You Will Never Win Your Fight Against Porn.

Managing your sin.

It was about seven years ago. I was on a bus headed to San Francisco. It was a long drive, to say the least. And I remember waking up in the middle of the night just in time to see what was quite possibly the most disturbing billboard I’ve ever seen. It read, “Lion’s Den. Adult Store. Next Right.” I could not believe what I had just read. What amazed me is that people have become so blind and so deceived about the bondage of their sin that they see a store that is literally broadcasting itself as a place that will destroy their lives, and they just waltz right in.

Proverbs 7:21-23 talks about the danger of lust inside our hearts when it speaks of the adulterous woman. “With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him. All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter… he does not know that it will cost him his life.”

This is how many of us live. The proverbial words, “Lion’s Den” are flashing before our eyes as we type our desires into the search bar. We know we’re in danger. But it’s too late. We are fighting a monster called porn (or pre-marital sex, or whatever else it may be), and we are going to lose. There is no way around it.

Instead of putting godly and inconvenient hindrances in our way that keep us from doing something we know we will regret five minutes later, it’s much easier to live as if we don’t have any struggles at all.

The fight you should always run away from.

You cannot win the fight against lust. It’s far too strong. The Bible doesn’t even call us to fight lust. It calls us to run from it. 1 Corinthians 6:18, “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.” But we don’t run away. We stick around and try to fight. Instead of getting off the internet all together, we stay online and try to be strong enough to go to another site. Instead of leaving your girlfriend’s house (or better yet, not going to begin with), we stick around and try to just say “No”. Instead of installing accountability software, we tell ourselves (for the 458th time) that we can say no by ourselves, without help. But you will lose. Every time. If you wonder why you struggle the way you do, it may be because you are fighting sexual immorality when God has told you to run away from it.

Fight yourself instead.

I am not saying not to fight at all. I am telling you not to wait until it’s right in front of you before you start swinging. You shouldn’t be fighting porn or the urge to sleep with your girlfriend. You should be fighting your own flesh way before temptation ever shows it’s face by setting up boundaries for yourself. When do you allow yourself to be on the internet? What do you allow yourself to watch? Where do you allow yourself to go, and at what time? The Lord’s prayer doesn’t say “Lead us not into sin.” It says, “Lead us not into temptation.” Stop fighting sin and fight yourself instead. Rid yourself of temptation so that you do not find yourself in a lion’s den thinking you have a chance at winning.

I can give suggestions that have proved to be helpful boundaries, but there is a sense in which your standards have to be personal. And they may even get a little weird. I’ll give you an embarrassing example for myself.

I hold my breath when I pass by pretty women (told you it was weird). I debated whether I should mention it. For whatever reason, smells can take my mind to places it should never go. So when I walk by a pretty woman, I often hold my breathe until I pass by. I don’t mean that I inhale dramatically and puff out my cheeks and look like a moron, of course. But I do stop breathing for a couple of seconds. This is a huge help for me in fighting my own flesh before it ever evolves into a temptation. I am also very careful with movies I watch, and even songs I listen to because I know myself and what puts me in the wrong frame of mind.

Other men I know have inconveniently rid themselves of their smart phones. One guy refuses to go to public pools or beaches because seeing women dressed in two pieces is harmful for his soul.

How about you?

What must you give up or change to begin fighting your flesh so that you don’t have to try to fight the monster of sexual immorality? If a helpful boundary comes to mind and the thought that immediately follows is, “But I need ______,” or “Is that really necessary?” then you are setting yourself up to lose the fight. We must become as serious about our sin as Jesus is. “And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell,” (Matt. 5:30).

 

You may also like:

When Porn is Better than Marriage

2 Words That Could End Your Marriage

 

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6 thoughts on “You Will Never Win Your Fight Against Porn.

  1. Philippians 4:8 is particularly helpful when dealing with temptation. There are many things we shouldn’t do, and lots of paths to trouble. Rather than focusing on the potentenially overwhelming should-nots, there is a wise simplicity in ” . . . whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” If you engage in a behavior you should do, you can’t do the rest.

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    1. Great thought DWScott. One of the men in our church recently preached on this Scripture. He talked about thinking of a “true, honorable, just, etc.” thought as a way to distract yourself from temptation. I never thought of it like this, but he suggested getting specific with the good thoughts you dwell on. Like when he is tempted with lust, he pictures his wife smiling at him. Etc. I found that helpful. Thanks for your thought.

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  2. Thank you for sharing your wise thoughts on this topic! 🙂 Yes, sometimes personal rules might seem silly to others but if they work, they work! I know that I have observed people ridiculing others for their personal stances on things (sadly, even Christians doing this to other Christians) and it would be so much better if we could just try to understand and help each other instead. I know that I have been guilty of thinking that certain people’s personal rules were a bit too extreme as well. I appreciate you writing this blog, it’s helped remind me that I should encourage and support those striving to honor God in everything, even if I don’t entirely understand or agree with their personal methods.

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    1. Thanks for the response. 😊 Yeah, I’ve heard Pastor Matt Chandler say, “Do That which stirs your affections for Christ.” For him it’s visiting grave yards lol. It’s definitely weird things for some people, but like it you said, if it works it works.

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