficult thing? … In your case, it is not a foot that must be wrenched; it is your self-life.” (From the article, Pastor, Are You Trapped in Pornography?)
You have to re-set your “self-life.” You have to change from within and that, which can pull you into temptation. Below are a few tips that are written by Adam. He shares tried and true tips to help you protect yourself and your family from being exposed to porn. As I said before, you have to change your environment so you are not exposed to the temptation.
To Escape the Trap of Pornography:
• Use an online accountability filter.
• Don’t allow the use of Facebook without having accountability in place.
• Monitor general activity on your families mobile devices periodically.
• Use a good antivirus and firewall on your computer (even Mac users)
• If your antivirus/firewall software does not protect against spyware, run an anti-spyware program tool (like AdAware or Spybot).
We pray you find this advice helpful. Please follow through and do what you know you should, as outlined within these linked articles. Apply what you have learned.
Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this article.
More from Marriage Missions
Filed under: Pornography and Cybersex
8 responses to “How Do I Escape The Trap Of Pornography?”
(JAPAN) I need help. I face confusion and addiction. My spiritual life is a failure. How can I change?
(USA) There is an online course called the “Way of Purity” at settingcaptivesfree.com. I was addicted to porn, and though this website God freed me from that prison. I encourage you or anyone else struggling with sexual impurity issues to check it out.
(UGANDA) Thanks Neil! I tried to retrace my steps to how I got to Setting Captives Free (http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com) and I have found you again! I am on day 25 (It is my second time trying after going till day 34 but well worth it). I believe God is setting me free. From the bottom of my heart, God bless you Neil, Arthur
(USA) My husband has been suffering from pornographic addiction for most of our marriage. Is there ever true deliverance from this sin? Has anyone ever stopped using porn, never desiring it again?
(ABBEYEOOD, LONDON) Hi everyone, Please for all those suffering from sexual addiction… porn and acting out… there is hope and you can stop your behaviour. Please remember that your behaviour is not who you are, it’s a part of you which can be changed and for the wives of those addicts there is healing for you too.
Please husbands, go to htt://www.setting captivesfree.com which is an amazing ministry for men who suffer from this addiction. And wives, please go to htt://www.healingheartsclub.co.uk which is a great support network for wives of sex addicts. Your husband can receive counsel from other husbands in the same boat with encouragement, advice on how to deal with certain issues and a great support network. Wives can recieve online counsel, advices, messages and testimonies, help and advice on how to get through this ordeal. Please become a member and tell your story. Not only is it healing for yourself but so healing for other wives who may be in the same boat as you. Sometimes just knowing that your not alone helps so much.
I am the wive of a sex addict and my husband is in his healing journey. He’s been 15 months without viewing any pornography, has stopped acting out and is gradually changing for the better. Don’t be fooled that this is easy; it is a long harsh road and you can’t afford to stop the fight, but please know that through the love of our Lord Jesus Christ, your life can be restored. I’m living proof. It’s been 15 months since my husbands confession and I’m still here standing strong. Much love and prayers, Caroline xxx
Carolyn, please pray for me. My husband has not confessed to anything being wrong with his addiction after 21 years of marriage.
(USA) Now, our hearts go out to you and please know that you’re in our prayers. Maybe our story and testimony will offer you and others some encouragement. Ours has been a journey that has taken us over a year to come to realize the true love and commitment we have for one another after many a prayer having been said by us both. James has battled a sex addiction for many years, even before I came into his life – and as such he partook in anything that would apply to that online, be it a number of dating sites, pornography, all the chat networks, email, text messaging and even having “friends” call him on the phone -which continued even after we got married.
For some, as was the case with James, it can start out as a low level sexual stimulant, as simple as say looking at an catalog, seeing it in a movie or even a provocative commercial on the TV. For in truth, you can see it at your local news stand and at eye level of children! It can be a person they call a “friend” and a lot of times it’s not something their partner lacks but what they feel they lack in themselves or on their own. For in truth, there can be a number of underlying factors that can trigger this kind of addiction. For James it was a result of many years of childhood abuse. He literally thought no one could or would ever truly love him. He was afraid of love, resented love and as such disconnected himself or disassociated himself from the situation entirely on a personal level to any degree as that applies to a truly monogamous commitment, as God intended.
This is not to say he didn’t have needs, because everyone does. He just sought to fulfill his needs in what he considered to be the safest way he could, that being on the internet. So, what started as a safe and intriguing curiosity or interest for him steadily turned into a deep-seated and volatile addiction. Like any addiction it got worse over time, requiring more and more stimulus to satisfy an ever growing need for more and more stimulation. It’s like a drug in that regard and if left unchecked it can lead to all kinds of problems that are hurtful to all parties involved. Sexual addiction is the worst kind of addiction, in our opinion, in that there are no support groups readily available in most communities to handle this growing problem. There’s no progressive program to deal with it, diagnose it or help someone recover from it. It’s ready available on the internet, in movies or on the TV; even in commercials. “Sex sells,” they say – and the devil is everywhere. That’s the truth of the matter.
Thus, we’re sorry to say, if your partner wants to partake in it, they will always find a way to do just that. It’s only by way of love and a sincere love for the Lord that you are able to conquer a problem such as this, because believe me we never could have done it on our own. I prayed many, many times, daily that James eyes would be open, by the Lord. I cried many a tear for the pain, sense of loss and betrayal I felt. I had no idea what was going on and I felt totally rejected and abandoned in the process. I could not understand why he could not love me as much as I obviously loved him. He said it, so why couldn’t his actions parallel that? That was the question that ate at me. That and “WHY?” I blamed myself and I started to really get a low self-esteem and personality complex about it.
James got a job in Hong Kong, a high level, executive position and we were off to a new country, where I thought we could start a new and fresh life free of any interference or distractions; especially from his friends, for James had stopped partaking in most of his online activities by then; even though, I naively didn’t know about what was taking place by then either. I just had a gnawing feeling and many suspicions.
Call it woman’s intuition, but, the truth always comes out in the end – just as it did in our situation. After all, it wasn’t as much a secret for James, as I thought. Truth is, he’d left it on the computer for me to find. kind of like a test you might say. Although I’d been abused and much worse than him, he tested me and our relationship to see if I truly loved him enough to stay and maybe even, quite possibly accept it. Not that that makes it right, but my love for him was unwavering.
I found the pornographic videos he’d downloaded from the Internet, when he went over to Hong Kong alone to interview for the position at his new job and I was devastated- and clearly did not accept it. But it didn’t stop there as one thing lead to another revelation I wasn’t prepared for, such as: the numerous dating sites he’d joined or the alternate email account he had. The lies he’d told since the beginning of our relationship were so many, he couldn’t begin to explain it all away. One lie virtually leading into the next,…”virtually,” – sorry, but no pun intended.
But, ALL OF THIS came at a price. James got very sick, being guilt ridden and overstressed at work as he work many hours and into the early mornings trying to build a new department. Without any apparent explanation his internal organs began to swell and he was hospitalized for 10 days in a foreign country – to our surprise, with no insurance as promised by his company that could be utilized there. I stayed by his side; even though my pride at times told me to leave.
The lies didn’t stop there. We returned home to the US for medical treatment on a medical leave of absence from his new job, just 5 months after our departure – and the lies continued. As he began to speak of the omissions he’d purposefully left out, I interpreted everything he had to say as lies too. Worse yet, his addiction had lead to an encounter with a married couple, before we met and we had to deal with the very real possibility that he might have fathered a child with the other woman. But thankfully that was not the case; although we both very much wanted to do the right thing, if that had turned out to be true. Thus, that being said, I was the next one to get seriously ill, after that.
James lost his job abroad and we were very much under spiritual attack and the situation got a whole lot worse, before it was ever got better. I almost left James on a few occasions as I interpreted everything he said to be an excuse. But the Lord obviously had a lot of work to do within me too to get me to listen and stop taking offense to everything that was being said. So, James’ prayers were obviously answered too. For if we could all truly strive to have a heart like His, wouldn’t the world be a better place? That’s not to say that forgiveness is a viable option for everyone and I’m sure God understands that too with him being the loving and compassionate Savior that He is.
True enough, James did hurt me and I had every right to be mad, hurt and feel violated: mind, body and soul, because I felt like I’d lost the soul mate that God had intended for me all along and a lot of time. I truly felt dead inside and void of all emotion as we both began to take anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication. But at least according to God’s love for us, James also had the right to fully understand his misdeeds and try to explain them to me; even after I’d discovered all the lies he initially told and the lies since.
So the long and short of it is there can’t be true recovery and a rebuilding process without accountability, responsibility and true remorse. One can not partake in sins of the past, bring it into their future if they want true happiness and a truly fulfilling relationship. What may seem to be an innocent, harmless or acceptable activity online can easily and quite quickly turn into a compulsion and addiction that can adversely affect every aspect of one’s life. After all, the internet is the devil’s playground, as he is always ready to try to come into our lives by any means necessary.
It’s like we were under attack, even after the biggest and most damaging revelations had been discovered, and probably at our most vulnerable point. The devil will not always use the most obvious things to enter into or manipulate our lives. But, he will attack us at our most vulnerable point – that much you can be sure of, and he will use any and everything he has to work with at his disposal.
James’ vulnerabilities, making him an easy target for attack: With James it was his fear of being unworthy of love and his fear of being hurt – so much so, that he couldn’t commit to anyone, let alone his own desire to have a meaningful relationship with another human being, after being so hurt by his abuser. For he had appointed himself protector over both himself and his mother and felt powerless to change anything given the situation of his father’s worsening mental illness and battle with Schizophrenia – and that’s a lot for any kid to take in. There was quite a bit of guilt associated with that and his obvious limitations, due to his young age and stature. Besides, it’s customary within any family unit that the father is to be the protector.
James always wanted to be a man of God. He always wanted to be a man of integrity. At one time he wanted to be a preacher and he wrote beautiful sermons, standing in for his pastor. (I know because I read them!) But later in life he suffered rejection at the hands of…for lack of a better word, “a former fiance” and an abuser who cheated on him and that made him feel very unsure of himself, making him question whether love is even a valid concept.
Tori’s vulnerabilities, making her an easy target: Whereas, with me it was my fear of being betrayed, unlovable (not good enough), or even unworthy of love, for I’d endured many years of abuse at the hands of almost everyone I knew. I’d endured abuse as a child and as an adult and in several different dynamics. I was abandoned and abused by my biological family with 5 sexual predators living in the same household as me. I went to foster care and was made a ward of the state, where I was violated yet again; then, only to be abused the third and ultimate time as child, by my adoptive family. I lost my children to an abuser and my life had been riddled with subsequent abusers ever since.
I felt like there was no end to it; even though, I remained faithful to God, was an acolyte in my church and taught Sunday school for preschool aged children. At one time, I even wanted to be a nun, thinking no one could ever love me like Him. Then, when God brought James into my life, I rejoiced at the opportunity and the wonderful gift He’d given me. I never for one second doubted James’ love for me, until that fateful day and after that doubted everything and questioned everything, up and until God helped me to see past my pain and into His promise for me.
Moral of the story being: Life is never easy and it’s not without it’s lessons and the devil always knows what he has to work with even if we don’t, even if we’re in denial or not prepared to see the portals that have been created for him to enter into our lives. But he also knows he is weak in the eyes of God and that makes him work even that much harder when people turn away from sin. So, don’t think you are free of his grips when you begin the recovery process. Work more diligently than ever and stay the course, relying on God to help see you through. Stay in the Word!
James is in counseling now and I am committed to standing by him in his efforts to overcome his sexual addiction and his tendency towards compulsive lying, which is a whole issue unto itself, as the compulsion to lie requires both compassion and understanding too. For it is not by way of condemnation that one is going to overcome it and there is a fine line between enabling a person and offering support. But much like repenting one’s sins, the compulsion to lie requires one to admit to it; thereto, striving to do it no more, much like repenting one’s sins to the Lord and you have to stand on a good foundation and stay in the Word of God to achieve this, remembering the scriptures like Phil 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” which applies to us both or anyone dealing with an issue such as this. For it is not by way of our own strength (or pride) that recovery is possible but only by way of God.
With God’s help, James has opened up to me a great deal and even a little more with each passing day. I’ve learned to listen with discernment, not being judgmental, but realizing we’ve got a long way to go to work through this process, as thereto God has been and will always be with me and us in this situation. For He is our only source of light through the darkness and whereas worldly counselors might fail, He will not. So, just like us, always turn to him and stay in the Word of God, living accord to the Word of God everyday. That’s why we would say, when facing a problem such as this, it’s not enough to go to church every time the doors are open. You like us, might consider making Bible study a part of your everyday life, because there is strength in the Word and it helps reinforce us, in knowing that every day is a battle (it’s spiritual warfare) and we need God to overcome this and all things.
It’s so important for anyone that is battling any kind of addiction that stresses their marriage, relationship, livelihood or otherwise to seek out the proper counseling or resources that it’s going to take to overcome this condition. We’ve all been given free will and it’s our responsibility to make choices that are beneficial to not only ourselves but our loved ones or those we take into our midst. Whereas, the devil’s only objective is to kill, steal and destroy. So, with God’s help this too we shall overcome and please know we’re praying for you all too, because quite honestly a lot of your stories brought us to tears and a lot of them offered us encouragement too. Where ever this journey takes you, we pray you arrive safe in the assurance of God’s love for you and we wish you peace, love and joy. Thanks for listening and God bless you! :D :D ~ Tori & James
(INDIA) Book: “Every Man’s Battle“