In the first porn post I mentioned that men who are struggling with porn feel like they’re alone. We feel that way for a lot of reasons but we’re wrong – we’re not alone.
All men are struggling but few realize or find the way to turn it around. I hope to explain how I realized I wasn’t alone and how I could win the battle. I had tried many many times to stop looking at porn on my own, but I couldn’t do it. Having that secret sin in my heart kept dragging me down and I would fail again. I couldn’t understand it.
Has anyone else wondered why porn is such a dirty secret for men? We’re much more likely to joke with close friends about real sex than we are porn and masturbation (even though sometimes I feel convicted entertaining any such joking because Ephesians 5:4 says it is sinful). I think porn is typically such a dirty secret for men because of how ashamed we are about it – refer to this post with my thoughts on the shame of porn. It is the shame that makes it so secretive and it is the secret that makes us feel so alone – because we can’t let the secret out or we might be judged or labeled (this is what judgemental church people do to each other).
Even if we joke about porn and acknowledge that we look at it we still feel that shame, so if we’re joking about it we’re just trying to cover the shame (keep the shame a secret). Do you see where I’m going with this? Either way there is an alienating secret in our hearts and minds. We’re either keeping the fact that we look at porn a secret or we’re keeping the fact that we’re ashamed of it a secret. And we feel alone in our dirty secret.
I had never been talked to on any level of seriousness (other than one sided condemnation from legalistic religious idiots) about porn until one Sunday at NewSpring when Perry Noble spoke about it. Boy was I uncomfortable during that church service because I was guilty, ashamed, and I felt alone. Until Perry mentioned that he used to have a terrible addiction to porn. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Perry put it to the men (he frequently does and I think that’s one reason why men love NewSpring) but he was willing to share his own past on the subject. I had never heard anyone else talk like he did – so open about their past porn problem and so strong in their conviction to encourage men to stop. I believed him and trusted him. I knew I wasn’t alone any more.
Is this making sense? The reason Perry made such a difference was because he was open and honest with his story and it was believable. I had heard a lot of men be condemning but I didn’t have peace that they were true or sincere. I didn’t know if I could believe they had been there or that they were even practicing what they were preaching. So nothing anyone else had ever said made me feel like I could let my secret out and no longer be alone.
What followed that sermon was my confession to Shawna. Then I wrote my story in to Jake Beaty – care pastor at NewSpring. Blah blah – you’ve read my basic story here. Slowly along the way I was able to openly admit porn to more and more people and share my heart about it. Now I’m writing it here (in writing for the first time) for the whole world to see because I hope more people will realize what it took me years to realzie. We’re not alone. The battle is worth fighting and we can’t fight it in secret. Swallow pride, acknowledge the problem, face it head on, get it off your chest, share the burden, whatever you want to call it. Fight the fight. We can win.