The use of pornography involves secrets, lying, and hiding. Cordelia Anderson, MA has labeled pornography a public health problem in the United States and rightfully so.

Pornography has been known to devastate marriages, cause personal physical problems, wreak havoc on emotional well-being, present inaccurate portrayals of women, and undermine spiritual relationships with God and others. Yet, despite this destructive nature, it’s a thriving business in the United States and throughout the world. Research shows that the pornography industry is larger than the MLB, NBA, and NFL all combined.

What can you do if you are struggling with pornography? Follow the five steps below.

First – Admit that your use of pornography a problem.

This may be a challenge because as with anything that is addictive, there is a certain amount of pleasure that must be overcome. Pornography tends to raise the levels of dopamine in the brain. This chemical is closely tied with emotions and actions and is the chemical that signifies happiness and enjoyment. However, to overcome the struggle, one has to first see that it is a problem.

Second – Accept that viewing pornography is wrong.

In God’s eyes pornography is a sin. In addition, pornography is not a victimless industry. Women, men, girls and boys are trafficked, drugged or forced into the industry. Guilt and shame are frequent partners to those viewing pornography. Know that forgiveness is found in Jesus who came to take those sins away, and pray for strength to overcome this temptation.

Third – Be purposeful in avoiding temptation.

Be mindful of your setting and schedule. Avoid places where you might be isolated and tempted to view pornography. When you feel that temptation arise, have a plan to redirect your mind elsewhere. Open and read the Bible, walk on the treadmill or lift weights, or have a specific prayer ready to read aloud. Anything that you can quickly use as your go-to distraction, that is safe and healthy, use it to help you create new habits.

Forth – Guard your eyes.

Eyes that wander are eyes that trigger the impulses that make you want to view pornography. Because pornography is visual in nature it is your eyes that need to be guarded. Refocus your eyes and attention on healthy things to view such as photos of your recent family vacation, your wedding album, or simply look out the window and view nature.

Last – Seek help.

Seeking help to overcome the struggle of pornography is a sign of strength and desire to change. Find a mental health counselor whom you can trust and an accountability partner to help you through this struggle. Counseling is a safe and confidential place to explore and express your challenges and also to find the tools and techniques to overcome.

At Lutheran Family Service you’ll find a team of Christian counselors trained in helping people who are struggling with addictions. Contact our office today to take the first step in your road to recovery.

Above all, you can be absolutely certain that the Lord your God loves you. He will walk with you and give you the strength you need to overcome.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Rev. Mick Wolfram – Lutheran Family Service Congregational Services

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