Porn: What’s the Solution to the Problem?

Posted: December 13, 2011 in Uncategorized
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My previous post raised the red flag of awareness on the global issue of pornography.  Today’s post take the spotlight off the obvious, or ‘what is‘, and shifts towards the solution, or ‘what ought to be.’  We all know porn is a problem…it’s not a news flash, so instead of sitting around lamenting about it and pointing our fingers yelling “it’s over there…that’s the problem“, I figured it would be better to actually look for ways to confront and defeat the problem, because in the end porn is not even merely about sexual lust.  Porn addiction is just the fruit, and not the root of the problem, so hopefully this understanding may help to deal radically with porn addiction because it encompasses a renewed heart, mind and spirit…which are all areas that take radical steps to change!

Let me just say that if you try to deal with this issue through best intentions and sure willpower you’re going to lose the battle.  As much of an issue that porn is, it’s only the symptom of a bigger problem.  Porn feasts on the human desire of lust (especially in men), and instead of satisfying the appetite, it only serves to create more and more hunger for lustful fantasy that can never be quenched.  The only way to truly and completely satisfy and quench our ‘thirsts’ is through Jesus Christ (John 4:14)…inviting sinners and addicts like you and I to come to Him, lay down our garbage bags of ‘stuff’, surrender our fight against that ‘stuff’, and allow Christ to fill those voids and cravings in a lasting way that none of our other pursuits ever could.  Here’s just a few ways that porn and sexual sin can, and will, affect areas of your life;

  • Affects your personal life
  • Affects your future marriage (Heb. 13:4)
  • Affects your relationship with God (1 Cor. 6:9-10)
  • Affects view of your body, purity, sexuality and intimacy (1 Cor. 6:18)

So while a determined will, prayer, accountability, self-discipline, or even self-condemnation are noble pursuits in the battle against lust and porn, they’re just evading the real problem.  The gospel goes way beyond just commanding us to be pure, but rather uncovers the real root of the problem, which is allowing God to deal with our deep desires.  It’s in scripture that we find out God proclaims that our sexuality is a gift from Him.  The gospel points the way to truly knowing God, who is in control of all things (even our inner desires), and how to experience lasting intimacy, both in our relationship with Christ, and through our relationships here on earth (2 different kinds of intimacy!).  In fact, God knows how we are wired sexually (He ought to…He created us!) and the intimacy and attraction a man naturally has for a woman (and vice-a-versa), He devoted a book about it in the bible (Song of Songs).

I once read that noted author C.S. Lewis struggled with lust and masturbation, saying that it was like having a private fantasy harem at this beck and call.  There’s a huge dimension of control that porn and fantasy provides, not unlike the rush and autonomy an RPG video game gives the gamer controlling the character and game play.  You can select the mode, options and environment you want…and if it doesn’t meet your needs…you can simply re-start the game.  Research suggests that dopamine is released to the brain during stimulating activity as a sort of ‘reward’ for the pursuit of desired experiences.   Compare that to the endorphins produced during masturbation and its simple supply and demand…as long as you keep supplying the experience, the brain will keep demanding the desired reward.  What’s missing though is that porn doesn’t really give us what it seems to promise…only the demanding need for more, and usually at any cost!  So the only solution then is a radical transformation of our  mind, heart, and spirit which will affect our character, conduct and attitude…what we look at, what we desire, and living to please and honor Christ…or just to please and satisfy ourselves.

So the first step in the solution is confessing to God and to a trusted, mature friend.  The first part may seem easier, but the second step initiates something that is severely lacking in sexual/porn addictions: accountability.  James 5:16 instructs us to invite a fellow Christian bro or sis into the picture to help walk with us through the process, and brings along someone who will pray for us, love us unconditionally, and we give permission for them to hold us accountable and ask the questions we hope they don’t ask!  You then need to receive God’s forgiveness, and ask Him to shed light on any other areas of personal sin that may be affecting our relationship with Him, and others.  If you’re not a Christ-follower, well then my friend this would be the time to seek God’s grace and forgiveness not only for your sexual sin, but to come into right relationship with Him by acknowledging Jesus as son of God, that only He can provide true forgiveness and freedom, that His death on the cross was in substitute for our sins against God, and to commit living your life to follow Christ and His teaching for right living through scripture.

The next biggest step in the solution for you my friend is found in Romans 12:1-2, which is a passage often misunderstood.  In this passage the apostle Paul uses the word ‘Be” transformed, which indicates this is something we need to commit to doing, as opposed to something that just automatically happens when we accept Christ and become a Christian.  I’ve heard many teachings on this passage that suggest that when we come into relationship with Christ there is this automatic reversal of the way we used to be, and if Holy Spirit really lives in you, you just wouldn’t do the things you used to.  I agree that when we are in Christ we won’t want to do the things we used to do before we came into relationship with Him, however, that does not mean we won’t have to battle the same temptations.  But this renewing of our minds is something we have to be proactive about…and certainly confessing stuff to God, and to a friend, invokes a level of commitment and action on our part.  It’s all part of growing in our faith journey and road of discipleship.  Yes God does the things in us we cannot do on our own, but we also need to allow Him to do those things by stepping up and admitting we need help.  There’s going to be changes we’ll need to make, and situations we’ll need to avoid.  But the word “be” is an action word, which means we, along with Holy Spirit, have a role to play.

So the solution can be summed up like this– DO SOMETHING!  If this is an area of struggle, then you need to take action steps, but you also need to make sure you’re taking the right action steps.  As mentioned earlier, if you just try to will yourself to be different tomorrow, you’ll be waiting a long time!  But if we call on the name of Lord, He not only saves us, He transforms and renews us!  May our Lord and God help us (especially men) become the people of character, purity, devotion, love and commitment God has called us to be…and that our families need us to be!

Here’s some helpful resources you can check out if you wish;

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