It’s been three years since I lasted struggled heavily with pornography. But let me tell you, it was not an easy bondage to break. I thought I was all alone and that no other female struggled with this. It was shaming and left me in utter isolation. I never felt as deep into darkness as I did then. No one talked about it being a struggle for women and I just thought it was something about me that was different. I was living in this day to day addiction, and my heart couldn’t seem to find freedom. I cried and cried the nights I couldn’t fight temptation, and I eventually just had myself convinced that I would never be able to find freedom from it. I lived this double life of a proclaiming Christian and a hidden porn addict. I thought I would just be alone forever because no one could ever love someone as dirty as me. I didn’t have anyone to talk to and I was fighting this battle all on my own.
So that is why I am sitting here today writing this to you- especially you women out there– you are not alone, and I want to give you a voice when you feel so deep in guilt. I want to talk to you and encourage you and help you fight this war waging against your soul. I don’t want to be like everyone else who just says, “pray about it and the Lord will help you defeat it.” Although yes, I do most certainly believe that prayer is a powerful thing, and that God is definitely capable of helping you fight something just from prayer, but I also believe that we serve a God who wants us to use tangible steps in partnering with Him and actually taking action in our lives to fight temptation. What I am about to share with you is something that I have already shared with about thirty other young adults that reached out to me in desperate need of wanting to know how I conquered this sin of pornography. These steps will take diligence and prayer and pure dependence on Christ, but I have heard so much positive feedback from others who have taken control of their lives just like I have.
Don’t sleep with your phone or laptop near you.
I know that is a hard first step because people need their phones for alarms and their laptops for school or so on, but it’s a very important aspect in fighting this because porn these days is so easily accessible. Buy an alarm clock, have a roommate/parent wake you up, synchronize your watch, etc. Put your laptop in a different room, give it to your roommate to keep away from you- do whatever it takes to not be pulled into having it.
Find someone you trust to hold you accountable
It will not be easy opening up to someone about this. This is something that will make you feel even worse because you feel like you’re letting your own friends down too, but believe me, they are rooting for you in this battle too. Don’t make yourself fight this alone.
Make yourself a bad-habits calendar
This is my favorite step. This is a calendar that I had hanging up on my wall that I would write on every morning. If I messed up the night before, I would write a “B” for bad, or if I resisted, I would put “G” for good. Each month, I would try to go down three “B”s. This is a step that I like because I know we need to be realistic when it comes to addictions. It is almost impossible to cut a habit out completely overnight, because when you relapse you just feel like giving it all up. With this process, you are giving yourself chances to mess up but also improving along the way. Still to this day, three years later, I have my calendars on the wall in my room because it is something I am proud of. I defeated the addiction of pornography, and I have these calendars as a remembrance of what Christ has done through me. If I ever started to feel tempted again, I just looked at those calendars and reminded myself, ‘I never want to go back to that place in life.’ They are trophies to me, and I want you to have trophies to your name as well one day.
It is not easy. But don’t give up.
The enemy wants me to feel gross and shameful for ever being addicted to such a disgusting thing, and although yes, I would have loved to have never gone through that, but I am using this today to help so many people, especially women, fight this battle. What was meant to be as bad, Christ is using it for His glory. I hope this has encouraged you to also speak out on sexual immorality and not let the enemy hold you back in guilt. Because my dear brothers and sisters, there is no guilt in grace and no shame in freedom.
I will be praying over this for all the people who will be reading it, and I want you to remember that you truly aren’t alone. More people than I realized are fighting this on a daily basis, and I want to be there on the day when Christ brings this to completion in your life.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. [Hebrews 4:14-16]
Photographer: Sasha Orewa