It is a challenge for Pastors, Christian men, in fact All men to deal with pornography. No longer are the images available in magazines and DVDs, but now they are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. And these images are as close as your tablet or cell phone. This temptation is closer than ever and grabbing hold of more and more men.
Last week, I was at a Pastor’s Conference, where one of the speakers said that 52% of pastors have at one time or are currently struggling with porn. In fact, Scott Croft writing for boundless.org stated over 70% of men ages 18-24 view pornography weekly (Christians and non-Christians). Its negative impact on men is growing.
Pornography destroys intimacy. It ruins intimacy with your spouse; images of other women will not help your sexual relationship with your wife. For all men, it will deeply devastate your marriage. Pornography wipes out your intimacy with God, the barrier of sin impacts your closeness to God. The feeling that sin has overtaken your walk with God, rather than enjoying victory through Christ!
If you’re a pastor, it will destroy your ministry. It is like a poison snake that we feed and raise from infancy. It seems harmless, funny and cute at first. But it grows out of control, requires more and more of our time and more food. Eventually, it turns on us, bites us and we experience the pain of its venom.
Although more readily available, the Bible reminds us about sin. In 1 Corinthians 10:13 that “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.”
If you are struggling, here are some helpful suggestions:
1) Confess the sin and repent – Receive God’s power to cleanse and overcome. Stand on the promise and be forgiven.
2) Remove all pornography – Get rid of it from your life and computer. Don’t allow the temptation to be readily and easily accessible.
3) Install internet filtering and accountability programs on all of your computers. Covenant Eyes has a good reputation for providing these services.
4) Have at least three accountability partners. Set this up today!
5) Find a qualified, Christian counselor with whom you can address this with.
6) Speak to your Spouse – Share your struggle with your spouse and give them the passwords to your computer and phone. Allow them to check your internet history on all devices.
7) Open God’s word daily – Read, Reflect, Pray and Listen. Allow a ministry or app to send scripture to you daily. Read a devotion, daily. See 7 Resources link below for suggestions.
8) Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you daily – His power will help you overcome pornography.
9) Remember the consequence and its destruction to your relationship with God, your marriage, your family, your life’s story and your ministry.
10) Help other men in your church and community by being an example in word and deed. First live it and then share it and preach about it.
This is a problem that is not going away and though we can ignore the snake. It is growing! There are numerous resources to help you here is Part 2 – 7 Suggested Resources to Overcome Pornography. I pray that with God’s power you will not be overtaken with this sin, but find freedom in Christ!
It is my hope that if you are or have been battling with pornography, that God’s power will enable you to overcome. If you know someone struggling with pornography; forward the story (with the 10 suggestions) and if possible consider being one of their accountability partners. Truly, God is able to free us from every temptation. May you find real victory!
A portion of post came from the information from The Christian Post Story – Pornography and Pastors. Here is Ed Stetzer’s recent link on Christianity Today on 10 Reasons Why You Should Quit Watching Porn (taken from GQ Magazine).