Exposure to pornography often happens at a young age. For many, this is all it takes to ignite a sexual addiction and sexual struggles that can last years. Every method imaginable exists to end pornography addiction, yet many continue to live a life lost in the struggle against it. After trying everything without lasting success, one may wonder, is there hope to end pornography addiction? Is freedom against this struggle possible? Is there hope to end the pain and shame, and find healing for my soul?
Yes, there is hope to end pornography addiction. And with it relief, freedom, and healing! I am certain by the end of reading this article you will agree. In fact, you have a secret weapon against it that you probably aren’t aware of!
This article is not here to convince you of the evils or negative consequences of pornography use. Some of these are summed up in the loss of true intimacy, close friends, family, church, grace, fulfilling relationships, mental health, empathy, marriage, and peace. Most importantly, your relationship with Jesus Christ, and his soul saving grace is lost when you are subject to the struggle of pornography and sexual addiction.
What this article is here to do is answer the question of pornography addiction: is there hope?
Your Heart’s Condition is Hopeful
My assumption about you is that your conscience is convicting you about your pornography addiction. You know it’s wrong, and clearly you feel hopeless. And that is good news! It means that you have a heart that hasn’t fully given over. Your heart is a non-rebellious heart that seeks to do good. Many addicts (any addict, not just those with a sexual addiction) are OK with an addiction, some even prideful. Instead, you are fighting against this addiction. Therefore, you have hope.
Furthermore, you may not believe it now, but you are going to use your convicted heart to eventually beat pornography addiction. That’s because the key to winning is the state conviction of your heart. More on this later.
Why You Haven’t Quit Pornography Addiction
Thus far, you have attacked the symptoms of your pornography use. Tricks such as browser filters, support groups, trying a different habit, or even hypnotism. It hasn’t worked, and it’s no wonder you question if there is hope in beating your pornography addiction. Dealing with only the symptoms without identifying the core, underlying cause is an exercise in futility. In order to successfully quit porn addiction once and for all, you must look deeper.
1. You Don’t Actually Want to Quit Your Sexual Addiction
The answer to this question is quite simple. You haven’t beaten pornography addiction because you don’t want to. Rather, the fleshly part of you doesn’t want to end porn addiction. This fleshly part of you is the alternate personality cohabitating your body. Biblically, it is simply referred to as the “flesh” and it wages war against the spirit (Romans 6:19, Galatians 5:17, James 4:1, 1 Peter 2:11).
Don’t be afraid to accept that you have an alternate personality. Such a thing is not a disorder. It’s how you were created. However, without understanding it, you can not hope to control it.
2. You Allow Your Flesh to Reign Supreme
If you struggle to break addictions (whether to pornography or anything) it means your flesh is your master. Your flesh is the king and you are a slave. Shackles are on your wrists and you simply do what your king tells you. It points and you go. It is in complete control and you cower in its presence like a frightened puppy.
Galatians 5:1 – For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Typically, this kind of person may also challenged with self-control in other aspects of their life. For example, many porn addicts are prone to angry fits, envy, hatred, and obesity along with other addictive behaviors. This is because where the spirit does not reign, the flesh does. And the flesh is simply looking for maximal pleasure in each moment. It knows nothing else. Therefore, the works of the flesh manifest in such a person’s life simply because the spirit is not in control.
3. Your Self Control is Dormant
This is because you haven’t exercised self control. It’s a muscle that requires training, but yours hasn’t exercised in a long time. Because of this, it’s weak. Therefore when your flesh wants something, you can’t help but give in.
Have you ever wondered why the Bible emphasizes fasting?
Not to worry though, there is hope for dealing a death blow to your pornography addiction. All you have to do is awaken your dormant self control muscle. You can exercise this muscle whenever you want. In other words, it isn’t limited to only when your flesh demands pornography. Self control can be exercised against any fleshly desire. Examples of this could be food (hello fasting!) social media, gaming, or even sex. If your flesh wants something, practice saying “no”. Then, say “no” for longer and longer periods of time. Your self control will become stronger and stronger. Soak in these verses on self control:
2 Timothy 1:7
for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
1 Corinthians 9:27
But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
You will likely discover the first phase of your rise to the throne of your body will be met with opposition. Actually, you can imagine the kind of tantrum a 2 year old child might throw when they don’t get their way. That is exactly what your flesh will do. It wants pornography and you’re going to say “no”. Mentally prepare yourself for all the tricks it will try to steal authority over your body and change your mind.
4. Your Embarrassment (ego) is Overwhelming
Especially true if you are a Christian man or woman, shame causes all sorts of resistance to honest and open recovery to develop. The last thing that we want is for the sin that we struggle with to plaster all over the Church news bulletin board. “God forbid anyone at worship services know my long struggle with sin,” one under the weight of porn addiction might say.
However, when we are so ashamed that we cannot seek help, what we proclaim is that we want people to believe a lie about our lives. The source of this is nothing more than ego. In fact, the very feeling of embarrassment is the ego itself. This is because the ego only seeks to obtain a superior position against its neighbors. That is, a competitive stance based on abilities or performance from a self-perception.
Unfortunately, allowing the ego to reign in the body is incredibly damaging to any real progress against sexual addiction or any kind of addiction. That is because if we truly humble ourselves (as is the call of Jesus: Matthew 18:1-4) then our spirit reigns in our bodies making spiritual decisions and producing spiritual fruit.
Embarrassment (ego) keeps us from accessing counseling in real people. Because of this, relief, resources, and tools that can fill our lives with hope and power are never realized.
So, addictions develop because of unchecked fleshly desires, and they reign because of ego.
4 Reasons for Hope to End Your Pornography Addiction
1. You Are More Powerful Than You Believe
Your flesh doesn’t want you to know this. But you have to approve every decision made in the body. The flesh is a false king who pretends to be in charge, but really still needs your signature. You carry all the authority, but you are unwilling to use it! The human spirit has an incredible amount of willpower. If you decide that you are the one in charge, you will gain access to it.
In fact, your willpower is so great that you can accomplish amazing feats. Many verified examples exist of people going long periods without sleep or food. Others endure extreme suffering by choice. However, people show willpower every day by waking up early, working hard or sticking to extreme diets. Jesus Christ went 40 days and nights without eating. Once I changed my diet from primarily consisting of meat and carbs to a full vegan diet overnight, and persisted with it for 2 years. This should give you hope to end your pornography addiction!
2. You Can Change Your Desires
It may seem like a simple concept, but you may never have considered this before. That is, you can change your desires. To illustrate this, consider the kinds of foods that you enjoy eating now compared to when you were a child. Do you desire the same foods? Most likely, your childhood pallet was much different than it is now. Is it that your physiology changed so much from childhood to adulthood that it altered your taste buds? Perhaps in some small degree that may be true. However, the real change was in not in your tastebuds. Rather, the change was in your head. In reality, your knowledge changed and your practice changed causing a new desire to spring forth in your spirit.
Not all go through this transition, however. Some remain locked away in childish desires and behaviors for a lifetime. This is because some people never transition out of the self-fulfilling lifestyle that we all embraced as children. That’s what children do, is it not? Every moment of a child’s life is consumed in fulfilling their fleshly desires. Only through the ordination of rules, and eventually (hopefully) guidance and teaching, do our children learn self control. In this same way we become people having desires that line up with what is right, true, good, and holy.
Armed with the knowledge that changing your desires is entirely possible, you should have hope for ending your pornography addiction!
Verses to consider:
- Romans 13:13-14 – Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
- Ephesians 4:22-24 – To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
- 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 – For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;
3. You Have Secret Weapon Against Porn Addiction
At the beginning of this article we examined the convicted state of your heart. Believe it or not, your heart is the secret weapon bringing hope against your pornography addiction.
What is the heart anyway? The heart is the part of your being that is home to the “good” behaviors in your character. These include but are not limited to hope, love, faith (or faithfulness), mercy, and joy. Another way to identify your heart is to call it your “spirit”. The ideal state of the spirit is that which produces all these character traits with abundance (see Galatians 5:22-26, Ephesians 4:1-3, 2 Peter 1:1-21). These are objective traits defined by God as “good”, though most atheists and agnostics naturally agree. For more information on objective morality, see our article on The Truth About Truth.
Why the Spirit is Significant
Your spirit is tuned in to your behaviors. Specifically, it is sensitive (ideally) to the ones that don’t sit right with its moral compass. Most of the time, we identify this feeling as our “conscience”. When you give your flesh the right of way and allow behaviors that don’t fit with what is good (such as pornography) your spirit becomes uncomfortable and convicts you of your wrongdoing.
This is the secret weapon! That is, your spirit. How is it a secret weapon? It is secret because you haven’t learned to use it. It is a weapon because it is designed specifically to inflict damage and defeat the enemy. That enemy is your flesh. Logically, the next question is “how to use it”? In order to use the secret weapon of your spirit against your porn addiction, you must understand again what the spirit is.
As stated above, it is the part of your being that produces the “good” character traits. These are the character traits that reflect Jesus Christ. When your spirit is engaged and producing good fruit, it will completely obliterate your flesh. In other words, put it to death (Galatians 5:16-24, Romans 6:6, Romans 8:5-13, Colossians 3:5). You must harness this weapon by growing spiritually through Jesus Christ’s power.
If you want to learn more how to do this, we have a video and an article answering this question: How do you become more spiritual?
4. Others Have Overcome Pornography Addiction (and Other Addictions)
It should give you hope that others in your situation have successfully defeated addiction. Not just a few either, many people all over the world have overcome addiction. For some it was an overnight switch. However others slowly changed over months or even years. I don’t know what your story will look like, but I know you have the power to win.
5. There Is a Power That Will Help You
Perhaps the most significant point to consider that gives you hope for overcoming pornography addiction is the divine power available to you. This is the Holy Spirit commissioned by Jesus Christ’s power.
I don’t know exactly how or when this happens, but I can only explain to you from my own experience (and the testimony of others) that it really happens. At a certain point in your struggle against fleshly desire, God empowers you against sin. This will only happen when you fully commit to Jesus Christ and place your trust in him (Ephesians 3:16, 2 Timothy 1:7, Isaiah 40:29, Isaiah 41:10, Psalms 29:11, Psalms 46:1, Romans 15:5).
My theory is that God waits for a person’s heart to get to a certain condition before He empowers them in dealing with their struggles. This is shown in the parable of the soils taught by Jesus in Matthew 13.
Exactly how does He empower a person? I do not know. All I can say is that I remember this moment in my life vividly. I suddenly knew that I was no longer imprisoned in the long struggle against sin. It was as if I had walked out of a prison cell with a sudden new awareness of self-control.
You can discover this too, but you must place your faith in Jesus Christ and his promises!
Conclusion – Pornography addiction: is there hope?
Imagine a world where the fear of falling into the struggle of addiction to pornography (or any addiction) is completely gone. This is a world that truly exists for you in reality. You must simply understand where your power comes from and be committed to saying “no” to your flesh. So, for those struggling to beat pornography, is there hope? With a resounding YES.
After reading this article, my sincere desire is that you have gained some hope for freedom in your struggle to end addiction to pornography. Certainly your journey will not be without challenges, but perhaps you will now feel empowered to reach the point of walking out of the prison cell of your fleshly desires.
If you have your own story of healing and how you beat porn addiction or other kinds of addiction, please consider sending it to us. If this has been helpful for you, let us know in the comments!