I (Jeff) am a regular blogger on www.XXXchurch.com. Sometimes they use content from our Porn to Purity site for their blogs. Other times I have opportunities to write fresh articles directly for the site. For the last several weeks, I and several other bloggers have been writing on group of key questions:
1. Why am I Looking at Porn?
2. Why can’t I stop my sexual behaviors?
3. What’s wrong with me? Why do I feel so bad?
4. What can I do to stop my sexual behaviors?
5. Now that I’ve started my purity journey, what’s next?
WHAT DO I DO TO STOP?
Alternate Title: “Why Han Solo and the Lone Ranger Could Never Get the Help They Needed”
So you’re struggling with pornography and acting out sexually and you want to get out. Like many of us, you have probably tried many times to stop and been met with failure and frustration. You wonder “Why is this so hard?”, “Why can’t I stop?”, “What’s the key to stopping?”
There is no magic key to stopping, but guaranteed, you’re going to have to do something new.
SOLO AIN’T WORKING
Our first attempts to stop our sexual behaviors are solo. We try to stop on our own. We try to control it. We make new commitments and vows to ourselves and to the Lord. We ask forgiveness, repent, rededicate our life, surrender to the ministry… whatever.
It ain’t working is it? Let’s face it, we have a lot of experience at “what not to do”. Something different has to happen.
Here’s the secret: you can’t break free from pornography and your sexual struggles alone.
I wish it were not true, but our problem is too big for us. Our sexual struggles have rooted into multiple levels of our life. They are impossible for us to understand, diagnose and treat on our own. Plus, our real problems are heart problems – that’s God’s territory.
We need a partnership with God and with skilled, caring people to help us break free.
HANG OUT IN GALATIANS AND JAMES FIRST
There are two verses we should spend some time with when it comes to stopping our sexual habits:
Galatians 6:1,2 (NIV)– Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
James 5:16 (NIV) – Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
We don’t like to share our junk. Hey, who does? But God’s Word is very clear that:
1. If you are trapped in sin, you need to get around spiritual men who can help you.
2. The goal is restoration and helping you get healthy.
3. The only way we can be healed from our struggles is through confessing to others. God, yes, but James tells us specifically to confess to others. God works some of his healing through others.
4. You cannot do this alone. You need skilled help, support, discipleship and friends who will walk with you in this battle.
BUT I’M NOT COMFORTABLE AROUND OTHER PEOPLE
If you have spent the last 5, 10, 20 years in isolation and hiding your sexual sins, of course you’re not going to feel comfortable around others. Like most sexual strugglers, you are very immature when it comes to relationships, going to others for help, sharing your struggles, and working on the stuff inside you.
You have to figure out how serious you are about getting well. It’s not going to happen solo. It’s not going to happen if you keep doing what you’re doing. You have to learn to lean on God and others in a new way.
God has designed us for “one another”. We need each other. We are designed to love and connect. God said in Genesis “it’s not good for man to be alone.” He wasn’t just talking about getting married. He was talking about our need for “one another”. There are so many “one another” passages in the Bible, I can’t list them all.
Possibly the biggest lesson you can learn in your sexual purity journey is how to begin connecting with others in a healthy way.
START VIRTUAL, BUT MOVE TOWARD FACE-TO-FACE
www.XXXchurch.com is a place you can begin connecting with others and finding help. Start there. Get involved in the forums. Reach out.
But the real help comes when you move toward face-to-face relationships. A virtual friend and a virtual Body of Christ is great. It’s a start. It’s better than nothing. But you need real people you can talk with and have coffee with. You need real friends, ministers, counselors, accountability partners, & support group members who can walk with you.
Take a step of faith today, and reach out to “one another”.
email@example.com or @porntopurity on Twitter
Jeff Fisher authors the blog www.porntopurity.com with his wife Marsha. They have been in recovery for the last 4 years and have seen God transform them and their marriage during this difficult process. Jeff podcasts regularly on the “Top Tips For Sexual Purity Podcast” (available through I-Tunes).