Just Say No To Porn

I’ve been thinking a lot about pornography lately.

In fact, I think about it every day. Because if I don’t, it will rear it’s ugly head. It constantly sits, waiting for the right moment to pounce – when I’m tired, when I’m alone, when I’m feeling unworthy, it will be my companion. Porn offers no judgments. Porn wants nothing in return.

The way I see it, as a man, pornography is something we all have struggled with in the past, currently struggle with, or will struggle with in the future. Of that much, I’m certain.

If that’s the case, why in the world do we, as men, think we have to carry that burden alone?

If I’ve learned anything in life, it’s that I can’t do everything myself. Oh, I think I can – after all, I’M A MAN!

That’s foolish thinking at best, and downright dangerous if that’s the way we truly live.

But I’m Not Hurting Anyone (Science Incoming – Beware!)

So many believe that watching porn is a victimless crime. Forget the fact that the person you’re looking at is someone’s daughter, or that you’re fueling the sex-trafficking industry. I promise you, if you regularly watch porn, you are hurting both yourself and those around you.

When watching porn, the brain is tricked by a flood of dopamine that fixates your mind on what you’re looking at. When you click on the next image, the flood is released again. That dopamine imbalance, over time, dulls your dopamine receptors. Like a drug, you then require more and more to be released to get the same high.

I would invite you to read a fascinating article by Kevin Majeres, MD, a cognitive-behavioral psychiatrist, that further discusses more complicated sciencey stuff regarding porn and the brain. The most powerful statement I took away from that article has to do with the purity of men:

For families, the purity of the father is the strength and stability of the family. His purity produces joy and contentment in his relationship with his wife. Purity elevates his power to find joy in life: first, in his relationship with God; then in being a loving husband and father; then being a good friend, being a good provider for one’s family, and so on.

We’re In This Together

If what I said originally about pornography is true, and we knowingly can’t do everything ourselves, why do we struggle with this in silence?

Oh, I get it – believe me. It’s the most feared transgression – the worst of all sin. And while the world has painted it as acceptable, the church has unwittingly made it taboo. It’s no wonder so many men struggle alone.

I think it’s time for that to end. I think it’s time that we admit we need help, and seek out other men to walk along the journey with us. The only thing stopping you from asking for help is your pride. And, speaking from experience, it’s better to come out and ask for help than get caught.

How Do I Come Clean

If you’re a man struggling with pornography, ask for help. Talk to other men in your life that you have close relationships with. Tell them your struggles. It may be awkward, but my guess is that they have most likely experienced the same thing.

One way to get the accountability you need is through software designed to help keep you on the right track. My favorite accountability software is Covenant Eyes. It filters your Internet connection to make it harder for you to search for things you shouldn’t see. The best feature, however, is the accountability report. It sends a list of questionable websites you visit to accountability partners you select. That’s a great way to have people in your corner  that want to see you succeed.

One note of caution – your wife should not be your accountability partner. You need other men in your life to help you walk through this.

A Note For The Ladies

If you have suspicions that your husband is struggling with pornography, I would urge you to have the difficult conversation and ask him about it. There are ways to do so without triggering his tough-guy defensiveness. And you also need to be prepared emotionally if he says yes.

Some signs of his porn use:

  • change in sleep patterns
  • excessive time online
  • demands for privacy
  • change in personality
  • defensiveness when asked about Internet use

The best approach is one that lovingly expresses concern for the changes in your spouse’s behavior. I understand that it’s a difficult conversation to think about. But it’s possible that it has such a grip on him that the only way for him to get the help he needs is to get caught. He may not say it, but he might actually welcome the confrontation.

How Has It Been For You

Have you had to deal with this issue? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the struggles you have had with pornography. And if you are a man currently struggling with porn and you don’t have anyone to talk to, please reach out to me. I’ll do everything I can to get you connected to a group of men near you to walk with you along this journey.

You are not alone – stop living like you are.

 

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