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.