Written by our director, Matt Cline
From time to time, people ask me this question: “Why did you start an organization focused on...that?”
Other times, it gets personal in a hurry. I met a friend's girlfriend for the first time and she asked what Restored Ministries was about. When I told her, she replied with the second thing she'd ever said to me: "Did you used to watch pornography?"
I asked her if she gets that personal that fast with every new person she meets. We all laughed.
It wasn't always like that though. Sometimes it’s hard to even say the word ‘pornography,’ let alone admit that it’s a got a grip on us.
It took me eight years to tell anyone. My heart rate had to have been over 200bpm leading up to the first moment of confession. I still remember the feeling of it pounding in my chest.
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...
Written by Braden Hafner. Braden works for FamilyLife Canada and partners with Restored Ministries in multiple ways, including co-hosting the Pure Victory Podcast.
My wife, a teacher, often tells me stories about her students. At times, her stories brings me back to when I was a student and I wonder if I was the subject of after-school stories from one of my teachers to their spouse.
“This one guy named Braden, he’s making my hair turn grey!”
“Honey, I HAVE to tell you what Braden did today…”
As a teenager I had a mentality of self-preservation that played itself out in avoiding responsibility.
In High School, I considered it a “win” to talk my way out of discipline with an authority figure, or to avoid getting marks docked off an assignment that I had handed in late to a teacher. Avoiding consequences was an ongoing mandate in my life at that point.
Now that I am older and more mature,...
“It’s better to watch porn than to cheat.”
I do not believe I am the only man who heard those words as a kid.
I was taught this from a young age. My dad used to look at playboys, while my mom got my brother and I ready for church (my dad is now a saved man who loves Jesus and his wife the right way). I remember the first pornographic video I found in a folder on the family desktop. I was ten years old.
That first scar is so deep that my psyche or the enemy starts to replay it in my head whenever I feel hurts of any kind.
I was watching porn at least once a day by age 12. The actors portrayed that anger was cured with raw, primal passion during sex. Sadness and heartbreak was cured with an orgasm. Giving yourself physically was transactional for deeds or a service.
What started off as natural curiosity turned into my only coping mechanism for any uncomfortable emotions. It was never talked about in my home.
“After all this time, can I actually get free from my lust?”
The man looked at me with desperation as we locked eyes in a local library. He was 67 years old and had been addicted to porn for over 50 years.
When he was 45, most of the women he’s now watching were in diapers. Some weren’t even born. He’d already been hooked on porn for 30 years.
A father to adult children.
A man desperate for hope.
The longer a man stays in his addiction, the more he believes it’ll be part of his life forever.
This is the lie that sounds logical in our minds, but the truth is, God’s thoughts are higher than ours and His wisdom is opposite to the logic our circumstances lead us to believe. We need to learn what He thinks and what His approach is to getting free from sin.
Getting free from a sexual addiction is not as hard as we think it is when we’re in the battle. We...
When the NHL shut down, COVID-19 started to take over our world. The dominoes fell in the days to come with a decline in commerce, entertainment, and any sense of normal we thought we had.
Not everything declined though. Fear skyrocketed and toilet paper sales went through the roof.
Oh and one other thing - the daily count of emails I was receiving.
I help people overcome porn addictions and the past two months has been busy.
Messages have landed in my inbox from Finland, the USA, and all over Canada.
“I need help!”
“I want to divorce my husband over porn.”
“My wife thinks my porn problem is worse than it actually is…”
Husbands and wives are hurting all over the world, searching for answers to break free from porn. COVID-19 has given people a prime opportunity to either sink further into the trap of addiction or take a stand against it and finally get free. I hope, if you...
“I’m confused. I went to two Christian counsellors and they told me that as long as I wasn’t looking at porn, masturbation was okay. Then I came to your conference and multiple speakers said it wasn’t in God’s will for me. Can you help me understand?”
This meeting was with a man who, like so many, felt shame over masturbation, but had been told it was okay and didn’t know why it wasn’t mentioned in the Bible.
How can you say God has an opinion on it when the Bible doesn’t say the word?
God’s Word is not a book full of do’s and don’ts. God is not a dictator primarily interested in us following His every rule.
What God is, is love. He is interested in relationship with us. He is interested in knowing us and having us know Him.
Married couples will tell you that after decades of marriage, they’re still finding things about each other. Learning about the character and the makeup of the one you’re...
Nobody goes into marriage without the dream that their love will last forever.
Every girl wants to be solely loved, cherished and desired by the love of her life - the one she has given herself to. No woman dreams of having the sexual intimacy she shares with her husband be only one of multiple sexual outlets he pursues. No woman dreams of a man acting out habitually with pornography, let along with another woman.
The whole idea of marital intimacy is to create a close union that is exclusive and mutually enjoyed. It is within that intimacy a woman feels safe, secure, and significant.
Yet, the reality is, many partner's dreams have been shattered by the discovery of their mate’s sexual integrity issues. And their vow, spoken or unspoken, “to love and to cherish till death do us part,” turns into a shrapnel of shattered dreams, surrounded by a typhoon of hopelessness and despair.
There is a collection of physical, emotional, mental & spiritual...
Danny heard the sound that half of the world’s iPhone owners hear when they receive a text.
“Hey bro, I’m signing up for Covenant Eyes. It will email all of the websites I visit to my accountability partner. I need to stop watching porn. Can I put your email down to register you as my accountability partner?”
‘Man,’ Danny thought. ‘I’ve been on both ends of this conversation multiple times before and it’s never worked. I wonder – if porn sites show up on the report that gets emailed to me, does he want me to call him? If I call him, what should I say? I want the best for Steve, but how do I actually help him?
Danny said, “Steve, of course you can put my email address down, but if I’m going to be your accountability partner, I’m going to actually be your partner. What do you want this partnership to look like?”
“Well…..you’ll get a report of the websites I visit.”
The level of devastation depends on who you ask.
Covenant Eyes will tell you the number is 64%. Pure Desire Ministries says 68%. Either way, it’s devastating.
This is the number of Christian men who view pornography at least once a month.
The biggest porn site in the world says that up to 35% of it’s members are women, so this isn't a gender specific game.
Worryingly, only 7% of churches claim to have programs addressing pornography.
The tipping point for pornography occured long ago. It took over society with hurricane force and didn’t stop outside the church doors. Here we are, two decades after the web started making porn more available, hardcore, and private than ever - and churches may not have caught wind of the destruction.
Or have they? In my opinion, the church relating to porn is a lot like the Israelite army. They knew Goliath was big, strong, and scary. They knew the damage he would cause. But they were too terrified to step onto the battlefield,...