For many people across this country, being free from the lure of sexual fantasy seems like an impossibility. From a young age, we have become accustomed to falling into sexual sin and have all but given up hope for freedom.
The battle against sexual sin no longer exists for many people. They have thrown in the towel and have conceded defeat. The voices all around them reinforce this defeatist mentality: “If at first you don’t succeed, give up.”
The deep conviction at XXXchurch.com is that you can have great victory in your battle against sexual sin. People across the globe are making choices today that are reigniting their hope in a better future that is free from the repetitive cycle of sexual sin. Each of these people has taken seriously Paul’s direction:
But you can’t say that our bodies were made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies. … Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body (1 Corinthians 6:13, 18 NLT).
When I met Steve, he was in the midst of a huge storm. After nearly two decades of marriage, Steve was watching his world unravel around him. Not unlike most men, Steve had falsely believed that once he was married the battle for sexual purity would subside. He quickly realized that the battle may weaken for a short period, but it comes back with greater force and intensity. This struggle led him to develop relationships outside of his marriage and to find comfort in the images and videos on his computer screen.
I believe the main differences between Steve and most men today are:
Using pornography is like using training wheels. Many men rely on the impurity to get them through today without a thought about what it is preparing them for. Lack of opportunity is the only thing that has kept them from acting out the images and videos with real women. Porn has trained their minds to look at women as objects. Their minds have imagined what it would be like to enter into a fantasy. They are prepared, but the opportunity has yet to present itself.
The addiction, the struggle and the battle are still secret. You may struggle every day with sexual purity, and you may be the only one who really knows the depth of the problem. When you meet in an accountability group, confronting others and being confronted with their questions, you can easily play it off like a minor issue or a subtle disturbance.
This approach feels safe. It keeps help at arm’s length. It also cements a future of deeper pain and brokenness.
When we live with secret sin, opportunity lurks around every corner. The opportunity to dive deeper into fantasy and immorality comes, and we fall without much of a fight. Recognizing our sin, we ask for forgiveness, pledge to never do it again and then continue the fight in isolation.
If you find yourself in this cycle today, please — I beg you — step out of the secrecy and confront the elephant in front of you. This battle is all around you in the secret lives of our fellow Christians.
Jake Larson is a co-founder of Fireproof Ministries, an organization that has reached millions through the online ministry XXXchurch.com that offers resources and information about pornography addiction. He lives with his wife and two children in California.
Not on Your Own
I believe that you will never overcome a struggle or addiction to pornography on your own. It will not happen. In all the years I have spent talking to people in the midst of the struggle, not one person has ever reported overcoming the struggle by willpower alone. Yet this is the main approach to fleeing sexual immorality. Satan has a grip on our minds and has captured our hearts with this false god. The battle is so intense because of the truth Paul highlights — your bodies “were made for the Lord” (1 Corinthians 6:13 NLT).
Satan is holding our fleshly bodies in a grip so intense that it takes the power and blood of Jesus to free us. “The Lord cares about our bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:13 NLT), and He cares about your victory over pornography. The question a pornography-addicted person must answer is simple and yet difficult: “Will you surrender your desires and struggles to Jesus and a trusted friend?” There is no better time than now to come out of the darkness and into the light.
In an effort to assist people in achieving success, XXXchurch.com is focused on awareness, prevention and recovery. We know that without Jesus, this battle is all but lost; however, with Jesus, the future is bright.
XXXchurch.com offers a variety of resources that include online workshops and X3watch, accountability software available in a free version and a paid version. Once installed on your computer or mobile device, X3watch tracks all the websites you view and emails an accountability partner about any questionable sites. This helps reveal the secret of pornography, bringing it out into the light.
Freedom is possible. Jesus came for freedom. May you accept and live in the forgiveness and grace of Jesus.