Last post, I explained why pornography is a multi-faceted monster. It is a problem because it is a sin, it rewires our brains, lies, betrays, enslaves, and ultimately destroys us. What, then, can we do as Christians to fight it?

Here’s some general advice. (Next week, I’ll give some specific insights.)

 

Memorize Scripture.

When Satan tempted Jesus, how did our Lord respond each time? He said, “It is written.” Jesus wielded the sword of the Spirit against the great red dragon of old and was victorious. I’m not saying that if you memorize the right Bible verse lust will instantly disappear. What I am saying is that you cannot fight unholy passions without holy Scripture. It is essential.

If you’re not sure where to start, memorize: 1 Corinthians 10:13, Matthew 5:27-30, and 1 Thessalonians 4:1-7. Write these on a notecard, read them often, and put them into action. Psalm 119:9 asks,

“How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word.”

The lamp of Scripture will light the path of purity.

 

Remove temptation.

In Romans 13:14, Paul gives the most practical advice for dealing with any temptation, “make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” Whatever tempts you, get rid of it. Now!

We all agree, alcoholics should not keep a wet bar in their basements. The same principle is true for those enticed by digital smut. If your smartphone provides too much quick, easy, private access – get a dumb phone which can’t even get on the web. Cancel your internet. Sell your MacBook. Smash your laptop. Do whatever it takes. Know your triggers. Does sadness, alone-time, boredom, success, or depression send you searching? Identify these triggers and avoid them.

You say, “That sounds drastic!” Yes! It is. Jesus advised us likewise:

“If your right eye makes you stumble tear it out and throw it from you...” (Matt 5:29)

Sin is not a harmless pet to keep on a leash. It is fire-breathing dragon that intends to destroy your mind, heart, and life. Slay the dragon.

 

Get accountability.

Getting rid of the outward issues does not take care of all the inward issues. Remember: the inability to sin is different from lacking a desire to sin. Accountability, then, is key and it should come in two forms: digital and personal.

Digital Accountability – If chucking your laptop is just not possible, then you need a digital “Big Brother.” Installing software or purchasing a product that can filter, track, and alert others to your online choices can be helpful. This won’t fix the problem, but it can provide guardrails to keep you on the highway of holiness.

Personal Accountability – Men: find a Christian brother to talk to. Women: find a Christian lady to talk to. And may I specifically suggest seeking someone older. (Two 18-year-olds who are both struggling with porn are rarely able to help each other.) Find someone who has more age, more sanctification, and more wisdom. Give them permission to ask hard questions, confront you, pray with you, and help you.

 

Focus elsewhere.

Fundamentally, the problem with most porn use is that selfishness drives it. The cult of pornography worships at the altar of the unholy trinity: Me, Myself, and I. For some, a sheer sexual appetite drives porn use – but for other people it spawns from feelings of loneliness, depression, or thinking they are unlovable. Others treat it like it’s a reward. Fundamentally, though, it is a self-centered pleasure-fix. Jesus did not tell you to indulge yourself, He said to “deny yourself.”

A major antidote to selfishness is selflessness. Instead of loving yourself, prioritize loving others. Fill your time and thoughts with ways to serve others. Create activities or projects to help those around you. Turn your focus elsewhere.

 

Say “No” & “Yes”

In the battle against sin, we must learn to say “No” to the flesh. We know that. Look away. Click away. Walk away. But just saying “no” to the flesh is not enough. We must also learn how to say “yes” to the Spirit. As one author put it, “Jesus Christ didn’t save us so we could not sin. Jesus Christ saved us so we could do what is right, do what is holy.”

Don’t just avoid unrighteousness, pursue righteousness! Flee youthful lusts but be sure you know where you’re running. Youthful lusts become awful sights in light of our beautiful Lord.  Every day, pray yes to the Spirit’s leading.

 

If you’re looking for filtering or accountability products:

  • Covenant Eyes: This monitoring software is designed to help track our online usage and monitor your accountability partner about your online choices. Subscriptions start at $12/month. (covenanteyes.com)

 

  • The Circle Device: Disney sells this affordable device ($90) that connects to your router. Parents have total control of the internet and any device in your home. It is a one-time cost. (We use it and love it!) There is also a subscription-based version that filters/tracks all internet (WIFI or cellular).

 

If you’re looking for some helpful books on the topic:

 

If you’re looking for some useful websites or online resources:

  • fightthenewdrug.org – This is not a Christian site (it was started by Mormons) but their research is generally useful and well-documented.

 

  • xxxchurch.com – Despite the shocking name, this is a Christian ministry with over a decade of experience. They offer a free “Am I addicted to porn?” quiz along with countless articles, studies, and Bible-based resources to help.