I’ve written previously about dealing with pornography (see here and here), primarily because I’ve seen that issue destroy far too many families and ministries. I greatly appreciate the ministries and resources now available to help people work toward freedom. At the same time, here are some falsehoods I’ve heard for winning this battle:
- “You’re the only one facing this struggle.” All of us know better than that, but the enemy delights when we convince ourselves than we have to win the battle alone.
- “Read your Bible and pray every day, and the temptation will go away.” We can’t win this battle without regular, intentional Bible study and prayer, but even the most faithful believers don’t always find immediate victory. If you think these disciplines will automatically drive away temptation, you’ll give up the disciplines as soon as the temptation returns.
- “Accountability will make the difference.” It can make a difference, but accountability is seldom the cure-all. We can look accountability partners in the eye and lie to them.
- “A filter or block on your devices will protect you from a fall.” I encourage everybody to have filters on their devices, but the best they can do is make it more complicated to get to the porn. Sinners (that’s all of us) work until they find a way around the protection.
- “It’s okay if it’s not hardcore porn.” It may not be xxx-rated stuff, but it’s still a problem if you turn to it for arousal.
- “Get married, and the problem will disappear.” I’ve never met a man whose struggle with lust and pornography went away because he got married. In many, if not most folks, the battle became more intense.
- “You’ll grow out of the struggle as you get older.” The nature and intensity of the battle may change, but I’m not sure you just grow out of it.
- “If you didn’t go looking for porn, you’re not as responsible.” That sounds okay, but it’s deceitful. Frankly, most people who struggle have figured out where they can find the stuff “accidentally.”
So, what do we do with the struggle? I’m certainly not suggesting that we ignore the Bible, prayer, accountability, and filters. We need all of those to find victory, but victory won’t come as long as we listen to the lies of the enemy. Ignore his leadings, and fight to win in God’s power.