“George Barna has stated that half of the men sitting in the pew on Sunday morning have a major problem with pornography.”—Patrick Morley, in a presentation of the National Coalition of Men’s Ministry Leadership Conference
Roy Comstock of Men in Ministry surveyed more than 1,000 men of different denominations during the past several years. He reported that 46 percent had willfully viewed explicit material within 30 days of answering the survey. Ninety-one percent of the men attended church at least once a week. On average each man had known the Lord 21 years.
(Are these) statistics true of men in Alliance churches? Yes. The following are three examples of men who have overcome their addictions to pornography.
Testimony 1: From the Cell to Christ
I was sexually molested when I was 15 years old. The molestation left me feeling like I had done something bad. I could not understand why people I trusted—a doctor, a lawyer and a minister—would do anything like that. I figured people in authority had the right to do what they did.
It took me a long time to trust men, and I thought that entering the military would ease the pain of the molestation. But it was not meant to be. I was introduced to pornographic material in the military. It had a definite impact on my way of thinking.
I was stationed near Washington, D.C., where I visited adult bookstores, saw pornographic movies and watched strippers. Although I was a Christian, I was drawn deeper and deeper into pornography.
I felt that it was wrong to view pornographic images, but thinking about the men who molested me made it seem normal. I began the slow path to sexual addiction.
Because I was molested by older men, my sexual addiction was focused on girls and younger women. I watched x-rated movies and read erotic books, which fed my sexual desires. I knew God would have to stop what I was doing and that my actions were not pleasing to Him.
I was so attracted to pornography that my thoughts revolved around the young girls I met at work. I eventually took a job working for a school system, which increased my appetite for pornography.
God spoke to me in many ways. Once He stopped me from boarding a plane that crashed on takeoff, killing all on board. But at the time, I didn’t believe that God actually saved my life.
I continued my sexual fantasies long after I was married, until God finally put a stop to what I was doing. In August 1998, I was arrested for talking to a young girl. Even though I didn’t do anything to her, the fact I made a sexual remark brought in the law.
My arrest was the best thing that ever happened to me. I spent 92 days in jail. God provided an opening and I was put into the Life Learning cellblock with nine other Christian men.
After my arrest, I stayed away from pornography. I knew people were watching me. I was afraid of what would happen if they caught me.
When I was in the Life Learning block, many people visited who—at one time or another—were involved in some sort of sexual addiction. Their testimonies made me realize that only God could break my bondage.
A minister came into our cellblock every Monday and taught us from Romans. That convinced me that what I was doing was wrong.
On my release I began working with a Christian counselor. One day after leaving his office I said, “Lord, I can’t go on like this.” I asked the Lord to reconcile me to Him. God took the load of sexual addiction and pornography off my shoulders. That was the day I knew I was free.
Today, I look for opportunities to share my testimony. I want other men to know what can happen, and that God can break the grip of sexual addiction.—Anonymous
Top Ten Principles for Sexual Purity
We live in a sex-crazed culture where sexual temptation is every man’s battle! Men, how can you learn to say “no” to sexual temptation? How can you gain and maintain sexual purity? How can you teach sexual purity to your children?
The following principles go beyond describing what not to do by detailing what you can do positively. I periodically return to these principles and renew my resolutions. Here is a challenge for you to make the following resolutions to maintain sexual purity:
- Maintain sexual purity through the power of Jesus Christ (Eph. 5:3; Rom. 7:24–25). Exercise self-restraint by bringing my body, mind, will and emotions under complete control through Christ (Gal. 5:16).
- Never look lustfully at a woman, entertain lustful thoughts or commit adultery (Job 31:1; Matt. 5:28; Ex. 20:14, 17; Rev. 2:22).
- Never make sexual or seductive advances toward another woman (Prov. 6:27–29) and resist any sexual advances from another woman (Prov. 2:16; 6:24–26).
- Never allow my mind to pursue stimulation through sensual advertising, obscene or perverse material, nudity, indecent television programs, computer images, the Internet, movies or visit a place of sexual promiscuity (Ps. 101:3; Rom. 12:2).
- Hate evil and put to death earthly desires at work in me for sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil passions and greed. Run from sexual immortality (1 Cor. 6:18; Ps. 97:10; Col. 3:5; 2 Tim. 2:22).
- Fill my mind with things that are pure (Phil. 4:8).
- Use my body to serve the Lord and keep my body clean and pure as a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:13, 19–20). Obey the desires and commands of God in all that I do (1 Pet. 1:14–16).
- Always treat my wife with godliness and humility, honor and respect, dignity and purity (Eph. 5:25–28) and always have my needs for sexual intimacy met by her alone (Gen. 2:24; Prov. 5:18–19; Song 1:2; 1 Cor. 7:3–5).
- Live as a Spirit-filled Christian in expressing value and worth to all people (John 3:16; Rom. 13:9, 15:7).
Quickly and fully repent of any moral failure and trust the Lord for full deliverance (1 John 1:9; 2 Cor. 1:10).
Click here for the article at CMAmen.org. The article was reprinted with permission from an article posted July 7, 2006, on the @Life website. Part II of this series is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 11.