This is a guest post by the makers of Ever Accountable. I agreed to this post, because as a pastor I have witnessed the destruction pornography can have on a person’s life…and on marriages. I’ve addressed this issue before in the post “I Could Battle an Addiction” and “Addressing a Porn Generation“.
Pornography addiction comes with a heavy price, whether you’re single or in a committed relationship. The American Family Association (AFA) says that pornography “promotes physical satisfaction without love, sex without responsibility, union without obligation for the consequences, and exercise of privilege with no regard to the eternal consequences originally designed to accompany it” (afa.net). While a pornography addiction deteriorates trust between people, perhaps more troubling is how it slowly rots the individual from the inside, causing them to question their own self-worth and their relationship to God.
God tells us in Romans 6:12, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.” Dr. Victor Cline, a specialist in treating sex addictions, offers information that is helpful in understanding this Romans verse. He notes that what starts as casual viewing of pornography can eventually lead to an escalation of more hard-core, aberrant material. This naturally leads to deviant sexual acts. Dr. Cline says pornography addiction, “like a cancer” will continue to grow and spread. The cancer “rarely ever reverses itself, and it is also very difficult to treat and heal. Denial on the part of the male addict and refusal to confront the problem are typical and predictable, and this almost always leads to marital or couple disharmony ” (Familyindex.net). As the Romans passage admonishes, a pornography addiction must be confronted before it spreads and has more power over an individual than God.
Overcoming this addiction can take an enormous amount of courage and fortitude. Focus on the Family, an online support network, says “Experts believe that a pornography addiction may be harder to break than a heroin addiction” (focusonthefamily.com). Yet a life free of the pornography burden is possible—and help getting there is crucial. Websites like FocusontheFamily.org and ThroughtheFlame.org offer online support through member forums, free counseling, and available resources. Locally, church leaders can offer prayer, guidance, and encouragement without judgment. What most pornography addiction websites, forums, blogs, journals, and experts tend to agree on, is that asking for help is crucial.
Addicts must disclose their burden to people they trust in order to live above pornography. AFA reminds us of Jesus’ teachings, that “We are our brother’s keeper. In fact, we are accountable to each other” (afa.net). Dr. Cline, also, agrees: “A commitment made to yourself can easily be broken. But when you make a commitment to another person who loves you and who cares deeply for you, there is an increased incentive to change right now” (familyindex.net).
Another valuable tool toward accountability and support are mobile phone accountability apps, such as Ever Accountable (www.EverAccountable.com). They provide support through monitoring online behavior and sending accountability reports to trusted family members and friends, rather than just blocking sites. The idea behind Ever Accountable was to metaphorically “keep the computer facing the room” where other people contribute to an individual’s sobriety by simply being present. Apps like this one are encouraging and offering new solutions to those struggling with addiction.
If you are struggling with pornography, get help now.
(I am not claiming this app will solve your problem. It is one option. I do suspect, however, that if you continue to try on your own to battle your addiction, you’ll keep having the same results.)