By Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CCSAS, CPCS
Did you know statistics show believers struggle with pornography as much as non-believers? Pornography use is a silent sin inflicting far too many Christian men. And with their inability to stop using pornography, these men desperately keep their shameful behavior hidden in the dark in fear of being discovered.
But there is no need to continue to struggle. There is help but the first step is taking the courage to seek it.
For a fifth consecutive year, we announce the annual Give Up Lust for Lent campaign, where Christian men are encouraged to take the action necessary to put them on the right pathway in managing their pornography problem.
Each year, the response to this campaign has been positive with men taking the leap to rid themselves of this decaying habit that wears upon their integrity and shakes their position as spiritual leaders of their home.
Once again, during this holy season, it’s time for men to exam their hearts and ask God for the strength to turn away from pornography, as well as illicit chat rooms, massage parlors, affairs, strip clubs, and other activities that demean women and dishonor their wives.
You may be shocked to know this addiction is not about sex but instead is an intimacy disorder. Men abuse sex to distract themselves from emotional distress that often is subconscious. In dealing with an addiction, understanding the root cause of why it developed is a significant factor in recovery.
As we enter the season of Lent here are several steps you can take to begin the process of removing a porn addiction from your life:
- Admit your struggles. Denial is a stumbling block for all addicts. The inability to see the potential destruction their actions cause leaves many people struggling needlessly. Ask God to help you examine your heart and make you aware that you need assistance. “Moreover, the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live.” Deuteronomy 30: 6.
- Ask for help. Removing sexual sin from our lives is something we can’t do on our own. We need assistance and accountability. Seek out a trained professional and/or support group to help you get your journey going. “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” James 5:16
- Do it now. There will always be a reason to put it off, including the long-term rationale, “I will try harder and commit myself never to do it again.” But that approach rarely works. You need insight about yourself and why you use sex to soothe your emotional pain. You need to identify the core emotional triggers that lead to your acting out. You must create exit strategies that will help you escape temptation. It would be best if you had a community that will support, encourage, and, most importantly, provide accountability as you travel along in your journey.
- Visit the MenAgainstPorn.org website and check out our blog for articles and resources that can assist you on your journey. Structure and self-care are essential components to beating this problem. We can show you how.
On Feb. 26, join your brothers in a mission to re-build your integrity and strengthen your legacy. Take the steps needed to honor yourself, your spouse, and God. Make a commitment to Give Up Lust for Lent.
Eddie Capparucci is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a private practice in Marietta, GA. He is certified in the treatment of sexual and pornography addiction and author of the book Going Deeper: How the Inner Child Impacts Your Sexual Addiction.