Question

Posted July 15, 2012

What would you all tell a female friend (unmarried) struggling with pornography? She loves the Lord and most of time stays away from it, but occasionally when she is on her computer doing something else, an ad or picture of some sort comes up and leads her into a world of sin. Afterward she is extremely repentant and wants very badly to stay away from it, but doesn’t know what to do when this type of thing comes over her. She is definitely saved, by the way – no doubt about that. She loves the Lord and is a lovely committed lady in so many other ways, except for this occasional fall into sin. What would you tell her? How can I help her?

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  1. Christy

    Tell her to get rid of any temptation. If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out. If she cannot resist looking at it, she needs to sell or destroy the thing causing her to sin.
    Truth is, the world has corrupted what God meant for sex to be. It is supposed to be something wonderful between two people God has brought together in marriage. The people on that screen are not loving each other in the way God intended. They are fornicating. Taking the beautiful thing God made and perverting it.

    It is likely she will not want to do this, she may make excuses, and even lie(to herself and God) saying she will stop. If she doesn’t get the thing causing her to sin away from her. The temptation will rise up and she will sin again. We all have our own struggles. One day she will get married, then she will also committing adultery in her heart!

    My advise…Get it out of the house!

    # July 15, 2012

  2. rommy

    Hi Lydia,

    I’m very sorry to hear about your friend and I’ll pray for her. I used to be addicted to porn a few years ago and it’s a terrible thing, so I hope I can help a little here.

    The first and most important thing you can do for her is pray, often. I think I escaped my addiction because my mom was always praying for me (even though she didn’t know). That your friend has told you about the problem is the first step, it’s important, but don’t ever feel sorry with her about it. Tell her unequivocally that it’s wrong and even be a bit angry.

    Porn ruins your life and your thinking. There are so many bad messages in porn that will not leave for a long time, even if she kicks the habit of looking at it. I’m still horrified and distressed whenever a guy compliments my looks or stares at my body and I still have trouble reconciling with the “women are to submit” idea. I have no idea how I’ll handle physical relations once I’m married. Recovery is going to take years and a lot of prayer. Tell her not to ruin her life now, because even as she’s engaged in this, she can never serve God. I mean, I led almost a perfect double life when I had a porn addiction, too, but it’ll start showing up eventually – in irritability, in hatred, in arbitrariness, in selfishness, and so on.

    Let your friend know that if she continues looking at porn, eventually she’ll get to a point where God won’t listen to her anymore. She’ll find that her prayers are hitting a brick wall before they get to heaven, and at that point her conscience will stop bothering her. That was the point, in October 2009, where I finally got scared enough to stop – because I couldn’t feel the Holy Spirit anymore and my conscience completely deserted me. I became absolutely terrified of taking communion. It is not worth it. Nothing is worth losing God. I don’t mean salvation – that can’t be lost – but being able to /talk/ to God and hear him. That /can/ be lost.

    She’s probably found that she goes through “cycles” – periods of time, perhaps a month or so, when she’s clean and doing great. And then one day she’ll fall again, the next day she’ll repent, and it’ll keep on going and going again in circles. It’s awful. Here are some practical tips to breaking the cycle. Know that porn is partly a chemical addiction, triggering dopamine and adrenaline in our brains, and that you can deal with it almost the same as with drugs or alcohol.

    1. Temptation usually strikes at the onset of hormones or monthly periods. She’s probably noticed when she feels most tempted. Let her make a note of that so that she’s especially careful and aware on those days.
    2. When temptation comes, physically leave the room with the computer or put the phone away. Calls, emails, and everything else are NOT more important. Wait until the temptation goes away – for me it was usually two or so hours – before using the internet again.
    3. Certain things trigger lust. For me it was action movies, being alone in a room for a few hours, and boredom. If she feels bored, she absolutely must go find something to do. Menial, hands-on work is best, like cleaning. Else, take a walk around the block – put some real distance between herself and access to the internet. But my idle mind was the devil’s workshop, honestly, and I was never more susceptible to falling than when I had nothing else to do.
    4. Whenever I fell, I always felt awful immediately after I had finished. After a while I was able to use that as a defense: “No, I can’t do this because I know I’ll feel awful as soon as I finish. I just have to get past these few minutes and I’ll start thinking normally again, and then I’ll be SO GLAD I didn’t do it.” Understand it’s only a passing satisfaction, it’s not worth it.
    5. The key to breaking the cycles is repetition. If she can resist temptation a few times, she’ll get better at it. But if she falls and falls again, she’ll only be reinforcing the cycle. And it gets easier after a while, too. Six months clean helps diminish the temptation a lot.
    6. Have her research and keep a list of key verses about sexual purity on her computer desktop, named “help.txt.” When she feels the urge, she should open the document right away and read it, waiting for the Spirit to convict her.
    7. The most important: getting to know Jesus more. It is not just a matter of acting properly the rest of the time. Decent behavior is not enough. She needs a real, strong love for Jesus himself in order to keep from sinning. Let her read the Bible for herself and see what Jesus is like for herself; get to know Him without any helps, commentaries, or other Christians interrupting. As the psalm says, “Deep calls unto deep.” Only the Lord can enter that deep place of our heart where no one else can fathom. If she knows Him there – truly, of herself, not just about him or of him, but as one soul onto one soul – then that is where half the battle can be fought already.

    A year or so ago, after I had stopped looking at porn for two years already, I thought, “I’m never going to be good enough to do any work for good. I have so much baggage, I am so unclean, I still wrestle with temptation. I have all these dirty thoughts in my mind and my marriage is probably going to turn out awful. I’ve killed my life before it even got started with all this wretched filth, how am I ever going to do anything?” Then, that week, my dad took me out for a birthday dinner and said something. I think it was the Holy Spirit talking through him, he was explaining how God can erase any stain in your life and make it into something beautiful. Remember David and Bathsheba? A lot of bad things came out of that: a dead baby, a dead husband, a widow, and David lost his moral ascendancy over his people. But God also brought Solomon out of that and Solomon did a lot of good for Israel. God can do the same for any one of us: erase any stain, remove any baggage.

    It isn’t our right to carry baggage, either. If your friend feels guilty because she feels God can’t do anything with her because she’s sinned so many times, tell her to stop it. God can and will forgive her because Jesus Christ already atoned for us. She can stop, she MUST stop. And once she does, God will be able to take her blackened life and make it into something for his glory.

    I used to hold my addiction in false pride: “You don’t know what I’ve been through, what I’ve done. God can’t fix all that.” But she’ll need to give up her guilt and angst and start over again, give her life to God. Doubtless by now she’s found that she can’t do anything on her own strength – I found that I couldn’t resist temptation no matter how hard I tried. It took a miracle to get me through it. One thing I prayed, which she can herself if she thinks she needs it: “God, please make me unhappy. Please make me unhappy with everything I do, with everything I am, with all the things I like and everything I want to do. Make me so unhappy and miserable that I’ll /have/ to turn back to you.” It worked – though I lost a lot of creativity and initiative for about a year. But it was necessary for me, and I would not do it any other way. I’ve learned to rely on God so much since.

    I’ll pray for you and your friend, and remember to pray always for her too. And let me know how it goes. God bless the both of you.

    In Christ,
    Rommy

    # July 17, 2012

  3. Kat

    Wow – thank you so much for sharing your testimony. Praise God that you overcame your addiction through His power!

    # July 19, 2012

  4. Toni

    It is unusual for a female to be addicted to Porn as we are not as visual as men. But times are changing I suppose, in my experience however SOMETIMES there are deeper issues going on, like having been sexually abused etc Sexual sin is very dark and secretive, Michael Pearl has a great little book called – Pornography the road to hell, if she is open to the Lord about it, that is half the battle and you should be able to help her. You are a good friend 🙂

    # July 22, 2012

  5. Emily G

    You would suggest installing an accountablity program on her computer. Covenant Eyes is a good one, it sends all the websites visited on that computer to another person. You could set it up so you get the emails with all of the websites she visited.

    And just to pray constantly..the minute she lets her guard down, is when it will happen 🙁

    # July 24, 2012