Is It Possible To Break Free?

Written by on October 12, 2020

Originally on Covenant Eyes 40 Day Challenge

People often ask if it’s truly possible to be free from porn. They may feel they’ve tried everything and are beginning to despair. They may believe recovery isn’t possible, at least not for them.

Still, freedom from porn is possible. We know this for two reasons:

  1. Many Covenant Eyes members have been there and felt the same way, but have since found lasting recovery.
  2. For Christians, no matter how entrenched in porn you are, God’s grace is bigger, and He is able to do more than we can ever hope or imagine.

Before we engage in practical steps, we need to keep in mind these three important truths in order to even begin battling porn addiction effectively.

1. You should think about sex.

Australian author Frank Sheed wrote that modern man practically never thinks about sex. He might dream about it, joke about it, write songs about it—but he doesn’t think about it.

What is the nature of sex? What is its purpose?

Sex wasn’t invented by the porn industry. It was warped and distorted by it.

The purpose of sex is found in the  first commandment in the Bible from God to humanity. “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the face of the earth” (Genesis 1:28). Sex is a good thing—a sacred thing. And so is sexual desire.

Christianity does not want the annihilation of sexual desire. It’s about the reorientation of it for the sake of love. Many people get confused because they think that strong sexual desire is the same thing as lust. It’s not. Sexual desire is a God-given gift which should propel us to make a gift of ourselves to our spouse. Lust, on the other hand, doesn’t propel us to give—it compels us to take.

Love says, “This is my body, given up for you.” Lust says the opposite: “This is your body, taken by me.”

2. Freedom is one day at a time.

If you view freedom from porn as a destination, you’ll almost certainly remain disappointed. Freedom is not so much a destination we reach as it is a daily decision we make. Freedom is one day at a time.

Your goal today is not, “Okay, I’ll never look at porn again!” Instead, it’s, “Today I resolve to be the person God made me to be, and one thing that means is this: today I will not get sucked into lust and pornography.”

As Jesus said: don’t worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Real freedom is a lifetime of todays: moment-by-moment choices.

3. You should struggle with the temptation to look at porn.

Many Christians seem to think that the word “struggle” is synonymous with “give into.” We hear people say, “I’ve been struggling with porn,” and we assume they mean “I’ve been giving into porn”—and that is what they mean. But struggle doesn’t mean “give into.” In fact, it means the opposite. It means “to contend with an adversary or opposing force.”

So from that perspective, we can say, “If you are tempted to view pornography, we hope you struggle with it, since the only other alternative is to just give in.”

When we struggle, when we “contend with an adversary or opposing force,” we grow stronger. When we struggle with pornography we grow in virtue. It’s not just the virtue of purity we grow in, we grow in other virtues as well: moral courage, patience, humility, and self-mastery.

If you struggle with pornography, recognize that you have an opportunity—an opportunity to tap into a massive outpouring of God’s grace.

People often ask if it’s truly possible to be free from porn. They may feel they’ve tried everything and are beginning to despair. They may believe recovery isn’t possible, at least not for them.

Still, freedom from porn is possible. We know this for two reasons:

  1. Many Covenant Eyes members have been there and felt the same way, but have since found lasting recovery.
  2. For Christians, no matter how entrenched in porn you are, God’s grace is bigger, and He is able to do more than we can ever hope or imagine.

Before we engage in practical steps, we need to keep in mind these three important truths in order to even begin battling porn addiction effectively.



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