The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Thank you for taking your time and answering my question.

I'm a 26 year old male. I'm a Christian and I've been baptized before. I live an active life in church, I want to serve God and praise Him in anyway I can, but I'm always stumbling on same sin over and over and over again. I've been in sin for the longest time I can remember, now its worse than ever. I've read pretty much all of your posts about porn, and other related sins. I'm very much deep in this sin.

It started off when I was a teen. At first it was just something new, then I began to masturbate to porn. I don't have any urge to masturbate before watching porn. I can sometimes watch porn as much as 2-4 times a day, sometimes that's all I'll do, but sometimes I will go beyond masturbation.

My question right now is not about masturbation, it's about pornography. How can I stop? I start out a day, knowing I sinned last night or day before and thinking that I do not want to do it again. When I drive to work or to school, I tell myself that I will not do it because it's a sin, and God doesn't like it. In my head I understand that its fire and it will burn me and kill me, but I still do it. Why?

I'm very knowledgeable in Bible, all those verse about that there is no temptation greater, and we can overcome with help from God. "In my own words" I understand it. I understand what Paul writes, but how do I apply it in my life? Why am I so attracted to porn? I sometimes just get on to look at some beautiful girls, nothing hardcore, and end up going to porn. Maybe it has something to do with me wanting a girlfriend, and I can't seem to meet anyone that I like, and going online I look at some girls and wish that I could find someone like them. I know it's stupid. I even think "wouldnt it be great to have a beautiful girl, like that but only a Christian?" I know it's dumb. Then I think to myself that it's just stupid that's not what matters. I tell myself to stop and not go on sites, but it's almost as if I don't have any will power to overcome this.

Please this may sound mean, but answering me with verses to read won't help because I know all of those verses. How can I practically stop this sin? I hate it, yet I do it. I do it basically every day. I don't want to accept that I will always be in this sin, I want to stop but just don't know how. Its messing up my whole life. Please help.


Answer

Over the years, what I've noticed is that young men often end up tying ejaculating and pornography together in their minds. Even if they don't pull their pants down every time they look, they are looking for the stimulation that comes from seeing the erotic. Being sexually aroused not only feels good, but it also speeds up the production of semen, leading to a need to ejaculate either right then or soon after.

When guys try to quit porn, they usually try to quit ejaculating at the same time. The result is that their bodies fight them as the semen builds up. The desire to ejaculate rises to the point of being distracting. Even when the man has no intentions of looking at porn, his sexual urges keep poking him toward the erotic, he circles and becomes fully engrossed in porn, unable to really say how he got there. He may even even pull his pants down, telling himself he shouldn't be doing this, yet seemingly can't stop. Only after he ejaculates does reason return and he beats himself up for his lack of self-control.

Actually, the lack of control originated by expecting himself to be able to go long periods without ejaculating. Instinct eventually takes over to get the necessary done and he loses control.

Another reason behind porn is boredom. A guy gives himself nothing to occupy his time. Watching porn wastes huge amounts of time because you don't notice time passing when you are sexually aroused. And then playing with your genitals gives your hands something to do.

Another common theme is a desire to escape. It is similar to the motivations for some drugs. Stress comes, not only does porn consume a guy's attention, so he is no longer thing about his problems, but orgasm and ejaculating releases hormones that causes the body to relax.

While I know you aren't interested in Scriptures, I want you to notice something that many people overlook: "When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation" (Matthew 12:43-45). When a person focuses only on the task of not sinning, he fails because he leaves a vacuum in his life that is waiting to be fulfilled. Unless effort is given to replace the sin with righteous actions, the vacuum will always win in the end.

This is why I tell young men that they can't start out conquering porn by quitting all ejaculations or even quitting masturbation. The first is impossible, the second leaves a vacuum. They have to find a righteous way to get relief that doesn't involve porn. It might not be as thrilling or satisfying, but it doesn't leave them fighting themselves.

If boredom is the problem, then the answer is to full up the times you would be looking at porn with activities. You want things that consume your attention and takes off some of your stress, so building projects, exercise, or sports are great time fillers.

If stress relief is a big motivator, then again, finding things you like to do that are relaxing is a way to go. Find hobbies or crafts to do, visit the sick or elderly, take long hikes, etc.

But notice that in none of these did I say to go to the computer. Paul said, "Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts" (Romans 13:13-14). You don't put yourself near something that you have trouble handling. A drug addict has no business going to parties. I don't care if all his friends will be there -- he needs new friends. For the same reason, you don't get on a computer when you have nothing better to do. It is tool to accomplish tasks. When you have no tasks, you put it aside and do other things.

Ultimately, the success at quitting porn lies in the motivation and effort of the person wanting to quit. I've known many people who have quit. Each one was determined; and they did not let failure stop them, it was only reason to try harder. "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded" (James 4:7-8). The ones who fail are usually the ones wanting someone to make them quit. They don't take responsibility for their sins. When they fail it is usually another person's fault for not stopping them.