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7 Keys to Breaking the Bondage of Pornography

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Over 50 percent of men in the church struggle with porn.

There is a tension here. We need to make sure that in our patience and grace we remember that grace also means to speak truth. Consider Bonhoeffer's words in Life Together: "Reproof is unavoidable. God's word demands it when a brother falls into open sin ... Nothing can be more cruel than the tenderness that consigns another to their sin. Nothing can be more compassionate than the severe rebuke that calls a brother back from the path of sin."

4. If you struggle with pornography, you are not alone. Pornography is impacting all kinds of things in our culture—fashion, crushing expectations regarding physical appearance and sexual performance, and so forth. Many believe it is now the number one educator for teaching American children about sex. One survey showed 50 percent of Christian men and 20 percent of Christian women said they were addicted to pornography. 60 percent of Christian women said they struggled with lust. This is a big struggle affecting many people you know.

When Adam first introduced a class on sexual immorality during announcements at our church 10 years ago, a number of wives and girlfriends came up to him after the service to thank him for giving them the freedom to talk with their significant other whom they thought was struggling with pornography. Many men talked with him in the weeks afterwards as well, though not immediately after service. It was a widespread struggle, and one man speaking in the light gave freedom to others to join him.

5. Work out the sin and struggle in community. Adam recounted leaving work after a particularly stressful day feeling a strong desire to watch porn and masturbate. He texted another elder exactly that. That elder had struggled as well, and the power of the temptation each felt seemed to dissipate when they brought it into the light. I am thankful for a gospel-centered church that is safe for people to struggle in the light with their sin. We need to be safe places where others can be honest about their sin. No struggle with sin can be won in the dark. 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 
Galatians 6:2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

6. Know that you are defined by Jesus, not your sin! Consider these truths from Scripture on how God thinks of and speaks of you regardless of your struggle.

  • I am God's child (John 1:12)
  • I am confident that God will perfect the work He has begun in me (Philippians 1:6)
  • I am hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3)
  • I am chosen before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4, 11)
  • I am adopted as his child (Ephesians 1:5)
  • I am given God's glorious grace lavishly and without restriction (Ephesians 1:5,8)
  • I am in Him (Ephesians 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:30)
  • I am forgiven (Ephesians 1:8; Colossians 1:14)
  • I am included (Ephesians 1:13)
  • I am sealed with the promised Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13)
  • I am alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5)
  • I am raised up with Christ (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 2:12)
  • I am God's workmanship (Ephesians 2:10)
  • I am a dwelling for the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:22)
  • I am not alone (Hebrews 13:5)
  • I am His disciple (John 13:15)
  • I am set free (Romans 8:2; John 8:32)

7. In conclusion, hear this encouragement from Galatians whether your struggle is pornography or other sexual sins, anger, greed or something else.

Galatians 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

If you struggle, bring it into the light. And if you don't struggle, be ready to walk with those who do bring it into the light. They need safe places to be honest about the temptations they face and the sins they commit, because light heals. 

Adapted from Wendy Alsup's blog, theologyforwomen.org. Wendy has authored three books including By His Wounds You Are Healed: How the Message of Ephesians Transforms a Woman's Identity. She is also a wife, mom and college math teacher who loves ministering to women.

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