These four infographics can be enlarged by simply clicking on each of them individually…
– blocking all entry points for porn,
– identifying your triggers,
– finding and eliminating those “grey areas” where the lust can breed,
– learning how to deal with your fantasies before they lead to porn,
– personally exploring the ruling desires of your heart that have led to porn,
– dealing with guilt and shame,
– and getting strategic about your positive motivations and creating personal goals.
Unfortunately, more times than not, many people are missing the key weapon, the one that binds all of these strategies together and makes them effective: humility.
Fighting Porn Addiction
Without a gut-level honesty and humility—one that says, “Yes, I have a problem; yes, I’m weak; yes, I can’t do this on my own”—we aren’t likely to pick up any of these weapons anyway.
Plan for Your Worst
Psychologists call it a restraint bias: people underestimate the strength of their urges in the face of temptation, and this leads to impulsive behavior.
A study from the Kellogg School of Management, led by Loran Nordgren, examined how one’s belief in his/her ability to control impulses (greed, drug craving, sexual arousal, etc.) influenced responses to temptation. The study found that people in a “cold state” (not experiencing hunger, anger, sexual arousal, etc.) wrongly estimate the amount of temptation they will be able handle in a “hot state.”
What is the answer to this? Nordgren says, “The key is simply to avoid any situations where vices and other weaknesses thrive and, most importantly, for individuals to keep a humble view of their willpower.” Three thousand years ago, King Solomon put it this way: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).
What should we do, then, when it comes to porn? Christian blogger Tim Challies tells his children the same advice he takes to heart as an adult: When you are at your best, plan for your worst. This is the reason why porn addicts so easily get blindsided, derailed, or lazy: they find a small measure of victory and think they can drop their guard and quit their plans—that everything is okay.
A Weekly Humble Reminder
One of the benefits of accountability software for those who have been tempted by porn online is that it is a permanent step in the direction of humility. When others you know and trust receive a regular report of all the questionable places you go online, it changes how you use the Internet. It also serves as a regular reminder—to yourself and others—that your willpower is not as strong as you often think it is, that you are prone to moments of weakness.
Accountability: Not a Last Resort
We tend to carry our pride like a badge of honor. We use it for a shield against anything that might threaten our self-esteem.
Accountability doesn’t come naturally because we are naturally prideful, but we can learn the art of Christian accountability as we explore what the Bible has to say about Christian community. Click the button below to download the free digital book, Coming Clean: Overcoming Lust Through Biblical Accountability.
It is crucial that we come to the understanding that fighting porn addiction is not something we can do alone. Unfortunately, accountability is often discounted as nothing more than a crutch, a place to hide one’s own inadequacies, a last resort for those who are “really messed up.” But accountability is not a last resort; it is a lifestyle. Once we realize that our objections to accountability are rooted in pride, we are finally in a position to ask for the help we need and use the strategies for freedom effectively.
Tim Clinton, Ed. D. is president of the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC)—the largest and most diverse Christian counseling association in the world. He is a professor of counseling and pastoral care, and executive director of the Center for Counseling and Family Studies at Liberty University.
If you’re struggling with pornography, you’re not alone. It’s hard to feel that way though because the church doesn’t talk about it much. Dr. Clinton says, “Almost 50% of Christian families now say that porn is the major issue in their home. Come on. Somebody needs to flip the switch.” When we feel alone in our sin, it makes confession—and the healing it brings—that much harder. Whether you struggle with porn personally or not, someone you know does, and it’s a conversation the church needs to have.
Dr Carol Clemans
Satan is attempting to destroy souls worldwide through sexual abuse, sexual addictions, pornography addictions, sex trafficking, etc. Sexual abuse victims are sitting on our church pews. Many victims were then introduced to porn at a young age. The addiction to porn can lead to repeating the pattern of sexual abuse, fornication, homosexuality and adultery – it’s a vicious cycle of sin.
Sadly, the church is almost silent on all these subjects yet they are pervasive among us. It’s like the illustration of having an elephant in the house. We walk around him, feed him, pick up his poops, but refuse to talk about the elephant in the house. We must bring the sexual sins out of the church ‘closet’ and confront, teach, encourage, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine – preach the Word. If we do not, people will go to hell and stand in judgment and say to leadership, “Why didn’t you help us? Why didn’t you continue to teach us and admonish us?”
The issue of pornography and sexual addiction is destroying lives at an unprecedented rate… The awful truth is that the men and women affected within the church are being spiritually sidelined the same way the army of Israel was sidelined by the giant Goliath . Neither side could move forward to victory or defeat as long as they continued to fear facing the challenge !
It is time that we face down this uncircumcised philistine and take him out of the equation !
Preacher, Pastor, Parent….get involved !
Shut the enemies mouth ! So many feel that they have nothing with which to fight….I am saying that you need to grab your sling and 5 stones, David ! Grab your ox goad, Shamgar ! Grab that jawbone, Samson ! Pick up your staff, Moses, for God is going to bring a mighty deliverance !!!
Use whatever God has placed in your life and start the battle and pursuit of purity !
Step one – we are only as sick as our secrets – speak up and speak out !!
( written by Jonathon van Maren )
Many of the things I hear make me angry. While it is legitimate to be angry about the use of pornography—it’s much worse than just lust, it is sexual cannibalism, the one-sided consumption of a human being created in God’s image for personal pleasure—one must be very careful not to slip into the sin of pride. When dealing with issues of sexuality, we can never say, “Well, that’s not a sin I struggle with and thus I am somehow better than those who struggle with these sins.” After all, in John 7 we see how the Lord Jesus dealt with those guilty of sexual sin, after challenging those who sought to stone a woman taken “in the very act” of adultery: “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” One by one, they left, “convicted by their own conscience.” Jesus then said to her, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” Pride, we see in the New Testament and in the ministry of the Lord Jesus, was condemned far more harshly than sexual sin. We have to assist each other in becoming free from sexual sin, not set ourselves above other people.
My frustration is not simply the result of seeing just how widespread the use of pornography is, and how damaging it is. As I heard one speaker put it, those who do not think they are susceptible to sexual sin are saying they are stronger than Sampson, wiser than Solomon, and closer to God than David, the man after God’s own heart. What frustrates me is that time and time again, men I speak to refuse to do what it actually takes to kick porn addiction and purge their minds of this scourge. In all cases, pornography is by its very nature predatory, perverted, narcissistic, and in direct opposition to how God created sexuality. It is, simply, self-inflicted destruction that contributes to the external destruction of so many of the lives that make up those de-humanized pictures. In cases where the man (or, in far fewer cases, the woman) is married, it constitutes adultery. This is not just our culture, our church, our own “little lust problem” or “bad porn habit.” This is people consciously deciding to consume other people like a product, destroying their own relationships, twisting their perceptions of the opposite sex, and creating neural pathways in their brain that will often prove almost impossible to subvert.
Porn flourishes because people can nurture their obsession in private. No one is looking over their shoulder, no one is seeing what they’re seeing, and they have the opportunity to make whatever material they viewed virtually untraceable after the fact. That’s why the one filter I always push for those who want to leave their porn addiction behind is an accountability filter — a filter that sends your Internet history every week to someone who will hold you accountable for what you viewed in the week past. I recommend this type of system (and there are a number of very good ones) to everyone who tells me that they’re struggling with pornography—but it never ceases to amaze me at how many want to talk about their porn problem, but don’t actually want to kick it.
If you want to stop looking at porn, sign up for an accountability filter, and make your accountability partner—the person receiving your weekly history—your pastor, a church leader, one of your parents, your wife, your sister. Do you really think that you’ll browse some filthy porn site if your minister, or a church elder, or your mother or wife, will see at the end of the week what you’ve looked at? Perhaps in some cases, there will be slip-ups. But it’s generally very unlikely. With people you love dearly and respect much “looking over your shoulder” when you’re on the Internet, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll view your “porn problem” quite a bit differently—imagining how your wife or mother would feel if they realized what you were looking at would change your own view immediately and drastically.
When I suggest this step, I’m often told it’s “drastic.” No, it’s not. Looking at porn is disgusting and predatory, and this solution is not at all “drastic” when put into the context of the problem. If you think that porn consumption is not a big enough deal to take “drastic” steps to get rid of it, then you haven’t realized just how big of a deal it is. Yes, people can get around filters. You can decide to take one of your devices (cell phone, iPad) off of the accountability filter. But that’s a choice—a choice to continue the sexual consumption of other human beings. You don’t just “fall” into looking at porn.
Let me explain: I smoked cigarettes for close to ten years. For me to “fall into” smoking cigarettes again, I would have to get in my car, drive to the store, purchase the pack, take a cigarette out, and then light it. There are at least five conscious decisions that take place before I “fall into” smoking cigarettes, and am “struggling” with it again. The same applies to watching or looking at pornography again: You have to go home, or someplace where you can be alone, boot up your laptop or device, log on, search for whatever porn you’re “struggling” with, and then view it. There are multiple decisions taking place here. While pornography addiction is incredibly powerful, you do not simply “fall into” viewing porn again when you’re trying to kick the habit. You make a series of decisions that result in you viewing porn. You may be addicted, but you’re not helpless. And I do get frustrated when I hear from guys that they’re still “struggling,” but they still haven’t taken the drastic steps necessary to kick this habit. I’m sorry, you only get to say you’re “struggling” if you’re actually taking all of the necessary steps to get free.
Sexual sin is, in this day and age, one of the most common and destructive of sins. I understand that many people get hooked as the result of simply stumbling upon imagery on the Internet, or being exposed to it by friends, or even, in many cases, being exposed to it at a very young age in the home. But there are ways to free yourself from this addiction. There are people who want to help you get free of it, and people who won’t judge you or think that they are somehow better. To say to someone struggling with sexual sin that those who struggle with different sins are somehow better would be to defy what the New Testament tells us. But you do have a responsibility to cease this destructive and disgusting habit. The help is available. The choice is yours.
6 Groups of People Porn is Harming
by Jennifer Fountain
The word “pornography” comes from the Greek word pornographos, which was used to describe writing about prostitutes. Prostitutes—not what many first think of when they view porn.
In the world of pornography today, it’s easy to gloss over the harsh realities of what porn really is and see it the way we want. The fact is, pornography is harmful to both the viewer and the actors. Here are some of the most harmed groups of people:
Is this surprising? Sadly, 50% of Christian men and 20% of Christian women would describe themselves as ‘addicted’ to pornography.
As Christians, when we give ourselves over to an addiction, we decrease our witness to the faith. We minimize the effects of the power of the Gospel by continuing to live in sin. And we expose many areas of weakness which we have not yet turned over to Christ.
Yes. Children. Did you know many video games incorporate soft porn, beginning to desensitize them and raise curiosity at the same time? Did you know that your child could find porn while working on a school project online? In less than three minutes, a whole new world is far too easily presented to children. Without the protection of Internet Filtering, more and more children are being exposed at younger and younger ages.
Many children are afraid to tell their parents what they discovered. They feel shame. And then they feel guilt when their curiosity drives them back, again and again, year after year.
Did you know that by the age of 18, 93% of boys and 62% of girls are exposed to pornography? And did you know that 23% of girls have spent more than 30 minutes looking at online porn on at least one occasion? (Want to know where teenage guys fall on that spectrum? Read: Teens and Porn: 10 Stats You Need to Know.)
Got a teenager at home? Re-read those stats! Can we just move forward under the assumption that our teens will be exposed to pornography—and throw our energies into laying a foundation for a God-glorifying way to parent through these waters?
Our teens need to hear about sex from us. The statistics show they already know about it—let’s be the ones showing them what God intends for the beautiful gift of sex and how to keep from being destroyed by its misuse!
Husbands who struggle with porn often create countless opportunities for their wives to battle an onslaught of temptations: shame, loneliness, fear, unworthiness and comparison, anger, depression, deep rejection, and so much more.
The betrayal a wife usually experiences upon finding out her husband is addicted to lusting after other women online cuts to the core like little else. Porn can be a destroyer of marriages because it shakes the very foundation of them: trust.
Would we be as likely to pore over online porn if we saw our daughter in a video? These women are daughters. Many of them are wives. Many more are little more than children. They are stolen (literally), lured and lied to. They are enticed and ensnared. The life of a porn star is a horrific, terrifying life.
You don’t see the pain these girls are in. The struggle…the drugs that they take so they can get themselves through these sets. Sometimes it’s just a show…you pretend to be someone else…become someone you never thought you could be…and the hole gets deeper. (The Only Way Out – Former Porn Star Has a Message for Her Fans)
Far from being glamorous, a porn “star” is being used by countless men or women, children and teens for their own gratification, with little to no thought of who he or she is.
I’d like to submit that porn is even impacting our grandchildren—or those that are not yet born. Future generations are being set up for exposure and addictions at younger and younger ages. The good news is that we can work to reverse this vicious cycle! What part can you play in ensuring your family and your grandchildren have the tools they need to fight the harm that porn brings?
Stop the Harm
Thankfully, there is a way out of even the strongest of addictions: Jesus Christ came to break the chains that bind us! And you or your loved one(s) are not beyond the ability to get help, or for experiencing change and the power to say “no.” Learn more about Internet Accountability with Covenant Eyes: one of the many tools available to you and your family.
* Porn Searches
By 2017, a quarter of a billion people are expected to be accessing mobile adult content from their phones or tablets, an increase of more than 30% from 2013. Mobile adult videochat alone will have a compound annual growth rate of 25%.
“It seems so obvious: If we invent a machine, the first thing we are going to do–after making a profit–is use it to watch porn.”
– Damon Brown, Author of Playboy’s Greatest Covers
* Porn Content Stats
1,130,963,156 ( this number continues to increase every second !)
The number of searches for pornography since the start of 2015.
9 out of 10 Internet porn users only access free material, whether it be samples of pay material, illegally copied versions of pay material, or amateur material.
1 in 5 mobile searches are for pornography.
24% of smartphone owners admit to having pornographic material on their mobile handset.
* The Porn Industry
In 2006, estimated revenues for sex-related entertainment businesses were just under $13 billion in the US. These estimates included video sales and rentals, Internet sales, cable, pay-per-view, phone sex, exotic dance clubs magazines, and novelty stores.
“Porn doesn’t have a demographic–it goes across all demographics.”
– Paul Fishbein, Founder of Adult View News
69% of pay-per-view Internet content market is pornography.
Global porn revenues have declined 50% since 2007 due to the amount of free porn online.
* The Porn Industry Stats
The porn industry generates $13 billion each year in the US.
Internet porn alone is a $3 Billion per year business.
79% of porn performers have used marijuana, and 50% have used ecstasy.
88% of scenes in porn films contain acts of physical aggression, and 49% of scenes contain verbal aggression.
32% of adult membership websites and 58% of free adult websites come from outside the U.S.
“Amateurs come across better on screen. Our customers feel that. Especially by women you can see it. They still feel strong pain.”
– Carlo Scalisi, Owner of 21 Sexury Video
There are higher percentages of subscriptions to porn sites in zip codes that…
Are more urban than rural.
Have experienced an increase in higher than average household income.
Have a great density of young people (age 15-24).
Have a higher proportion of people with undergraduate degrees.
Have higher measures of social capital (i.e. more people who donate blood, engage in volunteer activities, or participate in community projects).
Porn in the Church
Pornography is prevalent everywhere today. In fact, one in eight online searches is for pornography. Because porn use thrives in secrecy, many church members are trapped in a cycle of sin and shame, thinking that they’re the only ones facing this temptation.
* Porn in the Church Stats
51% of pastors say Internet pornography is a possible temptation.
64% of Christian men and 15% of Christian women say they watch porn at least once a month.
75% of pastors do not make themselves accountable to anyone for their Internet use.
Regular church attendees are 26% less likely to look at porn, however, self-identified “fundamentalists” are 91% more likely to look at porn.
* Porn and Your Teens
“Never before in the history of telecommunications media in the United States has so much indecent (and obscene) material been so easily accessible by so many minors in so many American homes with so few restrictions.”
– U.S. Department of Justice
Research reveals many systemic effects of Internet pornography that are undermining an already vulnerable culture of marriage and family. Even more disturbing is the fact that the first Internet generations have not reached full maturity, so the upper limits of this impact have yet to be realized”
– Jill Manning, Sociologist
* Porn and your teen stats
Did you know..
9 out of 10 boys are exposed to pornography before the age of 18.
The first exposure to pornography among men is 12 years old, on average.
71% of teens hide online behavior from their parents.
28% of 16-17 year olds have been unintentionally exposed to porn online.
20% of 16-year-olds and 30% of 17-year-olds have received a sext.
6 out of 10 girls are exposed to pornography before the age of 18.
15% of boys and 9% of girls have seen child pornography.
32% of boys and 18% of girls have seen bestiality online.
39% of boys and 23% of girls have seen sexual bondage online.
83% of boys and 57% of girls have seen group sex online.
69% of boys and 55% of girls have seen same-sex intercourse online.
*Porn and Young Adults
Among young adults today, porn use is not the exception. It is the norm.
‘The young women who talk to me on campuses about the effect of pornography on their intimate lives speak of feeling that they can never measure up, that they can never ask for what they want; and that if they do not offer what porn offers, they cannot expect to hold a guy. The young men talk about what it is like to grow up learning about sex from porn, and how it is not helpful to them in trying to figure out how to be with a real woman…For the first time in human history, the images’ power and allure have supplanted that of real naked women. Today, real naked women are just bad porn.’
– Naomi Wolf
It is also becoming more common for young adults to make their own pornography. Nearly 1 in 5 of 18-24-year-olds have sent a sext (sexually explicit text message). This has become a predictor of sexual behavior. Students who have had sexual intercourse are five times more likely than virgins to be involved in sexting.
* Porn and Young Adults Stats
51% of male and 32% of female students first viewed porn before their teenage years (12 and younger).
64% of college men and 18% of college women spend time online for Internet sex every week.
67% of young men and 49% of young women say viewing porn is an acceptable way to express one’s sexuality.
Politically liberal people are 19% more likely to look at porn.
68% of young adult men and 18% of women use porn at least once every week.
19% of 18-24 year-olds have sent a sext.
Student who have had sexual intercourse are five times more likely than virgins to be involved in sexting.
* Porn and Your Marriage
“I have also seen in my clinical experience that pornography damages the sexual performance of the viewers. Pornography viewers tend to have problems with premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. Having spent so much time in unnatural sexual experiences with paper, celluloid and cyberspace, they seem to find it difficult to have sex with a real human being. Pornography is raising their expectation and demand for types and amounts of sexual experiences; at the same time it is reducing their ability to experience sex.”
– Dr. MaryAnne Layden
* Porn and Your Marriage Stats
Happily married men are 61% less likely to look at porn.
Those with teen children are 45% less likely to look at porn.
68% of divorce cases involved one party meeting a new lover over the Internet.
56% of divorce cases involved one party having an obsessive interest in pornographic websites.
Men are more than 543% more likely to look at porn than women.
70% of wives of sex addicts could be diagnosed with PTSD.
Those who have ever engaged in paid sex are 270% more likely to look at porn.
Those who have ever committed adultery are 218% more likely to look at porn.
More Than Porn: Accountability in the Gray Areas
Internet pornography is the tip of a very large iceberg. But lurking beneath the water line, there are Internet temptations that don’t get the same press pornography gets. Yet they are just as scandalous and wage a silent war on our souls.
Free from Porn but Not from Lust
Brian Gardner spent years hiding his dark secret from those he loved—his wife, his friends, his fellow church members. One muggy night in June, Brian’s friends invited him over to talk. As he walked in, he immediately noticed an air of sobriety: something was wrong. As they sat in the backyard one of his friends skipped the small-talk and started in: “Brian, we think you have a problem, and we want to ask you. Are you using pornography?”
The conversation that ensued tore open Gardner’s secret: he was hooked on porn. This began a process that lasted years for him: coming clean to his wife, finding accountability, and receiving some strong counsel to help him get to the root of his obsession with porn. It was a long road, but it paid off in the end.
Now, years later, Gardner is passing on to others what he knows. He leads the Sexual Integrity groups for his church. He counsels and mentors other men who struggle with lust. He has even written a book about what he has learned: Porn Free: Finding Renewal through Truth and Community.
But Gardner knows the personal battle isn’t over: while he may not be looking at blatant pornography anymore, lust is still lodged in the heart, and the Internet is still a minefield of temptations.
We asked him what the danger zones are, and he didn’t rattle off just a list of predictable men’s websites (Maxim or Esquire or Sports Illustrated). What danger zones did he mention? Facebook. Twitter. YouTube. Amazon. Vimeo. Pinterest. Flickr. Tumblr. Some of the most popular and most used websites, Gardner says, are often the most compromising.
What’s a “Gray Area”?
“To me there is no such thing as a ‘gray area’ website,” says Fred Stoeker, co-author of the best-selling Every Man’s Battle series. “The pictures are either sensual or they are not. If they are, they are black. If they aren’t, they are white.”
Stoeker’s litmus test is Ephesians 5:3, “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality.” An otherwise benign website with a sensual advertisement is not “gray” in Stoeker’s mind: it is a spot of black on a white page. “I don’t think very often in terms of gray areas,” Stoeker reports. “When we look at something sensual, whether looking up into the window of Victoria’s Secret store at the mall, or looking at a picture on the MSNBC homepage of Britney Spears performing in her tawdry outfits, even these aren’t gray areas. Sensuality is sensuality, and it will take you down and trip you up.”
The same wash of pleasure chemicals hit the brain while looking at sensual images as when we look at pornography, says Stoeker. “It doesn’t matter if she is nude. That same chemical reaction happens in the eyes and limbic centers of the brain.” To a sexually wired brain, “gray” is just another shade of black.
The Gray Areas of the Heart
Those in the trenches helping other men overcome lust and other sinful habits know the secret: the dividing line between black and white is often not the type of content found online, but how we interact with that content.
Brian Gardner shares his own experience of a common problem with Facebook. “My niece is an actress in LA and has lots of friends in the fashion business. Here’s a picture of her on her Facebook profile at an after-party from a show that she did. There are two beautiful young ladies with her, smiling at the camera. I click on one of their names, and it turns out that she’s an underwear model, and has pictures from her portfolio on her Facebook page.”
Brian then asks himself the penetrating question: “So why did I click on her name? I didn’t know her, and don’t think we can really be friends, but I was curious. Of course, my curiosity had nothing to do with her as a person, but as a beautiful young woman.”
For Gardner, his concern isn’t splitting hairs over the definitions of what is sensual. His concern is the state of his heart. This is the same advice he gives the men he teaches in his Sexual Integrity classes. “The question any man has to ask himself is ‘why?’ Why am I so interested in the beach pictures from the last college retreat? Why am I curious about what lies behind that link?”
In this sense, the difference between black and white isn’t necessarily the image on the page; it is in our own hearts and motives. Visitors to any image-rich website should remember to heed the ancient proverb inscribed at Delphi: “Know thyself.”
The Image Intrigue
“Plausible deniability.” This is biblical counselor Alasdair Groves’ concern about so-called gray areas. “I’m just Googling something harmless—the kind of thing that if you saw me type it in to the search box you wouldn’t think much of it. But I’m inwardly aware that it might turn up some racy or explicit results, and I’m trying to pretend that’s not why I’m doing the search.” Groves says this is typical activity for someone who used to look at porn but has experienced some personal growth and self-control in his or her life. These hidden motives are evidences of a heart that wants to have its cake and eat it, too.
Jeff Fisher, founder of PornToPurity.com, calls these “Yellow Light” behaviors. Red Lights are clearly defined boundaries. Green Lights are safe zones. But Yellow Lights are heading in the direction of a Red Light behavior. Fisher gives several examples of this:
Surfing online, hoping to find images, but not “technically” clicking on them
Not clicking on a link, but going to a place where pop-ups or images are present
Watching a romantic comedy hoping to catch a glimpse of something
Going to IMDB.com, watching trailers and searching for actresses bios
Looking at safe searches on Google Images, but hoping to find stray sexy pictures
All of these can be Yellow Light behaviors.
The Diversion Deluge
Moreover, not all so-called gray areas have to do with lust or titillation.
According to a recent survey from Pew Internet, people are far more likely now than ever to go online for no particular reason other than to pass the time or have fun. Nearly three quarters of online adults say they use the Internet this way. This is almost double what it was 10 years ago.
Why the upsurge of recreational Internet use? Pew suggests three new trends are contributing to this: (1) the rise of broadband connections, (2) the increasing use of online video, and (3) and the explosion of social networking. These have been major shifts in digital culture over the last decade, and they have caused many to ask: How much is too much?
“A potentially gray website is any that would promote or encourage isolative behavior and/or alternative realities,” says Les Fleetwood, Pastor of Connecting and Equipping at Stonebriar Community Church. Fleetwood believes social networks can become this for some people. “I say ‘potentially’ because these things are morally neutral, but if a lot of unguarded time is spent with them, they can become morally detrimental.”
“I think Facebook—and really any social site—is endless babble and ranks up there with porn as an indulgence,” says Lawrence Arledge, an engineer with Texas Instruments. Those who sit cloistered in their homes and spend too much time connecting online are lonelier now than ever, says Arledge. As a society, he says, we are still learning how to make Facebook into a useful tool and not a low-productivity time-consumer. “The social implications of letting such sterile interactions dominate one’s life are not fully known.”
This does not mean social networking always leads to anti-social and isolative behavior. For many people it rarely does. Rather, researchers say we should be on guard about our “hyper-networking” tendencies: When does time online consume my mind in a way that it starts to hurt my face-to-face relationships? Since 2007, there has been a sharp drop-off in the amount of face-to-face time families spend together in Internet-connected households, according to the 2010 USC Annenberg Digital Future Study. In the first half of the decade, family face-time in Internet-connected homes has dropped from 26 hours per week to 18 hours by 2010.
“The real enemy is fantasy—the state of hypnotic fascination that monopolizes my time and prevents me from engaging in productive activity and real relationships,” says Nate Larkin, founder of the Samson Society. “And almost any website can serve that purpose.”
The Gaming Gambit
While violence is usually the hot topic when discussing the benefits or detriments of video games, online and console gaming can lead to other moral compromises.
“Online gaming is especially seductive,” says Nate Larkin. “Millions of young men are abandoning reality in favor of an imaginary world where they can experience the illusion of success.” For Larkin, a gaming obsession is not a harmless diversion. “There are few things more painful than hearing a wife’s despair over her marriage because her husband is so hooked on gaming that he refuses to engage in real life.”
Additionally, sexual content in video games are also compromising areas. Even if one steers clear of the sexually charged minigames in Dragon Age or Mass Effect or Grand Theft Auto, one still has to contend with the bare midriffs and revealing outfits of animated female protagonists. “For teens I mentor, they mention online gaming sites a lot as being problematic,” say Michael Leahy, author of Porn Nation.
Even online games without sexual content can still include sensual advertisements for other websites. Men “get their engines going” over sensual images like this, says Fred Stoeker. “There is a residual effect that keeps their sex drive at a high idle and keeps them prone to falling.”
Accountability for the Gray Areas
So-called gray areas, says Brian Gardner, are extremely common for men who have broken free from pornography in their life. When the battle over pornography is won, says Gardner, the sin in our hearts picks a small battle to win. “If sin can gain a foothold there, it can take back its territory in small nibbles. The goal is the same, however, we must remain watchful over compromise.”
“People who are doing well in accountability groups are learning to talk about the Yellow Light behaviors,” says Fisher. “When I started checking in my Yellow Light behaviors with other men, I hit another level of seriousness in my purity journey.”
For men like Jeff Fisher, Brian Gardner, and Nate Larkin, using Internet accountability programs is one vital way this is done. Covenant Eyes Accountability rates and categorizes web addresses using six age-based ratings, from E (Everyone) up to HM (Highly Mature). When accountability partners receive someone’s regular Internet use reports, they can make sure to pay attention to the “grayer” ratings, such as MT (Mature Teen) and M (Mature). This raises the moral stakes of Internet purity.
“If I’m avoiding pornography but wasting hours on YouTube or Facebook or Pinterest or a even a galaxy of theological websites, I’m still wasting my life,” says Larkin, “and a good accountability partner will call me on it.”
2015’S BIGGEST HEALTH CONCERN: PORN
Being healthy is a big trend these days. It seems like every week there’s a new green smoothie to try or a new type of yoga to experiment with. Every day we hear about new chemicals that can cause cancer or new exercises that get you the most weight loss results.
But what if you were unknowingly letting something unhealthy into your life every single day? What if we told you that the biggest danger to your health in 2015 wasn’t only limited to food, chemicals, or obesity?
Believe it or not, one of our generation’s biggest health issues is pornography.
So what is it about porn that causes millions of people to suffer physically, mentally, and emotionally? After all, some people believe that porn is a healthy sexual activity and a harmless matter of personal choice. We’re here to tell you that this is completely false.
Porn has numerous harmful effects on the human body, including destroying men’s ability to have real sex with a real partner. Thirty years ago, erectile dysfunction in men under the age of 35 was practically unheard of because it was generally caused by blocked blood vessels in a man’s aging body. That’s no longer the case. Now, with the availability of porn, erectile dysfunction is a common problem for young men as young as 16 years old. With more and more porn use, the brain begins to form new pathways to recognize what is pleasurable. What often ends up happening is that the brain becomes wired to be turned on by porn and the man can no longer achieve an erection with a real partner. After some time, even being turned on by porn may become difficult as some of the brain’s dopamine receptors begin to shut down as more porn and harder forms of porn are needed to get aroused.
Basically, watching virtual sex can make having actual sex impossible. Not cool…and definitely not healthy.
Depression, anxiety, and loneliness are major problems in our world today, but did you know that porn is a major cause of all three of these issues? Because of porn users’ desire to keep their use a secret, their relationships ultimately suffer, leaving them lonely and vulnerable to developing other psychological problems. Studies show that porn users also commonly develop body-image issues, low self-esteem, and insecurity.
Porn takes a heavy toll on relationships. Human beings are social beings and have a need for intimacy, but porn tries to fill that need for intimacy with something fake. Not only is porn not fulfilling, it can also ruin any real intimacy-providing relationships the user has. Studies have shown that after just one exposure to pornography, men rate themselves as less in love with their partners and rate their partners as less attractive. Furthermore, one study found that 56% of divorces involve at least one partner’s interest in porn.
Porn portrays sex as being separate from love and relationships, all about the individual’s pleasure. In real life, this isn’t the case. According to biologist Gary Wilson, “Using porn is more than just training for the wrong sport. It’s replacing these guys’ ability to play the sport they really want to learn.”
In other words, porn kills love. It’s obvious that porn is definitely not healthy given its ability to cause erectile dysfunction and a myriad of mental and emotional problems. Porn has become a public health crisis. Millions of people are suffering from its effects. It’s time to spread the word that porn is not just a habit but a destructive behavior for all those involved.
What YOU Can Do
A lot of people don’t know the actual scientific harms of porn. SHARE this article and help to spread the facts.
1 Robinson, M. and Wilson, G. (2011). Porn-Induced Sexual Dysfunction: A Growing Problem. Psychology Today,
July 11; Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. New York: Penguin Books, 105.
2 Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. New York: Penguin Books, 105.
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Neuroplasticity. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology 3:20767; Angres, D. H. and Bettinardi-Angres, K.
(2008). The Disease of Addiction: Origins, Treatment, and Recovery. Disease-a-Month 54: 696–721. Doidge, N.
(2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. New York: Penguin Books, 108.
4 Cera, N., Delli Pizzi, S., Di Pierro, E. D., Gambi, F., Tartaro, A., et al. (2012). Macrostructural Alterations of
Subcortical Grey Matter in Psychogenic Erectile Dysfunction. PLoS ONE 7, 6: e39118.
5 Angres, D. H. and Bettinardi-Angres, K. (2008). The Disease of Addiction: Origins, Treatment, and Recovery.
Disease-a-Month 54: 696–721; Zillmann, D. (2000). Influence of Unrestrained Access to Erotica on Adolescents’
and Young Adults’ Dispositions Toward Sexuality. Journal of Adolescent Health 27, 2: 41–44.
6 Flisher, C. (2010). Getting Plugged In: An Overview of Internet Addiction. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health
46: 557–9; Layden, M. A. (2010). Pornography and Violence: A New look at the Research. In J. Stoner and D.
Hughes (Eds.) The Social Costs of Pornography: A Collection of Papers (pp. 57–68). Princeton, NJ: Witherspoon
Institute; Paul, P. (2007). Pornified: How Pornography Is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our
Families. New York: Henry Hold and Co., 82; Kafka, M. P. (2000). The Paraphilia-Related Disorders:
Nonparaphilic Hypersexuality and Sexual Compulsivity/Addiction. In S. R. Leiblum and R. C. Rosen (Eds.)
Principles and Practice of Sex Therapy, 3rd Ed. (pp. 471–503). New York: Guilford Press.
7 Laird, R. D., Marrero, M. D., Melching, J. A., and Kuhn, E. S. (2013). Information Management Strategies in
Early Adolescence: Developmental Change in Use and Transactional Associations with Psychological Adjustment.
Developmental Psychology 49, 5: 928–937; Luoma, J. B., Nobles, R. H., Drake, C. E., Hayes, S. C., O’Hair, A.,
Fletcher, L., and Kohlenberg, B. S. (2013). Self-Stigma in Substance Abuse: Development of a New Measure.
Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment 35: 223–234; Rotenberg, K. J., Bharathi, C., Davies, H.,
and Finch, T. (2013). Bulimic Symptoms and the Social Withdrawal Syndrome. Eating Behaviors 14: 281–284;
Frijns, T. and Finkenauer, C. (2009). Longitudinal Associations Between Keeping a Secret and Psychosocial
Adjustment in Adolescence. International Journal of Behavioral Development 33, 2: 145–154.
8 Flisher, C. (2010). Getting Plugged In: An Overview of Internet Addiction. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health
46: 557–9; Layden, M. A. (2010). Pornography and Violence: A New look at the Research. In J. Stoner and D.
Hughes (Eds.) The Social Costs of Pornography: A Collection of Papers (pp. 57–68). Princeton, NJ: Witherspoon
Institute; Kafka, M. P. (2000). The Paraphilia-Related Disorders: Nonparaphilic Hypersexuality and Sexual
Compulsivity/Addiction. In S. R. Leiblum and R. C. Rosen (Eds.) Principles and Practice of Sex Therapy, 3rd Ed.
(pp. 471–503). New York: Guilford Press.
9 Bridges, Ana J. “Pornography’s Effects on Interpersonal Relationships.” The Social Costs of Pornography: A
Collection of Papers. Ed. Donna M. Hughes and James Reist. Stoner. Princeton, NJ: Witherspoon Institute, 2010.
10 Manning J., Senate Testimony 2004, referencing: Dedmon, J., “Is the Internet bad for your marriage? Online
affairs, pornographic sites playing greater role in divorces,” 2002, press release from The Dilenschneider Group, Inc.
( The following is from JoeDallasOnline )
Darkening Our Minds: Porn’s Impact from a Biblical perspective
Jesus said the eye is the lamp of the body (Matthew 6:22-23). If a person’s eye is perpetually exposed to darkness, there comes an inevitable distortion in that person’s thinking. It is in this darkening of the mind that pornography makes its leap from an act that is morally repugnant to one that has frightening consequences. “Evil communications corrupt good manners” (1 Corinthians 15:33), Paul warned, and the impact on the mind of a Christian consistently exposed to the wrong types of communication is immeasurable.
Like any drug, pornography’s effects vary according to the general health of the individual who uses it. In other words, while a person will be adversely affected by using an illegal drug, the specific effect will probably vary from person to person. A person already predisposed toward violence may well become more violent when intoxicated; a person more inclined to depression may find himself acutely suicidal when under the influence. Similarly, not every porn user becomes a rapist or sexual deviant, but there can be no question of its adverse effects on the user’s thinking.
I can testify to this first hand, both as a former user of pornography and as a counselor. Having discovered the “dark magic,” I found myself increasingly withdrawn from genuine interpersonal relationships and more isolated, defensive, and detached. Accustomed to the false world of phantom relations, I found real relations less and less tolerable. In the shadowlands of pornographic imagery, people existed for my pleasure, and I existed to rule and indulge. In short, I had adopted a mindset so far away from the mind of Christ that I decided to usurp His authority for my own, thus completing the darkening of my mind.
C. S. Lewis alluded to this self-idolatry when he described the world of sexual fantasy as being “a harem of imaginary brides. And this harem, once admitted, works against a man ever getting out and really uniting with a real woman. For the harem is always accessible, always subservient, calls for no sacrifices or adjustments, and can be endowed with erotic and psychological attributes which no real woman can rival. In the end, they become merely the medium through which he increasingly adores himself.”
A BATTLE WORTH FIGHTING
After the English Parliament’s 1938 appeasement in Czechoslovakia, Winston Churchill saw the danger of choosing peace when honor and common sense called for battle. “You have been given the choice between war and dishonor,” he said. “You have chosen dishonor, and you will have war!” History, of course, would confirm his prophetic warning: refusing to fight an honorable battle may afford a temporary peace, but in the long run it’s too costly. Delaying a necessary battle may well result in a devastating, full-scale war.
Every person who has become involved in sexual sin makes a decision between battle and dishonor. As always, dishonor looks like an easier choice. Dishonor means making peace with your sin. It means telling yourself that after so many years, it’s become such a part of your life that trying to cut it out would be too traumatic and too uncomfortable. It would mean saying goodbye to a reliable (though destructive) friend, and the battle to abstain from this “friend,” with all the temptations and struggles it would involve, seems too demanding, so a dishonorable compromise is therefore reached when a person decides to live in peaceful coexistence with his (or her) sexual sin.
Tyrants, however, never coexist peacefully; by their nature, they demand increased territory, fewer limitations, and more captives. The sin a person decides not to go to war against soon demands more territory. It begins invading career, family, health, and reputation. Now the person finds that what could have been a brief skirmish, if it had been attended to earlier, has become full-blown war. He chose dishonor over battle. In the end, he winds up with both.
If your mind has become a battlefield — darkened by the use of pornography, which has distorted your basic attitudes toward life — you have already yielded a good deal of territory, and your willingness to concede it has already cost a terrible price to you, your loved ones, and the church. .God grant that today you find yourself ready to abandon the dark and see again how wonderful the true light can be.
Sincerely, One of Many Girls Who Care
Are you a boy?
Not sorry that you’re a boy… That’s awesome.
I’m sorry that you see hundreds of advertisements every week showing half-dressed women.
I’m sorry every time you go to the beach or your neighborhood pool you can’t look in any direction without seeing a girl basically in her underwear.
Or that you can’t scroll through Instagram on “women crush wednesdays” or any day for that matter without an airbrushed girl in a thong staring you down.
Or that your buddy showed you that one magazine when you were 9 and you’ve never forgotten that moment because that was the first time you first saw a completely naked woman.
When I think about the guys in my life who are striving to live with a pure and Godly mindset, it honestly breaks my heart that they’re surrounded with so much temptation.
I think about my 22 year old brother, David, and the fight he is fighting every day for his future wife.
I think about the middle school boys in my youth group who don’t seem to have a clue how destructive this lustful lifestyle they are checking out is.
But most of all, I think about the man I’m going to marry.
Not only are you surrounded with a world that’s obsessed with worthless, cheap sex and relationships that mean nothing outside of sexual appeal, you’re encouraged to take part in seeing women as only objects of sex and instant pleasure. All the sports reporters are drop dead gorgeous. All the news anchors. Any girl that’s used for any kind of advertising. I wouldn’t be surprised if its all you can think about.
Its like every guy judges you based off of how hot your girlfriend is.
And maybe you’re so consumed with trying to be a “man” that you’d put up with the most annoying, possessive, selfish girl if she was really hot. Because that’s all that really matters right?
Or maybe you’re not putting up with a girl right now who really isn’t annoying, possessive, and selfish. Maybe you’re with a really sweet and pretty girl but you know deep down inside, if you’re honest, she’s not striving after God nearly the way she’s striving after you. You can’t fulfill the role of God for her. That’s just not fair for you and definitely not healthy for her.
And I haven’t even tapped into pornography.
Porn. The fantasy world where men’s desires are cast as first and foremost the most important thing in the whole world. And where women are cast as objects of sex and instant pleasure in order to fulfill that need at anytime, in any way, with any women you could dream of. An industry where both women and men are lied to about their health safety, and usually take drugs to suppress the emotional trauma that happens on set. Where over 121 porn stars have died from aids, suicide, homicide, drugs, and premature death since 2007.
Porn. What 50% of men and 20% of women IN THE CHURCH look at regularly.
Where according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 58% of divorces were a result of a spouse looking at excessive amounts of pornography online in 2003.
Porn. The industry that makes over $97 billion revenue worldwide, $13 billion in the U.S. alone.
…which is more than the revenues of the top technology companies combined: Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo!, Apple, Netflix, and Earthlink
…which is more than NFL, NBA, and MLB’s revenues in 2012 combined.
Pornography destroys. It becomes an addiction and distorts the way you see your sisters in christ, and eventually your wife.
But enough with the pity party I’ve managed to throw for you.
ENOUGH to all the lies thrown your way about how you CAN’T be good enough for a Godly girl or more importantly, God’s grace.
ENOUGH to allowing the pornography industries treating your temptations and natural desires as a way to lavish themselves in money.
ENOUGH to the petty girl who you have been beating yourself up for.
Don’t you think you’d want to wait for a girl who will encourage you on your walk with God? Who will work in protecting your purity? Who will Respect you and encourage you to follow your dreams? Who will see you as redeemed? Who will be by your side during the good AND bad?
Too often, it is girls who are told not to settle for a guy. But guys, the same thing goes for you. Don’t waste your time and emotions on a girl who really could care less about you and just wants you for what you will do for her. You too deserve someone who will see you as amazing and treat you accordingly.
Do not conform. God’s will is good and acceptable and perfect.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
Keep God’s words and treasure his commandments to withstand her temptation.
My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call insight your intimate friend, to keep you from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words. Proverbs 7:1-27
God will provide a way to escape.
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 corinthians 10:13
Sin will have no dominion over you.
So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:11-14
Don’t let any mistakes in your past discourage you from believing you can start clean. Choose to leave a life of lust behind and start today if you haven’t. You are going to be blessed beyond words and avoid so much heart break.
All things will work together for your good
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.Romans 8:28
He will give you the desires of your heart
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
You’ll be Blessed.
.. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.Deuteronomy 28:1-68
MEN STRIVING FOR PURITY: May I just say how proud I, and so many other girls, are of you?
Thank you. You are truly a light in this dark world. A protector of women, and a buckler for your future family. Thank you for loving your sisters in Christ the way the Jesus would. And for treating us with respect. It is men like you who make us want to be better women in God. It is so easy to settle for someone who is not a strong christian because we forget that there are guys like you who truly see us as precious and worthy of your respect. Please be encouraged. Keep fighting. We need you.
Sincerely, one of many girls who really do care.
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