Pornography is one of the most serious issues confronting the church today.
Modern technology, such as smartphones and high-speed internet, has made it more accessible, affordable, and anonymous than ever before, and it is wreaking havoc in the church by suffocating believers’ spiritual lives, destroying marriages and families, and undermining pastors’ effectiveness.
According to reports, 85% of young adult men and 50% of young adult women view pornography on a monthly basis. At least once a month, 64% of Christian men and 15% of Christian women watch porn.
Yes you can stop pornography addiction with some biblical truths and the help of the Holy Spirit.
Although Christian men and women are called to live holy lives free of sexual immorality (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 Open in Logos Bible Software (if available), some believe they are powerless to break free from the chains of lust and shame that pornography use has placed around them. Their minds are racing with questions like, “Why do I keep falling back into the same sin?” “How come I can’t stop this destructive behavior?” “Where is the freedom that Christ promises us?”
Take heart if this describes you or someone you know. Sin’s power is no match for the power of the Savior, who defeated sin and set us free from the law of sin and death!
To break free from a habitual sin like pornography, you must change your relationship with God, your attitude toward sin, and your relationships with others.
This article will provide an overview of biblical principles as well as a list of many Bible verses/passages that apply to this common, yet dangerous, battle.
A word about how NOT to use this post: Do not believe that adding these ten biblical principles to your to-do list will lead you to perfection. To be honest, purity is not the primary goal.
The main goal is to honor God by displaying our love for Him in holiness in all aspects of life. We must press into God’s grace as revealed in Christ in order to be transformed through him.
At the end of this article, I have recommended several resources for living in purity. I pray that if you are wondering how to stop a porn addiction, you will discover that the grace and power of Christ are more than sufficient to help you break free from sin’s clutches and live a holy life for His glory.
1. Request and cry unto God for grace to change.
Titus 2:11-14, Psalms 107; Romans 5:17; Psalms 34; Jeremiah 3:21-25.
Without God’s grace, we are powerless to change our ways. “When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles,” says Psalm 34:17.
If you are troubled by the sin of lust, pray to God for deliverance and the grace to change.
Christ has the ability to give you a new heart, restored joy, and a clean and restored conscience.
True change is impossible without God’s grace, so as you read on, pray for God’s grace to apply these principles.
(If you don’t know Christ or are unsure whether you do, you must first believe the gospel of Jesus Christ before any of the rest of this article applies to you.)
2. Develop and pursue a stronger love for both God and the Gospel.
(Ephesians 2:1-10; Titus 2:11-14; Romans 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Matthew 22:37-38.)
Idolatry is at the root of all porn struggles—you love to lust more than you love God.
Seek to grow in your love for God and appreciation for His love for you in the gospel.
Praise Him for His holiness and grace. God not only provides us with saving grace in the gospel, but He also provides us with sanctifying grace, which prepares us for service and is essential to who we are in Christ (Titus 2:11-14).
Ask God to increase your love for Him and your understanding of your role in the gospel.
Rejoicing in the goodness of God’s good design for sexuality: sex between one man and one woman who are committed to each other in covenant for life, is an important part of loving God.
3. Despise Your Sin.
(Proverbs 8:13, 1 Thessalonians 4:8, James 4:4-10, Psalm 51, Matthew 5:4)
In God’s eyes, pornography is idolatry, and it poisons relationships with Him (1 Thessalonians 4:8; Jeremiah 2:13; Jonah 2:9).
Recognize that this sin has the potential to destroy you, your family, your marriage, and your witness. Recognize that the people you lust after are created in God’s image and are doing things that will condemn them to hell if they do not repent.
Request from God to give you godly sorrow for your sin and true repentance (2 Corinthians 7:8-13). Hating your sin and not just its consequences entails doing everything possible to change, even if it is unpleasant.
4. Hold on to God’s Word.
1 John 2:14; Romans 15:4; Romans 12:1-2; Colossians 3:16; Psalm 1; Joshua 1:8)
Those who use pornography believe a variety of lies telling them that their sin isn’t so bad, that it’s not their fault, or that a little lust is acceptable.
We need God’s Word to confront the lies we believe and teach us about God’s beautiful creation in human sexuality, which will cause us even more anguish when we see His created beauty marred by the destructiveness of human iniquity.
We must memorize, ponder, and treasure God’s words. His Word alone is the Spirit’s sword that will aid us in our battle against the habitual sin of lust.
5. Admit your faults and confess them .
(1 John 1:5-10; Psalm 32; Proverbs 28:13; Leviticus 5:5; Galatians 6:1)
God blesses heartfelt confession of sins, which leads to healing and cleansing.
Humble yourself before God in confession and ask for God’s assistance in fighting sin.
You could also confide in a trusted friend, pastor, counselor, or your spouse. Confession can be a terrifying step for someone who is struggling, but it is an important part of the repentance process.
When confessing your sin, use caution and apply wisdom because pornography use is deeply hurtful and manipulative to many people.
6. Remove all forms and source of temptations.
(Matthew 5:29-30…Romans 13:14…Hebrews 12:1-2…Isaiah 57:14…Ephesians 5:3)
Fighting our sinful habits entails not providing for our flesh and eliminating sources of temptation (Romans 13:14).
Jesus demonstrated the significance of this in the Sermon on the Mount with the hyperbolic command to tear out your eye if it causes you to sin (Matthew 5:29-30).
This could include installing filters on your computer, phone, or television and removing anything that irritates your skin. You would not tolerate your sin any more than you would an armed killer living in your home.
You are weak, and you must make straight paths for your feet so that when you are weak, you can stand firm in God’s strength.
“If you don’t kill sin, it will kill you.” Owen, John
7. Practice accountability to other believers.
(Ecclesiastes 4:9–12; Proverbs 27:17; 2 Timothy 2:2; Galatians 6:1–11)
One of the lies that sin can convince us of is that we are alone and have no one to help us.
God has provided us with the church and the opportunity to meet spiritual friends who can assist us in our battle against sin.
Pray for godly accountability to drive you away from sin and toward the Savior. Look into accountability programs such as Covenant Eyes to help you be more accountable.
8. Create a game plan to combat potential temptation.
1 Thessalonians 5:5-8; 1 Peter 5:8-9; 1 Corinthians 10:7-14; Judges 16:4-18; 2 Timothy 2:2; Genesis 4:7; 1 Peter 2:11-12; Proverbs 22:5; Galatians 5:24)
We must be serious in our fight against the world, the flesh, and the devil.
A good athlete studies his opponents on film and replays his own defeats, looking for areas of weakness from which he can learn and improve.
We should be as creative as possible in devising strategies to combat lustful behavior. Think about the lies you’ve believed and counter them with the truth.
Analyze your life and the common times when you are vulnerable to temptation, and structure your life in a way that allows you to resist temptation.
You are not a slave to sin in Christ, but have everything you need to live a godly life and overcome temptation (2 Peter 1:3; 1 Corinthians 10:13).
9. Surrender to the Holy Spirit’s power.
(2 Corinthians 3:16-18; Romans 8:1-11; Galatians 5:16-25)
God does not abandon us in our battle against sin, but rather provides us with the most powerful weapon in our arsenal: His Spirit within us.
“For if you live according to the flesh, you will die,” says Romans 8:13, “but if you put to death the deeds of the body by the Spirit, you will live.”
Walking in step with the Spirit will focus your mind on spiritual matters rather than relying on your own strength and wisdom to combat sin.
10. Never give up.
There is restoration, redemption, and healing in Christ. Even if you are discouraged and experiencing setbacks, keep your hope in Christ and preach the gospel to yourself.
Recognize that your efforts and energies to pursue Christ and combat sin are pleasing to Him, and run after Him with everything you have.
You have a living Savior who lives in you and intercedes for you if you are in Christ. If you do fail, don’t let discouragement lead to despair; instead, honor Christ by refusing to give up.
You will gain strength and victory as you grow in grace and conform to His image.