by Jim Roberts
How to Quit Porn for Good (6 Things)
Well, I guess I should start this by telling about my battle with porn. It started when I was 12 years old and with a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. It was at a friends house and to be honest we were just exploring. I wasn’t a, and neither was my friend, but what started out as merely exploring became a full-fledged multiple times a day porn addiction.
To be honest, I never felt bad for doing these things and thought it was completely normal, I mean all my other friends were doing it too. This also wasn’t my only addiction, I was a drug addict for many years as well. It all started around the same time as porn did for me. At the age of 20, I joined the Navy, and while it was great for me in many ways, it also had its downsides. Being on a submarine was like being in a porn shop. Everyone had porn, magazines, DVD’s, it was on their phones of their wives and girlfriends. It was hidden everywhere. It was in the overhead of every bathroom. It was culture, and it was in your face all the time.
Shortly after I became a believer in Christ, I had to report to my boat. I was a brand new Christian who already had a ton of addictions in his life, that God had worked miracles by helping my stop. But there was still the hidden addiction to porn that controlled my thinking and my actions.
I cannot tell you how many times I tried to quit and just seemed always to end up doing it again. Even to the point where I tried to convince myself and God that it was ok. I made excuses for my actions instead of finding the courage and handling the issue.
I also got married shortly after I became a Christian and joined the Navy. I tried hard to keep this secret from my wife, after all, she was a godly woman who had married a sin marred man who had just became a believer, and I knew she wouldn’t accept it. I knew what I was doing was wrong and as I had always done before I kept doing all through the first years of our marriage. I didn’t know the first thing about computers and my wife had one and sometimes I would browse on that, not realizing that every click I made left a record. One day, as I was sitting there watching TV, she came to me really mad and upset accusing me of looking at porn on the computer. I tried to lie, it didn’t work. I had been busted by the woman I loved more than anything else in this world. She had found out my secret, my deepest darkest secret. I had been honest with everything in our marriage, except this.
I can still remember what she told me, how she looked and how she felt on that day. It still is my greatest regret in life. I let her down, I cheated on her with porn, and that is precisely how she felt. She felt she could never please me because she could never be like the girls in the images I looked at every day.
I thought she would leave me, she had every right to. The only way she would stay with me was if I called my dad. For me, that was like calling God. My dad has always been my hero and my best friend. I will never, EVER, forget the disappointment in his voice when I told him. It was a horrible day, but a blessing in disguise. God knew that I would never stop looking at porn, that I would never be used to my full potential by Him if I kept living like this.
My wife forgave me, but it took years for her to forget and also to fully trust me again. I ruined a lot of good years with my wife because of my selfishness. I had to spend a long time proving that I was a different man. This isn’t her fault, it is mine, 100%. We now have been married almost 15 years, and right now our relationship is excellent. Things just keep getting better and better.
From this day forth I embarked on a journey, a battle really, to rid my mind and heart of what had ruled both for so long. It has not been easy, it still isn’t. But the battle is worth it because Jesus is worth it.
I have been completely clean now for quite some time now. This is how I know that it is possible to rid yourself of the pain of porn. You can rid yourself of the endless cycle of regret and feelings of failure. I believe I can help you have victory and not feelings of hopelessness.
I am going to speak as plain as possible about this, and hopefully, it will help you. There is no magic remedy. This is not going to be easy. But it is possible, and the responsibility is on you.
First off, God loves you if you are His. Never doubt that even when you fail Him, He loves you. He hates the sin that has consumed you and your thinking, but you He loves.
I have heard the question asked many times and also heard many answers on this. Can a person that is addicted to porn be a true believer? I don’t think anyone has that answer except for those that are addicted. Are you a believer? Do you know 100% that you are His child? Only you can answer that question, and you should ask yourself.
So here we go:
1. You Have Got to Want to Quit: As much as you want to look at porn, you should want to quit that much if not more. Without this desire, your good intentions to do better will never be good enough. Without this desire, you will not want to fight the battle that needs to be fought daily. It is time to get serious. It is time to stop playing games. If you are a believer, I know you want to quit…most the time. So do it. If we are Christian, this is not humanistic thinking, this is biblical thinking. Who lives in us? God does. Who gives us the power to do His will? God does. Who said that we can do all things through Christ? God did. That means that each and every one of us has the power to what is right, to not live in bondage to sin…But you got to want to.
2. Live One Day at a Time: All you have is today and like I wrote before you can win today. We are not worried about tomorrow yet, we are not focusing on the failures of the past. We are begging and praying to God to help us today, multiple times a day. To keep our hearts clean and our minds disciplined. We have to learn to fight today, all day. Never giving up and always moving forward to freedom. You and I like to live in the illusion that we actually have more time than we do and that we are in control of more than we are. The truth is we have today, right now. So, with that in mind, WIN right now, not later. Right now is all you have.
3. Don’t be Stupid: The bible says that, “we are not ignorant of the Devils devices” meaning we know what our triggers are. We know what trips us up. Many times a person who has a porn addiction doesn’t always start out looking at the hard stuff, especially if they are trying to quit. They will see a movie with a risqué scene or a girl in a bathing suit on Facebook, and they will think they are strong enough just to let that be that. Most of the time that is not true. It is a trigger that sends them on a path of no return. You have to understand who you are, what triggers you to go down that path and steer clear of it.
Accountability is critical – Have it on your computer and other devices. Something that helps me is to always go to bed when my wife does. If she goes to bed super early, I put my phone and iPad upstairs where my wife and kids are. My wife has all my passwords and free rein to look at whatever she wants on my devices at any time. I only look at social media on my computer so that my accountability partners can see what I browse.
Take proper precautions before the “urge” hits – It is stupid to come up with a fire evacuation procedure after the fire has started. Same concept. Set parameters for yourself. If you can’t do these simple things, you really don’t want to quit. Stay away from search bars:) Twitter, insta, facebook, eBay, Amazon, youtube, any photo-based website, anything with access to movie clips of amateur movies. I think you get the picture. Only use these with the accountability you have set up. If you knew someone was going to break into your house tonight and try to rob you or kidnap a family member, what would you do to prepare? Nothing? Here is what you do not understand is that someone is trying to break in every day in your heart and your mind. They are trying to destroy you and everything you love, and you let them in. Stop being stupid and take steps to stop.
*If you are not man or woman enough to do these things yourself, you will be like me and be forced to do it by someone else. It will come out sooner or later and hinder you and maybe even ruin you and those you love. Are you willing to lose EVERYTHING because you can’t quit looking at porn? Because that is what it boils down to.
4. Discipline, Discipline, Discipline – You have to be disciplined to win this fight. To win this war that wages that no one can see. You can never take a day off, you can never take it easy. You can never think because you won this day that you can take off the next day. Your lack of discipline is causing you never to have the victory. You have to be disciplined to fight daily, knowing that we have the victory. The problem with porn is that it a continuous circle of being undisciplined. You are going to have to retrain your thoughts, heart and your life to overcome this problem. You have to be disciplined to accomplish this. Read books on it, ask people about it, become a man and woman who is in control of their own body. Become a person that is in charge of their desires and not their desires in control of them.
5. Understand and Believe Jesus is Better – A big thing that helped me was when I realized that Jesus was greater than this desire to look at porn. He was more precious than the feeling of exuberance when I looked at porn. I had to understand that this was Satan destroying me, the joy that was felt from looking at porn did not compare to the joy that I ALWAYS had in Christ. The problem for me was that I didn’t know who I was in Christ. I didn’t realize just how much God loved me and wanted to see me succeed, not live a life of failure. I didn’t understand the fullness of His grace and how it can envelop every part of me. Once I realized who He was, I understood that I didn’t need porn like I thought I did before. I had found something better. I had found something more satisfying and invigorating. It was Jesus all along. That is your problem too, you just don’t realize how magnificent our God is and how He can fulfill your every desire. You haven’t understood that in Christ your every need is provided and every want taken care of. I implore you to see who He is, understand who you are and let God take back His rightful position as first in your heart and life. A habit that I have made is to wake up and talk straight to God. Telling Him that I can’t make it today without Him. Begging Him to keep me disciplined and to give me the strength to fight today. Telling Him what he already knows of how weak I am and how I will fail if He doesn’t help me. It takes a few minutes maybe, but it prepares my mind and heart daily for battle. I do this multiple times a day sometimes.
6. Think About Your Motivators to Not Do It – There are literally hundreds of these I would imagine. So I will write my motivators, and maybe they will be some of yours as well.
Personally, I never have wanted to in any way hinder my usefulness to God. This has been a huge fear for me. That because of my porn problem God would cease to use me. I, with all my heart, just want to be used for His glory and His honor. I am willing to do whatever He wants me to do. The first thing was that I let go of this addiction to porn and give my life to Him.
Second, I have never wanted to hinder God’s work. What if people die and go to hell because I am undisciplined, what if my ministry is hampered. I couldn’t stand the thoughts that God couldn’t do what He wanted to with me and through me because I was selfishly letting my desires control me.
Lastly, I was and still am scared to death of doing anything that would jeopardize my marriage and family. I told the story of how my wife called me on the carpet about my porn addiction. It was the worse feeling that I have ever felt. I lie not when I say that I can still remember her face, her broken heart, her tears and her disappointment in me. It was horrible. I never ever want to experience that again and to be honest I don’t want you to have to do that either. I had let my family down, and most importantly I had let God down for so long. I have 3 kids now. I could not bear the thoughts of them seeing me do those things.
In closing, you can stop this endless cycle, but the desire lies in you. The power to quit is with God, but the desire comes from you. Those that cannot quit, simply just don’t want to. Maybe they haven’t lost enough yet. Perhaps they have not been brought low enough. I am begging you not to let it get to that point.
You are going to have to fight and be vigilant to win, but it is possible. Will the desire for lust go away? Probably not, but it will get easier once you get yourself in check and keep it that way. It will always be a fight though.
Man or woman, you got to suck it up, stop being so selfish and determine in your heart to do what is right. You and you alone are responsible for this.