There are many questions you are probably asking yourself. Who can I tell? Who can I trust? What kind of help do I need? Where do I look for support? This is a painful struggle, and there is a lot at stake.
Truthfully, there are many men in your church who are battling this temptation. Pornography and sexual sin has invaded millions of homes. Some of the men and families you love in your church are struggling with this problem too. Let’s focus for now on what you need to do. We’ll address the other issue another time.
If you are struggling with pornography, here are 9 steps to take:
1. Confess this sin.
You need to come clean with God, seek His forgiveness and turn away from this sin. Yes, God will forgive you, but He also wants you to rely on His Spirit so you can walk in freedom. It is also important that you confess this to your spouse.
2. Clean your house.
This means you must remove any pornography from your computer and your life. You cannot keep the temptation available and expect not to fail. 1 Cor. 10:12 says, “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” (NIV)
[tweetthis]Struggling with porn? Clean your house. You cannot keep the temptation available and expect not to fail.[/tweetthis]
3. Install Internet filtering and accountability.
This needs to be installed on every instrument that gives you access to the Internet. You can get more information by going to www.covenanteyes.com.
4. Find a qualified Christian counselor.
You cannot beat this addiction alone without help—and there are no exceptions to the statement! There are very likely issues in your past or current life that need to be addressed. Besides, the life of the pastor is already very lonely and isolated enough. A vital part of the process of recovery is breaking down that barrier and securing trusted help.
5. Get at least two accountability partners.
This can be a real challenge, but commit this to the Lord in prayer. He will guide you to the right persons. They need to be spiritually mature people of the same gender. This accountability and support adds another layer of support in the pursuit of integrity.
6. Find help for your spouse.
Your wife has been wounded by your actions. She will find help in the process of healing and restoration through qualified Christian counseling. This is often one of the most overlooked keys for recovery.
7. Daily turn to the Scriptures.
Since the battlefield is in the mind, we must work at what the Apostle Paul exhorts us to do—turn to the Word of God. He says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” Romans 12:2, NIV).
8. Surrender each day to the Holy Spirit’s control.
This is not something you can overcome with sheer human will. Victory can only be achieved through the Holy Spirit. J.C. Ryle put it this way:
Sanctification is that inward spiritual work which the Lord Jesus Christ works in a man by the Holy Spirit when He calls him to be a true believer. He not only washes him from his sins in His own blood, but He also separates him from his natural love of sin and the world, puts a new principle in his heart and makes him practically godly in life.
9. Do whatever it takes to overcome this addiction.
By whatever means possible, seek a safe men’s recovery group. Many communities have Celebrate Recovery or Freedom Groups. If you are concerned as a pastor about confidentiality, there are also online support groups. The therapists at Heart to Heart Counseling provide many online support groups. For more information, you can call 719-278-3708.
You can no longer deny or ignore the problem. It is a problem that won’t go away on its own, and it almost always gets worse. There is hope and freedom. These steps will you get started on the journey.