Christmas Morning: Opening the Gift of a Porn-Free Life!

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The Christmas season is one of gift-giving and receiving.  In all likelihood you will, on Christmas morning, celebrate this gift-exchange tradition with friends and family.  You may gather around a tree, in a living room, near a fireplace, etc. and open gifts shared by those who love you and those whom you love.

If you happen to be struggling with your porn addiction during this season, you’ll likely be disengaged from this life-giving moment.

You may, in fact, totally check out.

Indeed, if you’ve been trolling the web for porn in recent days, then meaning-filled, life-giving moments of community such as the ones I’ve just described could easily and quickly overwhelm you.

While the external joy may be palpable to everyone else, your internal, secret shame will prevent you from the soul-enriching moment this opportunity provides.

You will want to run.

And you may think that running is your best option.

You may believe that running is your only option.

Porn addiction bedevils us into believing that secrecy and segregation are the only options we have available to us.  The addiction screams within, “Run away, you’re not good enough to enjoy this gift.  Run away, return to me.”

It’s a lie and we all know it.

I am not sure we know – or have experienced – why it’s a lie.  To know why it’s a lie is to discover hope.

The fundamental reason secrecy and segregation are a lie is because the greatest hope the addict (or even the one simply struggling with porn addiction) has is confession and community.  Confession and community are the polar opposites of secrecy and segregation.  They demand the behavioral counterpoints and actions required of secrecy and segregation.

And while secrecy and segregation will offer only disengagement and distortion, confession and community provide the hope of renewal and freedom.  Indeed, confession and community is the combo-gift set that helps us begin to taste true freedom and experience deep, life-shaping grace!

Take it from me!

I have been on a journey out of porn, into my truest self, for the past 20+ years.  The past 10 to 15 years have been ones of tremendous freedom from porn and victory over the struggle with porn – a struggle that entrapped me between the ages of 9 – 11 (over 35 years ago).

Given my history of addiction and journey into freedom, I thought I would write an article birthed from my own experience, exploring two common realities.  I do so only with the hope that you can open the gift of freedom this Christmas morning and enjoy the privilege of confession and community with those whom you love.

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The two realities are:

  • What porn causes.
  • What you can do to be free.

What Porn Causes

Statistics reveal an increasing portion of women and a majority of men struggle with or are addicted to pornography. I think as many as six in ten humans walking the planet right now struggle with or are addicted to porn.  My ‘gut’ tells me that number is even higher among teenagers.  So many of us struggle with this joy-stealing disease that porn addiction has been declared a public health crisis.

Practically speaking, what do statistics like these mean?

Well, if you are in a Starbucks right now, most of the people around you are caught up in this disastrous world of distorted desire!

Waiting to check out at your local Publix in the 10-item-only aisle?  Yep, they are there as well.

Sitting in church?  Yep!  (May even be the person preaching to you.)

At your place of work?  You betcha!

Somewhere close to seven out of ten of us are tolerant of, struggling with, or addicted to porn!

The reality of porn’s invasion remains hidden because porn is a ‘silent enemy,’ which causes us to live in fear and isolation (if you are caught up in porn, then you know this is true).   Fear and Isolation – the two-headed demon of distorted desire – lead us deeper into the distorted desires from which we long to be released.

In terms of specific causes or results of this global porn pandemic, there are some outcomes that affect every level of our existence!

Let’s consider three outcomes or distortions that can be linked directly to porn’s presence in our world!

Wooden Puppet Personhood

1. The Diminishment of Personhood.

One of the first distortions is that porn diminishes person-hood.  As those who are made in the image of God, this is paramount to all of us. The more we view porn, the less human we become and the less able are we to view others as fully human.  Indeed, people become objects or tools to be used toward our own selfish ends.

While porn is to blame for this objectification we currently experience, we seem bent on placing the blame elsewhere.  For instance, the flap over yoga pants, mini-skirts, bikinis, etc. places the onus on women.  They should dress more respectfully, we say.  Yet, such arguments miss the point: it doesn’t matter if a woman wears a burlap sack or string bikini.  If someone is hooked on porn, that woman will be objectified – regardless of attire.

Perhaps we should encourage modesty in our culture and develop a sense of the deep inner beauty contained within the person.  Perhaps immodesty is a direct outcome of porn.  But the problem is PORN, period.

It’s high time we stopped the blame-shifting and take responsibility for the behaviors which devalue personhood, rather than blaming the person whose worth our behavior is diminishing!

2.  The Diminishment of Desire.

The more we consume the fantasy world of porn, the less we hunger for the fully human world in which we live.   The stats on this point are staggering.  People who live in and are satisfied by the virtual realities porn offers, struggle to become aroused in the presence of human love and companionship.

Perhaps correlation is not causation, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to connect these dots.  If you are a porn addict or struggling with porn, then the problem is not your spouse.  You’ve numbed the central nervous system.  Your neural pathways push you to porn rather than to the presence of your loved ones, particularly your lover.

3.  The Diminishment Sight and the Destruction of Hope.

This is important: If you are viewing porn, then you are losing your sight.  Such myopia will only keep you staggering in a state of hopeless panic, unaware of the natural and sacred beauty all around you.  It is, alas, a journey to your own death.  It is often a painful and agonizing death by degrees.

Distorted DesireOn a cultural level, porn diminishes civility and creates a culture of violence and rape.  If porn distorts personhood and diminishes desire, then the demise of hope is a natural outcome.

Ultimately, when hooked to porn, we become like islands of shame and guilt, isolated from any and all hope. It’s as if we become zombie-like – lifelessly and uncontrollably staggering along.  We simply never get enough.

Yet, as long as there is life, then there is the hope of renewal.  If you are reading this, then you are not lost to this disease.  My own story is such a story.  My story of freedom is littered with moments of painful confession and powerful community.  That’s where we head for hope and that’s the gift you can both give and receive this Christmas morning!

My message to you is simply this: “Yes, you too can be free!”

What You Can Do to Be Free!

Let me pass on the things that I have found most helpful in my own journey.

The Practice Confession

Confess this addiction to a trusted friend.   You must confess your addiction to your loved one(s).  Confession is not an apology.  Apologies are over-rated.   In our culture, where we say ‘sorry’ for everything and take responsibility for nothing, apologies can be cancerous.  If you are married, you may find it difficult to confess this to your spouse.

I understand.

I’ve been there.

You may well need to seek out a trusted friend or addiction/recovery group and verbalize your initial confession in that sacred space.  I would encourage you to enlist the help of the person(s) to whom you first confess and bring a full confession to your closest loved ones as soon as you are able.  If I can be of assistance to you, then let me know.

No freedom will ever be sustained in the absence of authentic confession, period.

Connect with Meaningful Community.

Community is, in my opinion, the single most vital component of the recovery and renewal process.    If porn thrives in the soil of isolation, it is starved in the richness of community.

Once you begin to walk out of this addiction you will likely find others attempting a walk of their own.  JoinOur Father Pic 1 Intimacy and Relationship together with them and lock arms as you travel this road.

The freedom journey is life-long.  If you confess your inability to ‘go it alone,’ and take steps to travel with others, you will find that you are well on your way to living a life that’s free from the bondage of porn addiction!

As you head into this Christmas weekend of celebration and cheer, be encouraged.  You can open the gift of freedom.

Don’t run.

Don’t hide.

Stay.  Stay where you are and trust those around you.

There is a gift of immense joy awaiting if you do!

Believe me.  I speak as one who travels this road with you.

Join your loved ones by the tree, in the living area, near the fireplace, and taste the hope this day is designed to provide!

Disrupting to Renew!

I’d love to hear how you’re doing!

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About Bizgainey

Learning to hear the gentle whisper of God loosed in the rushing waters of life
This entry was posted in Addictions, Christmas, Consumption, Formation, Freedom, Freedom from Porn, Marriage, Men Against Porn, Pornography and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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