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.)


The third and final front is the one that we have most neglected. Too many people have good intentions spiritually and even have the right people around them, but they fail to find victory over their porn addiction. They don't have the tools they need to retrain their brains and break from their addiction. But now they do.

A Smartphone App for Porn Addicts

A friend reached out to me the other day. Larry (not his real name) has been a long time porn addict. He has a faith background but would admit that he has not been walking with God very passionately. He has struggled with guilt and shame and has (for years) had a desire to get his porn addiction under control. He, like many men, has had little success.

One Man's Experience with the Brain Buddy App.

Monday

Heard of the app BRAINBUDDY? Just installed it and trashed my secret stash. Had a big weepy talk with Jesus, and felt instant clarity. Not that an APP could help me change my mind, especially with Internet skills and ADHD and a dopamine desire... but this time it's happening. I blame porn for most of the problems in our marriage. Distractions are one thing but distractions with benefits are close to impossible to ignore. Please pray for me!

Tuesday

This is the first app I've stuck to. They explain how to rewire the brain, and the direct correlation with dopamine + ADHD is telling me that if I can get this part of my brain in order, I bet ADHD will be nonexistent. I'm totally shocked at the pure honesty that's flowing out of me about this. If you play with the app, you'll quickly see there's no hiding. God is good!

Thursday

I've seriously never used something so powerful. The typical cynic in me says "it's just an app; I'm smarter than these DESIGN PATTERNS" (the ADD brain)—but that's not changed ANYTHING. God is working in me—no other explanation. I cannot tell you the last time I had enough faith to believe that I could change something in myself. I CAN DO ALL THINGS.

Saturday

Still holding strong! God is working in me brother! There were times when my wife would leave the room—it was my one chance to check several sites for updates, etc. ... she just left the room as I'm working, and instead of opening an incognito tab on the browser, I opened the app—it was a literal TUG—a quick spark that said "she's leaving the room; do something evil." But I didn't.

Monday

Yesterday she was out of the room all day. Porn didn't cross my mind/monitor/phone ONE TIME—or even the desire for it as I'm suggesting here. But boy, I was distracted! I spent about four hours on social media, on work projects, email and back to sorting articles, tagging, filing... it was ADHD ON FIRE.

The "life tree" in the app shows it's healthy! Last week it was a rainy sapling. I'm doing this!

It's a hard thing to put my finger on why the app is working so well. I've used ALLLLLL todo apps. I imagine it's because there's such a lifetime pattern of guilt and the more I learn about this—the more I see the benefit.

Note that this is not a Christian app. It is recommended as an effective tool to supplement your life in Christ and your interaction within a community of support. There may be a few references to "meditation" so I would obviously encourage you to do that within the context of meditation on Scripture, your prayer life, and interaction with the living God who is with you wherever you go.

One final word: As much as I'm falling over myself about this new resource, I'm not getting paid to do so. I just feel like the developers have created a much-needed tool that is long overdue. I have seen God work in the life of my friend through this App in just a few weeks and I am hopeful that it might help others, as well.

You can break free from your addiction to porn! God loves you just as you are and He is willing and able to help you. Perhaps this valuable little tool will start making your smartphone a part of the solution instead of key player in the problem!

Adapted from infoforfamilies.com, a ministry founded by Barrett and Jenifer JohnsonAfter serving in the local church for 25 years, Barrett and Jenifer launched INFO for Families as a ministry designed to encourage people through speaking, personal coaching and resource development. Barrett served for 15 years in youth ministry before serving for 8 years as the Family Minister at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Atlanta, one of the largest churches in the South. He has degrees from Texas A&M University and Southwestern Seminary, but he and Jenifer have received their best education through the no-holds-barred nature of everyday family life.

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