The following story is the first chapter from my book, 10 Lies Men Believe About Porn, available now wherever books are sold. It is presented here in eight parts and should take you no more than ten minutes to read (You can find Part 1 here). If you would rather read it off-line, you can sign up for our monthly newsletter to receive a free PDF download of the first three chapters of the book as my thank-you gift for signing up.
The First of Many Turning Points
The first real turning point in my journey came when we found out we were going to have a daughter. Although the thought of hurting my wife wasn’t enough for me to seek help, for some reason the thought of hurting my baby girl was. I was listening to a podcast on being a godly father and the preacher was talking about the effects of pornography on a family. He warned that if a father has a porn addiction, he will most likely pull away from his daughter once she reaches puberty because he will feel dirty and shameful if he gives her affection after she starts to mature physically. This pulling away often causes the daughter to feel rejection and start looking for affection elsewhere—often in the arms of a teenage boy who is noticing how she is changing physically as well. I immediately thought of how many of the girls I had dated over the years had absent or distant fathers, and the kind of physical relationships we had. This scared me to death.
A few months after my daughter was born I came across a book called The Bondage Breaker. I was skeptical about it at first because it was different from all the other books I had read on the subject. I continued to read it, though, and started to believe what the author was saying might actually be true. I began to understand how my addiction was the result of me not understanding what it meant to have Christ living within me. I had believed lies about my sin—and myself—and these lies were contributing to my bondage. If I would allow God to clear up those lies and show me the truth, freedom would come.
I came to realize that the true nature of my addiction was spiritual, not physical, and I would never be able to find freedom by myself. I followed the prayers of repentance in the book as they guided me through a process of handing my sin over to God and trusting Him to break the chains that had shackled me for so many years. It took many hours as God brought to mind countless acts of sin that had contributed to my bondage. It was the first time I reached out to God for help with my addiction using His power, not my own.
The moment I finished praying, something felt different. I really can’t explain it. I started to realize that I no longer felt drawn to the computer in the same way as before. I’d go check my e-mail and Facebook, but even though my wife was gone and I was alone, I didn’t feel the urge to look at porn. When I’d wake up the following morning, I would still have no desire to look at porn, even though my usual pattern was to go straight to the computer first thing. I started to believe this Bondage Breaker thing might have actually worked. I gave it a few more weeks to be sure my addiction was truly gone and could hardly believe it when I realized it truly was.
The best part of all of this, or so I thought, was now I would never need to tell my wife. In my mind, the problem had now been taken care of.
God had another plan, though.