I often hear it said that pornography use today is so common that it would be difficult to find someone who hasn't been exposed to it. As scary as this statement might be, I would agree it isn't far from the truth. The reality is that pornography is something that touches almost every part of our media culture through explicit depictions of sex or subtle displays of sexual innuendo, all of which continually shape our society's view of sex. This has made it increasingly difficult to protect ourselves and our families from the media's reach and influence in this regard.
Living in a Porn Saturated Culture
Beyond this, our media culture has yet to broadcast the degree to which this blatant exploitation of human sexuality, including pornography itself, has negatively affected the lives of millions of people around the world. As a counselor who treats individuals struggling with pornography addiction, I am continually made aware of how damaging pornography can be to the life, mind and relationships of those who view pornography. It is hard to describe the depth of emotional and relational pain I see people experiencing on a daily basis because of this issue.
Choosing to be Vulnerable
Thankfully, this isn't the end of the story:
"I have seen many individuals break the hold of pornography in their lives, and restore their marital or dating relationships, by taking the courageous step of being open with trusted loved ones about their usage."
A primary reason centers on their willingness to be vulnerable, namely in facing their fear of rejection, along with the guilt and shame that frequently overwhelm the lives of those who view pornography. Change simply will not occur if a person refuses to seek help by letting others know they are struggling to break free of either occasional use or a sexual addiction that has developed because of that usage.
When someone challenges themselves to be open and vulnerable in this regard, they make the courageous choice to bring their pornography use into the light, and put an end to the secrecy in which this type of usage thrives.
A Change of Heart
Freedom from pornography through vulnerability is possible, however I believe it is most effectively done when a person experiences a change of heart, not just a change of their day to day patterns. For example, it's one thing to place an internet filter on your smartphone or laptop, however it's a completely different endeavor to be open with trusted others and to face the underlying cognitive, emotional and spiritual issues that make pornography use possible in the first place.
This is where one's Christian faith can play an integral role in bringing about desired personal change. It goes beyond any self-help to do list by encouraging renewal at the heart level, and incorporates a reliance upon God's Word and Spirit, which aid and empower us in the pursuit of that renewal. And yet, even in this case, we benefit from having other believers stand firmly beside us through their prayers and words of encouragement.
Not Being Afraid
Pornography is never something that we should fear, however it is something we want to be proactive in protecting against personally and fighting against culturally. This is best done when we as a local, national, and clinical community join together in pursuing the value of each individual life.
For some, this issue is best faced in a counseling context. If you would like more information about this topic or clinical treatment options through Fulfilled Christian Counseling, we invite you to contact us today:
We look forward to hearing from you!
Eric Gomez, MS LMFT MHP
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Fulfilled Christian Counseling