|Help For Pornography Addicts|
Help For Pornography Addicts
If either you or a loved one has become addicted to pornography, there is help available. You DO NOT have to continue in slavery to pornography!
This first section will deal with my own advice regarding this addiction to the addict. The second section will have a host of services that can help you. Some of the helps listed here are counseling services, accountability and content monitoring software services or self-help books. I highly suggest contacting some of these self-help services as I have already written out here everything I would tell you. There are services for those who are addicted and for their families listed below.
"Wisdom is knowing reality and adjusting yourself to it"
(1) Tell someone you trust about the addiction. The power of sin is in its darkness. When sin is brought out into the light, it loses a lot of steam. The best idea is to enlist an accountability partner with whom you will promise to be honest. The Word of God tells us that we need to confess our sins not just to the Lord, but to each other. If you are married, you need to make confession to your spouse. If you are a minor, you need to confess to your parents. Whoever has been wronged by your actions needs a confession. That brings up another issue: is pornography a victimless problem?
(2) Pornography is not victimless. The addict is the first victim. I will discuss that in more detail below. Spouses are victims. If married, you have left the sanctity of the marital vows. What? Just by looking. Un huh. Jesus said that the sin has been committed when the mind is engaged, remember? The action is just the result of the actual sin. If unmarried, you have already cheated your future mate. All matters regarding our sexuality were created for a two-fold purpose within marriage. One is for procreation. The other is for a sort of bond or cement to the marriage vows. God's Word is clear on His created purpose for human sexuality. There are clear boundaries. Going against the created purpose of the universe is butting one's head against reality. There WILL be consequences. Just like in an athletic game, staying within the boundaries allows you to not only keep playing, but to win. Those who continually go out of bounds either get sidelined or lose. They will never be happy or find any joy in it. Love is not a feeling, but a daily act of commitment to the well-being of the beloved. By its very nature addiction to porn is a self-centered, self-absorbed way of life. It's all about you. That was not God's intent for marital love and commitment.
(3) Pornography is based purely on fantasy. Reality can never match the fantasy. Again, one is living against reality here. There will be an escalating desire for the fantasy to become reality. Eventually escalation becomes necessary. Pornography acts like heroin on the brain. The viewer may start off with very mild porn, but that will cease to excite. They will slowly move into harder forms. When that ceases to excite, some form of acting out will happen. It's all about choosing reality over fantasy. The reality is fairly dull. This is why so many are disappointed in marriage. Porn addicts are inordinately affected with this issue because the fantasy has become an alternative reality that can and will never be true.
(4) The problem is not in your hormones or your body, but the enemy struggling for control of your mind. The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Church in Rome, made a statement that is little heeded in our pleasure oriented, self-centered world. He said (this is from the NIV translation), "Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your MIND." This is not a quick fix. Transformation requires something out of you. Notice that the key to transformation is in changing your MIND. You see, this particular problem stems from the fact that you are able view women as objects of your pleasure. Transformation comes by changing your mind on this. The problem is in your viewpoint.
You begin by telling yourself the truth - that all human beings, whether male or female, are direct creations of a Holy God, created in His image and that they were not placed on this earth for your satisfaction. As you begin to tell yourself this truth over and over again, you will be unable to continue lusting after the fantasies you have created in your mind because reality will have set in. You will see that nothing in what you are doing now is satisfying and that working towards a solid relationship that includes fidelity, faithfulness, love and respect, will be satisfying. You will begin to believe the truth so much, that even looking at the pictures will making you ill. You will no longer have to constantly be concerned about leaving it aside, it will leave you.
(5) YOU ARE NOT AN ANIMAL (no matter what drivel they teach at school), at the mercy of your hormones and physical sensations. God has instilled in humans the ability to think and to reason. In making ourselves to be slaves of the physical, we must put all reason aside and become as animals. This is not how we were created. Naturalism says that we are an accident of nature and just a higher order of animal. Creation says that we are distinct, not only as a species, but as each individual. Not only are you not an animal without reason, the person you are looking at is not an animal. At this point, this is how you are treating them. The pleasure you are getting here and now is going to have future repercussions - not only future, but eternal. Nothing we do is for the here and now. Everything thought and action effects eternity (more on that in a moment).
(6) Understand the difference between the immediate and the eternal. Every word, every deed, indeed, every thought has eternal consequences. Again, naturalism has taught you to live in the immediate because there can be no eternal. However, the reality is that there is an eternal and you are part of it. Every thought you have in darkness has negative eternal value because every thought is going to work it's way outward in how you view and treat others. In reality, your immediate desire is not important in the entire scope of things. Once you get a grip on that reality, you are more willing to reassess what you are thinking. One of the best quotes I have ever read said that, "wisdom is knowing reality and adjusting yourself to it."
(7) I hope you will begin to take these steps. One more thing, you must realize that this is a PROCESS. It will take time. God is going to be more patient with you if you are willing to do this than you will be with yourself. When we come to Christ, God has to remold us into the image of Christ. Sin has marred the original image. The process is lifelong and sometimes very painful, for both Him and His clay. C.S. Lewis made a great analogy. He said that when God begins that process, we sometimes don't mind too much because He begins with the seemingly larger, but actually smaller issues. He sweeps house, takes down pictures, covers up a few holes here and there. Not too bad. Eventually though, He starts into the things that are not quite so obvious. He starts tearing out walls and ripping up carpet, etc. Ouch! We think, "what on earth is He up to? That hurts!" Lewis response was that our thinking is wrong. We think he only wants to clean up His new dwelling, but He is the King of Kings. He needs to remake us, His temple, into a palace fit for Him to live in. The issue you are facing seems large, but it is one of the more obvious and actually less painful remakes you will go through in your journey to becoming like Christ. However, if you never get past it, you'll never get on to the rest of the process and remain pretty much where you are spiritually. My advice is to do whatever it takes now. Maturity is very much worth it. Eternity is very much worth it. Freedom is very much worth it. Reality is very much worth it. Human beings are very much worth it - at least Christ thought so. He was willing to take the punishment we deserved in order to bring us back into relationship with Creator God. Are you willing to begin the process of giving up fantasy for reality, maturity, eternity and for others.
(8)If you are a spouse of a porn addiction, demand counseling. It is your spousal right to expect faithfullness and it is your spousal responsibility not to allow your spouse to be caught up into such sin without great attempts at intervention. Please, please realize that the chance of escalation is enormous.
(9) If you are a parent of a porn addicted child - GET THEM COUNSELING! Those images are never going to leave their minds, but the hope is that they can stop seeing humans as objects of their own pleasure before they hurt others.
(10) If someone you know is viewing child porn, even if it is your spouse or child, the best favor you could do for them is to turn them in. This kind of issue needs special help and intervention. Again, the chance of escalation is high.
(11) Parents and Spouses: There are some steps you can take to help prevent future incidents. (1) Have the home computer in a public place (2) Frequently check the computer for spyware/adware/malware by installing an anti-spyware program. Many don't know that porn sites routinely place this stuff into computers. (3) Use a password system so that a child can't be on by themselves (4) Use a monitoring program (with the full knowledge of the addict) (5) Be careful of what gets watched on TV (partial nudity and sex scenes could certainly trigger a desire to return to porn) and make sure that magazines with sexual stories and partial nudity are not in the house. Protecting your loved ones may mean making some adjustments yourself. What doesn't bother you may bother them greatly.
Accountability Software or Content Monitoring Software or Filtered Internet Service
Covenant Eyes - this is not a filter. This software is designed for you to have an accountability partner of your choosing. It tracks every web visit and sends the information to your accountability partner. It cannot be bypassed. I could not find out whether the program can also track chat rooms and web-based email (people can receive pornography by email as well as look at websites).
X3Watch - This software keeps a list of questionable sites and tracks your web browsing. Once per month, an accountability partner of your choosing receives a report of any questionable sites you may have accessed. The information is not stored by the software maker and will be seen only by the accountability partner. The software is free.
Integrity Online Filtered Internet Service. For only $21.95 per month, you get filtered web access, 5 filtered email addresses, special homeschool features and personal web space from Integrity Online. This price is less than the basic service offered from most unfiltered service providers. Utilizing artificial intelligence, this technology instantly analyzes over 800 different parameters of each web page, determining if the content is obscene or inappropriate. A special Integrity Online block page will appear each time someone in-advertently or intentionally tries to access an inappropriate site from your computer.
Tech Mission Safe Families: "The goal of the TechMission Safe Families program is to assist parents, churches and computer centers in protecting children in at-risk communities from pornography and other dangers on the Internet. We seek to meet this objective by distributing free Internet filtering software to families in at-risk communities and by providing training and educational materials to parents, churches and community organizations on how to protect children online. We also provide resource information for adults on issues of pornography addiction, accountability and recovery."
Wise Choice: $5 per month filter that works with all ISP's and browsers. Includes accountability reporting software. Protect up to three computers with one account. Great for porn addicts as it cannot be turned off. Large groups like schools & churches can call for special rates to protect all computers. Two-week free trial.
Various Content Monitoring Solutions:
Cyber Snoop from Pearl Software: they also have a version that can be used with AOL
CYBERsitter: Records all Instant Messenger chat conversations for AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), MSN, and Yahoo Messengers. Now you can know who your kids are chatting with to ensure that they are not communicating with strangers. Provides over 30 categories of filtering making it the most complete Internet filter available. Filters are updated automatically, and there are no subscription charges. A sophisticated "content recognition" system recognizes and blocks new objectionable web sites even before they know about them. Allows parents to override blocked sites, add their own sites to block, specify allowable times to access the Internet, and maintains a detailed log of all Internet activity and violations. It will even send a daily report to parents by e-mail. No fees - one time only purchase charge.
Safe Eyes: see description in section above.
Self Help And Information
ARTICLE: How to Protect Your Kids Online
Be Broken Ministries - Info on helping friends or family caught up into any kind of sexual addictions. The founder is available for seminars in churches. Counselor referral service is available.
Freedom From Sexual Addiction - This site is from Pastor Luis J. Castillo. Luis offers his own personal testimony and many helps to become free from many types of sexual addictions. I know a little about him from email correspondence and I would highly recommend the helps he offers.
Breaking Pornography Addiction - A Plan For Personal Success. Recommends books, accountability and Covenant Eyes software.
Fires of Darkness - A Ministry for Pornography Addicts and The People Who Love Them. Resources for parents and wives of addicts. This is some of the best material on the internet because the people who have written it know about pornography addiction FIRST-HAND.
Institute For Sexual Integrity. Helpful information for Pastors, Churches, Parents, and Therapists about porn/sexual addictions and ways to recognize these addictions.
Pure Intimacy - Addressing Online Sexual Temptation. Resources for the addict and their family members. Site created by Focus On The Family.
Setting Captives Free. Includes 60 day Pure Freedom Course and Purity Force Challenge for teens.
Winning Edge Ministries - dedicated to restoring fallen pastors and religious leaders.
New Life Partners - a support group for women whose husbands are pornography/sexual addicts.
Pure Online: Confidential help with porn addiction.
Higher Calling: Christ-centered community abundant with hope for the sexually broken.
Heart-To-Heart Counseling Center, Colorado Springs, CO
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