1 Practical Way to Kill Your Porn Addiction

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You may not be struggling but this tool could help someone who is.
You may not be struggling but this tool could help someone who is. (Charisma archives)

Many have said that porn is the most destructive thing in our world today. It undermines relationships, derails spiritual growth, and leads to a life of isolation and shame.

God wired a man with the desire for sexual intimacy so that he would be motivated to enter a lifetime commitment with a wife. His interest in sex should encourage him to love and pursue his wife every day. However, with the easy accessibility to porn, this foundation of marriage is broken.

Likewise, widespread porn use among our single Christian young men has resulted in far fewer of them choosing to be career missionaries. The shame and guilt they feel makes them feel like they are unusable by God. International Mission Board President David Platt puts it this way: "The reason the mission field is dominated by so many single women is because pornography has such a grip on men that they are too weak to follow Christ's call."

If people know it is bad for them, why do they continue to use it? If they know it has the power to undermine their most important relationships, why do they keep going back to it?

The answer is that it is an addiction.

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We all enjoy a good dopamine rush. Participating in rewarding activities sets off the pleasure centers of our brain and encourages us to do those things some more. Porn does exactly that. Unfortunately, porn use requires very little personal effort so the dopamine rush is easy to come by (no pun intended). And as with any other addictive power in our life, it requires more and more of the "drug" to get the same high.

Do something long enough and neural pathways are formed in our brains that make it harder and harder to break the habit. Mix in the "upper" experience like cocaine and the "downer" experience like heroin, and porn makes for a deadly mix.

Fighting Porn Addiction on Three Fronts

I have long believed that there are three fronts on which one must fight sexual addiction. A person must be committed to authentic spiritual renewal. He must be held accountable in community. And he must have a plan to retrain his brain.

Spiritually, people wanting to quit using porn must have a true heart of repentance, be devoted to to renewing their minds, and be committed to daily walking in the Spirit. Fundamentally, any sin is a spiritual issue and must be dealt with as such.

Accountability is important simply because we know that life change takes place best in community. Porn addicts hoping to break free need to have others who know their struggle and who are committed to walking through their restoration with them. Bringing things into the light is one of the quickest ways to make the enemy flee. (If you want some help talking about your porn addiction with your spouse, my friend Hans Molegraaf at Love Revolution has written a great post about that here.)

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