I'm not sure if this little boy is going in for a kiss or is just being a nuisance to his sister, but for all intents and purposes, I'm going to go for the former. And this SHOULD be the proper response of a little girl who is being approached at such a young age for something like a kiss. Now I'm not saying we don't do that kind of stuff. Little kids kiss other little kids in very harmless way but if a young little boy goes in for "the kill," I would like to think, in my idealistic world, that this would be the first response. Free love, 1967 Summer of Love type radicals will probably wish to lock me up for such a rigid stance, but I want a girl to know she is ready for the advancement, whenever that times comes. For my daughter, I've set it at 40. :)
When I worked in foster care, albeit about a year and a half, I was assigned a case of a young boy who was removed from his home because he "perpped" on his little sisters. In other words, he was a sexual predator at age 12. Age 12? Really? Where in the world did a 12 year old learn a myriad of sexual behaviors enough to perform them on or demand them from his two younger sisters, and where did he come to understand that he needed to bribe them to keep their mouths closed about it? He evidently deemed it to be a bad thing but did it anyway. My main question to him was, knowing that he had watched porn on some of his friends' smart devices, "did you ever think to do anything like that before you watched porn?" His answer was an emphatic no. He didn't even know that kind of stuff existed, and yet here he is, engaged with that imagery so much that he wanted to see what it was like in the flesh-if he could experience what they experienced while acting on screen.
He experienced something he was not ready for. He was removed from his home and placed in foster care.
I wish I could say that his was an isolated case but it isn't. Not in foster care, not in the world of "healthy" families, not anywhere. It's rampant. Young boys and girls in their pre-pubescent years and teens are now a whole new breed of porn producers as they sext back and forth pics and videos of their nude bodies to show off what "they got." It's how they strive for acceptance now. When I was younger, it was clothes. Now it's what lies beneath. But who or what in the world gave these young kids the idea to do that? Well, if you've known me personally long enough, you'll know my answer. PORN.
Porn is now more invasive than ever. It shows up in our everyday activities. It's part of our online experience as porn sites seek to engage kids while sending out links to online kid sites. They even offer sexual pictures of Disney characters to pull them in. In the world of videogames, the whole issue of sexuality is present in such games like GTA (Grand Theft Auto) where you get to kill prostitutes. Great. In one fell swoop, we get desensitized to sex and violence and then milquetoast parents, who wish to remain naive about their children's activities, wonder why they are going to visit their son or daughter in jail. And the sad truth is, most of society wants to protect porn as a first amendment right because they want access to their addiction whenever they can get it. They justify their need in many ways and will fight against you if you try to tell them that it is the main culprit, the point of origin that turns our darling little toddlers into isolated, harsh, angry teens. Yes, there are hormones involved but hormones laced with constant porn use actually causes a form of brain damage that leads to depression and a loss of logical reasoning.
What's worse, is that this porn use is quite often the symptom of another problem. Just like people will escape into their alcohol. gambling, marijuana and cocaine use, porn is no different. It has the same capability of messing you up mentally and physically, very similar to other addictions. What lies beneath what lies beneath? In essence, what are the problems the kids are facing that is allowing them to escape into porn use? Sometimes there is not an issue and it is simply another substance abuse problem, but other times there is brokenness, trauma, emotional injury or emptiness. However, the imagery of porn and consistent reinforcement of porn normalizes sexual behaviors. It makes a young kid think that he can try out such viewed sexual behaviors on younger girls. It makes a young boy think that if he's attracted to a girl at school, she is probably going to like that and is going to give in to her most basic instinct of sexual desire and give the boy whatever wants, however he wants it and she will probably continue to hunger for more and wait for his beckon call to "wash rinse repeat" this whole thing all over again.
The weirdness ensues when the boy is hypersexed up by his porn use and has this false sense of bravado, he acts out on those belief systems we just mentioned, and many a time, the girl will NOT embrace his sexual advances and push him away. This is somewhat confusing to this lad because he has just watched teen girls on his computer or smart phone who get turned on by their teachers who will give them a better grade if they takes care of his sexual needs. on screen he sees such a girl steal away and perform all manner of sexual behaviors with her boyfriend, or girlfriend, or her stepdad or even her real dad. So many stereotypical relationships are exemplified in porn and continual reinforcement by watching this stuff, as well as masturbating to it, keeps the belief system so fresh that this boy begins to believe this is what young girls actually want. Art imitates life right? Add to this the potential underlying trauma of say, a messy divorce, a death, an additional addiction like drug use and you have the makings of perfect adolescent sexual storm.
Our fight to shut down easy access to porn is not just some selfish quest because it's not good to see a bunch of naked people having lots of sex in every way imaginable. It goes much deeper. We seek to make access harder to come by because it stops the cycle of belief systems and behaviors that stem from that. We want to protect our young kids and give them a normal, positive and fun childhood, full of good information that promotes real relationship, real love and, pure sexuality, not let them find the counterfeit on their own and begin to learn something completely baseless and hurtful to themselves or others. When this belief system is met with a challenge such as the girl not giving in to the boy's advances, that's where we often see forced sexual behaviors that lead to coercion and rape. No one wants to admit that we live in a rape culture but porn is showing us that when it doesn't work out like it does on the computer screen, there is a paradoxical struggle within the addicts - and that's what they've become - they can't fully grasp it, but to them it means, they must work harder for the favorable return. When that doesn't work, they can actually enter into rage because of mental and physical issues due to the addiction and really cause harm to a number of people.
Please do not look upon porn as some evil we just have to put up with. Please do not look at porn as free speech because according to our Constitution, it is not. Please be vigilant about the games your kids play online and on their playstations, etc. And finally, invest into them truth about respect and honor of the opposite sex. They may not like you in the moment, but they will come to appreciate your input as I know I do and you do as well when you hear yourself say, "I'm glad I was taught that lesson when I was younger." You can change the world, just by being invested in your children. Don't let the world guide their thinking, because it will.
When I start to tell people about the connection between porbnography and many of the sexually related crimes we see, most people either do not see the connection, or refuse to see the connection. Then I share the following information with them and suddenly their eyes are open.
So often in the news today we see child pornography rings getting busted or sexually related assaults, molestations, abuse and even homicides but we rarely do the necessary homework to try and tie this all together.
To fully understand this is to recognize that such a process of becoming an abuser takes a lot of time. Normally it starts with easy access to pornography. When a young person, most often males at this time (although there is a growing number of females becoming addicted), finds pornography, it's usually around age 10 or 11 that it actually begins to attach itself to the pre-pubescent curious brain. This is where many parents make the mistake of dismissing an attachment to pornography. Many will look at it as a phase (which in all honesty, it could be simply that), or it's not going to hurt anyone because they're just looking at pictures. Even when it comes to the act of masturbaction, many fathers will say, "what's the big deal, I did it. We all do it."
However, the activity of masturbation, as it normally accompanies viewing pornography, can really become a stronghold in a young person's life. It feels physically good and because of the brain chemistry, there can be some rearrangement of chemicals that continue to draw the young child back to such behavior. It happens the same way with regular substances such as heroin or marijuana or alcohol. If this behavior becomes normative for the young person, it will be hard for them to break the cycle without a commitment to stopping any and all behaviors as well as avoiding such triggers as porn or other sexually suggestive triggers that we see all around us everyday. It's extremely hard.
Now, what is seen by a young, immature person in the realm of pornography sets up a burgeoning belief system that this is what sex is all about. The woman craves sex with a man and is game to do it whenever the man wants - in fact, the woman can often seductively start the process. This is a huge misnomer that becomes lodged in the brain. It actually forms into an expectation. This is one of the first areas where porn use and sexual exploitation joins in a seamless way.
Now this normally enters into a physical relationship as the young man grows up. As he begins to date he will oftentimes try and bring the relationship to a sexual place. Kisses become fondling, fondling leads to skin touch, skin touch leads to nudity and then nudity opens the door to potential intercourse. Often times the female in the situation does not want to participate in such activity, which confuses the male, as he has seen quite a bit of opposing behavior in pornography. He feels that for whatever reason, this is just something to overcome. the female is often told that this is what guys are like and what guys want and if they want the guy to really like them, they will let the guy do his thing. (Suddenly sex loses its sacredness). This is normally not told to the child by parents but through peer pressure. My belief is that those who have sold out their virginity to a highly lustful male actually feel horrible and, well, misery loves company. But I can't speak for the female completely, as I am not one.
Now the male has experienced full on intercourse. The feeling mimics his pleasure when he masturbates and so he would like to have more of it. However, the girl probably feels bad that she has traded in this sacred bastion of true love for a brain chemically induced addict to the feelings of sexual pleasure. He's going to want it more and now there comes this chance to live out the imagery he sees in pornography with his girlfriend. This is the second seamless attachment that takes place.
When the girl doesn't feel right about the demands placed on her by this young male, he again gets confused about the fact that all these women in these videos are so lustfully hungrily craving sex at every turn, he begins to become more demanding of the sexual experience with her. Now, slowly but surely, he emulates the control he sees in pornography as normally, today, we see this power and control growing with the demands easily satiated by the female. There could be multiple men with one women seizing control of her body and doing whatever they want with the result being that the woman loves whatever it is that is happening to her. It can also show the lonely housewife going after the delivery guy, and she's probably married. Nurses, secretaries, teachers, etc. All the stereotypical roles that women can often fill, are highly sexualized but still the young man cannot separate the fantasy from reality. He probably sees the female as being a little too difficult to deal with - high maintenance as it comes to his sexual needs. So, just like the novelty presented in pornography, he decides he's going to break it off with her and seek another avenue for pleasure. This is the third seamless connection - novelty found in porn at the click of a mouse button. The male can choose whatever scenario he wishes to see that will be him to a full on orgasm while he is alone. This is called the Coolidge Effect. One ram and one ewe in a pen will create some level of sexuality between the two but the ram will tire of just being with one ewe. But, give a ram 6 or 7 ewes, and he will have sex with all of them until he passes out. Novelty, choice. It creates more of a false understanding of sex in the mind of maturing young male. Now when he is at school or the doctor's office, he may relive this imagery.
Now he has moved on. He has left a young female, now no longer a virgin at age 14 who feels horrible and he is off to find another female who will hopefully give into his need for sexual release. He may find one - or seek out - one who is disenfranchised or neglected by family and wants to attach to someone for affirmation and acceptance. So, she will give into his whim of sexuality to help him stay in her life and give her a sense of meaning. So now he is able to experiment on her in all manner of sexual deviance and she willingly obliges but whoops! Somebody just conceived a child. ABORTION! But the female doesn't want the abortion because the baby is way to tie this male to her life for at least 19 years. Now these two kids have had their life altered radically. This is not one of the seams but it is a high probability in today's culture. What does become a seam is this young man's realization that he no longer has the ability to have his sexual novelty with women. Somehow he must face up to the fact that he has to now, at age 16 take responsibility for a child. He no longer can enjoy his formative years but has now been thrust into adulthood when he wasn't ready and this will mess with his mind even more because he has, for about 4 or 5 years now, been a slave to pornography and its effects and this whole interruption is really messing with him.
He will now revert into pornography for his solace, because after all, it is the one thing that has been there for him through thick and thin. It has always brought him pleasure and it has always presented him with options - and now he has no options because he just became a daddy at age 16.
But let's remove the whole unwanted pregnancy. there will be things that this girl will not want to do sexually. She will most likely recognize that this relationship is not built on anything substantial and will want out. The Coolidge Effect that was taking place in his mind is now faced with a potential break up so reject before rejection and move on to something else. Most likely it will be to increase the porn use. The brain is now shrinking in the logic department and increasing in the reward circuitry. it needs to feel good. After all these many moments of pleasure in sexuality have actually attached themselves to the survival mechanism in the brain. So to feel good sexually means to survive. After all this dysfunction in relationships, he needs to survive and so porn offers that. Now he continues to use. Maybe not every day and maybe more than once a day - many young men do that.
We have talked a ton now about the effects of pornography and its seemingly normative aspects on the person watching but there is the other side of pornography. The industry itself. With every click of the mouse, you show the industry that they are viable and needed. Now the women in the industry who are often coerced with kindness and a feeling of acceptance are now suddenly finding themselves addicted to drugs, dealing with psychological disorders, are dealing with many health complications (sometimes fatal) and often times end their lives, or disappear without a trace. Because we show the industry they are wanted, they continue to keep going after male and female alike presenting one side of the industry as glamorous and leaving out the above, actual true stories. This is one of the sexual exploitation sides that could be stopped if access to porn was curbed.
Back to our young man. By now he's graduating high school. no one really sees what he experiences in the seclusion of his bedroom while he uses his smart devices to access porn regularly and achieve sexual gratification. No one sees that inside his brain some changes are taking place that don't allow him to get the same high watching "normal" porn but he is moving on to highly deviant porn and it is becoming normal for him to think that this actually exists out there in the world. Multiple sex partners and orgies, teen porn, bestiality, pain or defecation porn, male dominance and demanding porn, child porn...
Because he can't find someone in his circles to join in any of these deviant activities with him, he goes out and hires a prostitute for a night just to get it out of his system. Many a prostitute have stated recently they are seeing an uptick in violent, controlling and demanding johns who have this insatiable need to be overbearing in their sexual experiences. Ripping hair, anal sex, oral sex choking and vomiting - just all around forcing them to do whatever they want. Now this person is in society and can easily, if not careful, cross the line into a higher need for sexual satisfaction as it results in acting out physically by going after, say, those younger than him. Maybe teenagers, maybe children under 12, maybe getting involved in a ring of sexual activity as I mentioned earlier.
Now does this always happen this way? No. Bt it happens quite a bit and it is because of this normative sense that porn portrays to a young person who has used this as sex education and thinks it is how the world really is. Most of the time we see the results in broken marriages because the wife does not want to be subservient to all of this overtly dysfunctional sexuality or even the use of pornogrpahy by the husband. She sees it as betrayal and adultery and rightly so. When broken homes happen because of such behavior, the kids are left in the dark and now have to split their loyalty and live these separate lives. Now these poor kids torn apart might find pornography and use it to relieve stress and the whole cycle starts all over again. Perhaps young girls who are unable to handle this break up might isolate herself and leave herself open for coercion into a group where she belongs but it's a cover to front her as a prostitute. Whereas in a whole family unit there is more investment into the children, they have a better chance of growing up and having a proper mindset but porn continues to weasel its way into our families. Many a husband has gone out to utilize a prostitute to bring some sense of calm to his sexual angst. He's still confused that his wife doesn't crave sex like he has been taught and is continually shown as he uses porn through his adulthood. (And trust me, the woman knows when she is being objectified sexually and she hates it.)
Get a filter today!!! Set up accountability and help guard your home computers and smart devices.
Go to the Covenant Eyes filter icon here: Here
In other blogs we will look at other issues such as the local coercion of disenfranchised females who become prostitutes - and the use of porn as marketing for prostitution. As well, we will look at corollary drug addictions where people offer themselves sexually to get more drugs, even mothers who prostitute their young female children for a drug money.
Through-out my struggle with Pornography I always came back to the addiction. Sometimes it was a daily struggle, sometimes it was a few days of temporary freedom, then right back to the addiction. There were also times where I felt I had finally overcome the addiction when I would be able to fight off temptation for a few weeks. In each instance something inside of me was triggered and I would relapse and then feel guilt and shame over what I did - and the cycle would repeat (for over 20 years).
My view of God through-out the addiction was very out of order. I really didn't think much about God to be honest, except for the times that I would beg him for forgiveness for acting out again. It got to the point that I became so numb in the addiction that I really didn't care and really didn't ask God to forgive me. I felt hopeless and alone. My heart was so focused on myself and my needs that I didn't have time to let God take control. I would always take control of my sexuality when I felt the urge. I mean pornography was only a click away.
Porn always served a purpose in my life when I felt lonely and needed a release or when my wife was unavailable to me. I used and manipulated my relationship with my wife. I would really pitch a fit like a child if she told me no. I was able to get her to give into my need for sex most of the time. My compulsion though was to the point that even though we had a good sex life (3-4 times per week), it was not enough. I was looking for more...and more......and more sex. My life was all about sex.
Looking back on my life, I was so selfish and my definition of love was how much my wife was giving into my endless demands for sex. So how did I turn it around? How do you get yourself out of a mindset that always seeks more sex? How do you overcome an addiction that keeps urging you to act out in a sinful way to fulfill the pain you have in your life? I know for myself I was trying to fill a void in my life that porn really couldn't satisfy.
Below are a few of the ways that I was able to overcome my addiction to pornography. Remember, we have to change a mindset that seems to be overwhelming at times. To do this we need consistency in our life. We can't waver back and forth between giving up the addiction and going back into the addiction. So many caught up in this addiction find themselves stuck in the middle of this conflict. We know it's wrong to do, but we convince ourselves just this one last time and that's going to be it. I did it this way for over 20 years and nearly lost my marriage.
Below are a few of the keys that I found to overcoming this addiction.
Building a relationship with Jesus Christ -
Jesus has to move from the bottom of your list to the very top. There can be no compromise if you want freedom in this area of your life. The addiction will break through an open doors that it can. Surrender to Jesus is key. Running to His arms is the most important decision you can make. Running away from Him is what the enemy wants you to do. Draw near to Him and surrender it all over to Him. He wants to show you love, He wants to lift you out of the pit, but the choice is yours. Learn who you are in Jesus and what you mean to Him. So much of this addiction is based on the lies of the enemy that tell you that you are a hopeless cause, that you are not worthy, that you are unlovable, but these are all LIES! Jesus does not see you as hopeless. His heart breaks for you when the wrong decision is made. Know who you are in Christ by picking up a bible and studying the word and find out the truth about who you are in Christ. There is an awesome book that explains a lot of this. It's called "Eyes of Honor" by Jonathan Welton. Get it and meditate on it. Understand that you are powerful in Christ. Learn to fight porn addiction. You are made for much more than being stuck in a life of hopelessness.
Have Support Contact(s) -
One of the most important things to my recovery has been not only my relationship with God, but my relationship with others who understand the struggle that I've faced. It's been vital for me becoming the person that I am today. Porn addiction seeks to isolate you and keep you hidden from others who care. I can tell you that I spent so many years in the darkness and it took me so long to finally come out and admit to another human being that I was struggling. The pride in my life was great, but God was greater. Here at our Reboot group it is a safe place to share your story and hear the stories of others who struggle and also hear from those who have been able to recover and find freedom from this horrible addiction.
Be Proactive -
Use a computer web filter and/or accountability software. If you are serious about recovery you need to be intentional about being transparent. This begins by holding yourself accountable to someone else. This is an important step because as I mentioned above, the enemy is looking for any open doors that he can find and if he finds that the computer is not guarded, then he has an opening that he can begin working on your mind. I have been using Accountable2you.com software and it's very good at what it does. It will even send text alerts to your partner. It costs $4.99 per month, which is a small price to pay to keep you on the right track.
I believe that by following these steps you will be able to overcome this addiction with the power of Jesus residing inside of you. Knowing your identity in Him is everything. You don't have to live another day in addiction. Jesus has called you out and wants so much more for your life. Feel free to contact us on the webpage if you desire to know more about our life-changing group! Blessings to you!
outMy story starts as a 12 year old boy. It actually starts earlier, at maybe 8 years old when I started to be bullied because I was fat. That took its toll on my life over the next 4 or so years. However while riding bikes behind the local mini-mart I discovered what many other boys had come to discover: discarded pornographic magazines. You can imagine the overwhelming feeling of sexual gratification a young boy on the verge of hormonal explosion was feeling at that moment.
This was back in the mid-1970s. So often I found myself back in the trash heap looking for new exciting images of naked women. Kind of symbolic don’t you think? One at that age is not truly aware of all that is happening to him. There are these feelings that course through you and it's a mix of, "I shouldn't be doing this," and "This is incredible!"
Being raised in a Christian home, I knew that it was not right to see this type of imagery. Fortunately for me it was a crap-shoot. There may or may not be magazines back where we rode our bikes so I didn't have a regular diet of this, still the imagery was in my mind and I began to fall into sexual sin due to self-gratification. That's after I found out that you could do that kind of thing with your body.
Over the years, due to my low self-worth from bullying and the sexual side of things (that was sometimes enhanced because school chums knew where their dads hid a stack of girly magazines) I began to get involved with girls in the dating scene. I would become physically involved as a teenager - mostly heavy petting and touching places I shouldn't. I objectified the female body right from the start. Most of the time after dates and making out I would go home and relieve myself of the sexual tension.
Back in the early 1980s a sex flick came out in public theaters and I went to see it. I was probably 16 or 17 and can't believe I made it in but I did. Also with the advent of cable TV and the sexual revolution increasing into the media, channels like Playboy could be seen if you paid for it but also if you tricked your cable access box into staying on that channel by flipping back and forth on the remote. The jamming of the signal wasn't that great and I discovered how to get a few minutes of sheer viewing pleasure by doing this. I guess other men had figured that out too since you can't do such archaic type things anymore in this digital age.
Then came the VCR player! TADA!!!!
Now older guys my parent's age were no longer stockpiling magazines but adult erotic films. And in their ignorance thought they hid them well in their clothes closet. Well a friend of mine from high school introduced me to this new media. That was it. If there was ever a moment in time where I could've backed out and stopped going down the road of addiction that would've been it but I did not. I chose to go full steam ahead.
After that it was not just adult films but phone sex where I would accrue multi-hundred dollar phone bills and have to lie my way out of it claiming I was talking to friends long distance. I would then, because I worked a part time job, offer to pay for the phone bills.
Then I joined the Army. I was stationed after all my training in Germany. That was the proverbial frying pan into the fire. On almost every corner there were houses of ill repute. A number of buildings in the downtown area of where I was stationed had little booths to watch porn movies. American movies dubbed in German with subtitles but did we really need them? Like the plot was even relevant? I spent the next two and a half years immersing myself in all that was porn. I saw it all, or so I thought.
In 1986 I came home. I had spent the last 2 years of my life quite often drunk and constantly self-gratifying. I once again started dating and those relationships quickly became physical - this time objectifying women, wanting them to perform for me like the ladies on the silver screen. It worked for a while until they wanted to get married.
Then a door opened for me. Full time ministry in 1993. My life had been a series of ups and downs. Wanting desperately to live for Jesus yet wanting desperately to feel the pleasure of sex. It was a horrific roller coaster ride. The shame, the secrecy, the isolation, the regret...It was emotionally and mentally draining.
Eventually I did marry in 1995 at the ripe old age of 30. Problem solved! I found the perfect girl, beautiful, pure, innocent, godly, talented, sweet, caring and kind. Surely being in full time ministry and married to such a woman should clear things up for me. Well, somewhere in there came the INTERNET! It pulled me right back in. I continued to objectify my wife and demand certain sexual favors from her. I always felt dirty after sex and now I know why. It didn't compute back then.
The year 2000 arrived. We survived the Y2K crisis but I bottomed out. I shan't go into reasons why but suffice it to say that all of the issues of my life decided to converge at one time and like a bomb dropped over Hiroshima it just dropped on top of me. I had been in full time ministry for almost 8 years at this time. I was married, had one child who was not even a year old and ended up having an affair. I lost everything - ministry, family, friends. After taking the first part of 2001 to try and find myself, find the source of it all, I simply decided it was too much to bear. Nothing made sense. I couldn’t find one aspect of my life that I could latch onto and make work. I tried to make my marriage work but I was too far gone. We ended up conceiving and having another child but still it felt more like the world closing in on me than it felt like some divine answer to make me stay. The irony of it all is that I was simply mad at God. Mad at Him for not having a safe childhood and not feeling worth anything. I was mad that because I felt that way I couldn’t find real love or give real love. And when you can’t go to Him for answers where else are you going to turn?
I spent the next 3 years just angry. Kind of lashing out. Started messing with booze again and getting drunk a lot. Self-medicating they call it. I ended up staying with the woman with whom I had the affair. Moved in with her but still I was so empty. We continued to be sexually active but all the while I was wondering if I should go back to my wife. I was fragmented in so many ways. Deep inside there was this desire to do what was right but I offered God a list of demands as to how He should do it. It’s like running in place as fast as you can to get away from everything but then you find you’re just exhausted and you haven’t gone anywhere. I ended up signing the divorce papers in June of 2004.
Later that year, I woke up and felt that “I missed God.” I wanted to be with Him again, serve Him again but had no idea how on earth that would happen. The woman I was with felt the same way but both of us had been a part of the church establishment where there were so many things we hated. We hated the show, the hype, the lack of real relationship, lack of discipleship, loving and serving people. Another point of irony was that when we were at the same church together we would talk about how we longed to see the church return to what Jesus had commissioned it to be. We were both so burnt out by the time we met and we seemed to be the only people listening to each other. Suddenly we entered into something so unrighteous by talking about that which was righteous and one of the deepest desires of both of our hearts. NOTE: This is a warning for people in full time ministry getting close to people and entering into a very gray area and not accepting accountability. The enemy loves this stuff because he knows how beautiful it is when people get so deep spiritually with each other, especially people of the opposite sex. It is such a trap and one needs to heed the danger signs in their heart as well as listen to others when they try and warn you.
Going back to church was the last thing we wanted to do. But we did. We wanted to reestablish a foundation for our lives again. The one we did have was demolished to dust.
We found a cool place, got connected, got married but still I found myself drawn to pornography, especially with the ease of the internet. It was the back and forth type of addiction and sin. You would think you were free, you would think you had finally beaten it then something would trigger in your brain and you’d be right back at it again and again and again. My life was still very restless in trying to help raise my kids - kids who I had deserted - and I was trying to make sense of their lives as well as mine. Not a day goes by that I don’t live with regret for my decision. Sometimes I just end up crying for a while because of how many lives I hurt in the process.
I continued to be involved with pornography up until 2011 when I had a spiritual wake up call. Some amazing opportunities were presenting themselves to me. A church environment was forming that seemed to be right along the lines of what my current wife and I had spoken about a decade earlier - an environment of real love, service, reaching out to others, building community, spiritual accountability, discipleship. I heard God tell me, “You have longed for this your whole life. Even in the midst of your sin you have always wanted what I wanted and a way to serve that purpose on earth. It is here but you cannot have it if you continue to give into your sexual sin.” What a horrible feeling. It wasn’t judgmental, it wasn’t harsh, it was like a father telling his son, “You don’t get to go to the amusement park if you’re going to continue to act that way.” Right then and there I felt I had to let it go. It wasn’t just an issue of loving God more than my sin. It was matter of loving God and hating my sin.
For 35 years, roughly, I was bound by this sin. I was completely addicted to pornography and sexual perversion. It was the only way I could feel good, even if for a moment in time. It covered the pain but then added to it. Because of the internet I began to give myself to a whole new genre of pornography. I won’t rehearse it here but I can honestly say to you that this side of hell, I cannot imagine what I have not seen as far as what is available in this industry. It is horrid. It reeks of hell. And now it is slowly becoming normal in our society and it feels like the task is too great to even try and rescue people from it. My prayer is that people simply come out from the shadows and shame and regardless of what anybody says, regardless of the consequences they may face as a result of coming clean; they will find the love of a true and perfect Father who will love them back to health. You will never find freedom from pornography and sexual sin until you completely abandon your life to Jesus Christ. You must go to the purest source of what real love is and what sexuality was designed for in the first place. I now understand what so many have come to know - a loving Father, not just the big judge in the sky waiting to throw the book at you when you mess up.
I still struggle with the thoughts. I’ve not visited any pornographic sites but the mind games continue. After 35 years I’ve easily cemented pathways in my brain that I will have to continue to jackhammer day in and day out. You cannot find freedom from this addiction without Jesus Christ. It won’t happen. You have to realize he is the only person strong enough to rescue from this sin; in fact He did when He died on the Cross and rose again. It is possible to live completely free of this and allow Him to rebuild your life again. You are never too far gone. Take my hand, join me in this fight let’s walk it out together.
I started my journey into the world of pornography around the time that the Internet was starting to catch on. I remember the dial-up connections that would take sometimes 10 minutes depending on connection speed to get one picture of a girl to appear on the screen. As soon as one image would appear on the screen, that one just didn't do it for me so it was off to the next image. I did this for 20 years.
Technology advanced and the age of dial-up connection came to an end. Then there was DSL Internet connection. This was much faster than the traditional dial-up connection. Soon after that I found that there were free videos online. Free is a relative word though. It definitely was not free as I would learn later on in life. I would watch and fantasize over videos and images that I saw on the screen. As the years went by and I made promise after promise to God that I wouldn't touch porn again, but would find myself acting out once again the next day.
My life was quickly getting out of control, but I denied it was a problem. Loneliness made the addiction to porn seem justified in my mind. When I met my first girlfriend that would eventually become my wife my addiction to porn continued and she didn't have a clue. I justified it all the more. The cycle of insanity would continue into the marriage. I remember having thoughts that when we got married that I would finally be able to put the addiction behind me because I could go to my wife for sex. I found out very quickly a few days into marriage that porn would still be an active part of my marriage.
I carried the secret throughout the first 11 years of our marriage. I finally was caught using porn by my wife in 2010 and this time I couldn't hide anything. There were no excuses, although I came up with all sorts of excuses at the time. I tried to blame her for my addiction. It was her fault for not giving into my high demands of her. I was manipulating her to the point that she would do things she really had no desire to do with me just to fulfill what I saw that happened in the porn videos that I had watched. After months of my wife trying to get me to go to a meeting to get help I finally gave in and attended a meeting. I remember my first SA meeting and the weird feeling I had having to introduce myself to other "sex addicts" as they labeled themselves. I was told that their objective was to not have any sex with anyone except their wives. No self-gratification at all. This really never worked for me. I called myself clean, but I was still actively acting out still in porn. I found myself lying to the guys as I attended the meetings. I couldn't admit that I had a problem. I attended this meeting for a little over a year, but really didn't feel that my identity should continue as being labeled a sex addict even if I had 10-20 years of sobriety. It just didn't add up to what the bible was telling me.
When I finally found Maurice Crane my life was a mess. At this point I had started individual counseling and my wife really lost all trust in me. I was quickly losing the battle for my marriage. As things seemed to go from hopeful to hopeless over and over again almost like the cycle of porn that I was involved in I really began to think that our marriage was doomed to fail. We didn't communicate with each other. There were so many nights that we wouldn't say a word to each other. We both lost love for each other. Porn had completely destroyed my soul.
The past almost two years have been a nightmare relationally. Even though the porn usage stopped, the work trying to get the marriage back to a normal state was a lot of work. About six months ago we both sat in our joint counseling session and my wife told me she could not do this anymore. Fear had gripped her, PTSD had taken over, and frankly she didn't feel safe around me. For the next month or so we slept in separate rooms.
During this time apart is when God finally started to break through in our marriage. We both started to really concentrate on our relationship with God because that was honestly all we had left. My wife had an experience with God where she physically felt God pulling the fear out of her. It completely changed our marriage. One touch of God in her life was all it took. I know though that a majority of marriages never get to this stage. A lot of marriages end by this point because the wounds are just too deep.
This is where our group comes in. Maurice has spoken into my life so much truth and so much life. I am so grateful for the friendship that we have and the group of men that we share our struggles with every Tuesday evening. Whatever battle you're facing please understand that there is always hope. My situation seemed very hopeless at times and I really felt like just throwing in the towel, but God has a way of taking the worst situation and turning it around for His good and glory.
I pray that you receive healing from this addiction, but to do that it is important that you get relationships with others who have had victories and have overcome the demons in their lives. We all come from different walks of life. Some of us still struggle and some of us have had victory over this addiction. I pray that we as a group will bring light to the darkness and that we will be a safehaven for those who are still caught up in the web of destruction caused by porn and other sexual sins.