How do men and women find true lasting victory over pornography?

Through my experience as a pastor, no struggle in the church today plagues men like the struggle with pornography.  It seems to be this evil that rears its ugly head time and time again and to people you would least expect.  Because this struggle continues to increase among women also, my 2 suggestions to find victory from it apply to both men and women: 

We first find victory through the transforming power of the gospel.  Regardless the kind of bondage to sin we face, only the transforming effects of repenting of our sins and trusting in the person and work of Jesus Christ can bring the lasting freedom that we seek.  A common flaw in dealing with the sinful patterns of viewing sexually explicit material is to focus solely on employing methods to stop the behavior (behavior modification) to the exclusion of addressing the root issues of the heart.  True, genuine, and lasting change in this struggle, or any struggle with sin for that matter, must begin on the inside.  The inward change will bring the lasting change in our behavior.

 We must also be wholly committed to the local church if we are to find lasting victory over this struggle.  A common flaw in trying to break the cycles of pornography is thinking your one or two random accountability partners are enough.  Daily walking in victory over this struggle requires a community effort and an accountability that stretches far beyond your Christian co-worker asking you questions once a week regarding which internet sites you visited.  The victory comes as spiritual guidance, care, rebuke, and marriage counseling are given by your leaders.  The victory comes when those most committed to your spiritual maturity (other church members) pray for you and your struggle.  The victory comes when your accountability partner reports to your pastors and spouse (if married) on your progress in this battle, and you feel the looming presence of church discipline in response to the seriousness of your sin.  The victory comes when more is at stake than disappointing your accountability partner whom you have chosen likely because of his/her sympathy to your struggle.  Apart from the close involvement of the local church, few find lasting victory from any sin and live the victorious life Christ purchased for us with his own life.

God’s power works through the gospel in the local church so that a true and lasting victory is found over a struggle with pornography and true healing and forgiveness can be experienced.  This is the reason I wrote, Help, He’s Struggling with Pornography and it has just been released.  If you would like further info on the book, look at this previous post.  I pray the Lord gives you grace as  you fight this battle and help others, through the power of the gospel and the local church, find victory and hope. 

 

 

Posted in Battling Sin, Discipleship
6 comments on “How do men and women find true lasting victory over pornography?
  1. Brian says:

    I heartily agree, though it seems like a difficult subject to breach, mostly because of the secret nature of the sin. How do you suggest a local church address the issue? From the pulpit? Within small groups? As a more organic part of good, gospel-centered relationships and, if so, how do you go about fostering such a culture and community?

    • Brian Croft says:

      Great question and one that is certainly a long answer. Here is a brief one. You preach on this issue as the text allows as you highlight the specfic struggles of sin generally in your congregation. This will expose the whole church that the struggle exists. Then, through a general culture of discipleship, make this discussion a part of the basic framework of those discipleship relationships. My book develops this idea more, but it has to be included in the other areas of sin we are seeking victory over through allowing people in the church into our lives, even the secret places. Once a few people get a vision for this kind of community and openness, it will spread to others. The pastors must lead in accomplishing this new mindset.

      Another helpful resource to cultivate this kind of discipleship community is the book the Trellis and the Vine. I hope that helps.

  2. Kevin says:

    Certainly agree with you regarding the depth and seriousness of the sin (I’ve compared how it is attacking the church to the entirety of the Roman Empire), but there is an implicit, possible contradiction in your remedy. You first say we must move beyond behavior modification. Well and good. But then invoking the “looming presence of church discipline” should probably be explained more. This would indicate to most (even to me, and I think I have a healthy, positive view of church discipline!), that you are wielding that discipline as a tool towards behavior modification.

    I would also be interested in hearing how you would see that playing out in reality. If someone does have accountability partners, they do recognize they are sinning and are in a repentance state towards victory over their sin. I can agree with you that they may be taking that too lightly, choosing partners they don’t disappoint, but I’d want to hear more about how church discipline – as opposed to church involvement, church direction, church resources – is involved there.

  3. Scott Wright says:

    Brian,
    here is a little book that Tim Challies also put together on the subject. I thank the Lord for your ministry to the local body there and the greater body you are ministering to. Grace & Peace.

    Soli Deo Gloria,
    Scott

    http://www.cruciformpress.com/our-books/sexual-detox/

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