Question:

Dear sir, I need your help. I'm fighting hard to remain sexually pure. At one time I was trapped by pornography, but I want to remain pure until marriage. It's really hard for a twenty-seven year old. I have a such a burning desire.


Answer:

It depends on how you look at the situation. You find it easy to sin because it is a familiar habit to you. You desire it because of the temporary pleasure it gives you. But look at it the other way around. Pornography doesn't just appear in front of you, you actually go seek it out. Likely you pay money for it. It makes you feel dirty and you don't like how it warps your thinking. You actually put in extra effort and pay an extra cost to sin, yet you think of it as a fight.

Don't get me wrong, I understand how much you are struggling against this sin, but I wanted you to get a better perspective on the problem because Satan often clouds our view. One of the reasons we aren't as successful in the battle against sin is that we are not fighting the right problem.

The problem is the habit your developed for handling your body's need to ejaculate. It isn't that your desire is stronger than others. Almost all men have to deal with the urge for sex. "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it" (I Corinthians 10:13). Pornography is not a requirement to ejaculate. Your body is quite capable of getting rid of excess semen without it.

The first step is to get rid of all the pornography you currently have: pictures, movies, files on your computer, etc. It doesn't matter that you paid for some of it, none of it is worth the price. Consider it tax for being stupid with your money.

The second step is to make it harder for you to get more without putting thought into the matter. Put locks on your computer against pornography, such as with K9 Web Protection, which is free. Sure, you probably can defeat the lock, but it will take extra effort and time, which might give you some moments to think. If you have a habit of going by a video store, find a different route to travel.

The third step is find better things to do with your time. Cleaning house just leaves a vacuum waiting to be filled. "When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation" (Matthew 12:43-45). Therefore, you need to fill yourself and your time with righteous things so there is no room for sin. Start paying attention to what triggers the desire to go search out pornography and then come up with something else to do when those triggers occur. At first it will be hard, but eventually you can establish new, righteous habits.

Thank you for your support and being a true servant of God. I have bought a lot of biblical literature to help me avoid looking back at pornography. I must tell you that it has also affected my self esteem in that I compare my 'body parts' with what I've seen and I'm left feeling so inadequate. I think that my wife to be is going to laugh at me. I feel quite low at times.

You need to understand that a goal of pornography is to shock you. Shock grabs your attention so that you focus on what is being presented. It also causes your heart to race which pushes you onto the path of sexual arousal. In order to shock you, breasts and genitals are presented bigger than average to surprise a person. It is done through manipulating the image with a photo editor, through the angle in which pictures are taken, or by searching out people who have bigger than normal features. In the latter consider this: a penis on a 6'3" man is going to look smaller than the same size penis on a 5'2" man. That is because we judge size by relative proportions.

It is foolish to compare yourself to doctored images. It is foolish to compare your future wife to doctored images. Besides size doesn't matter much when it comes to sexual intercourse, just as the size of your feet doesn't determine how fast you might run. Though Paul was talking about spiritual matters, the principle still applies: "For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise" (II Corinthians 10:12). There will always be someone bigger than you and smaller than you. There will always be people who are smarter than you and dumber than you. Such comparisons are meaningless.

How can I regain confidence in myself and how I look without the feeling of being below average in physical stature? Also how do I gain confidence that my future wife will accept how I look? How can I now walk in the Spirit and be filled? Finally, how can I strengthen my relationship with God. Thank you for your genuine support. Please, I need your continued support!

You are short-changing your wife and you haven't even met her yet! Your wife is interested in you as a person, not a physical stud. If the only thing that attracted women to men were their appearance most of the world's men would be very lonely. It is the men who usually put far too much emphasis on appearance. Women are generally more interested in a man's character.

If you want to be godly, you have to stop thinking like the world thinks. "If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth" (Colossians 3:1-2). It is the inward man, not the outer shell, which is important. "Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day" (II Corinthians 4:16).

What is important is who you are, not what you look like.