by Joe B.

The following is my painful story.  I believe this is the next step in my walk.  I felt compelled to write it today and I sit here almost in tears as I rehash it.

In His love, joe

I grew up in a religious household.  No one had a relationship with Christ, but we were weekly church goers.  As a teenager my interest in porn was “normal” for my age.  If I encountered it I was curious, but I did not seek it out.  When I was 18 and in my first year of college I had sex for the first time.  This gave me a desire for gratification, whether it was with a partner or through self-gratification.  As a result, I became more interested in porn.

I would try to covertly purchase it at a nearby convenience store and accumulated a library of dozens of books.  Viewing porn and self-gratification became a daily occurrence.  When I met my wife (still not a Christian) we had an “active” life and my interest in porn/self-gratification became more of a weekly occurrence.  We got married and porn/self-gratification became very rare.

After about 4 years of marriage, I was exposed to porn on the internet.  I slowly started to sink back into my younger ways.  I would view it occasionally and resort to self-gratification even less often.  Porn became like a stone rolling down a hill after that.  I would view it every few days and then every day and self-gratification became a partner with porn.  My relationship with my wife became platonic at best.

This went on for years until a friend introduced me to the Bible and a Bible believing church.  Jesus grabbed my heart and freed me from porn/self-gratification for over 2 years.  I had no interest and felt a weight lifted from my shoulders.  My wife and I started to grow closer.

Then one day I stumbled upon a risqué photo of a woman.  That “accident” opened the floodgates again.  I spiraled back into my old flesh feeding ways.  I was devastated, because I thought Jesus had freed me forever.

What I have discovered is that Jesus did free me forever.  But it wasn’t from the chains of porn like I initially thought.  Jesus freed me from the punishment of my sin.  He gave me eternal life, but did not take away my desire for porn.  He did, however, provide me with the strength I need to battle the desire.

1 Corinthians 10:13 – No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

And as Paul learned, when saddled with some affliction that he wanted desperately to get rid of pleaded with the Lord for freedom ….
2 Corinthians 12:9 – But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

We may never be truly free until we see our Savior face to face brothers, but we can know He is there with us every step of the way.