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Pornography: A Deadly Addiction
Why do some become addicted? What are some signs that indicate addiction? How does healing and recovery begin?

“I will be careful to lead a blameless life. . . .
I will not look with approval on anything that is vile. . . .
I will have nothing to do with what is evil”
(Psalm 101:2–4).

One of the worst addictions of this present age is pornography. If you are flirting with this devastating addiction, or counselling others who have already crossed the line, this information will help you understand the core issues related to sexual sin.

Pornography is addictive and disables intimacy between a husband and wife.

Startling statistics

The worldwide pornography industry is huge, reporting yearly revenue of $57 billion. The Barna Group found that 38 percent of all adults believe looking at pictures of nudity or explicit sexual behaviour is morally acceptable.

Pornography on the internet is rampant. Some experts say 60 percent of all website visits are sexual in nature, while some estimate the number is closer to 75 percent. A survey conducted by Queen’s University in Belfast reports that nearly one-third of workers admitted to downloading sexually explicit content while on the job. In 2000, MSNBC.com estimated that as many as 80 percent of visitors to sex sites put their relationships and jobs at risk due to the amount of time they spent tracking down erotica on the Web.

Serious issue

Pornography is addictive and disables intimacy between a husband and wife. Its greatest causes are loneliness and unresolved emotional conflict in marriage. Thus, internet sex serves as a substitute for, or an escape from, marital intimacy. Since pornography is sinful, the person’s relationship with Jesus is also dramatically affected.

We can look for signs of pornography addiction in those we love. Indictors include emotional or sexual withdrawal, and a preoccupation with the computer, especially late at night. One woman says she knows her husband is watching pornography when he grows emotionally cold and gets angry over little things.

Solutions

Sexual sin thrives in isolation – it grows in the heart of an unhappy spouse and in the darkness of a lukewarm heart. For those who struggle with sexual addiction, seclusion is death. We aren’t meant to be Lone Ranger Christians.

The only way to dissolve the shame of sexual sin and begin the process of breaking free is to expose our failures. Proverbs 28:13 says, “Those who conceal their sins do not prosper, but those who confess and renounce them find mercy.” Change does not occur without asking God and others for help.

The following are some suggestions for healing and recovery:

  • Confess and repent.
  • Destroy all pornographic material, including adult movies.
  • Meet regularly with a support group to share and pray for each other.
  • Meet with one person on a weekly basis.
  • Make daily phone calls to an accountability partner.
  • Be willing to face the pain and emptiness within.
  • Resolve trauma from childhood, such as sexual or physical abuse.
  • Ask your spouse to install a porn blocker on your computer. (See Resources, below.)
  • Encourage your pastor to preach on pornography at least once a year.

In the end, finding freedom from sexual addiction doesn’t come from reading books, attending support groups, receiving counselling, or gaining biblical knowledge. These are important tools God uses as part of the healing process but, in themselves, don’t set the struggler free.

Until the addict fills the hole in his soul with something bigger and more attractive than sexual sin, the gnawing emptiness inside will continue to drive him to pornography. The inner spiritual vacuum must be satisfied before life-changing freedom can occur. And God must do the filling.

Originally published in the Mennonite Brethren Herald, October 2006.

 

 
 
 
 

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