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When A Mans
Eye Wanders
Breaking The Power
Of Pornography
by Jeff Olson

he man behind the desk was restless. He couldnt

T wait for the day to end. Though he was good at his

job, his heart was no longer in it. He used to find
work challenging and rewarding. Now it just bored him.
He lived with a nagging sense that there had to be more
to life than the routine of going to work and making ends
Something important was missing in his lifehe just
didnt know what it was. From his family to his faith to
his recreational life, he had simply been going through
the motions for longer than he could remember.
As he collapsed in front of his home computer, thoughts
of escape and risk turned his attention in a familiar
direction. Forbidden images had been lingering in the back
of his mind all day, but now they were all he could think
about. Once he logged on to the Internet, he found himself
typing in familiar addresses that would eventually take
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him to Web sites where he the truth? He was afraid of

had been many times before. losing everything he cared
As the images started about, and yet he didnt
to load onto his screen, he know how long he could go
knew there was no turning on living a double life.
back. He felt a rush of Disgusted with himself,
excitement as he surfed one he vowed to stop. This was
Web page after another. The how he usually tried to
thrill of it all was working resolve his inner turmoil.
for him. Looking at sexually He begged God for
graphic images made his forgiveness and promised
bored heart feel alive again. that this time he meant it.
Self-absorbed in his own He almost believed the
fantasy, relief came easily. worn-out line he was telling
For a few moments, he himself. But he knew deep
enjoyed the passing high. down that it wasnt over. If
But then shame tore something didnt change, it
through him like a violent was only a matter of time
storm. He felt dirty and before he would cave in to
weak. As he breathed a the temptation again.
heavy sigh, he put his Sadly, this mans story
hands over his face. He is not uncommon. Scores
couldnt believe he had of men carry around a dark
done it again. secret that is stealing their
At some level, he knew honor and poisoning their
his problem was out of relationships.
control. He wanted to reach The publics awareness
out for help, but he felt too of the problem seems to be
ashamed. What would growing. But the Christian
others think of him? How community has a long way
could he ever tell anyone to go in acknowledging the
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scope of this cancer within in this problem, the

its own camp. The truth following pages are offered
is that a multitude of to show men that they are
Christian men, young not alone. Together, well
and old, and from all walks become more aware of the
of life, regularly look at problem of pornography
sexually explicit images. and the multiple aspects
Not all men who have involved in a mans struggle
looked at porn are addicted with looking at sexually
to it, but many are. And graphic images. And
anyone who takes a casual because of the resurrection
glance or accidentally runs of the One who sacrificed
across it is in danger of His life for us, well also
getting hooked. discover that there is a way
Tragically, most men for a man to be restored to
dont admit to having a the original glory and life
problem until they get that God created him for
caught. Some foolishly all along (Rom. 6:4).
believe theyre in control
of their habit. Others feel
hopelessly out of control
What Is
and live in a solitary Pornography?
confinement of their own ver the years, our
choosing. But it doesnt have
to stay that way. Theres a
way out of the swamp of
O secular culture
has loosened its
definition of porn. What
sexual self-destruction. used to be thought of as
If you are a man who X-rated material 30 years
struggles with looking at ago is now sometimes
pornographic material, or if considered R-rated or even
you know a man caught up PG-13. Though some may
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adjust their definition to voyeurism, and child

suit their own agenda, this pornography. The focus
booklet defines porn as any here will be on the two
image or description of most common forms of
nudity or sexually graphic pornographysoft core
activity that is made and and hard core.
viewed for the purpose of Soft-core pornography
stirring up inappropriate features naked or scantily
sexual arousal and behavior. clothed women. It
Of course, not all highlights breasts and
descriptions or images of genitalia but shows no
nudity and sexual behavior sexual intercourse. Hard-
(such as those found in core pornography includes
educational material or all of the above, but also
medical textbooks) are displays various types of
pornographic. Even the Old sexual intercourse, forced
Testament book Song Of and unforced, between two
Solomon contains graphic or more people.1
imagery of sexual Producers of X-rated
interaction between a man images have a history of
and his wife. But unlike effectively exploiting the
porn, the intention is to latest technology to deliver
teach about Gods design their product. As cable TV
for human sexualitynot became more popular in the
inflame sexual immorality. 1970s, pornographers began
There are several pumping sexually graphic
forms of pornography. images into television sets
This booklet will not across America. As the use
address transsexualism, of VCRs began to grow in
sadomasochism, the 1980s, the porn industry
homosexuality, bestiality, promptly switched from
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16mm film to the The Size Of The

increasingly popular video-
cassettes. Amateurs also
Porn Industry
began using camcorders to The Money From
make and sell homemade Porn. Selling pornography
sexually explicit videos. And is big business. In the last
since the popularity of cable 40 years, the porn industry
and satellite television and in the US has exploded from
the Internet in the 1990s a small-scale operation of
and 2000s, pornography has $5-10 million annually into
been aggressively peddled a giant industry with a
on TV and computer screens yearly revenue of $13.3
worldwide. billion in 2006larger than
Selling porn, however, all the combined revenues
may not have become the from professional football,
thriving industry it is today basketball, and baseball
without a decision made by franchises for that same
the US Supreme Court in year.2 Worldwide, the
1973. In that year, the numbers are even more
Supreme Court ruled in shocking. The sex industry
Miller vs. California that sales for 2006 are reported
pornography was protected to be $97 billion.3 And that
by the First Amendment. doesnt take into account all
While lawmakers and the the money that is made
public continued to debate under the table.
whether it should enjoy The Availability Of
Constitutional protection, Porn. Adult bookstores and
it was only a matter of time other outlets for hard-core
before the X-rated industry porn outnumber McDonalds
grew to the massive size it restaurants in America
is today. nearly 3 to 1.4 X-rated
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material can be obtained just pornographic.8 In 2002, one

about anywhere. Its sold at in four American adults who
gas stations, corner grocery were surveyed admitted to
stores, and in hotels across seeing an X-rated movie in
America. And the Internet the previous year.9
has taken it to a completely Studies show that the
different level. Gone are the use of pornography in the
days when men have to Christian community is just
leave their homes or their as rampant. Some estimate
jobs to find sexually explicit that roughly 70 percent of
images. With a click of the Christians struggle with
mouse, those with access pornography.10 According
to the Internet have the to a study published by
luxury of selecting Leadership Journal in
from over 4.2 million March 2005, 57 percent
pornographic Web sites.5 of pastors said that an
In the last few years, cell addiction to porn is
phones and video iPods are the most sexually
now able to download and damaging issue in their
display adult videos. Yearly congregation.11 In another
revenues from mobile-phone survey, 51 percent of pastors
porn worldwide is growing said that cyberporn is a
rapidly and is soon expected personal temptation, and
to be in the billions.6 37 percent admitted that it
The Consumption is a current struggle.12
Of Porn. Its estimated With sexually graphic
that over 40 million adults material more widely
in the US regularly visit available and regularly
porn sites on the Internet.7 viewed than ever before, its
In 2005, 55 percent of movie important that we be aware
rentals in hotels were of the potential dangers.
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The Dangers pornographic scene during

the rape.13 The same study
Of Pornography revealed that 87 percent
ome sarcastically jest of molesters of girls and 77

S that the worst harm

porn can cause is a
paper cut. They couldnt be
percent of molesters of boys
regularly used hard-core
porn.14 Another study found
more wrong. Pornography that 51 percent of male
isnt a harmless vice. The students exposed to violent
truth is that society, women, pornography indicated a
marital relationships, and likelihood of raping a
individual users all suffer woman if they could get
devastating consequences. away with it.15
Detrimental To In a more general
Society. Since the sense, pornography has a
inception of Playboy detrimental effect on public
magazine in 1953, attitudes about sex. It
mainstream society cheapens sex by taking it
has slowly become more outside the marital context.
tolerant of X-rated images, It also promotes a casual
but not without severe and unrealistic view of sex
consequences. Researchers that completely ignores
have noted that a regular the threat of unwanted
exposure to pornography pregnancies or contracting
can lead to rape and child a sexually transmitted
molestation. In one study, disease. Watching porn
86 percent of convicted exposes you to the lie that
rapists confessed to regular sex is impersonal and
use of pornography, with that you can have it with
57 percent acknowledging anyone, at any time, and
that they tried to reenact a without any consequence.
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Degrading To all ages to give away one

Women. Women are of their most precious and
regularly exploited in the intimate gifts and allow
world of pornography. Some others to exploit it for
of the saddest stories one monetary or sexual gain.
will ever read are those of Damaging To
women who participated in Marriages. Its only
the making of X-rated films. a matter of time before
In many cases, women are a husband transmits the
coerced into humiliating, infection of porn into his
degrading, and abusive marriage. Contrary to what
activities to sexually please some would have us believe,
the male characters. In fact, sexually explicit material
most females who enter the does not enhance the sexual
video-porn industry (at least relationship of a husband
those who enter of their and wife. It ruins it. And
own free will), do one shoot gaining back the intimacy
and quit because it is such and trust that is lost is a
a demeaning experience. long and bumpy process.
Pornographys vicious Pornography creates
propaganda is responsible unrealistic demands about
for spreading the lie that the frequency of sex, specific
women are available and sexual acts, and the nature
willing at a moments notice of a womans sexual
to fulfill a mans sexual response, just to name a
demands. In most cases, it few. Real life seldom lives
portrays women as mindless up to what is represented
objects who exist only to in the fake world of X-rated
service a mans every pictures. When a husband
sexual whim. Ultimately, demands that reality
it encourages females of imitates his fantasy, sex
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becomes empty for him and . . . I wasnt attractive

degrading to his wife. In the enough to compete with
end, both feel resentful and eternally young, surgically
less interested in having altered models. . . . In the
sex with each other. end, he lost all interest in
Further, looking at me as a sexual partner. This
sexually graphic images had a devastating impact on
does not make a husband my view of my worth as a
want his wife more. It woman. It created such
makes him want her less. despair in me that I began
One researcher found that to let my appearance go.17
when men were shown In extreme cases, looking
pictures of Playboy models, at porn can lead to sexual
they later described abuse in the marital
themselves as having less relationship. It is sexually
marital love than other abusive for a husband
men who were shown non- to coerce his wife into
pornographic images.16 reenacting something he
Many men who has seen in pornography.
visually devour sexual One husband printed out
images unfairly compare his favorite X-rated pictures
their wives to what they from the Internet and
have seen. And no wife kept them in a notebook.
can live up to the youthful, Several times a week he
flawlessly shaped, enhanced would thumb through the
image of a centerfold. One notebook like a catalog, pick
wife said, Although I was out a scene, and then force
careful with my clothes and his wife to act it out.
figure, I found that my Destructive To Users.
husband was increasingly Pornography corrupts the
critical of the way I looked. minds of its viewers. Men
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who repeatedly look at kingdom. And the more he

sexually graphic images looks, the more his heart
are so affected by what they loses touch with the life he
see that they can only view was designed to live.
females as sexual objects. Viewing sexually graphic
Instead of learning how to images is another vice that
enjoy and enhance the mind keeps a man from seeing
and the heart of a woman, and becoming who God
they end up focusing on her created him to be. And as
body and fantasizing about porn continues to blind his
how to exploit her physical heart and take him further
beauty. away from where true life is
Slowly but surely, found, its only a matter of
viewing nude images time before looking at X-
conditions men to undress rated images will turn into
women in their thoughts an enslaving addiction
and imagine what it would where there is a continual
be like to have a sexual lust for more (Eph. 4:18-19).
encounter with them. In The extent of bondage
fact, most men who stop can range from a level-one
looking at porn are shocked addiction (serious) to a level-
to learn just how much three addiction (severe). In
looking at it had affected a level-one addiction, a man
their view of females as no longer has a mere casual
sexual objects. interest in X-rated material
Looking at porn also hes obsessed with
affects how men view watching it. Hes gone from
themselves. It leaves a man occasionally running across
feeling shallow, dirty, weak, it to deliberately going out
and utterly disqualified of his way to view it.
from serving in Gods In a level-two addiction,
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he attempts to connect rape and child sexual abuse.

the fantasy world of porn Men enslaved in an
to the real world. Its not addiction to pornography
uncommon for a man to try will identify with one or
to recreate in real life what more of the following
hes been viewing. He may statements:
try to act out with his wife I regularly seek out
what he has seen, with or pornography.
without her knowledge or I often spend parts
consent. As his struggle of the day looking
escalates, he may turn to forward to viewing
phone or cybersex, try to pornography.
pick up women for one- I shift back and forth
night stands, or even between feeling that my
solicit a prostitute. problem is out of control
Many men remain in a or under control.
level-one or -two addiction I often compare my
for years and never progress wife or girlfriend to the
any further. If men progress women in pornography.
to a level-three addiction, I often choose to look at
and there are many who pornography rather than
do, they get involved in be sexually intimate
more severe forms of porn, with my wife.
including child pornography I refuse to tell others
and sado-masochism. And about my secret problem.
because pornography is a I tell lies to cover my
disinhibitor that dulls the struggle.
conscience as to what is Looking at pornography
wrong and harmful, it has led to serious
can also move to serious problems in my life
criminal behavior such as loss of a job or marriage,
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financial debt, a sexually Men Are Aroused

transmitted disease, Visually. God has wired
getting arrested, or an men to be sexually aroused
unwanted pregnancy. by sight. In a matter of
An addiction to porn seconds, a man can shift
doesnt develop overnight. from feeling no sexual
It slowly sneaks up on a arousal to full sexual
man, and there are multiple arousal simply from what
factors involved. he sees. Pornographers prey
on this physiological reality
What Makes A by parading unclothed
women with pretty faces
Man Vulnerable and firm bodies to catch
To Porn? a mans eye.
ornography is Early Exposure

P designed to capture
a mans attention. It
features young, physically
To Porn. Vulnerability to
X-rated material rests as
much in a mans history of
attractive women, and it being exposed to porn as it
capitalizes on a natural does in his visual makeup.
curiosity about nakedness Although past experiences
and sex. Though its lustful never excuse current
appeal is as ancient as behavior, our histories do
the BibleThe lips of a influence and shape how
seductive woman are oh and where we struggle.
so sweet, her soft words are Many men who get
oh so smooth (Prov. 5:3)18 caught up in viewing
there are a web of factors pornography as adults
involved that explain how were often introduced to
men come to struggle so it as young boys or teens.
much with this vice. Some were first exposed
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to it in their homes. They his Christian father secretly

found it stashed in a family looked at porn gave him
members room or hidden permission to further
in the garage. Others were pursue his burning desires.
introduced to porn by kids Repeated Exposure
at school or neighborhood To Porn. Many men were
friends. Today, a whole new not only introduced to
generation is being exposed sexually explicit material at
to it over the Internet. a young age, but they were
For most young boys, exposed to regular doses of
seeing porn is exciting. it. For some, it was out in
Looking at it makes them the open in their own homes
feel alive. Even stealing or at least not well-hidden.
glances of it in secret adds They regularly encountered
to their sense of thrill. And it in their friends homes
it ignites a natural curiosity as well. And many of the
and craving to see more of neighborhood boys had their
the female body. One man own private stash, which
recalled what it was like they shared with each
when he first discovered other like baseball cards.
a Playboy magazine in his Cable, satellite TV,
fathers desk drawer. He and the Internet have
had never seen a naked only heightened the level
woman, and it excited him. of exposure, bringing into
He looked at the magazine homes a steady stream
dozens of times, until one of movies and Web sites
day it was gone. He never containing sexually explicit
forgot what he saw or how scenes. X-rated images
it made him feel, and it are understandably eye-
stirred within him a desire catching and feed into a
for more. And knowing that young males natural desire
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to explore the mysteries of sense out of such mixed

a womans physical beauty. feelings. Many feel dirty
But few, if any, are warned and responsible for the
of the dangers or the fierce abuse. Boys abused by
and enslaving force they older males may even
will encounter. begin to doubt their own
Childhood Sexual heterosexuality. As a result,
Abuse. In some cases, some victims may turn to
those who regularly view pornography as a way of
porn have a history of being escaping their shame by
sexually exploited in their proving they can be sexually
childhood or teenage years. aroused by a woman.
(To read more about the Other males who were
damaging effects of sexual sexually abused by an older
abuse, see RBCs booklet female use the fantasy
When Trust Is Lost CB922.) world of X-rated images
Sexual abuse, especially to try to alter sexually
when the abuser is a man, traumatic events in their
can cause a young male past. This is why some men
victim to question his comb the Internet looking
own sense of honor and for a specific kind of woman
masculinity. The mixed or scene that reminds them
feelings swirling around the of the abuse. This then
abuse leave him confused becomes the basis of a
and ashamed. The very sexual fantasy in which
event or series of events they can relive and rewrite
that he despised also what occurred.
brought some degree of One man, for example,
emotional or physical who was sexually seduced
pleasure.18 Young victims and then mocked by an
dont know how to make older female cousin,
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searched porn for women a steady diet of X-rated

who reminded him of his images and self-release
abuser. Whenever he found eventually affects a mans
a suitable imitation, he body chemistry. The more
would drift off into a habitual it becomes, the
fantasy where he would more his body begins to look
rewrite the story of what forward to the same sexual
happened to him. Instead stimulus and high. This
of being humiliated and physical dependency
rejected, he imagined that does not remove a mans
his abuser affirmed and responsibility from looking
accepted him. at sexually graphic images,
Despite their but it does start to explain
vulnerabilities, many good why so many men remain
men who are engulfed in tangled in the web of porn.
the world of X-rated images When an addicted man
hate what theyre doing and is cut off from pornography,
wish to stay away from he experiences physical
porn. Although the toll it withdrawal symptoms. This
takes on them can be sets off a strong urge to
enormous, a part of them regain a sense of balance.
desires to keep looking at Many sexual addicts report
sexually charged material. that the withdrawals from a
sexual addiction are more
Why Men prolonged and intense than
the withdrawals from drugs
Continue To Look or alcohol.19
Physical Reasons. There is, of course,
Viewing pornography much more going on than
inevitably leads to fantasy just a physical attachment.
and self-stimulation. And As strong as the attachment
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can be, there are even by the demands that have

deeper reasons that explain been placed on him.
why a man continues to And with very little effort,
look at porn. he can indulge in sexual
Personal Payoffs. Men fantasy and easily find the
dont just become addicted break he often feels he
to X-rated material. They deserves.
become addicted to what Along with trying
looking at it does for them to escape, men are also
that they cant seem to live looking to fill whats
without. And the payoff is missing inside.
much more than sexual 2. False Affirmation.
gratification. Viewing porn All men have a God-given
seems to satisfy something desire to be strong. We
very important in the core deeply long to know we
of a mans heart. As we take have what it takes to be
the time to look inside the assertive and to deal
hearts of men hooked on with the challenges of life.
porn, well discover that Tragically, the world is full
there are at least three of men who are unsure of
personal payoffs that keep themselves. Instead of
them coming back for more. feeling confident, most men
1. Easy Escape. A have people and events in
man sometimes runs to their lives that have left
the world of X-rated images them feeling weak and
simply to check out from inadequate in many key
the pressures of his life. areas.
Whether coming from his While most men try
job, his marriage, his family, to hide their doubts and
or his church, a man can insecurities behind a fake
feel stressed and worn out yet well-rehearsed front,
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their hearts continue to of our comfort zones. God

long for affirmationlike meant for us to dare great
lungs craving oxygen. And things and to put ourselves
looking at X-rated images on the line for a larger
can seem to give a man cause. We are, of course,
what he craves. not meant to live careless,
The fantasy world of foolish lives. Theres a time
porn is a place where an to weigh the risks and count
insecure man can go to the cost. But there are also
feel better about himself. times to follow God into the
Imagining that the risk of the unknown at the
attractive woman hes cost of everything else.
looking at responds to him While its the best thing
willingly and is pleased by that can ever happen to us,
him provides a powerful being in a friendship with
boost to his self-confidence. God and following His call
Even though its short-lived to advance His kingdom is
and artificial, fantasizing at times anything but safe.
about the sexual conquest In fact, following the
of the beauty in the image living God into unfamiliar
helps him gain a false territory is the biggest risk
sense of strength and and adventure we will ever
self-assurance. take.
3. False Adventure. The problem is that a
One of the things that often deep level of adventure is
shows up missing in the life absent in the lives of many
of a man absorbed in the men. Instead of walking
world of porn is adventure. with God into risk, which
We all have a God-given requires stepping out in
longing to take some risks faith, many men tend to live
and at times to step outside predictable lives and play
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it safe when it counts the Viewing X-rated pictures

most. Sadly, too many men can instantly put feelings of
who claim Jesus as their excitement and drama
Savior live more like the back into a mans life.
third servant in the parable Even the risk of getting
of the talents (Mt. 25:14-30). caught provides a thrill
Unlike the first two faithful that lifts a man out of his
servants who took a risk doldrums. And while many
and went out and increased know that looking at porn is
the money their master wrong and that the thrill is
had entrusted to them, the short-lived, they cling to it
third servant held back and because its the only answer
played it safe. He took the they can come up with for
money his master left him their boredom.
to manage and hid it in Consider the biblical
the ground. story of David and
Over and over again, the Bathsheba. The story
stories of the Bible show indicates that one of the
that adventure is very much main reasons David was in
a part of following God. But a position to catch a glimpse
when men hold back and of a bathing Bathsheba was
refuse to step out with God that he was not living as he
into the unfamiliar territory was meant to. At the time
of a relationship or a new of year when kings go off
direction in life where the to war and lead their
outcome is uncertain, they troops into battle, David,
end up feeling empty and the warrior-king, stayed
bored at a core level. In behind (2 Sam. 11:1-2).
their boredom, many men The story implies that his
use porn to try to fill whats decision left him bored
missing. and it got the best of him.
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Late one evening, them to begin to see the

restless and unable to sleep, spiritual reasons they
the king got up from his bed remain ensnared.
and started walking around 1. Idolatry. Many men
on the palace rooftop. He learn to rely on porn to
didnt go out that night resolve their insecurities,
because he was lonely and emptiness, and stress. That
missing his men. He was is why they come to think of
out there pacing back and it as one of their greatest
forth like a caged lion needs. This is nothing less
because he was bored and than idolatry.
missed commanding his As pornography grows
army. Then he caught sight to be an idol in a mans life,
of a beautiful woman taking he starts to believe that
a bath. The thrill over its something he cant live
seeing Bathsheba for the without. He no longer has a
first time apparently swept take it or leave it attitude
him away. The more he toward it. In many cases he
looked, the more alive he thinks that if he doesnt
felt. And even though she rent that DVD or check
belonged to another man, out that new Web site, hell
he used his power as king miss out on something he
to take her for himself. desperately needs.
Spiritual Reasons. 2. Unbelief. Many
Recognizing what men get Christian men know that
out of pornography is vital. filling their minds with
It opens the door for men to sexual images is wrong and
see how they use porn to reduces their capacity to
deal with stress and to fill relate to others in a healthy
what is painfully missing way. But in the deep
in their lives. It also helps recesses of their heart,
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they dont care. In most set in. Resigning themselves

cases, its not that a man to defeat, they said, Let
cant let go of pornography, us eat and drink, . . . for
he wont let go because he tomorrow we die! (v.13). In
believes nothing else will other words, We might as
fill his emptiness. well live it up today, because
Beneath a mans today is all we have.
idolatry is often an When a man doesnt
unspoken struggle to believe that God offers a
believe that God has better alternative, he will
something better for him take matters into his own
than what he is able to find hands and begin to settle
in the world of porn. Men for whatever he can get.
tend to think that the self- In many cases, one of the
confidence and adventure things that adds to a
they get out of the fantasy mans unbelief is the
world of perfect bodies and incomplete understanding
sexual seduction is as good of Christianity that reduces
as it gets. following God to little more
Isaiah 22 gives us an than living a clean life and
example of this kind of keeping a list of external
spiritual unbelief in the rules. Many men who have
hearts of Gods people. fallen into sexual sin have
The prophet Isaiah foresaw tried to conform outwardly
Jerusalem being attacked to the legalistic standards of
by a foreign army. Instead of their religious community.
turning to God for help and But it didnt make much of
provision, the people chose a difference. If anything, it
to handle the situation made their boredom worse.
themselves. When their One man said that if rule-
efforts failed, hopelessness keeping is the best that
CB991 Porn 07 pp.qxd 6/21/07 4:04 PM Page 21

Christianity has to offer, do anything he can to keep

hed prefer to stay with us from a relationship with
porn. God that he himself turned
Mere rule-keeping his back on so long ago.
doesnt do much for ones Its critical to understand
heart (2 Cor. 3:6). By itself, that a mans struggle with
its boring and often unable porn is consistent with
to compete with the exciting Jesus warning that there is
world of sexually charged a thief who is out to steal
images. But part of the good and kill and destroy the
news of Christianity is that life we can have through
following Jesus is a lot more Him (Jn. 10:10). This in no
than simply following a list way implies that a man is
of dos and donts. Jesus off the hook for giving in
didnt sacrifice His life just to the temptation to look
so we could straighten out at sexually explicit
our behavior. He rescued images. But it does help
us from sin and death to us understand the evil
restore us to Himself and ones part in inflaming
to live more of the life and a mans battle.
purpose we were created for. The Bible refers to
For God sent Jesus into the Satan as the god of this
world that we might live present age (2 Cor. 4:4).
through Him (1 Jn. 4:9). He is the driving force
3. The Evil One. behind a dark industry
Idolatry and unbelief are that dangles X-rated images
not all that stand between in front of men to lure them
a man caught up in porn away from who they can
and the fulfilling life that is become and the higher
available in Christ. Theres road they are meant to
also a real enemy who will walk. He is even the one
CB991 Porn 07 pp.qxd 6/21/07 4:04 PM Page 22

who orchestrates some the immediate pleasures

of the moments of sexual of sin. The evil one has been
enticement. peddling different versions
A man is, of course, of this lie ever since that
always completely fateful day in Eden when
responsible for succumbing he lied to Eve about her
to sexual temptation. But Creator (Gen. 3:1-4).
the idea to indulge oneself He can be especially
doesnt always come from convincing in a moment
the beast within. There are of sexual temptation,
times when a man can be whether he arranged for the
going about his day and temptation or not. And the
suddenly feel a strong urge more often that men buy
to view porn. Whether its into his lies, the more they
triggered by a pop-up will become ensnared.
ad on the computer, a TV
commercial, or a random
thought that seems
The Limits Of
to come out of the blue, the Self-Restraint
temptation isnt something any men tryand
that was sought. Its as if it
stalked him. Sometimes the
temptation originates from
M failto break free
from the grip of
porn through sheer grit and
the evil one who is prowling willpower. In most cases,
around like a hungry lion the harder a man tries the
looking for someone to white-knuckle approach, the
devour (1 Pet. 5:8). harder it is to resist. To
Ultimately, Satan is the simply encourage a man
author of the sinister lie who is addicted to porn to
that God doesnt offer just stop looking at it is like
anything better than the saying, Do not handle! Do
CB991 Porn 07 pp.qxd 6/21/07 4:04 PM Page 23

not taste! Do not touch! the deeper answer is to help

(Col. 2:21). Paul said that men recover more of the
this approach may indeed glory and life God always
have an appearance of intended for them to live
wisdom but it lacks any out (2 Cor. 3:18).
value in restraining The story of Christianity
sensual indulgence (v.23). is a story that gives us back
Men who have become a life that was lost. And in
addicted to porn should ways men who are caught
avoid vulnerable situations. up in porn have yet to
But self-restraint alone discover, they can have
doesnt tackle the core more of that life right now.
issues involved in a mans When Jesus emerged
struggle. While viewing from the tomb, He launched
porn is a serious problem, an incredible process of
we must realize that it is restoration that will have its
also a glaring symptom of ultimate fulfillment when
a man who is not living as He returns (Rev. 21:5). Until
God designed him to live. then, each one of us has free
Its important to see that access to the power of His
sin is not merely breaking resurrection the instant we
rules. Sin is falling short accept Him as the only One
of the glory of God (Rom. who can rescue us from the
3:23). It is falling short of penalty and power of sin.
the dignity God placed in The remaining pages
us that we were always are offered as a starting
meant to reflect. That is point on how to find
why its not enough for men more of the new life that
to simply stop looking at is available only through
sexually graphic pictures. Of Jesus.
course that is one goal, but
CB991 Porn 07 pp.qxd 6/21/07 4:04 PM Page 24

How Can You By Admitting Your

Move Toward Secret. A man caught up
in porn rarely breaks free
Freedom And on his own. You must begin
Life? talking about your secret
love to watch the TV problem with someone who

I show Extreme Makeover: is experienced in dealing

Home Edition just to see with sexual addictions. And
the ending when the crowd it helps to come clean with
yells, Bus drivermove a few trustworthy men.
that bus! The show tells There will be times when
the story of a family who you will miss indulging in
has fallen on hard times and pornography so badly that
whose house is in serious the involvement of others in
need of repair. It then follows your life will be what keeps
a community of people who you centered and aware of
come to the familys rescue what is really going on.
to rebuild their home beyond Lasting transformation
their wildest dreams. The always involves confessing
speechless look of joy on sin and struggling through
their faces chokes me up life with the help of others
every time. Its a powerful (Gal. 6:1; Jas. 5:16).
image of a deep restoration If your secret is exposed
we all long for (Rom. 8). before you confess, you need
If your heart and life to end the lies and own up
are in disrepair because of to it. You need to admit how
an obsession with porn, one far it has gone and stop
of the first steps toward minimizing it. And you
being restored is to confess need to stop blaming your
to God and to others that problem on others. Satan
you have a problem. knows that if a man wont
CB991 Porn 07 pp.qxd 6/21/07 4:04 PM Page 25

take full responsibility for away (Jas. 4:7; 1 Jn. 1:9).

his own choices, he will Opening up to others
remain a prisoner to the lie can be risky. You need
that his problem is everyone to be careful about those
elses fault. Like Adam, who you confide in. You need
blamed his wife and his God to talk with men who
when he was caught in the are aware of their own
first sin (Gen. 3:11-12), a brokenness and capacity to
man who points the finger lustmen who wont define
of blame at everyone but you by your sin or pelt you
himself will end up feeling with self-righteous stones of
trapped like a helpless condemnation. You need a
victim. fellowship of men in your
Admitting to having corner who will keep your
an out-of-control sexual struggle confidential and
struggle may be one of the who will pray with you,
hardest confessions you challenge you, and believe
will ever make. Satan in you.
wants you to hide your Talking with a few good
struggle so he can get you men requires an investment
alone and deceive you with of time and heart where
lies such as Its not that conversations go beyond
bad or Youve gone too far work, sports, and other
this time or You really do hobbies. At times, the
deserve a break. Satan will discussions will be painfully
be relentless in his attack. uncomfortable. But with
He will try to wear you others involved, you will
down because he knows the have a band of brothers
power available to a child of from whom you can gain
God to resist him, and that strength and who will
forgiveness is only a prayer dream with you about
CB991 Porn 07 pp.qxd 6/21/07 4:04 PM Page 26

the man you could become truth is that getting hurt

for others and for Christ is part of living in a fallen
(1 Th. 2:11-12). world. And some of the
By Wrestling With wounds we suffer are often
Your Story. Once you a much bigger deal than we
come to the point of let ourselves believe.
admitting your sexual As you honestly reflect
addiction, you then on the key moments of your
need to wrestle with and story, name the actual hurts
understand the story of of your life that left you
how you have gotten to this feeling confused and
place. Patterns of wrong insecure. Write down
behavior often point to a what happened and how
long history of a hurting it affected you. Many men
and empty heart searching need to write out how being
for life in all the wrong exposed to porn at a young
places (Jn. 4:13-18). age affected them. Others
Although this is no time need to face and put on
for excuses, there are often paper the disappointment
painful relationships and of a busy dad who left them
events in your story that feeling unaffirmed or the
you need to explore with sting of a shaming parent
the help of others and God. who made them feel like a
Most men who are ensnared loser.
in the web of porn have Thinking through and
learned to deny how much writing out the shaping
theyve been hurt in life. events in your own personal
Even if they do admit to story will be difficult, but it
taking some hits, they try will provide you the chance
to tell themselves that it to start challenging the
was not a big deal. The truthfulness of what youve
CB991 Porn 07 pp.qxd 6/21/07 4:04 PM Page 27

believed about yourself. If, you the opportunity to

for example, youve been rebuild your faith in God.
ignored or kicked in the Men who regularly seek
teeth by others, it has out pornography are in a
probably left you feeling serious crisis of faith. They
unsure about your own may put on a good front
adequacy and strength. and appear to be content
But with the help of your in their Christian life, but
heavenly Father and the their secret struggle betrays
caring men in your life, you how empty they feel and
can explore the pain of your what they truly believe
own story, confirm who you about God. As you think
really are in Christ, and put through your story, however,
words to your real strength it also creates an honest
and potential. Then you context to challenge and
will be able to see your true wrestle with your unbelief.
worth as a man and begin Like Jacob or the
to stop believing the untrue prophet Jeremiah, there
messages that held you are times for you to openly
down for so long. struggle with God (Judg.
Coming to see the truth 6:1-22; Jer. 20:7-12).
will take time, but Jesus Leveling with God about
said that knowing the truth what you really think and
will set you free (Jn. 8:32). feel about the heartaches
Thats why the evil one of life can prepare you to
wants no part of this. He see God in a brand-new
fears that revisiting the light. When you talk to
painfully defining moments your Father from your
of your story will expose heart (and not just your
and free you from his lies. head), you can start to hear
He also knows it offers His deeper voice of truth
CB991 Porn 07 pp.qxd 6/21/07 4:04 PM Page 28

that will restore your faith man who found a great

in Him. treasure in a field, and
Though you may wrestle then went out and sold
back and forth with God everything he had to buy
and still have lingering the field (Mt. 13:44).
doubts, you can grow to be Walking away from
more certain that God really porn isnt easy. But if you
does offer a whole lot more surrender to God and allow
than what youve found in yourself to find the life your
the X-rated world. As you Creator meant for you, you
catch more of a vision of thewill see that theres a lot of
life God wants to restore in godly incentive to walk away
from itnot only because
you, you will start to believe
that there really is good its immoral and fake, but
reason to stop searching for also because God has made
answers in the false world you for a life that is so much
of pornography. better than what youve
By Walking Away been settling for.
From Your False Jesus rose from the
Search. Part of the dead to bring us back to a
promise of Christianity is life of freedom and ever-
that you can be restored increasing glory where we
and live out your God-given are set free to live more as
strength and purpose. If you we were originally designed.
truly realized all you are This is why a Christian
and all you have in Christ, man does not lose heart
and the plans God has for but wants to renounce his
you to help advance His secret and shameful ways
kingdom, you would unload (2 Cor. 3:174:2). As you
your porn and never go back leave your heart open to
to it. You would be like the believe that there truly
CB991 Porn 07 pp.qxd 6/21/07 4:04 PM Page 29

is a life of noble strength, something better is all

adventure, and purpose for we have to get us through
you in Gods kingdom, youll (2 Cor. 5:7; Heb. 11:39-40).
want to do whatever it takes Although the ongoing
to stay away from porn. hassles and heartaches of
The bottom line is this: life in an imperfect world
God has something far can make it hard to believe,
superior to offer, but you there is so much more that
wont find it if you continue God has and wants for us.
to hold on to the idol Theres a larger story we
of pornography. As the belong to. And if you confess
prophet Jonah realized your sin and walk away
while he was running from from porn, you can return
God, Those who cling to to God, find your place in
worthless idols forfeit the His story, and begin to
grace that could be theirs really live.
(Jon. 2:8). At times, it can By Living For Gods
be tough to believe there is Larger Story. Once you
more to this life than what turn away from the false
our idols offer, especially world of pornographic
when you cant immediately images, you wont find a
see it like an image on a God who is waiting to
screen. And Satan is not hammer you with shame
about to let up with his lies. and condemnation. As in
Hes going to keep trying to the parable of the lost son,
convince you that the world when you turn toward God
of sexually graphic images you will find a caring Father
is as good as it gets. But who embraces you with
thats why faith is so love and showers you with
important. Sometimes forgiveness (Lk. 15:22-24).
faith in the promise of And He doesnt stop there.
CB991 Porn 07 pp.qxd 6/21/07 4:04 PM Page 30

Similar to the father of the When you were

prodigal, God will restore tangled and lost in an
a repentant man to his X-rated world, you learned
original position of honor to settle for so little. But the
and significance by giving further from porn you get,
him the privilege of playing the more in touch you will
a vital role in His larger be with the deeper things of
story of rescue and renewal. life. Regardless of your job
Gods larger story is or your financial means or
of epic proportions. Good even your moral failures,
is in a constant war against you will find in Gods story
evil; danger lurks at a renewed direction for your
every turn; and sacrificial, life (Jer. 29:11). You will
glorious works wait to be begin to see yourself as
done. And whether we are a husband, or father, or
aware of it or not, we find friend, or neighbor in a
ourselves living in the new and exciting way.
middle of it. God calls you to
Its exciting to realize reengage in His story
that there are bigger things and to plug back into the
happening all around us. redemption and restoration
Even more thrilling is that that are coursing through
we get to join in the action. the drama. Even though
We are not meant to be past choices to indulge in
passive spectators who porn may cause you to
merely read and know suffer some painful
about the facts of Gods consequences, God
story. We are called to be still invites you to join in
participants in the great the mission and adventure
drama that is unfolding of laying yourself on the
(2 Cor. 5:18-21). line for a cause greater
CB991 Porn 07 pp.qxd 6/21/07 4:04 PM Page 31

than your own interests certain activity you vowed

(2 Cor. 5:15). never to try again, these
Being given the honor will begin to define where
of partnering with God in God will summon you to
advancing His kingdom deploy your strength and
will pump a sense of life compassion for others
and purpose back into your and for Him.
heart. Just think of it! The Gods story is no ordinary
King of kings summons you story. And while playing
to be a warrior who fights to your role in it can be risky
see others rescued, restored, and will take some getting
and released for His used to, engaging in what
kingdom. matters for eternity turns
With time and careful life into the meaningful
reflection, you will start to adventure it truly is. You
gain more insight into Gods will begin to see that the
unique purpose for your life. freedom and life you have
As you pay close attention been searching for in all the
to those good things that wrong places is found in an
make you feel alive or the intimate friendship with
parts of life that scare you Jesus Christ (Jn. 15:15).
or break your heart, you Following Jesus will take
will begin to see more you in directions where the
clearly where you are called stakes are high. But the
to serve and to attempt real danger is to ignore
great things for God. His call. The truth is that
Whether it involves a love its only in and through
for the outdoors or the arts, Jesus that you can find
an injustice or heartache forgiveness and the
that you or someone close to spiritual enablement
you has suffered, or even a to really live.
CB991 Porn 07 pp.qxd 6/21/07 4:04 PM Page 32


1. Diagnostic And Statistical
Manual Of Mental Disorders
(4th ed. 1994), pp.522-32; 2. blazing When We Just Cant
grace.org/pornstatistics.htm; Stopovercoming addiction
3. Ibid; 4. spcc-storrs-org/blog/
archives/general; 5. xxxchurch.com
/07/gethelp/index.php; 6. Sex Designed For Desire
Cells, Wall Street Journal (May Gods design for sexuality
12, 2005); 7. blazinggrace.org/porn
statistics.htm; 8. Ibid; 9. Ibid;
10. Ibid; 11. Ibid; 12. Christianity When Disappointment
Today, Dec. 2001; 13. Against Deceiveshow to handle
Pornography by Diana Russell,
p.147; 14. Ibid; 15. Pornography: A
the lies that mislead us
Human Tragedy, Tom Minnery, ed., (CB041).
p.39; 16. Time, August 15, 1994;
17. An Affair Of The Mind, p.76;
18. The Message by Eugene
Peterson; 19. The Wounded Heart One helpful Web site to visit
by Dan Allender, p.130; 20. Dont is: www.xxxchurch.com
Call It Love by Patrick Carnes, p.25

ADDITIONAL The complete text of all the

RBC booklets is available at
An Affair Of The Mind
by Laurie Hall (Focus On Author Jeff Olson is a licensed
The Family, 1998). counselor in Michigan and
Samson And The Pirate works in the RBC biblical
correspondence department.
Monks by Nate Larkin
Managing Editor: David Sper
(W Publishing Group, 2007).
Cover Design: Terry Bidgood
The Sacred Romance Scripture quotations are from the New
by Brent Curtis and John International Version, 1973, 1978, 1984,
by the International Bible Society. Used
Eldredge (Nelson, 1997). by permission of Zondervan Publishers.
Wild At Heart by John 1999, 2002,2007 RBC Ministries,
Eldredge (Nelson, 2001). Grand Rapids, MI. Printed in USA.

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