“What’s the one piece of advice you would give
to someone struggling with porn addiction?”
Luke Norsworthy is the pastor of Venture Community Church and host of the Newsworthy with Norsworthy podcast.
Connect with Luke
Stephen: Hey guys. I’m here with Luke Norsworthy. He’s the pastor of Venture Community Church and host with The Newsworthy with Norsworthy podcast. So Luke, thanks for joining us today. I’m going to go ahead and ask you the question I’ve been asking everybody, and that’s what’s the one piece of advice you would give to someone struggling with porn addiction.
Luke: First of all thank you for having me on the show. Do you call it the show? The interview? The website?
Stephen: The web series, yeah I don’t know.
Luke: The web series, whatever this is. I appreciate the invitation. I don’t pretend to be the expert on the subject but I will give you my two cents. There was a book that came out a little while ago by an author named Charles Duhigg. He actually won a Pulitzer Price for some of the other stuff that he’s been working on, but he wrote a book entitled The Power of Habits. And his basic points is like we’re all really just this culmination of the habits that we have. And he kind of breaks down habits into three steps. First is the cue, then the behavior, and then the reward. For example, about a year ago, I kind of realize that every night I put my girls to bed, lay down on the couch, turn the TV on and then I would start eating cookies and ice cream. And that’s not like a long-term positive solution to have for what you’re going to do every night. And so I realized “okay, this is a bad habit I got stuck into.” And then as I broke it down using Duhigg’s model, so the cue is the exhaustion, the fatigue. And then the behavior comes along of ice cream and cookies and then the reward, of course, is eating the cookies and the ice cream. But the question you have to ask behind that is what’s the cue that’s sparking this behavior. What’s behind it that’s causing the behavior to take place and we obviously can figure out what the reward is.
And so I think that’s like the first step. If I’m going to give you one piece of advice for anyone struggling with abusing anything, whether it’s porn, sex, alcohol, you have to ask what’s the question behind the question. What’s the issue behind the issue? Often you’re dealing with isolation, you’re dealing with loneliness, boredom, stress, worry, fear. Whatever that is, that cue that’s sparking you to go to this behavior, you got to ask. How can I befriend that? How can I become better friends with my fear? How can I become better friends with my boredom? And start to do that. And that’s where I’d start.
In doing that, what I would want to do and this is where I think the Christian thing comes in, is start wondering what does God say about that. And I think behind all of those things is ultimately the thought that I am not accepted for this. I am not accepted to be a man who is fearful. I am not accepted to be a man who gets stressed or lonely or bored. And I think what everyone needs to hear is what Jesus heard before he did anything in His ministry, before He feeds anyone, before He walks in any water, before He raises anyone from the dead, His father tells him “this is my son, with whom I’m well pleased.” And I will start with that. Hear the voice of God that says in your boredom, in your fear, in your stress you are loved. Because this isn’t doing something good from you. It’s often coming out of a place of shame and guilt and fear. And you get in these nasty cycles and these nasty habits that can do some serious damage for you. And so I think you would start listening to what God says about you, not what those voices say.
When I was just about to get married some 13 years ago, a neighbor found out that I was just about to get married. This was an older gentleman. I think he had some, maybe some mental handicap of some sort. And so he walks over to my house and he says “hey Luke I hear you’re about to get married.” I said “yeah, I’m very excited. 2 months from now I’m getting married.” And he goes “I got you something.” He pulls out from behind his back like this old pornographic magazine and he goes “I thought this might help you.” I’m like “I appreciate the gesture but I really don’t think that’s helping you.” And I think most of us realize it’s not helping us, whatever sort of abuse that we’re doing to our sexuality. It’s undoing something that we are created to have as a pure, beautiful thing. And I think the way that you deal with that is you ask what’s the issue behind the issue, and that’s where I think you can start. And then you bring accountability and bring you maybe a counselor or someone else who can help you with that but you got to figure out what’s the issue behind the issue.
Stephen: Yeah. I think that’s wonderful advice. Thanks for sharing that with us, Luke. Tell people where they can find out more about you and your ministry.
Luke: Well my Twitter handle is @lukenorsworthy, which is also my website, lukenorsworthy.com. You can check out more stuff there. And I’m on iTunes as well. So Twitter, my website, iTunes, all that.
Stephen: Okay. Yeah guys, all the links to that stuff will be in the show notes. And definitely check out Luke’s podcast. I’ve listened to a couple of episodes now and it’s been great. Luke, thanks for joining us and good luck in your ministry.
Luke: Thanks Stephen. Appreciate it man.
Stephen: See you.