I am Christ Follower and a porn addict. I am married, and I love my wife. Porn is a temptation in my life. It is not a failing of my wife. It is a pattern of sin my body learned before I found a new life in Christ. When my walk with Jesus is strong, fleeing from temptation is easy. When I walk away from Jesus's side, down life's dark alleys, I cannot fight the call that porn has on me. I am not strong enough. It consumes me. I don't want to stop. Then comes guilt and shame and loss of fellowship with God, which is unbearable. I am blessed that my valleys are shallow. I don't ever seem to walk too far away that I cannot run back to Christ when I find myself in the gutter. I live the song "Undo" by Rush of Fools. To label me a prodigal or hypocrite would not scratch the surface of what's inside of me. I am going through a Bible Study group that is challenging us to be true Christ followers, giving our lives in total surrender to Christ. It has been exactly what I need. I am ready to find freedom in Christ. I read the Bible each day expecting to receive a message from God. I pray immediately in response to my reading, answering God in relationship. I start my day expecting the events of the day to continue the conversation. I only had the radio on for 5 minutes the other day. Just long enough to hear Rush of Fools talk about Freedom Begins Here. I know God was talking to me. Directly. I am a leader in my church. We are starting a mentorship program, and I was chosen to be one of the first to be mentored by our church leaders. I am praying that I can finally find an accountability partner that I can feel safe confessing my sin to. Our church has a "Celebrate Recovery" ministry that I am a worship leader for. I have never been able to admit my sin there. Doesn't that say something? Not only is church not a safe place to find healing, but not even in a recovery ministry at church... I don't feel safe letting anyone know that I struggle in this way lest I be cast out as garbage, unfit for service or any good use. It has prevented me from getting the help I need. I have learned a thing or two about recovery along the way. Every addict needs to commit to being clean and sober, beginning today. We all know what it means for an alcoholic to be sober -- they stop drinking. Even one drop is one drop too many. A drug addict stops using drugs. The only way a porn addict can escape sexual images in our culture would be to poke his or her eyes out! Instead, the definition of sobriety for sexual addicts is "no sexual act outside of a marriage relationship." You can see things... you will see things, but the only release is in marriage. So it is better not to see. It only leads to frustration. Accountability to sobriety is a key to recovery. It is a hard path to walk alone. Anyone who says they want to change but hasn't gotten rid of books, magazines, movies is still in denial. The first step to recovery is admitting that you are an addict. Often it takes hitting rock bottom before an addict will admit their sin and look for help. A spouse may have to show tough love to help their spouse. But they need to help their spouse find the right help and resources, and remember that we all are sinners in need of God's grace. Addicts are great at hiding their tracks. But honestly, I welcome support and help and openness with my wife. I can tell her what are my triggers --when I am tempted, what things tempt me. I can tell her how I hide my tracks, what I do so no one will know, how to tell when I am slipping, though I think she can tell now. I love my wife. I don't want to bring this up with her on my own because it is so hard to convince her this is my problem, not a problem with her. I am just not strong enough to fight temptation without a disciplined life. Most days are fine, but then in a weak moment I fail. Her help is the best help, but there are times she doesn't realize how much a magazine cover or even a sales paper left out can cause me to slip. I am hoping to find a safe accountability partner. I can't even imagine finding a safe accountability group. For now, my best accountability is first to God and second to my wife and third to my children. But more help would be a blessing.
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