By: Brendon Edwards
I had finally found a place where someone would always find pleasure in me. I found continuous acceptance from any person at any time. I knew that if no regular woman would love me, there was always some who was ready to love me. I never had to beg for it, I never had to work for it, I never had to give any effort or sacrifice…I just simply had to show up in a dark room and turn on a TV. I didn’t find this out in my twenties. I found this first when I was 6 years old, and it fully matured when I was around 12-13ish.
You always know when you are doing something wrong that Jesus is not proud of. But you can always push it out saying “Well, everyone does it, so I will too. But it won’t last forever.” That was the thought I had before I met my wife. I thought, “I won’t need porn when I’m married! I’ll be having the real thing! My problem is solved when this happens!” So, before we married and started dating, I lied to her and stated that I had a problem, but I didn’t have it any longer. I clearly remember saying in my head when I first saw her this saying:
“The only way that I can ever have a caliber girl like her is if I lie to her. The day that she finds out who you really are is the day she will leave you.”
So…I did. I became a master liar. I liked about facts, figures, life goals, purpose, and dreams of my heart. I lied nearly about everything, because I knew that I would lose her affection and attention if she knew that I was genuinely scared guy who was still trying to learn what it was to be a man. This woman was very determined and positioned in her thoughts and her life. But I knew that in order to receive what I wanted, which was affection and attention, she could never know who I was. Let me tell you, it’s easy to do that before you’re married. But once married, your problems “are not solved, they are magnified.” And two years later, in a fell swoop, I confessed that I was still addicted to pornography in our marriage (which she sensed, but didn’t completely know). She divorced me 3 years later, after she left me alone for 2 years while we were still married alone in an empty apartment in Dallas. I also lost all of my friends, and the ministry that I was leading completely vanished into thin air. When I say that I lost everything in my life is a very, very drastic understatement.
Truth be told, there is a lot of this story that could probably be told on my life. But let me summarize it by these few words of cautious wisdom from a former porn addict to all married folks (and those hoping to marry):
- Porn ruins identity
The dark room was all I knew. However, I only knew the dark room because I was sure that Jesus could never love me or accept me at all. My sin was too big. You see, the dark room will keep you from His light and love. He states in Jeremiah 31 that “His love is Everlasting,” meaning that His love doesn’t quit, give up, or tap out because the going is too tough. However, you will become that of which you invest your life into. I invested into a world of abuse, lies, mistrust, adultery, and pain. It’s no surprise that if you were to ask me who I was in that season and I gave you an honest answer, it would have consisted of those words that defined my make believe world.
- Porn will kill your marriage.
There are thoughts that maybe porn in the bedroom might be “spicy,” or that if your spouse is not willing to give you sexual affection that you “need to relieve” yourself somehow. What I’m here to say is this: your sexuality is likened to a water faucet. It turns on and off as you are able to turn the handle, and I’m certain that you take good care of your valves, so I don’t have any question that you can easily increase or decrease the flow of sexual goodness with your spouse (or future spouse when you officially tie the knot). So have restraint, and heed the Wisdom of Solomon in Proverbs 5:15:
“Drink water from your own cistern, and flowing water from your own well.”
The day you feel that the water on the other side of the fence is cooler, fresher, and more vibrant than your own is the day that you poison your spouse, your children, and your own soul with the lies and curses of hell itself. Take it from a man that lost everything: the well that the Lord blessed you with is the richest, most refreshing water that could ever be available to you, not only because of who the person simply is, but because of His blessing and provision that flows in and through them as well.
- Porn is a chemical and mental addiction
Most people simply think that porn addiction is as easy to beat as Alcohol or Drug abuse, and that’s why our churches in society today are filled with porn addicts. And it’s not simply lay members: It affects pastors, elders, worship leaders, youth pastors, bishops, and greeters. We press our members and give great lengths of prayer quickly into recovery options for physical addiction processes, yet with Porn and Sex addiction, it gets swept under the rug, and we’re told to “just stop doing it.” What a horrible response. Porn and Sex addiction are not a simple fight. You are dumping mountain-loads of chemicals into your brain that have similar effects on the body as heroin and crack cocaine, but as well, you are continually in struggle with your identity of the mind and heart because Christ created you as a sexual being to reproduce and multiply. It’s easy to see why this is an Epidemic in our world and a straight attack on Christianity as we know it.
If you struggle with porn addiction, know that there are a number of incredible ministries right where you are that can help you. I never knew such existed in my struggle, so I encourage you to look at any available, including Celebrate Recovery. It is an excellent, Christ centered option that works a systematic process to help you deal with the day to day issues while being reminded of the power of Jesus’ blood given to your healing from addiction. Excellent sites such as XXXchurch and Covenant Eyes provide materials, resources, and service tools to help you fight and understand how to protect both you and your family. In addition, I am in progress of writing a new book that addresses the struggles of the addict, how to overcome, and how to equip the Church to readily assist those who are in need of help.
My story started in a dark room. But in His life and light, I have found fullness of joy, a peace that surpasses all understanding, and a freedom from the addictive natures of porn. I pray that wherever you find yourself in this story, you will see and know that He is great enough to love you, forgive you, and save you through it all. You are not alone.