It is important that we take BOTH the danger AND the hope about pornography seriously. Pornography is widespread. Internet access, speed, and privacy have led to a sharp increase in the number of both women and men who view pornography. Pornography use amongst Christians is only slightly different from those outside the Church.
If you are reading this, it is likely because you have seen that pornography use is dangerous. Viewing pornography has been found to:
- Impact work, sometimes to the point of dismissal
- Create unhealthy body images and place unhealthy body image expectations on a partner
- Create a difficulty in attaching emotionally to a person in real life due to a habit of ‘attaching’ to images of others
- Develop more dangerous and sometimes more violent expressions of sexual behavior that can lead to legal, emotional, and relational consequences
If pornography can cause all these problems, why doesn’t a person ‘Just Stop?’ It is because viewing pornography can be as addictive as any other behavior. Like other addictions, the brain releases dopamine as a feel good chemical when a person simply considers pornography. This release makes it difficult to stop the habit and reroute our thinking to a different topic. If you or someone you know is addicted to pornography, it is very likely that they sincerely want to stop and have no idea how to stop. The person likely still cares about their family, their name, keeping promises, but when the brain is craving pornography, all those other desires become secondary.
It is important to remember that pornography is not ‘victimless,’ as some have said. It harms both the viewer and harms the person being viewed. Even if you are not in a relationship, viewing pornography is a serious issue and needs to be treated accordingly.
No matter how long pornography has been part of your story, there is Hope. God changes lives all the time and there is no pain, no mistake so big that God cannot bring a miracle. You are always loved by God as we are and not as we should be. That is what we mean by the word Grace. That is why we call Grace ‘Amazing.’
To become a new person, God is going to need you to put some effort into the healing, too. God will not save or change a person against their will. You are off to a good start of seeking help by visiting this site. We have some resources available in the ‘Habit’ section to help understand pornography and learn how to develop healthy habits. If you need help finding resources, connecting to a counselor, or if you simply need to talk to someone confidentially, email firstname.lastname@example.org.