Men aren't the only ones with the problem of viewing pornography.
Men aren't the only ones with the problem of viewing pornography. (iStock photo )

Pornography addiction has been growing for decades. The advent of the internet and social media made access to forbidden images available at the touch of a button.

Sexual addiction, including pornography, hits Christians and non-Christians alike. To many, porn addiction has become socially acceptable, while this struggle plagues the hearts and minds of millions of people.

How has pornography affected your life? Here are some things you may not know about this issue:

1. Pornography addiction is pandemic. If you get shocked to hear someone has a battle with porn, you may need to get rid of some naivety. In my experience of coaching people through personal battles, I have observed pornography finding its way into every kind of scenario, from CEOs and successful businessmen to pastors and Christian leaders. The struggle is very real and widespread.

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2. Men are not the only ones who have this struggle anymore. Years ago, it was assumed that pornography struggles was exclusively a male one. That has all changed in recent years. With the rise of sexual confusion and indulgence, pornography addiction now affects females in greater numbers. In addition, romance novels have kicked the intensity of fantasy sex to higher levels, creating entire worlds of emotional escape that play on the brokenhearted and emotionally numbed-out population.

3. Our introduction to sex in life is a factor. For many, our introduction to the topic of sex was not a healthy one, nor a pleasant one. If you ask most, "What was your introduction to the subject of sex?" you will often find two kinds of answers. The first involves a traumatic experience or finding pornography as a young child, before one had the chance to grow up and learn at an appropriate time.

The other answer involves a legalistic, cold and uncomfortable approach in the home. Sex was never discussed. If it was, it was always in a negative or condemning way. Most people's story of "the talk" they got from their parents was on their list of Top Ten Embarrassing Moments. This discomfort in the home caused children to hide their sexual thoughts and struggles in the dark. There was not a healthy context given to build a healthy view of sex in our lives.

Many grow up with an unclean spirit regarding sex. The consequences of sexual sin was emphasized, so, sex in total was seen as bad. The proper context was not talked about and modeled. Only the bad was highlighted.

"Don't have sex before marriage!" But what does that even look like, especially when the parents giving this advice didn't follow that model themselves? The only solution is to create an honest atmosphere where we work through the discomfort and leave the light on regarding this subject. Otherwise we leave our families vulnerable to the enemy's devices as family members ponder the subject of sex in the dark.

4. Pornography addiction hijacks the brain. The greatest deception of pornography habits is that no one will know. But the effects are very real. Pornography addiction is typically connected to acting out in fantasy or masturbation. This dopamine rush programs the brain to want more. Over time, the rush does not satisfy and something more intense is needed.

Pornography will make one lazy regarding true sex with their spouse. They become programmed to have a certain level of intensity in their marriage bedroom they witnessed online. The portrayal of sex in porn is not reality, but there becomes a deep embedding of a counterfeit expectation. This makes sex in marriage boring to the porn addict, leading them to go back to the ease of their destructive habit.

5. Porn trains people to be lazy regarding intimacy. Pornography displays sex as quick, easy and always intense. This is not real relationship–ever. But those who allow pornography addiction to remain will struggle with real life intimacy. Very little work is done on communicating, sharing heart to heart and engaging in physical touch without it automatically needing to lead to sex. Working on personal intimacy issues is often avoided.

Modern culture portrays sex as a constant intensity, with little emphasis for how much work real relationship is. In fact, many couples struggle with sex when they get married. Yet because of how sex is portrayed, they think they are the only ones on the planet who have this struggle. Porn has trained culture that sex is easy and requires little relational skills.

6. Shame keeps us from conquering this issue effectively. Most people don't share about this battle because they live in a world of shame regarding the battle. This is due to the shame they carry internally, combined with the shame people have in their responses. If someone in your church or group of friends admitted to this battle, how would you respond? In order for this battle to be healed effectively, we have to stop shaming people. Listen, the battle is everywhere, so lets stop acting so shocked when people admit to it. Instead, be a loving vessel for healing and restoration.

7. Pornography addiction attacks unhealed brokenness. Many Christians emphasize attacking lust to combat the problem of sexual addiction of all kinds. But that's just swinging at the branches. It's not getting to the root issue. Pornography addiction comes out of an excessive need to be loved, with a rejection spirit connected to this. It usually goes back to their relationship with their father. They never received the revelation of a father's love over their life. Without a father's love over our lives, a man will look to the woman's beauty to satisfy that emptiness. A woman can never satisfy the father wound of a man. Women who never experience solid love and mentoring from a father will run to a man to fill that need to be loved. The enemy gains access to the places where we have not been loved properly.

Web filters and accountability partners are helpful, but if we don't address the wounds of the heart, the pull of pornography will become too powerful. But when the love of Father God is accepted to heal the relational wounds of our heart, pornography will slowly lose its power.

Mark DeJesus has been equipping people in a full-time capacity since 1995, serving in various roles, including teaching people of all ages, communicating through music, authoring books, leading and mentoring. Mark's deepest love is his family; his wife, Melissa; son, Maximus; and daughter, Abigail. Mark is a teacher, author and mentor who uses many communication mediums, including the written word, a weekly radio podcast show and videos. His deepest call involves equipping people to live as overcomers. Through understanding inside out transformation, Mark's message involves getting to the root of issues that contribute to the breakdown of our relationships, our health and our day-to-day peace. He is passionately reaching his world with a transforming message of love, healing and freedom. Out of their own personal renewal, Mark and Melissa founded Turning Hearts Ministries, a ministry dedicated to inside out transformation. Mark also founded Transformed You, a communication platform for Mark's teachings, writing and broadcasts that are designed to encourage people in their journey of transformation.

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