This is the answer I hear many times during the first counseling appointment when I ask why a client is sitting in front of me. He has been caught using pornography. Sadly, it’s an all too common, particularly when you consider that it is often coming from a man who professes Christ as His Savior.
There are common themes that I’ve found over the years from those who truly recognize that pornography is truly a problem in their life. Those who do not see it as an” issue” are almost impossible to help.
Those men truly are there because their wives made them come, not unlike a little boy in school who is sent to the principal’s office. They either think it’s harmless, that they really don’t have a problem and could stop if they wanted or blame their wives for forcing them to this. It’s a lamentable tale of deception and I feel so badly for the wives of these men.
Happily though, there are those who do come in of their own volition and are truly willing to admit that they see the damage that pornography has done in their marriage and admit they are powerless to win the victory on their own.
For those who are candid about it being a problem (they cannot stop!) typically make several points:
- It was often an issue in their life before they got married
- Sometimes they’ve brought it into their marriage because they thought it would “spice” things up in the bedroom.
- The alternating bouts of satisfying the drive and then the ensuing guilt and shame has become almost overwhelming.
- They have had intermittent seasons of limited victory but never full freedom from it once pornography had taken root.
- The road into darkness had become steeper and more sordid and new levels of excitement were being explored or on the verge.
As we grow in the Lord, we typically lay down certain behaviors and generally, by the grace of God and purposeful application of His Word, get a sustaining victory over areas of past sin. That is the walk of sanctification on the narrow road to life that we all are on (Matt 7:13-14).
When I hear heartfelt sorrow and desperation from a man of God (yes, even pastors and ministry leaders) to get victory in this area of life, I know that our ministry can help them. We teach about demonic strongholds, about spirits of lust and perversion can indwell believers and that deliverance from them is the essential first step to securing a lasting victory.
One pastor we ministered to told me that for him the pursuit of pornography was like almost an incessant tug on his collar. He would battle, resist, succumb and repent in anguish with a vow to do better and then fail again. He explained that after going through deliverance the sensation of the almost constant pull was gone and he was now, for the first time in his memory, able to win the battles in his mind and not go back down that dark road and reopen doors for torment.
There is hope in Christ for freedom in this area for men, by the grace, word and delivering power of God to set them free.