Christians and Pornography Addiction

Christians-and-Pornography-AddictionAddiction to Internet pornography is a growing epidemic among men and women. Far from a harmless pastime or an avenue of sexual outlet, porn consumption quickly becomes compulsive, controlling the thoughts and actions of the viewer. For what it does to the user’s brain, body and relationships, porn addiction deserves deep concern.

When it comes to pornography addiction, Christians are certainly not exempt, and the misconception that Christians don’t struggle just as much as non-Christians often impedes them from getting the help they need. The problem is not frequently spoken of in sermons or at church gatherings, leaving the believer to think he or she is the only one who struggles. This creates the kind of isolation and shame that is a breeding ground for continued addiction.

Addiction and Deception

An addiction, such as a pornography addiction, often forces the user into a pattern of lying. Why addicts lie is, in some ways, a conundrum, but in many ways it is not. As the literature of Alcoholics Anonymous states, “the deception of others is nearly always rooted in the deception of ourselves.” We hide the truth from ourselves because we cannot bear to face who we are or the powerlessness that we feel. We believe that by strength of mind or will we can overcome the issue, that one day we will find the solution, but we are reluctant to admit that the problem has entirely defeated us. We internalize the lies to such a degree that we accept them as true. And from those lies we lie to others. This is called denial. And it characterizes addiction. The denial and dishonesty only adds to the damage that a porn addiction inflicts upon relationships.

The Issue of Sin

For the Christian, pornography is more than a bad habit; it is sexual immorality, lust and sin. This may sound harsh, but sugarcoating the issue or minimizing its impact does not help the addict and it doesn’t solve the problem. Porn addiction not only kills intimacy and injures partners, it also steeps the believer in shame and drives him or her away from God. It is not that God rejects the addict, but that the addiction sets up an idol of worship and causes the believer to reject God. In short order, porn becomes the addict’s master, controlling his or her life.

It will help the Christian addict to remember that though the urge to continue viewing porn and masturbating is strong, Christ has provided the power to overcome sin and temptation.

Healing and Recovering

This does not mean, however, that outside help will not be required. Many Christian addicts often assume, mistakenly, that if they pray and beg and plead, they’ll be miraculously healed; if they are not, they simply aren’t praying hard enough. But God has a plan for each believer’s growth and restoration and in many cases it is a process over time rather than a spontaneous act. God has the power to work miracles, but his miracles of transformation often take place over the long term.

God’s plan for you may involve a more rigorous recovery program, tight accountability and deep emotional healing. Be open to what God would show you and the means he would use to heal and restore you. If you are a Christian struggling with porn addition, know that the Lord is on your side and waiting to help you. Speak with a pastor, elder or counselor at your church to begin plotting your road to recovery and your freedom in Christ.