Scott Kedersha Marriage

In part 1 of this mini-series on porn I shared my story of how pornography nearly ruined my life. I can honestly say I don’t remember ever being so anxious before hitting the ‘post/publish’ button than in sharing my story about pornography. While my story is the story of many, I still felt insecure and anxious sharing my porn story.

In this follow-up, I want to share some thoughts on how to overcome a pornography addiction or struggle.

1.Hate porn. Love God.

We need to start by calling pornography what it really is – sin. And if you are a follower of Christ, then we are to love God and hate sin. When we make light of and indulge in pornography, we make light of the death of Jesus Christ.

My friend (and boss) J.P. wrote a post about hating porn on the Porch blog. Please read his post on How to Hate Pornography.

Scripture is our best guide here:

  • Ephesians 5.3 says, “But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.”
  • Matthew 5.27-28 says, ““You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
  • Romans 12:9b says, “Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.”
  • See also 1 Corinthians 6:18 and 1 Thess 4.3-8.

I wish I had fled from pornography. As I shared in How Porn Nearly Ruined My Life, porn nearly destroyed my view of women, marriage and relationships. The porn industry is disgusting and is marked by abuse, drugs, suicide and sex trafficking. How can we NOT hate pornograhy?

Pornography is sin. Watching pornography is sin. The starting point for overcoming an addiction to pornography is hating porn and loving God.

2. Confess to God.

Again, Scripture provides the guide here. When we sin, our first confession is to the Lord, because our sin is primarily against Him.

Psalm 51:4 describes David’s confession to the Lord after his sin with Bathsheba. 1 John 1.9 tells us that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to purify us from all unrighteousness.

Proverbs 28:13 is one of my favorites. The writer says, “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” The writer provides a clear path for the one who confesses AND forsakes his sin. When he does so, he will receive mercy from the Lord and from others.

If you have never confessed your sin of looking at porn to the Lord, take some time right now to do so. He is faithful to forgive you.

3. Humble yourself and confess to others.

If you have never confessed to others, make sure you make it a priority to confess your sexual sin to others in your life.

James 5:16a says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” There is healing in confessing to the Lord and to others.

I cannot tell you how grateful I am for the group of men I confessed to almost 20 years ago. And, I have a similar group of married men right now in my life who help care for me, hold me accountable and help protect my eyes and my thought life.

I experienced enormous healing when I admitted my sin to God and to my community group. My struggle with porn and subsequent confession allowed me to receive God’s grace and the benefits of shared burdens with community.

4. Make some changes.

J.P. often says, “Change your playground, change your playmates.” In other words, when you address your sin head-on, you often need to make some changes in your life. For example, if you struggle with getting drunk with your college buddies, and you no longer desire to get drunk, you need to change where you hang out and who you hang out with.

If you struggle with pornography, think through the changes you need to make to help you in the battle. Get rid of cable. Move your computer into common areas instead of your bedroom. Block access to the browser on your iPhone. Get a browser blocker like X3Watch on your computer or accountability software like Covenant Eyes. Before you go see a movie, check out the sexual content through Plugged In.

Behavior change will never last long-term on its own without heart change, but can provide a great start to set you on the right path.

5. Walk through Recovery.

I did not immediately go through a Christ-centered recovery program when I first confessed to my pornography addiction. Fortunately in 2007, I was able to walk through a biblically-based, Christ-centered recovery program at my church to help deal with the guilt and shame of my sexual sin. Without question, walking through our recovery program was the single most catalytic factor in my spiritual growth and recovery. Check out re:generation or Celebrate Recovery.

6. Pursue your spouse.

For those of you who are married… go love your spouse! Pursue him. Serve her. Put their needs before your own. Remember your first love and do the things you did in the beginning (Revelation 2:4). Rejoice in the wife of your youth (Proverbs 5:18) and enjoy life with the wife whom you love (Ecclesiastes 9:9). Pursue your spouse, but not with the end goal of sexual intimacy.

If you are recovering from a pornography addiction or very recent struggle, you may hope for and seek full restoration in your marriage and with intimacy, but this should not be the immediate goal. At first seek to rebuild trust by pursuing the Lord and your spouse, by rebuilding trust in the relationship.

7. Find some Resources.

On Saturday, in Stuff I Like Saturday: I Hate Porn Edition, I will share a list of helpful articles, books and sermons to help you or a loved one walk through a pornography addiction.

8. Pray, pray, and pray again.

James 5:16b says, “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” Prayer keeps us in a dependence position, which is exactly the right posture for recovery from a pornography addiction or struggle.

Pray earnestly, pray with humility, pray dependently, and pray often. In fact, pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Pornography nearly ruined my life. At the same time, my pornpgraphy struggle helped me realize the greatness of God’s love and grace for me. The steps above aren’t just theoretical for me. These are the steps I took to help stop porn from ruining my life. I couldn’t be more grateful.

Your Turn:

Can I encourage you? Can I challenge you?

  • If you are looking at porn and you are single, married, separated, divorced, or widowed (did I miss anyone?): please stop. (Side note: If you’re single, please don’t assume the struggle will go away after you get married. You are preparing yourself for married life right now).
  • If you are looking at porn and you are a man or woman: please stop..
  • If you’re an adolescent and curious: please don’t start looking at porn. I don’t want porn to nearly ruin your life like it did mine.
  • If you are looking at pornography, I’d encourage you to check out re:generation or Celebrate Recovery. If pornography is ruining your marriage, please look for a re|engage near you. Confess to someone in your life: a friend, your spouse, your pastor. Get some help and don’t isolate.

I encourage and challenge you because I don’t want pornography to (nearly) ruin your life.

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