Fighting the pornography habit

I realized I haven’t talked about this topic before on the blog I think, but these examples are one of the ways in which I help mentor men (and women if I get the odd encounter and I’m talking about it with one of them) with sexual temptations like pornography.

I was addicted to porn in the past for over 10+ years. This is what helped me break those habits.

Ephesians 4:20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Becoming more holy is not just “taking off the old” but “putting on the new” too.

Jesus notes what happens when you only try to “take off the old”:

Matthew 12:43 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”

If the ‘house’ is empty and not filled with godliness, it’s going to be easier to fall back into temptation.

One of the reasons why “putting on the new” works so well is because you’re focused on doing what is right. If you continually think about temptation–not looking at porn, you’re actually continually tempting yourself because your mind is focused on it. When you continually tempt yourself, it’s easy to fall into temptation.

Obviously, we are to also flee from temptation, but what should we flee to? Doing what is right.

So to sum up, here are some things to consider for putting on the new:

  • What is your mission for God? Are you actively working toward it?
  • Are you engaging in more spiritual disciplines to grow your faith? Reading your Bible, prayer, meditation, fasting, etc.?
  • What are your spiritual gifts? How are you using them in the Church?
  • What can you do to serve or lead in ministries at the Church?
  • How can you be more involved in sharing your faith or living out your faith?
  • Other ways to be disciplined such as working out, having a disciplined diet, and things like these can also help improve your self control and your temple of the Holy Spirit too.

There are things that many Christians are simply not doing or not doing enough. Christians are called not to be solely hearers of the word but doers. What are the “do-ing” things of living out your faith? Start actively doing them.

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32 Responses to Fighting the pornography habit

  1. Ame says:

    my first Husband became deeply addicted to porn. did lots of bad stuff with it. it destroyed him. it’s hard to watch on the sidelines and feel helpless. there’s only so much someone else can do.

  2. purge187 says:

    Porn blockers could certainly help.

  3. Minesweeper says:

    Whats your definition of “addiction” ?

  4. Novaseeker says:

    Whats your definition of “addiction” ?

    Functionally, I think in 2018 most porn use is going to be addictive, but a good question for a man to ask himself is if he is married, what is the percentage of his orgasms that are porn-related. The higher the number the more likely that the individual in question has conditioned, to some degree, his dopamine/orgasm response to porn, and is therefore addicted in the way that someone becomes addicted to gambling or shopping. A lot of people get tripped up on the word “addiction” because they use a narrow definition of that to include only physical dependency, such that cessation involves physical withdrawal (DTs etc), but one can be psychologically dependent in an addictive way to a dopamine-generating activity without being physically dependent like one can be with substance abuse.

    Keeping in mind, of course, that even if one is not addicted, porn use is clearly immoral from the Christian perspective in any case.

  5. earl says:

    The virtue against all the sexual immorality is chastity. It’s a good thing to pray for and ask God for the grace to practice it.

    You are correct…you can’t remove an destructive addiction without replacing it with something else that is constructive.

  6. Don Quixote says:

    Ame says:

    December 27, 2018 at 11:45 pm
    my first Husband became deeply addicted to porn. did lots of bad stuff with it. it destroyed him. it’s hard to watch on the sidelines and feel helpless. there’s only so much someone else can do.

    [Perhaps this is not the place to discuss such things, but I’m following your lead here]
    Please don’t think I’m being obnoxious, but it was your job as his wife to ensure he wasn’t sexually frustrated 1Cor.7:4.
    From reading your statement; “my first Husband became deeply addicted to porn”. I got the impression that his addiction developed during the marriage. Do you know and understand the “marriage debt” as outlined by St Augustine? If not, I suggest you read it. And consider the debt described is owed to your first husband as long as he lives.

  7. Ame says:

    @Don – you ask some good questions. i did not answer them b/c sometimes people don’t ask, and sometimes people already know the answer.

    no, he did not begin his porn addiction after we were married. he was into it before we married, but i didn’t recognize the signs.

    yes. i was well aware of the ‘marriage debt,’ though i hate to think of it as a ‘debt.’ i was thin and healthy, worked out and ate very well, dressed well and kept myself attractive. i cooked for him every day, i bathed and ‘dressed’ for him every night. yet, his interest in having sex with me waned quickly in our marriage. i cried myself to sleep most every night of our 20 year marriage b/c he didn’t want me.

    this was the 80’s, and there was no internet and few resources. it would be many years before i learned he was addicted to porn. i researched all i knew how to about marriage, asked discretely a woman in leadership why he might not want sex, asked him often what he wanted and what i could do to change and accommodated him, and prayed fervently and read and studied my bible.

    we were young when we were married, and i had a lot to learn, so i dove into reading and learning everything i could on how to be a good, godly, biblical wife. i was not perfect and made many mistakes, but i will tell you that those who know the whole picture, including several strong men, have said it wasn’t me. it was extra frustrating when i had men hitting on me at work and church and other places – every incident i told my husband, i kept nothing from him – yet my own husband didn’t want me.

    by the time he confessed his addiction he’d been sleeping with prostitutes for several years. he sought help and eventually decided he didn’t need help anymore and then left us. four plus years ago he died unexpectedly 😦 .

    i’ve been told he likely had a ‘madonna-whore complex.’ likely did. he was a brilliant, incredible man who had so much to offer, but he was besieged by his demons. unfortunately he did some terrible things to our girls in the years between when he left us and when he died. our daughters have worked hard and have both forgiven him. we talk about him often; he’s a part of our daily lives. he’s their Daddy, and i’ll never take that away from them.

    addiction is progressive. i’ve been told that once one takes a sex addiction to ‘the flesh,’ meaning real people, it changes, becomes more severe. he began seeing prostitutes when i was pregnant and sick with our second baby – both pregnancies he chose, and the second he even prayed over so i wouldn’t have to go thru infertility like we did our first, and i didn’t. still, i made myself available to him, but he chose something else.

    by the time he got to that place, it was like he was living in a parallel, addictive world that could never intersect with reality. it changed him, changed his personality, made him evil and angry and often scary.

    we had read that sometimes men who are addicted to porn hope that getting married will ‘cure’ it, and he said this was true of him. it made him angry, though, when it didn’t. sex with him was him trying to get rid of his demons.

    my N is 2 – 2 husbands, so i only have my second husband to compare that to. and it’s a completely different ballgame altogether.

  8. Don Quixote says:

    Thanks Ame, I am glad things have worked out for the better. A little info can be misleading, and a lot of info comes with extra risk, thanks for your openness. May the Lord bless your heart and your daughters.

    P.S. Remember when posting in the ‘sphere, the guys [not me of course] will multiply Nx3 hehehe

  9. Ame says:

    thank you, Don, for your kind response. i very much appreciate it. it is always a risk to share so much in the ‘sphere, as you mentioned.

    i’ve learned so much out here, and though i cannot control anything, really, i hope i’ve earned enough respect to share some hard things and be taken seriously and appropriately.

    even though he did many bad things, and even though our marriage and family life got to where it was so tense with him around b/c we never knew when he’d fly off and where his temper would go, i would not have divorced him. did i want him to stop hurting us? absolutely. but i did not want the divorce.

    the divorce crushed our daughters, especially our Oldest. the difference in her before and after pictures are stark to me. her personality changed. and then after the things he did to them in later years before he died … our girls have both had physical, mental and emotional effects and scars. it has been, and in many ways it continues to be, very hard; there’s only so much healing one can do at one time, and things take time.

    but … God is so good. i am so blessed. our girls have completely forgive their Daddy and can talk about him freely without pain. do they still hurt? absolutely. do they still miss him? everyday; he was their Daddy. do they still cry? yes, but not as often. as our Oldest often says … “It’s complicated.”

    and … my Husband now is very kind and patient, gentle and fun. he makes us laugh and smile a lot. it’s not perfect, but it’s good. really good. there is no fear, and that’s huge. he’s strong when he needs to be and not invasive trying to force himself into places where they still need their Daddy to be. he’s safe; we do not fear him. it’s wonderful.

    and the difference in the bedroom being married to a sex addict and then one who is not an addict of anything … night and day. i had no idea! lol!

    – – –

    P.S. Remember when posting in the ‘sphere, the guys [not me of course] will multiply Nx3 hehehe

    lol! yeah … can’t control what people believe. and i understand that … once you’ve been lied to so much, you simply do not trust anyone. there are areas of my life where i no longer trust anyone b/c i’ve been lied to so much, myself, in those areas. i totally get it.

    – – –

    sex addiction is such a hard, harsh topic and affects so many people, men and women. i have honestly never been tempted with that; it just does not interest me. but i know those who have, and it’s heart breaking the power it holds.

    from the pov of the married spouse, it’s gut wrenching on so many levels, not the least of which there was nothing i could do or say that made any difference at all. his issues were deep and dark and from long before i came into the picture. he had every opportunity to face his demons but refused … and, needing a scapegoat, i became it.

    i know there are those who sincerely believe there is ‘good’ and ‘safe’ and ‘acceptable’ porn. i cannot speak to that. i do know that it’s a slippery slope … that it can seem like one has control and then the ground falls out, and they’re completely out of control. i imagine all addiction is like that.

  10. Minesweeper says:

    @Ame, addiction is crazy thing, some cant take a drop of alcohol, some cant place a bet, some cant go on a works night out, some cant play cards, some get addicted to church or work and totally neglect their families\children as well.

    Glad you are in a better place now.

  11. Ame says:

    thank you, Minesweeper. i truly appreciate the encouragement 🙂

  12. Jonadab-the-Rechabite says:

    What fills the vacuum, let’s look to scripture….

    “but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”
    ‭‭I Corinthians‬ ‭7:9‬ ‭

    “Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.”
    ‭‭I Corinthians‬ ‭7:2-4‬ ‭

    “Drink water from your own cistern, And running water from your own well. Should your fountains be dispersed abroad, Streams of water in the streets? Let them be only your own, And not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; And always be enraptured with her love.”
    ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭5:15-19‬ ‭

    I think I see a trend.

  13. ChristianCool says:

    Even non-Christian men’s advocates warn about porn addiction and the damage it can do to men, married, single, or young.

    Roosh V (of ReturnOfKings) has had a 10+ year crusade against porn, because he says (correctly), it removes a man’s drive to seek real life women, for instance. (example: https://www.rooshv.com/the-male-thirst-epidemic-is-primarily-caused-by-porn ).

    Gavin McInnes, also not exactly a Christian Conservative, has created an entire movement to fight porn addiction (he has two sites on the matter, most notably the “Proud Boys” site).

    Russian President Putin has had a crusade against online porn for at least 5 years that I know of.
    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/russia-pulls-the-plug-on-top-porn-sites

    Besides the obvious Christian moral aspects of opposing porn addiction, it will definitely make a “real woman” less appealing than the “fantasy” of seeing “perfect women” on highly produced, retouched, and edited videos.

    I have a close friend that has told me he prefer porn then real women. He has basically become the main character of the movie “Don Jon”! 😮 He has also told me that he has had issues maintaining a hard-on with a real woman, even one that is a 8, because porn just looks so much better.

    Definitely something to be concerned about as any masculine Christian male should be.

  14. seventiesjason says:

    So what is an “8” because on a scale of 1 to 10….An “8” is pretty rare. Even in California. In the Christian man-o-sphere to me it seems every woman they ever dated / met/ bedded (before they were a Christian of course…lol) was in the top tier, and they themselves are in the top tier……….so please tell me which J Crew, LL Bean ads are all you in? Have I seen any of you in magazines? TV shows? Christian movies? Because very few men and women (esp in the Christian world) are above average looking……was in the South in 2016 on a road trip back from Florida and attended a church service on a Sunday in Gerogia……I was the most slender person in this big church (a few thousand people)…..and I am far, far from being “good looking” on a cultural standard or “above average”. Everyone was overweight….and if not overweight, quickly packing it on to be overweight.

  15. Derek Ramsey says:

    “Because very few men and women (esp in the Christian world) are above average looking…”

    By definition, half the population is above average. For a normal distribution, 17% of the population is 8+. 5% of the population is a 9, and 3% of the population is a 10. There are lots of women who are 8’s.

    On okcupid.com, men ranked women on a perfect normal distribution. Women did not. According to women, 81% of men are below average (lol!), 12% are average, and 7% are above average. Women are vicious and highly selective. It’s more like 93/7 than 80/20.

    For men, presumably most alphas are 7 to 10. If the alpha distribution is 20% of the population, then ~10% of betas are in the 7-10 range. It’s not all that rare for either alphas or betas to be 8’s.

  16. seventiesjason says:

    17% really isn’t that much. Smokers make up about 20% of the US population. American Blacks make up 14%.

    Thing is…….everyone *thinks* they are that 8-10 in looks. Every guys girlfriend or wife of course is “smoking hot” and in the “above average” range for looks. Their children are all so good looking for their age.

    The reality is………17% out of 100% of the population isn’t a lot, and a lot of men…..no matter what they do. Going to the gym, changing their *personality* or style cannot beat the genetics they were given…..most of us fall into the average to below average range. That’s a fact.

    I find it very interesting on Christian “red pilled” sites…….and I have read plenty……in churches, in Christian Culture of “retreats” and the like for men now……….that looks, Game, Frame, and the like trump any obiedience to Christ. It trumps any works and commands that Christ has given us to do things in His name. Only dating, mating and marrying and attracting a hot Christian woman seems to matter or to peacock and impress….and it reflects modern evangelical culture in the USA. Showboatin’ my father would have called it.

    Not all of us…lol, most of us are going to be a 8,9, or ten…..no matter what we do…and the fact that we all get older….even harder to maintain. Women may age like milk as the saying goes…..but as a man who is now balding, gray on the cusp of fifty……my average looks have def dropped a notch or two in the last decade…..yes, yes, men like Christian Cool at 50 are gonna have 19 year old women who are going too be so awed by his looks that they burn the roast beef they were making for him for a dinner date at her parents house…….

    Lookism was a term used by feminists….but its embraced, loved, muscled up and cherished inside the church today. At least pre 1970………men and women could at least, at least find a looks match and build a life together…..today???? The men who lecture me about dating, attracting, and Gaming n Framing never had to worry about such things.

    Life indeed isn’t fair 😉

  17. Derek Ramsey says:

    @Jason

    “The reality is………17% out of 100% of the population isn’t a lot”

    It isn’t a lot, but men are pretty good at evaluating women. If a man says a woman is an 8, she is likely a 7-9 to most men. Men are fairly consistent that way. If a woman says a man is a 3, he’s probably perfectly average. Women are useless that way.

    The flip side to this is that any woman who is not a feminist is much more likely to be in that 17%. Move out of California?

    “everyone *thinks* they are that 8-10 in looks”

    I’m a 5 or 6 (age adjusted anyway), perfectly average, right with most Americans. Except for being short, I have no significant blemishes and I’m not overweight. I was just good enough to marry a ~8 woman @ age 21.

    “…trump any obiedience to Christ”

    Agreed.

    “…men like Christian Cool at 50 are gonna have 19 year old women who are going too be so awed by his looks that they burn the roast beef they were making for him for a dinner date at her parents house”

    True.

  18. seventiesjason says:

    I respectfully disagree on men’s evaluations. When I worked in a nightclub, men at the bar talking about the “easy 8” who just gave him a BJ in the bathroom while doing rails of cocaine……

    I find out who she is when she comes to the bar, and gripes about men being “all pigs” later on that evening. An eight? Ummmm no way. Below average looking, way older, nasty pewrsonality, easy and taken by a average looking guy. Game PUA types always telling me the hot women they have laid n slayed all over the place and world……and then I see their current wife or current girlfriend. Hmmmmm, methinks something is very, very wrong or delusional with their evaluations……okay she may have the best personality in the world…but just looks??????? Average, and usually below average. Why????

    For the past ten to twenty years for men in general, it’s been a race to the bottom and for most women……who knows 60%, 70% (does it matter at this level?) of women clamoring for 5% of men in the “best looks dept”

    Which leaves for the most part a vast swath of men out there really stuck or just taking what they can get. It’s growing by the day actually. For the Christian man….good luck meeting the “sexy” and “hot” twenty-two year old to marry. Sure, it happens….but for most men in the church, esp the younger men claiming and living Christ. They’re never gettin’ married. They will never meet the expectations of the 2% of very or decently attractive women in their respected church or area.

    You, Dalrock, this man here who runs this page, and other men (a few comentors on Dalrocks page) got lucky, were born with the righ genetics, born with ‘natural game’ or were just in circumstance of stronger social / emotional IQ at a younger age………I’m not envious at this point. It’s just a fact o’ life.

    German sociologist Max Weber made a claim once back in the 1920’s at Heibelberg Uni that “social class, and good looks were pretty much a roll of the dice and a very real game of chance or luck of the draw for most people. the ones who got this good roll-of-th-dice never seem to understand anyone elses situation that lost the round or gamble”

    Anyways.,…..you and me will never agree, and neither will the man who runs this pretty solid blog.

    I agree about pornography being destructive, and fighting it is hard (never had this problem….not a saint, viewed as a younger man….been to strip clubs) but there is a reason why its such a problem. The tipping point of men not even being allowed to get a date with a woman who is at their looks level is helping drive this vile industry…..and the church *again* has no answers

  19. Ame says:

    German sociologist Max Weber made a claim once back in the 1920’s at Heibelberg Uni that “social class, and good looks were pretty much a roll of the dice and a very real game of chance or luck of the draw for most people. the ones who got this good roll-of-th-dice never seem to understand anyone elses situation that lost the round or gamble”

    i’ve found this to be true in many areas. i used to think that if i can articulate something well enough, those who have not experienced the same will understand. i’ve since learned that is rarely true. what i’ve come to hope is that people accept that they don’t understand and trust those who do. “I don’t understand what you’re saying because I’ve never experienced that before, but I believe you because you have.”

    and the church *again* has no answers

    sadly, i agree – or at least as far as i’ve experienced, know this to be true.

    curious … what do you think the church should teach/answers it should give?

  20. seventiesjason says:

    Ame….

    Thanks for asking a question. The answer(s) the church can give or give a start on…….just one man’s opinion btw…..I am sure most men in the church will disagree with me for the sake of disgreeing because they are “annoited by God” or have been a “Christian longer than me” but I’ll take a stab and give some rough bullet points.

    *teach Christian men there is no sin itself in finding the female form attractive, beautiful, something desireable, wanting and experiencing to be near.
    *teach Christian men in their respected groups. the Sunday sermon is NOT the place to be telling them to “grow up, quit watching porn and ask out all these saintly daughters of the king”
    *teach them that porn is an easy way for men to stay risk-averse to women and not even deal with them.
    *walk deeper…….and this is the big one. The really big one. Porn is damaging, and to cure, help, heal, and grow a man away from this is going to take a deep walk by a pastor, a trusted man in the church who will judge but not “shame away” the man who honestly wants help. It will take an intense amount of trust by the man who is afflicted with this to “ask” for help without fear of mass stigma, gossip, and tee-hee’s from other men (and gossip in men’s groups can make a female group look tame, I have seen how men cut each other down to make themselves look better than another in the executive meetings in the SIlicon Valley as a young guy).

    There will have to be a walking with relationship……of how Christ walks with us, through our failings, sins, but never loses hope in redeeming us, winning us, and plainly calling sin a sin. The walking deeper is not “enabling” it’s full of expectations. Porn like some other forms of addiction are the result of a “broken spirit” and intense shame that surrounds its use…..esp for a man who is a Christian.

    That takes work, time, effort and a “doing” which all the men in the church have “no time to do”. In my minstry with helping the lost and the broken on the streets at night is: Going for the sinner and the biggest one in the group. You get him, you get twenty more that will fall in line to at least listen.

    It takes trust. Something the church frankly no longer has a monopoly on. It will take time. Churches want results. They want numbers and bragging rights. Whereas men who proclaim, live, strive, act and do will be the natrual ones fellow men will gravitate to……and there is only one “big monkey” allowed in the church today….and its the pastor!!

    I have never had a problem with porn. Looked at as a younger man in the world…..arousing ? Yes. But I also knew back then it wasn’t “real” because lighting, makeup, and now digital enhancements in the print and video media make it as if everyone is a perfect ten. Strip clubs? Yeah…..what a bore. Throwing money at a fantasy is fun on a Friday night when you are 21 with a bunch of equally silly n stoned guys really loses its glam when you realize “she ain’t ever going home with you”

    Some basics…I have other thoughts, but ran off at the mouth enough in this reply

  21. Ame says:

    There will have to be a walking with relationship……of how Christ walks with us, through our failings, sins, but never loses hope in redeeming us, winning us, and plainly calling sin a sin. The walking deeper is not “enabling” it’s full of expectations. Porn like some other forms of addiction are the result of a “broken spirit” and intense shame that surrounds its use…..esp for a man who is a Christian.

    That takes work, time, effort and a “doing” which all the men in the church have “no time to do”. In my minstry with helping the lost and the broken on the streets at night is: Going for the sinner and the biggest one in the group. You get him, you get twenty more that will fall in line to at least listen.

    It takes trust. Something the church frankly no longer has a monopoly on. It will take time. Churches want results. They want numbers and bragging rights. Whereas men who proclaim, live, strive, act and do will be the natrual ones fellow men will gravitate to……and there is only one “big monkey” allowed in the church today….and its the pastor!!

    your words make my heart weep … for my first Husband … for all of those who are longing, begging, crying out for someone to take the time to come alongside them, and truly give them the help they need in any area.

    you are right … if this is in the church, i’ve never seen it.

    i asked a few men to take my Husband to lunch, to get to know him … if they did take him to lunch, it never went past that.

    i will say that we were in an area where he had a significant amount of help available to him. he took advantage of that for awhile but not long-term. at some point he was going to have to face his own stuff, but he could never get past blaming me for every.thing. i wasn’t perfect and took responsibility for what was mine, but i couldn’t take responsibility for what was his.

    *teach Christian men there is no sin itself in finding the female form attractive, beautiful, something desireable, wanting and experiencing to be near.

    absolutely. and this needs to be taught to the women, too, by older women.

    *teach Christian men in their respected groups. the Sunday sermon is NOT the place to be telling them to “grow up, quit watching porn and ask out all these saintly daughters of the king”

    absolutely. many moons ago when they had sunday school, they would divide men and women into different classes. they they went to combined and offered women’s bible studies and men’s bible studies throughout the week. but not everyone can take time off during the week.

    *teach them that porn is an easy way for men to stay risk-averse to women and not even deal with them.

    yes. because it’s true.

    and i think that the church doesn’t like to speak what is true when it *could* potentially be misinterpreted.

    *walk deeper…….and this is the big one. The really big one. Porn is damaging, and to cure, help, heal, and grow a man away from this is going to take a deep walk by a pastor, a trusted man in the church who will judge but not “shame away” the man who honestly wants help. It will take an intense amount of trust by the man who is afflicted with this to “ask” for help without fear of mass stigma, gossip, and tee-hee’s from other men

    and, as you stated, developing this kind of trust takes time.

    In my minstry with helping the lost and the broken on the streets at night is:

    that takes a unique calling, and while very fulfilling, i imagine it can be quite draining also. i hope you have friends who support you.

    But I also knew back then it wasn’t “real”

    women get caught up in what’s not real, too. that’s also been a hard thing for me to relate to b/c, in my mind, if it’s not real i don’t really have an interest in it. i was never one to put up posters of guys on my wall and/or dream about them. i could separate a guy playing a role from the person he may or may not be. other dangers for women are all the subtle and not-so-subtle teachings of what men should be (in church, books, novels, movies), and then they start to expect the same of their own man.

    Some basics…I have other thoughts, but ran off at the mouth enough in this reply

    i would be interested in knowing your other thoughts.

  22. seventiesjason says:

    Some other time Sister….gotta pray. Ummm, no……I was a uniform wearing Salvationist for ten years until I found out that like any other Christian organization…….the “darius” rules and I frankly got tired of no boots in the mud, and just talk and “weak sunday morning church coffee” sermons. I wanted a Victorian styled Salvation Army that confronted sin in the streets, conducted itself as a “real Army” and marched in boldness and victory…….they do some great work still……but its not the Salvation Army of Victorian London.

    I have no real friends (that gossip thing in the church, a few men really betrayed my trust……my singleness was a joke to them..a few other things too….and when I realized it was about looks only, and there was no hope for me in a church to find a wife or even real friendship….I left)

    I live like a prophet…but I am *not* a prophet………what has comforted me the most in my situation concerning women, sex, singleness and my “looks” is in Isaih when the forcoming of the Savior was told……that He would have “no form or comeliness that would make us attracted to Him”

    Jesus was an average looking guy. Unassuming. That helps…..TV, movies, magazines, art make Him out to be indeed a Superstar in the physical appearance dept. I would prefer if he was just represented as that Fish symbol.

    Anyways. Thanks for your reply.

  23. Derek Ramsey says:

    @Jason

    “…you and me will never agree, and neither will the man who runs this pretty solid blog.”

    I’ve read enough of your comments to know that we tend to disagree on trivialities and minutia, but not the things that matter most. I share your frustration on the parts of the Christian RP that focus on non-biblical relationship theories and strategies. The Center for Bible Engagement found that 6 in 10 men were able to kick their pornography addiction when they started reading the Bible at least four times a week.

  24. Ame says:

    The Center for Bible Engagement found that 6 in 10 men were able to kick their pornography addiction when they started reading the Bible at least four times a week.

    this raises some questions:

    – define porn ‘addiction’
    – define porn ‘habit’
    – is there a difference between the two?
    – if porn addiction is progressive, at what point does the habit become an addiction?
    – of those 6/10, do they more have a porn ‘habit’ rather than a full-blown ‘addiction?’
    – of those 4/10, are they the ones who truly have a full-blown habit and therefore need more extensive help?

  25. Derek Ramsey says:

    @Ame

    I wish I could answer your questions. I don’t know. There are bible-based actions we can, and should, promote. It’s a start, not the end.

  26. @ seventiesjason

    You, Dalrock, this man here who runs this page, and other men (a few comentors on Dalrocks page) got lucky, were born with the righ genetics, born with ‘natural game’ or were just in circumstance of stronger social / emotional IQ at a younger age………I’m not envious at this point. It’s just a fact o’ life.

    Not exactly. I was depressed in high school and ate lunch out in the hallways instead of the cafeteria because I had only a couple friends. I’m average height and had an extremely time communicating with people until my mid 20s. I’m not ugly but I’m not handsome either (only been called handsome by my wife).

    What changed? I got a job where I had to interact with a lot of people on a daily basis. I focused my efforts on God’s marital roles and responsibilities and learning how to connect and interact with people. I focused on developing some humor. I tried and still try hard to develop my social and emotional IQ, especially in the context of my girlfriend and now wife. Knowing when to tease versus when to be serious, how to understand the ways in which she is different to lead effectively.

    There’s lots of parts of the equation(s) of attraction, dating, and relationships that all need to come together. Sure, some people get there all through being rich or things like that. Sure, some people are naturals at it.

    But if you want to think that this is something that only some people are born with can do then I guess you’ve already made up your mind about it. It’s a self fulfilling prophecy.

  27. Derek Ramsey says:

    “…or were just in circumstance of stronger social / emotional IQ at a younger age”

    This might not describe this blog’s author, but it describes me. It wasn’t random though, I crafted this throughout my childhood. Few people are as laser-focused on male/female interactions and marriage as I was as a child. As such, I’ve never had trouble interacting with women or having close female friends. I think this is probably why I don’t have the show-stopping conflict with my wife that other men have. If anything, it became a liability for interacting with men, something I have never done well. Such are the trade-offs we make in life.

    However, Jason is correct that luck plays a huge role. Despite the primary life goal of marriage, I consider my narrow avoidance of a typical bad marriage and my eventual marriage to be close calls.

  28. seventiesjason says:

    I could hairsplit with you, but you would always have an answer, and since this is your blog. I’ll grant you to have the final say on “self fulfilling prophecy”

    You don’t know me, and I don’t know you.

    Just from my experience in the world from living overseas, all boys prep school, to college, to grad school…..across the country to California. In the corporate world in dot.com era San Francisco…to at the bottom of the barrel, to good times and bad times…….finding Christ and actually thinking I found a “home” or “brotherhood” so to speak in His name………to now, back into a very dynamic job where I run and manage a very high-end office property here in the snobby, pretentious wine country of the north San Francisco Bay…….

    Those who just had a very “me first” and “I am better than you” attitude backed up by a freakshow of decent looks *always* got ahead. Didn’t matter if they were a terrible person. Did terrible work or tortured kittens on their time off…..or locked their girlfriend in a closet when she misbehaved. Didn’t matter if their humor was filthy and bordered on the absurd.

    At this point I at least “know” the hand I was dealt, and I play it to the best of my ability……but the aging eyes, the thinning-silvery blonde hair that is now almost gone (miss my hair). Age setting in…………even if I “learned” all these fool-proof tricks that never fail on women, it doesn’t change the fact that I will never father children at this point. I am not going to be dating a 23 year old. It doesn’t change the fact that what is out there for me as a Christian man my age is really limited in women, and I am not just talking female beauty……..I am talking walk, attitude towards Him, and the fruit.

    I struck out. If I had learned some of this when I was 22, 25, 30, or 35?????? Sure, there might have been a full-count and I hit it out of the park. Who knows?, I still could have struck out.

    Life has been okay considering everything. I’m lucky to be alive I suppose and not really in a rough spot that I was in the early 2000’s. Maybe that was the “blessing”

    I still feel cheated nonetheless on these matters. I never had a gf or sex, or dates, or real friends.

    You may call it a “self-fulfilling prophecy” and I guess any defense I make just reinforces your stance. I do nothing….I have “given up” I keep falling and failing? I didn’t do whatever anyone said correctly.

    I look in the mirror, and all I see is a hopelessly below average man looks wise (as I did as a teen, a boy, and a young man) and well……..self fulling perhaps….but genetics always wins out in the end. No matter *what* you think of yourself 😉

    Peace

  29. seventiesjason says:

    AME….you asked:

    – define porn ‘addiction’
    – define porn ‘habit’
    – is there a difference between the two?
    – if porn addiction is progressive, at what point does the habit become an addiction?
    – of those 6/10, do they more have a porn ‘habit’ rather than a full-blown ‘addiction?’
    – of those 4/10, are they the ones who truly have a full-blown habit and therefore need more extensive help?

    An addiction as such would mean that the man (or woman) cannot go without that *fix* or *hit* longer than a day, a few hours….or a metric timeframe before they hit a withdraw of sorts. When I quit cocaine……it was okay for the first 24 hours, and then BOOM. I had to have a line. Some addicts are wrecked after a few hours….

    A habit is….I would suppose…..seeing porn, and taking a glance or two or three…..using it to get in the mood or “feel” the rush or emotions that it triggers. Many fall into this Christian or not. It’s the guy who thumbs through Playboy here and there without it being a problem to their marriage or relationship or friendships. An addiction destroys. As a Christian, just making it clear here. I don’t defend porn habits. Be it pics, books, stories, movies or film…..and that goes for ‘christian romance novels’ as well.

    Yes, there is a difference…and since Christ has called and expects a higher standard from us believers. Habit or addiction are not acceptable.

    A habit becomes and addiction over a period of time. Some people can look at porn and never have it be a problem. This was me in this area. It never had that much of a pull on me. The first time I did a line of cocaine (looking back now with almost fifteen years of being clean)……..deep down I knew I was hooked…….I managed it for years, and it slowly……slowly crept into my identity and who I was. By that point I was a full-blown addict…..and I needed help, and like most addicts…….there is nowhere to turn to. Shame plays a big thing too. I mean, a man who is a Christian…striving…..Believes…participates, but then gets into porn…..he knows its wrong……he can’t stop, the shame throws up lies, deflection, defensiveness, and anger…..things they know are wrong. Do you realize Satan uses ALL THINGS of this world to kill, steal, destroy and make men a part of his realm? You think you have met the best liar in the world???? Satan has them all beat, and he can subtly turn a righteous man, or a striving man into this. He chuckles and laughs that he can get mankind under his buckle so easily.

    The church family at this point is of no help to this man for the most part. He confesses? He’s weak, the shame his wife, children will go through when they DO hear about it. The callous gossip. The pastor and elders counseling the wife in sanctimonious tones of “he quits it now, or you leave!” while not even lending a hand to understand. To console, to at least OFFER to help him heal. To point him to men in the church that CAN help him…..no, no, the pastor and the elders (butt kisses) have all the answers. They have all the gifts. They know everything.

    He hides it? He’s gonna get found out. Liars and sinners will show the addiction in the end. They all do. Then the self righteous will say “why didn’t you ask for help???” Vicious circle. Satan knows the pulpit and how people behave……that is how slick he is. He’s not out for power….he KNOWS he’s gonna lose…but like pure evil….he’s out to show God how many he can pull out of being set-apart by using fellow Believers to do some of his work for him.

    I don’t know where this study got the 4 in 10 or 6 in 10 numbers….but I’ll just say that all porn use by a Christian is a sin. All of them need help. All of them need to either by their own conviction just quit using it…if they are one of those “habit” folks, the addict needs help. Not a year rehab program. The wife doesn’t need tpo move out. The children at all costs (if they are young) need to be kept OUT of it. Porn is VERY damaging to a child. Talk about a fathers problem with porn around his children WILL affect them deeply……that means the pastors wife, the bossy (angry) Sunday school teacher and the virginal pastors daughter don’t need to be in the discussion about this.

    A man with this problem MUST have another man to help him. This man shall and will fit the guidelines of what St Paul lays out for church leadership. This man doesn’t have to be a leader in the church but he should be know as that part of the body who has this gift. Every church MUST have a man like this today….but you know……pastors know everything…….they went to seminary….and the one elder donates 10K a year so he must be smarter than anyone else….

    A man with a porn problem needs accountability. Prayer. Love. Needs to be told this is a sin, and it WILL wreck you life. It needs to be kept as to a need-to-know basis. It will take trust. It will take some time……something very few have to offer today.

    I am not a pastor, or evangelist in the classic sense. My laying hands on men has not healed them. Can’t say I am a “leader” nor can I say I have the best exhortion. My gift is my prayer life. Boundless prayer. Prayer has also given me incredible patience, confidentiality, and TRUST in the Father……even when He has not answered a heartfelt, prayer of mine for almost a decade.

    I have seen men reclaimed from porn. From drugs. From physical violence and anger and I have seen repaired familes and stronger bonds built between husband and wife. Children too. I have also seen wives and women changed too from some tragic sins as well…..though as a rule, I don’t counsel or talk to women in matters of personal sin.

    Derek mentioned reading the Bible. Yes, but reading with meaning and application……..everyone is reading their Bible but how far does it go to the marrow? Do they understand what they are reading? Why they are reading?

    Another long answer. Apologies to Deep……but addiction is a tough thing……..and porn is especially harmful to the Christian.

  30. Ame says:

    thank you, Jason, for answering those questions.

    i think it’s hard to understand how quickly the undertow of porn can pull one under … just swimming along in the surf, not paying attention, then Boom!

    i’m guessing this is somewhat different from some drugs b/c, if i understand correctly, they’re designed to quickly addict a person? and some people are more susceptible to chemical addiction than others.

    but porn … it’s not consuming a chemical … yet it creates chemical changes.

    anyway … the shame in the church-attending christian is real, and not knowing where to go for answers is real. idk if any of this has changed in the last ten years as i’ve not been a part of a church in the last ten years.

    when my Husband began getting help, he really did have some of the very best help, without shame, available anywhere that i’ve heard of (not that i’ve searched tons, just hearing as i go along). he eventually rejected it all b/c he didn’t want to deal with his own stuff or anything past blaming me 😦 . what you’ve written, though, pretty much lines up with what i experienced with him and have learned over the years.

    I have seen men reclaimed from porn.

    that’s very encouraging.

    I don’t counsel or talk to women in matters of personal sin.

    that’s very, very, very wise.

  31. seventiesjason says:

    Very sorry about your husband. Look, we in Christ and faith can help, and try……do we fail? Yes, quite likely at times but that does not excuse us from not trying.

    With my drug addiction…..in the end…….I had to start making amends and *accepting* my part of the problem fully. No excuses. It was probably the hardest thing for me to do. The consequnces from sin can be great. Some people will work, help, and encourage that you have hurt…….and yes, will forgive. Some will over time. Some never will. I have two realtives in my life will still have not forgiven me. It still hurts at times.

    I can’t speak about all drugs……marijuana…not really addicting, psychologically more than anything. LSD as well……and you’re never the same really after that. Cocaine is highly addicting. Opium. Heroin I have heard are painfully addicting as well. Drugs seem to have a personality to them…..with cocaine, you have to have a higher than average paying job, thus attracting a more professional (I use that term loosely) crowd. I was always a tad on the shy side as a boy and a teen. In college and grad school I was outgoing but I always that “third wheel” just awkward enough……not a creep…but…..not….quite….right………when I first did cocaine. I suddenly relaxed at parties and around people. No, I did not become the “life of the party” nor did I “become alpha” and “cool” but I just felt “at ease” with myself and not worried or awkward. I also was always a good dancer……and dancing while blasted on cocaine was a feeling of total escape.

    Drugs create chemical changes in you…..and I have met many a guy or girl who could do a line of cocaine. Not have a problem with it. Some….get hooked instantly. Lots of factors.

    Addiction period is a destructive thing

  32. @ seventiesjason

    You don’t know me, and I don’t know you.

    That is true. The way we convey ourselves online is different than in person.

    Those who just had a very “me first” and “I am better than you” attitude backed up by a freakshow of decent looks *always* got ahead. Didn’t matter if they were a terrible person. Did terrible work or tortured kittens on their time off…..or locked their girlfriend in a closet when she misbehaved. Didn’t matter if their humor was filthy and bordered on the absurd.

    That’s only if you prioritize a “relationship” or “sex” as getting ahead. A terrible relationships or sinning by having sex outside of marriage is not something that I would consider getting ahead.

    At this point I at least “know” the hand I was dealt, and I play it to the best of my ability……but the aging eyes, the thinning-silvery blonde hair that is now almost gone (miss my hair). Age setting in…………even if I “learned” all these fool-proof tricks that never fail on women, it doesn’t change the fact that I will never father children at this point. I am not going to be dating a 23 year old. It doesn’t change the fact that what is out there for me as a Christian man my age is really limited in women, and I am not just talking female beauty……..I am talking walk, attitude towards Him, and the fruit.

    I struck out. If I had learned some of this when I was 22, 25, 30, or 35?????? Sure, there might have been a full-count and I hit it out of the park. Who knows?, I still could have struck out.

    There are no tricks. You know I am anti-game.

    You are right though that it is likely harder now that you are much older. Mainly because the pool of candidates has shrunken considerable, especially if you are not willing to marry a divorced woman (which I would not advise either).

    But it is is easier to stand out among your age group because most men and women at that stage in life are overweight or obese.

    I still feel cheated nonetheless on these matters. I never had a gf or sex, or dates, or real friends.

    You may call it a “self-fulfilling prophecy” and I guess any defense I make just reinforces your stance. I do nothing….I have “given up” I keep falling and failing? I didn’t do whatever anyone said correctly.

    I look in the mirror, and all I see is a hopelessly below average man looks wise (as I did as a teen, a boy, and a young man) and well……..self fulling perhaps….but genetics always wins out in the end. No matter *what* you think of yourself

    I don’t use self fulfilling prophecy lightly.

    The reason why I used it here is because you already are bitter and jaded about it and seem to be pretty much against even trying. Women easily pick up on ‘bad vibes’ like these, so it’s not any surprise that negative attitudes can wreck you before you even start.

    I know you’ve had a ton of experiences and you can convert that into great story telling and humor which women like. Yeah, the hair might suck but you could look good bald or something else. There’s lots of things you can intentionally work on to help improve your chances. But it’s really up to you.

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