It's time for the annual bombardment of Madison Avenue's version of what true love looks like. They boldly tell us how we should express our deepest feelings of love and devotion to our wives or girlfriends.
Yes, my friends, Valentine's Day is here.
You may already have ordered some flowers and bought a mushy card and a box of candy for your beloved. You may even have reserved a table at an upscale restaurant or planned an exciting evening. After all, isn't that what is expected of every American husband or boyfriend?
But if you struggle with pornography, you may dread Valentine's Day. It's not that you don't love the woman in your life. But you know that your vows to honor and love only her are being trampled on every time you view pornography.
You feel the shame and a sense of worthlessness knowing you are living a double life. You have become less interested in her and intimacy may have died a long time ago.
Now you focus more of your time and attention on the images on a screen rather than on the real-life woman you committed your life to. That cuddly teddy bear you give her can never replace the longing she has to cuddle you, the man she loves.
So how can you begin to overcome porn and restore that desire for your wife or girlfriend that both of you deeply crave? It begins by focusing on three areas.
Deep down, it's likely you have many deep hurts inside from your childhood that make you feel worthless. You heard such comments as "You'll never amount to anything" so many times that you accepted them as fact.
As you spiral down into pornography to medicate that pain, you begin to feel like a failure as a man, husband and father. There is a painful reality of accepting that you may have done some horrible things, but they don't have to define you. If you've committed your life to Jesus then your identity is not in pornography, nor any other sin, but in Christ.
Take time to soak in God's grace for you through what Jesus did on the cross. Learn to see yourself as the toddler learning to walk and God, the loving Father who picks you up each time you fall and says, "Keep walking toward me," with His arms wide open.
Look at yourself in the mirror. Admit that you have a problem with pornography and accept that in Christ, you can change and live a porn-free life.
The Conquer Series, a 12 DVD cinematic course will help you understand the mental and spiritual aspects of porn usage and will show you a path to freedom.
Remember When You Fell in Love
Think back on that first Valentine's Day when you were dating your wife or girlfriend. Think of all the things about her that made you fall crazy in love with her: her smile, her personality, her cute quirks, her loving caress. Really take a few minutes and recall those early days of your relationship when she was your whole world.
Yes, time has a way of changing all of us, in both good and not-so-good ways. But she is still the woman you promised to love forever. Win her heart again.
But don't set the standard too high on February 14. As Covenant Eyes wrote,
"Don't think of Valentine's Day as a time to seek sex. Instead, consciously make it an opportunity to demonstrate unconditional love—with no expectation of getting something in return. Use this day to work on things that enhance relationships. Yes, make it fun, but also plan activities or discussions that can help build stronger lines of communication and foster real intimacy."
Your Relationship With God
What does God have to do with Valentine's Day? Everything! He is love. He created male and female. He established marriage. He created sex. He designed our feelings, our emotions and our ability to love others.
And He loves you. Your past and your porn usage don't disqualify you from the incredible depth of His love. He already knows that you view porn. And He would love to see you living in freedom from pornography.
If you are a Christian, you are already His son. Nothing can change that. So claim your worth and dignity in Him.
You are not what your parents or anybody else ever said you were. You can trust God to help you overcome porn.
And when you deepen your relationship with Him, you will see your marriage and love for your wife be restored. Then every day can be like Valentine's Day as you grow together.
This article originally appeared at conquerseries.com.
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt's "Prayers That..." 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.