And likely before then it will make you wish you were dead.
It did that for me at one time. Made me wish I was dead, that is. It didn’t actually kill me. Obviously. Unless I’m a ghost. (Would that make me a ghostwriter?)
All of that to say, I broke up with porn back in 2001.
Yes. That means I celebrate my 16th anniversary of freedom from porn this year.
Anyone who’s been caught in the porn vortex may find that hard to believe. Sometimes it’s hard for me to believe too! But then again, there are so many things I enjoy about life after porn, in many ways it’s not that difficult for me to believe in the least.
I’m not saying I couldn’t fall again. We all could fall for anything.
Adam and Eve are living proof of that. Those cats had one and only one rule to keep; only one sin they could fall for; and fall they did.
I used to think, “What was their deal?!” But that was before I knew myself better. To stay free, I have to be vigilant in regards to temptation and ruthless when it comes to accountability. You do too.
Hoping to inspire you (and anyone you know who needs the encouragement) in doing just that, here are 16 things I love about life after porn in honor of 16 years of freedom:
- Being able to exercise self-control I never could have imagined possible back when my mind would escape to sexual fantasy every time I was bored, worried, discouraged or irritated. – 2 Timothy 1:7
- A clear conscience in regards to a sin that once ruled my mind. – Romans 12:1-2
- The freedom my mind has, in that clarity, to dwell on a million other things which are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent and praiseworthy. – Philippians 4:8
- The richer and abiding joy I derive from dwelling on such things, which makes the pleasure porn gave me seem like the self-centered, immature, fake and fleeting thing it was, and always will be. – Romans 6:20-23
- The hope that conquering pornography gives me for conquering other besetting sins in my life. (No. Sadly, porn wasn’t the only one.) – Romans 6:13-15
- The peace that comes from knowing my God can deliver me from any temptation, because I’ve experienced that deliverance over and over again. – 1 Corinthians 10:13
- Being able to wholeheartedly embrace the honor of cherishing women as co-image bearers of God instead of compulsively judging or lusting after them. – Matthew 5:27-29
- Experiencing the wholehearted attraction I was made to have toward my wife, as my “one and only,” since I’m not comparing her to fantasy girls who only exist in a softly-lit, strategically-shot and digitally enhanced world. (Which is to say they don’t exist in real life at all.) – Proverb 5:15-22 (If you aren’t married yet, you need to understand how porn may be keeping you from marriage.)
- A more profound oneness with my wife, which is so much more meaningful than mere sex. – Ephesians 5:25-32 (Again, if you aren’t married, I understand thinking, “This doesn’t apply to me,” but you truly need to grasp how porn is likely keeping you from marriage.)
- Not having to confess to my wife, “I did it again.” (At least not about this sin.) – Romans 7:14-25
- Being able to lead my kids in understanding both the power of sin and the greater power of grace for the one who believes, giving them hope for victory over the sins with which they struggle. – Romans 8:1-11
- A deeper intimacy with God, not because He loved me more after I gave up porn, but because giving up porn enlarged my heart so I could love Him more. (Remember, sin brings separation from God. In fact, before God cast Adam and Eve out of the garden, they had already implemented their own separation by attempting to hide from Him.) – Genesis 3:1-8
- Spending the majority of my prayer time focused on what God wants me doing, instead of what I shouldn’t have done. – Matthew 6:9-10
- Feeling like my life is more about being on a mission, than being in a battle. – Proverbs 24:5-11
- Sharing my freedom with others. – Galatians 5:1
- Knowing others will feel a lot the way I do after they’ve been free for 16 years. – 2 Timothy 2:22-26
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