Freedom From the Bondage of Pornography

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The dictionary defines pornography as written, graphic, or other forms of communication intended to excite lascivious feelings. The term “pornography” is used to describe everything from lingerie catalogs to XXX-rated movies.

Pornography is broken into two categories: soft-core pornography and hard-core pornography. Soft-core pornography is material that is considered protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution and is considered a freedom of expression. Hard-core pornography is that which is not covered by the First Amendment and is prosecutable by law. Regardless of the category it falls within, the effects are the same, damage to the individual and to those they love. Addiction to pornography crosses all economic, ethnic, educational, and religious levels of society. The one common denominator is that it plagues men. Why is this?

It is important to understand that God created men to be visually stimulated. His plan was for sex to be enjoyed and explored within the confines of a mutual commitment in marriage. Unfortunately, society today exposes and assaults our senses through graphic sexual images?images that have a profound effect on men and boys. Through subtle introductions using such things as lingerie catalogs and swimsuit calendars, an appetite for fantasy is encouraged in men. Pornography and the fantasy it encourages turns men’s minds and hearts toward satisfying their own desires with little or no concern for others. Galatians 6:8 (New Living Translation) explains the consequences: “Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful desires will harvest consequences of decay and death.”

Dr. Victor Cline, a clinical psychologist, estimates that 40% of men have some level of involvement or addiction to pornography. Men who become addicted to pornography require increasingly graphic material to be aroused and satisfied. Research indicates that after six one-hour sessions of exposure to soft-core pornography and R-rated movies, men experienced a loss of respect for women, a decrease of satisfaction with their spouse and a major increase in the value of sex without attachment.

Many types of addiction plague our culture, but nothing is more powerful or more difficult to break than an addiction to pornography. The pornography industry relies on men who indulge in sexual lust and fantasy. The truth is, fantasy does not satisfy. It only creates a sexual sinkhole in our minds that gets larger and never leads to fulfillment. We can clean out drugs and alcohol from our bloodstreams, but images etched in the mind and patterns of thinking are more difficult to remove. The only answer is that the mind must be renewed.

Any addiction is difficult to break, but sexual addiction establishes a stronghold on the individuals it controls. When men become so controlled by fantasy and lust, they can only become completely free through the power of God. We know of men who, after years of destruction and bondage caused by addiction to pornography, are now free thanks to the power of God. You or your loved one can find freedom as well. Breaking the bondage is not easy, but it is possible through the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord gives grace, mercy, forgiveness, and the power to overcome the bondage along with the power to restore family relationships.

There are four basic elements that are vital to breaking the stronghold of pornography and overcoming sexual addiction:

Acknowledgment: Freedom begins with an honest recognition that there is a bondage that controls your thoughts and, as a result, your behavior. It is very important to come to a place where you acknowledge that involvement with pornography is wrong and has been very damaging to you and your family. Justifying the behavior or blaming your spouse’s problems for your behavior will not lead to freedom. 1 John 1:8-9 (NKJV) says, ” If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

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Repentance: Repentance is an about-face in our behavior and thought life. It involves complete honesty with God. When we confess our sin and repent to God, we allow the Holy Spirit to compassionately and mercifully cleanse us from destructive thoughts and behavior. It is more than being sorry for the results that sin has produced?true repentance always leads to a change in behavior. Repentance that leads to changed behavior is the only act that will lay the foundation for God’s forgiveness. Revelation 3:19 (NKJV) says, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.”

Meditation: Meditation on the Word of God is the necessary exercise to replace unhealthy thoughts with pure thoughts. It transforms our minds and sets us free (Psalm 107:20). Joshua 1:8 (NKJV) says, “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth but you shall meditate in it day and night?then you shall make your way prosperous and then you shall have good success.”

Accountability: Accountability involves placing yourself under the scrutiny of another person or group of individuals who love God and who are committed to support your efforts to overcome your harmful behavior. No one can do it alone. Godly friendships are crucial to helping us overcome temptation and establish healthy thoughts. James 6:16 (NKJV) says, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed?”

If you or someone you love is involved with pornography, the bondage can be broken and a damaged life can be restored. Pornography addiction begins and ends in the heart, and only God can truly change a heart. God is faithful, and He is an ever-present help in times of trouble. With God’s help, the support of committed friends and loved ones, and your own effort to submit your thoughts to God, you’ll emerge changed and free from the bondage that has controlled your life. Psalm 62:8(NKJV) says, “Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”

Scriptures for meditation:
Psalm 101:3-4
Proverbs 6:27-29
Proverbs 5:15-21 1
Corinthians 6:13-20
James 4:7
James 1:12-15
Psalm 1:1-3

 

Copyright © 2005 Jimmy Evans, Used by Permission.

Author & one of America’s leading authorities on family and marriage relationships, Jimmy Evans is Founder & CEO of MarriageToday. He and his wife, Karen, host MarriageTodayTM, a national television program. Jimmy is the author of many resources including the books Marriage on the Rock, Freedom From Your Past, 7 Secrets of Successful Families, and Resolving Stress in Your Marriage. He also travels nationwide presenting life-changing truths for couples through his marriage seminars and conferences. Jimmy and Karen have two children and two grandchildren.

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About Jimmy Evans

bio-evansJimmy Evans is Founder and CEO of MarriageToday, a ministry based in Dallas, Texas, that is devoted to helping couples build strong and fulfilling marriages and families.Jimmy has authored more than ten books, among which are his popular works, Marriage on the Rock, Freedom From Your Past, Seven Secrets of Successful Families, Ten Steps Toward Christ, Lifelong Love Affair and his newest book, When Life Hurts.

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