3 Lies That Kept Me Trapped By Porn

I’ve read a lot of stuff about pornography, lust, and accountability. When I first glanced at My Chains Are Gone, I thought it was going to be more of the same. It wasn’t. David shares his journey to freedom with candor and clarity that is often missing from this conversation, especially in the church.  While pornography and sexual addictions are complex and multi-faceted issues, I appreciate David’s story and his perspective here:

After more than thirty years of battling pornography, the best attainable definition of “success” I thought I could ever hope for was “not too much… not too often.

Oh, and I was in full-time pastoral ministry. Sad, huh?

But that was before the Truth set me free.

I’d Tried Everything

It’s not that I didn’t want to be free from porn, but nothing worked for very long. I tried every common strategy: confession, accountability, filters, etc. Like so many others, I learned that those strategies are not “tried and true.” They’re try…and fail… and fail again.

They fail because they are based upon lies, the very lies that kept me bound to porn. And no strategy based upon a lie will deliver anyone from bondage to that lie.

The Truth Will Set You Free

For years I heard Jesus’ words, “You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” But it never occurred to me to consider the implication of Jesus’ words in relation to habitual sin.

I finally realized that if I’m still in bondage to habitual sin, then I must acknowledge one of the following:

Either I don’t really “know the truth” yet.

Or I need to redefine “freedom.” 

(Guess which one “not too much… not too often” is?)

Then I learned the truth. Then I was set free. Really free. Surprisingly free. I-don’t-have-to-redefine-the-word-anymore free.

The Lies Fall

My journey to the truth began when I asked the question, “What does God think of our bodies?”

I started in the Beginning.

Genesis 1 tells us that the natural human form was literally crafted by God to tell us something about God; we are created in His image! So when you or I see another person’s body, we are viewing a revelation of God. That’s not what I learned from my culture. And it’s surely not what I learned in church. Realizing this revealed the first lie I believed:

1. The unclothed human body is primarily sexual in nature.
 Therefore, to see another body unclothed is a sexual event.

Instead of seeing God’s image there, I had been taught to interpret the sight of the natural human form only in terms of its impact on my sexual urges.

That led directly to the second lie I believed:

2. The automatic and natural response to the sight of an unclothed body is sexual arousal. Therefore, the best strategy against lust is to limit the opportunity to view the unclothed body.

But what if that is wrong? What if the “automatic” and “natural” response to the sight of the human body is actually to praise to the Creator whose image is revealed? Couldn’t this mean that our strategies are flawed?

(This is where many will protest, “But men are visual!” That turns out to be a myth too. I’ve learned that the “men are visual” response is not God’s design; it is pervasive cultural conditioning.)

And that shines the light on the third lie:

3. To be drawn to the sight of nudity (beyond your spouse’s) is a perversion.
Therefore, we must make every effort to eradicate this “perversion” from our hearts.

If God’s image is on display in the unclad human form, why then would we NOT be drawn to it? Is there any other physical beauty in this world for which — when our eyes are drawn to it — we are judged “perverse”?

For years, I assumed that my interest in seeing the natural female form was a perversion. At the same time, I assumed that my lustful response to it was completely natural. Now I know that my thinking was backwards. Being drawn to that form is natural; lusting after it is perverse.

Jesus never said we must not look, He only said that we must not lust. Appreciating beauty is right; sexually objectifying a person’s beauty for selfish gratification is wrong.

I had been fighting the wrong battle all those years.

Freedom Overwhelmed Me

When I rejected these lies and embraced the truth, the allure of pornography melted completely out of my life. For the first time in more than thirty years, porn was not constantly beckoning to me to sample its forbidden delights.

I wasn’t trying to overcome porn; I wasn’t looking for another “cure” when I learned the truth. But Jesus didn’t say the truth would help me, empower me, or even motivate me to be free. He said the truth would MAKE ME free. And that’s exactly what happened.

Thanks be to God.

adapted from My Chains Are Gone 

[ image: systembug ]

3 Lies That Kept Me Trapped By Porn

July 25, 2014 | 4 minute read

trapped

I’ve read a lot of stuff about pornography, lust, and accountability. When I first glanced at My Chains Are Gone, I thought it was going to be more of the same. It wasn’t. David shares his journey to freedom with candor and clarity that is often missing from this conversation, especially in the church.  While pornography and sexual addictions are complex and multi-faceted issues, I appreciate David’s story and his perspective here:

After more than thirty years of battling pornography, the best attainable definition of “success” I thought I could ever hope for was “not too much… not too often.

Oh, and I was in full-time pastoral ministry. Sad, huh?

But that was before the Truth set me free.

I’d Tried Everything

It’s not that I didn’t want to be free from porn, but nothing worked for very long. I tried every common strategy: confession, accountability, filters, etc. Like so many others, I learned that those strategies are not “tried and true.” They’re try…and fail… and fail again.

They fail because they are based upon lies, the very lies that kept me bound to porn. And no strategy based upon a lie will deliver anyone from bondage to that lie.

The Truth Will Set You Free

For years I heard Jesus’ words, “You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” But it never occurred to me to consider the implication of Jesus’ words in relation to habitual sin.

I finally realized that if I’m still in bondage to habitual sin, then I must acknowledge one of the following:

Either I don’t really “know the truth” yet.

Or I need to redefine “freedom.” 

(Guess which one “not too much… not too often” is?)

Then I learned the truth. Then I was set free. Really free. Surprisingly free. I-don’t-have-to-redefine-the-word-anymore free.

The Lies Fall

My journey to the truth began when I asked the question, “What does God think of our bodies?”

I started in the Beginning.

Genesis 1 tells us that the natural human form was literally crafted by God to tell us something about God; we are created in His image! So when you or I see another person’s body, we are viewing a revelation of God. That’s not what I learned from my culture. And it’s surely not what I learned in church. Realizing this revealed the first lie I believed:

1. The unclothed human body is primarily sexual in nature.
 Therefore, to see another body unclothed is a sexual event.

Instead of seeing God’s image there, I had been taught to interpret the sight of the natural human form only in terms of its impact on my sexual urges.

That led directly to the second lie I believed:

2. The automatic and natural response to the sight of an unclothed body is sexual arousal. Therefore, the best strategy against lust is to limit the opportunity to view the unclothed body.

But what if that is wrong? What if the “automatic” and “natural” response to the sight of the human body is actually to praise to the Creator whose image is revealed? Couldn’t this mean that our strategies are flawed?

(This is where many will protest, “But men are visual!” That turns out to be a myth too. I’ve learned that the “men are visual” response is not God’s design; it is pervasive cultural conditioning.)

And that shines the light on the third lie:

3. To be drawn to the sight of nudity (beyond your spouse’s) is a perversion.
Therefore, we must make every effort to eradicate this “perversion” from our hearts.

If God’s image is on display in the unclad human form, why then would we NOT be drawn to it? Is there any other physical beauty in this world for which — when our eyes are drawn to it — we are judged “perverse”?

For years, I assumed that my interest in seeing the natural female form was a perversion. At the same time, I assumed that my lustful response to it was completely natural. Now I know that my thinking was backwards. Being drawn to that form is natural; lusting after it is perverse.

Jesus never said we must not look, He only said that we must not lust. Appreciating beauty is right; sexually objectifying a person’s beauty for selfish gratification is wrong.

I had been fighting the wrong battle all those years.

Freedom Overwhelmed Me

When I rejected these lies and embraced the truth, the allure of pornography melted completely out of my life. For the first time in more than thirty years, porn was not constantly beckoning to me to sample its forbidden delights.

I wasn’t trying to overcome porn; I wasn’t looking for another “cure” when I learned the truth. But Jesus didn’t say the truth would help me, empower me, or even motivate me to be free. He said the truth would MAKE ME free. And that’s exactly what happened.

Thanks be to God.

adapted from My Chains Are Gone 

[ image: systembug ]

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