After years of looking at porn and masturbating I had tried many times to stop it under my own will. It was impossible. There was nothing to stop me from reverting back during times of weakness. I would fail again and while I was failing I would fail big and go on a binge of porn for a couple of weeks before I would get strong and stop again. I didn’t know how to fight the
I was ashamed so I didn’t talk to anyone about the problem. I was carrying the burden all alone. I had a certain “status” as being a good person and a Christian so I felt like admitting to porn would make me as pathetic as the TV evangelists who get caught having affairs. Rightly so since porn is sexual impurity just like adultery and fornication so I should have been feeling that guilt and conviction. But I shouldn’t have felt like I would be judged or labeled if I admitted having a problem. That’s pride – the weak side of pride.
So I would go on being prideful and keeping my secret. I would promise God and myself that I was done, but then there would be a week where Shawna and I were so busy we wouldn’t have sex enough or I would have to travel and be all alone in a hotel room with internet. Any time I was home alone and the temptation hit me it was painfully difficult to resist and often I didn’t.
I was so good at keeping the secret that my wife thought I was perfect. The subject of “nasty men who look at porn” would come up during discussions with close friends and Shawna thought so highly of me she would make comments about how I don’t have any problems with “that” (porn). She would turn to me and ask in a tone that was clearly suggesting I should just confirm there was no problem, so of course I was too prideful to admit it. Can you imagine sitting with friends in mixed company (males and females present) and saying “yes, as a matter of fact I do struggle with porn sometimes and yank ugly when I can’t resist my male weaknesses”. HELL NO!! No man with any dignity left is going to do that. I’m doing it now – after the fact – because I feel God can use my story to help other people.
Just for the record Shawna felt terrible for indirectly putting that kind of pressure on me. It wasn’t her fault but she felt terrible anyway. She had the best intentions of uplifting her man but “ironically” (God’s doing) she was uplifting me in the area I was failing the most. I’m sure her word of advice to women would be to not do that and to have a serious one-on-one conversation with the man about porn. “Do you look at porn?” “No, really, do you look at porn? It’s ok if you struggle with it. I want to help.” This is probably how she would have liked to approach it had we known before what we know now.
Anyway, back to weakness. When I heard Perry’s brief testimony I saw strength in admitting the weaknesses and acknowledging the fact that I needed help. I realized that my worst weakness wasn’t my natural male sex drive and my man-struggle or lustful eyes or whatever, although those are tremendous male weaknesses – controllable but extremely difficult. I had tried and failed and started losing hope that I would ever be strong enough to beat the weaknesses. My worst weakness at the time was being afraid to acknowledge I needed help – I needed to confess, read some books, get accountability.
At least for me I had to overcome the worst weakness first. It was the most humiliating and one of the most re-defining moments of my life. From then on I could taste victory and win the battle against my other weaknesses. But I had to first acknowledge them for what they are – even men with many strengths have tremendous weaknesses.