Essential to dealing with a pornography habit is understanding what drives you to porn. Rarely does someone decide out of nowhere, “I’m going to sit down and watch some porn,” particularly those desperately trying to leave it behind. Often there are a series of micro-decisions that lead to someone turning to pornography. Identifying these decisions, and how they lead one-by-one to pornography, will help you understand your vulnerabilities.
Examine Your Inner Self
Sometimes we avoid looking too deep into ourselves, wary of what we’ll find. But Scripture encourages us to do exactly that, “Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.” (Prov 20:5 NKJV) Knowing ourselves, as Proverbs encourages us to do, is the only way a person can firmly understand their relationship with pornography, and how to end it.
What are some sources of sexual enticement in your life?
Dwelling on attractive people as they walk by, TV commercials, sexual ads on the Internet, etc.
What does the process look like when you encounter these enticements?
Arousal, fantasizing, etc.
What excuses do you make to make clear your path to porn?
“I have to have some kind of release,” “I wont be able to focus on anything else until I take care of this,” “My spouse isn’t in the mood; this is my only option,” etc.
What are some other circumstances that might lead you to viewing porn?
Looking for a pick-me-up after a bad day, boredom, being alone around a computer, etc.
Once you have identified these sexual triggers, how do you deal with them?
- The brain chemicals involved in enjoying pornography tie themselves to the circumstances involved. This is why being in certain places or around certain technology give you the urge to use. Plan ahead to encounter them. Try to avoid them, if you can.
- If you can’t avoid them, create lines of defense. You may install certain anti-adult content blocks on your computer. If you encounter a certain enticement regularly, you might have an accountability partner text message or call you around that time.
- If nonsexual triggers are what drive you to pornography (using it to deal with stress or frustration), look for new methods of relief. You may ask your spouse to take a walk with you, or take up a new hobby.
Determine Pornography Is Not an Option
The most important thing is to whole-heartedly believe that “pornography is no longer an option in regulating your sexuality and/or your personal emotional states.” That is exactly what the Apostle Paul teaches in Philippians. If you want to quit an addiction, you must accept that it can never be a part of your life ever again, and commit to that with your whole being. “But one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 3:13-14 NKJV)
Christian Counseling for Pornography Habit
Quitting any habit is challenging, but quitting something like pornography, where you have modified your brain chemistry to depend upon it, is particularly difficult. Finding someone to guide you can make the struggle a lot less lonely. Consider getting in touch with a professional Christian counselor. They will help you identify the triggers that tempt you to use pornography, and how to avoid or ignore them. A professional Christian counselor will use therapeutic techniques and biblical principles to help you understand your vulnerabilities, and how to conquer them.
“Woman Beautiful Constrained with Thread,” Image ID 1405039 by african fi, freeimages.com; “People Walking in the Street,” courtesy of MeiTeng, Image ID 1427382, Freeimages.com