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3 Ways to Quit Porn While Quarantined

At some point early in life, pornography was not a thought in your mind. You’d never seen it and it didn’t occupy any of your time. Things have changed. Now you can’t stop thinking about it even when you wish you could.

If this describes you, then why not make this season of social distancing and quarantine a time to work on leaving pornography behind, a time to become a man or woman who walks in sexual integrity? (If porn isn’t your problem, what addiction or bad habit in your life would you like to see changed?)

An addiction is an addiction because your brain and body have become wired to operate interdependently with a drug, and to not operate without it. So when you go too long without porn or attempt to walk through something difficult, your nervous system signals the alarm: Problem! Problem! Find porn! Find porn! Of course, you don’t hear the alarm like that. Instead, you find your mind drifting toward past images you’ve seen, or you notice your eyes darting toward particular people and body parts, or you discover you’ve picked up your phone again and you’re scrolling…

No intentionality on your part was required to get things moving toward porn.

But intentionality will be required if you’re going to break the habit.

(One important point to make here: The enemy will tell you that sexual integrity is difficult to gain because God is hard work and porn is easy, God is a taskmaster and porn is a friend. In actuality, porn has become an easy go-to because it’s enslaved your will. God, on the other hand, wants your will free.)

Here are three intentional practices you can begin even while quarantined:

  1. Make a daily phone call.

Find a trusted friend with whom you can schedule a daily 10-minute phone conversation. During that call each day, take five minutes each to answer these three questions, and then pray for each other:

  • Have you felt tempted to lust in the last 24 hours?
  • What were you really feeling and needing that prompted the temptation?
  • Rather than using lust, how can you respond to your feelings and needs with compassion in the next 24 hours?
  1. Pray for eyes to see. One of my favorite quotes is from the late Pope John Paul II when he pointed out, “The problem with pornography is not that it shows too much, but that it shows too little.” Pornography may show naked bodies, but it deeply obscures the human person.

The enemy wants you to look at a body without seeing the person.

(Of course, lust is just one of his strategies to get people to regard a body to disregard the person. Because when a culture becomes habituated to this kind of looking, it becomes a culture incapable of love.)

In contrast, Jesus came to came to proclaim “recovery of sight for the blind” (Luke 4:18), and just as He asked the blind man so long ago, so Jesus is asking us, “What do you want me to do for you?” We can respond boldly like our blind brother did: “Lord, I want to see!” (see Luke 18:36-42).

  1. Join a recovery group, program, community, or one-to-one support. You’re not the first one to want to break porn’s grip. An increasing number of men and women have gone before you and are walking in sexual integrity today. Regeneration’s Rescue program for men is now available online and our one-to-one coaching is available for both men and women. Our team would be happy to walk with you. (In addition, we’re working hard at a new online course available for both men and women in the months to come.)

But listen, we want you to be free, whether Regeneration is a part of that for you or not, and there are many incredible counselors, therapists, coaches, programs and support groups out there. The primary question for you to answer is whether you’re willing to be humble enough to join one.

I wish there weren’t a global pandemic afoot, but there is. For those of us wrestling with an ongoing addiction, why not use this time to make some daily changes in our lives for the better?

You may not yet be able to say no to your addiction, but would you be willing to say yes to these three intentional practices?

Our team is here to help you.

 

Question: Josh makes the claim that lust is only one of many ways the enemy is scheming so that when people look at other people, they don’t actually see a human person. Can you think of other examples of this?

 

For you,
Josh

4 thoughts on “3 Ways to Quit Porn While Quarantined”

  1. Great topic Josh. Just this morning I was reading the book,” The Fantasy Fallacy by Shannon Ethridge. That my battle for sure. Isolation doesn’t help. Praise the Lord for his amazing grace healing over the years. Faithfully attending mens group over 20 years had been a HUGE help. Accountability is crucial and honesty. Your absolutely correct. It certainly is a time of isolation and renewal in a good way. Praise the Lord and God bless .

  2. Thank you Josh. When we look at a spouse, family member or friend and see a problem to be solved rather than a person to be loved, we dehumanize them and objectify them. May God remind us that those around us are Image-Bearers. And may He give us the grace to treat them like He treats us, with much grace and love.

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