The Attack of the Porn Monster

by | Jul 13, 2011 | Blogs, Fire in My Bones

If you or someone you know is battling sexual
temptation, take these five steps toward GRACE.

This week my wife and I
ministered to a group of 115 Russian teenagers at a youth camp in Virginia.
Part of our job was to separate the guys and the girls and facilitate honest
(and sometimes awkward) discussions about sex, dating and guy/girl
relationships. They put their anonymous questions in a black box (“How do I
know if she’s the one for me?” or “Is it OK to use condoms?”), and we answered
while the kids giggled nervously.

I spoke to the guys on the
first night about what I call the Porn Monster, using the description of the
adulterous woman in Proverbs 7 as my text. In this passage the writer recounts
the sad story of a vulnerable young man who wanders into the wrong part of town
where a harlot seduces him. The story concludes with these haunting words: “Do
not let your heart turn aside to her ways … for many are the victims she has
cast down” (Prov. 7:25-26).

“I’ve prayed with many brothers who struggle with
this monster, and in some cases the porn has been a gateway to worse sins. Is
there a way of escape from it?”

Proverbs 7 is basically a
father’s warning to his son about this sin of adultery, but it can easily be
applied to any sexual sin—including pornography, which has become an epidemic
among Christian guys today. I’ve prayed with many brothers who struggle with
this monster, and in some cases the porn has been a gateway to worse sins. Is
there a way of escape from it?

I’ve come up with this
acrostic—G.R.A.C.E.—to help guys who are wrestling with the demon of lust. If
you or someone you know faces this problem, here are five steps to take to find
freedom:

G. Grow up. It’s understandable why a 14-year-old boy would be curious about sex.
His body is changing, his hormones are raging and sheer curiosity may lead him
to look at porn, masturbate or fantasize about women’s bodies. But God never
intended for guys to get stuck in perpetual puberty. There are men in their
30s, 40s, 50s and beyond who never learned to be sexually responsible adults.
They never grew up in the sexual area—and their immaturity fuels today’s porn
epidemic. Message to guys: Act your age.

R. Respect women. Pornography
is one of the most blatant examples of the exploitation of women in modern
culture. It’s right up there with rape, wife abuse and forced prostitution. Not
only does porn objectify women (sending the message that their value is based
on their youthfulness, beauty and breast size), it also often involves drugging
women and forcing them to have sex on camera. How can any Christian guy look at
a pornographic photo or watch even one second of a video knowing that the women
in those images may be the virtual slaves of organized crime bosses? That’s
just sick. Don’t support it.

A. Avoid
temptation.
Jesus had some really
strong words to say about temptation. He said: “If your right eye makes you
stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose
one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell”
(Matt. 5:29). Jesus was not advocating self-mutilation.
He was using sarcasm to emphasize that we must be ruthless in our battle with
sin. You can’t co-exist with it, play with it or compromise with it.

Because of the easy
availability of online porn today, that means doing whatever is necessary to
cut off your access to it—even if it means going offline or putting your
computer in the family room so you won’t be tempted to look at offensive sites.
A sexually responsible man knows that God is watching his online history—and
the fear of the Lord will guard him from polluting his spirit with perversion.
You have the power to resist. Flee from youthful lusts.

C. Call for
emergency help.
You don’t have to fight
this battle alone. I encourage any brother who is recovering from a porn
addiction to send out a Red Alert every time he feels pulled into sexual
compromise. Find a friend who knows you well, and ask if you can call or text
him whenever the battle is raging. The Bible promises that when we confess our
sins to one another, we will be healed (see James 5:16). If you humble yourself
and ask for help, God will give you extra grace to resist the power of lust.

E. Enjoy holy
sex.
Pornography or any other
sexual sin is a poor substitute for the blessing of sex in marriage. I have
counseled many guys who turned to porn as a way of escape from a loveless
marriage. But that is never God’s solution. A sexually responsible man will do
whatever it takes (including apologizing for his mistakes or seeing a marriage
counselor) to heal his relationship with his wife. And when the marriage is
healed, the sex not only will be deeply satisfying, it also will be free from the
guilt and shame that porn brings.

J. Lee Grady is
contributing editor of Charisma. You
can follow him on Twitter at leegrady. His most recent book is 10 Lies Men Believe (Charisma House).

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