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4 Keys to a Porn-Free Life

Uncategorized Aug 17, 2020

Written by Sheldon Dean. Sheldon works for FamilyLife Canada. To hear Sheldon's story, check out his Pure Victory Podcast episode here.

 

You ever notice that there is a cost to everything we do?

 

That every ‘yes’ to one thing is a ‘no’ to something else?

 

When I say yes to hanging out with my kids (which is a good thing), it means I have to say no to something else. There is a cost to my ‘yes.’

 

When we say ‘yes’ to pornography, we are saying ‘no’ to other things that would bring us life.

 

Yes, even on the free sites, there is a cost when we turn to porn.

 

So, since it is something we cannot escape, here is an acronym using the word ‘COST’ that we can remember in the fight against pornography.

 

C - CAUSE

What causes us to turn to porn?

 

Is it stress, bitterness, or disappointment? Maybe pride, shame, fleshly desires, or a lack of self-control? There could be a void or emptiness in our lives that porn fills for just a moment.

 

This is just to name a few. What is it for you?

 

Ultimately, we need to take the time to identify what the cause of our behaviour is. When we are able to identify what causes us to turn to porn, we can begin to set up a battle plan to help us in our journey to freedom.

 

O - OTHERS

We have to get others involved in our journey. So often we try to handle this issue on our own. We think we are the only one struggling with lustful behaviour.

 

Maybe we are scared to open up to others or have been hurt in the past when we’ve done so. If the latter is part of your story, I am sorry that happened to you and I know it can make it even harder to open up to someone again, but please don’t stop looking and praying for the right person. By opening up to others and asking for help, we’ll get the benefit of having others mentor us in the journey to overcoming pornography. 

 

Find someone who does not have this as part of their life. Maybe they used porn in the past or maybe they never have, but either way, find someone who is not using pornography. This way, they’ll keep you to a high standard and be an example of freedom you can look to and learn from.

 

I suggest asking three people. There is no magic number here, but I say three because when temptation comes, one of the three people will usually be available to talk with. Whether that be via text, or phone, or whatever avenue you choose, one of the three most likely will be available to respond in the moment. If you don’t know who to ask, start with prayer. Ask God who you can ask to be part of this journey with you and see who he brings to mind.

 

S - SCRIPTURE

I am not sure of your beliefs or your thoughts on the Bible, but one thing I cannot deny is how life changing the words in that book are. The Bible contains more than just helpful, inspiring, and encouraging words. It is full of life-changing, direction-setting, purpose-giving words. There is power in that book. When it comes to pornography or any sin that we are struggling with for that matter, the Bible should be our go to.

 

The Center for Bible Engagement surveyed 40,000 people on social behaviour and found that those who read the Bible at least 4 days a week are 61% less likely to engage in pornography.

 

What would happen if we turned to Scripture every time temptations arose or the urge to turn to pornography came up?

 

There is a story in Matthew 4:1-11 & Luke 4:1-13 where Satan tempts Jesus three times. One of the things I find fascinating in the story is how Jesus responds to Satan in the exchange.

 

He doesn’t enter into conversation, he doesn’t tell himself to be strong or to just bear the burden. Instead, Jesus immediately responds with scripture. What a great example for us to follow. This means we are going to need to spend some time in the scriptures, memorizing verses, and arming ourselves so when the temptations come we are equipped to turn away from them.

 

James 4:7-8 says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.”

 

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 says, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God.”

 

We can memorize these scriptures so that when temptations come, we have these in our minds and heart and are ready to win the battle.

 

T - THOUGHTS

Ever notice how our thoughts can control our mood or our attitude?

 

For example, if I am walking into a business meeting and my thoughts are on how I dislike meetings, or how a specific person in that meeting bothers me, you already know what my attitude is going to be like. Not very good!

 

I have been realizing how much control my thoughts have on me - and it’s no different when it comes to pornography.

 

Here’s a quick test: If I say, “Don’t think of a pink elephant,” what did you just think of? A pink elephant? I knew it!

 

So if we tell ourselves to not think of pornography, what are we most likely going to think of?

 

It’s a nasty cycle.

 

But what would our lives and thoughts look like if we applied what the Bible says?

 

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2).

 

“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8).

 

Take a moment to think about the satisfaction of making pure choices and having a life free from porn. What does it feel like?

 

Imagine living without the guilt and shame that pornography brings. Imagine the clear conscience you would have towards your spouse or future spouse, the improved relationship with people in your life. Most importantly think about the eternal implications for choosing Jesus and not pornography.

 

Imagine now, for 5-10 seconds, what that would be like.

 

When we begin to submit our thoughts to God and dwell on scripture, we don’t let our thoughts go down the path that temptations and urges lead towards, but rather we maintain a healthy, godly way of thinking.

 

There is a cost to everything. Don’t let pornography cost you anymore of your life. Identify the cause, get others involved, use scripture, control your thoughts and begin the journey to living a porn free life.

 

For seven years I’ve been porn-free. The peace I have in my family, the relationship I have with God, and the joy I have in my life are so worth the cost of getting free.

 

I now get to enjoy everything that porn cost me - and I’m never going back.

 

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