For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age…
(Titus 2:11-12 ESV)
If being saved by the grace of God is supposed to train us and give us the strength to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, why does the number of Christian men viewing pornography mirror the national average?
This isn’t just NoFapChristian’s dirty little secret, but all men who identify themselves as Christians.
How can those who are not their own but bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) still be regularly viewing what they know is deplorable and destructive to their own souls?
Here’s my quick take on it:
1) The belief that willpower alone will win this war
I see a lot of posts and suggestions from Christians talking about cold showers, exercise, and keeping the ‘no PMO streak’ going for a certain amount of days. While all these things are good and positive, if you ignore the root of the problem and just tackle the symptoms, you won’t find true freedom.
While some people can use positive outlets to replace the issue, when worse comes to worse and you don’t deal with the issue head on, in a moment of weakness when the willpower runs out, porn will once again rear its’ ugly head.
2) Not understanding the grip porn has on one’s mind and body
Lately there have been some excellent studies done on the effect that porn use has on the mind and body, all which shouldn’t surprise us:
Matthew 6:22-23 says “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
Porn addiction today isn’t simply a ‘harmless vice’, it’s a full blown addiction akin to heroin or crack cocaine!
3) Not knowing what to do about it
Not understanding how to properly deal with an addiction of this significance is a major cause for failure and ‘relapse’ among even Christian men.
No matter how serious or how lightly you intend on handling the problem of overcoming lust and sexual temptation online, intentions will only get you so far. There are millions of people hoping to reach their goals with good intentions alone, but without having the proper knowledge and tools, they’ll never achieve them.
It’s great that there are communities of Christians encouraging each other to abstain from pornography and masturbation – to be able to share personal experiences and scripture, or pray and connect with other fellow believers.
But in order to be truly and finally free from the chains of pornography and online sexual temptation, you need much more than good intentions and willpower, you need a proven battleplan and guide in place.